Tim Reid’s life changed on a New Year’s Eve in the 1960s when he lucked his way into a club to see a hot young comedian. That club was Mister Kelly’s, that comedian was Richard Pryor and nothing has been the same for Tim since. Tim tells Marc about his segregated upbringing, how he and Tom Dressen created the first interracial comedy team, how he got out of comedy and into acting with roles like Venus Fly Trap on WKRP in Cincinnati, and why he’s currently spending a lot of his time on historical preservation.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Let's go over some upcoming tour dates. You want to, albeit helium in Saint Louis Missouri September, sixteenth and seventeenth and eighteenth. There are still some tickets available. Then
tool tune in Seattle, Washington on September, twenty second, the Aladdin Theatre on September, twenty fourth theirs,
a Joe added there. There's still tickets there, the comedy attic in blooming in Indiana September thirty October. One October two, I believe, that's all sold out the dynasty typewriter Here- MOSS Angeles, California October. Fourth, I don't think that's available October,
empty. The dynasty, typewriter, eight p m, show
I think there are tickets for that. The Richfield play House in Richfield Connecticut November, eleventh. Yes, there are tickets available for that need
a comedy festival, Town Hall November thirteenth?
I believe there are tickets available for that, probably not many! You can go to w e f pod dot com, Swash tour, to get it
thanks to all the tickets- okay,
let's do the show
all right. Let's do this, how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the fuck Nix what's
happening a marked mare, and this is my fight cast a beauty of welcome to it. Has everybody doing
TIM Use, my guest at item reed.
I imagine most. Do you know him
Venus Fly trap from Debbie UK european sincerity. I do know that my younger listeners would know that he has had a showed a fairly
revolutionary show just in a sense it was a boy
I can read, but that was Frank's place and I mean he's been on dozens of tv shows and he's a director as well, but he's been here,
for at least fifty years.
And he started as a comic this
the intent? This is what brought me to
Tom Dresen, who is on the show.
your comic lifer
I was in a comedy team with TIM Reed
at the in the seventies
and they did they performed at the comedy store andriessen, went on to live.
life and stand up in and ten went onto to act and the reason is on its knees, part
this new documentary called the live at Mr Kelly's in it's about the iconic
Chicago Night Club, Mr Kelly's, which has been mentioned on this show by several old timers. Showy Berman comes to mind, but it was this a very popular but
progressive and interesting night club in
Chicago, I think
was it was started. Maybe in the fifties or sixties watch a documentary when it comes out
but you're getting back into that old comedy talk. Ok,
many store talk. I just love it and I'm so weird. We
not weirdly, but I am definitely born in
an comedy store, but I never left I mean
now the pandemic at you. I wasn't there, but I am there every
If you get excite, if you work at a place every night
and all of a sudden you I get excited to get the new tee shirts, you
You are part of that place. I've been a pen. I've been an appendage of that place.
Since I was twenty one years old, twenty two years old. I just wasn't around for a few years, but you know you
of the story about me in that place. I'm just fucked,
happy about the new tee shirts come on. The world is ending by yours.
some parents when
bought some pants. I slightly fat pants, not totally,
that pants slightly fat pants, we'll see what happens
and I went got. I went to this place because I want to get these weird asked
answered. I it doesn't matter. Doesn't
I'm just saying treat yourself
throw away those underpants dared, dare nasty
But what I was saying is I've had a couple weeks, downtime between.
you know my last gave one was SALT Lake City and Saint Louis, which is this week I'll come on down? There are some tickets
certainly for the weight shows.
which behaves. If you come,
I promise I won't dump on this on the state too much for him there I'll do the others I'll do a broader dumping judge for
He dumping, judge a reminder. Folks,
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I spoke to my father, he's losing it his mind a little bit starting to happen and
it's sad and scary, but it does make him a little.
more vulnerable, which is kind of nice and emotional way I mean, doesn't leave her silver lining the enemy dumbest. That's. Why,
right at the beginning of whatever breakdown is happening,
mentally to your loved ones, but
he had forgotten that he and his wife rosy sometimes spend the day at the movies, either watching the same movie again and again
or going from theatre to theatre in Nay Multiplex,
and my dad and his wife went to see the card counter
the new polish raider fill out, which looks pretty good, but your pulse perpetrators night in an easy, filmmaker
you're too process and digest. There's been some polish raider movies at death to fire,
there's been some great once
traders, heavy man so
guess who I go in for my dad and he and his wife had gone to see the card counter
My vote was like I don't know, I couldn't follow and I didn't understand it.
and even one rose you explain it to me. I didn't, dare I still can
I couldn't get it. I didn't understand it.
