Posts Tagged ‘Fox 6’

Wandering Wisconsin

January 19, 2014

Friday January 17th, 2014 – Milwaukee, WI/Stevens Point, WI/Merrill, WI

Plenty of stops to make today – and all of them happened to be in Wisconsin. Even though that wouldn’t raise many jealous eyebrows most other places, it’s my home state so I was fine with it. I had a lot of fun with a lot of nice people, and it shouldn’t matter where that happens. I loved it.

My first stop was at Fox 6 studios in Milwaukee to be on their “Real Milwaukee” show to plug the breast cancer benefit at Memories Ballroom in Port Washington, WI tomorrow night. Getting on TV is never a bad thing, and for this particular event I did it twice. I think that’s a first for me.

After that I drove to Ted’s Diner in Wauwatosa, WI to have breakfast with Steve “The Homer” True. I hadn’t seen him since his horrific car wreck in November, and wanted to hear all about it. I had a similar one twenty years ago, and was lucky to have survived. He is too, and he knows it.

Homer has always been one of my very favorite people in the broadcast business because he is completely unaffected by any of the glitz and glamour. He’s a real person, and has a heart about as big as a watermelon. Every benefit I’ve ever done in Milwaukee he has not only showed up to support, but also donated money completely under the radar. He’s a super talent on the air also.

I would love to team up and do some kind of motivational presentation with Homer. His father Dr. Herb True was a pioneer in the motivational speaking business along with others like Charlie “Tremendous” Jones and Zig Ziglar. Homer understands how crucial the entertainment aspect is.

After a fun visit with Homer I drove to Stevens Point, WI to have dinner with my cousin Leah, her husband Rob and their daughter Janine to celebrate Janine’s birthday. I can’t believe she’s 20 already, and no longer the cute little kid that used to laugh at everything I said. Time slips away.

After dinner I drove about an hour farther north to Merrill, WI for a show at the Lincoln Lanes bowling center that has never tried live comedy before. It was booked by my friend “The Mighty Jer Dog”, and I never know quite what to expect at any of his gigs. That’s part of the adventure.

Tonight was a pleasant surprise, as the owner had done his homework and packed the place to the rafters. He got the word out in town, and people showed up. He’s a smart guy in his late 30s that bought the business from his father. His grandfather started it, so there’s some history there.

I liked the guy from the second I met him, and that’s extremely rare for most club owners. I’m used to keeping my guard up at all times, but not tonight. I saw this guy was sincere about doing shows, and people like that make a drive to Merrill, WI in January worth the trouble. It was fun.

He even had my name in lights on his marquee. That’s always a kick, even though I have zero drawing power Merrill, WI. It felt good to work for a guy that cared, and I know he made money tonight so that’s even better. Would I come back here again? Sure. Nice people are nice people.

Normally the venue puts us in a set hotel, but tonight the deal was that I received a stipend for my own lodging. I wasn’t tired after the show so I drove to Green Bay and got a room there. Life sure is a blast when everything is running on all cylinders. This is by far the best time of my life.

I did an appearance this morning on Fox 6's 'Real Milwaukee' to plug the big cancer benefit tomorrow night.

I did an appearance this morning on Fox 6’s ‘Real Milwaukee’ to plug the big cancer benefit tomorrow night.

Steve 'The Homer' True survived a horrific car crash on his birthday November 13th. He's looking and feeling great, and is on his way to a full recovery. Listen to him on ESPN 540 in Milwaukee both on his afternoon show 'Homer and Thunder' or doing play by play for Marquette basketball.

Steve ‘The Homer’ True survived a horrific car crash on his birthday November 13th. He’s looking and feeling great, and is on his way to a full recovery. Listen to him on ESPN 540 in Milwaukee both on his afternoon show ‘Homer and Thunder’ or doing play by play for Marquette basketball.

It's always a kick to see your name up in lights - even if it's at a bowling center in Merrill, WI. It was a great audience, and everyone had fun - including me.

It’s always a kick to see your name up in lights – even if it’s at a bowling center in Merrill, WI. It was a great audience, and everyone had fun – including me.


The Best Revenge!

