I didn’t necessarily WANT to be, but thought I could!
I always appreciated silly – The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Abbott and Costello,‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’, Warner Brothers cartoons, Steve Allen. Ernie Kovacs. Then, as I grew up, my tastes moved to The Firesign Theatre and Monty Python. George Carlin was a god!
I remember returning from a long high school choir trip, standing in the back of the bus and mimicking Carlin’s first album for anyone who would listen. Word for word, intonation for intonation. The man taught me timing.
And then there’s Dennis Miller. “I haven’t seen choreography like that since the Lee Harvey Oswald prison transfer!” In his own words, “Viva la referencia obscura!”
I began considering doing stand-up comedy in my mid-twenties. After all, my good friend Biff Jannuzzi (who authored the one-act play about the Lincoln assassination ‘A Booth in the Back’), did it! Then, I met a friend of his, Tom (a buddy of his in the local little theater group), who changed my mind. I was quick, clever with a comeback, witty, and thought I was all that.
Tom was quicker, faster with a comeback and wittier.
So, Tom was a stand-up comedian? (You ask)
He sold used cars at one of those buy-here, pay here joints. Jake the Snake’s Garden of Gears! Down in the sketchy part of town.
His talent and ability was ten times mine, and he was selling cars.
It’s all a matter of perspective.
“A man has to know his limitations.” – Inspector Harry Callahan