My work, I mean you know, maybe
you know, maybe it's just the way it's going to be from now on dad. Do you some of these things are going to get by it.
he's like now. We saw it again. I still don't understand so they set their once or twice in my father can wrap his brain rightly seen. As you seem too complicated, and then am I realized it was Paul trader movie. I realize I, you know what it might be. Might not be my
Others, metal stay right now it might actually be the film. So
I'm gonna give my dad the benefit of the doubt.
Until I see the movie.
and I will see the movies its point on the street,
I always like. It will. Also focus really out of focus is a masterpiece.
Sorry that some movies written were quite good.
your people enjoy the taxi driver blue
Our thousand amazing movie rotten directed that with Richard prior Harvey Cocktail, hard core that we're George, she Scott Movie where he goes
like rescue his daughter from the world
porn thousand written and directed by shredder great
He wrote raging ball, amazing cheese man
wrote the last temptation of Christ.
Heavy head around, but the
you for my father. Was the card
after is copper,
Katy, I couldn't follow it very Marin.
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carrier. I folks,
let's talk to TIM, read that
I commend the live at Mr Kelly's
we'll be released, and next month, on envy o d and dvd by TAT,
but your team has had a life in show
business and a life in comedy early on in his career, and I was curious about that news. There was no
talking to this guy, where you down there and Virginia regiment
Really that's nice
I've been there is. I did comedy there a million years ago.
What place then I don't know I would have meant that there was. There was a small club there.
Guy. I wish I could remember the name of it. I did
couple times cuz! I knew I had a friend down there. You come from there or raised a novel further down by our salary,
have no sense of Virginia on
our older ships built upon that's nice,
but like a guy as estate, is it would you say it in a good state, all kasza right now? Economically most
economically sound state in the in the union. Really what's it? What's the business
Oh you name it I mean we have several.
Military operations. They ran aground Lang later, but we also
shipbuilding part for the for the airport.
It's all the carriers, ships
down and now per capita role. Jerry was out of business.
Dear dear a family was in no no, no! No! No!
I was born and raised now what we would call nowadays colored town
that wasn't them
We were allowed to work in those industries. At that time
in so doing what you folks do. Neighbours, a mother and my grandmother started out working it now. Why
towns and then my grandmother was a businesswoman,
a boarding house, soul, whisky, illegal and random numbers
oh yeah. I ever did you remember her very much. I was raised by a really
so she said
it is, you did what was necessary,
yeah. I had a very interesting way.
This is a very tough one can be in the gray character, but not be fooled by anyone.
really told him pay the rent. You may get back out
really good at farm.
my favorite jargon Betty day. This guy's got her grandmother, any data size sort
I got an attitude like Humphrey Bogart, but she would be tough, but why so? How come you are? I raised my her well,
other couldn't I couldn't have only at that point. You ve got is a very difficult task. Now
She was living in Baltimore. I was in Baltimore whether at that time and around the age night, you know my father with the topic,
Rob Age mine. She she said there. Maybe it's best to go, live with your grandmother,
that he can take better care of it, and so I did
my grandma, they were my grandmother to my three years- wonderful, exciting, like to say that we want to remain under the business amid the date, because my grandmother,
The designated me as the family storytelling
He would force me to read it
What was happening in the family or if I went to church and I have to go to church on Sunday to get my allowance, so I didn't go out and get my zero dollars and twenty five cents. So
but I will also have to tell the story- is a weapon.
The choir thirty rehearsal,
is going on in the neighbourhood. As I said, we live in a segregated verrier,
is he an interesting community at that time brought his shovel right there
also the people in my area or workers. I'll stop is educators.
