I’ve been performing standup comedy since May of 1991. Technically, my career started in the toilet. I’ve been a guest on WZZO’s morning show with the Bearman and Keith for all of those 28 years. In fact, I’ve been with them longer then I’ve been going on stage. The sad passing of my dear friend, The Bearman, has been a difficult time for me and I want to do poetic justice to our friendship and how much The Bearman and Keith have helped me in my career and our friendships that transcend show biz buddies. My book, I have to write for myself and my family and friends more then I have to write it for the sake of comedians all seem to write books because that’s what we do to make some extra loot. I always imagined if I ever did write a book, it would need to have 300 pages of hilarity. Actual comedy bits. That’s not what my book will be about. The comedy I write, I write to perform on stage. I hope my book will be a colorful retelling of the twenty eight years worth of the amazing and horrible things that I happened in my career. The business of standup comedy, is quite horrible for the most part. There’s no standup comedians union. We’re pretty much on our own. More then a few very excellent comedians and a few amazing people have helped me in my career. I’m going to try to focus on not bashing those who have kicked me in the comedy balls. The double edge sword here is that the worst things that happen to us tend to be a better read then the best things that happen to us. So, fuck it. What’s the phrase?, GO BIG OR GO HOME! Well, I’m writing this from home and I haven’t been able to figure out how to go BIG yet. I can tell you that I’m not a fan of any of those phrases like GO BIG OR GO HOME or IT IS WHAT IT IS. Which always seemed to be a polite version of, You’re fucked and there’s not much you can do about it.
So, the point of this rant is quite simply just a reminder to myself to sit my lazy ass down and do the work of putting down on paper, the stories of my career. And I do have stories. My first phone calls into The Bearman and Keith at WZZO, we’re made from a bathroom in a screen printing shop that paid me all of $5.50 an hour. So yes, my career did start in the toilet.
I’ve been on MTV way back when they played music. I’m in the movie, For Richer For Poorer, with Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley. I’ve been on stage with Ian Anderson as part of his RUBBING ELBOWS WITH IAN ANDERSON TOUR. And yes, it’s the Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull. I’ve had the honor of having Chris Barron open two different shows for me for basically, what’s the phrase when a lawyer does work and doesn’t get paid? Oh well, that doesn’t matter. I’ve creeped on a YAKOFF SMIRNOFF family and friends dinner in a private room in a hotel where I was performing that night. And to be fair to me, the room was only private by virtue of a big curtain that didn’t close all the way. I’ve been on America’s Got Talent Season 5. Years before they started having comedians on for more then just a punching bag filler. I was on a show with Ron Palillo, (Arnold Horshack) when he was just trying his hand at Standup comedy. Ron didn’t have enough material to headline so he toured as an emcee! His manager loved me and sent me on a gig to the Catskills. I asked him if the resort in the Catskills knew I was an Amishcomic? Of course he said they did. I walked into the club and saw my headshot with an “O” drawn onto my sign. It said, “Appearing tonight, RAYMONDO THE ITALIAN COMIC”
I have stories to tell. I just don’t have them written down, I don’t want to record my telling of the stories and turn it over to a ghost writer. I wanna do it myself. Punctuation, misspelled words, poor grammar and run on sentences. How long could it take to write a book about twenty eight years in standup? Hopefully not another twenty eight years.