Minnesota Memories


Saturday January 12th, 2013 – Bloomington, MN/Shakopee, MN

   One more night in the Twin Cities, and then it’s back to the balmy Chicago climate. It’s maybe 8 degrees here if I’m lucky, and everything is frozen either open or shut. I haven’t felt it this cold in a long time, but I still like it up here. The people are friendly and seem to really enjoy comedy.

I’ve always done very well here, even though I haven’t worked the area as much as I probably could or should have. It’s a rather far drive, and through the years I never made it a point to seek out bookings in the area. In retrospect, I think that was a mistake. I should have pursued it more.

At one time back as I was starting out, I thought seriously about moving here. That would have been a smart move as it turns out, but I ended up taking my first radio job in Lansing, MI instead. That was in 1990, and my world changed from there. I lasted in Lansing for six unstable months.

That wasn’t the end of the world, and I could have easily moved on and came here anyway but instead I ended up getting another radio job at 93QFM in Milwaukee in 1991. That was a disaster in the long run, but at the time I really wanted to do it so I did. Who knew it would be a mistake?

Life is full of decisions for everyone, and sometimes we all choose poorly. In theory, getting an opportunity to do a morning radio show in one’s home town is a big deal. In reality, it was one of the worst career choices I ever made and it ended up stunting my comedy growth for many years.

Radio became a monkey on my back, and every few years I’d get another offer that would pop up out of nowhere and once again distract me from standup comedy. I wish I would have stopped after Lansing, but I always thought the next gig would be ‘the one’. It never was, and here I sit.

I wonder how my life would have turned out had I moved here when I wanted to. There was an exciting comedy scene here then with a lot of excellent comics and I bet I would have fit right in. Jeff Cesario is originally from Kenosha, WI but he’d moved here even before I thought about it.

I’ve always liked and respected Jeff, and he’s a very sharp guy. He developed here and went to L.A. after that and has done very well for himself. He’s one of my all time favorites, even though we’ve only worked a couple of times over the years. I have to believe had I moved here it would be a lot different. We’d be a lot closer, and I would have eventually moved to L.A. and stayed.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. That’s not how it turned out, and that’s how it goes. Now I’m in the situation I’m in, and it’s too late to go back now. I’ll always wonder what would have happened, but there’s no guarantee life would have been all Hershey bars and Archie comics had I gone that way either. Life is always full of ups and downs, and I may have had all kinds of other problems.

I talked about this with Dan Ronan today as we walked around the Mall of America. He’s just starting to spread his wings, and I tried to impart a little wisdom on him I wish I’d had available when I was making all of my major life choices. He’s got a lot going for him, and I hope he has a much smoother ride than I did. We had a killer show tonight, now it’s another long drive home.

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