WORKING BLUE IN RED BANK

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By TOM CHESEK

On a weekend in which the Count Basie Theatre is scheduled to host a couple of local-kid dance recitals, the ever-eclectic auditorium also will be sounding a blue note or three, as a trio of standup guys jack the stage for a program that could only be called Comedy on the Edge.

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You’re gonna need a 64-ounce bag of V-chips to shield yourself from the vitriolic vibes Friday, when Patrice O’Neal, Robert Kelly and Mike DeStefano appear in this three-headed monster of a bill, presented by AM Productions and featured under the banner of this weekend’s TriCity Arts Tour.

Call it “art” if you must, but those of us who recall Comedy Central’s long-defunct Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn remember O’Neal and Kelly as just two of the opinionated lugs who made that refreshingly loose roundtable into something like the McLaughlin Group, minus the decorum. Collectively, the comics have logged considerable man-hours on the late-late talkfests, premium cable specials and Opie and Anthony shows. To say nothing of quickie cameos in movies that star their bigger, scarier friends — a sore point, one would have to reckon.

Calling from the L.A. home of his pal Dane Cook — with whom he was about to embark on a road trip that would take them (plus Al Del Bene) from Caesars Las Vegas to the sands of Iraq — Boston-bred Bob Kelly filled redbankoRBit in on the pet peeves of the road-warrior wiseass, and life trouping for the troops in a world without (Bob) Hope.

Warning: F-bombs ahead.

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