WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 106 · 8 months ago

#106 Jan McInnis - Comedian & Speaker - BrianVee WhyWeWork


Jan McInnis is a comedian, keynote speaker, comedy writer, and author, which is how she earned the name "The Work Lady". Jan has toured the U.S. and has written jokes for the Tonight Show and other syndicated programs. Jan helps people bring humor into their professional lives.

Contact Info

Jan’s Profile
linkedin.com/in/janmcinnisJan's bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Jan-McInnis/e/B003NZ571Q?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1612495831&sr=1-1

TheWorkLady.com (Company Website)
ComedyEmcee.com (Company Website)
HealthComedian.com (Company Website)

800-492-9394 (Work)




"Hi there, I use what I've learned as a comedian to help business leaders deal with change and enhance their communications, and I do it all with high energy and lots of laughter. Check out my keynotes below. I've shared these with thousands of organizations - from the Mayo Clinic to several of the Federal Reserve Banks, and just about everything in between: Health Care, Education, Safety, Hospitality, Financial, Sales, and Women's groups. Send me a note, I'd love to hear from you!

My Keynotes are:

CHANGE KEYNOTE: "Finding the Funny in Change" - I give unique and practical tips for handling change using humor. Groups learn how to diffuse tension instantly, kick off tough conversations, and facilitate communications during change situations.

LEADERSHIP & RESILIENCE KEYNOTE: "“Bouncing Back: Handling Setbacks with Humor & Resiliency” - Bouncing back. That's the key in life. Whether it's personally or professionally, we all hit bumps in the road when things go “not as planned.” Comedians know this more than anyone because they have a very high profile job. And when something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed fast and on the spot. In this fun and informative keynote, Jan offers tips and insights on handling life's pitfalls so you can move through these challenging situations. Don’t let blunders and mishaps hinder your future success! This keynote is based on Jan’s book, “Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom From Two Decades of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs”.

COMMUNICATIONS KEYNOTE: Finding the Funny in Communications - I'm a comedy writer (written for the Tonight Show monologue, radio, greeting cards, CEO's, etc) and I'll show groups how to put humor into their business communications so that they connect with clients/coworkers, keep people engaged in what they are saying,sell their products or services and stay memorable.

Cubicle Comedy & Emcee - this is for groups that just want to sit back, relax and laugh. My clean humor focuses on work, family and day-to-day life. I've been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, and the Washington Post for my clean humor.

I'm also author of 2 books "Finding the Funny Fast: How to Create Quick Humor to Connect With Clients, Coworkers, and Crowds" and Convention Comedian: Stories And Wisdom From Two Decades Of Chicken Dinners And Comedy Clubs."

I enjoy what I do and it shows!


Let me know how I can help! My email is . . . Jan@TheWorkLady.com" (LinkedIn)

Welcome to why we work with your host,Brian V. As he speaks to people like you from all over the world as wetogether dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seeminglymissteps, hopes, warnings and advice which will be an encouragement to usall to get up, get going on and keep on working. Working is tough, but workingis good. Now here is your host to why we work. Brian V. Um, Brian V. And thisis why we work today. Have the great pleasure of speaking with JanMcGuinness. Also known as the work lady. Jan is a comedian, keynote speaker,comedy writer as well as author. Today I want to find out from Jan. How can webe funny in the workplace and not fall into the gutter? Keeping it clean asJan does in her comedy? Join me today in my conversation with Jan the WorkLady McGuinness, I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the greatpleasure. Speaking with Jan McGuinness, the work lady. Good day. Fine lady. Hi.How are you doing, Brian? I'm doing wonderfully well. Thank you for comingon here. I really appreciate your time Jan. For people that don't know who youare, what industry are you in? And can you tell us a bit about you and I werejust talking about some of the things you're doing now. What is it thatyou're doing now? Well, and I'd like to thank you for saying the work, ladybecause I have been introduced as the working girl. That is a whole differentprofession. I'm a comedian, all right? And I do the work late because I do alot of work jokes, and I, um, people can't spell McInnis. So I figured Ihave to come up with something. So I came up with the work lady for thewebsite, and that's kind of what I go by on occasion. Um, so I'm a comedianand comedy writer, keynote speaker of author, you know, stay at home with the dogs. Right now.Yeah. Today nowadays is tough on many industries, but comedy for surgeon? Yes. I had a lot of stuff book for lastyear. My last out of state last gig was on actual stage was on March 7th lastyear, and I had a lot of stuff booked. It moved most of it moved to this year2021 1 or two moved to next year. Um, so we're hoping for a good spring andeverything lightens up here. I'd like to see that stats on saying Netflix orYouTube and the number of people turning to comedy. Because over thelast few months I've turned to comedy and I don't know the secret desire.Don't Sorry, I don't mean to insult your industry by being a comedian righton. And I know everybody says I'm funny. I should be a comedian. I'm not funny,but e wonder how many people turned because of being locked in Andunfortunately for comedians. Although, as you said to me a moment ago thatyou're still able to do some keynote speeches online and stuff, it's stillnot quite. I mean, the idea of going out right, being out and seeing, seeingcomedian or for you being on stage and getting that feeling from, I wonder howmany people are. Actually, there's a new if there's a new interest in comedy,a new appreciation for because I know I have it myself. Sure, I think I thinkentertainers in general have really helped out, You know, we've got the wegot the health care workers. We've got the front line, you know, grocery storeworkers. But then after that, we've We've got people like, you know,they're helping our mental health, which I think are the comedians, singer,songwriters, filmmakers, all the entertainment folks and probably thepark service. All the all the state national local parks that are open andletting us get outside and get our...

