Dobie Maxwell’s ‘Dented Can’ Diary – A History
My name is Dobie Maxwell, and I have been a full time professional touring standup comic since 1985. I have paid my dues and then some and have worked my way up to being a strong headlining act in comedy clubs, cruise ships and corporate engagements. I have also appeared on CBS TV’s ‘The Late Late Show’ with Craig Ferguson as well as countless other TV and radio shows across North America.
I have also done morning radio myself, having worked in Rockford, Ft. Wayne, Lansing, Reno, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and in Chicago on 97.9 “The Loop”. When standup comedy looks “stable” in comparison, I knew radio was a powder keg.
In addition to comedy and radio, I have also been the ring announcer, television play by play broadcaster and eventually owner of a regional professional wrestling organization. Between those three main occupations and all kinds of other adventures, I’ve managed to take in a lot of uncommon input to say the least. My life has not been ‘normal’.
The term ‘dented can’ is one I coined accidentally on stage one night, and it stuck. I was born to a biker father and a mother who abandoned three children when I was five months old. I was raised mostly by my paternal grandparents, and have been on my own since I was 17 – trying to find my way in an insane and often cold hearted world.
When I was in high school in my home town of Milwaukee, I read Jim Bouton’s book ‘Ball Four’ and loved it. I still do. It was Jim’s personal account of what it was like to be a professional baseball player – something I was highly interested in pursuing at that time.
I did eventually get a tryout with the Kansas City Royals, but I wasn’t signed to a contract. I found my way into comedy in the 1980’s, THE boom years of the comedy business and thought others might like to read about the behind the scenes workings of comedy just as I liked reading about the inner workings of baseball. Thus, this diary was born and continues to live on. It might not be glamorous, but it’s definitely real. This is how it is – warts and all.
The Dented Can Diary was started on my birthday, March 14th, 2006. I wanted to see if I could keep a diary for 30 days in a row and have something to write about. Not only did I do that, I’ve kept it up every day since and have not missed a single entry. Sometimes I fall behind a day or even two, but I eventually catch up. It’s proven to be more than discipline.
I write my honest uncensored inner feelings. I pull no punches and I have no hidden agendas. This is my life, and how I see the world. I don’t do it to intentionally anger anyone, although that does happen on occasion. I try to keep a policy of mentioning names only when a situation is positive. When it isn’t, I only mention the situation in hopes some up and coming comedian reading this can learn from it and not make the same mistakes I have made and unfortunately continue to make. I’ve never claimed to be above reproach, and I don’t now. This is my own personal journey in life, and I invite others to follow along daily, weekly, monthly – or not at all.
People have said they absolutely hated my writing at first, and in fact kept on returning to it daily just to see how much worse it could get. Then, it eventually grew on them and now they consider themselves fans. Some read every day, while others let them pile up and prefer to catch up by the week or month. Whichever way you choose to react – I hope I am able to entertain you and occasionally make you laugh, think or reflect on situations in your own life.
Thank you for reading! But even if you don’t, I’ll still keep writing. This is now a part of my day like taking a shower or brushing my teeth. I never really thought of myself to be a writer, but I guess I’ll have to reconsider. I’ve done it every day for several years now, and I still haven’t run out of things to say. Hopefully, I can make something worth your time.
-Dobie Maxwell aka ‘The Dented Can’