Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Deeper Into Uranus

March 14, 2014

Thursday March 13th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

On this date in 1781, one Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. From that day on every grade school science class has never been the same. No matter how straight a teacher may try to present it, everybody ends up giggling uncontrollably. That’s why Sir William is my hero.

No matter how one may view it, Uranus is funny. It hits on a base level, and I am not ashamed to admit I find everything about it absolutely hilarious. It’s a bad pun. It’s juvenile. It’s as old as the universe itself – and that’s the reason I want to dive into the black hole head first and own it.

I am stating to the cosmos loudly, clearly and in no uncertain terms that effective immediately if not sooner I am officially claiming the Earth rights to Uranus for as long as I may live. I have dabbled in it before, but it wasn’t enough to own it. I have only scratched the surface of Uranus.

Did I invent this? Of course not. I just got through saying that Sir William Herschel discovered it in 1781, but he didn’t own it either. Uranus was first spotted around 1690, and that gimoke did not invent it either. It was there the whole time. It’ll be there when I’m gone, but I want to use it.

David Letterman never claimed to have invented a “Top Ten” list, but he has claimed it for his own. Good for him. He saw it was available, and he has used it wisely for decades. That’s what I want to do with Uranus. I want to end up so deep into Uranus nobody else will be able to follow.

When I walk down any street in any town on any continent, I want people to say “Look! There goes the King of Uranus!” And then I want them to giggle as much or more than they did in their science class back in grade school. I want to lift humanity’s spirits through the power of Uranus.

This is a dream that has been flickering inside of me far too long. I have seen only random bits and pieces of it come true, but every last bit of it has been overwhelmingly positive from a vanity “URANUS 1” license plate on my car to a “King of Uranus” baseball cap. The masses eat it up.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that I can’t run with this and take it to the pinnacle of either unbridled raging success or totally catastrophic failure. Quite honestly, it’s the success that frightens me if anything. I’m accustomed to failure and can navigate effectively, but it’s boring.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I have made up in my mind I’m going to put Uranus out there to sink, swim or succeed beyond my wildest dreams. That won’t be easy, as I have some pretty wild dreams. Actually, I just think it would be fun to have it as a legacy. I want the giggles to continue for generations after I’m dead. There could be no greater honor than to get laughs posthumously.

I’ve had this idea floating around for far too long now, and I’ve got to either hit it or quit it. I’m sick of doing it half ass. Get it? See, the angle never stops. Uranus is a wide open magnet for fun. I am now officially accepting the Kingship and now prefer to be known as “His Royal Highney”.

I Googled Uranus – which is funny in itself – and the facts that came up laid me out. “Uranus has rings.” Hee hee hee. “Uranus has only been visited once.” Stop it! “Uranus is a giant ball of gas.” I think I’m going to shoot milk through my nose! From this day on, Uranus is my destiny!

Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus on this date in 1781. See his expression as he 'looks up Uranus'. Hee hee hee

Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus on this date in 1781. See his asinine expression as he ‘looks straight up Uranus’. (Hee hee hee)

Look! Uranus has rings!  (Giggle giggle)

Look! Uranus has rings! (Giggle giggle)

Uranus is on FIRE! :)

Blow it out Uranus!

My King of Uranus logo - like the planet itself - is sideways. No other planet is quite like it.

The official recognized King of Uranus logo – like the actual planet itself – is sideways. No other planet is quite like it. Thumbs up Uranus!

If you'd like a book mark, send me a mailing address and I'll mail one out free of charge. No strings attached to Uranus.

If you’d like a book mark just like this one, send me a mailing address and I’ll mail one out free of charge. No strings attached to Uranus.

Power For A Day

March 26, 2013

Monday March 25th, 2013 – Chicago, IL

   Even before all is said and done in life, I realize that I am but a speck of tiny sand on an infinite beach. What I think or say or do doesn’t move the needle one way or the other on the grand scale of life, so all that really matters is to be able to please myself. It’s all temporary, so enjoy the trip.

That being said, I had a chance tonight to make some people happy and I did it. It doesn’t mean diddly squat to anyone but those involved, but that still makes it worthwhile in my eyes. I didn’t do it for any other reason than I know how good it feels to be able to make a dream come true.

