december 13, 1980


Here’s a warts-and-all snippet from December 13, 1980 at d.w. eye.  This is the seventh show I ever did.  I had just turned 17 exactly one month earlier.  This act comes immediately after I returned from my NY trip with my father.  (Chapter 20 – Home)  The eye was recording an album that night which was never released, but I understand the tapes are still floating out there somewhere…

The material here is pretty bad, but it’s amazing how responsive the audience is – laughing and applauding – considering such mediocre material.  No wonder I was so obsessed with it all.  The one thing I think you do hear is the absolute camaraderie the comics had for one another.  You can clearly hear Rico and Mike laughing generously and loudly throughout the act.  Even Roger’s intro is warm and friendly.  Wow.

More mp3s in the next few weeks…


The eye.  

I was third, as usual, and pumped.  Jack, of course, wasn’t there.  And I tried not to feel guilty about getting the opening spot at his expense.  Would Roger really have put me up in another month?  Was he just throwing me a bone for all of my begging?  It didn’t matter.  The fact was if he didn’t think I was ready he wouldn’t have given me the spot.  

My ten minutes that night went fine.  Three-and-a-half stars, maybe three-and-three-quarters, even.  I was excited for Saturday, and playing to Roger as much as anyone else.  My bits were tight and I was full of energy.  He wanted my A-game, and here was ten pure minutes of it.  And, of course, all of the New York bits were in there:  CETA, DC-10, Make Me a Sandwich, and Plrknib.  Now, I needed to be as tight and strong as possible.  Ethical or not, it was no time to back off of bits that worked.

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jack to open


By late April, 1981, I had performed 40 times.

After the Corral Show I tried to drop Plrknib and DC-10 and Make me a sandwich and toss in newer bits – a VD joke, a Neediest Kids of All joke, more commercials.  But if a show was going south I found myself jumping back into Plrknib, automatically.  

I was playing Scrabble with my identical twin sister

It was still a life raft.  The laughs were too big.  

And meanwhile, Drew had gotten a Saturday opening spot.  And now, on Wednesday night, Roger announced that Jack Previty had gotten one, too.

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opening night


Hidden on the corner of West Clifton and Calhoun – under a giant, black and white sign in the shape of a monocle – was a nondescript, little hole-in-the-wall:  d.w. eye.  

Small on the outside, small on the inside, with two rooms separated by a bar so you could see from one room to the other without getting up and spilling your drink.  The main room was decorated with light green wallpaper offset by muddy brown palm trees.  And in the middle of the main room was a very small stage.  

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