Split Decisions

Monday May 17th, 2010 – Chicago, IL

Had dinner in Chicago with my grade school friend Tom Orlando and his nephew Alex, who thinks I’m one of the funniest humans alive. Tom has been wanting to bring Alex to meet me for a while now, and tonight was the night. I’m glad we were able to hook it up.

Tom is one of my all time favorite people. He’s truly funny and always was, even in our school days. He was in broadcasting and did quite well for himself, but he also has a great business head and decided he wanted the financial security of doing that. Good for him.

Tom has done it right, and he couldn’t be any nicer. He made a great point while we ate when he said “The difference between Bill Gates and me is – I have ENOUGH.” That’s a point I’ve never heard put that way, but he’s right. He loves what he does, but he also has time to enjoy it. He’s always doing things like going to Europe to backpack for a month.

It’s great to have someone like Tom as a friend now, because he’s known me my whole life and knows the entire story, just as I know his. We’ve had a lot of similar experiences, especially in broadcasting. We’ve also done very different things and that’s ok too. We’re able to learn from each other, and I consider him a true ally. He’s someone I really trust.

I brought up the whole idea of maybe going after the comedy booking accounts of some of the slimier agents around, and he was all for it. He’s from Milwaukee and knows about the history there, and he could totally see where my frustrations lie. He said he could see a solid opportunity, but only if I made a total commitment to it. I’m not sure of the answer.

Booking comedians has never been my goal. I want to keep myself booked, but I see the need for someone to step in who’s both ethical and competent, and I know I could do it at a higher level than those who are doing it now. It would appear I have no experience but I know the business inside and out from being on the other side. I could absolutely do this.

Rumor has it the Comedy Café in Milwaukee is going to reopen and the owners are in a process of reorganization. They’ve apparently interviewed several booking agencies from all over, and Funny Business has undercut everyone’s price in hopes of getting it. I’d hate to see that happen, and I’d love to have a chance to say my pitch to the building owners.

NOBODY in America could do a better job of booking a comedy club in Milwaukee. It can’t happen. I’ve spent a lifetime observing the city, the club scene there and the comedy business in general. I know the territory inside and out and could book it better and for the absolute lowest price around. It’s like a factory outlet, they could cut out the middle man.

Funny Business or any other agency doesn’t know the Milwaukee comedy scene like an actual comedian. I’d know exactly what to do, and would love to have a chance. I’d prove it to everyone, and results would be almost immediate. One thing I wouldn’t do is go over the head of the woman who used to book the Comedy Café. I told her I have no animosity toward her and I don’t. She’s ethical, and I wouldn’t disrespect her. The others? Look out.


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