Sad news, People.
Before I start verbally noodling on about myself and my life I want to pay some respects. We lost two great comics this week. One was at the beginning of her career and the other was at the end of his.
Death is sad, tragic, but the death of someone young and seemingly in their prime is just unfair somehow. Lashonda Lester opened for me in Austin just a week or so ago on April 1st. I booked her on a video I saw. I did not know her. I had not met her until I got to the venue the night of the show. What I saw on that video was the real deal. A funny, authentic, hard working comic who had her own voice. When I saw her live, same thing, but I also felt that she was a good person. A big-hearted person. She passed away on April 6. She had health problems which she talked about in her act. That’s an honest comic. The best kind. It’s a great loss to the comic community. Would’ve been great to see what she would’ve done.
Don Rickles died last week as well. Don was old. Don was great. Don had a long, rich, life. Don was one of the funniest people I ever saw in my life. He was one of the guys that planted the seed in my brain that I think ultimately lead me to become a comic. I remember watching some hour special he did when I was a kid. He was on stage, talking to someone in the front row which I think was him dressed as an average guy. A split screen thing. My memory is fading in some corner. Don said, “Nice suit. Did that come with two pairs of pants and a yoyo?” I don’t know why but I thought that was hilarious. It barely makes sense. His timing was amazing, perfect. His intensity was barely hiding a rage that made him endearing. I used to look forward to seeing him on the Dean Martin Roasts. When he leaned in on the dais and spoke to an aging Jimmy Stewart at the other end and said, “Jimmy, we spoke to your family, you’re doing fine.” Killed me. Just so succinct. To dismiss Don as being insensitive or incorrect somehow is to fail to contextualize him properly, you hockey pucks. He was one of the best, if not THE best of his generation. No doubt. I loved him. I’m sorry I never got to talk to him. I tried.
The shows have been great out on the road. I brought old Dean Delray with me to Boulder and Denver this last weekend and we had a blast. Always good to travel with someone who is funny and, just as important, likes the same shit you do. We went record shopping, ate healthy shit, talked about music for two days straight. I’m trying to get this hour and forty-five-minute set I’ve been doing down to 70 minutes for my upcoming Netflix special taping in Minneapolis. I’m not there yet. I’m not sure I’m even trying that hard. I am arranging stuff into to chunks and trying to find a through line. So that’s a good sign. Not knowing what to cut because I like it is good problem to have. Come see the taping if you live in the Minneapolis region or even if you don’t. I’m doing two shows at The Pantages on Saturday April 29th. There are still some tickets available. I also have shows in Portland, Madison, Milwaukee, Philly and DC coming up. Go to wtfpod.com/tour for tickets to any of them if they are available.
Today I talk to Anne Hathaway. I was a little fanboyish bordering on inappropriate but I was very happy to have her over to talk. On Thursday actor Michael Chiklis and I catch up. He didn’t know that we share some geographical and people connections. Good talks.