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Hypnotist-comedian offers brain massages

As a comedian and hypnotist, Rich Guzzi is used to hilarious things happening during his performances.

"My favorite thing about it is that everyone gets out of their character … there's nothing funnier than a burly man dancing like a ballerina or a older lady acting like a bad ass cop"

Guzzi, who lives in Nashville, will bring his act to the Palm Beach Improv Friday and Saturday.

He spoke via phone from Tampa where he, his girlfriend and their cat, Baby Kitty, will ring in the New Year before heading to West Palm Beach. The furry feline travels with Guzzi to every show. "It's in my contract to stay in a hotel that accepts pets," he said.

Guzzi started to combine hypnotism in his comedy routine about 15 years ago after reading a 62-page book about it. "I've become so proficient at it that I have my own technique now."

He realizes there are skeptics out there, but he doesn't pay them any mind. If anything, he encourages them to come onstage. Guzzi picks out his subjects during his live act.

"Some people who come to the show think I have handpicked the volunteers beforehand," he said. "So they come back the next night and see another group of volunteers. And then on the third night, they end up doing it themselves."

Hypnotism, he says, is like getting a two-hour deep tissue massage but for the brain. "It's the best feeling in the world…everyone should try it."

Guzzi perform at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday at the Palm Beach Improv, 700 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $20. Go to

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