Events

Cut Throat Freak Show Returns to Phoenix This Weekend for Jen Deveroux's Bearded Octopus

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Though Kinison says that Cut Throat's showcase at Gypsy Bar this weekend will be jam-packed with the same sort of thrilling tricks that entertained locals for more than 10 years -- like his trademark gag of lifting heavy objects with chains that are hooked onto his lower eyelids and cheeks -- plenty of new stunts and performers have been added to the wild repertoire.

The past year has been a busy one for Kinison and the other members of Cut Throat. They made memorable appearances on NBC's America's Got Talent last summer, when he and his wife, Lauren "CandyPants" Grace, wowed the judges, including notorious shock jock Howard Stern. (Unfortunately, Kinison says, the troupe had a disagreement with the show's producers over scheduling and weren't able to make a second appearance on AGT.) More importantly, they also traveled around the country adding equally weird acts and performers to the ensemble.

Needless to say, Cut Throat has changed considerably since the days when Kinison performed regularly outside Carly's Bistro during practically every First Friday.

"It's a much wider spectrum than the show used to be, and a lot sillier," he says. "We still have all of the really shocking material, which I know is going to shock at more of an upscale kind of place like [Gypsy Bar]. But we've gotten so silly with it that even if you have to cringe and turn away from a couple of the things, we've got some really, really inane stuff too."

Some of the new additions to the already strange rogue's gallery include Harvey Gross (a.k.a. "The Grossest Man in Sideshow") who wields the ability to shoot "six-foot clouds of green smoke out his ass," and he eats insects to boot.

"He's a nasty character," Kinison says. "He's known as the 'Prince of Pus' and the 'King of the Booger Fling.'"

There's also Hermie the Alternative Balloon Twister, who creates space aliens and vampires that shoot confetti-like blood out of their nether regions, and the performer known as Fiasco, a transvestite hatchet juggler and old friend of Kinison's whom he's known since 1996.

And then there's Candy Pants, a tattooed femme fatale who swallows swords, eats fire, and balances precariously on wine glasses.

Kinison has also added some new gags to arsenal of outlandish capers, including a variation of the old "Human Blockhead" trick where he inserts a long, skinny Lego piece into his sinus cavity. He hopes to astound the crowd at Gypsy Bar with the act, but only if he can get another Lego toy removed.

"I've been taking one of the shorter Lego pieces, like 10 dots by one, and shoving it up my nose and then coughing it up and pulling it out of my mouth," Kinison says. "The last time I did it, I got it stuck up my nose and it's still there. I've got an appointment in Vegas two days before I get to Phoenix to get it taken out. It doesn't hurt, it's not causing any problems -- I can still blow a snot rocket if I want to -- I just can't do that trick right now with it in there."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.