Remembering Sidney Poitier & Bob Saget featuring Bobby Slayton
Fritz and Weezy celebrate the lives and careers of Sidney Poitier and Bob Saget with friend, neighbor and Pitbull of Comedy, Bobby Slayton. Bobby has spent the last 30 years owning audiences with his relentless brand of offensively hilarious standup. He has unapologetically stolen scenes in Get Shorty, Ed Wood, Dreamgirls and Bandits, played Joey Bishop in The Rat Pack movie and stared in his own Showtime special, Born To Be Bobby. Plus Fritz and Weezy are recommending Blackboard Jungle, To Sir With Love, In The Heat Of The Night, A Raisin In The Sun, A Patch Of Blue and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.
Fritz Coleman (00:00:05):
Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman.
Louise Palanker (00:00:07):
And I am Louise Paker
Fritz Coleman (00:00:09):
In the fast entertainment landscape, how do you mainly learn about something that you absolutely, positively have to watch or listen? It's word of mouth. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. You trust the opinion of your friends to steer you to something awesome. Well, media Path wants to be that friend whose opinion you trust. Now, today, w and I are gonna suggest our picks about the greatest Sidney Poitier movies that you might not have seen or have ever seen. We're just gonna put them in the order that we love them, and then we're going to introduce our guest. I've been looking forward to talking to this guy for my money. One of the greatest nightclub comics to ever practice the art form. Bobby Slayton, the Pit Bull of comedy. The only person who actually scares the crap out of the Omicron variant. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. He's gonna be here in a couple of minutes.
Terrify. Talk to Bobby. Yeah. First, I'm gonna do my top five Sidney Poitier movies. Oh, incidentally, we're also going to discuss the life and times and sweetness and big heart of our friend Bob Sagat, that we're saying goodbye to today as well. So I'm gonna go in reverse order here. This is number five. Number five for me is Patch of Blue. This is a story of an uneducated blind white girl who has been befriended by the black man. The black man being who Sidney Portier. She falls in love with him having no idea that he's black. He's a kindhearted soul, and they find escape in one another's lives. Number four for me, is Raisin in the Sun. This is the story of a poor black family and a substantial insurance payout could end up being a windfall for the family, or it could be the opposite.
It could be the seed of their destruction. This is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lorraine Hansbury party. A plays Walter, a young man who's, uh, just trying to find his station in life. I love this movie because it's based on a play and the language is always richer in a play, and the family tension of this movie is very real. I loved it. Number three for me, guess who's coming to dinner? And older couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her new fiance. Who is, guess what, black. It's Sidney Poitier, along with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Three Titans of American film, a beautiful film. Number two, to Sir With Love. This is where a black teacher from British Guyana ends up as a teacher at a school full of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End and Lulus to Serve with Love, which was a major hit at the time, uh, came from that film.
And my number one in the Heat of the Night, a black Philadelphia homicide detective passes through the racially hostile town of Sparta, Mississippi. Detective Virgil Tibbs, he comes in contact with this main antagonist, racist police, chief Gillespie, played by Rod Steiger. I love this movie cuz it's one of the greatest acting dues between talented guys, in my opinion, in the history of movies. Now, my top three ones. So the in the Heat of the Night, uh, to serve with Love and guess who's Coming to Dinner? All came out in 1967. This was just after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. So the country was still in the throes of racial turmoil, and these three movies really poked at those issues head on. I think Sidney Portier is one of the most charismatic gifted presences in the history of film.
Louise Palanker (00:03:48):
I do too. He do know. It's a little known Hollywood fact. The alternate title to, uh, in The Heat of the Night is Rod Steiger Chews Gum
Fritz Coleman (00:03:56):
Louise Palanker (00:03:57):
They opted with the Heat of the Night. I think it's a better choice. <laugh> actually, I, I did spend a lot of time watching Sydnee PO eight movies over the weekend. Fritz mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And in fact, I watched and I advised that everyone do this, this is my recommendation of the week. I watched Blackboard Jungle back to back with Sir With Love. Now here's why that's fun to do. Blackboard Jungle is 1955 when the post-War nation was obsessed with the problem of juvenile delinquents. World War ii veteran Richard Didier played by Glenford, takes a teaching position at a rough New York City high school for boys. The staff warns him that the kids are a bunch of hoodlums, but Didier remains idealistically purposeful. Oh, they're just misunderstood. And they're tough talking until they beat him up in an alley, threaten his wife and try to rape a teacher.
It's a boy school flooded with toxic masculinity. The teacher was asking for it. Even Glen Ford's wife wants to know what she was wearing. But Sidney Portier <laugh>. I know it's difficult sometimes to watch stuff that, but you have to place it within the period. Right. But Sidney Portier stands out as a student. This was his eighth film credit, his first being nightclub Extra in 1940. Sevens sepia Cinderella, which is probably a must watch <laugh>. Uh, so even as an edgy high school tough, he has that regal bearing and we just believe in him, which is why only 12 years later in Deser with Love, Sidney Portier graduates from student to teacher. He's an American. Mark Thackery, who is seeking a career in engineering while teaching at a rundown London East End School full of ruffians and proper school rejects. Thackery inspires the kids to treat themselves and each other with respect, which is why they start calling him, sir. And they start calling each other with respectful names. Once again, with the misogynistic tropes, there is a fair amount of gender stereotypes and slut shaming, but placing the film within its historical frame of 1967 will give you the freedom to sloppy sob as Lou sings, to serve with love over the closing credits. And if you are out in search of shirtless portier, I recommend lilies of the field in which he happens upon a group of nuns and builds them a church.
Fritz Coleman (00:06:08):
Yeah, that was a good movie too. I just couldn't include it in my top five.
Louise Palanker (00:06:11):
Well, I don't think it makes the top five. I
Fritz Coleman (00:06:12):
I think honestly, if you, if you watch it, if you watched him with the sound down mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what, what you could do with in the Heat of the Night. Even his physical movements are perfect when he's getting ready to get back on the train and then Gillespie the racist sheriff, rod Steiger has to come and convince him not to go. His making up his mind not to go, and just turning around slowly and grabbing your suitcase and walking back to the car was so beautifully done. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don't know if that's direction or it's just this
Louise Palanker (00:06:45):
Actual talent. I think it's it's posture. Yeah. The man had excellent posture.
Fritz Coleman (00:06:49):
Yeah, he did. Yeah. Talented man. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So before our guests arrived, yes. Because I think he stepped out to see his drug habit or
Louise Palanker (00:06:56):
Something. He's arrived, but he's just puttering around his house because, and
Fritz Coleman (00:07:00):
He's got a leopard print desk chair.
Louise Palanker (00:07:02):
Oh. There's a lot going on in that home. I, I gotta tell you, it's, uh, to by, by, uh, a way of full disclosure, this home is across the street from <laugh> where we are. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but like with Omicron, it's like with Bobby Slayton, there's a lot of droplets. So this is a loud man, and, uh, he likes to talk. So he is sequestered. We're sequestered. And after the show, we're gonna kind of mosey down the street and take some pictures together. All
Fritz Coleman (00:07:26):
Right. Here's your official introduction. Yeah. Bobby Slaton, the Pit Bull of Comedy, one of the best club comics ever to practice the business. He had an amazing standup career. He ran his own room in Las Vegas for a while, did his own Hysterical Showtime special. But on all the TV shows at Tonight show, bill Maher, whatever great acting roles in Get Shorty Edward Bandits, uh, did a really well-written series with a friend of ours, Mike Binder on H B O called Mind of the Married Man, Kir Your Enthusiasm. He played Joey Bishop opposite Ray Liotta and Joe Montag in the Rat Pack. I want to ask him about this too. Did Woody Allen's Amazon project called Crises and Six Scenes, and, uh, he's Bobby Slayton. I'm so happy to talk to you, my friend. How are you?
Bobby Slayton (00:08:11):
Well, well, you know, you guys make it seem like I've done so much. Thank you for dragging that out. You know, <laugh>, um, it's funny because, you know, I get your emails all the time about, uh, I guess you guys have been doing this podcast for a couple years, and I keep thinking they're gonna call me one of these days. I actually wasn't looking forward for you, for you calling me, I assume at all. I really wanna do the podcast. Yeah. But you know, when Covid hit right? You know, I guess it wasn't just me, but every comedian, I'm sure you guys did this too, everybody was calling since everybody was home. I got all these calls from so many podcasts and so many people, uh, and we wonder what comedians are doing. Uh, during Covid. That was a big thing. And then we, we play this great game, and I go, right, I don't wanna play a game.
