My Father once told me I would amount to nothing. I argued with him that wasn’t true. I went to law school, became an attorney then went on to become a successful politician. It was only then I realized he was right.
Of all the things my parents wanted me to become, I think the least likely was a comedian. Who could blame them? No one understands the mind of a comedian except another comedian. No one wants their son to work for five years while not making a dime, which is what I did when I started out in Hollywood.
I don’t know why I kept doing it. None of us do. It’s just that at some point we caught the bug. The fever. The disease. Suddenly there was nothing like telling a joke to strangers and making them laugh. I don’t know why. None of us does. All we know is that there is no better rush than having strangers think you’re funny.
I really didn’t know I had that ability in until high school. I dabbled in drama in Jr. High, but never recognized my potential until I started doing improv in high school. I also performed in comedic plays, but that was so different than writing your own dialogue in front of an audience where you are the sole performer.
Interesting enough, I never even thought about doing stand up comedy until I was in my 20’s. On a dare, I went to the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, where a friend set me up with a showcase. Turned out it was a talent show and I won! I had no idea what I was even doing. I had never before even stepped inside a comedy club.
Little did I know that it would become an obsession which would dominate the next 30 years of my life. I could do nothing that didn’t involve stand up comedy. I even started a comedy school down the road where I trained hundreds of people to become successful comedians.
Many of my graduates are still performing today. I am so grateful for that. Once in a while I hear from some of them thanking me for helping them do what they wanted to do for a living. Believe me, I know how they feel. When you catch the bug, nothing else will do.
So whether I was performing for 10,000 people or one person, I always gave them my best. Why? Because they were the audience and there is nothing better than giving every audience the very best you have. Every time.
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