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No joke: Police say comic's day job was robbing banks

November 11, 2011 |  9:58 am

Stand-up comic Jeff Lluis' career is threatening to blow up, big time.

No, seriously.


OK, backing up here: So a comic named Jeffrey Brent Lluis, 27, of Tampa, Fla., walks into a bank Tuesday in Tampa.

The guy, according to police, informs the teller he's going to blow the place up if she doesn't give him some cash.

She coughs it up, and he's like, "I'm outta here you guys, you've been great, Carrot Top's up next, thanks a lot g'night!"

OK, he didn't say that. But after he allegedly fled the bank with the money, the police, working with a suspect description, visited Lluis at his home Wednesday, according to the Tampa Tribune.

On Thursday, Lluis allegedly robbed the same SunTrust bank branch again. Two bank employees identified him in a lineup, and descriptions of his getaway car matched a car a detective recognized from his visit to Lluis' home day before.

It turns out that Lluis had been on probation for an attempted bank robbery in 2007, the paper reported. So, this time around, he was charged not only with bank robbery but also with probation violations linked to bank robbery, cocaine possession and the syntactically challenging state charge of "uttering a forged instrument."

Clips of Lluis doing his not-ready-for-prime-time set are sprinkled around the Internet. In one raunchy YouTube clip he uploaded in February 2009, he actually jokes about an arrest: "Anyways, how's everybody doin'? I'm not doin' so well. As you heard I'm on probation. ..."

Then he drops a non-sequitur — and racist — genitalia joke and adds, "In addition to that I just lost my job recently. ...  Things got kinda complicated around the office after detectives picked me up and took me in. So they'd been looking for a reason to fire me."

From there, it's on to the girlfriend's-time-of-the-month bit, and the buying-condoms-at the-Wal-Mart bit, and by the end of it, you can sort of understand why the guy might have wanted to reserve "Life of Crime" as a Plan B.


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— Richard Fausset

Image: A jester rendered by illustrator Marianne Chevalier, which appeared in an August 2010 Los Angeles Times review of the books "The Jokers" and "A Splendid Conspiracy" by Albert Cossery. Credit: Marianne Chevalier / For The Times