Posts Tagged ‘Sixty Second Soapbox’

Betting On Uranus

August 24, 2013

Friday August 23rd, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   “It is impossible to win the great prizes in life without running risks.” – Theodore Roosevelt

   This is not only an inspirational greeting card quote – it has become the virtual blueprint for my life. After too many snake eyed rolls of life’s dice to count, it’s high time for at least one of them to hit the jackpot. I’m beginning to get carpal tunnel syndrome from rolling those dice so much.

   Today I did it again, but I feel great about my chances to win. There are two people I know that are starting a comedy content based website, and are looking to launch next month. They came to me recently and asked if I’d like to be a part of it. I said yes, and today we started the adventure.

   I can’t say who it is or give any details just yet other than it’s a project I feel is timed perfectly for the circumstances of today. They’re putting together original talent and ideas that haven’t had exposure anywhere else, and their chances of something hitting is excellent. It’s a smart gamble.

   The old way was to hope to get seen in a comedy club, and be asked to appear on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. He was it. David Letterman came along in the ‘80s, but before that it was Carson and a few other lower tier shows like Merv Grifin, Dinah Shore and Mike Douglas.

   There was also “An Evening at the Improv” on A & E, but that came along later too. For a long time, comedians moved to L.A. hoping to get a Tonight Show shot. That was the big prize, but as with most any entertainment genre the chance of getting that one slot was beyond astronomical.

   It’s a completely different ball game now, even though the objective remains the same. An act needs to get in front of as large of an audience as humanly possible in order to become known by name, thereby in theory creating a draw when they appear live. That’s the basic success formula.

   Network television shows have become diluted, and that’s not necessarily the way to do it right now. They don’t hurt, but how much do they help? I did a successful Craig Ferguson shot, but it didn’t put me over the top in one appearance. Nothing does. It takes a consistent plan to attain it.

   If someone can cultivate a steady following on the internet, that can lead to a totally legitimate fan base. There’s a whole subculture of people gaining followings maybe not in the millions, but enough to put butts in seats in places or sell them some trinkets. Jenna Marbles is such a person.

   She does her own You Tube videos, and gets a staggering number of hits – sometimes over one million or more. Wow! I’d be thrilled to get 100,000 paying fans who buy a DVD or t-shirt every year. The potential is right there, now I have to make it happen. I began work today as I recorded a video rant in character as the King of Uranus. I see clearly what needs to be done to develop it.

   I did a daily rant called ‘The Sixty Second Soapbox’ on a few radio morning shows I was part of. It’s a bit that got a lot of attention, and I loved doing it. It’s short but effective, and it’s perfect for the internet world of ultra short attention span. I’m going to rework a lot of those old soapbox rants and the site will be my showcase. This is the perfect idea at the perfect time. I’m pumped!

His Royal Weirdness - The King of Uranus!

His Royal Weirdness – The King of Uranus!


Psychobabble TV

May 5, 2010

Tuesday May 4th, 2010 – Chicago, IL/St. Charles, IL

What a world class scatterbrain I can be. I’ve spent a lifetime losing keys, wallets and anything else that’s difficult to replace. Today it was my cell phone, which I left at Zanies last night while I was hosting the new talent showcase show. I take most things out of my pockets before I go on stage, only because I don’t want to have a lumpy crotch to stare at.

I really don’t care if people choose to stare at my crotch, and I prefer if it’s an attractive lady, but a wallet or phone in my pocket makes me uncomfortable. Usually I’ll leave it in the car, but for whatever reason I brought it with me last night. I put it in a hiding place so secret, I forgot to retrieve it after the show and got halfway home before I realized I did it.

Obviously, I couldn’t call anyone at Zanies to see if they were still there but since I live 50 miles from the club I turned around and took a chance that I might get lucky and catch the manager still there counting money or something. Nope. Not this time. I was screwed.

It’s amazing how important a cell phone becomes in 21st Century life. I was without it a total of about 14 hours and it felt like I was exiled to Alcatraz for a twenty year period of solitary confinement from civilization. I breathed a sigh of relief as I picked it up from the box office person who let me in to get it. We joked about how dependent we all are now.

I had a full mailbox full of messages to get to, even more than usual. For some reason it seemed to be even busier than usual, and I get a ton of phone calls every day from a lot of different sources. Most are either booking related or people asking me to help them with a comedy situation. Many times I just turn it off and ignore it, but I like it to be my choice.

Tonight I had a comedy class scheduled at Zanies in Pheasant Run, but it was delayed a week because Mike Preston was taping an episode of his cable TV show “Psychobabble” instead. Mike has been doing that show for several years now and he really puts his whole being into it. I know how difficult it is and he does a splendid job of keeping it together.

Mike invited me to be on as a guest since he bumped my class, and I always enjoy being in the mix with his cast of characters. Marge Tackes is his co-host and they fit perfectly as a pair. Mike used to be a social worker and is a very giving person, sometimes to a fault.

He treats everyone on the show like adults, even though it doesn’t always come back. In the times I’ve been on, he’s always let me have creative freedom and I always try to make sure I’m prepared so I add to the show. I appreciate and respect how he runs everything so I feel a responsibility to carry my load and not be a weak guest. We’ve had a lot of fun.

Tonight Mike asked me to prepare some of my “Sixty Second Soapbox” bits that I have been doing on various radio stations for years. He played a clip from me on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and I sprinkled them in between other guests. He also had Tim Walkoe on and it was a really entertaining show top to bottom. You can check out Mike’s website at Warning: this is not your typical TV talk show.