I, I, I'm not one of these guys. I watch Jeopardy. I, I played Trevor Pursuit in 1980. I did a line of Coke and stayed up to four in the morning. That was the last time I played a game. <laugh>. I don't wanna have anything to do with these podcasts. And since Covid hit, I go, what do we need to do podcasts for? I have nothing to plug because for years, you know, when I played the comedy clubs, you know, and, and you probably didn't want French. You were on tv, so you didn't really, you know, work the circuit as much, but, you know, you go on the road all the time, you do morning radio, and that was a whole big thing. And since Covid hit, I'm not working, I go, I don't need to do any shows, but I knew you guys would eventually call me because I, you and I knew you wanted to talk about Saggot. And this, you know, the same thing when Robin Williams died after somebody dies, you know, all the podcasts and all the DJs and all the radio people, they waited a day or two and they tried to get, you know, Billy Crystal or Steve Martin or important people. And when they can't get any of these people, I get a call a day later. See,
Fritz Coleman (00:09:45):
That's b about the dead. They, they call you because you were part of the San Francisco Mafia of Comedy. That's why they called you, you were part of the, you know, the incubation period of that, which was Robin Williams.
Louise Palanker (00:09:55):
No, but what he's saying is, this is like a game of musical chairs. Right. You gotta be the last guy to die, because then you get to talk about, it's all, it's about timing. You gotta time your death properly. You don't wanna die on the same day as Doy Gillis, unless you're Bob Sagat who thinks that's the funniest thing he's ever done. Probably
Bobby Slayton (00:10:13):
So. Well, you know, my wife, when my wife passed away six years ago, she died and then two days later, pat Oswald's wife's died. Mm-hmm. And of course, Patton was more famous than me. So he got all the press <laugh> and then Gary Shandling died. And I go, you know, not, not that I needed press cuz of my wife's death. It's not like I can go, Hey, you know, I'm playing the funny bone in Atlanta. You know, my wife's dead. It's not like I can parlay my dead wife into a gig. So it didn't really matter. I didn't really need to do any podcasts when that happened. But, but I knew I wouldn't get any press after Patton's wife passed
Louise Palanker (00:10:43):
Away. Once again, Bobby, it's, it's timing. It is about timing. Yeah.
Bobby Slayton (00:10:46):
It's all about timing. You know, being in the right place, the right time, which I've, I've never been, except for right now, today with you guys, finally it worked out. And by the way mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I didn't realize you were broadcasting four doors away from me. I would've come down to your
Louise Palanker (00:10:59):
House. I know you would have, but it's just, we don't
Fritz Coleman (00:11:01):
Want, well, when this all clears up in a couple of years, you'll come down
Louise Palanker (00:11:03):
To me. You know, Fritz is just, he, he may still be contagious. He had the covid all last week. Bobby, you don't wanna be sitting next to this guy. I'm trying to keep you safe. I love you.
Bobby Slayton (00:11:13):
I don't mind getting it. And I'll tell you why, because I, you know, my girlfriend lives five minutes away. We see each other four or five times a week, which is great. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, but, you know, if I've covid I've to sequestered myself for five, 10 days, it'd be a nice excuse to catch up a lot of shows. She doesn't wanna see
Louise Palanker (00:11:28):
<laugh>. Oh, oh, well, that see timing. Once she, so
Fritz Coleman (00:11:31):
Let me tell you, my first exposure to the pit bull of Comedy Uhoh, so I think it was like 1982,
Louise Palanker (00:11:37):
Fritz Coleman (00:11:37):
Violent. And they used to have the La Comedy competition. Right. And it was stupid to call it the La Comedy Competition because all the great comics in the world that lived in San Francisco, Bobby Slayton, Dana Carvey, uh, Paula Poundstone, uh, Ryan Reynolds would all come down here in one of Bobby's antique cars. They would blow the, they would blow the doors off the comedy competition, kill the five to 10 spots, and then get in their car and leave and go back up to San Francisco. You guys used to kill that thing cuz you were the best comics in the world. And I had,
Bobby Slayton (00:12:12):
You said one of my auntie cars, like I'm Jay Leno. I had one, I had a 1954 Chevy, which was my only car, which is, you know, it's a great car to have when you're in Jay Leno and you have 10 other cars and you actually <laugh> change the oil or fix the light. You know, I, when you live in San Francisco with a car that can barely make it up a hill, <laugh> and, um, you know, barely make it down the five, uh, it got like 20 feet a gallon <laugh>. It wasn't the most practical car to have
Fritz Coleman (00:12:41):
Bobby Slayton (00:12:41):
I remember. It was cool
Fritz Coleman (00:12:42):
Looking though. Shine real good.
Bobby Slayton (00:12:45):
I can't really remember that.
Fritz Coleman (00:12:46):
No, I, I worked with you at The Laugh Stop and Encino and you were gonna do a show, but you were standing out in the parking lot being protective of your car until you went on this picture.
Bobby Slayton (00:12:56):
Oh, I don't remember any of this, but
Fritz Coleman (00:12:57):
I believe here's, now, here's the first conversation I had with you was in the Green Room at the Comedy of Magic Club. And I said, well, you guys come down. You, we remember No year,
Bobby Slayton (00:13:05):
You remember my car?
Fritz Coleman (00:13:06):
No, it was a very, I don't wanna say a traumatizing experience, but it was fun. But, but I, I said, you know, why did you guys come down here? First prize in the comedy competition was like 25 bucks. You know, one night they would do it at the Ice House and the next night they'd do it at Comedy to Magic Club. And I was talking to you about it and, and I, I was dazzled at how many good comics there were in San Francisco. And he said, because San Francisco supports the arts and you can grow as a comic up there. And you told me it was costing you money to come down here because the, the top five or six working comics could make a living in San Francisco a couple thousand dollars a week without even having to leave town. Which I thought was amazing.
Bobby Slayton (00:13:47):
That was a lot of money at the time, you know, you know, you talk about Right timing. The only time in my life I was up in the right place at the right time and it was just lucky, was when that whole comedy boom and French, you seem to know the years, but in the late seventies, early eighties when comedy started taking off and every city was opening a comedy club, San Francisco had like four or five, well,
Fritz Coleman (00:14:08):
Holy Cities Zoo, um, all those great clubs up there.
Bobby Slayton (00:14:13):
And there's also one nighters. So you, you could drive and make a hundred bucks, 500 bucks, whatev whatever, you know, at the time was a lot of money. So every night you could, you could probably work six, seven nights almost every night. So you can make two, three, 4,000 and
Louise Palanker (00:14:28):
You're, are you getting more stage time cuz you can hit more clubs per night.
Bobby Slayton (00:14:31):
Yeah. But now, you know, people would say to me, now, you know, the way I always get young comics asking me for advice mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I go, look, I never did anything. Right. I can't give you advice. I, I never, I I think when I started out, I know about you guys, but you just got up and you did it. There was no no formula, there were no rules. There was no, you know, guidelines. There was no pamphlet. You know, now people comedy classes and now the only time you can watch a comic and see how anybody did it was maybe to watch a Tonight Show and Merv Griffin, now there's a million Netflix specials, there's a million comics is YouTube. So not only can you watch how to do it, but at the same time, I think the negative thing is it's all been done already. I see comics now doing things, the comics of our generation and maybe the generation before it's all been done. You know, it's, it's almost like music. You know, I, I've heard it already and I'm not saying there's not room for new comics. You see a lot of good people, but I think it's tougher now than ever to do
Louise Palanker (00:15:26):
Stand Yeah. To be unique. Yeah. Yeah.
Fritz Coleman (00:15:28):
And and you, you were starting in San Francisco at a time when the comics had to go on strike to get paid down here in 1981. I remember that. But you guys were being paid in San Francisco. Right. So we had to go on strike to get like a $25 tip at the comedy store down here, which kind of kept a damper on the growth of comedy and the growth of performers getting better down here.
Bobby Slayton (00:15:53):
Yeah. But they, that strike didn't go on for very long then. It wasn't only like
Fritz Coleman (00:15:56):
A No, but it was the attitude of the club owners, you know, and, uh, it was, they were spoiled.
