Sunday, July 1, 2018

Pheaturing Kip Addotta

Rabbit. Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. It's July already. This year is going fast. Are you having a good day? Well, I'm excited to ruin it right this second with a story that's basically the equivalent of hearing the word "moist" over and over again. A 32-year-old Russian woman snapped a picture of a blemish under her eye. It then began moving and ended up on her top lip. It turns out that there was a PARASITIC WORM LIVING IN HER DAMN FACE!!!

The case, and the accompanying terrifying images, were published in the latest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, which details the plight of Dirofilaria repens, the WORM that was in her FACE and had to be surgically removed. As The Washington Post reports, "Dirofilaria repens is a long parasitic roundworm that is spread by mosquitoes." It is "usually found in dogs and other carnivores," but it can also affect humans, like the woman in Russia who had the WORM IN HER FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily for you, the parasite that the woman in Russia had is not found in the United States.
A viral Facebook video caused completely valid outrage across the country, due to the blatant racism towards children. Basically, a 12-year-old boy named Reggie runs his own lawn cutting service in Maple Heights, Ohio called Mr. Reggie Lawn Cutting Service. A few of his friends work as co-workers, and the group of kids are available for hire to mow neighbor's lawns as a way to make some cash. Recently, when they were cutting the grass of their neighbor Lucille Holt, they accidentally cut some of Holt's next door neighbors grass. With the way the lawns flow, there's no clear line between the yards. For most people, getting a free trim would be an absolute delight. However, instead of saying thank you, or gently telling the children where the lawns separated... Holt's neighbors decided to call the cops on literal children. Hold took a video of the incident, and it soon went viral. "Who does that?," she said in the video. "I'm so glad you are out here doing something positive. You should not be getting the police called on you just because you're cutting grass." Luckily, since the children weren't doing anything wrong, the cops quickly left the scene, and the viral video has given Reggie and his friends TONS of support. Since it went viral, they've received hundreds of dollars in donations, a brand new lawn mower, and a visit from The Grass Guys of Twinsburg to learn more about professional lawn care. Hopefully, Reggie takes encouragement from all of the international support, and his business continues to grow.
Last week, toy store mega-chain Toys R Us has officially closed its doors for good, and former-children everywhere are mourning the loss of the toy Mecca and their respective childhoods. Someone else who is having a hard time saying good-bye to the toy retailer? Toys R Us mascot, Geoffrey the giraffe. This photo, posted to Facebook by Toys R Us employee Rene Johnpiere, shows Geoffrey waving good-bye next to a suitcase in an empty aisle of the store.

The picture has gone completely viral, and has been shared nearly 300,000 times since it was posted on Wednesday, June 27th. Where is he going? Vacation? Retirement? The unemployment line? Either way, it is sad to know that this will probably be the last time we see Geoffrey before he fades into obscurity. Well, until he shows up on some nostalgia-bait BuzzFeed list or something (I'm calling it now, look out for a "You Will Never Believe What Geoffrey the Giraffe Looks Like Now!" headline in the next ten years or so). She also shared this very somber letter from Geoffrey himself...

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in a September after 70-years of being in business. In January, Toys R Us announced it would close 182 stores across the U.S, but in March the toy retailer said they would be closing all locations.
There's an old saying that goes something like, "Sex is like pizza, even when it's bad, it's good." A couple in England narrowly avoided jail time after getting caught having bad sex while ordering bad pizza. Last year, ​​​​​​Daniella Hirst, 29, and Craig Smith, 31, walked into a Domino's pizza delivery shop in Scarborough, England and they just couldn't keep their hands off each other. Security camera footage caught Hirst performing oral sex on Smith, before the two had intercourse on the counter near the cash register. Footage of the drunken couple getting down was posted to social media by someone claiming to be a Domino's employee. In September 2017, the couple pled guilty to charges of outraging public decency in court. The couple were spared jail time but they have to perform community service, obey a 23-week curfew, and be fitted with electronic tags. “You were both very close to going to prison," the judge told the couple. "It was a brazen offense, committed in a public place over a prolonged period and in the presence of staff.”
Imagine this: you are Marco Rubio, a United States Senator for the state of Florida. As a member of the legislative branch you have the power to craft and enact legislation that saves lives. Five people were just killed in a mass shooting in a newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland... a few months after your state suffered a massacre that galvanized the gun control movement. A survivor of the Annapolis shooting cried on CNN about the horror she had just experienced, calling out the politicians who do nothing as this happens again and again. You are disturbed by those words. Not because it's a devastating read on your own failure as a lawmaker, but because this traumatized lady had the fucking balls to say fuck.

