Sharing The Wealth

Wednesday December 28th, 2011 – Rockford, IL/Dubuque, IA

All kinds of things are starting to cook exactly the way I want, and I’m excited. I love it all, and not concerned in the least it’s not ‘big time’. That myth has been shattered, so any pressure is completely off. Fun is fun, and that’s what I’m having. To me, that’s success.

The radio show today in Rockford was an absolute blast. The people at the station could not be any nicer to us, and we’re starting to feel right at home. We had a chance to bring a couple of other comedian friends on the air with us, and they got to shine for a while too.

Jim Wiggins is a wonderful guy who has been doing comedy forever. He billed himself for years as ‘The Last Hippie’, and actually lived in the Rockford area for a long time. He has been dealing with bladder cancer for the past few years, and it was great to be able to give him some air time to tell that story and also about him being on The Tonight Show.

Everyone in the Chicago comedy community loves Jim Wiggins. He’s supportive of all the new talents, and was extremely nice to me when I started years ago. He was in charge of a place called Dirty Nellie’s, and he was generous with handing out stage time before I was ready for it. All these years later, it felt good to be able to pay back his generosity.

We also had a chance to have Tim Slagle on with us. Tim and I are familiar with being on the air with each other because we were on with Jerry’s Kidders for several years, but the Rockford audience doesn’t know any of us. It was a chance to troll for some new fans.

I’ve never been afraid to share the spotlight on the air. I want others to feel comfortable and know they can say what they think and not have to be anything other than themselves. I don’t have to agree with everything they say, or any of it. I just want it to be interesting.

A lot of radio and television people aren’t like that. They can’t stand it when anyone is funnier than them, and they try to squelch it at all costs. I want exactly the opposite. I love it when someone gets on a roll, and it’s good for everyone. Johnny Carson lasted decades by letting others come on and have the spotlight. It’s not any secret, that formula works.

It was great fun to let Jim and Tim have their moment, and I try to let Jim McHugh get his licks in too. I just try to be the conductor, and pass out solos. I follow the same course as host of The Mothership Connection on WLIP in Kenosha on Sunday nights. It works.

After the radio show, Jim McHugh and I drove to Dubuque, IA to perform at Diamond Jo’s Casino. Wow, what a top notch facility that is. I knocked off a solid hour like it was nothing. There was a packed house, and they were there to laugh. This was a dream gig.

I love every minute of all of this, even though it’s not necessarily what most performers would consider the big time. The radio show was just as fun as if it were WLS in Chicago and the laughs sounded just as good in Dubuque as they would have in Las Vegas. I love what I’m doing, and the people around me seem to be loving it too. I don’t see a problem.


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