Wednesday September 11th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI/Rosemont, IL
Most of my days end up being hectic in one way or another, but today was the way I like it. If I had my way, it would be like this all the time. I had two comedy shows, and got to hang out with some good friends. This is exactly how I always thought life should be, but so often it falls short.
The first show was in Milwaukee this afternoon for the Milwaukee Retired Police Association. Someone from their group saw me do my “Schlitz Happened!” show at Northern Lights Theatre at Potawatomi Casino in April and recommended me to the committee. I’m delighted they did.
This is exactly the kind of group this show should be for. These people were city of Milwaukee police officers with a minimum age of over 42, and they got everything I was talking about. I had a bit of a slow start, because I don’t think they had ever had a comedian at their meeting before.
The situation of lights and sound is always an issue, and this was held in a Legion Post with no stage lighting per se. I was on the floor in front of them, and it was an adjustment to get settled in but once I did it went very well. The person in charge Wray Young couldn’t have been nicer, and said he’d like to have me back. I’d love to go back, and I will be much more prepared next time.
This audience was a little older, and that’s fine but I should have read them better. I tried to get laughs first, when in fact I should have told more stories. I figured that out part way through, and it made all the difference in the world. They are all from Milwaukee, and the more details I threw in the more they loved it. I don’t often have that luxury in an audience, and I totally exploited it.
There have to be a hundred groups like this of people who grew up in Milwaukee. They’re not necessarily standup comedy fans, but I know I can entertain them and make them laugh with this concept. I am really looking forward to going back to Potawatomi, and today it reignited my fire.
My friend and former student Russ Martin came out and did some time, as he was a former cop himself. He was a County Sherriff at one time, so I thought it would be appropriate for him to do a few minutes. We hung out afterward and had a meal. Russ is a really good guy, and despite the fact he’s older than me he really loves comedy and has the enthusiasm of a kid. It’s refreshing.
After that I drove to Rosemont, IL to headline a show at Zanies Comedy Club. That’s always a treat for many reasons. Not only is it a state of the art facility, the staff is top notch. The manager is Cyndi Nelson, and she’s one of if not the best in the business. Everyone loves her, and she’s an absolute peach to work for. She treats us all like stars, and dented cans always enjoy an ego rub.
Dan Carlson is there too, and that’s another rare treat. Dan is a very funny comedian, but chose to get into club management because he has a family and wants to stay in town. I totally relate to that situation, but it’s great to have him there because he sees things from the comic’s viewpoint.
The show tonight was a two boot ass kicker. There was a large group of construction people up front, and they were there to have fun. They were diverse, and that made it better. Several times I had to stop and let the laughs die down, and that’s about the best problem a comedian can have. I wish every day of life could be like this, but it’s not. Today was, and I loved every minute of it.