Yeah. It's only been a few days, but the ratio on this tweet is already an all-timer. The survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School do not hold back when it comes to the guy who supposedly represents them. Could his fealty to the NRA have something to do with his making a shooting about swearing and not about shooting? Among the 20,000 comments on Rubio's bad, bad tweet are people pointing out the hypocrisy of Republicans clutching their pearls over language when the president single-handedly revived the word "pussy." Is the F-word really the most important issue of the day? It's not like Rubio is a paragon of good taste. Part of his presidential campaign strategy was to suggest that Trump has a small dick. Also, this lady's WORKPLACE WAS JUST SHOT UP!!!!! Fuck this.
Man, I to myself all worked up. I had a tiny spider in my house the other day but it wasn't anything like this...

Yikes. I hope Matt took care of it. If I was Matt I would be like nope. Do you remember Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter? This is him now...

Feel old yet? Haha. Do you have bad luck? I hope it's not as bad as this guy...

Ouch. Okay, I love the beach, Star Wars, Slave Leia... and here's all three in a way. Ha.

You're welcome, fellas. If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time to see ZZ Top when they first started out playing proms...

They tell me at Walmart people wear clothes that they would wear anywhere else. I did not believe that until I saw...

Ha. Some people sure stray from God's light...

What the hell? Marvel does a pretty good job matching stunt men with the actors...

Maybe. So, if you're interested there's still some Royal Wedding souvenirs you can get. Like this mug exclusively for people who were born on May 19th, 2010...

Casting a wide net. Some 2018 seniors are killing it this year with their high school year book senior quotes.

Hahahaha. Good job, Mika. If you are thinking of cheating on your loved one you might wanna think twice after seeing this...

Damn! Old record collection?! Wow. So, in Star Wars Yoda originally looked a little bit different...

Hahaha. If this isn't a metaphor for Disney's Hollywood Studios... Have you seen Trump's new look? I think he's ready for Space Force...

Hahahahahahaha. That really made me laugh. Okay, so, my son and I were talking about how we used to watch "Sesame Street" when he was little. That show sure has changed over the years.

Silverstein instructs the construction foreman where to put the thermite charges.

Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. A majority of the modern world has progressed to the fact that women are not only funny, but they're also terrifying human beings who are capable of great violence if you don't laugh at their jokes. Here once again is the pheature...

Haha. Hmmm... Here's the pheature called for a reason I think I know why now...

The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn.

Harlan Ellison 
May 27th, 1934 — June 28th, 2018
He was an award-winning science fiction writer who frequently sued studios for stealing his work. James Cameron hated him, so he couldn't have been that bad.

Joe Jackson (Michaels dad)
July 26th, 1928 — June 27th, 2018
Whereas Michael just looked KINDA weird, Joe was actually SCARY weird looking. That's saying something.

Every ten years, the monks in the monastery are allowed to break their vow of silence to speak 2 words. Ten years go by and it’s one monk’s first chance. He thinks for a second before saying, “Food bad.” Ten years later, he says, “Bed hard.” It’s the big day, a decade later. He gives the head monk a long stare and says, “I quit.” “I’m not surprised,” the head monk says. “You’ve been complaining ever since you got here.”

Today's guest is a comedian notable for being featured on "The Tonight Show," "The Midnight Special," and the syndicated show "Make Me Laugh." His autobiography Confessions of a Comedian" An Autobiography is the 82nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile comedy legend... Kip Addotta.

Me: Hey, Kip, welcome to the Phile. It's so cool to have you here. How are you?

Kip: Hi. Good morning.

Me: Your book Confessions of a Comedian: An Autobiography is the 82nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. You had such a long and successful career, sir, what made you decide to write a book now?

Kip: Well, I wanted my story to be fair. I wanted people to know where I came from, what I was about, the serious side of me and funny side of me. That's why I thought it was time to write my autobiography.

Me: That's cool. What made you get into stand up comedy?

Kip: I used to watch the comedians on the Ed Sullivan show. That was the greatest thing in the world. I never thought that I could do it, I just enjoyed watching. Then later on I was sitting in a bowling alley and I called my wife and said, "Let's have an adventure." She said, "What do you mean?" I said, "You know I always thought about coming a comedian. Let's go to Los Angeles and have a go at it." To my amazement she said let's do it. So, we prepared. We put the 3 kids in the car and took off for Los Angeles.