If only for one night, I had the power of deciding who would be on the show at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago. Zanies is one of the top comedy clubs in North America, and getting the chance to book a show is like having the chance to manage a Major League Baseball team for one game or decide on the set list for The Rolling Stones for one concert. It’s a feeling of power for a day.

Bert Haas is the regular booker of Zanies, and that’s no easy task. Booking any comedy club is a challenge on many levels, and I could go off in many directions on how it’s often done poorly. There are a lot of behind the scenes factors that the public or even other comedians seldom see.

Bert trusts me on occasion to put together a ‘Friends of Dobie Maxwell’ show on a Monday to basically give himself the night off. He spends a lot of time between the three Zanies clubs in the area, so once in a while a night off helps recharge the batteries. I get that, and I’m glad to help.

I’ve been around the block enough to know how to put a standup comedy show together. I also know literally hundreds of standup comics on all levels, and every one of them would love a shot to work on the Zanies stage but rarely if ever have gotten the opportunity. I felt it was my duty to put as many deserving acts as I could up tonight to let them have their moment of fun in the sun.

Granted, it was a Monday night and the audience was stiff but many of the people who went up will never forget this day for the rest of their lives. Having a chance to make that happen for one person would have been a thrill, but there were several tonight. I got to play Santa and I loved it.

I’ve had similar experiences in my own life, and I’ll never forget those moments. I got to meet George Clinton, George Carlin and Rodney Dangerfield in person, and even though it was only a brief meeting each time, I will cherish all those memories until the final breath of my dying day.

I tried to squeeze as many acts as I could on the show tonight, and I hosted and gave them all a stellar introduction like they were going on at Carnegie Hall. I wanted to make their experience a pleasant one, even though in the big picture the only ones it will make any difference to is them.

One by one, they all came up and thanked me after the show, and I told them all they were very welcome and I meant it. They offered me the chance to do something nice, and that gives me the feeling of extreme satisfaction that I was at least able to make a tiny difference and do something good for someone else. Maybe I didn’t stop any wars or cure any cancer, but this feels SO good.

Pleasant Problems

March 26, 2013

Sunday March 24th, 2013 – Spencer, IA/Chicago, IL/Kenosha, WI

   My grandpa used to tell me it’s better to wear out than rust out, but I’m closer to feeling inside out right about now. I’m pushing myself harder than I have in a long time, and I feel every bit of my age. In my 20s, I could stand this pace and more. I was bullet proof then. Now, I’m just shot.

The shows the last two nights were beyond great, but that’s only a small part of my day. Today was the most hectic trip of all as I needed to be at Zanies in Chicago by 3pm to teach a class and then up to Kenosha, WI by 8pm to host the Mothership Connection radio show. I knew all along this would be the roughest day, and it didn’t disappoint. I made Indiana Jones look like a slacker.

I laid down at 1:30am after hanging with the comedians and it seemed like mere minutes when I checked my watch and it was 4am. I’d gotten just enough sleep to make me cranky, and that set the tone for the drive. I drove south on US 71 out of Spencer, IA and it was snowing just enough to make the drive even more brutal than it already was. It added tension to the mix I didn’t need.

Iowa is a lot bigger to drive through than it is to look at on a map. It seemed like Texas as I had both hands on the wheel in the pitch black early morning hoping I wouldn’t slide off into a ditch for a final curtain call. It was icy, snowy and windy – three dwarfs that didn’t make the final 7.

I had a lot of time to think as I drove, and did exactly that. Here I am all these years later after a lifetime of chasing a dream, and I have to admit I got exactly what I wanted. I wanted to be a full time headlining comedian who worked all over North America and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

Nowhere in that dream did I picture driving in a 1994 Nissan with a cracked windshield and no spare tire across two lane highways in Iowa during a snow storm, but that wasn’t in the equation. I wanted to be a real live professional comedian, and I’ve done it. Nobody can take that from me, but I must admit it sure didn’t come about like I pictured it. I assumed my problems would end.

The only time anyone’s problems end is when the coffin lid clicks, but even that’s no guarantee for any of us. For all we know that’s when a whole new set of problems arises. Personally, I have all I can handle and then some with what’s going on here. I’ll worry about the great beyond later.

Today I had to make it to Chicago, and I did. I was beat like an egg yolk in a French restaurant when I got there, but I made it. Class started at 3pm, and I showed up at 2:57. Again, that kind of stress wasn’t in my initial dream but I made it nevertheless. The students made it worth the drive.

I made it to the radio station in plenty of time for the show, so I stopped to get a salad to try to maintain a halfway healthy lifestyle. Road life is hellish on one’s diet, and that’s why I have had my issues with type 2 diabetes. I totally see how I got that way, and I don’t want to do it again.

The radio show was good, but I had a hard time staying awake for those four hours. I thought I was going to nod off a few times, but I held it together. If everyone has to have problems, I love the ones I’m having. Trying to squeeze too many fun things into each day is what life should be.

The Royal Treatment

March 17, 2013

Wednesday March 13th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI

   Today quite possibly could go down as THE single most fun day I’ve ever experienced. I had a chance to be the center of attention at the Milwaukee Admirals hockey game tonight in full regal splendor as the King of Uranus, and it was exactly what I thought it would be – a hilarious thrill!

The team has long been known for their stellar and original promotions, and this was ‘Salute to Uranus’ night. They put it in their ads, and I heard back from all kinds of people saying they had heard my name everywhere. I hadn’t planned on my name being attached to this gimmick, so the team did me a favor by getting my name out there too. I don’t mind either way, it was just FUN.

The character itself is still in development, but the fact that an adult would dress up like a goof willingly is a sure way to garner attention. If it weren’t true, they wouldn’t keep sending all those poor saps out in public dressed as the Statue of Liberty trying to drum up business for tax places.

If nothing else, it turns heads for a short second even if only to have the person gawking at the costumed kook think “Well at least it’s not ME.” This is the same principle, but it was received well by everyone and turned out to be an amazing experience. I know I’m on to something here.

It helped immeasurably that the team was totally behind this. Jon Greenberg is on top of things, and always has been. He’s the president of the team, but everyone else was great too. Director of Marketing Tim Van Wagoner worked extremely hard to come up with a true or false quiz to give fans on the bench where they’d give a thumbs up or down. It was the ‘Thumbs up Uranus’ quiz.

I also got to drop the ceremonial first puck before the game, and to see the looks on the faces of the players alone was worth my trip. They gawked at me like I really was from outer space, and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. It was exactly the reaction I wanted, and I played it up.

Another major highlight was getting to be part of the ‘Human Hockey Puck’ contest. That’s the one that everyone talked about. There’s a huge sling shot and five fans are put on a plastic flying saucer sled one at a time and slung across the ice to knock down targets like bowling pins to win prizes. I’d seen it done before, but being part of it in full King regalia was a treat I won’t forget.

Between the first and second period I got to sit and sign autographs if anyone was interested in getting one. Jon Greenberg and I had no idea if anyone would show up, but there was a long line of fans wanting pictures and autographs and I felt like Elvis for twenty minutes. It was a big hit!

My friend Drew Olson from 540 ESPN Radio came out to support, and we laughed like school girls backstage about how fun this whole thing really was. He’s seen most if not all of my wacky stunts over the years and he has the full perspective of how much it took to bring this idea to life.

Drew’s radio partner Dan Needles ran a blurb about it on his WISN TV 12 sports cast, and I’m very grateful for the exposure. It cemented the evening, and I’ll remember it forever. It was a big thrill to be able to pull this off, and if nobody else is impressed I don’t care. This one was for me!

Too Much Fun?

March 13, 2013

Monday March 11th, 2013 – Libertyville, IL

   More on the plate, but it’s all fun. This is really a dilemma, but a good one. I think. It’s like I’m at a spectacular giant buffet I’ve waited my whole life to eat at, and I’m piling my plate so high I can’t even walk back to my table to enjoy any of it. I think I have to rework my plan just a little.

I began another comedy class at Improv Playhouse in Libertyville, IL tonight, and even though it was fun I have to admit I’d much rather have just stayed home and slept. Teaching is a relaxing activity in itself and I love it, but again it’s a matter of having to get somewhere. It’s maddening.

Where I live there are no easy routes to get anywhere. I have a few choices of roads I can take, but they all lead through low speed residential areas or near shopping areas with too many lights to go through where I always get trapped and have to wait. I’ve tried all options, and all are bad.

Libertyville isn’t all that physically far from where I live but it ends up taking about 45 minutes to get there and that’s only if I make all the traffic lights – which rarely happens. That’s an hour and a half for travel time which I could be spending doing something much more productive than sitting in my car listening to inane sports talk radio. It’s frustrating to have to waste all that time.

I’m not even making that much money to teach the classes, but I totally love doing it. It’s what I’ve spent my life training to do, and I know those students are getting FAR more than they ever pay for whether they know it and appreciate it or not. It’s good energy all around, and I enjoy it.

I guess that should be reason enough to do it, and until now it always has been. I never thought about the time outlay or money I was missing out on, but everything and everybody has limits. In a perfect world I’d have enough time and money to do everything I want to do, but this isn’t it.

So, what’s the right answer? I wish I knew. Pretty much everything I’m doing right now is a lot of fun, and I really love doing it all. Comedy gigs are plentiful at the moment, as are classes. The Mothership Connection radio show is going well also, even though I’m not getting paid a nickel.

I’m also farting around with antiquing, and I’ve managed to find a few items that have made it worth my while to keep doing that too. It’s like fishing, as it only takes a few tiny nibbles keep a person coming back. I’ve hauled in a couple of nice catches, and it makes me want to continue.

So, what if anything is wrong with any of this? Technically, nothing at all. I can’t think of very many people I know who totally love what they do, so that’s a major victory. On the other hand, I see so much more potential for things I’d like to do and know I can achieve but don’t have time and that frustrates me beyond words. Do I settle for the fun I’m having, or try to go even higher?

The ‘Schlitz Happened!’ shows are going to be another fun project. I hope that blossoms into a long running event, but if it does will it take me out of the game for national TV? The ‘Laughing Skull Festival’ in Atlanta is coming up too in a couple of weeks. I have waited my whole life for things like this to blossom, and now they’re all blooming at once. Can one have too much fun?

Better Than Sex!

March 3, 2013

Friday March 1st, 2013 – Chicago, IL

   Tonight was one of those special nights that remind me why I still do standup comedy. I was at Zanies in Chicago for two shows this evening, and the early show was one of the best I’ve had in a long LONG time. I’ve been having extra solid shows of late, but this one took it to a new level.

This was one of those rare matches of performer and audience that was picture perfect on every level. I knew almost before I said my first word this would be my crowd, and I don’t know how I knew that but I did. I guess it was instinct garnered from all my years, but my ticket was punched for this one. This particular group was with me from buzzer to bell and we all enjoyed the ride.

I wish I could bottle the feeling of sheer exhilaration that happens on nights like this. It’s better than any feeling I’ve ever felt, and I can’t imagine any sensation on this planet topping it. People often say something is ‘better than sex’, but this feeling truly is. How many people have sex with 100 or more at once, and make it last for almost a solid hour? I’m telling you, it’s an intoxicant.

I heard an interview with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers not long ago, and he spoke of what a rush it was to be on stage playing music. He said it’s the only time in his life he ever feels truly free, and I’m right there with him. When I’m on stage on a night like this, I feel like Superman.

It’s like being out with a woman I am totally attracted to, and knowing the deal with be closed at the end of the evening. It makes the whole experience that much better from the actual dinner itself to the movie or show to the car ride home. It doesn’t always work that smoothly, but when it does it’s pure heaven. It’s also what keeps one coming back when things don’t fall into place.

I’ve done literally thousands of standup comedy shows in my life, and most of them on average have gone pretty well. At the end of the evening, if the entire audience was quizzed as to whether or not they thought I was a professional, I’d bet I’d get an overwhelming amount of yes answers.

There have been some horrific experiences, but that goes with the territory for anyone who has performed live in any genre of entertainment. Sometimes it’s just not there even for the big ones, but it’s very rare. Most professionals are able to pull off a show to the satisfaction of the crowd.

I’m about as picky as anyone I’ve ever met when it comes to my standards. I’m often bummed out by a performance the audience considered exceptional. They line up to tell me how they were entertained and I thank them sincerely – and mean it – but I know in my heart I could do it better.

