The wickedly funny Arlo Stone performs this weekend at Ground Zero in Medford. - Comedy Comedy

Truth or dare

Naughty or nice, the comedians slated for comedy clubs in Medford this weekend will bring funny, unexpected twists and turns to their acts.

Arlo Stone and Dan Cossette, two Portland-based comedians, will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at Ground Zero, 123 S. Front St., Medford.

Ryan Wingfield and Aldo Juliano will perform at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25, at Chadwick's Pub in the Rogue Regency Inn, 2300 Biddle Road, Medford.

Stone uses cutting sarcasm to take on the headlines, politics and social issues of the day and pulls the covers off of the insanity of modern America. His perspective has paid off with professional appearances at the Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival, HBO's "New Year's Eve Marathon," "The Jenny McCarthy Show" and Comedy Day in San Francisco, just to name a few. He's appeared on Comedy Central and at clubs in major cities from coast to coast.

But not all audiences have appreciated Stone's deliveries of unvarnished truth. He practices social humor of the same vein as Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl.

"If you're a 'lefty,' then I think you will like the show," Stone says. "I've learned from experience that the best thing to bring to the stage is comedy that is easily accessible and fast-paced.

"But I see what I can get away with during the first part of the show," he says. "And then I sometimes drop the hammer."

Cossette also has a reputation for throwing some heady observations into his act, and he has been known to burst out singing during his shows.

Cossette is a regular at venues everywhere in the Northwest, including Harvey's Comedy Club and Comedy Club Westside in Portland, Comedy Underground in Seattle, Funny Bone in Boise, Idaho, and The Brickwall in Spokane, Wash. He is an associate writer for 101 KUFO Portland's "The Marconi Show."

Wingfield has plenty of material to draw from for his act. He spent three years writing news for a television station in Boise. He quit the job to pursue his childhood dream of performing stand-up comedy, and, so far, has worked under the lights of Reno, Las Vegas and comedy clubs in the Northwest.

Juliano, an actor and comedian, started his career making ongoing appearances on daytime soaps and as a stunt man. He also did a stint with the Chippendale dancers in New York City while studying acting there. He discovered comedy after he moved to Los Angeles.

"Getting laughs is the second-best thing to having an orgasm," he says. "Anyway, I was never able to explain to my mom that I was doing porn."

Juliano brings much about his experiences as an actor and his upbringing in a happy Italian family to his show.

Admission to shows at Ground Zero and Chadwick's Pub costs $5. Get to Ground Zero early for a free buffet-style dinner.

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