ROCHESTER - These days Lenny Clarke has both his weight and timing down, a lean, mean comic machine, churning out one liners, snipes and the occasional philosophical spittle that fans have come to know and love for more than 30 years.
And so it was at the Rochester Opera House last night, where, with the stage at floor level, audience members stretched out in comfort while pounding a couple of be-ahs watching the Cambridge product take pot shots at everything from Obama to global warming to immigration to the Kardashians.
Clarke was both in your face and reflective on Friday night, chiding global warming activists who balked at dumping snow in Boston harbor during the horrendous winter of 2015.
"They'd say 'You can't put snow into the ocean. It's got all that sand and salt.' (Pause) What do you think is in the ocean?" he boomed.
Later he opined why he could never be a good cop.
"I don't have the honesty or integrity it takes to be a good cop," he lamented. "You send me on one of these drug stakeouts, I kick in the door, there it is: 5 pounds of cocaine pure uncut, 6 pounds of grass, $300,000 in cash, nude women dancing around with automatic weapons. I'm going to court the next day (and) say, 'Your honor, I found a six-pack and a couple of joints, that's all that was there.' "
Clarke, never shy to engage the audience, took exception to one man in the front row who frowned whenever he engaged in a subject that was politically incorrect.
"What, what is wrong with you!" he quipped.
Later, the man did it again.
"You again?" he taunted.
Clarke, who was 388 pounds at his heaviest but is now down to a svelte 200, spoofed Weight Watchers who cheered when he got on the scales and had lost just a quarter pound one week.
"What are they cheering for," he mumbled.
His sendoff was answering the age-old question men have pondered for a millennia: the difference between hypothetical and realistic.
A son asks his father, "What's the difference between hypothetical and realistic.
"Well son," the father says, "go ask your sister if she'd have sex with her teacher for $1 million and then ask your mom if she'd have sex with the mailman for $1 million."
The son comes back a few minutes later and says, "Sure, they said they'd both do it."
"There you have it," says the dad. "Hypothetically we're millionaires, but realistically, we're living with a couple of whores."