Tonight was not that kind of night. I don’t think I could have done anything a whole lot better, and it was satisfying to be able to shake people’s hands afterward and hear how much they were enjoying it too. I really wish I would have recorded this one, but I know how special it truly was.

Then there was the late show. It was fine, but nowhere near the mutual orgasm of the first one. I was still on a high from the early show though, and it didn’t bother me in the least. No matter if I ever get famous or not, I’ve reached a skill level few ever do. It’s taken years, but it’s worth it.

A Treat From Uranus

November 2, 2012

Wednesday October 31st, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’m a big fan of Halloween, but probably not for the same reason most people are. What I love the most is how the acceptance level of the public is raised exponentially, if only for a single day. Individual freedom of expression is not questioned, and is in fact encouraged and even rewarded.

If one should choose to dress in a diaper and nothing else today, nobody would bat an eye. The possibilities are endless. Imagination and ingenuity are placed in high esteem, and people are in a competitive mindset to try and outdo each other in a positive way. I find that vibe very attractive.

I wish every day could have that level of mass acceptance, but unfortunately it doesn’t. Would it not dramatically up the fun quotient in life if we could dress like Batman or a cowboy any time we felt like it just to get a charge out of people? I guess we could anyway, but it would get stares.

That’s why I find the whole ‘King of Uranus’ concept so much fun. Who wouldn’t love to be a king or a queen, or at least treated like one? I love everything about it – especially the amount of attention it gets for just walking in a room. The few times I’ve done it has been a fun adventure.

If I were to put on the getup today, it might not get a second look. If someone asked who I was, I’m sure “The King of Uranus” would fetch at least a tiny chuckle, but it might get watered down by the fact everybody else is vying for attention with their own costumes. I’d have competition.

Doing it next week or next month would allow me to have ALL attention focused on me – and that is exactly what winning the entertainment game is about. This isn’t a new concept. It’s been done to death in the music business by everyone from Alice Cooper to Kiss to Marilyn Manson.

George Clinton is my favorite example. He cultivated a look that turned heads, and he wore his costume all the time. Alice Cooper and Kiss take their makeup off after a show. George made his multicolored hairstyle the attraction, along with long flowing robes. He lived it offstage as well.

I don’t know if I need to dress like The King of Uranus offstage, but if I had to I could get used to it. I like the flowing robes part, as that’s what I’d picture a king to wear. That’s why I love this idea so much. Nobody really knows what The King of Uranus would wear. I’m calling the shots.

If I can pull this off like I picture it, every day will be Halloween. I’ll get to dress up in all sorts of goofy costumes I’d never wear anywhere else for any reason, and it will make people laugh or smile or at least give me a blank stare of disbelief. No matter what the reaction, at least it will be a source of entertainment and that’s what I’m going for. It won’t take much to attract attention.

It’s a good thing that people tend to be such creatures of habit, as I have a wide open canvas on which I can paint this character however I choose. It won’t take long to discover what works and what doesn’t, and before long The King of Uranus will become an actual fleshed out character to use whenever I need it. If I have fun with it – and I already have – it will be contagious. I haven’t put as much effort into this as I had intended, but today reminds me how much fun I’m missing.

Green Bay Pukers

October 8, 2012

Sunday October 7th, 2012 – Lake Villa, IL

   Enough is enough, and this is it. My aching arse, the Green Bay Packers have finally pissed me off so badly I am not going back for more. Like an abused spouse, I am packing my bags and I’m out the door. My can is dented enough from life. I don’t need this torture to make it any deeper.

Those clowns didn’t even look like they were trying in the second half of one of the bitterest of losses I can ever remember. It was bad enough they got robbed on the last play in Seattle just two weeks ago and barely scraped out a skin of the teeth win over a Saints team in turmoil last week.

It was frustrating, infuriating and just plain unacceptable. As a lifelong customer I have a right to stop buying a product whenever I decide – and I decide it’s going to be now. I have been loyal (translation: brainwashed) to these pinheads long enough. The camel’s back has been snapped.

Watching sports is supposed to be fun, and a diversion from the stressful pressures of daily life. When sports become the source of much of that stress, it’s time to do something else. I couldn’t care less if the NFL disbands tomorrow, and with all the problems they’re having it may happen.