...mental health. Uh, together. So, um, Ihopefully people have gotten a new appreciation of going out to not justthe big blockbuster stuff and big concerts, but they go out and see somelocal talent during the week when things open up. Yeah, I certainlydiscovered this newfound interest, and I wish I had the opportunity to go to aclub, right and goes to listen. Thio, listen to anyone's to get up there,because when you start to understand which I've seen some things on Netflix,the the dedication it takes on your part toe to write a joke. Maybe youcould even talk about that the process and then getting your set and thenbeing up there and having that that sort of special moment, right? I'll say,I'll say that doing these virtual are fun, but you're talking to yourcomputer. And the hardest part for me is afterwards you turn the computer offand it's sort of let downs like, Whoa, you're not talking audience members.You're not interacting. You're not running to the airport. Um, so that'sthat's kind of the weird part about the virtual stuff aside, you know, laughsduring it, but certainly you're going to get used to just having fun in yourown head. But then you have writing the jokes. You know, it's really hard tofigure out. Uh, if something's funny if you've written. I mean, I've writtenmaterial over the cove it, but there is absolutely no way to try it out. I'vehad people who wanna be comedians. Contact me. That's a great startwriting. But the this is the Onley job where you really have to to learn bytrial by fire, you have to get on stage and do it. Um, you know, you can't. Youcan read books and practice in front of your mirror, but you've got to get upthere and learn your timing and your stage presence. And, um, if the jokeseven work, I write a ton of stuff and it always shocks. May you know, youwrite jokes and you think, Oh, this is gonna just hit great and nothing Andthen you kind of throw out of line or you're kind of talking or you're a jokethat you didn't think was that big. A deal kills. It's really Ecevit's. And Italked to some other comedian friends about that once we were all togetherwriting, and I think we came up with maybe two out of 10 jokes that youwrite really Hits is, has some legs on. It's going to stay something like that.It was really amazing, and they were all having the same experience thatit's not Everything is funny. Um, you know, certainly you could right intoyour character. And if you're things that you say with your persona or funnyon stage, do not funny on paper. But the process is Ah is really stoppedright now, when there's not a lot of back and forth, it would almost be likebeing, ah, scientist or someone that's making medicine and stuff, and you haveno patience to give it to right? You're making all these thes wonderfulmedicines and like, but I can't give it to anyone. So you're like, I don't know,testing on yourself. I'm still here and right now, and you know, I'm doingkeynotes and I slide in a joke here, there. But you have no clue. And it waslike for me also, when I'm doing material, the new material, the firsttime I get out of my mouth is sometimes it doesn't really get the big laughanyway, because you're just kind of forming it and seeing how it works, yougot to tweak it here and there once while joke just hits off the bat. But alot of times, you know, it takes a couple of tries to get it out there. UmAnd then there's the jokes that we try over and over, and then they don't work.They don't work. You let him go for six months to try him again. And yearslater, you're like, I got to get rid of this joke. But there's something there,you know, you just won't give up on it. But right now we're on kind of thistreading water pattern waiting toe. Um, I think you know you can run it pastfriends, but it's really you need the audience. Oh, here, here he comes. Orhere she comes with her joke trying to test your neighbors like, Oh, no, I'lltell you, I learned a long time ago when I first started out. Don't run itby friends, because if it doesn't get a...

...laugh, if you're just trying to throwit into a conversation and then it just sort of like, Oh, maybe it wasn't funny.Um, And you never want your friends to go to tell you what's funny. You don'tsay, Hey, what do you think of this? Because a lot of times, if you're noton stage or not in the moment, you're not You're not performing it. Itdoesn't come out funny anyway. So, you know, I just shy away from doing any ofthat stuff and and nobody I have to say friends really don't want. I want youto be on all the time. That's no fun for anyone. We've all been around thosepeople that are always have to be on and always have toe, Um uh, pop offwith jokes, and it's annoying. You know, my friends, they're like, Wow, Jan, youreally This is really like a job for you. You don't You aren't always on. Ifif you met me on the street, you wouldn't in the airplane People askwhat you do, you know, they're shocked because you're not sitting down talking,throwing out lines and all that. It's it's annoying. Yeah, I think it's oneof the hardest professions to be in, to sit, to have someone sit in front ofyou That's a comedian and say, Be funny. Uh, make me laugh. Yeah, yeah, well,you get that when you dio. Over the years, I've done hundreds of RadioState interviews and you know you have. Once in a while you get one thatdoesn't know how to really interview, and I'll be like, So tell us a joke.It's like, No, that's not how it works. You got you gotta, you know, I'll giveyou some setups. You know, in advance. I'll tell you, ask me about kids askingabout work, you know? And then then Aiken kind of throw it in casually inconversation, not tell me a joke. Make me laugh. I don't plan on being humoredhere. I want to get to the nitty gritty of the work lady. So when did the worklady become the work lady? As a teen or preteen? What was your first job? Jam?My first job was Gosh, I worked at a retirement slash nursing home, Myfriend. You want to know my first job job? My first comedy job? No. 1st 1stjob, maybe selling lemonade, delivering newspapers, baling hay. I did. I had a newspaper out. I think Imade one or two cents of paper and we It was hundreds of years. EveryWednesday, my brother and I had it. Oh, I think I was, like, 12 or something.Yeah, I was trying to think if I did anything to make money, I know. And I,you know, no. Did the newspaper route when I was. I guess 16 was when we'reallowed to work, I did the nursing home slash retirement home. It was a newconcept back then to put people into thes, um, sort of not. They weren'tnursing home type thing. They were sort of Ah, what we now you would go in ifyou like 65 or 70. You don't really need help. But you wanna kind of acommunity? Yeah. And they had a They had a memory care function to it, butit was a sort of a people could move in. If they were in their apartment, theycould live on their own on. I wouldn't exchange. I was 16. Why? Why did you dothat? I mean, even the newspaper route. What got you out of the house to dothat? My my mom wanted us to get a newspaper out. She want us to dosomething, Make start making some money. I did. Baby City, too. I hated it. Ididn't, uh I'm not a kid person. I did do some baby sitting. Um, didn't enjoythat. And the newspaper out, My mom just wanted us to start earning somemoney and get moving. And so I think she kind of set it all up. And we gotthis this route and we had it for for a few years. Yeah, as you got intocollege or story as you got into high school, Did you start thinking aboutcollege? Did you think about a career? How old were you when you startthinking about what possibly could have been your future. Well, uh, gosh, goodquestion. I think since I was a kid, probably tenor nine or 10. I wanted tobe. I thought about being a comedian. I never told a soul. I never told a soul.I just thought You gotta work. My dad...

...didn't seem to like his job very much,so I thought We gotta do something fun. Calm. I was never the class clown.Nobody ever. Only one person came up and said, you know, they have thesuperlative senior year of high school. Um, like, best dressed and mostathletic. And I'm better than you. My friend Judy came up S o Do you know,sometimes you say funny things, so I'll put you down this funniest eso I gottwo votes being Judy, but in my class reunion a couple of years ago, Judy isthe only one that came up to me and said, Oh, you're comedian. That'sperfect. Everybody else is like, really You weren't that funny in high school.You are you still living at home with your parents? Uh, but so I wanted Ithought it be fun. E thought you gotta work. Okay, I'll be a comedian. But Ididn't tell anyone because nobody said I was funny. Nobody. So it's kind of inthe back of my head. I went to college. It didn't really know what I wanted todo besides that. And remember graduates. What did you take in college? I wascommunications major with a minor in psychology. Went to Virginia Tech.Loved it. Have fun. I remember thinking I'm gonna have a job with travel. Iremember walking across campus thinking I'm going to see these friends. We'regonna head off into different parts of the world. But I'm going to say becauseI'm gonna have a job that maybe I'll be a comedian. Maybe I'll travel. But Ireally didn't have any direction. And there's no college course to be acomedian. There's now people have courses they wanted you to take to be acomedian, but there was no path. You know, if you wanna be a doctor, there'sa way to do it. Lawyer. But as a comedian, it was there was no path andand I guess I waited for permission for a while, waited for people to say youshould do it But I never told anyone I want to do it. And graduation night wewent to dinner to celebrate my graduation with my family. I rememberlooking at my parents and thinking now is not the time to tell him I wanna bea comedian. Eso I did. I went into a market. I stumbled, literally stumbledinto different jobs. So did you secretively write any jokes from theage of 10 on? You know what I did? I had a diary, andI used to watch sitcoms out of the time and I would write my ideas for sitcoms.And I remember one time my brother stole my diary and thinking he's gonnafind all my secrets of the boys I loved and this and that he When he read it,he came back to me with this look on his face like you are weird. It's likeit was a diary that was not and nothing he expected. This is he just gave itback to me. It's like this is nothing I can use against you and that. So I kindof wrote stuff and I did throughout my early jobs write down things I thoughtwere funny Bond, which turned into be some of the jokes that I started offwithin a couple that I still have in my act today. When did you first take thestage? As a comedian. I had some starts and stops. I had I started. I guess I'ddone my day job. You know, the eighties was the big boom in comedy. Well, I did.I wasn't doing stand up. Then I was had a day job. I believe I went thio. Itook a class, and, uh, it was just one of these little open university classesyou consign up at night and we had to do a final for the class. And so I, umI wrote some jokes, and I know what I know what I did. Actually, before thatin the eighties, I went on stage once and had an open mike had a great Howlong was your set? I think that's a five minutes comedy comedy question,right? Like how long was it? Okay, Yeah, 3 to 5 minutes. Remember? I, uh butmaybe three minutes finished up. I was so freaked out by the lights because Ican't see anything. It looks like you can see Can't see anything. And I wasso that was so foreign to me. But people are laughing. It was great thatI walked out of the club and the...

