King For Another Day

Saturday July 25th, 2009 – Chicago, IL

And the hits just keep on coming! I thought all the fuss would have started to fade away by now but I got to be king for another day. This is by far the most attention I’ve ever had and the good thing is it’s all been positive. Jeffrey Dahmer got world wide attention when he broke but I’m sure he didn’t feel good about it. This is completely different. I love this.

I love it for many reasons. One, I think I’m in the right mindset to really enjoy it. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me and it happened in exactly the right way. I earned this from many years of hard work but there was also some luck involved too, and it was good luck for a change. Mr. Lucky is a character but Dobie Maxwell caught a gigantic break.

I’m not going to ask questions or second guess or do anything but enjoy this moment. If nothing else ever comes of it it’s already been the most amazing good experience I’ve had in what feels like a sea of bad ones. If it took the bad ones to get to feel this then so be it.

The hot streak continued today as we gathered for our Jerry’s Kidders bit on WGN. We sometimes get to be on individually before our segment with a ‘get to know your Kidder’ bit where Jerry interviews one of us individually so listeners can hear what we sound like and learn a little bit about each of us. It’s a good idea and today we did it as a full crew.

I was running late because traffic was thick and I have a long way to drive to get to the studio. When I finally got downtown I was held up by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile of all things and I took out my cell phone and clicked a picture of it. That’s a perfect way for Mr. Lucky to get held up for an appointment and I laughed even though it made me late.

By the time I parked my car and hustled up to the studio I squeaked in by the skin of my teeth with under a minute to spare. I really can’t stand doing that but that’s how it worked out. It sure wasn’t the first time it’s happened and I had zero time to get ready for our bit. I was out of breath and disorganized and that’s never a good way to be right before a gig.

The commercials ended and Jerry brought up the fact that I was just on network TV and the guys made a big deal of it. The producer played a couple of sound bites of it and I still don’t enjoy hearing myself but having it played on WGN in Chicago is never a bad thing. It exposed me to thousands of new people who most likely didn’t get to catch the show.

Ken Sevara and Tim Slagle were very kind and said some unbelievably flattering things about me as I sat there and again it was like a dream come true. Who doesn’t want friends who not only say nice things about you but do it to your face live on the air on one of the biggest radio stations in America? It doesn’t get any better than that and I won’t forget it.

Then we came right back and did our regular Kidders segment and I thought it was way off our usual rhythm. I personally didn’t think we nailed it at all but I didn’t want to bring it up and ruin the good vibe. I never know what the listeners think and for all I know they could have thought we finally nailed a funny one. It really doesn’t matter what I think.

Even if we did stink today, that happens on occasion and it won’t kill anybody. Nobody will care and as long as Jerry still has a job we’ll be back next week and get to tee up and take another swing. That’s what entertainment is all about. Once doesn’t define a career.

Every performance is a brick and the challenge is to shape all those bricks into whatever kind of structure a performer wants to build. Bricks can be used to build walls or they can  be used to build bridges. I like bridges. They connect. Walls separate. I am a connector.

I’m also a reconnector and that’s what this whole experience has done. I’ve been able to reconnect with all kinds of people I haven’t spoken to in a while and one of them is a guy named Mike Sweeney I used to work with in Kenosha when I was doing morning radio.

It’s the same building I do my Mothership Connection radio show now but I worked for the country station then, which no longer even exists. Mike was part of an up and coming crew of hungry twenty somethings then and many went on to do bigger things. Mike went on to be a program director in Decatur and is extremely sharp as were most of those guys.

Unfortunately Mike got a face full of radio insanity and is no longer in the business. He got fired in Decatur for no real reason other than they wanted to make a change and that’s no way to have to live a life. He got the hint early and decided to take a much safer path.

He was ecstatic that I was on TV and I was very flattered to hear from him immediately after it aired. He had an extra Cubs ticket today so immediately after the Kidders I left so I could meet Mike rather than hang for our traditional weekly Kidders lunch. It’s good to have so many options of good friends to hang out with and I recognized that immediately.

How can anyone not have a great time at Wrigley Field on a perfect summer day? It’s a blast just being there and getting a free ticket put it off the charts. Mike and I had hotdogs and caught up and really had a lot of fun. He wanted to know all the details of the process of how I got on the show and he was amazed it was my first shot. He thinks I’m big time.

The thing that really stood out was that after being on national TV once I received lots of positive energy from people I knew and it was wonderful. Three days later I was out in front of 40,000 people and didn’t get recognized ONCE. That puts it into perspective. I’m not ‘famous’ and I’m no better or worse than anyone else. I need to keep that in full view.

After the game I went out to Comedy Comedy in Aurora to visit my friend Dennis Ross who was performing there this week. He’s from New Jersey and one of the nicest comics in the business. Any time he’s anywhere close by I have to see him and I’m glad I did. He couldn’t have been any more thrilled for the TV shot and was gushing about it afterwards in the restaurant as we were hanging out and I filled him in. Even the waitress noticed it.

This has all been a total life changer but now it’s time to get back to work. Winning the Super Bowl is great but there’s always next season and something new to strive for. I got more than I expected out of this experience and I’m grateful. Now it’s time to move on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: