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Comedian uses everyday events as inspiration

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The key to a successful career in comedy is to keep things fresh with writing. Lots and lots of writing.

Just ask funnyman and musician Tim Cavanagh.

“It’s a challenge that I have every day,” said Cavanagh, who plucks his musical inspiration from news headlines and everyday life.

Local residents are invited to come sing along with Cavanagh at 8 p.m. Saturday when he makes his fourth appearance on the YES Cinema stage as part of the theater’s comedy showcase series. All proceeds from the show benefit programing provided through the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center.

Known for absurd, satirical songs such “Cheney’s Got a Gun” and “I Want to Kiss Her (But She Won’t Let Me),” the former Catholic school teacher turned comic said inspiration is everywhere.

And though he mostly tries to stay away from politics, Cavanagh admits one of his latest songs, “I’m Glad,” does mention New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — and not in a way you would expect.

“He is a larger than life character, both figuratively and literally,” Cavanagh said.

As far as Cavanagh is concerned, the method to the madness lies in wordplay.

If you are unfamiliar with his work, Cavanagh expertly maneuvers the English language using twists on phrases and plays on words to engage his audience.

A regular guest on the syndicated Bob and Tom Show, Cavanagh is looking forward to “changing things up a bit” this time around.

Last year’s performance featured “Jeopardy for Dummies,” so this time the Chicago-native is introducing “Jokeaoke.”

It’s like karaoke, but it’s a joke. He sets jokes, writes out the punchlines and lets the audience members read them. Sometimes, they deliver the punchline better than he does.

“One of the things I love about Tim is how fresh and spontaneous he is,” said Diane Doup, outreach coordinator of the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center. “His material is always new and his show centers around the audience.”

Due to some mild innuendo and language, the Cavanagh show is rated PG-13.

“I hope the audience walks away feeling a little better than they did when they came in,” Cavanagh said. “And, hopefully, maybe they will look at the world with a slightly different perspective.”

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