Wednesday, April 11, 2007

cut, paste, laugh

Good friend and comic legend DJ Hazard has a nice interview over at Gothamist.

Here's a taste, a trip down Boston memory lane:

The Ding Ho was a crappy, moldy, dark and dank Western motif cowboy saloon/restaurant that was bought by Chinese restaurant guys. They didn't bother changing the decor. It was also the setting for one of the wildest periods in the history of comedy anywhere. Barry Crimmins, now one of the leading political satirists/activists in the country, talked the owner into turning the front room into a comedy club. A few weeks later, I had been doing some open mikes and Barry and I hit it off. He took me on as his assistant manager and as one of the house emcees.

A typical night? There was no lineup, other than who wanted to go where. Everybody was a headliner. Half the people on the show might be Bobcat Goldthwait, Paula Poundstone, Denis Leary and/or Steven Wright. The other half were people who were headliners at the time but never got famous or quit or whatever.

The show went forever. This was before we decided to have two or three shows a night, turning over the room. We would take an intermission and play this crappy transistor radio into the mike. Prior to that, we had a jukebox and fired that up at intermission. Then ASCAP or EMI or BMI or whoever shows up wanting royalties showed up wanting royalties. So, we got rid of the jukebox. It took up too much space anyway. I mean, people where hanging from the rafters every night.

Lenny Clarke might be the host in this quintessential typical night. He always went on stage with a boom box set on record, because he never knew what was going to happen or what he was going to say. In years to come, his 'polished' material...his body of work... was all stuff that he made up on stage at one time or another.

Lotsa booze. Yes, lotsa drugs. What happened when the show was over? More booze and drugs while we figured out who was hooking up with who that night. Since this is an 'every night' scenario... there might even have been be a fight. The owners and kitchen guys would leave. We had keys. We pulled down the shades and partied for most the rest of the night.