As Valentine's Day quickly approaches, area residents looking for a unique way to celebrate the occasion may consider a dinner date with Tony Deyo in the Tropicana Room.
The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy is set to host a Valentine's Day celebration that features live comedy by Deyo, a candlelight dinner and photo opportunities in the museum attractions on Saturday, Feb. 15.
The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour in Desilu Studios, where guests will be able to mingle among official "I Love Lucy" memorabilia and Emmy Awards. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Tropicana Room, which is a recreation of Ricky Ricardo's famous Manhattan nightclub. The dinner will feature a choice of Caribbean-style chicken with rice or vegetarian lasagna as well as a small dessert. When guests have finished dinner, Deyo will take the stage to share some laughter.
Deyo, an occasional Jamestown performer, has appeared at the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy for the last two years. He made his late night television debut on "Conan" in 2013, and is set to appear on CBS' "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" on Friday evening.
According to Deyo, what he loves about Jamestown is how dedicated area residents are to Lucille Ball.
"I love all the paintings they put up around town - it's such a cool tribute to her," Deyo said. "Honestly, 'I Love Lucy' was one of my very first introductions to comedy. When I was a kid my mom would watch Lucy every day, and I remember specifically her watching the famous episode at the candy factory. She just lost it laughing to the point where I saw her lose control of herself. She was laughing so much she couldn't speak or anything. It was sort of the first time I realized the power of comedy."
Even though he holds a master's degree in music, the realization of the power of comedy inspired Deyo to eventually take on stand-up comedy instead of teaching.
"There's something cool about the art, and I love the sound of laughter - it's really the reason I do it," Deyo said. "As a comedian you'll have someone come up to you after a show and say, 'Thanks so much, I really needed it because I had a bad day.' It does help people sort of forget their problems for a little while."
Although Deyo says he has never done a Valentine's Day performance before, and he doesn't have any jokes specific to the holiday, he does however have a lot of jokes about being married.
"I've been married for so long, and we put so little hype into Valentine's Day that I got my wife a Kindle - I think she's going to like that," Deyo said. "I hope that people have a good time, and that they think, 'Maybe I'll go see that guy again one day' - that's my goal as a comedian."
Deyo is currently working on recording a new album, which is likely to be titled "Comedy Road Trip: 20 Jokes In 20 Cities." He has been recording everywhere he has performed for the past 6 to 8 months, and will edit the material to cut it all together. He'll be recording in Jamestown, so there is a chance the Valentine's Day show will end up on the CD.
"If the show goes really well, at least one joke will end up on the CD," Deyo said.
Tickets to the event are $75 per couple, and space is limited so reservations are required. The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy is located at 2 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 484-0800 or visit www.lucy-desi.com.