Monday, December 26, 2011

Ah, the Season is Upon Us!

"Happy Holidays!" to All!

A gallery door on Canyon Road.
Getting warm around a farolito!
I write this while on the Crystal Mesa Farm in Santa Fe, NM where we had a beautiful - and very white! - Christmas.  There is a tradition here, the walk on Canyon Road, which we had not done in some years. Many of the galleries that Santa Fe is known for are on this road and the owners make bonfires (farolitos) and every flat surface is lined with luminarias (paper bags with sand to hold them down and a lit candle in side for illumination).  Cider, cocoa, and coffee - and I suspect a few flasks - are offered around and Christmas cheer holds sway!

That's (L to R) Me, daughter Merit, and Marie. Chance was off canoodling with his girlfriend.
That's a luminaria to the right of Marie. Hundreds, thousands of those are everywhere!  Such a beautiful tradition!

Chance strums his new ukelele!
Merit and her only "non-tech" gift!
After enjoying the walk we headed home to have our Christmas dinner and unwrap a few gifts...

Merit's all about photography these days, so Photoshop was in her pile, as well as a new digital camera!

Chance is writing songs these days and is becoming quite adept with - are you ready for this - a ukelele!

I've been doing my family's Holiday cards (and mine before that) for over thirty years but for the past few years my talented kids have joined in the process!

Merit, my thirteen-year-old computer genius daughter, decided to run the show this year.  At our first snowfall in December, she instructed me to take a picture of our buddha.  She put it through mysterious and wonderful processes on her computer, then asked me to ink the result.  And below is the finished product!  Hope you enjoy it!

Our Holiday Card for 2011...I think Merit did a heck of a job, don't you?
And I hope you enjoy this Holiday Season!  For me - and many of us, I think - 2011 was a year of much change; some good, some bad and some for which the jury is still out!  So let's enjoy this time of fellowship, kindness and generosity and embrace the New Year with wonder and excitement!

All my love and respect...


Next up: the making of Wild and Willey: "Jackson" LIVE in Jackson!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Pause for a Cause...and "A Tribute to Pine Valley"!

Hey Folks!  Back at it here, and will soon be blogging about "Jackson" in Jackson (Tennessee, that is) and the very interesting two-night shoot for my new Comedy DVD at the South Street Comedy Club.  But first...

You know what...
Lots in the news regarding All My Children and ABC Daytime in general.  For you folks who are yet to receive the sorry word (and remember, I'm only the messenger!) All My Children and One Life to Live will not continue via the world wide web.  No, indeed.  Prospect Park realized that lack of funds and the obstacle of trying to reduce union protections and benefits that were hard won over many, many years was too much to overcome and backed off.  Too bad.  Such an exciting idea!

You know who...
In other news, Brian Frons is out as President of ABC Daytime.  All I have to say about this is: this man was not the devil and it takes more than one middle-management executive to destroy the viability of such an iconic genre as the "soap opera", which - internationally - is one of the most predominant of  dramatic artforms broadcast.

So.  What happened?  The audience watching in real time was quickly dwindling.  Costs were going up.  The advertising rate (based on viewership in real time) was falling.  Not a viable business model anymore.  The daytime dramas had gone from being the "cash cow" of ABC (it is told that ABC Daytime - in its heyday - paid for ABC News and ABC Sports!) to not able to pay for itself!  ABC wanted to get out of the business.  It was no longer profitable and - to their collective mind - couldn't be saved.

But I cannot believe that no one saw this coming.  Could it be that the ABC Daytime division was so provincial in its thinking, so naive as to the future of broadcast technology, had such bad business people making decisions as to totally ignore the opportunity to move this incredible demographic of viewers to the internet themselves?

This demographic group possesses such an attractive profile; they are often "empty nesters" with expendable income, they have a "brand loyalty" that hardly exists anymore, and they are dedicated and vocal!  Why "walk away from them", shoving them out of the car on the side of the road, throwing their money-stuffed satchel out after them?  Can ABC - or any other network afford - not only financially but also in terms of public relations - to turn their corporate, stockholder-owned backs on these folks?  Time will tell, I guess.

