As a comedian I have gotten to travel to some pretty exotic places: Alaska, all over Canada, just about every state from Florida to Maine and New York to California. This comedy land is my land, from the Redwood Forest to New York Islands. Yep, this comedy land was made for you. Well, and me.
I will be sharing travel stories of the road, with tips that you need to know if you’re traveling hither and yon. Summer is the time that most families travel on vacation. Hopefully, I will add a little comedy to your journey with some cost-saving tips for your benefit. So, this won’t be ordinary “travel column”.
There are two types of comedians: Those who stay in major cities like New York and LA to focus their careers on TV and film. And there are those comedians who work the “Road”--- comedy clubs in every town in America. From topless bars in Alaska to Holiday Inn lounges on the Florida Panhandle to military bases in the middle of Nevada to the back room of lumberjack tavern in the middle of Maine. The Chuckle Hut. The Laugh-Inn. The Funny Bone. The Giggle Pit.
The Road is the way most comedians make their living. Every comedian no matter what level in the comedy industry --- from Jerry Seinfeld down to the guy who works at FedEx during the day and does comedy open mics at night – has their own Road Stories.
As part of the bonding ritual, comedians share these stories with each other. In fact, there is a great book of road stories: "I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics."
Here is my unabridged story that appears in the book.
I’m driving down from New York City to work a week-long series of one nighters for the Comedy Zone. After about 20 hours of driving, I end up in a small town just outside of Birmingham, Alabama that makes Mayberry look like a teeming metropolis. And the run-down hotel where I am staying is run by Anthony Perkins and his mother.
I asked the desk manager where the one nighter is – some bar called Rusty’s. He says to me in a thick southern accent – “Well, you go down about a mile and then you’ll see the Big Tree. You make a right turn. Go down about ‘nother half mile and you’ll see an Eye-talian restaurant. The place with comedy shows is right there”.
I start driving and about in 15 minutes I see the Big Tree ---I make the right turn, but I don’t see any Italian restaurant. So, I stop at a gas station and ask the guy working the gas pump. “Well, ya just passed it. Turn around here, you make a left turn. You’ll see the Big Tree again you go down about a half mile or so and there’s this Eye-talian restaurant. The place with the comedy show is right passed there. They's funny comedians. I saw a New York one there two weeks ago.”
This goes on for about another 45 minutes to an hour – and I’m just driving up and down the same roads. I cannot find this place. Very frustrated.
Finally, I figured it all out – the place that they were calling the “Eye-talian restaurant” was a Pizza Hut.