Monkeys and Mojitos

A conversation with Zane Lamprey Comedian Zane Lamprey has what many would call a dream job: for years he’s traveled to far-flung locations to throw back a few (or more than a few) drinks with the locals for his television show “Three Sheets.” His enthusiasm and good humor earned him the nickname “The Indiana Jones of Alcohol,” a term he’s still not quite used to. “I don’t know where that came from,” he says, calling from his home in Los Angeles. “I don’t know who said that. It used to be ‘World Drinking Ambassador’ and then the Indiana Jones … it’s pretty accurate, I guess. I’ve come face to face with a cobra, except mine was dead and floating in alcohol.” Fans of the show (as well as his new show, “Drinking Made Easy,” which premiered on HDNet a couple weeks ago; a book of the same name was released earlier this spring with folklore, recipes and road tales) can expect plenty of road and drinking stories when Lamprey’s Sing the Booze tour rolls into Council Bluffs’ Horseshoe Casino this Wednesday, Oct. 27. The evening will be a mix of storytelling, stand-up comedy and songs about alcohol. “I was trying to figure out if it’s music with stories in-between, or stories with music in-between, and I think it’ll be both,” he says. He’d contemplated releasing a CD of drinking songs but when it was completed felt it was overproduced: “After recording four songs I thought we should just stop and play them live. I’m a comedian who’s singing some songs. I’m not a singer who’s doing comedy.” Fans can download the songs, including ditties like “Tits McGee,” “Mojito” and the soulful, heartfelt “Beer, I Love You” for free at zanelamprey.com. “People can go get them and put them on their iPod and listen to them on the way to the show so they’re familiar with them. I think that’d be the most fun,” he says. While the music’s free, those expecting to have Lamprey and his cohort Steve McKenna doling out cocktails are likely to leave disappointed. “I thought about that,” he says, “but I don’t think it’s fitting for such a large venue. I even went out and bought a three-foot martini glass and experimented with that. But if I can’t share it with people — I mean, I can’t really pass around a three foot martini glass — what’s the point?” Fans of the show can plan on seeing Pleepleus, Lamprey’s stuffed monkey that’s become a staple of his television shows and mascot. “Pleepleus is my drinking buddy,” he says, simply. “I brought him on ‘Three Sheets’ as a joke and hid him in the show as part of a drinking game. I didn’t think the network was going to say, ‘Yes, you can make the show a drinking game.’ I thought I had to be more stealthy about it and hide all these things.” Lamprey was surprised when the network got back to him and said they loved the audience participation. “As far as I know, it’s the first show to ever be conceived as a drinking game as opposed to the audience finding a way to make it a drinking game after the fact,” he says. It’s impossible to talk about drinking games without mentioning hangovers. Surprisingly, Lamprey says he doesn’t have as many as you’d think. “I learned to pace myself pretty early on.” It helps that the shows are taped during the day. “You don’t want to walk into a club and shut the music off or have us turn on all our lights. Ninety-five percent of what we shoot is during the day, which means I get my hangover at 11 p.m.,” he says. “It still sucks, but it means I get to wake up the next morning feeling fine. There’s no cure for the hangover. Trust me, if I found something, everyone would have it in their medicine cabinet.” Zane Lamprey’s Sing the Booze Tour comes to Council Bluffs’ Whiskey Roadhouse in Horseshoe Casino, Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Visit whiskeyroadhouse.com.

posted at 08:43 pm
on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

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