What could have been done?  Lots, in my opinion.  This trend in audience loss (again, in real time) had been going on for a while. Building an internet presence with "web-isodes" and alternate endings, interviews and interaction with the actors; basically "easing" the viewers to internet familiarity and access would have given the show a chance to survive...maybe not on television, but certainly not just gone!

So now, what is next for fans of All My Children?  Boy, I wish I knew.  Because that is the shame of all this.  The fans and followers of All My Children - who have been a part of my life for over 25 years - are left in the lurch, for the time being, at least.  In my quarter of a century of doing appearances, comedy dates, hosting gigs, Super Soap Weekends, and guest spots, and I have never once been ashamed to be part of the Daytime community, to say, nice and loud: these folks are our fans!

Doing "Here in Pine Valley" at the
South Street Comedy Club during
the taping of the new comedy DVD!
Since the show ended production, I have been on the road doing comedy, hosting fundraisers, working on many projects.  I have met with fans (some of whom have become actual friends) before and after my shows and these events, and it's been a blast!  
Hanging, signing for, and posing with
fans after the show...from the video
shoot for my new comedy DVD!

But the most fun I've ever had - including the ten Super Soap Weekends of which I was privileged to be a part- were the "A Tribute to Pine Valley" events we did in New York City, Central New Jersey and Long Island, NY!  Truly!  To walk out onto that stage in front of two-thousand people who love you is thrill enough, but to see what it meant to you all, how thrilled we all were to be in our community again, was truly, honestly, electrifying!  And we have hopes, dreams and plans to do it again.  And again.  And AGAIN!

That's me to the left, getting ready to introduce the "boys"...L to R: Vincent, Jacob, Darnell, Cameron and Michael!
Being with these guys, all of whom I love, to entertain and meet you, was one of the best experiences of my life, bar none.  It humbled me to know how much this meant to you for us to come out - especially during this time - and be with you.  And it gave everyone of us the greatest feeling; to know how much All My Children and the characters we played mean to you, as well as to see the outpouring of emotion toward us, the lucky actors who inhabited these roles.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And we're doing it again!

That's right, the "boys" - that is, Darnell Williams, Jacob Young, Vincent Irizarry, Cameron Mathison, and me, Walt Willey, are back on the road!  And with us we bring: the incomparable Alicia Minshew (who's just "one of the boys"anyway, believe me!) to join in the fun!

And this time we're coming to the beautiful Midwest! Here's where we'll be:

Fox Cities PAC
Green Bay/Appleton, WI
January 13
Riverside Theater
Milwaukee, WI
January 14
Rosemont Theatre
Chicago, IL
January 15

We all had so much fun; the actors, the fans...everybody!
Please join us for this incredible event!
We'll see you there!!

"A Tribute to Pine Valley"
and here are some places to go and things to see:
For more information please call

Friday, December 2, 2011

Into the South...Nashville!

My apologies, first off, for not keeping this blog up as I had told myself - and you - I would.  I have never really been on the road for two months (okay, I was home for a quick four days) and it was a bigger deal than I had thought.  Not the promoting, nor the performing or the after-show meeting and greeting; that's never a's what it's all about, after all!

It's the bloody travel!  I'm old enough to remember when travel, especially air travel was an exhilarating adventure, not a tedious chore at best.  At worst, it's just hideous.

"Saying it and feeling better" at the
pre-show Meet and Greet and Q&A
Even driving.  Now, I'm a big fan of the road trip.  In the old days it was an opportunity for a "Hunter Thompson-esque" free-for-all.  Now days, I'd just like to get there in one piece listening to satellite radio the whole way.

Basic driving rule: if you're not going at least 10mph over the speed limit, stay the hell out of the passing lane!  There: I said it and I feel better....

Okay.  Back to Nashville!

After a busy but refreshing time in Chicago and Ottawa, Illinois, I was braced and ready for the next leg of the Wild and Willey Comedy Tour 2011.  Nashville is a town for which I've felt an affinity for a long time.  Too often I'm in a town for too short a time to really enjoy it.  This was the case in Nashville.