...professional comedian that was therethat night. He was emceeing the open mic Er's He followed me out and said,Will you please do this again? Please? You were really good. Please do this.And I waited seven years. I missed the whole eighties Boom. I was so freakedout. So then I took a class and I got, um, way had to do a little five minutething. This is seven years later, six or seven years later. Five minute thingthat said, uh, comedies comedy thing and I did great. The instructors, wifeand his girlfriend were the judges, and they they loved it and they came up tome and they're just like, you gotta try this again. And so then I still didn'tdo it. Then this Jay Leno, in the nineties early nineties, 91 92somewhere around there had something called the Jay Leno Comedy Competition,and what he was trying to do is find a comedian. He was having all thesecompetitions at comedy clubs around the country to find a comedian to be onthis show. So you have to send in a tape, its first to the TV station. Andthey were in every state, in every every city. It was massive. Many, manycomedians got their start with this and are least got on stage. Well, I Ithought okay was I had to have the tape postmarked by the day afterThanksgiving that Friday, and I didn't have an act. I mean, I had a few jokesI've had from the class the year before and 87 years earlier. So I I thought,Well, it's the day after Thanksgiving. My family's funny. I go to Thanksgivingdinner. I'll write some material. I didn't know you took a long time towrite material. I didn't know anything going home for Thanksgiving to do someresearch. Yeah, I waas and I was at the time I lived in Virginia, so my parentswere in Virginia, so I didn't have to go very far. Well, nobody was funny atThanksgiving. Nobody was funny. And so I remember going home that night andthinking, Well, I've got no material. I have to have this postmark by tomorrowat five. So I went to bed. And the weirdest thing, Brian, this is Ibelieve the universe pushes you to different things. I had I still have mymarketing job at the time, and I I've been going to a lot of trade shows andthey give you, um, at the time, the big giveaway gift was an alarm clock. Inever used them. I threw him in the in this, um Ben, I had next to my bed, andI never used an alarm clock to wake up. I never needed Thio that next morning half a dozen alarm clocks went off. Itwas May at 7 a.m. And I by the time I found, got them off and they had nevergone off. Never. And I was wide awake and I thought, Well, I'm also trying towrite some jokes. Eso I had borrowed my dads little mini cassette. I didn'tknow you're supposed to mail in a videotape. I did not. When they saidtape, I didn't I was so naive. I borrowed my dads mini cassette recorderand I wrote some jokes and walked around my living room and read theminto the recorder. I don't know. You're supposed to do it live. I I was so niceI mailed this in, Got it in literally 20 minutes for the postmark. You know,the next week the TV station calls May, and she said we've picked You're one ofthe contestants. We've got, uh, night in Maryland, the night in D. C. Tonightin Virginia. You're gonna be on the Virginia show. Uh, e I mean, there's alot you have to win that they need to win the state or whatever. But she saidI said, how many people entered this contest? E mean if you're calling me?She said we had over 100 people. You're one of the 10 that's gonna go toVirginia. I was I was floored. Okay, Floor. Tell me if I'm talking too long,but this is just great. So s So I said Okay, so they said it's next week. Sothe next week, the Maryland show was the first night, and I was watching thelocal news and the newscaster arch Campbell was broadcasting from theMaryland Comedy Club and I was watching it going, Okay, I've got to do my jokesin a couple days. And I practiced with...

...the light on in my face, you know,because I knew that was what scared me before. And Arch Campbell said, We'rehere at this comedy club in Maryland. There's a contest to be on the TonightShow. We have professional comedians vying for a spot, and I jump straightout of Bedouin professional. I would have done this once. I had a class.I've been on you tube, but like I was freaked out. So we So we get there.Finally, that night comes and my only goal was to not be the worst. I justthought Okay, if I get is hanging and not be the worst, you know, I'll savesome face. Well, I got there and there was the other comedians. I I literallyknew nothing about it. And they got how this works. They said, Well, we'regonna drop way. Wanna pick spots? You know, I was so naive. I said, Well,take spot four. I didn't know they they all looked at me like I'm an idiot.They go, we draw numbers. Jan, you can't just pick a spot. I was soembarrassed and I said Okay, Okay. And I ended up getting number four on, andI ended up. I went on stage and I wasn't awful. I was I was pretty good.I got I had some good and bad moments, but it went well. I have One friend ofmine showed up. I only I told my friends do not show up. My one friendshowed up Cheryl and with her husband and they they enjoyed it. And I had awoman come up to me afterwards. Said, you gotta do this again. You really doa woman. I didn't even know who she waas. The next day, I'm in the office.I'm thinking, Okay, that was That was good. Next time in the office and myoffice mate comes in and she goes on, they just see the newspaper. And I said,No, she goes, Well, you're in it on. They had they had written up me in oneof my jokes as well as other contestants. They said some of thecontestants were good, but a little uneven, like McGuinness. And they putin one of my jokes, Uh, Nobody could get the paper after that because Ithink my mom bought up all. Yeah, but I was floored, so I still I'm stillBryant. I waited one more year. I'm literally This is ridiculous. And but Ithought I'm just not I've no entertainment background. I you know,this is it. I'm not I'm not a comedian. So finally, I couldn't get the bug outof my system. So the next January, I thought, I'm going on one last openlike this is it. This is done. Get that. I am a marketing person. This is andI'm not doing this. I went and opened my local club in D. C. The Comedy Cafe,A room, A very good room And, um, I had to do. I walked in and we drew numbers.I was number one. I was member freaking out, and I do not wanna be number one.Some poor guy traded before me for number four. Never saw him again.Probably was number one. And I went up and and I had to dio five minutes. Igot through three minutes rocking just. And this is the same club I had been atseven years earlier for the open. Mike just rocking. And I remember when thisvoice in my head said, You can't remember the rest of the year. Fiveminutes Just get off the stage. You're doing really well. So I got off thestage and I'm sitting there having a little sea salt in my head about Igotta do this. No, your market. I gotta do this again. No. And the emcee tappedme on the shoulder and he said, Call Pat tomorrow. So who's path? He saidshe books this place. She saw your act. She wants to give you some EMC work andit if you ever, ever had epiphany that was mine. I literally walked out on airwalking, thinking This is what I'm doing the rest of my life. I don't knowwhere it's going. Take me. But I'm doing this. I'm going into a full time.I'm gonna make a career. And I I did. I ended up getting work with Pat. Shebooked me for that room at a room at the EMC, and I kept my day job about2.5 years after that, working all nights and weekends in comedy clubs andfinally I left my day job and did it full time. It's 25 years later since Ileft my job. That's amazing. Yeah, it was. So Maney starts and stops and somany things happened, and, uh, it just kind of pushed me into it. Did you make a conscience consciencedecision to stay clean because you are...

