Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm At My Wits End

I'm at my Wits End

That's right, this week yours truly is doing his very first MySpace show. It's going to be at Wits End Comedy Club in Westminster (Denver) Colorado on Sunday May 28.

I have to admit I am looking forward to it and I am looking forward to meeting you, my friends from MySpace.

Generally as a comic people don't actually come to see me. They come to a club because they want to see comedy and I happen to be the "comic du jour". They have no idea who I am or what I am about. They just hear my name announced before I go on stage. I bet it takes them at least 15 minutes to decide if they even like me. Then another 15 to really "get" me. By the time I am finished they are just in a place they can really enjoy me.

You on the other hand should have a lot more fun. You already know something about me. Maybe we have exchanged some email. Maybe you have read my blog. Or maybe both.

It's going to be a great time!

I've been appearing at Wits End since I started doing comedy and have a lot of great memories. I thought this would be a good time to share one.

Wits End Comedy Club was opened in 1991 by George McKelvey and John Cooney. George left the club after a few years to continue to pursue his comedy career (he still performs) and Cooney stayed to run the club on his own.

Cooney had a reputation for being a real hard ass and seemed to be proud of it. Coming into Wits End was always a little unnerving for me. I never seemed to know where I was at when it came to Cooney. But to tell you the truth that made it a little exciting to.

So one of my first weeks as an opener was working at Wits End. It was May 1996 and I had been opening for about a half a year when I was put on a show opening for a comic name Jimmy Gilliece. It was my 2nd time at the club and I was still very nervous around Cooney.

Jimmy on the other hand had been a comic for quite some time. It was his 6th time at the club he had been coming there once a year since 1990. He was not worried about much of anything.

I can remember talking with him about comedy and feeling that he really had it all going. He was still touring then and had just bought the restaurant. He was having a great time doing comedy and was very good. The audiences just loved him.

So it had been a fun week so far and it was Saturday night. Jimmy had just gone on stage and a few minutes into his set I noticed that a couple of girls that were sitting in the front row were heckling Jimmy. Now this is not a good idea. Especially with a guy as good as Jimmy was.

He was in the process of slicing and dicing these girls when all of the sudden he took his glass of water and threw it at the girls, drenching them both. Every bit of energy that was in the room left immediately. You could hear the gasp and then nothing but silence.

The minute it happened I looked to the back of the room to see what Cooney's reaction would be. Lucky for Jimmy, Cooney had left. He did that sometimes during late shows. I was thinking that Jimmy had really dodged a bullet. If Cooney would have seen that Jimmy would have a BIG problem.

Well Jimmy spent the rest of the show trying to get the audience back but never had any luck. He even picked up the check of the girls in an effort to smooth things over.

But his luck ran out at the end of the show.

Cooney came back to the club just as the show was ending. He was at the door when the girls were leaving and they took him aside and told him what happened.

I watched as Cooney took a beeline to Jimmy and when he got there told him "Jimmy, I want to talk to you in the office". Well Jimmy thought he would be smart and told Cooney "Whatever you have to say it to me out here".

Well Cooney took him up on his offer and ripped his ass like I had never seen it done before. To his credit Jimmy stood there and took it all in. Then they went into the office to finish things up. I thought I would never see Jimmy again. I thought for sure he was fired that night.

The next night I came to the club fully expecting to have a different headliner. But there was Jimmy calmly waiting to go on stage. I didn't ask him what happen and he didn't say anything. As a matter of fact, I never saw him again after that night.

But I did do a search on the net before I wrote this story and found out he was out of comedy but stilled owned that restaurant. It looked like he was pretty successful at it to.

So in honor of Jimmy I'd like to leave you with a joke he told. I rarely remember them, but I liked his so much it has stuck with me all these years.

I really love my girlfriend. One of the things we did to be romantic was we bought a love candle.

Before we made love we would light it and it would burn while we were with each other. Then put it out when we were finished.

But I think something is wrong.

Because the last time I was gone for a week I came back and the candle was.....

A different color.

So there you have it, one of my favorite jokes.

I hope you can make it Sunday night and I tell you one that you will remember.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Jimmy passed away on Friday. He no longer did stand up or owned the restaurant but he was still a comedian until the end. Even when faced with death, he was still telling jokes.