I get a few messages a week asking me when I plan on doing Stand-Up Comedy again. Truthfully, I wish the answer was tomorrow! Sadly, I don't have the time to put into it to actually be good at it. When I started doing it years ago, my life was a little less complicated. My Son was just a baby, I had a much smaller workload, and to be honest... it was the early stages of Jenn and I separating... so not being home was OK with both of us.
For those don't know the story, this is the shorter version of how I started getting on stage in the first place. Back when the show was Doc & Johnny, The Improv would bring comedians in weekly to promote their shows at the club. Doc would take every comedian... one, it made his day easier on a Friday... one less hour of the show to plan and execute... and two, The Improv would always give him a tab at the show, so he called be Mr. Big Time with his crew. The second one we didn't know until years later, but that will be part of the book I write about my road through radio once this is all over. The Improv would have local comedians handle the headliners that came to town, and they would usually emcee the shows that weekend.
I didn't get a lot of talk time on the show back then... Only so much air-time to go around... and I was the new dude on a show with two names on it... one of which was not mine. The studio was split into two rooms, Doc and Johnny in one room, with the guests, and me and our call screener in the other... with any other people that were there with the guest. The local guys that came with the comedians would sit on my side, and during commercial breaks we would talk and crack jokes. One of the locals that came in a lot was a comedian named Alex U. After a few weeks he was pushing to do Open Mic Night. I went a few times and watched... and I was working on learning to write jokes for the stage... a lot different than jokes on the radio. Alex was hosting Open Mic one Wednesday... and without me signing up... he introduced me on the Mic... I had no choice but to go up and do it.
After not completely bombing that first time, I kept at it... I was invited out to do guest sets for the headliners a few times. I entered a MySpace contest to do a 5-minute set with Bruce Bruce when he came to Orlando. I didn't think I would have a chance, but somehow, I won?! I remember getting the call at 11pm on a Wednesday while I was at the hospital with my then 2-year-old son who had a high fever... telling me I was opening the show that Friday night at the Bob Carr in Orlando. That set went really well, and I started doing more nights at the Orlando Improv.
Over the next few months, I did shows with some big names like Jim Florentine from Crank Yankers, and comedy legend Paul Mooney. Then I got lucky... one of my comedy friends had a gig out of town and asked me to step in and MC the weekend and open for Tracy Morgan... TRACY- GD - MORGAN. It was one of the most fun weekends of my life... I got to do 6 shows with him... and hang out before, between, and after the shows. He gave me pointers... helped me work out my bits... and just hung with me like a friend for 3 days. We hit the bars every night after the show... Chris Tucker even joined us one night. That was the weekend that for a few days, Tracy Morgan had me thinking we were going to go on the road and do big things.... I will tell that story on an episode of my podcast...
Going though old videos, I found a video of one of my sets from that weekend. It was from the old Improv Downtown... which one of the best rooms to do comedy anywhere... The quality is just OK... and keep in mind some of the bits were more relevant 14 years ago when I did them... and THERE ARE SWEAR WORDS!!!
Not for nothing... I still think this is a solid set!