In past trips, I've seen the Grand Ol' Opry, Ernest Tubbs' store, heard the kick-ass music spilling out of the bars (only to find myself inside a few of them, lured by the music, don'tcha know?), but this trip I had other things on my mind: namely, the shoot in Jackson, TN that was looming in the very near future.  It was to be the first DVD I've done of my comedy act since Hector was a pup (and he's a big dog now!) and I wanted everything right.  I worried about content and the audience response, about working with a crew I don't know.  I wrote and refined new material.  I was content to just hang out in my room.

My room before Hurricane Walt hit!
Zanies, wherever that club may be, always does things classy, and this time was no exception.  I had perfect room for hanging in. The Hutton has great potential, but it's young (hip?) crew can be a little long on attitude and short on working knowledge.  Oh Lord, how old am I, to be making a comment like that?  Yipes!

Anyway, I looked out the window of my room and nashville beckoned.  I've had some good food in N'ville, so headed out to put on the feedbag.  I didn't have far to go...

Yum! This was good!
The Mambu Restaurant (in a funky blue house on Hayes Street, walking distance from the Hutton ) was quite a find.  I grabbed a seat in a small booth in the Hideaway Bar and Grill, allowed myself a cocktail from the incredible list (a truly grand martini) and settled in for a superb meal in a really fun atmosphere; think Island Funky meets Country Fried and your just about there!  I had the calamari (delicious) and the corn fritters (who doesn't like fritters?) and the beet and orange salad (so good!).  Anita, the owner (I believe) was a fabulous and gracious host and the place was fairly full (it was late...I got there just before the kitchen closed).  This was on a Tuesday night; I can only imagine this place on a weekend!

It pays to wander out into the night, it seems.

The next night brought the show at Zanies.  The turn out for the meet and greet prior to the show was a small, but very dedicated bunch of fans.  These Q&As are so much fun for me and with AMC's cancellation and the Prospect Park issue a-broiling, folks had lots of questions.  I added some behind the scenes stories, talked about my family, let these folks know how deeply their devotion is felt by myself and all of the Daytime family.

Making a point...about what I have no idea.
These images are taken off video, by the way...
That's why they look the way they do.

Onstage at Zanies in Nashville!
And then came my show!  I truly believe that live performance is the most magical, intimate experience that performer and audience can share.  I got to try out some new stuff (Jackson and the shoot always on my mind) and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  And the audience seemed to as well, judging from your comments that night and on my Facebook sites ( and

Thanks so much for coming out...I love you all!

Next up: "Jackson" in Jackson!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wild and Willey at Wiley's, or Sometimes There's Another Reason...

Hello Folks...lotta catching up to do here...

I believe I left off with me about to do my shows in Dayton, OH...Walt Willey presents "Wild and Willey" at Wiley's!  A real mouthful, to say the least...

With Kristi and Jeff
Dayton is a beautiful town, with a gorgeous river walk right downtown of which I took great advantage, walking a few miles everyday.  The media there, Jeff and Kristi from Mix 107.7 and my old friend Kim Faris at 94.5 Lite FM, were welcoming and very helpful getting the word out.
Old Friend Kim Faris...hey why
didn't we get a pic this time?

Owner Rob Haney was super-hospitable and did everything right, but all the shows were lightly attended (small but mighty!). Maybe because of the economy, maybe because of the beautiful fall weather and many festivals (even a sauerkraut festival, with everything sauerkraut, even sauerkraut brownies!), but everybody had a great time.

