Sunday, November 06, 2016


The hardest thing in the world for me to do is to make it funny. I was asked to speak at a ‘Candlelight Ball' and roast the honoree. The man is a wonderful fellow who is more than up to the difficult task of running a $75 million not-for-profit agency. As a member of the board of directors, and presently presiding over that board and the agency, it was my job to introduce the festivities and then the honoree, then roast him.

The days leading to the big event I spent watching roast, especially the Dean Martin Roast, and the tributes made to the honoree, the timing by the roasters, mostly comedians, and the extent of their funniest.

But it was the hours before that got to me the most. The writing and then the rewriting of the jokes, taking some out and adding new ones, toning down some and making others more relevant. During this period, I worried that I would not be well received by the audience of 450 attendees, that I would bomb and that would in itself embarrass me.

Normally I can joke, ad-lib or be flippant, yet when you plan to be funny, it is not a funny process, and a lot goes into it. I wish I had NOT prepared and went up to the dais and just let it fly like I am capable of.

So I dressed in my tuxedo, and started to get the butterflies one might get, my material was not seen by anyone, since if I showed it to say: TLW (The Little Woman) it might become watered down, maybe she would have a reservation and that would infect me even more. I know I can have an edge as they say, but I needed that edge to be there, after all, they were asking me to do it.

Suddenly the hour struck, I was at the center stage moment of my material, and somehow lost all my apprehension and attacked it like it never really bothered me, and when I started to hear the audience response as they laugh, I quickly knew the chances of getting booed off was diminishing as I went on. I got to the point where when I practiced it, it didn't feel right, but when I did it on stage, I knew exactly how it should go and did so.

So much for butterflies!


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