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 (http://wileyscomedyclub.com/acts/)!

See you there!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Walt,
    I have a question, in this post it says you will be in Dayton Ohio next, will you be coming to Columbus? My only form of transportation is bike and that is a bit far to be riding, as much as I do love you!! please let me know if you are going to be any closer to Columbus thanks :)