8/9/2015. Ten Years In Comedy.
Ten years ago today, 8/9/2005, I did stand-up for the first time. Stand-up *Comedy* that is. I need to clarify that because I was recently made aware some people may get confused into thinking I was a paraplegic that a decade ago walked for the first time and for some reason I’m crediting comedy for this miraculous turn of events.
I’m not gonna get into the details of my first stand-up experience. I wrote about that in a Facebook note I posted five years ago (https://www.facebook.com/notes/470043917064), but I do want to thank one person in particular today.
Kerry White. All the people I’ve thanked and will thank this month come in no particular order, except for Kerry. There’s a reason he’s also the first person I thank on my album as well. I wanted to thank him particularly today because there’s really no other person I owe more for the fact that I’m still doing stand-up comedy. He took me on the road when I was nowhere near good enough to be opening for him let alone featuring, but he was always a ballsy enough motherfucker to not care if the comedy club booker, or even the audience, liked me. He just liked something about what I was doing and that was good enough for him.
The guy was a beast on stage too. I lost count pretty quickly of how many times I bombed opening for him and dug a hole so deep Kramer would’ve been embarrassed for me, yet every single time he would pick the audience back up and demolish. Kerry was a great friend to me off-stage and an inspiration on it. To this day I’ve never worked with a gutsier, more fierce comic than him, and it bums me out every time I’m reminded he doesn’t do stand-up with the same regularity that he used to. If I’m able to deal with a lot of the less-than-perfect situations you’re constantly presented with when doing comedy on the road (faulty equipment, bad lighting, noisy bars, hecklers, uptight assholes, religious conservatives, liberal cunts) it’s because of all the experience I gained in those early years opening for him at dive bars and rock clubs, from Florida to South Dakota, and watching him master every situation we encountered.
The bottom line is if Kerry hadn’t lent me a hand and supported what I was doing in those beginning years I would’ve likely never quit my day job, and never had the balls to commit to comedy as a full time job. So I guess what I’m trying to say here is, thanks Kerry, you’re the reason I’m broke.
If you’ve never seen Kerry perform I recommend going on YouTube and watching whatever few clips might still be up there. Here’s one I actually remember recording myself: