An All Star Friend

Thursday October 18th, 2012 – Rockford, IL/Schaumburg, IL

   In a perfect world, it would have been great to have the entire day off to sit around and veg out after the big event last night – but nobody ever said this world was perfect. I received a call to fill in on the afternoon show on WNTA in Rockford, IL and as I do more often than not, I said yes.

A big reason I did is that I like the Operations Manager Jim Stone and everyone in the building at Maverick Media and would gladly help out anytime I can, but the main reason was to hang out on and off the air with Jim McHugh and celebrate his birthday a day early. I thought he’d like it.

There is no harder worker than Jim McHugh. He’s a rock solid comic on stage, but he’s putting all kinds of shows together with a group he calls ‘The Chicago Comedy All Stars’. He’s thrown a lot of quality work my way of late, and I couldn’t be more grateful. He’s as loyal as they come.

Jim and I go back probably twenty five years. We always got along, but we started really doing a lot of work together in the last several years as we were both in another group of comics called ‘Chicago Style Standups’. Like a band, there were some problems with one of the members (who still owes me $500 I will likely never see) and both of us eventually moved on to do other things.

Jim started up this new entity and made a few modifications. He uses handpicked comedians to do a variety of mostly fundraiser shows in places that aren’t necessarily traditional venues. It can be a lot more difficult than going to established venues, but there’s a big market to be cultivated.

It would be great if we were doing shows every week, but it’s just not that easy. He puts a huge amount of work into these events, and so far every one we’ve done has been a killer as far as the shows go. He knows what he’s doing, and it’s always a pleasure to be a part of one of his shows.

I thought it was very important to take Jim out for a birthday meal to at least show him he’s not completely unappreciated. It’s difficult to always say thanks to people for their efforts, especially when things go like they should. It’s easy to assume that it will always be that way, when it isn’t.

Jim is such a detail oriented person he spends WAY more time making sure the other acts have what they need before thinking of himself. He puts in a ton of hours nobody sees, and I know he is conscientious to a fault and would trust him in any situation – and I have big time trust issues.

After last night’s overpowering emotional experience, I am totally sold on focusing my energy on spreading as much good will as I possibly can for the rest of my days. Letting Jim tag along to be on the radio meant nothing to anyone but him, but I know he had a great time so that’s enough for me. The memory we made will always remain, and that’s worth more to me than any money.

We drove back from Rockford and ate dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse in Schaumburg, IL. It’s Jim’s favorite restaurant and I can see why. We had delicious filet mignons, and hung out talking about how much fun we’ve had over the years. It was worth every penny I spent, as the memory will last far longer than what I had to spend to get it. I think I’m finally starting to figure life out.


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