Jack Hanna's almost as appealing as the exotic animals he brings along with him.
Hanna's the longtime director of the Columbus Zoo who became a celebrity through his appearances on TV talk shows, during which he often seem a delightfully befuddled by the animals and by the host.
But he knows his stuff. During his tenure, the zoo went from being a small operation with animals in cages to an expansive and nationally recognized zoo where animals lived in habitats.
It's always fun to watch David Letterman poke good-natured fun at him, and in between jabs Hanna always managed to get in some fun and fascinating information about the fauna he had in tow.
Hanna will be in Sarasota Sunday, with a stage show titles "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild Live!" at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Hanna's had several TV shows of this own, and "Into the Wild' is his current one. Hannah takes viewers around the world and shows animals in their natural environment, and talks about preservation of habitat and of species.
Since the stage show is named after the TV show, you can reasonably expect much the same thing in different setting, with Hanna entertaining the Van Wezel audiences with his combination of charm and erudition, and his assortment of animal sidekicks.
Details: 7 p.m. Dec. 28, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $32-$52. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
-- Marty Clear