KETCHUM • It’s difficult to stay in retirement when you’re a comedian.
Especially when there’s so much juicy material floating around — from the fiscal cliff Congress to Honey Boo Boo.
That’s why Sun Valley’s funny man Mike Murphy is coming out of retirement after just a year of drinking pina coladas on the lawn chaise.
Murphy will deliver three evenings of apres ski comedy Dec. 27-29 at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. He hopes to reprise the show throughout the ski season when the theater is available.
“We had open dates at the theater this Christmas because we took a year off from producing ‘A Christmas Carol.’ So we jumped at the chance to get Mike,” said theater manager Kathy Wygle.
Murphy is an institution in Sun Valley, having spun jokes for 34 years at Elevation 6000, The Ram, Creekside and Sun Valley’s Boiler Room. He’s also done gigs around the world, speaking before 400 ranchers in Fresno, winemakers in Seattle and at such diverse corporate gatherings as Nike, Anheuser Busch, NASA and Merrill Lynch.
He’s appeared with comedians Jerry Seinfeld and the Smothers Brothers and opened for singers Tanya Tucker, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin and Elvis Costello.
“He doesn’t take comedy lightly. He really works hard at it,” said Jack Sibbach, director of marketing for Sun Valley.
Indeed, Murphy doesn’t opine and run. This sharpshooter of comedy has been known to hold the stage two — even four — hours, puncturing holes in everything held dear to man.
His favorite subject matter is relationships.
“I’ve always had a lot of stuff on men and women. Now I have a grandson and another grandchild on its way,” he said. “So I have a lot of new material on being a grandfather, changing diapers …”
Murphy has also culled plenty of new material from reading newspapers.
“I see they’ve been using all these figures to try to define rich, middle-class and poor. I make it simple: If you go to work and your name is on the building, you’re rich. If it’s on the desk, you’re middle-class. If it’s on your shirt, you’re poor.”
Murphy will appear at 6 p.m. Dec. 27-29 at the nexStage Theatre, 120 S. Main St. in Ketchum.
Tickets are $15, except for the Dec. 27 show which Murphy is doing as a benefit for Higher Ground, which uses recreational activities to help disabled adults and children and wounded veterans in their recovery. Those tickets are $25 and $100.
Tickets are available at the Main Street Market coffee kiosk in Ketchum and at the nexStage Theatre, 208-726-9124.