Comic Kevin James plays St. Petersburg

August 22, 2013 

TRACY BENNETT

For nine years he was "The King of Queens." You also know him as "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and as one-half of a faux-gay couple in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry."

This weekend you'll have a chance to get to know him as Kevin James.

Or at least you will if you had the foresight to buy tickets early. James' stand-up comedy show Aug. 24 at the Mahaffey Theater is sold out.

James is by far best known these days as a comic actor. He played Doug Hefferman on "Everybody Loves Raymond" before spinning the character off into "King of Queens." He's either appeared in or provided voices for more than a dozen movies, including several in which he co-starred with Adam Sandler.

But James started out as a comedian, and he's never stopped doing stand-up.

He actually got his first big break in show biz when he appeared as a comic at the Montreal Comedy Festival in 1996. He had been just another club comic up until that time, but it was only a couple of years later that he was starring in "The King of Queens," which he created.

His stand-up work was featured in a popular Comedy Central called "Sweat the Small Stuff" in 2001 and he tours frequently. The word is that his comedy is clean and his stage persona is as likeable as his on-screen persona.

Details: 8 p.m. Aug. 24, Mahaffey Theater, 401 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets: Sold out. Information: 727-892-5767, www.themahaffey.com.

-- Marty Clear

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