Sitcom star is the comedian's equivalent of a Mafia no-show job: They're easy to get, and you get paid a lot for doing very little. Like every other semi-successful comedian in the past decade, Mark Curry had his own sitcom for a few years, ABC's Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, a decent-enough half-hour based around a former basketball-star-turned-substitute-teacher. Some of Curry's peers--Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, and Drew Carey among them--proved their stand-up acts could make the transition to the small screen. Others, like Jeff Foxworthy, weren't as lucky; Foxworthy's acting was so wooden he could have been a prop. Curry's show was somewhere in the middle, kicking around on ABC's dreaded TGIF lineup (former home of Full House), but never making a real dent. It definitely didn't achieve the success his publicist believes, noting in a press release that Mr. Cooper "went on to make Curry an international star." Uh-huh. His stand-up career is much like his show was--funny enough to keep him employed, but not enough to go anywhere. It's a job, not an adventure. Curry performs Thursday through Sunday at the Improv, 4980 Belt Line in Addison. Shows happen at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday; and 7 p.m., 9 p.m., and 11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12-$15. Call (972) 404-8501.
OK, after five years, we get it--KTCK-AM (1310) ain't about sports-talk and doesn't pretend to be, and thank God. It's about the talk-jocks who bookend the morning-drive and P.M. presentation, Sweet-Sweet and Junior and The Great Gordo and The Wolf and The Hammer--about their wives and lives, their shtick and junior-high jive. And we like it, really, especially when the Fake Nolan Ryan shows up drawlin' on about how snow monkeys broke into his house and cut his hair while he slept; or when Craig Miller outs Mickey Spagnola for the Dallas Cowboys homer he really is. Not that Mike Rhyner and Greg Williams don't have deep love and knowledge for The Great Game of Baseball; not that George Dunham and Junior Miller don't hold our interest when they're jawing about the Mavs with Steve Nash or the Stars with Daryl Reaugh. But we're more partial to "Gordo's Corner" or "Spin or Spare," segments that have as much to do with sports as afternoon-time-waster Rocco Pendola has to do with interesting. If you want to meet the voices behind the mikes and talk a little (a very little) sports, they'll be around during Ticketstock '99, the station's annual three-day sports-and-stuff love-in at the Plano Centre. And real sports celebs will be on hand as well: Gone-and-back Texas Ranger Rafael Palmeiro will sign autographs 5-7 p.m. Friday; Cowboys safety Darren Woodson will be around from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday; and Stars winger Brett Hull shows up from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. No doubt the thousand-plus Ticketheads who turned up for last week's Charity Challenge on Ice will show up to deliver the appropriate whipping. Ticketstock '99 takes place 3-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday at the Plano Centre, Spring Creek and Central Expressway. The event is free.
Captain Audio is the biggest tease in town, postponing the release of its brilliant debut EP, My ears are ringing but my heart's ok, for several months, then waiting another month before playing any shows in the area to support it. The delay should be worth it. Together, guitarist Regina Chellew, drummer Josh Garza, and bassist-keyboardist Brandon Curtis are one of the most inventive live bands anywhere, often ignoring the set list in favor of playing the second side of the Beatles' White Album or covering T-Rex songs like a blanket. We have no idea what's in store for the band's CD release party, but we do know one thing: We don't want to miss it. Captain Audio performs on Friday at The Satellite Dish, 700 Carroll in Fort Worth. Pinkston and ...and you will know us by the trail of dead open. Doors open at 9 p.m. Call (817) 870-2525.
Listen up, fellas: We're mentioning the 39th Annual O'Reilly Auto Part Dallas Autorama because we know some of you gearheads out there will be interested. But don't--under any circumstances--use this information to plan your Valentine's Day date. Seriously. Go in the morning, have your fun, then take your significant other out for a nice dinner, maybe a movie, candy, flowers, the whole nine yards. We know it'll be hard to pull yourself away from the largest custom and classic car show in North Texas, with its hundreds of shiny show cars and motorcycles, its 35th-birthday tribute to the Ford Mustang, lowrider exhibition, and something called the 3rd Annual Meltdown, where contestants hook up their cars to a steel plate and rev their engines, trying to make the loudest, most annoying noise imaginable. But at some point you have to go home, scrape off that three-day growth, and go out on the town. Trust us, it'll be worth it. Maybe she'll even let you keep that rusted-out piece of junk you call a hot rod on the front lawn for a little while longer. The Dallas Autorama happens at Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, 5-10:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $4-$10. Call (972) 732-6100.
Since Monday is President's Day, it's the perfect time to check out the wax figures at Palace of Wax. The wax museum features numerous presidents among its cowboys and Indians, movie stars, and freaks from Ripley's Believe It or Not. We're not exactly sure which category Ronald Reagan's wax rendering will show up in, but we're fairly certain any of them will do. Palace of Wax is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $5-$7. The museum is located at 601 E. Safari Park in Grand Prairie. Call (972) 263-2391.
In honor of Black History Month, the USA Film Festival and Loews Theatres have joined forces to present Treasures of the Tyler Collection, a weekly series that screens films from SMU's acclaimed Tyler, Texas, Black Film Collection, one of the most historically significant film archives in the country. Black casts and crews created all the films in the collection for black filmgoers, never intending them to be seen by white audiences. The series continues on Tuesday with 1941's The Blood of Jesus, a melodrama about the blues, shown as being quite literally "the devil's music." Makes sense to us: We always thought of people who made us listen to blues albums as evil. The screening of The Blood of Jesus takes place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Loews Theatres Cityplace, 2600 N. Haskell. Tickets are $7, $6 for USA Film Festival members. Call (214) 821-FILM.
For years, Lee Stringer was living on the streets of New York City, hopelessly addicted to crack. Now, he's a celebrated writer, praised by Kurt Vonnegut as "The new Jack London...a self-educated storyteller of the first rank." Stringer turned his years on the street and on the rock into last year's Grand Central Winter: Stories From the Street, a succession of anecdotes--some funny, some tragic, some both--about his experiences and how he wrote himself out of his plight. Now clean and sober, Stringer is working on his second novel, but on Wednesday he'll read and discuss his first at The MAC, 3120 McKinney, in a presentation co-sponsored by The Writer's Garret and The MAC. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m.Tickets are $3-$5. Call (214) 953-1212.