Hollywood Calls Again

Friday August 21st, 2009 – Niles, IL/McHenry, IL

Just when I thought nothing else could surprise me, I got a call today from a guy named Eric in Los Angeles asking me to fly out next Tuesday to film an episode of the TV show ‘Comics Unleashed’ hosted by Byron Allen. Without a flicker of hesitation I said I would.

I guess when it rains it pours but I’m not complaining at all. ANY national television is helpful, except for maybe an obituary on CNN. My friend Jeff Wayne gave me Eric’s info even before I was accepted to be on The Late Late Show and I’ve been emailing him for a while now. I hadn’t gotten a booking but I was on his list so I kept following instructions.

From time to time he’d send out mass emails with booking dates and asked for updated avails. It’s always a good idea to be available for a national TV show even if a previously booked club date has to be cancelled. Most clubs will understand and adjust the schedule but if they don’t it’s still a risk worth taking because TV credits are much harder to get.

I received another email just last week and it said the next round of taping was going to be coming up this Wednesday August 26th and I told him I was in Chicago but I’d make it out there if there was a spot for me. I didn’t think there would be but I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity just in case there was. I’d cross that bridge when I came to it. It’s here.

Eric said he’d seen my Late Late Show set and thought it was funny but also mentioned he thought it was a little one dimensional with just jokes about having bad luck. I flinched a little because that’s what I was going for but then he said he wanted me to do most of it  Wednesday. I didn’t want to argue with him and I said I’d do whatever he wanted me to.

I got the sense he was looking to fill openings and the last thing I needed to do was start telling him what I thought I should be doing. He’s the producer and Jeff Wayne did a very nice thing to drop my name and give me the contact so I will show up and follow orders.

I have a ton of material and can easily come up with six minutes but Eric doesn’t know that. Not yet. If I go out there and play cowboy and do what I want it may shoot me in the foot rather than shoot me to the top. If he wants what I did on CBS that’s what I’ll do but I really didn’t have that set all that polished. I added a lot of last minute additions to it.

He asked me to send him a written out set by the end of the weekend. I will send him as close to what I did on The Late Late Show as I can and also put in a few other lines so I’ll hopefully have some leeway to ad lib if I can. That’s how I like to work and always have.

Either way, this is a major deal. My goal was to get one national TV spot this year and I was thrilled with that but two will be off the charts. I happen to like the format of Comics Unleashed and I think I’ll fit in splendidly. It’s almost the TV version of Jerry’s Kidders.

The hard part won’t be the show, it will be getting to L.A. and back and then Pittsburgh where I start Thursday night. It’ll be a busy week but THIS is the kind of busy I live for!


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