Bobby Slayton (00:16:03):
Right. But you, the point was, is that all of us, you know, Kevin meeting Bob Goldway, Paul Poundstone, data carby, Kevin Pollock, we all had to move down to la you know, at the same time there were Boston comics, there was a like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, the opposite end of the country. Yep. There were guys from Boston, they eventually had to come to LA and all the New York comics who, you know, <inaudible> got a nice little comedy scene. But New York was really where, you know, Richard Belzer LA Yes. Booley very sein fellow, mark Schiff. And, and, and, and all of them, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, that's was the biggest even they had to come to la you know, this was the place that everybody finally came to and
Fritz Coleman (00:16:39):
Had to be. Yeah. There, there are little local nuggets. Like Boston had a Supreme, Lenny Clark and all those guys. Stephen Wright,
Bobby Slayton (00:16:45):
We Right. They were
Fritz Coleman (00:16:47):
Really good. And New York, obviously, you really had to know what you were doing in New York, but they all ended up coming out here cuz the talk shows were out here, Carson was
Bobby Slayton (00:16:54):
It. Look where we all are now.
Fritz Coleman (00:16:57):
Right across the street.
Louise Palanker (00:16:58):
So I, um, we're gonna do a little bit of a tribute to Bobst right now. I I was the mc at the Laugh Factory during I guess late nineties, early, early two thousands. Bobst was, uh, one of the comics that frequented that club. And I spent a lot of time with him. I introduced him like hundreds of times, <laugh>. But, so it was an interesting phenomenon to, to observe when Bob took the stage, everyone was excited to get to see their favorite TV dad in person. But then Bob lodged into his act and the look on people's faces was as if Ward Cleaver had walked up to them and cracked a bunch of fart jokes and then told them that his balls itch. Folks went from shocked to delighted. And if they weren't able to make that shift, Bob was like, you can either get on board with this or not because I am going to continue. And then he'd talk about how on America's Funniest Videos, a monkey stuck his finger in his butt, sniffed it, and then fell out of a tree. And this was Bob Saggot in real life. It was something else to watch people get with the program on who Bob was going to be on stage. It didn't take long. It was, uh, quite a ride.
Fritz Coleman (00:18:01):
I call it the Skip Stevenson Syndrome. Okay. Do you remember him and his fame?
Bobby Slayton (00:18:05):
I remember Skip a Skip was a comedy still guy and I remember him of course when he was on Real
Fritz Coleman (00:18:09):
People. Yeah. He was on Real People. He, it was the same syndrome as Saggot, that he had this real scrubbed American, you know, unoffensive McDonald's type character. Cuz he had this sort of platonic sexual attention with Sarah Purcell. And they were real cute about it and everything <laugh>. And when he was in a club, he went out of his way to make people understand that this was not the real hymn. And it got so bad, especially when it was fallen into Blow. He would not only offend people, he would clear the room. I saw him in the ice house literally blow an entire 180 person audience out the door. They couldn't stand it anymore. So he just had this thing where he refused to allow people to accept that he was that nice guy that was his TV persona. And Sagat does the same thing, or just,
Louise Palanker (00:18:54):
You know, but he didn't, he never walked a room. He never walked a room. There was people like Damon Waynes that would walk out. Well,
Fritz Coleman (00:18:59):
No. He would have a cocaine habit and just scare people.
Louise Palanker (00:19:01):
No, Bob was always like appropriately naughty. I mean, it was y you'd be spitting up a lot of beverages, but, you know, nobody was walking out. I mean, the guy was just too delightful. Love.
Bobby Slayton (00:19:11):
Yeah. I love watching Sagt. You know, it was funny because I, I didn't watch a lot of comics. I wasn't at the improv or the Comedy store that much cuz like I said, I was on the road. So when I was home, I'd like to stay home. But I would go to the Comedy Magic Club and it was always like watching, I'd like to watch Bob and I'd like to watch people with Godfried, not so much to watch them mm-hmm. <affirmative> as much as I love both of them. <laugh>. But it's to watch the audience when they didn't know. Like, okay, I, I haven't done standup for a while. And about six months ago I took a gig in Vegas opening up to Gilbert Godfrey. I wanted to get back into standup. I hadn't worked for a while and everybody coming to that show knew Gilbert. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But in the old days before they knew him, they would just go to a comedy club and like you said, Weezy, you goes see Saggot. He, he was Warren Cleaver. They knew him from Full House America's Funniest videos, whatever. Such a clean cut guy. And I would love to watch cuz some of the audience would know what they were in for. But so many of them mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it was so funny to watch their faces. Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that was the best part. Everybody loved to watch the audience watching Saggot.
Louise Palanker (00:20:09):
Exactly. I think Saggot loved it too. He had the best view of the audience and he just delighted in it. And it's just like, it, he was not going to be derailed. This is my act and this is what I'm doing and this is what I find funny. And you know, I'm a great guy, so get with this. And they, and they usually did. I, I don't remember anybody kind of like complaining or asking for their money back. It was just like, oh my God, can you believe what he said? Tune. Just
Fritz Coleman (00:20:31):
Sit. Well, it takes guts. Your act takes guts. Did you start out being the energy level and your, your attitude on stage? Or did you come
Bobby Slayton (00:20:41):
Into that, you know, oh, that pit bull of comedy thing? You know, the way it all started when I started doing Stand, I actually have somewhere this little cassette tape of my first time on stage. And of course like everybody, it was abominable <laugh>. Um, if I, I mean, I haven't listened to it in years, but if I listened back to it now, it's probably okay for a 21 year old guy in the seventies that was never on stage. You didn't watch a lot of comedy, you know, <laugh>. But it, it was pretty bad as I recall. And my first couple of times I Norm Crosby's comedy shop, I was pretty bad. But every comic, you know, was not great when they started, except for maybe a Dave Chappelle, you know, a few guys like that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> who happened to be just, you know, these enigmas who happened to be terrific comedians.
But, um, I got that whole thing because I used to open up for rock and roll bands in San Francisco. It was a club. The big club in San Francisco was the Punchline Comedy Club that the late great Bill Graham, the promoter, uh, the Rock Promoter owned. And next door, it was a big nightclub, uh, where Warren Zba would play Little Stephen and the whatever the four tops, the Tower Power, Greg Charles. And they would use comedians to open up and Dana Carby would open up and Kevin Pollock would open up a little bub Sarlo would open up. But when you had to open up for some punk band, like the Strangler <laugh> or meet the, or the Tubes, they would call me Go Ghost busted. Not that I would do well, but I, it was like riding a mechanical bowl. I knew if I could stay on for 10 minutes, I knew I was going to get thrown off and have a concussion. But if I could stay on for 10 minutes and make my 50 bucks, I did my job. And if I could get people not to throw shit at me, it was gonna be okay. So it was
Fritz Coleman (00:22:22):
A defense mechanism that put you into that frame of mine instinct.
Bobby Slayton (00:22:25):
It became killer or be killed. Right.
Louise Palanker (00:22:28):
Bobby Slayton (00:22:28):
And you Yeah. That's how it kind of started. And also, you know, the, the, the, the little, the alcohol little, and I never did massive amounts of cocaine, but you did a little Coke, you had a shot of vodka. You, you, you know, you had that whole punk rock, rock and roll mentality and that, you know, rebel and, and that Lenny Bruce said, ah, you know, kind of get them before they get you kind of thing.
Louise Palanker (00:22:51):
So yeah. And it probably, that's Levon, you know, and it's probably very exhilarating when you can pull it off and come off stage and be like, like, I nailed that, that fo probably feels like you're flying
Bobby Slayton (00:23:01):
It. It was great. You know what, there, there were, I look, I would up for people like Ray Charles and Tower Power, Warren z Yvonne with the audience was no, not there to see the comic, but as long as your name was on the marquee, they knew they were gonna, and I was kinda getting a little bit of a name in the Bay area. So if you could do okay, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like you said, if you could do your 15 minutes, get five minutes to laugh, 10 minutes of them just get quiet, that's fine. And then not then. Yeah. It's, it's great because they're not at a comedy club and they're not there to see you. So Yeah. It, it's a comedy club. They're there to laugh and it's great when you make them laugh, but when they're have no idea you're gonna be on the bill and they're <laugh> they're not there to see you at all. And you can get them. Yeah. Like you said. Yeah. I think there's a extra little bit of, uh, you know, pleasure in doing that. Yeah. Going to work.
Fritz Coleman (00:23:51):
Steve Martin said that's the worst thing about being a standup is opening for like a rock and roll band or something that doesn't care about you. He said you just have to have a hardy self-esteem to pull that off.