And sometimes there's another reason to be in a place...there sure was one this time.  Kim and her station had arrange a listener meet and greet for lunch time on Friday.  There was a woman there who - knowing of my involvement in autism and Asperger's issues - said "I have a son, 26 years old, who has Asperger's and is so unhappy...we've tried everything and he says he would like to just die!"  Having a son with Asperger's myself, I know that it is rare that these individuals say things that they don't really feel, so this was a real cry for help.  I suggested she bring her son to the show that night and we'd find some time to talk.  I met with them before and after my first show that Friday night.  This young man was absolutely delightful!  Kind and well-spoken and just as beautiful a heart as one could imagine!  We talked about diet and occupational therapy and speech therapy.  It just so happened that there was a speech pathologist in the audience, and they made arrangements to get together to work on his stutter, something that was having an incredibly alienating effect.  We traded email addresses and I'm awaiting an update which I will pass along.

And that is why I was in Dayton...and I am so thankful that all our paths crossed!

The riverboat at Starved Rock
It was back to Chicago then and down to my hometown of Ottawa, IL.  Ottawa is a truly beautiful little town, situated at the junction of the Fox and Illinois Rivers and the leaves were just beginning to change.  Having lived in LA for the past two autumns, I really missed being a "Leaf Peeper" and wasn't going to miss this opportunity!  Headed out early in the morning for Starved Rock State Park, mere minutes from Ottawa, and hiked a few of the trails there.  This park is the winter home for the American bald eagle.  They fish the locks there because they never freeze over even in the coldest months.  There were no eagles yet, but I've hiked these trails in January with a fresh snowfall and it is breathtaking to watch them swoop and dive, their wingspan wider than I am tall!

I then headed over to Utica, IL just on the other side of the river.  As I came over the top of the bridge I saw a quite a sight: a town of 1000 absolutely swarmed by at least ten times that many people!  I found out in the newspaper the next day that the famed Burgoo Festival was visited by over 30,000 people!  I found that easy to believe having seen the cars parked up and down Route 178 on both sides of town, the Dee Bennett Road jammed all the way to the lock, the vehicles parked in lawns and private lots for $5 a car.  The place was packed!

I'd heard about the Burgoo Festival but had never been in town for it.  No way I was going to miss it!  I parked my car in someone's backyard and headed in the throng.  Food, food and more food and bags filled with corn and emblazoned with sports team's logo for the ubiquitous "corn hole toss" game played in this area (it's like bocce ball, bean bags and skee-ball had a baby!)  And more food.  I did not, however, find even a spoonful of the famed Burgoo Stew...where the heck was it?

I headed back to Starved Rock, but the line of cars was a couple miles long to get in and park!  Matthiesson Park was really jammed, Buffalo Rock was better.  After a short walk there I  made for Ottawa to have a walk around there.  And then I remembered: the "Radium Girls" memorial statue was now up!  I had to go over and check it out...

Radium Girls statue in Ottawa, Illinois
Last year, WilleyWorld Community Productions helped co-produce a show in Ottawa called These Shining Lives, a wonderful play about the Radium Dial and Luminous Processes plants that had been in Ottawa more than fifty years.  The women that worked there painting radium-based paint on watch and clock faces kept their brush points sharp by spinning it between their lips, in the process introducing radium into their systems.  Many died, many became deathly ill.  All the while, these companies claimed no responsibility for the horror that had befallen their employees.  In a famous case, one of these women brought suit, and her victory - a paltry award sum and too late to save her life - did make way for women's rights in the work place and OSHA.

When the play was presented in Ottawa, I was lucky enough to be there.  It was a moving experience, as the lives of these women were played out on stage.  The survivors and their heirs in the audience were clearly moved, as were all present.  A wonderfully healing experience....

The play, originally produced by the Rivendell Theatre Company, was brought to Ottawa to raise money for a memorial to these workers and to their living descendants in the area.  The statue was crafted by local sculptor Bill Piller (who did the Wild Bill Hickok sculptures in Mendota and Troy Grove) and dedicated on September 2, 2011.  So proud to have been a small part of this...

Back to Chicago and a very interesting meeting with a radio station there.  I have many friends in the media in Chicago and have been kicking around the idea of joining them for some time.

At The Rosie Show!
One of my friends - new to Chicago - is the inimitable Rosie O'Donnell.  Rosie called me a few weeks back to come to Chicago to tape some promos for her new show on OWN, The Rosie Show, and it just so happened I'd be in town for her premier, broadcast live form Oprah's famed Harpo studios!

