Love this time of year!
Getting ready to break and go see the family. We’re going snowboarding in Idaho. Very Christmassy!
But first I’m wrapping up my first week at a great venue, the Tacoma Comedy Club. It’s a fun club and the crowds and staff are fantastic. I’m working with a great comic and friend Brian Moote, and a super funny host Mike Coletta. If you’re in the area let me know.
If you are one of the new fans I’ve made this week, don’t forget to find me on FACEBOOK and get your free CD download.
I also look forward to the end of the year as a chance to reflect on what’s transpired and what I hope to accomplish next year. 2012 has been a really up and down year. I got to perform a bunch of new places, and went back to the Mid-East to perform for the troops for the 8th time. The year also wrapped up with my award-winning documentary “Dying to do Letterman” being distributed and now being available on iTunes, Amazon, and OnDemand.
The flip-side of these career accomplishments were a few personal blows as the year wound down. In October my father passed away unexpectedly. A month later my father-in-law died too. I’m sure these are things that will shape the years to come.
What I do know in the aftermath of those experiences is that what I’ve been saying for years is more true than ever, “If you’re not chasing your dreams, you’re already dead.”
My health is good and I plan to make the most of it. I hope you make every second of 2013 and whatever time we all have left, COUNT!
Hey Friends & Fans,
Been touring a lot and doing a bunch of corporate shows and events. This past month found me in Minnesota for a fundraiser, back where I grew up in Illinois for some benefit shows for a great cancer charity, and in oregon for some regular old comedy club shows. Nice mix.
There’s a new look to my website and I’m still working out a few of the kinks. But I’m updating to so that I can share more stories and comedy with you–so thanks for the patience!
Hope this finds you coming out of the Winter warm and rested. I’ll be in the SF Bay Area and Sacramento as April kicks off, so if you’re nearby check my calendar and come get some laughs for Spring.
What a sad month for the comedy world.
First Robin Williams shocking suicide, and now the unexpected passing of Joan Rivers. Two comedy legends gone within a month. That’s a huge comedy vacuum in the icon threshold.
I was lucky to meet Robin Williams many times. Starting comedy in San Francisco it was hard not to cross paths with him on the scene. Even as one of the biggest stars in the world he’d still pop out to the clubs and open mics to work on his own act. Needless to say it was intimidating to be performing onstage and see one of the greatest minds in comedy walk in behind the audience. Robin was always kind and friendly. He never had an entourage and was incredibly approachable.
Undoubtedly my most treasured Robin memory was when he showed up at a screening of my documentary “Dying to do Letterman” when it was screening in Marin. Not only did he stay for the whole movie he came backstage and gushed about it afterward. The man whose movies I grew up watching was complimenting mine. Surreal. Watch Here.
I never had the privilege of meeting Joan Rivers but I always loved her humor. And I loved the way she made other people laugh. It was a different laugh–like they shouldn’t be laughing. It was caustic and in your face. I loved seeing my mom laugh when Joan hosted the Tonight Show. Every woman comic owes a debt to Joan Rivers. She earned the label comedian…not comedienne. She was as good as anyone.
Just as the angels in heaven get a pause from Robin’s non-stop jokes they will see Joan striding through the gates. I don’t envy their sides–they will be hurting for some time.
I’m in Canada right now and having a blast!
This is my second trip to make our neighbors to the north laugh, and everyone is just as nice as you hear.
But what makes this trip special are the shows that I am doing. Starting earlier this week and continuing over the next ten days I’m performing at a number of fundraising events. These are some of my favorite shows to do because we end up raising a bunch of money for some great causes and making a lot of people laugh along the way.
We started with a super fun show for the Alberta Cerebral Palsy Association, and followed up with a standing room only performance for a breast cancer fund in Edson (photo above). Next week we do some more cancer events as well as some shows for animal shelters. Obviously the cancer events are close to my heart (or more specifically my liver-ha ha) but truly all these fundraising events are an honor to perform at. I love making people laugh, and if it’s for a great cause, even better. Plus the audiences that come out for these events are amazing. They are equally supportive with their laughter and it’s always a fun night.
I see why so many groups are going the route of having comedy at their event. Everyone leaves happy!
Great story with a dose of perspective and inspiration from a lady at a show in Canada last week: After a show where I mentioned my history with cancer a friendly lady in her 30’s came up and said “I don’t know why but I have to share a story with you.” I know how helpful this can be for some people–and hey she had just listened to me tell jokes for an hour, so of course I said I’d love to hear it.
She took my breath away by starting the story by saying, “In the last year I’ve lost both my husband and my teenage son to cancer.” I was ﬂoored and told her how sorry I was, and that I can‘t imagine what that must be like. I was surprised she could still laugh at a comedy show. Or anything for that matter.
I told her that’s the hidden victims of cancer: people who have helped those stricken with the disease and then are left behind to continue dealing with we pain and memories of the sickness. Family and friends are the continuing survivors. That’s when she said that‘s exactly what her story was about.
This woman has another son who is 10yrs old. He and his mom are now left alone in the wake of the father and brother passing. I was even more heartbroken. The story kept getting worse, and my eyes were watering up with the sadness. Little did I know that a moment later I‘d be tearing up with joy and inspiration.
The woman smiled and said that her 10yr old asked her it they could start playing the lottery. She asked why, and he said he wanted to win and give all the money to cancer research. She said they started playing right away! I smiled big and said he‘s obviously a great kid. And that I hope he wins. But the story went on. The mom had to sell the house they lived in because they were obviously with much less income. They had to start making it on a single mother‘s salary. She was worried about selling the house in a tough market and also what effect it would have on her son to move out of the house and neighborhood he had grown up. Especially after what will probably be the worst year of his life.
The mom said she was so excited to ﬁnd out that the house had been sold and she shared the great news with her son. Her son then asked if they could give all the money from selling the house to cancer research. She said she laughed and started crying at the same time. I was now getting very choked up at the story of this incredible kid.
The mom explained to her son that they needed the money from selling the house to find a new place to live. He seemed to understand a little bit. Then he asked if they needed ALL the money to find a new place to live. Now I was crying as she continued the story, and so was she.
She told her son she’d see what they could do. In the end they gave $10,000 to cancer research. $10k! This was a small town I was in and I could tell from talking to the lady that they were of modest means. That’s a huge amount of money in ANY case, and I’m sure even more to these two remaining survivors.
The mom and I hugged and cried a little bit and I told her her husband must have been an incredible man to have a son like that. They were obviously great parents. Before she left I told her I hope that I get to meet her son someday. Truthfully I hope we all get to meet him, or someone like him.
But since hearing that story I‘ve walked a little lighter and smiled a little more just knowing there are people out there—10yr old kids out there–like that. It’s easy to forget but we live in a great world.