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Potent comedy teams at Hard Rock Live: Why so rare?

When did comedy teams like Burns and Allen, Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, and Cheech and Chong go out of style as a mode of entertainment and why? Is the straight man such an endangered species?

Consider the nuclear comic potential of, say, Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle, Ellen Degeneres and Joan Rivers, George Lopez and Ted Cruz. The possiblities are endless.

Comedy titans Steve Martin and Martin Short get it, and a few years ago teamed up for “A Very Stupid Conversation,” a revival of which will stop at Hard Rock Live on Sept. 6.

A reviewer for the Chicago Tribune called it “a particularly potent night for anyone interested in the mechanics of comedy,” with the zany Short tethered to the stage by the more stoic Martin. “Speaking metaphorically, it was like watching a powerful and tightly-wound tyrant and his longtime lover well practiced in keeping the lid screwed down.”

Tickets are $129, $104, $79 and $59, and go on sale 11 a.m. Friday at, all Ticketmaster outlets and 800-745-3000.

On Sunday, Hard Rock Live hosts another pairing of “Saturday Night Live” favorites, Dana Carvey and Dennis Miller, both of whom can sound just like the Church Lady. Tickets are $50-$91.45 at the sources mentioned above.

Carvey, of course, was well known for spot-on “SNL” spoofs of President Bush the elder and conservative firebrand Ross Perot. Miller, now a right-leaning radio host, may not be laughing. Hey, the perfect straight man!

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