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Laughing matters 

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When someone like Bill Maher comes to town, not everyone will want a ticket. But there does appear to be something of a common appreciation for the fusion of the comedic arts and straight talk.

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David Goldberg of Tucson, Ariz., is a high school counselor

Do you have a favorite comedian? Andrew Dice Clay. He's not tethered to the politically correct movement; he speaks his mind. He's really foul.

Do you think he does the best job making fun of politics and politicians? No, no, he's on a baser level. The best job is probably [done by] Conan O'Brien.

What are your thoughts on Bill Maher? Bill Maher was a funny guy back in the day, but obviously he's taken it into the political realm. But he's got a lot of really funny things to say. He's got an undercurrent of anger. Not the worst thing, but that's what he is.

How do you feel about the idea of doing stand-up comedy, yourself? As a college admissions recruiter, when I'd go in front of high school students, one of the ways you'd bring students out is through humor, and I've spoken to thousands and thousands of high school students. I love stand-up. I would do it if I had the material.

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Ivannah Johnson of Black Forest is a political science graduate student

Who's your favorite comedian? I like Will Ferrell. I don't know that he does stand-up, but I really like Will Ferrell.

Do you think any comedians are just not that amusing? I don't think Chris Rock is terribly amusing. I just don't think he's terribly funny. David Letterman's comedy just kind of rubs me the wrong way. [Daniel] Tosh, sometimes it's uncomfortable and sometimes it isn't.

Do you find Bill Maher funny at all? I freakin' love Bill Maher. I love Bill Maher, I do. I love Bill Maher. I like that he is so freaking political and that he is not afraid to say whatever it is he thinks, and I just think he holds no punches.

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Pete Gentzler of Palmer Lake is a marketing consultant

Have you ever been to a comedy show? Yes, a couple of times, but no one too famous. It was in Las Vegas, and it was after a couple of beers, so it was very funny.

Do you have any thoughts on Bill Maher? I think that he's outspoken, and I admire his ability to say what he thinks. Sometimes, even though I'm liberal, I would say he's just maybe a little over the line.

What about comedians who maybe aren't so funny? I don't like a whole lot of comedians that just make jokes based on shock value, so if it's just, like, a gross-out joke or something that's so politically incorrect that it's just meant to shock people into laughter, then I don't really like that kind of humor.

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