Bobby Slayton (00:24:01):
Yeah. And Albert Brooks did that famous routine opening for Richie Havens with where people timed their drugs for the headliners. <laugh>, every comic, every comic has horror stories about comedy clubs and bachelorette parties and being drunk and the three shows on Saturday, but opening for a rock band. So that's where that whole aggressive thing happened, you know? And also I'm like, look, right now I'm 66 years old, I just got hearing aids <laugh>, I, I'm more relaxed. I've ever been Haven done cocaine in years, but even like in the middle of the afternoon. So back then, when you're trying to make a name for yourself, prove like, Jake Lamada, you didn't get me down. You didn't get me
Fritz Coleman (00:24:39):
Down. Right. Plus it was different. It was different. It made you stand out from the rest of the pack.
Bobby Slayton (00:24:46):
Right. Well, I was, yeah. Yeah. You know. Yeah. I, I guess, you know, I'm not gonna call myself an original cuz there was certainly guys before me, but, but you know, it was, yeah. I made a name for myself doing that and I was very proud of it. It was good, you know, there were people who were better than people who were worse. And who, who's that head Get outta the picture.
Louise Palanker (00:25:05):
Who's trying to take your picture off?
Fritz Coleman (00:25:07):
I'm our producer. She can do whatever she wants. She she's taking
Louise Palanker (00:25:09):
Your picture. You Yeah, she's taking your picture and you need more light on your face if you can make that happen, like just,
Bobby Slayton (00:25:13):
I don't know, make more light, you know, why don't you just come to my house and take a picture? <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:25:18):
Okay, Bobby, you know
Bobby Slayton (00:25:19):
What? Here, here's what thing I don't know how to do. Okay. So one reason I really hate to in podcast is that, okay, do this in my office. I shut my home phone off. My home phone doesn't ring for days except when I do a podcast, <laugh> and I don't have the light worked out. Exactly. You know, the other thing about podcasts, which is funny, now that people are always doing interviews on television, you realize how fucking ugly people's homes are. Doesn't matter how much money you have. Somebody, you're talking to somebody, you have such an ugly house. You, it was like this Home Depot kind of, you know, this where you decorate. Like it looks like you, you know, your grandmother's house. You know, you, you know, you,
Fritz Coleman (00:25:55):
You officially retired just before the pandemic, didn't you? I mean that was or or is it the gigs dropped off and you decided to announce that was your retirement point?
Bobby Slayton (00:26:04):
Well, I don't know if I retired and they retired me. It's like, you can't fire me cuz I quit <laugh>. It was more
Fritz Coleman (00:26:11):
Like, um, but So you didn't subject yourself to the Zoom comedy experience of the last two years? No. Which is like surgery without anesthesia. It's the worst
Bobby Slayton (00:26:20):
Thing. No, you know, I was very, very lucky because here, here's what happened. Look, and it is nothing to do. I'm not bitter about this. You know, when I, when I stopped right before Covid, the comedy scene changed tremendously. Netflix, young comics, all my fans, but few fans I had either died or retired or moved to Florida or didn't give you shit about comedy comes anymore. DUIs, bachelor parties, urban crowds, whatever it is. Nobody, I, look, I don't want to go out. You might wanna, I don't wanna watch any comedy, but if I wanna, I could sit in my bed with my 80 inch television and watch comedy precisely. And everyone know it's like being out. I don't wanna be out with some as asshole on his phone next to me and some idiot, you know, knocking over his drinks and some bitch complaining about her food.
And I don't wanna be around. So I, I think comedy took a different turn at the same time. I was getting sick of doing this shit. Yeah. You know, I, I hit my sixties and I, I was making money doing radio commercials and a few TV shows. So like I said, you can't fire me. I quit. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you know, the last time I worked was two years ago. And Bill Mar, me and Sarah Silverman to Hawaii and we did a great show. And I could see why Bill Marsh still likes to work. You know, when you fly at a private jet and you're making six figures for a night and you're staying at a Ritz Carlton. Yeah. I guess comedy can be pretty good <laugh>, you know, but why guys like Seinfeld and, and, and, and Bill still do it, obviously they love it cuz they certainly don't need the money. I get tired of working the clubs and I never made it to that level. I am thrill. People say, what do you do all day? If I'm not playing my drums, I'm making these guitars. If you come over, you gotta see these. Okay. Um, you, you gotta see what I'm, it's kind, it's my hobby now. And you know, I I I I read books and I watch television. I'm happy not doing anything. I love doing nothing. Love it.
Louise Palanker (00:28:01):
I, I would love to hear some stories of hecklers or you kind of like, uh, being confronted by somebody who was offended by perhaps something that you said in your act.
Bobby Slayton (00:28:12):
Oh my God, where do I begin?
Louise Palanker (00:28:13):
I don't even know.
Bobby Slayton (00:28:15):
I don't even know either. I mean, look, you know, it's <laugh>. It's <laugh>. You know, there were times when I went open the line, but, but you know, there, there were guys like, um, uh, bill Hicks who opened for me when he was a young kid, bill Hicks opened for me. He was like 17, eighth. And we, we shared a couple of condos together. And Bill, I remember would go out his way to offend people. He'd walk a whole room. He would like to do it. And I, I think Sam Kenon would like to do it. I never wanted to walk people, but if somebody got offended, I went out or, or, or heckled me. I went outta my way. Sometimes they'd shut up and I'd go, that's not enough. Like, you know, like if you stole my wife's purse and I caught you <laugh> and I kicked you, I would beat you till you were dead <laugh>.
And I would do that to an audience member. You started it. I'm gonna finish it. But there were nights when I did nothing and people just look, and, you know, now with the woke culture as they call it, right? People are more offended than any by, by. It's, it's mind boggling now. Um, a couple of times I went to the improv the last year just to dabble and see if I could still do it. And a third of the audience was young kids. And they were shocked. And the material was really nothing, nothing that you guys would be offended by. But people, and then other people, I think find it refreshing. Oh my God, I can't believe he said that. He made a gay joke. He made a black joke. You know, he made, you know, and, and, and so, so like a lot of the audience likes it. And a few people are offended. But there were times where, you know, I mean, bachelorette parties are notorious. I mean, Fritz, every, you were, you know, you brought bachelorette parties and No, I, but I used to do a lot of jokes about my wife and a lot of jokes about women and these and you know, and sometimes they would run out in tears, you know, and I wouldn't feel bad. I would, I thought I was trying to help them.
Louise Palanker (00:29:56):
I wonder if anybody second fought their decision.
Bobby Slayton (00:29:58):
Yeah. My act was like a tough flub program. <laugh> that about my act. It was like bootcamp for marriage.
Fritz Coleman (00:30:05):
Well, Seinfeld said that everything is so politically correct now, he won't do college campuses and if Seinfeld won't do college campuses, you know, we are too politically correct right now.
Bobby Slayton (00:30:15):
I remember reading that story about him, but I don't know if Seinfeld has done college campuses for years, you know? Um, because he's busy playing seasons for half a million dollars.
Fritz Coleman (00:30:25):
<laugh>. Well that might be it
Bobby Slayton (00:30:26):
With the list. I'm Feld really played talented campuses, but
Fritz Coleman (00:30:29):
<laugh>, I don't know.
Bobby Slayton (00:30:30):
Now Chris Rock said the same thing. I remember that story, but, um, I haven't done that in many, many years. But wheezy, you asked if, if, if I may call you wheezy, we go away. Yep. Um, Ms. Wheezy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, yeah, there were nights where people, you know, the Comedy Magic Club, the most politically correct club in the country, right. Mike Lacy, who owns the club. Yep. And, and Fritz, you know, he played that many times for years he wouldn't use me because, um, I, I offended a woman one night and um, and years later he put me on, I think I was doing benefits to my daughter's school. And Mike says to me, oh my God, you're like George Carlin. You're like, Lenny Bruce, I didn't realize how funny you are. You gotta come back. But he wouldn't put me on a Saturday night when his regulars were there. He would put me on the Friday late show. And his cousin, this idiot woman who ran the place, had signs on every table. This guy is very funny, but he is very offensive. And I'm going, first of all, I don't think he needed on every table is overkill. And the type people are in the club. It's a little late for this. You know?
Louise Palanker (00:31:26):
Why not just put it in the menu like after every item, you know? Just,
Bobby Slayton (00:31:30):
It was great. I mean, I love stuff like that. I thought it was great.
Louise Palanker (00:31:33):
But do you remember ever being followed to your car or being threatened or, you know, anything, anyone you had to talk down just to kind of like escape with your life?
Bobby Slayton (00:31:43):
Actually, you know what, not as much as I, you would think mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, there were there, there was one night, <laugh>, there was one night in New Orleans or Baton Rouge, but many, many years ago, Harris, Pete, I think the doorman who was at the comedy store was opening up, we're going back 30, 35 years before I was married, you know, and there was a table of, uh, angry lesbians. Like there's any other kind. Thanks to be one of my jokes.