...renowned for having a clean act and,you know, there's some people that have there does. There's some people thathave clean acts, but the more popular ones are not clean. And then even theones that air clean kind of push the envelope to where the suggestive aspectof it just makes it not as clean, not knocking them, but did. How was thatprocess for you in making that decision? Well, I always tell new comedians newif you If every other word you say is cuss word and you are dirty and youwant to talk about sex or drugs or rock and roll, you know you're going to doit. You mean you're not gonna work the places I do, But you gotta be you.That's what people pay for us to see you, Uh, you find the punchline Ifyou're clean, I mean, you have to find a strong punch line because you can'tuse a f bomb to find it. Um, you to punch it up a little bit, You've gottoe have a good, good, good punch line. Um, I just wanted that's kind of how Iam. I mean, I do cost everyone stubbed my toe or whatever. Get mad. Sure, likeus and I don't have anything wrong. See anything wrong with comedians who cussor dirty as long as it's funny and there's a punch line for me. I wantedmy family and friends to be able to come out and not be embarrassed either.And I don't wanna talk about I just you know, I don't wanna talk about certainthings on stage, and I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. I also wasvery, very fortunate Brian at the beginning of my career, um, working inthe marketing world, I first of all, my marketing materials were way betterthan my act at the beginning, but also I was able to see the corporate market.I remember having a putting together a big business convention for majorcorporations and we hired entertainment. We heard the Capitol steps out of whoin the singing comedy troupe Out of Off of Capitol Hill. Very funny. And Iremember handing them a check for at the time, and this is 30 years ago. Itwas like 10,000 bucks. And I remember thinking, Wow, they're making a lotmore than I make in comedy clubs on their clean And there, you know. Andthere's a corpse. There's a whole market here of conventions and I wouldtell say that the comedians, they're like, No, no, I was just Christmasparties messing. No, I think there's more here. So I kind of went that. Knewthat a new of that, or knew there was something else out there besides comedyclubs. I love the clubs. They're freeing, and you can do what you wantand say what you want, But I kind of like the convention market. Well, doyou have the temptation to kind of push the line, though? Is there? Is therethat sort of thing? You could see where this joke can go? You can see you know,the difference in the convention market is you know, the person who's drunk andbeing a jerk to you might be the CEO who's paying right in your check so youcan't go after you just can't the comedy clubs you can and I have. I mean,I've had some dicey jokes, so when I started out because you do these bargigs and sometimes you have to just go into him a little bit. There was noFacebook or iPhones back then. Nobody could, you know, yeah, fill me and thenput it on Twitter and ruin my career. But I was never even even the dice isdivided. Say a cuss word or kind of get me that someone. It wasn't it wasn't Ifelt like it. Sometimes I but really, you know, my act was neveralso one that people feel like they want to scream stuff and yell and bemean and try to get into it with the comedian. It was never one of thosekind of acts, so I never really had a lot of hecklers and had to deal withstuff where I felt like I had, you know, cover my territory or whatever is there.Is there some comedians that you look to just to see you Like how they dotheir act, each and every time a fan of...

...or you emulate. Well, the ones I reallylike. Um, John Payne, unfortunately passed away recently. A couple yearsago, I guess. Very funny. Kathleen Madigan's very funny Jim Gaffigan. Veryfunny. Um, e you know, I was like some Jay Leno. Rodney Dangerfield. I likethe jokes like the joke joke joke. I do 3 to 4 jokes a minute. Kind of likethey dio, um, set up punch. You don't like this. You'll like this. You'relike, you know, keep going, type of thing. And that's what always made melaugh. So that's kind of that's kind of old school style, but that's what I'vebeen. I've enjoyed E discovered Jim Gaffigan most recently, and oh, he'sgreat. Yeah, they keep you started. I think he started. Um, he was ahead ofme, obviously when I when I started out, but I think he started by saying he waslike a satyr. He looked like a Saturn car owner. He got kind of known. Ithink he's the comedian that started that. So I kind of got people on boardwith the everyday dad look very funny guy. Really funny. I've enjoyedKathleen Madigan's great, um, like is a JonBenet I'm trying to think of.There's so many, um, funny comedians. I know that people have never even heardof, you know, the work in the road. They're working the clubs and they'revery good. And, you know, you don't get a chance. Toe people always look at thestars, and they don't really see the, uh the other people are making makingliving at. So as you're in the career, how did you realize you could pivotsome directions and make a living out of it as well? You were writing fordifferent things as well as being a keynote speaker on helping people tobring humor into the profession. Well, uh, the keynote came later. I did thestand up comedy. I was a comedian, and then I went I just finally had a pointwhere I had needed to leave my day job. I just couldn't do it anymore, so Ijumped off and went into stand up full time in the comedy clubs. I picked upsome writing gigs after that, just doing some freelance stuff. I have soldjokes to Leno's Tonight Show monologue. Guests on the Jerry Springer Show RadioTV cartoon strips indicated cartoons, greeting cards. I did a lot I justpicked up, you know, here and there. Just meeting people who haveconnections. Jerry Springer or Jerry Jerry Springer Show. I've sold a lot ofdifferent Uh, not not to Jerry Springer himself. Thio. Guess people e Isn'tthat show reality? I'm not gonna say they needed jokes, e.I think so. I don't know, you know? I don't know. I don't know what e didn'twatch. You know what? I wouldn't watch the episode. The person I sold thejokes, So I just said, I'm not watching the episode, All right? I'm not I'mjust you send me a check. So that was an injury. That was kind of a side.That must be even if you didn't watch it or listen to that particular thingbeing on the late night show, it must feel pretty good. Thio have written ajoke. Oh, it's fun. Yeah, It's, uh it's fun. It's fun that I wrote a lot ofradio stations around the country, uh, sold a lot of material. I'll be drivingaround the country and here the D j. You know, say saying one of my jokes, afriend of mine out here in L. A. Actually, one time we were talking onthe phone. She was, Oh, this D J. This morning said the funniest top list andshe starts to tell me about it. I said, You want me to read it to you? It's onmy computer. I sold it to him. I sold to And you know what I was when I movedout here, I was hanging out the Melrose Improv one night. It seems likeeverybody I knew how to deal like a development deal, you know, with one ofthe TV station CBS or ABC. I didn't have anything, and I felt really,really was feeling really bad about myself. I'm driving home that night.It's like 11 30 at night. I walk into my little studio apartment, flip on theTV, and there's Leno doing one of the jokes I sold him, and I'm like, Yea, Igot something. Eso It is fun. It is...

