As posted on Facebook today:
“Today marks my 21st anniversary as a “professional” comedian. November 26th, 1992 was my first ever comedy show with ComedySportz Kansas City, known today as ComedyCity. It was Thanksgiving that day. Dinner was done. We were settling in to a family game of Trivial Pursuit, maybe a movie later, when I got the call to don the blue (or red). My whole family and maybe another couple made up the entire audience that night! My family was my first real audience. Memories.
21 years! Holy Hell, where did all that time go? This certainly has been an interesting journey thus far. There was a time, not too long ago, that I would have rolled out a list of “I should have had that” or “I didn’t get this” and I can’t say for certain that those days are fully behind me. We all have those days. The truth is, I have lived! Now, some of it is self inflicted, most of it was accidental and all of it was both. Comedy has taken me all over the world. It most definitely has dragged my ass back and forth across the US a few times. I love it all. Hotels, airports, road trips, bad food, late nights, free wi-fi, early call times doing media drop-ins to some morning ‘zoo crew’ in Pittsburgh, rehearsing “skits” with a CEO of some mortgage company. I had a front row seat to 9/11 because Comedy (in a roundabout way) took me to New York the day before. Comedy enticed me to Chicago, transported me to Vegas and eventually dropped me off in LA.
Comedy hasn’t made me wealthy. It has made me rich in other ways. Because of Comedy, I have (as one friend phrased it) “texture”. Comedy birthed my alter-ego Velvet Tom GO VISIT THE NEW WEBSITE! (not a plug). Because of Comedy, I have friends, world-wide. I have lost a relationship or two along the way, but that wasn’t Comedy’s fault, it was mine. I have: taught, inspired, have been inspired, have been transformed, have helped to transform others all because we were celebrating the same thing. Comedy. You know, Comedy, that thing that takes the sting out of being paid a lousy salary. You know, Comedy, because after that minor car accident you realize “dent” is a funny word. You know, Comedy, because your loudmouth-conservataint brother-in-law has kinda got it coming.
I remember this day most of all because this will be the first Thanksgiving without my Dad. He passed away last month, and this was a fond memory I have of him. I’m glad he got to see me perform on many of occasions. I’m glad he got laugh at my jokes.