Jim Gilliece was a d.w. eye favorite that I did not know during my tour of duty at the club back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I knew Jim had been a part of Chip Chinery’s Comic Relief show in 1991, but I never met him until last summer’s Reunion show. One of the great things about the reunion was that so many people – performers and fans – came out of the woodwork to celebrate the legacy of d.w. eye. It’s been more than a year now, and I can still barely describe what an extraordinary, funny, emotional evening that was.
One of the highlights was getting to meet Jim Gilliece for the first time. As you can see in the video, Jim was warmly called to the stage by an audience that knew and loved him. And not just from his stand-up, but from his years of running Chez Nora in Covington, KY. Jim, I learned later, came out of stand-up retirement to do that eye reunion show – and as you can see – when he performs he is totally in control of what he’s doing onstage. I vividly remember watching his act and being deeply impressed. I got to spend some time with him after the show, and he wasn’t just funny, but tremendously sweet and generous to boot.
Jim passed away this past Saturday from lung cancer. I feel honored that I got to share an evening with him. You can read more about him here.
And, from Chip Chinery, here’s Jim’s performance at the 1991 Comic Relief Show.
Yes, the d.w. eye Reunion is actually happening! It’s going to be Friday, June 23, 2017 at the 20th Century Theater in Cincinnati. For anyone who’s read the book – or this blog – this will essentially be Plrknib coming to life before your very eyes (except everyone is significantly older). Comedians appearing in the book who are scheduled to perform include Drew Hastings, Chili Challis, Rico Bruce Wade, Cap & Johnny, and myself. (And this will be the first stand-up I’ve performed in Cinti in over 30 years! Oy.) We’re joined by a ton of great comics who performed at the eye shortly after the period that’s covered in the book, including Michael Flannery, Steve Caminiti, Jim Gilliece, and Mark Kline. And we expect to be joined by even more eye alumni. (If you’re reading this and you ever performed at the eye, please contact me or Michael Flannery.) Even Don Merriss, the original owner of the eye, will be on hand!
Flannery and I have been assembling this event for a couple months now. If you’re in the area – this is going to be much more than a “night at a comedy club.” We’re turning this into an event with a ton of surprises in store.
Also the night before the show, Thursday 6/22, we’ll be doing a signing of Plrknib at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion.
For more info, please visit our new d.w. eye site. You can also let us know you’re coming by signing up at our Facebook event page.
More updates as we get them!