Motown Mystique

Friday February 24th, 2012 – Birmingham, MI

I know it sounds goofy, but I always look forward to coming to Detroit. Yes, some parts of the city proper are downright frightening, but the area as a whole has a unique vibe that I really like. There are some very affluent suburbs where the people are quite friendly, and an ever so slight Canadian influence since Windsor, ON is right next door. I like the mix.

Had I grown up here instead of Milwaukee, I think I would have fit right in and enjoyed myself. I love the car culture and soul music, and Detroit has a lot to offer in both of those departments. They have fun here, and there’s a sense of civic pride I feel whenever I visit.

I never felt that kind of upbeat exciting energy in Milwaukee growing up. That place is full of beer swilling Germans who care way too much about keeping their lawns trimmed and cooking sausage. It’s very conservative, and I guess there’s a charm to that too but for my tastes I’ll take Detroit any day of the week. There are faults, but overall I enjoy it here.

How crazy must it have been during the boom years in the ‘50s and ‘60s when they had the world by the ball joints? I bet there were some star studded wild parties in those days, and nobody ever thought it would end. Then the ‘70s came and the party lights turned out.

In a way, the comedy business has a similar story line. The ‘80s were the boom years of comedy clubs, and everyone thought that would last forever too. Well, very few things do with the exception of the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. Everything else fades.

Detroit and the whole state of Michigan had a killer comedy scene at one time. I worked all kinds of shows in all kinds of venues for all kinds of bookers throughout the course of my tenure, and I hope to keep doing it for years to come. Michiganders relate to my style.

That being said, there was no show tonight but I made the drive anyway so I’d be all set for tomorrow. There’s supposed to be a full house, so that’s always nice to hear. Losing a day’s pay really isn’t my idea of a fun weekend, but I can’t do anything about it now. I am considering myself lucky, as the whole weekend could have been taken out on low notice.

Flukes like that do happen, and they’re never fun. I have to zip my lip and be happy I’ve still got a gig tomorrow night. Nothing says the world owes me a living, and that could’ve easily fallen out on short notice too. In these times, I have to be grateful for whatever I get and I am – even though those cancellations really poke a hole in the party plans. It’s nuts.

My friend Phil Dunham is on the show tomorrow, and I’m glad he is. He’s trying to put a full time act together and be a full time comic. He’s got an amazing passion for the craft and a work ethic that he got from building his personal financial business for many years.

Phil was kind enough to put me up in one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. It’s in the suburb of Birmingham, MI and it’s called ‘The Townsend Hotel’. Wow, what a joint. Phil bought me a delicious dinner too, and didn’t have to. He and Detroit both have class.

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