Too Sane For Fame
A Comedian’s Dilemma
–By Jan McInnis, Comedian and Keynote Speaker
So I’m surfing my 8,011 channels of TV trying to find the three shows that I like, and I’ve finally figured out why, even though I’m a professional, full-time comedian, I’m not a huge TV star: I’m not crazy. There are more “reality shows” than comedy shows, and everyone on these reality shows is getting attention, and maybe a little fortune, for their weirdness. It seems that if you open up your nutty private life on the air on Monday, then you’ll be signing autographs by Saturday. When I grew up there was a family on our street that was kinda creepy. We stayed away from their house; who’d have thought they could become stars!
Okay, I’m game. Being over 30 in my comedy career makes some people think I’m tapped out for going the traditional route of fame by getting on some of the comedy TV shows; they want younger people who have so-called “edgier” acts. I once had an audition for a late night TV show in which the comedian ahead of me was performing his four- minute routine for his appearance the next night on national TV. His comedy bit about squirrels eating their private parts when they get nervous got a standing ovation. I went on and had a not-so-great comedy set talking about work and kids. Traditional TV for me as a comedian, if they want this stuff, might be tough, so I checked out reality TV to see where I fit in.
I have Barbies! Yes, I have Barbie and her husband Ken and her sister Skipper and cousin Francine plus her “Dream House” and convertible and a few other miscellaneous Barbie kinfolk. I also have a four-foot high mouse that I won at a carnival bottle toss – I’m one of the five people on the planet who actually
got the ring to fit over the Coke bottle. Carneys are probably still using me as an example. If someone says “That’s rigged, the ring is too small,” then the carny can counter with, “Nope, back in 1974 a young lady in Virginia actually got one on there!” That was me. Oh, and I have a black velvet Elvis picture that I got as a joke. With all of these unusual things, I must be a hoarder! Yeah, there are two (yes, two ) different shows on which a hoarder can rise to prominence, so I’ve got all sorts of options.
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