On July 20th, 2019, The Upper Room presented comedian, Jeff Allen, in concert.
Founder and host, Ron Strand, greeted the audience at 7:30 pm and made a special introduction—Chip and Kim McAllister, winners of “The Amazing Race” Season 5, were in attendance.
Ron kicked off the evening with “Song Lyric Trivia,” and tossed out an Upper Room T-shirt to everyone who correctly linked the lyric line to the song’s name and artist. Some of the phrases were: “There’s a land that is fairer than day” (“In the Sweet By and By”), “To say the things he truly feels” (“My Way” by Frank Sinatra), “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now” (“My Back Pages” by Bob Dylan), “O what a foretaste of glory divine” (“Blessed Assurance”), “Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees” (“Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton) and “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls” (“The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel).
Ron announced that the Upper Room produced documentary spotlighting the groundbreaking CCM band, Love Song, will be available soon. He also reminded the audience that The Upper Room operates on a donation basis (Support The Upper Room).
Ron introduced Jeff Allen, who made his fifth appearance at The Upper Room. Jeff picked up the microphone stand and swept the base over the stage like an imaginary metal detector. When he finished the gag, Jeff said that most comedians open with their best stuff, but he likes to dig a trench and see if he can get out of it.
Jeff’s wife thinks he has ADD because he never completes anything. Jeff is grateful for his ADD because it keeps his hypochondria in check. Every time he picks up the phone to reach the hospital, he forgets who he’s calling and orders a pizza.
Jeff vividly remembers the time he had chest pains a few years ago. Though he initially resisted, his wife insisted that he go get checked out. When they arrived at the ER, Jeff’s wife dropped him off and said she’d be back in an hour…she had some things to pick up at Marshalls.
Though his chest pains were just a false alarm, Jeff’s doctor put him on a strict diet. His wife brought home many new foods he’d never seen before, including rice cakes. Though the cake part sounded enticing, the first time Jeff tried a rice cake he thought he’d accidentally chomped down on insulation.
One day, while watching their seventh Winter Olympics together as a married couple, Jeff’s wife told him she wanted to learn how to ski. Their first ski trip went fine until they took a chairlift to the top of the mountain. Jeff didn’t know to get out of the way and an empty chair swung around and hit him in the back of the head. Later, when he tried to get insurance to cover his injury, the rep on the phone said, “You’re a moron, that’s a pre-existing condition.”
A significant portion of Jeff’s act poked fun at the generation gap. He commented that his grandkids eat non-GMO, organic fruit roll-ups, which look like they should be used to patch up bike tires. He said in his day they ate something called real fruit.
Jeff wryly stated that he grew up in America before the lawyers took it over, a time before seatbelts and bike helmets. Jeff remarked that kids today are covered in bubble-wrap before being sent outside to play. He said, “Falling on concrete hurts—that’s the lesson.” When he was a kid, if you got a scrape you used Bactine and Mercurochrome.
Jeff also pointed out the differences between his generation and his father’s. Jeff recalled that his father used to carry around a handkerchief. He questioned why anyone would blow their nose into cloth and then stick it back into their pocket. Or, worse yet, offer the used hanky to someone else who might need it.
Jeff opened up about the blessings of being a grandparent. Jeff admitted that he was too busy as a parent, so now he soaks up every moment with his grandkids…and then sends them home. He finds it ironic that he doesn’t worry about his grandkids, just his adult kids.
Jeff related that one day while he was sitting in “his chair” at home, his wife leaned over his shoulder and said how special he was. He wondered what had prompted such a kind compliment. A short time later, Jeff’s son entered the room and started laughing at him. It wasn’t until Jeff looked in the mirror that he discovered his wife had drawn a smiley face on his bald spot.
Filled with relatable jokes and amusing real-life situations, the evening of comedy with Jeff Allen was an amusing, uplifting event at The Upper Room.