Jeremy Hotz lives in Los Angeles and frequently works in Las Vegas, but there's nothing slick about his act. In fact his sometimes topical, rarely racy humor is often self-deprecating: he derides the political weakness of his native Canada and mocks his looks (he says is nose "is like an elbow stuck to my face"). What's most hilarious about his routine, though, is an odd, endlessly entertaining shtick: during jokes he moves his cupped right hand to his face and at punch lines quickly raises his voice, like an incredulous friend telling a story so crazy he can't finish it without shrieking. This unique delivery transforms even innocuous lines like "I used to live in New York--what a miserable place that is" into physical comedy. When the bits do hit, they're that much funnier. At a zoo during winter he hears an elephant fart. "All the other animals," he says, his voice rising, "run behind it to try and keep warm." Thu 8/24, 7:30 PM, Fri 8/25, 7:30 and 9:45 PM, Sat 8/26, 7 and 9:15 PM, Sun 8/27, 7 PM, the Improv, Woodfield Mall, Golf Rd. at Route 53, Schaumburg, 847-240-2001, $15. All shows two-drink minimum, 21+.

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