THE MALE INTELLECT (AN OXYMORON), at the Mercury Theater. Three and half years ago Robert Dubac performed this tedious, trite one-man show at the now-defunct Chicago branch of the Improv. Filled with tired bits borrowed from other, better comics (like George Carlin’s joke that “jumbo shrimp” is an oxymoron) and the sort of ancient observations about men and women that have launched a thousand opening acts (women like to shop, men hog the remote), The Male Intellect seemed tailor-made for a seedy club.

Now Dubac is back in Chicago after a long run in Denver, the theater capital of Colorado. And this time he’s performing in a real theater, with a more durable-looking set and an admission price ($29.50-$34.50) high enough to make one hope for a real show.

But he doesn’t have a real show. He has what he had in 1993: a tarted-up stand-up act with the unbelievable premise that he must remember his girlfriend’s cat’s name before the end of the show or their relationship is finished. And not one of his paper-thin stock characters–a piggy good old boy, a smooth-talking Frenchman, a Fonzie wannabe from da neighborhood–has anything interesting, enlightening, or funny to say about men and women.

–Jack Helbig