...really fun to do that. But the keynotespeaking came about 12 years ago, 10 or 12 years ago. I've been doing full time,left my day job 25 years ago. So 10 or 12 years ago, uh, people's 2008 or ninesomewhere in there groups wanted humor, But we were having a recession, andthey said, We can't justify just a comedian. We need a message. So I wroteone. I put together some key notes and and I'm really one of the onlycomedians I know that doesn't like working nights and weekends. I'd ratherwork during the week during Monday, 9 to 5 and keynotes were perfect. I mean,I was doing some comedy shows, usually breakfast, lunch, dinner. But thekeynotes were great and you're funny and people get a message and they getsome tips and and they just took off like wildfire. And so I was veryfortunate toe move into, uh, the keynote speaking. I do way more of thatthan I do stand up comedy. I was touring up until the Cove it I wastouring theaters with another comedian and the baby boomer comedy show. We'redoing our comedy acts, and I imagine we'll probably picked some of that upnext year or this fall. at the earliest. Um, but, yes, I got into keynotespeaking. He had helped me get into keynote speaking as well. And I love it.Just fun. You know, the groups are great. They're not drunk. It's not 11o'clock at night. You know, I'm doing I'm at lunch or breakfast or some ofthem. Uh, yeah, not enough. The conventions, not. I have not really hittoo many drunk conventions with my keynotes, but comedy I did at night Ihad a couple of comedy keynotes for for groups that they were pretty pretty outof control. You know, you just go up and think, Okay, this is a paycheck.I'm getting a paycheck. I'm doing, you know, doing some combat here. I thoughtthere might be some flasks and some of those suits I've worked for a couple ofdrunk clients that were just wasted. Not, you know, but what do you do youlike? Okay, just just let me get on stage. The worst are I think the thingI really don't do anymore, many of it I don't do it. I haven't done in a coupleof years, Aziz holiday parties, Christmas parties for because everyonenobody wants. The comedian gets pushed to like midnight because everyone'sdrinking and partying and dancing. And they just keep pushing you later. Later.And you're the only sober one in the room. And those, er those were hard. Iwas not enjoying those, so I interviewed Frank King. Oh, yeah, Frank.Thanks. One of the ones that got me into corporate comedy. Yeah, Yeah. Esohis messages. Mental health, right? Yeah. We're using comedy Azaz. Well,what is your specific message that you're bringing in with your keynotepresentation? I have to pretty popular. Keogh three. Actually, one is the mostpopular is called Finding the Funny and Change. How to use humor to handlechange they good one thes days on, then bouncing back, handling setbacks like acomedian. And then I've got one on communications finding funding,communications. How how dio use humor. It's more for sales. People use humor.Your message to get people to listen to you connect with you, remember? Youwanna listen to you? Do you have ah message for just regular people in workopposed to just sales people that to bring comedy into work to make? Yeah, Isee my finding the funny and change. I talk about how to use humor in changesituations, how to defuse tension with it. How? Thio kickoff. Toughconversations. So I've done this for every kind of industry. Healthcare, um,you know, finance. Uh uh, name any kind of education. You know, I've done itfor all, uh, any kind of insurance, um, to tell people how to use humor inbusiness. Um, because it really is a business skill. If you want to sit downand start a conversation or, you know, you just had a big, uh um, change. Ithappened in the office, and you're...

...gonna sit down to a staff meeting andnot address it. Guess what? Everyone staring at you. They think you don'tunderstand what they're going through unless you can find a way to address.And you could do that with you, work and pop in a little bit of humor.You've addressed what's going on and then kind of move on and break thetension and Oh, yeah, change the energy, change, the energy. You mentioned skill.And obviously it takes skill and talent and being communications. You had amarketing job. Some of those probably helped you develop your craft. Butthere's there's something even over the last few years, something you thatyou're really trying to hone in on on a skill, especially in comedy. A skill? Well, um, not quite sure, likeso I've learned from comedy something that it takes time to develop. There'ssomething that you need. I mean, it could be something like patients whereyou know, from one gig to and the other or crafting, crafting a joke and, youknow, just using different words or something who are listening of a skillthat might be necessary. Oh, you need to have for comedy. Oh, Lord, patientswill be one. When I first started out, friend Jeff Caldwell said, You know,there's a lot of waiting around in comedy, and that is the there. You'rewaiting around for the gig. He gets that gig you're waiting around to go on.There's a lot of waiting around. Then you gotta keep find some way to, uh,stay up and ready and to jump on it any moment. But the other skill, I think,is a resilience because there's a lot of things out of yourcontrol when you get on that stage. It looks easy. But that's only becauseeverything came together easily. You've got the lights and the sound. And theaudience is, uh, not drunk. And they've been focused. And you've had a goodintroduction. There are a dozen things that happened before you get on there.And so any one of those out of whack and you could have a bad show. Andyou've got to find a way to get yourself back mentally back on trackafter that bad show, because, um, you know, if you want to make a living atit, you've got to find a way to put that into a little box and move on. Anda lot of times when I'll, you know, I analyze it. Go. Okay. What? Um, whatwas it that went right? What was it that went wrong? What could I havecontrolled? And so a lot of times, there's not much. If I could havecontrolled, then you have really have to let it go and move on, becauseotherwise you will think about that every single time you walk into asituation. What is the longest? Um, take thatyou've ever done. How long have you stayed up on stage. What was thelongest amount of time? One particular done, like 2.5 hour keynote before abreak. But yeah, they wanted me to dio for comedy. Man. After a dinner, I tellpeople you want 35 45 minutes, tops. People are tired of eating. They'vebeen drinking. They want to go back to their rooms or to the bar they don'twant, You know, I'm not famous, so they don't want to sit here for a long time.But I've done, uh, usually comedies an hour, hour and 15. Probably the tops.But the keynotes have gone longer than that. How do you develop into 40minutes? How do you develop your act into 45? Maybe even an hour? How doesthat go from the initial putting a lot of one minutes together. A lot of callbacks. I do a lot of call backs to, you know, to something I said 20 minutesago on bond. So it's just crafting. I mean, it's just it's time. I mean,you've just got to sit down and write and, um, as you're on stage, if youcome up with stuff off the cuff. Be able to write that out, you know, andput that into your act. A lot of trial and error. I'll get you to build youract. You know, since you started as a baby sitter, newspaper delivery person,as well as in the nursing home. But...

