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It’s time to make jokes about Tom Cruise.

Well that’s easy.

Except the jokes also have to be related to lockjaw. And a third element that, well, I can’t share in this space, lest The Buffalo News become less than a family oriented media organization.

What’s up with this “Tom Cruise + lockjaw + (insert censored item here) = joke” equation?

It’s an example of what’s happening at Setlists Against Humanity, a comedy event taking place at 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday in Nietzche’s (242 Allen St.).

Open-mic comedy has been happening in Nietzche’s for the past eight years. More recently, Helium Comedy Club began its open-stage Tuesday event, so rather than compete directly, Nietzche’s organizer Rick Matthews decided to switch things up.

Or put another way, shuffle the cards.

Matthews, a comedian, drew inspiration from an idea he picked up last summer in Los Angeles, where he performed stand-up based “crazy ideas, two or three words,” chosen on the spot. It’s similar to the popular card game “Cards Against Humanity.”

Matthews’ local twist on the idea is to have comics who sign up for the open event each draw three cards from a deck. On each card is written a random and often crazy idea. When he did a sample draw for me, the first card he drew was “Tom Cruise.” The second, “Lockjaw.”

The third? That’s the one I can’t repeat here. So he drew another one – “Supersoaker filled with cat pee” – just to give me an idea of how randomly disconnected the topics will be.

Had I been a comic at Nietzche’s on Tuesday night, my job would be to take the stage and do a 5-10-minute stand-up act based on those three topics.

So there’s no planning for this one.

“You need to have a clean slate mentally and come in and do it,” Matthews said.

Comics interested in signing up for the weekly performances should email Matthews at rustbeltshowcase@yahoo.com.

Admission is $5. Each evening event also includes a headliner and wraps up at approximately 10:30 p.m.

— Tim O’Shei