I have always been the funny guy. Class clown, office fool, family joker, village idiot…no wait a minute..I lived in a town, not a village.
It was a dare from Meredith, a co-worker that gave me the guts to try stand-up comedy. It was July 29th, 1991 at The Juke Box Café in Hauppauge, Long Island. Owned by WBAB DJ Bob Buchman. Talent Night was every Wednesday. Musicians, Magicians, Comedians, Jugglers, etc. Bring your talent for 15 minutes and win valuable prizes.
So I did it. I prepared 15 minutes, not knowing how ridiculous that amount of time is for a first time comedian. I had everyone from the office there to “support” me, or watch me crash and burn.
But I didn’t lay an egg. I killed. for 15 minutes. I even won 3rd place. My valuable prizes were a T-Shirt and a Bonnie Raitt cassette. But more importantly, that night I became a stand- up comedian.
I remember the drive home. Screaming in my car. “I am a comedian”. “I should be on Letterman by September.” “I can quit this lousy job by Christmas.”
Of course it doesn’t work that way.
22 years later, I am still waiting for Dave to call and I am still working the day job.
I quit a bunch of times, but always came back to the stage. Having been at it on a fairly consistent basis since 2004, I am happy with the success I have had. No big famous moments or TV appearances, but I have won a few awards, opened for some high profile people (Louie Anderson, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Ted Alexandro, Joey Kola), accomplished a 90 minute one-man show and gained some respect in this business that is rarely treated with respect.
Looking back, I am happy I took the dare.
I have many people to thank for my comedy career. (I can never say career without chuckling.)
Hats off to a bunch of folks. Thank you for your support and your belief in me.
Rick Morgan, John Ryerson, Gary Smith, Paul Anthony, Roger Paul, Donna Drake, Vince Dantona and George, Shawn Morrill, Chuck Weber, Keith Richard, Brian Cohen, Samantah Tetro, Mark Maningo, Mike Dillon, Tom Bellezza, Alan Streisfeld, Les Degen, John Santo, John Passadino, Goumba Johnny and all my comedian buddies.
This is starting to sound like a eulogy. I ain’t dead, or retiring.
I am having a blast.
The only time you fail is when you quit.
Here’s to 22 more years of waiting for that phone to ring.