Me: That's so cool. You have a good wife. What were you expecting when you started?

Kip: I wasn't expecting anything, I was determined to make a go of this so I got a job parking cars and someone told me that there was a new comedy club that opened called the Comedy Store. My wife and I went there and watched the show and I began going there and doing these 5 minute sets at 1 a.m. in the morning and gradually slowly but surely my material began to work. My compatriots were doing one show a night, I would go to 5 different places a night and do sets. After all, I had a wife and 3 children to support so I had to do things as quickly as possible.

Me: Who were some of the other comedians you were doing shows with back then? Anybody we would know?

Kip: Oh, wow, there are so many. David Brenner, Steve Landesberg and my favorite Steve Martin. Just all the guys.

Me: Nice. So, when did you realize you were getting really good and thought that is really what you wanted to do?

Kip: Well, it was my determination. I was determined to make this happen. What happened is I got connected with a management company that turned out to be the most powerful management company in the world at that time. That was a stroke of luck because they connected me with these very well known acts like Neil Sedaka and the Carpenters and so on and so on and so on and Andy Williams and I would tour with them. I would do television and I was on the road constantly. At that time there was 3 networks and syndication and over the years I have done over 715 appearances on national and syndicated television. One thing led to another. One time I was working in Detroit at the Hyatt Regency, the place was packed and I got a call from a fellow who wanted me do this new thing called the comedy club. I haven't worked in a comedy club other than the Comedy Store. Thanks to my manager I made very good money at that. I'm not sure where you want to go with this interview, Jason.

Me: I want to talk to you about your career, sir. Okay, so, what was your first appearance like on "The Tonight Show"? Were you nervous or were you excited?

Kip: Well, first of all I was terribly nervous but prepared. I was waiting for it. NBC could've burned down while I was doing my 7 minute set and I would of finished the set. When the set was over one of the producers came over to me and said, "Have you got any more material like that?" I said, "Yes, I do." So there it began. In the end I had done 32 "Tonight Show" shows.  

Me: You had a lot of material, Kip. How long did it take you to work that material out?

Kip: It had to be perfect. I had to be sure. I took no chances. I had an old observation I used to do. I would ask... do you know how many comedians that are in the United States when I started? There were 30. Do you know how many there are now? Thirty.

Me: Did you get to know Johnny? Was he a friend?

Kip: No, he was very hard to get to know and I didn't force the issue. That's the way he wanted it to be and that's the way it was. We weren't pals. He wasn't pals with anyone.

Me: You also did "The Hollywood Squares." How did you get picked to be on that show?

Kip: That was a tough one. I got that because I was featured in an article in People magazine. The producer at the time called me and asked me.

Me: Was it like being on that game show?

Kip: I didn't understand the jokes that the people in the squares were doing. When a contestant would say "Paul Lynde" the host would pull out a card with a Paul Lynde question on it. It was a question made for Paul Lynde so it was all set up in advance. I just wasn't very good at it. I did it 4 or 5 times. I never really scored big.

Me: Where were the comedy clubs you were performing at? I'm sure there weren't many back then. 

Kip: Well, one in Detroit, one in Cleveland, and Los Angeles and that's about it. There was the Improv in New York. There weren't many of them. That's okay, I was working with these big acts doing stadiums, working in front of 15,000 people. It really didn't matter how many people I was working in front of, 200 or 15,000, it doesn't matter.

Me: What is the biggest difference between performing in front of a few hundred people opposed to a few thousand people?

Kip: When I had a large audience, Jason, what would be 10 minutes of material in a smaller venue turns out to be a half hours worth of material in a large venue because of the long rolling laughs. Comedians don't have timing, the audience determines the timing.

Me: That's a good point. What was it like to be on the forefront of the comedy clubs? It must've been an amazing experience.

Kip: It's amazing, It's dangerous. It's exciting, As I account in the book I've been shot at 3 times while I was on stage.

Me: I was gonna ask you, Kip, what's the story about you being shot at on stage?

Kip: When I have an audience of woman and they have liquor and cocaine in their systems and here I am on stage looking good, being the alpha male in the room, that makes some guy's mad. They'll pull a gun and make a shot, not to hit me but there to spook me. I just continued the show. I'd take a pause. How many times have you heard a loud bang in your life and you don't know what it is? I would see the flash and feel the round whiz by my head. That happened 3 times. Once in Gary, Indiana, once in Indianapolis, Indiana and once in Atlanta, Georgia. When someone is out on the road that's a dangerous place to be.