Louise Palanker (00:32:06):
Oh my goodness. Let's
Bobby Slayton (00:32:07):
Make sure you can,
Louise Palanker (00:32:07):
We're gonna need to put a card on the table. If you're listening to this podcast, please put a card on your own table.
Bobby Slayton (00:32:13):
<laugh>, if you wanna know something. I found out years later that lesbians became my biggest fans and they were the coolest people cuz they'd been throw enough crap. But back then, when the gays were fighting the good fight, I couldn't make fun of them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, um, so anyway, these four women were so pissed. And after the show they came backstage and they said, Bobby, you better wait in the dressing room. These four women are waiting for you. And of course I did a few lines of coke, a few vodkas, and I was ready to fight. You don't wanna go out there, Bobby. And they were so, they called the Baton Rouge Police Department to gimme an escort to my car. And I was saying to the cops, come on, we gotta take this lesbian. Come on, we <laugh>. But, but you know, that really didn't happen very often. Um,
Fritz Coleman (00:32:52):
Speaking about that same topic, the L G B LGBTQ topic, what about Chappelle's current turmoil that he finds himself in? What's your opinion about that whole
Bobby Slayton (00:33:00):
Thing? Well, what's very funny is two years ago, and not that I took it from Chappel Pel, I did that exact same joke, uh, for, for like a year about the, um, um, um, what was the joke about, uh, pussy? The, uh, I, I forgot the joke already. But then Chappel did on a special, it wasn't an impossible joke to think of because so much crap for it. Um, what was the joke? I don't even remember now. Cause so much said, been stand up.
Louise Palanker (00:33:23):
All I remember is that he was saying something about trans people.
Fritz Coleman (00:33:26):
That's the, that's the current thing. It's the trans people. But
Bobby Slayton (00:33:29):
You know what? And then look, I, I loved Derek Chapon with the passion. I thought a special was great. A little preachy, but great. But you wanna know something. When I started doing stand up in San Francisco, the reason I got so much shit was for the exact same reason when I was 22 years old, is that the gay movement was just starting out. You know, I, I started in San Francisco in the early seventies, so the hippie movement was kind of winding down, ending the Jefferson airplane, grateful Dead. And the whole gay movement, you know, before AIDS was starting to be big. So it was that it was hippie gay kind of transition. And I remember there was a black comedy night in Oakland. It was a gay comedy night in the Castro District. And there were gay comics making fun of straight people and black comics making fun of white people.
And at 22, I said, wait a second. That's fine. You can make fun of me, but I can't make fun of you. I can't do gay jokes. And they weren't, and pardon my term, sagging jokes. They weren't Sam Kees and AIDS jokes. They weren't mean, they were gay jokes. And, and, and gay people got so mad at me and there was this whole antibi slate in San Francisco. Oh, he's making fun of queer people. Well, you making fun of me. Why can't I make fun of you? It was nothing mean or vicious. But the more they came down on me, no pun intended, the more I came down on there.
Louise Palanker (00:34:40):
Well that has to do with that black
Bobby Slayton (00:34:41):
Comics, you know, I never used the n word on stage. But white people do this, white people do that, you know? Well, I lemme tell you, black people don't shut 'em in movie theater. And it's the first comic to do that joke. You can't shut the fuck them in a movie theater <laugh> and people Oh my God. But for the most part, and even black people found it funny, but there were that one aspect that, you know, that militant radical gays and blacks. So if you're gonna gimme shit, I'm just gonna give it back to you. So the whole point was Dave Chappelle, the trans people are the same way. I think there's all like 30 of them. And they, they talk so much. I mean, it seem like there's, there's a million of these people <laugh>.
Louise Palanker (00:35:15):
No, there's a lot, there's a lot more than you realize. First of all, there's a lot of people that have taken that to their graves and lived an unhappy life because of it. No, I
Bobby Slayton (00:35:23):
Louise Palanker (00:35:24):
Whole thing Bobby, is that it has to do with something called a power dynamic, which is that if you're more powerful in society, you don't get to make fun of people who with, you know, in, in terms of some sort of kind of
Bobby Slayton (00:35:37):
I get it. I get it.
Louise Palanker (00:35:38):
No, but, but I, but then the big question is who determines who has more power? Dave Chappelle or the trans community? So these are where, that's where it gets confusing. But I guess what he said was disrespectful and using a term that the trans community doesn't even want people to notice. But
Fritz Coleman (00:35:54):
If he watch his special, he apologizes to trans people for 15 minutes before he Right. And he and he befriended it. He told this great story about letting this inexperienced trans comic open forum in San Francisco. Remember that exactly. He was, he was really nice about it. And then he just said something at to the end that really pissed everybody off.
Bobby Slayton (00:36:13):
It was, look, I think, look, look, I don't wanna talk about it cause I don't wanna get any traffic. I think most trans people, and I can't speak for the trans community, I think most of them find it very funny or didn't really care. But there are a few people that get very offended. The same thing happened to me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and ok look, if I was one of, if I was trans or I was gay or I was black in the seventies, you know, you know, may, you know, I could see why people hate police and I can see why people are offended and I can see why people are touchy. I get it. I get, you know, I do get it. I really do. But that's why I'm glad I'm not doing standup anymore. Cause I don't wanna have to walk that line. Yeah. And apologize or explain. Yeah.
Louise Palanker (00:36:49):
It's quite a, quite a but I do get it. Tricky needle to thread. So we would love to hear you tell some jokes that you've retired because they're completely offensive in today's culture.
Bobby Slayton (00:37:00):
<laugh>. Well, I wish you would've given me a heads up on this
Louise Palanker (00:37:03):
Bobby Slayton (00:37:04):
Well, first of all, I've retired Totally. So it's kind of water under the bridge. I don't, um, there is nothing that I retired before I quit. And when I did, um, you know, I did a corporate gig mm-hmm. <affirmative>, one little corporate gig a few months ago. But it's, it was for a bunch of guys in Vegas. So, you know, everything goes right. But there was nothing, if I had to go back and do my act now, I would still do exactly what I did before.
Fritz Coleman (00:37:32):
I remember your closing joke 40 years ago at the Comedy of Magic Club. You close with your stamp licking joke, which was hysterical. I saw it 50 times and made me laugh my ass off.
Bobby Slayton (00:37:44):
Oh, was the pap test stamp? Yeah,
Fritz Coleman (00:37:46):
The, the the stamp thing
Bobby Slayton (00:37:48):
That was, that was like Trump. Yeah. That wasn't an offensive joke. No,
Fritz Coleman (00:37:52):
I, no, I didn't say it was offensive. I was just one that I remembered from your act that you always killed with those comedy competitions.
Bobby Slayton (00:37:58):
I carried a stamp in my wallet, which celebrated the pap test. And I said I couldn't bring myself to lick this and put it on an envelope <laugh>, which was reminiscent of the Chevy Chase joke. It wasn't, I didn't take it from him. But the joke that did about a stamp honoring prostitution, remember that joke? Right. It's a 10 said stamp Allen's why Bell wrote it. But if you wanna lick across the quarter, right. Uh, similar licking stamp joke. Sure,
Louise Palanker (00:38:22):
Sure. Of the genre.
Bobby Slayton (00:38:23):
I retired, um, or wouldn't retire now. Um, I had one joke about, uh, you know, um, um, about, uh, you know, Jenner Jenner, but it was nothing I found offensive from. And, you know, and so many people have done jokes about that already. It's probably old news. I didn't even remember what the joke was. Um, so yeah, there's nothing that I would retire, no. Because again, there's nothing I found in my act that I thought was offensive. And I didn't do things to offend people. I did things I thought were funny. But if offended people, you fuck them, you know,
Louise Palanker (00:38:59):
Trust start. And you, I I think you have to have that attitude to have the career that you've had because, you know, you've gotta be kind of just fearless to get out there and just like, this is what I think is funny. This is who I am. This is my personality. You're here, you've paid money, sit down, relax, and enjoy yourself on Bobby Slayton goodnight. So, you know, you gotta be that guy. I, I, you know, a lot of people would be too sensitive or would be too worried about hurting somebody's feelings. But you, your intentions were never to hurt anyone's feelings. Your intentions were to entertain them. Never.
Bobby Slayton (00:39:31):
Never. And if, if, if a trans person or a black person got offended, I, I felt I would feel bad because I never did that to, you know. But I feel like Richard asked me about Dave Chappelle. It's the same thing. He did what he felt was funny. I thought that special was brilliant. Oh, yeah.
