Happy Birthday.

Everybody sing!

Wait, He’s Canadian?

“Did you know one of The Kids In The Hall is gay?”

It was 1990, and I was part of a cabal who’d seen The Kids In The Hall pilot episode. This was before they appeared on one of the new comedy channels that appeared on basic cable. It was a small number of us who were familiar with The Kids In The Hall before anyone else, except, of course, the people who’d seen them live, the producers who gave them a shot at a show, and anyone else who’d seen the pilot episode. I understood how the previous generation felt when they discovered Monty Python on PBS.

So when one of my friends asked me, “Did you know one of The Kids In The Hall is gay?” my natural first reaction was, “Only one?” I then went through the names and eliminated four before saying, “Um, Scott Thompson?”

Happy birthday Scott Thompson. I’m sorry I took so long to get around to you.

Next: Advanced Acting English.

Source: Goodreads

Happy birthday to Shappi Khorsandi, British stand-up comedian and author of A Beginner’s Guide To Acting English. In at least one interview she’s said her original title was White People Smell Of Milk, which I think is brilliant. I wish the publishers had let her go ahead with that title, but maybe the final version works a little better.



I Was A Fan When He Was Bing Hitler.

fergusonHe had me at “Shut up!” I was sixteen, spending the night at a friends’ house, and we were watching the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival being broadcast on HBO. Several comedians cracked us up, but the one who really got my attention was Bing Hitler. It was like nothing I’d ever heard before. He was aggressive and made loony jokes about worms, bees, wasps. I had no way to find out anything more about this guy but it didn’t matter. I was a fan for life.

Five years later a friend who’d been brought up in England played me a tape of  a couple of stand-up routines by this guy named Craig Ferguson. He did a whole bit about two Scottish families on Family Fortunes (Britain’s version of Family Feud) that had me in tears. I didn’t know anything else about him but I was a fan for life.

It never occurred to me to wonder why they sounded similar until I heard Ferguson asked about his original stage name Bing Hitler in an interview.

When he took over The Late Late Show he gained a whole new group of fans, but I get a special feeling knowing I was there almost from the beginning.

Happy birthday Craig Ferguson.


Wide Variety.

Happy birthday Carol Burnett. Even though she’s done so much in a career that’s spanned more than six decades now she may be best remembered for The Carol Burnett Show. And that’s kind of fitting because she hasn’t just done comedy. She’s also done dramatic roles, she sings, she’s written a memoir. Carol Burnett has shown a variety of talents. When I was a kid I always loved her questions and answers with the audience best because she could be hilarious even when not working from a script. Oh yeah, and there was that yell.



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