October 19, 2012

October 17th, 2012 – Milwaukee, WI

   “The best revenge is massive success.” That’s one of my very favorite quotes of all time, and it comes from Frank Sinatra. If there was ever anyone who got his revenge, it was him. Who else is even close when it comes to showbiz legends? Elvis? Michael Jackson? Okay, but that’s about it.

By all accounts, the Josh Albert fundraiser at Shank Hall in Milwaukee this evening turned out to be a massive success on many levels. I couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to be a part of it, and I was proud beyond words of everyone who came together to pull off such a fantastic event.

There was definite electricity in that room I don’t think I’ve ever felt before, and when Officer Albert entered the room in his wheelchair it was like the Pope showed up. A hush throughout the club was immediate as cameras from every television station in town captured a magic moment.

It was very emotional, and I knew right then we didn’t even have to do a show for this to be an overwhelming home run. This alone would have been enough, but there was a lot more positivity in store for everyone as Mayor Tom Barrett and Chief of Police Edward Flynn presented Officer Albert with a mayoral proclamation declaring it ‘Joshua Albert Day’ in the city of Milwaukee.

The audience gave Officer Albert a well deserved standing ovation, and emotions were running high as people were wiping away tears as he spoke from his heart. I totally lost it, and was crying like a baby. Knowing that I had even the slightest pinky of a hand involved in helping make this happen gave me a feeling of accomplishment like I’ve never had. This was the right thing to do.

But I don’t take credit for anything other than bringing together an all star cast of giving people to do what they do. Everyone did their part to perfection, and watching it all come together lit my fuse of hope that good people actually can make a difference on this planet infested with morons.

So many amazing people stepped up I don’t even know where to start. Drew Olson was simply magnificent as the host of the event as I totally knew he would be. He held the evening together, and knew how to keep things moving and put a balance between the serious and funny. Honestly, I don’t think I could have done as good a job myself and I’ve got experience. He really nailed it.

Peter Jest really came through as well. He’s the owner of Shank Hall, and we’ve always had an excellent working relationship. He’s a very funny guy, and also good friends with Drew. It was a perfect fit all around, and we all knew it. Peter generously donated the space, and I appreciate it.

Chris ‘C.P.’ Peppas is another pillar of generosity who has supported everything I’ve done for at least twenty years. He’s a talented writer, and wrote a great piece for The Examiner which was greatly appreciated, as was his bride Mary Lynn’s donation of her signed Cecil Cooper baseball.

I can’t forget Ted Perry of Fox 6 either. He’s another one who has done more than expected on several occasions, and I couldn’t be more grateful for his support not only tonight but through all my trials and tribulations of many years. He’s got a giant heart, and I owe him about fifty favors.

The comedians on the bill showed up to support the cause as well, and I appreciate every single one of them. Russ Martin was a former Deputy Sheriff, and went to all the police stations and put up posters. Jason Evans is the creator of and also helped spread the word.

Phil ‘Ziggy’ Dunham schlepped in all the way from Detroit at his own expense to be part of the evening, and he didn’t have to do that. All these guys are rock solid and golden in my book and I was proud to have them participate in a big event like this that spread so much uplifting energy.

I wish I could bottle the vibe from tonight and pass it out in the world where it’s needed. I’d do it for free, as the results produced would be worth far more than anything money could buy. I put the word out to my best connections, and they came through and made this a night to remember.

My friend Mike Staral came out with his wife and we’ve known each other since kindergarten. He saw the event mentioned on TV and the company he works for is going to make a donation to the cause. I hadn’t seen Mike in years, but he’s always been yet another good hearted kind soul.

There are far too many people to list who pitched in to contribute to this night, but images keep popping into my mind and I don’t want to exclude anyone. John O’Brien drove all the way from Wilmette, IL as he has done so many times before to support anything I’ve done, success or flop. There were more than a few flops in there, and I’m delighted he got to see one that worked well.

Marilynn Mee from WKLH showed up unexpectedly, and auctioned off an hour on the air as a guest DJ. That was very nice of her to do that, and it brought in $750 which was more than all of us expected. I’ve always liked and respected Marilynn, and I think she is very talented on the air.

