By David Hiltbrand
November 14, 1994 12:00 PM

Showtime (Sat, Nov. 12, 9:30 p.m. ET)


The star of ABC’s smash sitcom Grace Under Fire returns to her roots. No, not brunette hair. Stand-up comedy, in a performance taped in Portland, Ore. The locale would explain the slew of Tonya Harding jokes, in the course of which Nancy Kerrigan is described as looking like “Mr. Ed married a Kennedy.”

Considering the lowbrow, lippy tone of Butler’s series, her humor is surprisingly cerebral. Or maybe it’s just her vocabulary; her punch lines are couched in such $10 phrases as “nether orifices” and “a petulant and elegant retort was his.” Come to think of it, Brett’s act is pretty bawdy, touching on such topics as autoeroticism, sexy firemen, her own surgical enhancement and the unexpurgated Brady Bunch.

Butler’s success has lent her stand-up style a newfound confidence that nails her humor—nervy, smart and restless—to the wall.