Jedi Jokers

Thursday May 1st, 2014 – Grandville, MI

Tonight was the start of my three night run in western Michigan working for Jerry Donovan. In a perfect world he wouldn’t have to exist, but there has never been a danger of this world coming close to perfection so here I am. I’m grateful for these bookings and will do my best for Jerry.

I do my best for every booker I ever work for, but Jerry is one of the few that appreciates it. He does standup comedy himself – and does it very well I might add. He is originally from St. Louis, but somehow managed to end up in the Grand Rapids, MI area. I never asked why, but that’s not the issue. He’s here now, and is making a name for himself in the area. That’s all I need to know.

Jerry handles his business extremely well, and he told me it’s because he worked in sales for a long time before he ever got into comedy. Sales is winning an audience over one on one, and the same principles are used in a group setting with comedy. He’s taken to it like a duck to water and I absolutely love working with and for him. He treats comedians like people, and that’s SO rare.

The reason he’s in the booking end of the business at all is a certain agency that has been based out of Grand Rapids for decades has taken it upon themselves to become pompous and think they own comedy just because they’ve been around so long. The fact is, they COULD have owned the entire Midwest had they been just a little bit nice rather than imperialistic tyrants with attitudes.

They could have had their pick of all the best acts in the area, and for years they did. Then one by one they alienated most of them, and everybody lost out. Their venues are getting a lesser and watered down supply on a weekly basis, and a lot of good comedians are now scraping for work.

Had they handled things differently, Jerry wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. He wouldn’t be able to get the high quality of acts he does, because we’d all be loyal to the agency. Jerry would likely be working for them too, and everyone would be making a decent living. But that isn’t how it is.

The main problem is that the business has been turned over to the sons of the guy that was the original snake everyone worked for for years. None of us particularly liked him as a person, but comedians are stage whores and would work for the Beelzebub Booking Agency if they had the work to offer. I think the old man let the power go to his head and thought we actually liked him.

We TOLERATED him, and there’s a big difference. That’s not the way to build loyalty, and it sure isn’t the way to make friends. Not that business associates need to be friends to the point of coming over for Thanksgiving, but we were the ones that made him a healthy living. Treating us with at least a little respect would have lined his own pockets in the long run. He didn’t see that.

Now there are a significant number of scorned former acts that would go out of their way to get some payback for being dropped from the roster without as much as even an insincere thank you. He could have faked it like a stripper does to keep the money rolling in. It still is to a degree, but not like it used to. Jerry is taking over a nice little chunk, and I for one am behind him 1000%. It feels like I’m in Star Wars. The agency is the Death Star, and Jerry is leader of the Jedi Jokers.

Jerry Donovan is a funny comedian but also books comedy shows in the Michigan area. I'm delighted to work for him because he gets it.

Jerry Donovan is a funny comedian but also books comedy shows in the Michigan area. I’m delighted to work for him because he gets it.

Jedi Jokers, we are.

Jedi Jokers, we both are.


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