My cousin Katie and her brother Andy and her mom Wendy were all a big part of it too. I said I’d take care of the comedy part, but they did their share from a police angle. I don’t know about that world, and they came through and we were a very effective team. Katie thinks the world and more of her partner, and anyone would be lucky to have a work relationship that runs so deeply.

It was a huge thrill to finally meet Josh Albert as well. I’d heard nothing but great things about how good of both a person and police officer he is. He had people around him all night, but I did get a chance to say hello and when I did his eyes lit up and he thanked me profusely. He gripped my hand with a tight squeeze, and I could feel his gratitude. I hope this will inspire him to heal.

I would do this all over again and then some in a heartbeat. This is the kind of vibe that makes life worth living. It’s pure, vibrant and completely untouchable by anyone who continues to be a detractor of mine despite my attempts to make peace whenever possible. I’m sorry that everyone can’t get along, but after one or sometimes a dozen apologies all one can do is just let things go.

This wasn’t about anything other than doing something that I think anyone should do who has the opportunity. This time it was my turn to pitch in, and I did the best I could. Anyone who isn’t a fan of me personally has that right, but nobody can say this evening wasn’t about helping out a fellow human being. I got my revenge by spreading good energy, and that’s the best kind of all.

Media Frenzy

October 17, 2012

October 16th, 2012 – Milwaukee, WI/Milwaukee, WI

   What a hectic day – but totally in a good way. I had a TV interview scheduled for 6:15am this morning on CBS 58 in Milwaukee to promote the Josh Albert fundraiser tomorrow night but my timing was thrown off by a traffic detour. There was some situation near my house that rerouted us all, and it put me several minutes behind schedule and cut it way too close for my preference.

I really can’t stand being late, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Situations occur out of nowhere and this was one of them. Could I have left earlier? Maybe, but who would expect traffic trouble at 4:45am? I assumed I’d be able to make it and I assumed wrong. It really threw me for a loop.

Television has rigid time constraints. I understand that, and did all I could to make sure I let the producer know I was on my way. I gave him updates as I sped through the last few miles going a lot faster than a Chevy Cavalier should be going at 6am. I didn’t want to blow my commitment.

I ended up making it by about 6:10, but I was a frazzled mess. The staff was very friendly, but I still apologized for cutting it so close. Apparently they’re used to it, because nobody was angry. They wired me up with a microphone, and I walked in the studio to be on with Tom Durian and Jennifer Tomazic. They were also friendly, but I was really thrown off by my traffic nightmare.

Normally, I’m right there with a quick funny line and can play off what anyone says. Today it felt like my tongue was in a lower gear, and I couldn’t get it together like I usually can. I wasn’t as sharp as usual, and I know what caused it. I know they didn’t notice, but I certainly did. What could I do but smile and say thanks? I wasn’t happy with what I did, but none of this is about me.

I was able to get the event plugged on television, and that’s the idea. I hope I didn’t blow a shot to come back in the future with my bumbling mumbling interview, and it should be a huge lesson not to do this again any time soon. If leaving extra early will avoid it, that’s what I intend to do.

I made a few other stops to pick up silent auction items, and then drove home to get some work done there. I received a call from Ted Perry at Fox 6 asking if I’d like to be interviewed by Jenna Sachs for the news and of course I said yes. It would totally be worth another drive to Milwaukee and I appreciated the plug. Ted has always been one of my biggest supporters. He’s the greatest.

All kinds of positive energy is coming out of the woodwork from every direction for this event, and it feels like it will be a smashing success. I can’t help but think of the other events that I have spearheaded in the past that have exploded in my face but this doesn’t feel like those. We’ll see.

I swung by Drew Olson’s house to make sure we’re covered there. Drew is another person who has always been in my corner, and he was the perfect choice to host this event. He’ll be fantastic, and his father was a police officer for 25 years. Everything is coming together without a hitch, or so it seems. I have done all I can do, and so has everyone else I’ve recruited to help. All anybody can do now is wait – and that’s the part that kills me. Will anyone show up? I hope so, but there’s never any guarantee. If it tanks it this time, it won’t be for lack of effort. Here goes…everything.