The first joke Jeff Capri played on his future partner was a practical one.
In the 1980s, when Bob Perkell was producing comedy shows in Southern California, he got a phone call raving about Capri. The voice on the phone, which claimed to be that of Capri's agent, David Gladstone, praised the comic's talent and urged Perkell to book him for a night.
Perkell took the bait, and Capri, sure enough, put on a show that had the crowd in stitches. Two years later, the comedian finally revealed the truth: He had posed as his own agent to get the booking.
Rather than being mad, Perkell reasoned that any comedian who could pull off a trick like that had a savvy mind for business. So when he sought to open the Surf City Comedy Club in his hometown of Huntington Beach slightly more than a year ago, he enlisted Capri as his co-founder.