...you've also switched careers. Do youhave any advice for people just getting in tow work, no matter what field it isand even getting into comedy? Yeah, I would say any regardless of field. Um,you gotta do it a lot. I would say cross pollinate. Look at otherindustries. You know, I am. Don't just think of yourself as a comedian, yourmarketing person to your in different industries. And you've got to find dosome of the tests you don't want to dio. Many comedians aren't, um, successfulbecause they don't wanna market. They are. They don't wanna do the PR work orthey don't. You know, they don't like to get on radio or podcast or they wantsomeone else to do stuff. Don't leave it to someone else to do it, especiallywhen you're starting out. When you get big and famous. Maybe, but not when youstarted out in any industry, do the things you don't want to dio makeyourself do them. Because if you just stay with your little, I'm gonna writejokes. There are there are so many very, very talented comedians. All they wantto do is write jokes, and that's fine. If that's and you want to stay at thatlevel and you know, right those jokes and get on the stage and do them at thesame venues and you don't wanna move, that's your prerogative. But you're not.If you want to move, you're gonna have toe broaden yourself a little bit. Isthere a mistake that you made in your comedy career that that that well,especially, I think if you if you're thinking about what you would have said,staying on the clean side of comedy kind of keeps you a lot safer than I'veseen someone last year who, like a YouTube uh, comedian, said somethingyears ago. They came back to bite her. Then she canceled. You know her channel,which had 25 45 million people on their something s. So the idea of so stayingin the safe lane or the clean lane. We'll keep you. But even there there'ssome issues You could say something just offhand where it could rub, but isit is a mistake that you made that it helps you carry through, and it justhelps you to learn from those mistakes. I'm in a lot of mistakes. I made a lotof mistakes. Yeah, I'm trying to think cause I'm working on ah, program fortomorrow about miss talking about some of my mistakes. I'm trying to think ofsome of the ones that I was just, uh, just going through my head. I think onething I did that was really a mistake and taught me a lesson was I pushed toohard to move too fast in comedy. I want one occasion. Ah, good comedian. I knowhis name is Lord Keret. That's his real name is out of New York. Gave me somegreat advice when I started as a comedian. He said stay is an M. C. Aslong as you can stand it because it's a low man on the totem pole. You know,nobody makes money that m. C. Nobody wants to be the M. C. And what happens,he says, is people EMC, and they barely have enough material to get to the nextlevel toe feature. Spot it xem. See feature headliner. You get in thefeature and then you're a mediocre feature. You can, you know M. C. Youneed 15 minutes of material feature. You need 30 35 you barely get tofeature, and you're just okay, so you kind of get you get stuck, he said. Jan.You got Stay down there. You'll you'll you can make your mistakes. Is the M. C.You can get really good at the EMC. You pull together to separate 15 minutessets, he said. Pull those together that are really good. I am seeing and blastthrough the feature spot and you'll hit headliner faster. And then that's whatI did. I took his advice, and that's what I did. One time I didn't beforebefore I ever got his advice, I pushed to be in that feature. I didn'tpush. I was offered a feature slot at a nice club and I took it and I shouldn'thave and it really, really had a bad, bad show, and I had relatives in theaudience which is always bad, and it was hard, but it reminded me that Hey,you know, this is a process. It's not gonna happen just because you want itto happen and you need more money. Eso...

...patients. But also don't don't pushyou'll you'll know. I mean, I got to the point where the club set there'sonly one or two clubs that weren't featuring me and I let those go. I'mlike, you know what? They they aren't seeing it. And I'm doing great. Andthen I blasted to feature and got into headliner. And then I got in theheadliner, started headlining and then the door to the corporate comedy withFrank's helping some other help opened. And I stepped through that and kind ofmoved out of the club. So, um, you know, stay as long as you can stay at thebottom. You can make the mistakes because also you get the context of thebottom. You know you work with the headliner. The headliner is the famousheadliner. If you're the emcee, they have context that they like you. Theycan help you. If you get to be headliner, you gotta have the contextAnd if you don't Because you have been doing very long, you know, you're notYou're gonna be able to help anyone else. It reminds me of the high schoolathlete who wants to turn professional. So it drops out of high school. Yeah,and I'm like, right, and I like that. I mean, I know sometimes athletes push alittle bit because they could get hurt, and that could ruin their career.You're not gonna get unfunny, you know, way. And I was very fortunate to startbefore social media so I could make mistakes. And nobody in those bar gigsthat I did that was so awful. There was no one taping me and say, Look, thisperson's awful, Um So it I watched on Netflix last week or something withJerry Seinfeld in or Ni atoms? Oh, yeah, he did that and horny And, you know,I'd like to speak with him and talk to him because he's a hard worker. There'sno doubt, but he just tryingto push it. It's almost like I'm telling you, I amfunny, like Okay, good. Now just rein it back a little bit on, and then itwill come and It just seems like he's putting the cart before the horse sortof thing. And that's what. Well, you have to have some confidence and youhave to go out on that. One of the best lines I saw at the punchline in Atlanta,I'm not sure where if they're still in the same building but the green roomright over the doors, you're walking on the stage. Some comedian has written ascarved into the wall. Make them come to you. Mm. That's such good advice. Youwalk out and sort of bring them into your world, you know, make them come toyou. Don't go out there. And you, this is funny. You have to know it's funnyand you have to have confidence. But then bring them into your world,command the audience. And I think that's good course right next to it onthe side. Some other comedians written carved in the wall. This is a greatroom. If you bomb here, you suck it out of the business. So s so there's twothings you see as you walk out on stage. It's it is hard. And I mean, I couldonly imagine having spoke in front of people. But to get people in your frameof thinking and Thio, you know, let them enjoy the ride. And I can picturemyself just sitting back, being the scepter, like, Okay, you're gonna makeme fund. You're gonna make me laugh, and you're not. You know, if I can'tmake you laugh if you're not in the frame like I can't People have had abad day and they just wanna be a jerk, you know, and sit there. Most peoplecome when you come, especially to a comedy club. You come with the mindsetof I want to see this. This will be funny. I'm open to this, and you reallyhave to be open to it. Um, you know, you get the people that sit like thisand stare to and I hate this, um I look over their heads, you know, because I'mnot I'm not even gonna try to get you laugh. I don't care. You know, ifyou're gonna have that attitude. Damn. What about character in comedy? One ofyou found to be essential. I'm sure it's It's a little cutthroat. Everyonewants to make everyone laugh, but you kind of wanna do? Well, you mightsettle for being okay, But you you would rather do better than that person.Not against them personally. But you don't wanna be the worst. Well,certainly don't. Don't do wealth.

