Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Destruction’

My Film Debut

April 9, 2010

Wednesday April 7th, 2010 – Kenosha, WI

No limousine. No tuxedo. No trophy babe hanging from my arm. Nevertheless, it was a memorable experience to attend my first movie premiere in which I had a part. There was a nice crowd on hand at The Brat Stop, even though it wasn’t sold out. The weather was a problem, as it was rainy and cold, and it was a weeknight too. Still, it was an adventure.

Mark Gumbinger is a good guy and worked very hard putting this whole event together. I know how difficult it is to get people in a room for anything, so it was a rousing success just based on that alone. There were a couple hundred people there, and that took effort to get each one of them. Many were there to see the star, Lou Rugani. This was his vehicle.

The program consisted of me opening the show with thirty minutes of standup comedy, then Dr. Destruction’s band The Dead Leathers played for thirty minutes, then it was time for the actual screening of “Dead Air”. That’s a lot of entertainment for a $7 admission.

It was funny to see the mix of people in one place. Dr. Destruction had a part in the film so he brought his audience, many of them punk rock fans with Mohawks, tattoos, pierced parts that don’t normally get pierced and ripped clothing. Lou Rugani’s fans listen to him on WLIP and are mostly over 50. The looks on their faces at the punk fans were priceless.

Mark hosted the evening and brought me up to do my opening set. There was band gear all over the stage but I worked around it and did my time. They started out a little uptight, but I got them rolling after a while. I kept it clean because that was the right thing to do in a situation like that. I don’t get filthy anyway, but for this event cleaner was appropriate.

After me the band went on and the fans that were there enjoyed them, as did I. Dr. D is a true artist, and even though I’m not a huge punk fan, I thought they were entertaining as hell and a lot of fun. Not all of the older people thought that and many got up and walked around in back trying to escape the loud noise. It was a funny scene, and I soaked it all in.

Then it was time for the movie. Mark brought us up one by one and interviewed us for a minute or two, then he told a couple of stories about what went on behind the scenes that added some depth of insight to the experience. It was exciting to be a part of it all. I sat in the back of the room so I could enjoy not only the movie but the reaction of the audience.

Lou was absolutely amazing. He’s a major talent and it was fun watching him play such a lout of a character when in real life he’s such a great guy. He has a presence that attracts attention much like a Gene Hackman or Morgan Freeman and I thought he jumped off the screen with believability. The other actors did a great job too. The crowd enjoyed it too.

As for my part, I’ve always hated watching or listening to myself. I’m my own harshest critic but everyone said they liked it so whether or not they did doesn’t matter. I wasn’t in it for anything else but fun, and there was plenty of that to go around. Now I can say I was in a movie with a real live speaking part, not just an extra with that hussy Sandra Bullock.


Full Moon Shining

March 1, 2010

Sunday February 28th, 2010 – Kenosha, WI

There was a full moon tonight, but nobody had to tell me. I could feel the wacky vibe as I prepared for The Mothership Connection radio show on AM 1050 WLIP. There was just something in the air, and as the rest of the cast congregated I could see that they felt it too.

We had an extra large cast tonight, which eventually turned out to be a reunion show of sorts. For whatever reason, anyone and everyone who has been associated with the show in the last two years decided to either call in or stop by the studio to hang out on the air.

I never mind that, and by the end of the night it was like the ‘We Are The World’ studio recording crew. Every microphone had two or three people around it and we took turns on whatever topic we were discussing. I was the orchestra leader, and it ended up working.

On the air we were all over the place, but not necessarily in a bad way. At least all of us felt it, and when we realized it was going to be ‘one of those nights’ we all ran with it and so did our callers. We came together as a group and it was one of the most consistent and entertaining shows we’ve done in a long time. We were the entertainment, not the topics.

This whole thing is a side project I’m really loving the more I do it. Everyone fits in the mix, and they all seem to show up at the right time. Our newest member is Joey Oshey, a comic who used to do radio in Boston for many years, and he’s been a fantastic addition.

He’s got that east coast fast talking hardness, even though he’s originally from Chicago and it gives us a different flavor. Plus, he’s been really good at getting guests from places I wouldn’t look and it’s all contributed nicely to the collective. I’m glad he showed up, as he’s adding new life to the show as a whole. He’s not the only one though, everyone does.

Diane Ebert is a radio veteran and loves hanging out with us. She does the recap of the show for our myspace and Facebook pages and adds to the show on the air. I absolutely wanted a female voice in the mix, and before Diane there was Lara Shaffer who had it on a whole different level. She wasn’t a radio person, but she stepped in and made it work.

Lara has been out doing other things lately, but tonight she happened to be in town and happened to be listening, so she stopped in and joined us as did our friend Dr. Destruction from his horror movie TV show “The Crimson Theatre”. The Doc is a great guy and has a huge local following, and when he’s on his fans come with him. He added to it as well.

My comedian friend Gary Pansch always brings something interesting to the table, and he’s been a regular for a quite a while now. Another radio friend Jim Moran is now doing traffic at WBBM in Chicago, but he stopped in and joined us as well. It was a full house.

The whole night was fun in a weird way and weird in a fun way. Everybody was able to get along, and there were some hilarious moments throughout the show. George Clinton’s  album “Mothership Connection” is where I got our show title, and tonight I felt like him.