The Amazing Adventure Continues!

Thursday July 23rd, 2009 – Milwaukee, WI

One day after the biggest night of my life and the buzz is getting even better. What a big deal this is turning out to be for other people, WAY more than I ever expected. I’ve never been the recipient of such positive energy from so many people from all over the country.

Dented cans have a hard time accepting compliments. Most of us have been mocked for so long and ridiculed by those closest to us that something inside us tells us we don’t ever deserve something good to happen. When a compliment comes our way we shrug it off or attack the person who gives it by saying something like ‘Thanks, but I thought I sucked.’

That usually squelches it right there and the person who gives the compliment usually is in an awkward position and then the conversation is either over or moves on to something totally different. It’s ok to accept a compliment and I have forced myself to learn to do it.

I’m glad I did because there was a deluge of them all day and all night on my phone and in my email. I heard from people I went to grade school with, high school, worked with at jobs before and while I was a comedian, relatives, neighbors, anyone and everyone who’s crossed paths with me at one point or another contacted me to congratulate me. Almost.

It would have been nice to hear from my siblings but I didn’t. I’m not sure if my mother is living or dead and if she was going to contact me I’d have to believe it would be now. I haven’t heard anything from her since 1993, which is the last time I spoke with my sister.

None of that got me down today because I was hearing from so many people who were bubbling over with joy either because they knew I’d be on TV and was or they didn’t and seeing me totally shocked them. Either way, everybody was beside themselves with glee.

How fantastic does it feel to have the phone keep ringing all day with people saying the nicest things anyone could imagine and not having it quit? Cloud 9 is the toilet compared to what that feels like and the whole day was like that. It took me an entire lifetime to get to know how to properly deal with it but I did and it was SO special to feel it all day long.

The D List on ESPN Radio 540 in Milwaukee called and asked me to come and sit in to talk about the whole experience and of course I was happy to do that. Drew and Dan have always been in my corner as has everyone else at the station from Matt “Fish” Salmon the producer to Bill Johnson the PD to Steve “The Homer” True to owner Craig Karmazin.

Whatever problems I’ve had with other radio stations in Milwaukee are over with in my eyes. They think what they think but I went on the radio today and apologized to all of the radio people I may have pissed off in the past and I meant it. I’m in a solid mind set now.

I even thanked the guy at the club in town who still owes me $400 because that’s really the main thing that motivated me to leave town and get good and become a real headliner. That $400 was tuition and I used it to educate myself and learn my craft to the very core.

Days like this don’t come along very often and I knew it from the start so I decided that I was just going to enjoy it all and not think of anything else. The future is what it is but it took SO long to get here that I didn’t want to let one second of the day go unappreciated.

Drew and Dan were extremely kind to me and Fish played clips from my set even if that is pure torture for me, and it is. I can’t stand watching or listening to myself and never did as long as I can remember. Maybe that’s another dent I need to pound out of my can but it wasn’t done with malice. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. They played it as a tribute.

Callers and emailers were extremely kind and I even got a pizza sent over to the station in my honor from Zaffiro’s with my name written on the inside of the box in a dark magic marker. It said ‘DOBIE MAXWELL – CONGRATULATIONS!’ That really felt fantastic.

I used to live not far from Zaffiro’s and I absolutely love their pizza. It’s thin crust and a Milwaukee institution and what a treat it was to enjoy the pizza on my very special day on the radio where people were all telling me I was hilarious. It’s what everybody dreams of. Most people never get that and even fewer dented cans do. But I did. And it’s spectacular.

After the radio show my phone was full of even more messages from well wishers and a lot of people who heard me on the air. Richard Halasz called and he’s a Milwaukee comic I’ve known since I started. He was beaming about the show and we went to celebrate it at our favorite restaurant, Crawdaddy’s in West Allis. Whenever we can hook up it’s there.

After that I drove out to Giggles Comedy Pub in Brookfield where I will be performing August 13-15th.  I was on such a high I didn’t want to waste it and went up for a guest set. It was only five minutes but I wanted to do what I love the best – perform for an audience.

Phone calls kept coming in and when I got home I was swamped with even more emails than before. One of them really caught my eye and it wasn’t from anyone I know that well at all. We’ve met a few times and are friendly but he sent a wonderful email saying how it could be easy to pick apart the bad parts and second guess what went wrong in my eyes.

He’s totally right. That’s what a dented can would do. Instead he said to enjoy it all and know very few ever get to do this and relish it for all the right reasons. I will keep it for as long as I live and I asked him for permission to share it with my students. It’s powerful.

The fact is that I really did deserve a shot on national television. I’ve been blessed with some comedic ability and I also paid my dues and even with the mistakes I made and bad breaks I had it was an amazing feat to get the shot. Was I lucky? Yes, but I earned it too.

It would have been nice to get it when I was 26 but I know I wasn’t ready then. I’m very ready now though and I know I can handle myself like a professional should more of this come my way. Why wouldn’t it? Why SHOULDN’T it? I really do think I have a chance to parlay this into other things and it’s up to me to decide what to do and where I want to go. But that’s not for today. This was a day I allowed myself to enjoy my biggest night.


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