Expensive others for sure. You have torun your own race. I mean, you really can't pay attention to what? It's soeasy to get in your head and to start saying, Wow, they had a great set. Igotta follow that. You know, you just have to follow it. I mean, I wasfollowing Michael Richards from Seinfeld. He was walking out twostanding ovations. It was at the Comedy Magic Club here in Los Angeles. This isbefore he had the rant and everything that I don't. He was a very nice guy. Idon't know what happened with all that, um, live comedy, you know? But he waswalking out the standing ovations and and people loved him because it wasthey were doing, like, 20 comics a night. You get five minutes and it wasa fun. There's a birthday celebration they do every July, and it's like I could even get my headand go. How am I gonna do this, or I can think, How can I do this? You knowI'm funny. And so I went out, had a great line. I went. I said, Hey, youknow Michael Richards. Afraid, uh, Seinfeld. What was this characterKramer on Seinfeld? Great guy. I said he reminds me every blind date I'veever had in the place went nuts, and then I just went into my act. So youyou acknowledge it. You don't try to top it. You don't try to put them downand and do your own thing and bring people into you. And you're what?You're gonna okay, that that's there. I'm gonna talk about this, you know?Yeah, he was on Seinfeld's documentary or what was it? The coffee in a car?Okay, on. And he really regrets whatever he said. I don't even knowwhat he said, but he regrets saying that, and it kind of threw him off, andI think he needs to get his mojo back. E I also, you know what? There'ssomething about live performance, and people pay for that live performance.And if something in the room and I really, truly don't know what what perinspired. I just know he was a good guy and I don't know what happened. Butpeople pay for the live experience. And it's a shame when nowadays a lot ofprofessional comedians, they're saying, Ah, lot of stars were saying How it'sso hard to go in and work on new material or something because you havesomeone popping up with a cell phone going, Hey, look at this person stinks.You know their act socks? Well, no, it's new material on you. Try to dothat. It's very hard to do, Um, because you're gonna have the Internet goingwell. They've lost their, you know, mojo. Now they don't know how to do it.They've been in the business too long. So to me, it's frightening to go onstage and and something happens and it's taken out of context. And maybe,maybe again, I don't know what happened there, so I'm not going to say he didgood or he did bad or whatever. Ah, but things were taken out of context.People pay for a live show, and I really should put their cell phonesaway and enjoy the live show. And if you get someone gets into it with aheckler. You know, um, then have it unfold the way it unfolds. But butcertainly communities need to be nice. Don't draw the don't fall back on the,um if it's racial slurs or whatever it is, you're trying to be creative withyour coming back. And I found out a few times I've been heckled. One surefireway to get the guy to shut up. It's always a guy. Sorry. That's always aguy is to go after his girlfriend or his wife. That's with him. They willget him to shut up, you know? And don't be me to start talking. Hey, are youYou're with this guy. Really? Yeah. And they will get so embarrassed they weregoing to shut up. So, you know, use some tactics, some creative tactics. Um,but it could happen at any time to for a live event or a virtual or anything.And we got that in the back of her head, you know, watch what you say, becauseit's now. Could she? Well, there's the country music guy that's now in troublefor stuff coming back at him. Yeah. I can't think of his name, but you knowand you and thank Thankfully, I had my bad sets during the pre social mediadays. I hope hope, hope there's nothing else and I'm was always and always havebeen up until zooms. I've been a...

...stickler for nobody's videotaping me. Imean, I have stopped this show with 2000 nurses once with a woman holdingher cell phone up, and I stopped it and it was very nice about it. I said, Hey,I tried to get her to stop and I tried to get shaking. My head was lookingright at her, shaking my head like put it away, put away. And finally, I justbecause it's my act is my only what they holding. What do you mean byholding your cellphone, trying, videotaping, videotaping, and I youknow, it's my source of income, and I'm not say anything wrong. I just don'twant her videotaping me, um, and sending it around because I want tocontrol what goes out there. And I stopped it and I said, Hey, I see somepeople videotaping with their cell phones. Please put them away right nowand then. It's kind of kind of stopped the show, and I, thankfully, had donesome research on the group. And I knew nurses sometimes are frustrated withdoctors. And so I was able to come for the quick line to say, Hey, you know,how do you How do you chastise the nurse? You call her a doctor and theplace went up again and I went back into my actual that fortunately workedout. But I've had to do things like that. Um, because I don't I want tocontrol what's out there. I'm not say anything bad, um, on stage. But thelighting could be bad. I could They could have a terrible angle there.Audio could stink, but they're you know, they're holding up there, and then thatgets out there and people go, Oh, shit, it's not that good. It's not that funnyor, you know, they catch one joke that doesn't get a great laugh. And so Ireally a stickler for controlling as best I can. Now virtually everybodywants to record. I said, You know, you can put it on a password protected sitefor 30 days, and then you take it off and you know, I'm really stickler forthat. I wondered what goes through your mind? A comedian's mind When a jokethat you've been working on. You have a set for 40 minutes. You've done it anumber of times, That particular joke. And it doesn't work. What is? But youhave your next one. You know, it's setting up for something else. What isgoing on in your mind if you're not getting the particular laugh that youhope for that you got in Milwaukee that you, you know, you've got down here?What is what is that? Is it just crying? True? Yeah, for me, it's, you know, Iknow it works because it's worked before. I know it also for me. I knowthe first couple minutes I called sort of my ally. Um ah, um, gauge. Myfailure gauge. The first couple minutes I do is on kids and family, and thosejokes always hit way up here. They just they're just across the board. If I getin front of a group and they hit way down here first off, I know that's theway this group is. They just like they may be their accountants, you know, Ihave no offensive accountants. I've been in front of accountants. Theylaugh differently. They analyze your joke, and they laughed differently. SoI know that it's hitting down here. This is how they are. It kind of calmsme down because I go. Okay, that's how they are. I'm not bombing. They laugh.They just don't laugh like the nurses did, you know? So it calms down and youknow the history of the joke. You know, I don't pay. I don't analyze. Everysingle joke is I'm saying it, you know, once in a while, hit a joke.One time I hit a joke. I was in a comedy club. He was a I think it's afundraiser, and I did this McDonald's joke and just rocked. And I thought inmy head I thought, Wow, that joke usually does good, but boy, it reallydid good. And afterwards the club owner ran over because that was great. ThatMcDonald's joke, I forgot it was a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House.It was about their food being bad. But she goes, they know their foods badthat you had guts to say that joke, and I thought, Thank God I didn't realizewhat I was saying halfway through because I probably would have swallowedthe joke and are screwed it up or stop saying it. So I had just set it in myregular acting. It just rocked, and I thought, Oh, God, that went pretty good.What? Wonder why and finding come to find out these people kind ofconnection, As I had mentioned, I have a newfound appreciation for comedy, butI also watched many hours of comedians.