Why am I wasting my time with this anymore? What inner itch is being scratched by watching someone else try to accomplish something when in fact it should be me who should be doing the winning on my own behalf? Having to depend on someone else to make my self esteem shine is not how I want to live my life. From now on, I will spend my Sundays doing something better.

There has to be something positive I could accomplish for three hours a week if I really look to find it. Maybe I could read a book or write an article or take time to answer emails or any of a lot of other things that don’t involve that helpless feeling of having to hope a bunch of overpaid oafs who I’ve never even met please me by defeating another group of overpaid oafs. How low am I?

I don’t know why, but this one really pushed all my buttons. If I performed that poorly on a job I have to believe I’d be fired immediately. Someone needs to lose a job over this, and it needs to happen immediately. How can a defense give up all those yards to an aging guy without figuring something out to stop him from flat out embarrassing them? I saw no heart there and it’s pitiful.

I would much rather go out and do something that I have at least some control over rather than have to go through this insanity every week. Fun had nothing to do with the last three weeks, and just like with comedy I always said I’d stop when it wasn’t fun anymore. Well, that time is now.

Those heartless bums don’t deserve my time, and I’m not going to give it to them. In the bigger picture of life, this all seems like a big waste of valuable time that could be used to do something on a lot higher level. There are millions of Packer fans who are feeling the exact same sting I do.

Billions more who aren’t even football fans at all could not care any less. I doubt if five people in China were upset after the game or even know what football is. They’ve got other problems to think about and so do I. The Green Bay Packers and the NFL don’t need me, and I’m moving on.

That Magic Feeling

February 5, 2010

Thursday February 4th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

I’m loving this week off of shows, but I could use a month. Maybe six. There’s just too much other stuff to do, and the harder I work to chip away at the pile the less it seems I’m getting done. It’s an ominously high pile. Still, I have to start somewhere so I’m doing it.

I’m still on a high from the buzz of seeing that website template yesterday. It brought it all to life for me, and I don’t care if anyone else thinks it’s cool or not – I do. It’s the same feeling I had after I promoted my first pro wrestling show in 1992. It was THE hardest but most rewarding project I’ve ever done, even now. It drained every tiny bit of effort I had.

Anything and everything went wrong that day, up to and including the truck that hauled the actual wrestling ring breaking down. It threw everything into a state of panic and I had all I could do to hold everything and everyone together. Eventually we got it there and did the show, and afterward I sat in Denny’s eating rubbery eggs feeling like Donald Trump.

That feeling of accomplishment is absolutely pure. It can’t be bought, either. It has to be EARNED. I’m sure it’s the reason people run marathons or climb Mt. Everest and it has a ripple affect throughout one’s life. It builds self esteem and feelings of worth and makes a person feel alive. That’s what I get on stage as a comedian, but it took years to get good.

I’m ashamed it took years to get to this point with the Uranus site, but it did. It’s been a zig-zaggy path with too much starting and stopping, so that’s why it felt so good to see an actual picture of an actual website template with my own eyes. It’s like someone getting a restaurant location picked out and going to see the actual building. There’s a thrill in that.

Then it’s time to get the business going. That’s where I am now. Yes, it’s nice to see the website, but now I have to fill it with products, promote it and SELL something. It won’t mean anything if I can’t make money with this, and that’s the one thing I’ve never had an actual knack for doing. If nothing else, I’m sure going to learn a lot of valuable lessons.

I think life is all about learning. It’s also in ‘the journey’. That’s one thing I’ve learned in my lifetime of pursuing standup comedy. It’s not one big event that signals the arrival of success, it’s a compilation of many small successes and the ability to enjoy each one.

If I had to start comedy over right now with the knowledge I have now, I’d do a whole lot of things differently. Well, I’m starting this venture with the information I have from my comedy years so I will use whatever wisdom I’ve acquired and apply it to this idea.

The King of Uranus is immature, juvenile and just plain stupid. But it’s FUN, and who doesn’t like to have that? All my years in comedy I’ve spent trying to seriously get ahead and prove something to everyone else. Screw that. I’m doing this for ME. And for money.

But money is fun, if it’s spent correctly. My idea of that will be to help others and put it to good use. First, I need to earn some. That’s why I’m doing this. Complicated, isn’t it?