Pride Worth The Ride

Saturday October 10th, 2009 – South Milwaukee, WI/Lake Villa, IL

Strange day today. I overslept and almost missed being on WGN with Jerry’s Kidders. I haven’t had an alarm clock since I was about 12 and can usually get up at the exact time I need to, within one minute on either side. Today I slept right through and blew the streak.

Everyone knows the sensation of panic that causes the covers to come flying off and the fast motion Keystone Cops movie to begin. Good thing I showered last night and all I had to do was get dressed and out the door. It’s a long way to the freeway and I was gunning it the whole way, totally speeding in the process. I probably used up any karma favors I had.

I went even faster on the freeway and slalomed in and out of traffic like I was driving in my own personal Grand Prix race and made it to the studio with barely seconds to spare. I could hear the Kidders’ intro music play as I slinked in and took my seat like nothing was wrong, even though I was out of breath from running full speed all the way from my car.

Being late really irritates me and I don’t enjoy it at all. It causes undue stress and that’s the last thing I need in my life right now. We had a fun time as we usually do but I don’t want to make a habit of this and I immediately apologized to the guys when we finished.

Living 54 miles from the studio makes it rough to overcome being late so I have to take extra care to not let this happen again. No matter what time I get up it’s still 54 miles one way whether I’m driving like a raped ape or someone’s grandma so I need to deal with it.

I drove home a lot slower and tried to fill my head with peaceful thoughts. I didn’t even stop at my P.O. box because even if the check was there my bank was closed and it would have to wait until Monday anyway. That situation is what it is and getting myself thinking about it will only infuriate me and that’s not where my head needs to be. It’s not healthy.

When things are good, they’re great but when they’re not, they’re REALLY not and I’m teetering on the precipice. Dwelling on one check from one club is not worth my thoughts or my time. I wish it hadn’t worked out the way it did, but it did. Now I have to move on.

Putting good thoughts in my head is a must. I have always loved listening to recordings by people like Tony Robbins and Wayne Dyer and many others as well, but those two are probably my favorites. They both have voices that are easy to listen to and they both make excellent points in their programs. Those were the two guys I was in the mood for today.

I listened to Tony Robbins in the car and enjoyed it but when I got home I put in Wayne Dyer’s ‘The Secrets Of The Power Of Intention’ and it was exactly what I needed to hear. He talked about a lot of interesting points and I listened intently as I answered my emails.

He said a lot of things that hit home and Tony Robbins does that too. So do other things like ‘The Secret’ and any number of constant truths. Everybody can use a refresher course in clear thinking and this was the right thing to do today. It put me in a very good space.
I think I could put out products like that only because I enjoy them so much myself. I’ve listened to most of the big names and a lot who weren’t so big. I know I could put a solid package together talking about the inner workings of what makes humor work and I’ll bet it wouldn’t take very long. I’ve been studying it my whole life and I love talking about it.

I also think a program for fellow dented cans would be really useful. I’m getting a lot of people coming up to me after shows saying “I’m a dented can too” and they thank me for bringing it up but still making it funny. This takes comedy way farther than a strip mall in the suburbs somewhere. This touches people who need to be touched. That’s a lot deeper.

This is what’s really important, at least as far as I’m concerned. Money is great and I am all for making as much as possible but the real reward is being able to serve humanity and touch people with laughter.  And I don’t mean casually, I mean rich hearty belly laughter.

I’ve had countless people come up to me after shows and say things like “I just couldn’t laugh any harder if I wanted to” or “My cheeks and stomach hurt.” Great! I love to hear it. That’s why I’m still doing it all these years later. I think there’s a glaring need for humor.

I was off tonight so I drove up to the Milwaukee area to support a show put together by Jeff Lampton, a Milwaukee comic who bills himself as ‘The Loose Cannon of Comedy’. I love that moniker and it could probably fit a lot of people, myself included. Jeff has been amazingly supportive of me for years and it was only fair that I return the favor, so I did.

Another friend Art Hinty was on the show as well as Russ Martin, a former student who also lives in the Milwaukee area. Russ flew out to hang with me in L.A. when I taped the Late Late Show spot in March and Jeff and Art took up a collection with the other comics so I’d be able to have some expense money out there. That was about as classy as it gets.

Everyone’s eyes lit up as I walked in the room and Jeff came over immediately and said hello and thanked me for coming. I thanked him for all his support and told him I felt like it was my duty to be there. It was a respect thing, and I respect all those guys immensely.

All of these guys have been cheering me on and they look to me as a big brother figure. I appreciate it beyond words and I felt I had to show up and support their show, especially since I was off tonight. The room was smoky and my eyes were burning by the end of the night but that‘s ok. I‘m used to that by now. I‘ve been dealing with that my whole life.

Russ did a good job as did Art Hinty. Those guys are both older than me but they have a youthful exuberance and it’s very obvious they both really love comedy, just as I do. I like to watch them work and I laughed and clapped and enjoyed the show with everyone else.

Jeff went up and really let it rip. He put the show together and packed the room with his friends and family and they were all there to see him and he didn’t disappoint. I was really proud of him and all the other guys too because I know how hard it is to get people out to a live event for anything, especially in the Milwaukee area. I‘m thrilled I got to see it live.

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