View My Stats

Friday, January 8, 2010

A response to an earlier post . . . re: Las Vegas

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Las Vegas - the memory . . .":

Yes it’s me, Kenny Kramer. I just read your blog through a google alert and thought I should respond.

First let’s make it clear that in 1973 at the Comedy Store in LA I wasn’t doing Buddy Hackett’s “act” as you claim but just one of his jokes. Ands I wasn't bombing as you claim because the joke always got a good laugh. I even remember the line about how hand is a bad word and ass is a good word.

A little background as to what brought me to the Comedy Store that night, doing that line…

I was about 25 years old and always wanted to be a stand-up. The way I got into the business was as a driver/assistant to an old time Catskill Mountain comic who shall remain nameless but for the purpose of this narrative lets call him Jay.

Jay didn’t pay me, our relationship was kind of an apprenticeship. In exchange for my services Jay was mentoring and tutoring me in the art of stand-up. After awhile I began to write jokes for him and hearing my jokes get laughs gave me the confidence to realize I could do the jokes myself. Well I was ready to go on stage but the problem was with all the jokes I had written to date my act was about 8 minutes long. As long as I wasn’t going to be playing the Catskills Jay “generously” told me that I could use any jokes in his act that I liked to pad my “act” so I had a reasonable amount of material to be able to hold my own on stage.

I took several of Jay’s bits and continued to write jokes and a year or two later I actually had an act about 45 minutes long which still had about 10 minutes of material that was borrowed from Jay.

I moved from NY to Miami where I was doing club dates at the hotels and then when the off season came, I set out on a cross country trip performing anywhere I could, mostly strip clubs where I would MC and do some patter between the acts.

I landed in LA in the fall of 1973. The Comedy Store had just opened a few months before my arrival and Sammy Shore was happy to give me spots there. I was still doing a couple of Jay’s bits and it was there one night on stage at the Comedy Store that a woman in the front row loudly said “That’s Buddy Hackett’s joke” That was my first realization that the joke I borrowed from Jay was not his but Buddy’s. That night was the last time I would ever do the line. Needless to say at that point I became suspicious of the other bits I had borrowed from Jay and subsequently discovered another chunk I had been doing was Allan King’s.

By the time I left LA and returned to Miami a year later I has a solid hour of original stand-up that I continued to do for several years.

Lot’s of stuff happened over the years until my friend and across the hall neighbor based a character on me and I have had a reasonably successful “Real Kramer” career ever since.

If you care to see it there is a video bio that fills in a lot of the blanks. It is at:

As far as your saying that you are happy to see that I’m not doing so well… Sorry to disappoint, I’m doing just fine!

No comments:

Post a Comment