In the audience were her children, friend Suze Orman, and - wonderfully! - folks she'd just run into on the streets of Chicago! It was so exciting to see Ro "back in the saddle"!  I wish her the very best!

I headed back to pack for Nashville and Jackson, TN...and one of the best experiences of my life!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Little Down Time...For Now!

Hey Folks!  After a whirlwind Wild and Willey Tour through Florida, I took a little break in beautiful Marco Island, Florida.  I have been coming down to this beautiful part of Florida for many years to the Southwest Florida SoapFest, run by my friend Pat Berry.  I have had the honor of being the "auctioneer" as we raise tons of money to help with autism services in this area.

Pat's one of the creator's of a new community theatre group on Marco Island, the "Island Players".  Pat know I love community theatre and have a theatre in my hometown of Ottawa, IL so she invited me to be on the Advisory Board.  I was only too happy to say "Yes!"  She asked me if I'd come to the last week's rehearsal to give them a "fresh eye" on the play.  Again, it was my pleasure!

These folks had worked really hard and only needed an audience.  I cleaned up a couple of spots, gave a few notes and they opened to fabulous reviews!  I'm so proud to be a part of this!  Thank you all!  And keep up the good work...I'll see you soon!

While in (or is it on?) Marco Island, friends set me up in a great apartment at the Esplanade.  What a great place!  My digs overlooked the pool and the bay...not too shabby!  I spent the days either in the      sun or working madly on new material for the DVD I'm going to shoot next week in Jackson, TN...that's right..."Jackson" in Jackson!

Stan's from the water...nice!
My hosts took me to Goodland, FL to a place called "Stan's".  It was right on the water and it was Opening Day.  What a blast!

Stan's a good ol' boy of indeterminate age but clearly will never see 70 again, and maybe not 80!  He likes to kick things off with the l-o-n-g-e-s-t version of the Star-Spangled Banner I've ever heard!  I mean, this thing went on forever!  Soaring vocals and writhing orchestra, turning back on itself in a seeming finale only to swoop again!  If they tried something like this at a baseball game, there'd be a riot! Seriously, folks would be throwing the wieners and beer about halfway through!

Stan and me!

But, hey, Stan clearly does things his way and he is a patriot, pure and proud.  He's been known, from time to time, to harangue people not standing at attention with their hands over their hearts for this marathon National Anthem...good for you, Stan!  It's your place, your rules!  Stan likes to tell stale jokes during the band's breaks and asked me if I'd like to tell a couple.  Much as I love getting up on stage there was no way I was going to try to follow that act!  God bless you Stan, and thanks to all the kind folks I met that afternoon...what a great bunch!

The Andean Bear
It was on to Chicago yesterday and some of the most beautiful Fall weather I've ever seen.  A great day for a walk so I headed for the Lincoln Park Zoo.  I've always enjoyed zoos and can stand for long periods of time just watching the animals, especially the great apes.  They have some beautiful chimps and lowland gorillas there and time just slipped away as I watched my "cousins" cavort.  As I was leaving, I saw this stunning creature to the left, enjoying the beautiful weather as much as I and posing for anyone who wished to capture his image.  He's an Andean bear, the only bear of South America and the least carnivorous bear in the world.  That really made me want to pet him!  But I took a look at those claws and any fantasy of rolling around with this bruin quickly vanished!

As I write this, I'm in Dayton, OH getting ready for my shows here tomorrow and Friday (10/6-7) at Wiley's Comedy Club! That's right, it's "Wild and Willey" at Wiley's! What are the chances of that?  Come on out!  I'm getting material ready for taping my new comedy DVD next week and it's gonna be a blast!  See you there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sarasota, Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale...Wild and Willey on the Road!

Hello, Gentle Readers!

All I can say is "WOW!"  The Wild and Willey Comedy Tour has been just unbelievable so far...let me tell you what happened....

