Larry The Cable Guy
“Always play to the people buying the tickets. Never play to the back of the room. That’s very important. Also don’t get discouraged and give up. write an hour a day. Git-r-done – Larry the Cable Guy”
Larry the Cable Guy’s real name is Dan. But I’ll refer to him as Larry because some people might confused like “I thought this was about Larry the Cable Guy? Who’s this Dan idiiot?” Yes I’m calling my readers a bunch of idiots.
I almost didn’t get to meet Larry. I was doing a show in Kent at a winery. I agreed to do it a while ago and keeping my word is very important. So I rushed down after my show to Tacoma, Larry had filled the Tacoma dome. I can’t imagine performing to that big of an audience. It’s so … non intimate. I’m sure there’s a word for that.
I catch the last fifteen minutes or so of the show and Spike (my dad’s co worker) gives me my bracelet and the guy’s number who I’m supposed to get in contact with. There was some confusion as to whether I was allowed back there because he did meet and greets before the show, but eventually I dropped “Bob Rivers Show” enough that they let me go hang out in his green room. Which for the tacoma dome is a couple rooms. He comes out and it’s a couple other fans and some family members.
I introduce myself and tell him I’m Bob’s son and he immediately talks about how great of a guy my dad is and he’s glad to meet me. Tells me to take a seat and hang out. A couple other people are talking and he happily signs every boob and makes phone calls to their friends. We’re hanging out for a while watching fox sports review of the mariners game. Larry was at safeco earlier in the day and they did an interview with him. He starts making fun of them for their attempt at being funny. Some sportscasters are actually funny but those guys were just corny.
I get the feeling like nobody is going to come in and kick me out and I don’t know when to ask him about the book. So he ends up sitting right next to me and he starts up a conversation asking me how comedy is going. I’m like it’s good and then I tell him about my book. He grabs it and spends a few minutes writing. He starts to hand it back and says let me read this because my handwriting sucks and that way I can explain it. He reads it and explains.
Always play to the people paying to see the show. Not the back of the room. The back of the room is a term comics use to describe where the comics hang out. In any given comedy club, the comics hang out in back to just talk shit about the guy on stage and what a hack he is and whatever. A guy like Larry is very unpopular with other comics because they feel like he’s cheap and just does stupid jokes. His advice is basically saying who cares what the other comics think. They don’t pay your salary, the club does, because the audience pays for a ticket. The majority is only in it for themselves. Like I talked about earlier sometimes you meet other comics who are all about helping. Sometimes you meet comics who aren’t. Sometimes you meet comics who are the opposite. Sometimes Gilbert Gottfried tells you to give up.
I had lots of personal struggles between a specific club owner, a couple comics and people who generally thought I was just in it to take advantage and ride my dad’s coattails. I just kept going and did my best to prove that I was out to work hard on my own. At the end of the day, people will form their own opinions about everything. Don’t get discouraged and give up.
and not to overshadow his other advice but I can’t write 60 pages on one entry. Write an hour a day. It’s VERY important. I’m torn about throwing in other quotes from my dad that relate to all of these entries because I don’t want to sort of cockblock the advice that these guys write. My dad hasn’t even signed the book. but my general purpose is to help people. My dad once told me an expression that “Stage time is the frosting.” that’s the fun part. The work is writing. You have to build the cake by writing first. When you’re starting out, forget that. ALWAYS you should be doing new material. constantly testing it out. You should have a list of jokes you haven’t ever done on stage because you like working out new parts to old bits, and you don’t get 30 minutes at an open mic. I’ll cover this more when we get to the Christopher Titus page as he had some great writing advice.