Friday November 8th, 2013 – Chicago, IL
It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten a chance to enjoy one of my all time favorite comedians Bobby Slayton, but tonight was the night. Nicknamed “The Pitbull of Comedy”, there’s no better example I can think of of someone who is the exact opposite of the persona he portrays onstage.
I noticed the same thing when I used to be a pro wrestling ring announcer in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Without fail, the biggest villains in the ring were always the nicest people outside of it. The good guys were always the ones you had to watch out for. Outside the ring, they were the slimy ones.
Onstage, Bobby fits his persona perfectly. He has a gravelly voice, and he prowls the stage like a pit bull would prowl a junkyard looking for intruders. He has a razor sharp wit, and he pulls no punches as far as language or subject matter goes. He is the quintessential nightclub comedian.
I’ve always been a fan and student of standup comedy, and Bobby brings a lot to the table. His act is a clinic on how to work an audience, and I was hooked the first time I saw him years ago at the Zanies in Vernon Hills, IL. I had heard of him years before that, and he’s one of the very few that lived up to the hype. I was impressed when I first saw his whole set, and was again tonight.
He does so many things well, and always has. He does crowd work like few others I have ever seen, and that’s a craft all by itself. He also is great with callbacks, and he knows how and when to use them. His act is well structured, but there’s also room for going off in different directions.
Bobby is also an accomplished actor, and has had sizeable roles in several big movies and TV shows. He’s been at it even longer than I have, and he continues to tour as much as he can. He’s feeling the pinch of the economy like most entertainers are, and we talked about that afterward.
We as comedians are usually too busy working on our craft to have time to plan a career, but it can’t be overlooked. We enjoy doing the shows, but everything else just saps our energy and is a huge pain in the ass. Bobby is very much like me in that he tends not to edit his intimate thoughts and that has gotten him in trouble just like it has me. He’ll tell it like it is, and pulls no punches.
Unfortunately, there are some people who are not fond of that personality style. Often those are the ones who are in charge of deciding who gets breaks in the entertainment business and it tends to be a problem more than it doesn’t. Bobby chooses to do a style that doesn’t please everybody.
I think it’s great that he does, and he does it extremely well. There’s an art to pulling off an X rated show, and precious few can do it. That’s why I enjoy watching Bobby work whenever I’m lucky enough to have the chance. He is a master of so many skills, and they all come together at once in his act. I never get sick of watching any true craftsman work, and Bobby was on tonight.
He rocked both audiences as he usually does. Afterward we had a chance to sit around and talk about the state of the business today, and we both agreed it’s rough out there. We have to stay on top of it even more than we’ve already had to for decades. Bobby still loves to perform, and he is among the elite of his peers anywhere. I watched and learned, and realize that there’s still a lot to improve in my own act. That’s what makes it still fun. Enjoy Bobby at www.bobbyslayton.com.
|Bobby Slayton - onstage he's known as 'The Pitbull of Comedy'.|
|Don't tell anyone, but offstage he's a total pussycat. SHHHH. I don't want to ruin his reputation.|
|His Showtime special is hilarious, but see him in person whenever you can. He's one of the best there is. Period. www.bobbyslayton.com|