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to all who were in attendance in these three cities!  I can say - without fear of contradiction - that I have never felt so damn much love!  Just incredible!

I'm kind of a fixture in Sarasota, FL.  I'm usually down there a few times a year.  The white sand of Lido Beach and Siesta Key are some of the nicest in North America - hell, in the world!  I've made some good friends down there and always have a great time!

McCurdy's marquee with my name...
spelled right!
Two of my good friends are Pam and Les McCurdy, a husband/wife team who own and operate McCurdy's Comedy Theatre.  I've been performing in their club since it was a 90-seater in the Big Kitchen chinese restaurant!  Now they have a beautiful theatre and they run it right; they bring in top acts and treat us right.  In fact, I recorded my first DVD at McCurdy's...

Friday night there was electricity in the air; it was the final broadcast of AMC and the fans were filled to overflowing with emotions: sadness, anger, and happiness.  Many seemed to feel that they could continue, in some way, their love affair with this iconic show by coming out to see me...quite an honor!  Many shared their stories and many touched my heart.  It's so very nice to be out there seeing and talking to you folks...I am indeed blessed!

Sarasota's the kind of town that shows it's love, and many of those in attendance had only recently become my fans.  On Tuesday of that week I had co-hosted a fundraiser (to benefit the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides...program) for my friend Amy Tuten (who works for WWSB, the ABC affiliate in Sarasota) and we more than doubled what they raised the previous year!  Many of the folks at McCurdy's Friday night were back to support me.  Add all the All My Children fans and the folks who only know me as a comic (pretty cool, huh?) and we had a full house!

I did a lot of new material and played with the audience...if they had half as good a time as I did, they had a blast!

Sitting and Signing at McCurdy's!
Afterwards, I was available for autographs and pictures, and had my T-shirts for sale.  It was so nice to be able to hear how much All My Children has meant to people; life-long watchers, sisters who - separated by thousands of miles - once a week call each other during the show and watch together, the multi-generational families of fans.  So many great memories and I am so proud to have been a part.

I packed up and headed across the street to a lounge called "Memories".  It's a dive and I love dives!  You could actually smoke in this bar.  That's right, I said smoke!  It had a pool table and it was karaoke night!  Who could ask for anything more?  Les and I smoked and played pool and - all of sudden singing heart heart out - is Meredith Garofalo from WWSB, who had interviewed me that very afternoon.  The girl can sing her butt off!

And me without my camera!  I guess I'll always have the "Memories"!

Such a great time!  Thanks to Amy and Pam and Les and Sarasota!  I had a great time - again!
Bobby Jewell and Me

Tampa, Florida was next.  I've known the owner of Sidesplitters for a number of years, for as long as I've been playing there.  Bobby Jewell is a great guy and does a fantastic Jackie Gleason, both as "Ralph Kramden" (The Honeymooners) and "Sheriff Buford Pusser" (Smokey and the Bandit films) and we have a ball, me doing Art Carney as "Ed Norton".  Bobby does it right, and at a time where clubs are suffering - even closing - Saturday night at Sidesplitters was absolutely booming!  My show was very near capacity (couple of empty tables way in the back), and they had two more shows that night - both packed! - as well as a private event in the lobby.  After my show we had to set up a table outside (under a threatening sky - it had been raining hard on and off and was hu-mid!) to sign and sell.  Do you know that people stood in that lines for close to two hours?  What an unbelievable show of love!  Thank you all for your patience and support!

Bangin' hard at Sideslitters!
I returned to Sarasota that night.  I had planned to get back in time to head over to Tommy Bahama's for a snack and a couple of libations.  My show had started right at 6PM, I was off the stage at 7:15, but wasn't done until about 9:30!  No Tommy Bahama's for me.

The next day I headed for Hollywood.  Hollywood, Florida, that is.  And the Improv at the Hard Rock Casino...

Beautiful room!  The Meet and Greet was so much fun; folks from my hometown of Ottawa, IL as well as a lady who was a lawyer and had published a paper about how the law is handled on AMC, and some wonderful hard-core fans showed up!  We had some laughs before the show even started!