Fritz Coleman (00:39:45):
Bobby Slayton (00:39:46):
Yeah. And, you know, and I, all the controversy just seemed so ridiculous, especially with all the crapes going on in the world, the fact with global warming and, and Trump was president at the time and all. And fact, the world's gonna hell in a head basket and all these wars and famine and, and Covid and really ain't gonna worry about him doing a joke about transgender people.
Fritz Coleman (00:40:07):
So earlier in your career, before you got the guts to do it on stage for the first time, who were the people that made you want to try this?
Bobby Slayton (00:40:14):
Before I started doing standup?
Fritz Coleman (00:40:15):
Yeah. Who, I mean, who, who did you look up to?
Bobby Slayton (00:40:18):
You know, I don't know about you guys, but when I started doing standup, you know, if you talk to most comics, and again, I don't know about you two, but I never wanted to do standup when I was younger. And you always hear these interviews. Oh, when I was young, I would watch, you know, I would watch whenever, you know, buddy Hackett. And, and, and I'd watched Sullivan and watch, uh, he had black comics watch Eddie Murphy. And I wanted to be a comic. I never crossed my mind to ever be a comic until I went to the Holy City Zoo one night in San Francisco did it. So I never thought about it, but the people who made me laugh, okay, I'm 66, so in the sixties, people who made me laugh, I guess from Ed Sullivan was watching Rodney Dangerfield. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I watching the Smothers Brothers, who I love of a passion mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, Lenny Bruceton before my time Mark Saul 1617. I certainly didn't get that. Um, you know, but I watched, uh, I grew up with a lot of, Robert Klein was the guy.
Fritz Coleman (00:41:13):
Oh yeah. He was my man. He and Carlin were the two guys for me.
Bobby Slayton (00:41:17):
Yeah. Well, I I, if you talk to most Jewish comics my age, who were in their teens and early twenties, it was Klein Yeah. And more of the Catholic Christian comments. It was Carlin mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And to the black comics, it was Richard Pryor. Bo Cosby mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then, you know, the next generation of black, I think a lot of them will tell you it was Eddie Murphy and then Chris Rock and then, you know, so I think we all had, I mean, I loved them all, but I think that the guy as a semi adult in my teen, it was Robert Klein.
Fritz Coleman (00:41:45):
Absolutely. And then, and if you look at the, uh, the, the growth of the New York comedy scene with Caroline's and the comic strip guys like, uh, Seinfeld, Larry Miller, uh, uh, Paul Riser, they are nothing but offshoots of Robert Klein. They're doing Robert Klein's act with a slight twist.
Bobby Slayton (00:42:06):
Right. And, and I
Fritz Coleman (00:42:07):
Don't mean to insult them, but you hear it in their cadences and their, and their patterns. It's, it's very
Louise Palanker (00:42:12):
Robert. And the same thing happened with Letterman, where you'd take a lot of male comics would just take on those patterns cuz they were so engaging. Yeah.
Bobby Slayton (00:42:19):
Well, and those guys will admit it. They, they, they talk about how that was, and you know what, even though he doesn't sound like him, Jay Leno loved Klein. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, there was, and it was David Brenner who became a good friend of mine who I, I I loved B Brenner. It was, you know, these, these straight white, Jewish, New York ologist who I could identify with mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know. Yeah. Um, so those were the guys that I loved the most. Yeah.
Fritz Coleman (00:42:42):
Yep. I never thought about doing it, but I, I remember, uh, the first time I ever saw a standup.
Bobby Slayton (00:42:50):
Yeah. Who did you watch? You watched like Woo Scott to get into like the weather watch I gotta get,
Fritz Coleman (00:42:57):
I said, man, if I could wear a boat, I
Bobby Slayton (00:42:58):
Like that. Come mom, I think it's gonna rain tonight. <laugh> <laugh>.
Fritz Coleman (00:43:06):
It's not. No. I mean, for my standup desire, I didn't even, I I never, I never had, my self-esteem wasn't hardy enough to think I could ever do it myself. But when I was a junior in high school, I think, or a senior, somebody bought me tickets on the East coast. They used to have these things called music fairs. Buffalo had one called the Melody Fair. Melody Fair. And in California, or in, uh, Pennsylvania where I grew up, they had the Valley Forge Music Circus. This was like a Cirque Dule tent with 3000 seats. And it was a beautiful venue. So somebody bought me tickets to see George Carlin. I, I'd never seen standup. I didn't know the tricks that it takes you a couple of years to sort of build this. But this guy stood on stage and for an hour and a half told in such a matter of fact way, these wonderful stories, never looking at notes and everything. And honest to God, it was like a religious experience for me. I said, how can somebody do that? And I was mesmerized by him. So he was my conversion too.
Bobby Slayton (00:44:05):
Really? He was, yeah, he was, before I started doing standup, I went to see him too. You know, I was a doorman before I started doing standup in 21. I was a doorman at a club called The Boarding House in San Francisco. Yep. Familiar where Robin, before he was Robin opened up for Melissa Manchester and Steve Martin played there a lot with the nitty grit, dirt Man. They would open up for him and I, I'd watched them still never thought of doing standup. And then he Youngman came in <laugh> a week, uh, uh, his, you know, one liners from the old b b Cat days. And I'm watching him, and again, none of them were role models for me. I never, I never watched Robin or, or ski Martin or, or you know, he, I just, I wanted be one of these guys. They made me laugh, but it never crossed my mind to do it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And matter fact, I went to a party one night, that's when I started doing standup. Went to a party one night, started doing henman's jokes, <laugh>, I was one years old. Cover, Hey, there's a holy city zoo. You should try standup. So I wrote five minutes of material, not one-liners. Take my wife please. Kind of stuff. But awful stuff. Like I said earlier.
Louise Palanker (00:45:08):
Well, let me ask, let me ask both of you. What if you're, you're, you're 12 years old, you're 15 years old. Do your friends describe you as funny?
Fritz Coleman (00:45:18):
Yeah. Yeah. Mine did. Yeah. I mean, it was the only way I got attention. I was bad in athletics.
Bobby Slayton (00:45:23):
I was class clown. Yeah.
Fritz Coleman (00:45:24):
Yeah. I was that really un unhealthy and yeah, that was me.
Louise Palanker (00:45:28):
So that means that when you saw standup, it wasn't that foreign to you. It wasn't such a leap to kind of imagine, oh, I could take what I am naturally and sort of craft it into an act. This is something that I
Fritz Coleman (00:45:38):
Could get paid for this. Yeah. And do it for an hour and a half and nobody says shut up. That would be
Louise Palanker (00:45:42):
Bobby Slayton (00:45:43):
Every April Fool's day, I went down to the local joke store and I bought, you know, the fig vomit Fig dog do <laugh>. That wasn't really stand up.
Louise Palanker (00:45:55):
It wasn't a strong closer. It worked.
Bobby Slayton (00:45:59):
Yeah. I was, yeah. The, the joy buzzer. None of my tricks or jokes really ever seemed to fool anybody. The fake vomit. And,
Louise Palanker (00:46:06):
Um, I bought the fake vomit too. Vomit. I tried, uh, like I saw a kid at camp with the fake vomit. I'm like, where did you get that? It's like, it becomes a desirable item, you know? And, uh, what were some of the other things that I just, you know, of course there was a, I guess they call it a whoopy cushion, but you know, the thing that far to sit down, I had to have that, had to have the buzzer. Yeah. You could send away at the end of the comic books. Right. There was stuff you could send away for that was just kind of amusing.
Bobby Slayton (00:46:31):
Johnson Smith catalog sent away for everything. You
Fritz Coleman (00:46:34):
Know, I, I talked to George Wallace one time and he said the hardest he's ever worked in his life was running his own room in Las Vegas, which you have experience doing. You had Hooters. What hotel was that in?
Bobby Slayton (00:46:47):
Oh my God. Hooters. Was it Hooters?
Fritz Coleman (00:46:49):
No. So it wasn't part of like a, you know, a main hotel or No, it
Bobby Slayton (00:46:53):
Wasn't a Hooter's restaurant. It was a Hooter's hotel. Oh. Oh,
Fritz Coleman (00:46:56):
Louise Palanker (00:46:56):
Okay. Hooters has a hotel.
Fritz Coleman (00:46:58):
But anyway, but, but, but am I right about that? He said, because what happens is they give you a budget. You have to buy your own advertising. You have to hire your own, actually, you have to hire the stage crew. It's a really hard job. And only, only a small portion of it is actually performing.
