An All Star Cast


Tuesday July 14th, 2009 – Chicago, IL/Milwaukee, WI

My life flashed before my eyes today and I wasn’t even near death. This was the kind of day that happens once in a dozen years or maybe more. It was an action packed constantly moving non stop stimulation of all my senses, and the best part was none of it was bad.

The first thing that put me in a stellar mood was checking my spam file and discovering an email from a fan in New York named Juliette I didn’t even know I had. She said she’s been watching to see when my name would appear on the list for The Late Late Show and lo and behold, today was the day! I just wrote about that and suddenly it becomes reality.

I clicked on the link myself and there I was, scheduled to appear Friday July 24th along with Paris Hilton no less. It was a kick to see my name on the list and I don’t think they’d put it on their website if it wasn’t going to happen. Granted, a million things could come up between now and then like a plague, World War III or Bin Laden turning himself in.

Michael Jackson could rise out of the grave with Elvis opening for him or any one of an infinite number of possibilities could happen to knock my little four and a half minute set off the air but I’ll worry about that later. As for now I’ve made the website and I take that as a major victory! After a lifetime of struggle this will validate me in a number of ways.

There are a whole lot of people that attempt to do standup comedy at least once in their lifetime. Most of them never go beyond that and for every level of advancement there’s a large segment of that group that drops out and never advances. That means from opening act to feature and feature to headliner and headliner to a national television appearance.

A lot of people who have never seen me before will get a little taste on July 24th. A lot of them won’t remember me five seconds after I’m done but all I need is ONE person in a position of power to see me and like me to make the right doors open. I’m not going to be naïve and think I’ve made the big time for one little appearance but it sure won’t hurt me.

In my mind I know I didn’t hit a grand slam with my set but I also know I didn’t munch manure off a barnyard floor either. I learned a ton from the experience and watching other people’s first time on national television confirmed to me that the finished product wasn’t there for anyone. Even Seinfeld and Leno and Roseanne and Drew Carey had to develop.

That’s what really encourages me about all of this. I’ll have a DVD to send out to a ton of bookers that won’t be hideous and then I’ll go in and blow them away by being a much better act than anyone expected. Then I’ll keep working on more sets for TV and improve by leaps and bounds every time I go back again. I’m already working on more TV sets.

I then received a call from Marc Schultz to have lunch with him and a very funny comic I’ve heard of for years named George Tracy. He’s an Irish comic who talks with an accent thicker than the Lucky Charms leprechaun and he’s a wonderfully nice man. I always love to meet other comedy performers of all kinds, especially those I don’t always get to see.

George doesn’t do many comedy clubs and now lives in Branson, MO. He’s opened for Bobby Vinton and many others and is really a funny guy onstage and off. Marc is always introducing his acts to one another and I was flattered he thought of me to meet a total pro like George. We had a fantastic lunch and he gave me a CD and a DVD after we finished.

After that I went into Chicago to get my mail and I received a call from my friend Todd Hunt telling me he had some articles for me. He saves comedy articles and I always enjoy meeting with him because he is constantly marketing himself for his speaking gigs. He is a constant source of information and ideas and I help him in return by polishing his jokes.

After meeting with Todd I headed up to Milwaukee to have dinner with my cousin Brett who I haven’t seen in a while. On the way I received a call from my first program director in radio who hired me in Lansing, MI in 1990. His name is Dan Balla and was really a big supporter of me way before I was ready. He has a kind heart and I really liked him a lot.

When I was hired the station was going through a lot of turmoil and he ended up taking a different job and leaving me stranded. I was never angry at him because I knew he was in a bad situation but then we lost touch and that was it. Thanks to facebook we’ve gotten back in touch and it was really great to catch up after all these years. He’s still a good guy.

Dinner with Brett was a delicious plate of ribs from Famous Dave’s but Brett was not in a good mood because a friend of his was beaten to death with a brick to his head in a very ugly robbery over the weekend. He was stunned and sad and I felt bad to hear about it too. That story made me remember my friend Les Sorenson who also died and that felt worse.

There aren’t too many things that could cheer me up from that kind of downer but going to see George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic was one of them. I hadn’t seen the band in a while and I’m always in a good mood when I’m at a P-Funk show. They’re always on my ‘must see’ list and rarely if ever do they disappoint. Tonight was yet another blowout.

You can keep your Green Days and your Creeds and P.U. to U2 too. When George and the boys get the funk cranked up I’d challenge any other music act on earth to match their uncut pure raw energy. I’ve never seen anything like it and when they’re on they’re great.

Tonight they got right into it and played hit after hit after hit and tore the roof off of the Rave. That place is a toilet and I have no idea why George keeps playing there but I have probably seen him five or six times already. Still, it was a power packed funky orgasm.

I love the fact that George is going to have a birthday next week and be the same age of my grandfather when he died. I can’t picture my grandfather standing on a stage with long multi colored hair and blowing away a room full of people who hung on his every move.

After the concert I got a call from Ron Lee, the first guy who ever booked me for a paid comedy show. I made $10 for ten minutes and I ripped him off. I was SO bad. Tomorrow is his birthday so we hung out and talked. What a busy day. It was like my life in review.

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