At The FTL Improv!
Another fun show with another bunch of new stuff!  It feels so good to be back on stage and performing for you...don't get me wrong, I enjoy working in front of the camera, but there's much to be said for the magic and energy that flows both ways in a live performance.  Thank you all!

Next stop: Dayton, OH and Wiley's (!

See you there!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Wild and Willey Tour begins for real...and with a BANG!

Okay, it is now September 22, 2011 and I have just returned to Sarasota from West Palm Beach, a four hour drive across Florida via Alligator Alley that I have made twice in the past 24 hours.  Not such a bad drive, except I did most of it in the dark with a picture in my head of the news story I saw down here the other day about a boy who was out fishing and caught an EIGHT HUNDRED POUND ALLIGATOR!  Naturally, all I could think of during my drive was this 'gator's brother ambling across the foggy road and me smacking into it at 65 miles per hour.  Kept me good and alert, I'll say that!

But let's back up...Tuesday night I co-hosted an event for a friend of mine, Amy Tuten, in Sarasota.  It was a "Buy Your Own Bachelor" fundraiser for breast cancer, an event which raised $7500 last year...I am proud to say that this year, with me as an auctioneer and the gracious and generous people of Sarasota out in force, we raised double that!  And it was fun!  Congratulations to all involved!

Felicia, me, Shelli
I then went to my hotel to pack and grab a couple of hours sleep before my first trek across the Alley.  I had to be in West Palm Beach by 9AM to do an appearance on the news for the ABC affiliate there, WPBF.  The anchor that did the interview (a long, very personal one) was a delightful woman - Felicia Rodriguez - whom I had met when she covered "Jack and Erica's" wedding in Boca Raton a few years we are, joined by her co-anchor, Shelli Lockhart, another great gal!  Lucky me, huh?  You may be able to go to that station's website to see the interview...I'll check on that later...

Then it was to the next hotel for a little R&R in the sun...let me tell you, I'd forgotten how bloody hot it can get down here on the Gulf Coast of Florida!  I'm used to the deserts of LA and Santa Fe...yipes! I felt like a sausage on the grill!  Had some lunch and got ready for the evening...

Started with a Meet and Greet with some really fun people!  They had some great questions and I hope I had some great thing I know for sure...we ALL had a good time at our little get-together!  I really enjoy me the chance to answer questions, talk about my kids, speculate and bitch about the current state of things in the soap world.  Thanks so much to all who were in attendance.  You made me feel welcome and got me all jazzed for the show!

Me onstage at the WPB Improv
And what a show!  It was my first time with some new material, so I was a little nervous.  The Improv in this location is one of the most beautiful comedy clubs I've ever been in and the crowd was super-receptive so my nerves soon vanished.  I can't begin to explain how much I love entertaining folks this way; live and in-person - the magic really flows both ways!  Thanks to all who came out and a special thanks to all of you who bought T-shirts to benefit the WilleyWorld Endowment Fund.

Friday night (9/23) I'm at McCurdy's in Sarasota,
Saturday (9/24) I'll be at Sidesplitters in Tampa ,
and then back across Alligator Alley on Sunday (9/25) for my show at the Ft. Lauderdale Improv

I'll see you there!

Got a day off now...gonna go to the beach...maybe do a little 'gator fishin'!  Hope I don't catch one!

Monday, September 19, 2011

And the Wild and Willey Comedy Tour begins...kind of.

Hello, Folks!

Well, here at is; a little after 10PM, Eastern Time.  And today was quite a week.  To be precise the past twenty-four hours are what sucked...right up until they didn't!

Merit and Himself
Clan Willey!
I spent a delightful weekend with the "fam" at the Santa Fe Renaissance fair where my daughter was performing with her Irish dance troupe.  I was putting the final touches on my packing and making ready to call it a night when all hell broke loose.

Now, when you travel as much as I do (for many years I flew over 75,000 miles annually...on one airline!) you're not surprised by much.  The weather delays, the ATC holds, the "mechanicals", puking children and pooping dogs are all part of it and, in general, I consider myself pretty darn lucky.  I've had a couple of horrific travel delays, but only a couple.  But now I had another brewing...