Bobby Slayton (00:47:11):
I'll tell you quickly what happened with me. And it was a godsend. I was working the clubs. This was 10 years ago. And, you know, work was drying up. Again, I wasn't on television a lot. And I mean, I was working, but it was playing horrible comedy club. And Hooters wanted to put entertainment into their hotel. Their hotel was right off the strip. And it was on a corner where we had the MGM Grand across from you. New York. New York. And across from that you had the Luxer. So Carita was at the Luxer. New York. New York either had the Roseanne bar or Lou Anderson. And over the m Jim Grand every week was either a boxing match, Robin Williams, David Copperfield, Lewis Black, and I'm off the strip, and it's a Hoos hotel. So right there, I have two strikes against me, <laugh>. But what I got was something that no comic in my generation ever had.
Rita Rudner was the first comic of our generation to go into Vegas. I mean, they were all the Vegas comics, you know, the buddy hack and Don Rickles, you know, the rat hat. But if our generation to have their own room, Rita was the first one. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and her husband Martin, who was an advertising brilliant. Yeah, I know, I know those guys. Is he? Yeah. He was a great, great guy. And, and, and, um, Rita went in there with his great act that was perfect for Vegas, and they did all this PR work. And then George Wallace, I think was the second one to go in. And then again, like I said, Lou Anderson went in and then, you know, there were all these comedians, you know, side program plan and George Carlin and you know, you know, bill Cosby or whatever. So there was always something going on in that town, and it was crazy.
So when Hooters hired me, they actually gave me a salary and none. Okay. George Wallace, and none of those guys got a salary. They went for a piece of the door, had to do their own advertising, had to put themselves in their own, you know, hotel and pay for their rent. And Hooters for some reason, and I dunno how I worked this out, <laugh>, the, the guys shut shined down on me. They gave me this room, and I, I don't have time to tell you the whole story, but it was not a great room. But I fixed it up and I went out and George Wallace and Rita Ru's husband said to me, look, you know, I don't know what to tell you. There's so much competition in this town now it's gonna be hard to put asses in <inaudible>. Go to the concierges, give him free tickets to every day I would go to concierges and I would all hotels and not only give him free tickets, but I got the press to like me gimme some nice reviews.
And one day I came up with this brilliant plan. I thought, look, you know, they call me the pit bull comedy. I wonder if I sent away if they, I bet sure. Some company makes chocolate dog shit. And I went on the internet, they chocolate dog shit. Okay. And I sent away for this chocolate dog shit. I went to Michael's dog Craft supply. And I put those little Chinese takeout boxes, which I had bones on them, <laugh>. And I put in that, that Easter grass I put in that grass. Yes. Oh, the chocolate dog shit. And two tickets from my show and a little review. And it went to every concierge. And I got a lot of press for this, the with dog shit, <laugh>. And people told me it was actually really good <laugh>. And so anyway, I started getting these really nice reviews. And then I decided it's on part, some of this is on my website.
I, there's no way I could compete with David Copperfield and these big beautiful hotels and Rita Render and Frank Sinatra now, whoever was playing in town mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I needed a really good opener. And I had Hooters paid for this. I had every comic Plank Vegas in the next month, do a little one minute video for me. And I wound up having a 15 minute video of Robert Williams, Jay Lennel, the Smothers Brothers, David Brenner, Louie Anderson reader Run Carrot top 30 comics. He Howie Mandel. Uh, and the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on. And they would all, how can you go see Bobby Sway? You were in Hooters watching this idiot. And it was brilliant.
Fritz Coleman (00:50:56):
That was your opening act?
Bobby Slayton (00:50:58):
It was my, well, I actually had an opening act also, but for people who didn't know who I was, it was such a, a nice thing. Yeah. Go Wow. Alice Cooper and Jayo and Robin Williams and gives you
Fritz Coleman (00:51:08):
Credibility. Who, who did you have open for you at the club?
Bobby Slayton (00:51:11):
I had a guy named Robert Duchenne who was a, a great friend of mine open, but I have a few comics come by and open up. It's funny, when people find out you have a room, how many people will call you? Oh, Bobby, just stop by to show, oh, by the way, here's my video. Or if you need an opener, you know, people haven't talked to in yet, but
Fritz Coleman (00:51:27):
What George was saying is, you know, the least amount of your energy is at, at performing and writing new material cuz you have to be a businessman. He said, that's what was so hard about
Bobby Slayton (00:51:36):
It. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It was. But Hooters put me up. They gave me a beautiful, uh, uh, uh, uh, condo next door. This lasted for two years. And like I said, most comics had to put, and then we started doing these, uh, monthly lunches with the mayor, Oscar Goodman, who was your mob lawyer. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and me and, uh, Anthony Kools, a great hypnotist. And, and, and, uh, and David Brenner and George Wallace and Carrot Top and Ben Gillette. Once a month, maybe once in a couple of weeks, we'd have a Comedian's lunch and a guy comedians only. It was like the, it's like the Rat Pack. It was like the Fryers Club. Rita Ru cannot come. <laugh>. There was nothing. Sorry. No Brun, no brun, no engines, no managers, just comedians. Well, we have a big lunch and we'd always get a great picture in the paper of the Smothers Brothers and Ette and Bon Flamed and, and the mayor. And we'd always have a great lunch. So, you know, all these little things that I had to do to try to get asses in this. And it, it worked. But it sounds like it
Louise Palanker (00:52:32):
Was a lot of work. You know, you had had natural skill as a marketer, you could, you were coming up with with concepts that worked,
Bobby Slayton (00:52:39):
But it was really a lot of work. Yeah. But then, then again, I, I had 23 hours a day when I wasn't doing anything. So, you
Fritz Coleman (00:52:46):
Know, you know, carrot Top is the punchline of a lot of jokes. And then I, I never respected dice as much as I did. Do you remember what he said on the, the Comedy Central Roast for William Shatner. And instead of roasting William Shatner, all the comics are coming up because Carrot Top was on the Deus and they're making fun of Carrot Top. So Dice is like seventh in line. Did you see this? Bobby and Dice comes out and he said, let me tell you something about you losers out here. And he goes, and he said, carrot Top has been, had had a Vegas, uh, uh, residency for longer than anybody else at the Luxor. He's made more money. Every one of you assholes, you should all shut up. And it was great. It got like a standing ovation because he, he really is a guy that turned it into a huge industry in that town.
Bobby Slayton (00:53:35):
Well, you know, atop, like you said, was a big punchline. And my wife and I, look, I, you know, I worked five days a week, so I went my, my two nights a week in Vegas. So I was off, I was just telling somebody today, I, I'd finished my show Sunday night at 10 o'clock. I'd get in my car, I'd get home at 2:00 AM my daughter would be on the couch with a boyfriend watching a movie, didn't want anything to do with me. My wife would be sleeping, going, you smell like garlic. Get away from me, <laugh>. And my daughter would bark. But I, I'm glad I came home to see these. And then I turn around and I'd drive back again Wednesday. But once in a while I would stay in Vegas and, uh, you know, I'd go see a show or two and you catch up with friends. And one night my wife and I went to see Carita and it was like watching the three sts he's sitting on, this is so stupid, <laugh>, but I'm You're laughing. Yeah. And he knows it's stupid. It's entertaining, but it's funny. It's creative. It's, uh, it's great. And like you said,
Fritz Coleman (00:54:27):
He's, and he made major money and he did it. He's been doing it honest to God, like 20 years at the Luxor, right? Yes.
Louise Palanker (00:54:33):
He, he knows who his audience is and he knows how to, how to make them happy. And it
Fritz Coleman (00:54:37):
Could be little kids, it could be 90 year old people. And everybody's laughing. He's like, uh, he's like going to Disneyland.
Louise Palanker (00:54:42):
It's like watching the Atel show. He's, he's,
Bobby Slayton (00:54:46):
I'm not, I'm not a reus man by any means. But when you're up in Vegas and it's Passover and, uh, Caritas manager, his parents were having a, a eder at, at their house. And I go, I'm not into any of this crap, you know, I, I eat bread, I'm not a Nazi guy. And you know, I, since I got Bar mitzvah, I'm not into any of this,
Louise Palanker (00:55:04):
Bobby Slayton (00:55:04):
Should come to my house. So I, I go to his parents' house and it's like 10 Jews of the ERs. I need Carrot top with his
Fritz Coleman (00:55:12):
Bobby Slayton (00:55:13):
Shit looking girlfriend, whatever it was great. Just pass up right ahead.
