Remember beloved Channel 4 weatherman Fritz Coleman? In his semi-retirement from broadcast news, Coleman returns to the stage he coveted as a young man with an ongoing comic residency at the El Portal Theatre featuring his sunny disposition with a cloudy outlook. 

This past Sunday, a friend and I went to see Coleman perform comedy at the Monroe Forum, a room in the El Portal. Coleman’s show had a time slot and audience demographic fitting for a Sunday matinée, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the show as well.

Coleman’s program, “Unassisted Living,” pokes fun at everything from the pandemic to parents to playgrounds. His general perspective is one of amused disappointment in the direction society seems to be moving, but his ability to bring light to a variety of topics provided a nice touch to the show. 

Coleman navigates through his set with ease, which is a feat to be commended as his set changes a bit from show to show. In the hour or so of poignant observations, he discusses everything from his newfound appreciation for teachers during COVID-era Zoom schooling to his own school years as well as his sexcapades as both an eager adolescent and a grown adult. 

He weaves well between teasing different generations for their idiosyncrasies. He manages to laugh at his kids (and grandkids) and the approach to parenting they’ve taken as it pertains to Montessori schooling to his own parent’s outlook on life. He challenges the merits of helicopter parenting while also noting his parents’ lackadaisical take on health standards, joking about growing up sans safety regulations regarding smoking. 

His jokes about his dating life in relation to aging were a pleasure to hear. From his retellings about the romantic mishaps remembered at his fiftieth high school reunion to being perpetually set up by friends concerned about his lone wolf status, his detailed accounts gave an intimate look at his love life that few baby boomers would be comfortable so candidly speaking about. 

As a generational outlier in the audience, a few of his jokes didn’t quite hit the same way for me, but overall, his set provided a cool reprieve from a scorching day. And for those in his target demographic, he left them laughing for the whole 75 minutes. 

Coleman’s opener, Wendy Liebman, had a very interactive set. She engaged well with the audience while working on punny banter and self-deprecating story-based humor. She also touched on her upbringing, her age, and her pre-marital dating life. Her quick-wittedness shone through her whole set, but that’s no surprise considering she has been a guest on the gamut of late-night shows, including appearances on shows as diverse as “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” to “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Coleman returns to his stand-up roots following a successful nearly 40-year career as the local weatherman for KNBC and KNSD, a stint that ended in 2020. In his set, he jokes that part of the reason he retired was due to climate change as well as the changing climate of the media landscape, but semi-retirement seems to suit him. Coleman initially moved out to Los Angeles looking to pursue comedy in the early 1980s and finally found his way back to the stage following his leave from weathercasting mid-COVID.  

After the show, I got a chance to speak with Coleman who was polite if a bit sheepish about the fact that I wasn’t quite the right age demographic for his comedy stylings. However, as previously mentioned, his set provided a good time overall. 

His residency at the El Portal has been extended through November. Catch him once a month on Sundays at 3:00 p.m., with his next show taking place on July 21. The El Portal is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. For information visit  

Photo of Fritz Coleman and Wendy Liebman by the author.

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