I got a call shortly before 8PM.  I see it's an "800" number, so I don't answer.  A bit later, out of curiosity I listen to my voicemails.  And there it is: that dreadfully cold mechanical voice telling me that my "itinerary has been changed due to a flight cancellation".  Not changed to later in the day - that would be bad enough - but to the next day!

So the phone calls begin.  The interminable time spent "on hold' very quickly tests patience and civility.  Frustration threatens to supplant good-naturedness.  But I am nothing but polite and understanding (this isn't their fault, I remind myself, aloud - they just happened to pick up the phone) and finally it is done.  The day is saved!  I will be there in time!

The next morning I board my flight, settling in with an Esquire, feeling very smug.  I had beaten the Gods of Air Travel Gone Awry!  Ha!  Take that!  Hold on...wait a minute...not so fast...

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the cockpit. I've got some bad news.  We have a light on up here that says we have a charging system down.  Now, though its a redundant system..."

Oh, For God's sake, I think, get on with it!  How bad is it?

"So we're gonna ask you to deplane..."  Never a good sign.  "And we'll have word for you in about an hour, I'd guess..."  Translation: you get off this plane there's a real good chance you ain't gettin' back on.

But we do get back on - an hour and a half later.  We land just in time for me to race to my connecting gate only to witness the jetway retracting.  Crap!

So it begins again.  And again I remind myself that this is not a "curse on the tour", not some kind of cosmic retribution.  It isn't even bad luck.  It's just plain odds.

And again, with the help of some mighty nice agents, the Evil is thwarted.  A seat is found for me, and after all this, I arrive only three hours later than scheduled.  Not so bad.  And I get upgraded at the rental car place and traffic from Tampa to Sarasota is light and it's a beautiful day and hey now! this car has Sirius radio!

Would this have gone so well if I'd gotten crazy mad and screamed at folks and cursed and threw things and felt sorry for myself?  Maybe.  But I don't think so.

Tomorrow night I host a bachelor auction to benefit breast cancer research (take a peek at, then it's off to the first show: The Improv in West Palm Beach!

Time now for a call home and some donuts and milk.  Tomorrow is another day.

And I'm not flying! Nyahnyahnyahnyahnyah!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Here we go! And the Wild and Willey Comedy Tour begins!

Hello Folks! I've never blogged before, but I believe that an old dog can learn new tricks! Let's see if I'm right...

As many of you know, I've been doing stand-up comedy since 1990 or so, headlining all over the country in some of the nation's biggest clubs: Caroline's, The Comedy Store, Zanies and many more.  I just love to entertain all the fans, friends, and followers I've been blessed with from being on All My Children for a quarter of a century - and in a way that few would expect...but all seem to love!  Would you believe that some folks only know me as a comic?  It's true!

Now with the "soap" being all wrapped up (in it's network television version), I have the opportunity to take the show on the road - as they say - and stretch my comedic wings!

And you can follow it all right here! And here's the tour so far:

Improv Comedy Club

McCurdy's Comedy Theatre

9/24 TAMPA, FL
Sidesplitters Comedy Club

Improv, Hard Rock

10/1  LARGO, FL
Jasper Banquet Hall
"Farewell Party for Jackson Montgomery"

10/7-8  DAYTON, OH
Wiley's Comedy Niteclub

Zanies Comedy Club

Improv Comedy Club

10/14-15 JACKSON, TN
Southstreet Comedy Club

10/25 NEW YORK, NY
The Town Hall
"A Tribute to Pine Valley"

State Theatre
"A Tribute to Pine Valley"

The Theatre at Westbury
"A Tribute to Pine Valley"

I'll be blogging about the travel, the performances, the fans, the ups, the downs, the ins and the outs...and any other errant thoughts that meander through my mind!  And I'll add pictures and drawings and...who knows what else?  This is going to be fun!

So welcome to "Wild and Willey"!