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Manteca comics the toast of Gallo Center
Anthony Krayenhagen performs at the Gallo Center for the Arts on Friday night at a benefit for the Ceres Relay for Life. - photo by Photos courtesy Russell Reno Photography

MODESTO – It takes a certain personality to convince an entire theater full of people to shout out the most infamous four-letter word in unison.

But there they were – 444 brave souls that packed into the Foster Family Theater at the Gallo Center for the Arts on Friday night to support a trio of talented local comics – throwing their inhibitions to the wind and letting the world know what they really thought about something that has undoubtedly touched every one of them in some form or fashion.


Leave it to Chris Teicheira to start the night off with a bang.

No, it’s not typically something that you’d associate with a comedy show. But when the Ceres Relay for Life committee approached Anthony Krayenhagen (Anthony K to the masses) to hold an event as a fundraiser, he really only threw down two requests. First, he wanted to be able to film the event for a DVD that he’ll be releasing shortly. And secondly, he wanted it to be somewhere nice.

So why not the biggest place in town, the one place that no local comedian had ever booked?

That’s what people got when they showed up in Modesto on Friday night. They got the true passion of a pair of Manteca guys that mine their own life experiences for jokes. When Teicheira ripped into a bit about meth and how they should hold an Olympics in Graceda Park with events like copper wire stripping – bringing out his “Tweaky Johnson” mannerisms – the place erupted. It was part social commentary and part black humor, but it was all funny. And that’s what people want when they pay money to come see somebody tell them jokes and stories and humorous anecdotes. It has to be relatable. It has to be true.

For the last several years Teicheira and Krayenhagen have been going to the State Theater every year as Modesto Area Music Award winners, performers or nominees. And each time they passed the Gallo Center or ended up somewhere near it when they were downtown. The building is imposing – it’s glass façade contrasts to the mixture to government buildings and gentrified nightspots that have made the area a destination again.

The conversation also popped up. How sweet would it be to play a show there?

Well on Friday night they did just that. And they sold it out. And they made $6,500 for the Ceres Relay for Life (Krayenhagen is a Ceres native). And they laid down a show that people will be talking about for a long, long time.

It could just be the booster that just one of the performers needed to take that next step in their comedic careers.

There were talent scouts in the audience. There were big-time comedy club owners – some driving down from Sacramento – that were blown away at how well the show went.

Once those DVDs start circulating, there’s really no way to know exactly how high the sky is for somebody as young and talented as Krayenhagen is. And Teicheira’s ability to set the table, and the way that he and podcast partner work together, will make him a hot commodity as well.

If you were there Friday night then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, there’s a good chance that you know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who was.

Either way, it’s a good time to laugh in the Central Valley. And now that local comics can pack a theater, there’s really no telling what can happen next.

But I’m willing to bet that it’ll be true.

And it’ll definitely be funny.