Louise Palanker (00:55:18):
<laugh>. Well, do you have any Bob Saget stories? You know, we're here today to honor, to honor and tribute, uh, Bob Saggot. So does anyone here have any, especially, um,
Bobby Slayton (00:55:30):
Well finally getting around to faggot. You know, you emailed me. I did. That was the first thing we were supposed to do. And uh, and I don't wanna talk about myself, but for is busy asking question. By the way, faggot loved Mark Thompson, his favorite weather, man on Fox News. He never liked, uh, you
Fritz Coleman (00:55:44):
Fritz. No, I know that. Like, we had a connection because we both like junior college professors
Bobby Slayton (00:55:52):
Name of Fred.
Fritz Coleman (00:55:53):
I know. That's right. Well, listen, I listen. I was on the radio in Buffalo, New York, and my boss, uh, who is a very, I'll just call him an aware Jew. He said, I, I like your talent. You're very talented. But there's nobody ever that's gonna be on my air that's gonna call himself Fritz. Nobody's gonna sound like a Nazi camp guard on my radio station. So he made me change my name to Jay Fredericks. So I changed my name to Jay Fredericks,
Bobby Slayton (00:56:19):
One of my best friends in high school with Fritz. I remember he came in fourth grade. They wrote his name on the <laugh> for Natalie. Everybody laughed. And I, I like this guy. Jay
Louise Palanker (00:56:26):
Frederick sounds like a guy with a clothing line though.
Bobby Slayton (00:56:28):
Yeah, I have no faggot stories. Okay. Except for the fact that, you know, when I read all those accolades about him, it was nothing I didn't know. You know, you saw everybody, Billy Crystal and Steve Martin, everybody talking about what a drank guy he was. Nobody did not like Bob Saget. Yeah. He was just, and I, you know what? I didn't see him that often. Cause I, I, I only see comics when I go out to the comedy clubs and I don't go out to the comedy clubs very much. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, even when I was doing standup. Cause like I said, I was on the road every week when I'm home, it's, the last thing I wanted do is go to a comedy club. Right. But every time I go to the Comedy Magic Club and run it to Bob and for, for six years, we're talking about having dinner together. And, um, it never
Louise Palanker (00:57:09):
Happened. It hasn't happened. Well, I, I have a tribute to Bob about. It's also kind of like themed in things that did not happen. So this is basically th this is Bob's responses to whatever the hell I had ever asked of him. Uh, so this is, uh, you know, Bobst was the kind of person who even if he wanted nothing to do with you, he was very nice about it. Here's a montage. Female responses from Bobst circa 2005 to 2009. I love you. Can't do a Saturday for a long time. I'm directing a movie and writing a show for H B O I'm happy. And a d d and, sorry, can't do it. Sorry. Love Bob. I'd love to but can't do anything till July or August ever as I'm directing a movie that takes 25 9 of my life and I do a gig now and then at a theater college or club and miss my kids terribly. So sorry. Just definitely can't, can't drive anywhere till this movie's done. Face of the Penguins, take off of March movie narrated by Samuel Jackson. Sending my love and thanks. Thinking of me. Love Bob.
Fritz Coleman (00:58:06):
He did get a plug in there, didn't he though? For your email
Louise Palanker (00:58:09):
Response. This is, you know, the listening audience is me, podcasts, wow. Where they play and how Truth be known. I won't be free till January, but thanks for the invites sending you props and podcasts. Kudos Bob. Thanks then. I'm all about the podcasting. Soon as I have a, see, I'm all out about it. Yay. Damn. I miss everything these days off to a New York to do press for my film. Thanks for invite though and belated happy New Year. Bob. Love you too. Not avail for anything till September at best. Sorry. Good problems, Bob. Problems meeting work. No time for life and the stuff that lasts hie sounds like a nice thing for for sure. Just can't do it this week. I'm silly busy, which is great. Just not ideal for doing nice things like, well a lot of things. So sending you my best. Thanks for thinking of me, Bob. So cool. Good to hear. Can't make it. Lots of mazeltov. Bob
Bobby Slayton (00:59:00):
<laugh>. You know, I wish I would've, I gotta follow some of those away for the next time. You want me to do your podcast,
Louise Palanker (00:59:06):
<laugh>? I should just make these available in the spreadsheet for anybody who get outta
Bobby Slayton (00:59:10):
This today. I was sitting in my backyard, I was working on one of my guitars, which is if you come over, you'll see what I'm making at. Where are you
Fritz Coleman (00:59:16):
Making custom guitars? Tell us about
Bobby Slayton (00:59:18):
That. Well, my girlfriend's, you'll come over see it. My girlfriend's gonna sell them in her store. She's gotta, uh, my girlfriend Dominique Cohen, I can plug her beautiful jewelry store in Palm Springs, a palm desert at Beverly Hills. She's a beautiful jeweler. And, uh, and I can plug Sketchers, who I do commercials for now and only wear Sketchers cuz they're the best shoes. Nice pleasure. I want all your imaginary listeners to my schedule. Go to Dominique.
Louise Palanker (00:59:43):
We're gonna close up the show, Bobby, and then we're gonna walk across the street and take some pictures with you in, in the middle of the road. So, uh, let me get this. You
Bobby Slayton (00:59:51):
Not gonna come in the house?
Louise Palanker (00:59:52):
No, that's the whole I'll come in. What do you not get?
Fritz Coleman (00:59:55):
I'm super covid
Louise Palanker (00:59:56):
The house. We're not coming. I'm not coming in the house. Rich
Bobby Slayton (00:59:59):
Can go. I hide my shot. What? So you don't I've had my shots. What do, so you don't go anywhere, you're afraid to go anywhere.
Louise Palanker (01:00:03):
Bob Bobby. I, I have a 92 year old mother and I have to eat dinner with her in the backyard with like a tiny propane heater. This is us trying to just make it through this omicron.
Fritz Coleman (01:00:16):
I've already have it. I'm not gonna catch anything.
Louise Palanker (01:00:17):
He just, he's just had the, the, the, uh, omicron. He may still be contagious. If you wanna invite him into your house, be my guest. But I need you to come outside and pose for a picture with us and that way the air will continue to mingle.
Bobby Slayton (01:00:30):
What if I open the garage and you go look at the drums?
Fritz Coleman (01:00:32):
Yeah, do that. I'll hold
Louise Palanker (01:00:34):
Fritz Coleman (01:00:35):
And we'll over there in 10 minutes.
Louise Palanker (01:00:35):
I'm gonna hold my breath and run through your house, Bobby. All right. So Fritz is gonna tell everybody how they can review our show.
Fritz Coleman (01:00:40):
If you enjoyed this episode of Media Path, it would help us to be more discoverable by potential new listeners. If you leave us a quick review on Apple Podcast, and if you're new here and this is your first time with us, check out our bad catalog. There's all kinds of binge worthy stuff on there. Thank you for spending an hour with us and we would be overjoyed if you took a moment to share your thoughts with us or recommend us to a friend.
Louise Palanker (01:01:01):
We would love for you to join us online on Instagram and Twitter, where we are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where we are. Media Path Podcast. What's the name of our Facebook group? Dina,
Bobby Slayton (01:01:09):
Can I go now?
Louise Palanker (01:01:10):
Yeah, you can go. Yeah. Open
Fritz Coleman (01:01:12):
The garage door. We'll be right over.
Louise Palanker (01:01:15):
So we have a new Facebook group called Media Path Facebook Community with Fritz and Weezy. You can find full episodes with all kinds of bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. We would love to know what media you've been enjoying. You can contact us at our social media or email us at media path podcast gmail.com. We wanna thank our guest, Bobby Slayton. Our team includes Dina Friedman, Francesco Demond, John Maddox, Sharon Beo, bill Phillip, Thomas, Hubble, Mason Brown, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Madox. I'm Louise Lanker here with Fritz Coleman, and we'll see you along the media path.
Bobby Slayton (01:02:00):
That's really cool. But everything about Palm, hello. Celebrities lived here. So she's gonna sell these for eight grand. And I go, I don't even think anybody's gonna buy you. That's it. But if you wanna sell these for seven, $8,000, you know, they took, they took me month. It takes me like a month to make it wondering,
Fritz Coleman (01:02:16):
Will you take the blues one and then send me the picture?
Bobby Slayton (01:02:18):
Yeah. Where, where do you want me to do it? Jesus. Man, those are beautiful. It, but you know, they're very fragile. It's a lot of, it's gonna have to hang, oh, can I see the back? Yeah. Well that's what's gonna happen. They're real, but they're a tremendous amount of work. Take the photos right here. I'm like a mental patient when I start doing one of these.