John Ridley Kudos


Sunday March 2nd, 2014 – Kenosha, WI

Just when I thought I had seen everything, along comes a fresh twist or wrinkle to remind me I am not in control of anything nor have I ever been. I am just a tourist. To directly quote Gomer Pyle from the storage shed area of my memory bank – “SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!”

While watching the Academy Awards tonight – something I rarely if ever do – from out of the deepest part of left field popped a complete shocker that literally made my jaw drop. One of the winners was a gentleman named John Ridley, and we had crossed paths several times years ago.

I was and still am delighted for his outstanding achievement, but I had no idea he was even up for an award. They announced his name which I recognized immediately, but there could be a lot of people by that name. There are infinitely more possible John Ridleys than there are ‘Dobies’.

Then I saw his face and realized it was indeed the same person I remembered. How impressive. And I thought Facebook was a good way to keep up with people from the past. This is far better – especially for anyone that might have the least bit of desire to break it off in anyone’s fanny.

Everyone has someone they’d like to get back at from the past, and this is the absolute ultimate way to do it. Ah, what sweet revenge! To the ex girlfriend that left a heart in shambles or former boss that made life miserable, here you go. Feel free to kiss any part of my ass that you can find.

John Ridley got to live that fantasy, and I’m thrilled for him. He got his revenge with anybody he needed to worldwide, but I highly doubt that was his motivation. He worked hard – and smart – and he figured out the combination to the safe. Not many ever do that in any field, but he did.

Major kudos to Mr. Ridley. I obviously haven’t taken that route, and those results are painfully obvious. I’m not even up for a third place bowling trophy anywhere, and this guy is standing on the stage making an acceptance speech for his Oscar. It’s proof all men are NOT created equal.

Some of us are born achievers, and others are not. Some have long term vision, others live life from minute to minute. We’re all individuals with different qualities, and it produces individual results. It makes life interesting in one way, but in another it’s frustrating to the point of torture.

John is originally from the Milwaukee area, and did standup comedy for years. We’ve shared a stage quite a few times, and always got along very well. He’s a super bright guy, and I never had a cross word with him. But I can say that about literally hundreds of people. Nothing would have caused me to predict he would eventually win an Academy Award. How often does that happen?

As we sat backstage between shows like comedians do, nothing would have indicated that he’d climb the showbiz ladder to the pinnacle – but he did. Part of me is jazzed for him, but another is embarrassed to have gone so far off course on my own journey. If there was a map, I missed it.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be crossing paths with John again anytime soon after this. If I do, I’ll say hello and congratulate him for his achievements. He did his home town proud, and he deserves it. But I’ll likely end up saying it from the front seat of his limo. And I’ll be driving it.

It's not often one turns on the Academy Awards and says "I know that guy!" I worked with John Ridley several times in comedy clubs, and was delighted to see him win. Congrats!

It’s not often one turns on the Academy Awards and says “I know that guy!” I worked with John Ridley several times in comedy clubs, and was delighted to see him win. Congrats!

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