I even I even threw back like delirious.I mean, just from heyday times. Is there something about comedy or as acomedian? People may not understand and like with my limited research, Like Isaid, I'd like to be a comedian, But as you said, everybody wants to commit, bea comedian or think they can be. Is there something about it that peopledon't understand that you would like them to understand or even about you asa comedian, I would. Well, first I would like them to understand theamount. What you see on stage is is years on. What you see on Netflix isliterally years of comedians and their best stuff, uh, that they've worked onforever, um, around the country and have worked their butts off to get, youknow, worked terrible gigs and good gigs and low paying gigs and no payinggigs to get that. So it's not most for the most part, it's not an overnightthing. And there are so many elements, like I was mentioning before they gointo something working like you see that you see someone in front of 10,000people. Well, they have lights and they have a good microphone and and theyhave not had, You know, dancing girls go in front of them are or some crappy,you know, someone giving a speech that I've had had to follow. They read offthe list of people in the organization who died, and then they send me out. Imean, so many factors go in to making setting you up so that then you go inand you can kill. Then you're set for success, and any one of those goes offand someone you know tries to be funny. And I've had people get up and try tobe funny, and we got a comedian coming up. She better be funny or we're notpaying her. You know, I've had someone trying to calm the crowd down by goingup in yelling Shut the hell up. We have a comedian. I would shut the hell up.You know, I Then you set me up for failure. I am. I had a, um agent Handme a check once, as he's paying me after the show when he said, uh, I wishI could make this much money for 45 minutes on. I just blew up at him. Thisthis isn't for 45 minutes. You're paying me for the last 10 years beingon the road, I slept in my car. I've slept in crappy, you know, comedy,condos and crappy hotels. I said what you saw up there was the easy part. Youknow, that was 45 minutes of fun and I that took his head off. So people needto understand what goes into it. And every comedy like comedy clubs get it.They understand how to run a show. But there's still some, You know, you havesomeone who's drunk or trying to help you out heckling. You got the checkdrop that comes in right in the middle of your show. You got someone orderingdrinks or dropping a tray or there's so many factors. Um, they go into when youif you when you see a perfect show, that goes great. Ah, lot went in to getthat great. You know, it wasn't and walking in with the material thatyou've practiced and worked on is the icing. Surely is is people I thinkresearch what comedians do to try Thio, you know, lighten the load of people. Ithink if you would get a lot of benefit from looking into what comedians do ona very long term basis to get you toe laugh for a few moments, right, right.And so we should also support the comedians when we and and the arts ingeneral, the entertainers when and local comedians, you know, go out tothe local clubs, go out to Cem, bar gigs and some comedy clubs and andsupport the unknown comedians because they're very funny comedians out therewho are work on the road that their whole life and you know they're notfamous, but they're funny and they to go out and see him. What's your coldchan? What is something that you have, boy, Get out of Cove It Let's my goal.You know, I just so much enjoy the...

...keynotes humor, keynotes. I like mywriting. I'm I've got Hopefully I get some big I had some big writing gigsthat were are on hold until the world opens up in the corporations Open Backup. Um, I think I I think I'm doing at the moment what I enjoy doing or was onthe track of doing what I enjoy doing. Um, I don't ever see myself retiring. Ie think my goal would be to get a little more known so that I'm nothaving to go after as much work. It comes a little more work comes to May Iget. I've got a number of, you know, people calling me for work, but I do alot of booking on my own on my part time assistant who works with me, andshe does a lot of my booking. I'd like her toe not have toe do as much.Marketing just kind of got a little bit. Maybe that's when I'll start cuttingback and semi retirement or something. E. A zit comedian, you also mentionedsleeping in your cars for the work. Is there some adversity that you havefaced that either helps or hinders your work as a comedian? But you can alsouse that adversity to encourage others in the university they face in theirwork. Well, I'd say one starting out. Not so much now. Starting out womenBeing a woman was good and bad. Alright, it was bad because it would never puttwo women on a show together. They called it a women's show. You neverthink of twice of putting three white guys in a show by three black guys. Butyou would put you would for two women, but it was good. It was good in that ifyou if you're a good woman comic, you stand out more. Now. If you have a badshow, you stand out more, too, and you're bombing for every woman that'sout there. Um, if a woman has a bad set woman comic that you know everyone'sgonna walk away saying women are good Twice I've had groups. Um, one groupcame up to me after a show with the Comedy Castle in Michigan in Detroit,and they said we have to apologize. When we saw there's a woman on the bill,all of us look to each other and said, This is going to suck It's a womanbecause they think we're dirty They think we're not funny And they said youwere fantastic and we apologize And the other time was out here in California Iwas walking up to a to an event and to a comedy club, and there was a groupstanding in front of my picture and one of the women in the group goes, Oh yuck!It's a woman comedian. Yuck! I hate them and I walked by her and I said,Well, we're not that bad. You're really embarrassed And we went inside and Ihad a rock and set and I can't see anything on the stage. But I knew wherethey were sitting. Every time a joke hit, I'd look in that direction likeher. I got you so so that you know, And for that I just said, Do your thing. Imean, do your thing be funny. Um, and I had a comedian one time who Ah, he wasvery, very, very dirty. And he was told to be cleaned by the club owner. I toldhim I don't care what you dio. You know, I'm not going to tell you not to doyour act of your act progressively all we got dirty or dirty or dirtier, andI'd still go up to follow him. And at the end of the week, he came up to meand he said, I don't get it because I have thrown everything at you. I'vebeen is, you know, dirty. I've gotten the crowd up, riled up. I've I've doneaudience work. I've got it. You walk on and you follow me with that clean kidstuff. Well, I don't get it because I want your job. And he was tryingbecause I want your job and he's trying to make me look bad so that he couldget the headliner spot. I looked at what I just said. Just do your thing,man. Don't stop trying to get me do your thing. That's when the club ownersees your humor and your funny and then move you up. I'm not the funniestcomedian out there, but I do a good job. I show up on time. I don't drink upevery beer in the bar. I do what I say. I'll do if I'm going to do 45 minutes,I do 45 minutes. I don't do an hour, you know? And I'm polite and courteousand professional. I some people miss it...

...on the easy stuff like that. I said,Stop trying. You know, just stop. Stop trying to get other comedians and makepeople look bad. Do your thing and people will, uh, the stuff will resume.Your jokes will resonate with the club owner and they'll they'll move you up.That's what happened with me. Yeah, that's I don't mind people who have a little bit more risky material, but Ithink there's also Then you have to be riskier and riskier. It's kind of like,yeah, leg and you have to kind of catch it. I don't care. Be funny. Just have apunch. Be funny. Be funny. I don't care if you're dirty, clean Christian. A lotof people think clean means Christian. If you're Christian comedian, you haveto be clean. But if you're you know, if you build yourself is the Christiancomedian do churches? If you're clean, comedian doesn't necessarily mean youdoing the church stuff, But I think people think that they think, Oh,you're clean. So you must be doing a lot of church material. Um, just have apunch line. Like I said, if you're dirty and you cuss allowed or you talkabout the topics that a little dicier, um, you'll find your venue won't bewhere I work. But you know, there's a lot of famous comedians who are dirty.Richard Pryor would cuss, but his stuff was funny and you take out the cusswords. It's still funny, you know, on That's what you're aiming for. Be funny.Then say it. The way you say it, they're they're paying for you. They'repaying for you. Eddie Murphy. You know he's funny. He cusses, But he's funny.Be funny. That's the number one rule. Joan Rivers cost a lot, but boy, shewas funny. But she was. She had edgy, dirty material. She was she She wasfunny, you know? So this is my You're younger than me this into my generation.People know I've listened to them as well. I actually listen to RichardPryor last weekend and, uh, yeah, they are funny and I appreciate comediansimmensely. Jan. How can people get in touch with you? Thank you. My website.The work lady dot com or LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook or any of thatstuff they'll work. Lady dot com is my website, though Janet The work lady ismy dot com is my email Jan. One Final question. And that is why do you work so I can have fun ride my motorcyclesand hike the national parks. What kind of motorcycle gear? I have a Yamaha 650 v star and a Honda 3 50 CB 3 50 when I got a couple of scooters. Nice. Jan McGuinness, the work lady comedian,keynote speaker, comedy writer and author of Finding the Funny Fast. Iappreciate the time you've given me in the work that you dio Thank you, Brian.Take care. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with BrianV. Be sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they to beencouraged in their work. E hope that you have yourself a productive be ajoyful day in your work.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (123)