Me: You also known for your songs from Dr. Demento, who I interviewed on the Phile years ago. How did you decide to do the songs and did you think they'd become so popular?

Kip: I didn't think they'd become so popular.

Me: What was the first song you wrote, Kip?

Kip: I wrote first "Wet Dream," and I got the idea from the movie Jaws. I used to do a joke about it. I would say why is it every time they would cut a shark open they always find a license plate in their stomach. Who are these people that drive into the ocean and park in a shark? So, I started writing this thing, it took me 6 months to write. I sent a cassette of it to a radio station called WNJI in Cleveland and John Lanigan was the host of the show. He put it on the air and it became the most requested song in the 5 state area. That participated a record deal came. I got a record deal and I came out with "Life in the Slaw Lane." Anyway, I've got 4 or 5 albums out, I've got 3 top ten hits and 14 songs in all and 8 hours of stage time. A lot of writing, but this is the first book I've written, which is a whole different exercise.

Me: What was it like writing the book?

Kip: I began telling the story. I began my story at the age of 18-months. I have memories of my mom. I just took it from there and the story tells itself. Once I got it in chronological order the story tells itself. The secret is to be honest.

Me: What was it like when you performed your songs on stage?

Kip: That's a good question. When I'd do the song, like "Wet Dream," I would do that without music. It's not necessary about the music, I just did the story. That's how I did it in clubs. Then after awhile I would bring a music tracks and I would have back-up singers to do the bridges. Whatever my room was actually I did it, I wanted to d these things in the best way possible.

Me: You did some acting I think, did you like that?

Kip: Stand up is a lot more fun, acting is a boring profession. There's a lot of waiting around. Acting is not the deal for me.

Me: How did stand up change throughout your career?

Kip: They were coming out to see comedy. All of a sudden they were watching me for decades on the Johnny Carson show. All of a sudden comedy became this new thing everybody wanted to see. That was to my advantage.

Me: What is one of your favorite shows or city's you have done?

Kip: I don't play the room, I play the people. It doesn't matter to me where the room is, an audience is an audience. If you think audiences are smarter in one place than the other you'd be wrong. People are pretty hip.

Me: When you wrote new material was it easy to put in the set?

Kip: That's another very good question. Any new joke I'll tell first. I'd give it the toughest spot of the act... the opening joke would be the new joke. I knew if it worked there, once I put it into a piece it would definitely work. That's the way I worked it. By the way, in my book the last 4 chapters are about stage craft. How to hold a microphone, how to stand on the stage. For instance a lot of people who are very nervous on stage they choke up on the stage. In other words they go right out to the edge of the stage. That's wrong, that makes the audience up front looking up, craning their neck to watch what is going on. You want the audience to be comfortable so they can relax and enjoy the material.

Me: How long did it take you to get comfortable on stage?

Kip: Well, to be honest with you, Jason, it never stopped happening. I constantly learnt new things and I incorporated them. Even when I became state of the art there's still lot to learn.

Me: So, have you retired, sir, or do you still perform?

Kip: I have retired and will remain retired. If I never get on another airplane it'll be too soon for me. 

Me: When did you retire and what made you decide to retire?

Kip: I'm not sure. i retired about 8 years ago. I just said enough of this traveling, I just want to stay home, enjoy my family, and have a normal time for the first time in my life. I had my one apartment when I was 15. I've always been a worker bee, I worked enough, I've saved enough, so I don't have to travel. There's an old saying that old performers have to perform. That's to true, I don't have to perform.

Me: Fair enough. Looking back at your career what were your biggest accomplishments?

Kip: That's a tough one. I can't answer that. My biggest accomplishment is raising my family. That's what I'm most proud of. I did win once a Comedian of the Year award. As we speak I am still creating and writing things. As long as I'm kicking I'm going to be evolving.

Me: That is great. Were you recognized a lot back in the day?

Kip: Yeah, mostly when I'd be in my car because the frame around my window. When I had a frame around my face people would recognize me.

Me: Hahaha. Kip, you are a comedy legend, sir. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon and take care of yourself.

Kip: Thank you, Jason.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Kip for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Jack Douglas from the Trashcan Sinatras. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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