Artistic Admiration

Sunday January 8th, 2012 – Baldwin, WI

It’s not a New Year anymore, even though several people I encountered today still were nice enough to wish me a happy 2012. Week two is here already, and time continues to be a very limited commodity. The big clock keeps ticking, oblivious to anyone’s objections.

Most of my day was spent driving back from the gig in St. Cloud, MN. I’m glad I had a sounding board in Steve Purcell to bounce several ideas around with and make productive use of all that time in the car. It’s obviously the equal distance to get home as it was to get there, but it always seems longer on the way home. Having company is a welcome treat.

We stopped to have lunch with another comedy cohort Dwight York. He lives in a town called Deer Park, WI which I’d never heard of until he told me he moved there, and I’m a native Wisconsinite. Or is it Wisconsonian? Whatever the case, I was born near cheese.

Dwight has always been one of my favorite people, onstage and off. I’m a big fan of his comedy, as it is sick and twisted like few others. I mean that as a compliment, and he’s up there with my all time favorite comedians. He’s got a dark sense of humor, and it can be a hard sell on certain audiences – especially when they don’t know who he is beforehand.

I respect the hell out of him for staying the course and being true to his artistic vision no matter what. He never backs down or pulls it back, even when an audience doesn’t buy in on a particular show. That takes big time guts, and I can’t say I’d be able to hang like that.

It’s the equivalent of doing political comedy. Not all crowds are going to like it, and if it happens to be one that doesn’t it can make for a painfully long evening for everyone. This is why I have so much respect for people like Will Durst who have decided to follow their passion and do what they’re going to do and not crank out crap and pander to the masses.

Dwight is the same way. He knows his style isn’t for everyone, but those who happen to like it will love it – and I’m totally one of them. He cracked me up from the very first five minutes I saw him on stage, and I knew I’d found a gem. Then, when I got a chance to get to know him better I found out he was a kindred spirit and I appreciated him even more.

It is still my dream to put a tour together with Dwight and two of my other very favorite comedians and people Don Reese and Dan Still. Their comedy is warped, but they are all wonderful people and those who would like one would like all three. It’s a perfect match.

It would be like opening a specialty restaurant with extra spicy food. Those who would like it would love it, and others would avoid it like bacon at a bar mitzvah. I wish I knew how to find the fans who would appreciate people like Dwight, but I have no inside track.

I have enough of a challenge paying my own bills every month. If I had power, comedy would be a lot different. But I don’t. And it isn’t. If nothing else, it felt good to be able to exchange ideas with someone who has been there and gets it. There are far too few of us.


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