And very interesting. I never spoke sociable wipers and my work for one till. I was a fresh from the college
really so we set out of fear or just the way it was no out of choice. Without my book didn't come down here, wait, wait a big head: they were in a bad, bad or trying to collect the insurance money.
Well somebody Bobo policy,
you know, we had a few merchants jewish merchants.
who ran small shops or
but by and large businesses from my growing up were own operated by black. We about seven movie data and walking distance of my house.
and they were all managed, are all by black drugstore
It was an interesting community that time so efficient and that sufficient action
Whenever we went up town and growth,
Then they do not. We put on hold different swagger. All different face, but
It was that it was you think you wanted be to be without was sort of,
he's been lost? Much of it lost them terms of itself.
Bishop did you didn't leave our neighbourhood till about maybe seventy.
At times? Turning off,
but before I left our neighbourhood
Would you return back to that neighbour? Did it just sort of dissipate or what happened to it when it gets? Well, you know when, when the door,
When I called you realize you got a good thing. Of course they wanna take a part of it and soon take it over it's all god I have found out. I was taken them at this time. I lived in that my grandmother's house.
my grandmother third house
and because they took the first two and end up
minute domain when they wanted to bring, as they did in all its a great reticence out there
the freeway system through it are built new terrifies, where other folks
we'll do it quickly and of course they taught out at all
go with a housing, so in it
this picture. You might see, I would say, maybe three
without thousand homes from this area photograph and nineteen. Fifty three, fifty four
nay, I lay you- might only see thirty or forty eight. So amazing you bring that up, because you know I was watching the Mr Kelly's documentary yesterday
dick Gregory does a joke about it.
about the freeway,
and then I read an article today that it
happening again in South Carolina. Of course, do you bring the railroad system or the railway system through at the accord you destroyed by the committee
It happened in New Orleans Memphis in Chicago the Dan Ryan. All of that,
Yes with designated, because, first of all, they wanted to keep the value of their communities and putting a freeway system right
true the predominantly black own homes in places,
we live, but they made me. I guess they call themselves doing us a baby. They build the project.
Of course you can on them. He had the butt
anything like, and I think that that is not something
I say once is not a point of better than it was in contact with our. We live
and out of that many people such as myself, carried on a successful life thereafter,
ah, but from lot of the survival training we receive in those communities, did you have a sense of now?
Not I mean storytelling is one thing, but were you a cop
free fan, no, no lol! Yeah! I mean in terms of the people who, in our neighborhood,
were successful comedians. I think,
coming of age comic, but I saw that I followed throughout
a career until the end was Richard prior. But when I saw
him. He was doing like the television show like
different comic back there right hand in which leads me to Mr Kelly's, because it was saying about Mr Kelly that changed my life. I'm got me and entertainment, but back in
those days there was moms, mainly the man tat more than there was he's one of
comic true would come through our communities because they could they had to stay in our community sober.
Like owned hotels,
the woman there very successful black woman called banning the GDP and she owned the hotel in Darfur and a few bars and all celebrities from count. Aunt Bessie,
cab. They all had the state, it couldn't be, and white maple arrival tat, so they stayed in it.
like communities and the and they perform oh yeah. They perform them
one of the two of the theatre? They would have a bank out bid by ramp
and the midnight ramble would go on after whatever movie that was showing active, it would start and but moving go be over around nine hundred and thirty and they would empty the theaters of all the kids, kids
and then the adults would come out for the midnight ramble in you would see. Lie shows moms made the whole bit in I'll. See you remember. Seeing did you see them get weekly snake in with high again get caught get brought out, but the
and then you know again, then they would
stay in the neighborhood. If they were, therefore they are too, they would just be passing through not only
the black performance, but even some of the white performers
do I know that, but the crazy cowboy movie,
back in the late swiftly followed. You know,
With one of the great wealth, and now all these guys
I'm your Gabby aid almost killed me gave
and we would have met neighbour at the new man. I got your consent
there were hundreds of children, they would show the movie what everyone, without whatever the movie work and any
What break and between could we would double features, love, nature and
they would break, and then I would come the celebrity, maybe eight Gabby had he got up and evaluate alone
kid there whenever they get there about at most ten or fifteen minutes.
And any was taken out to some other thing. They made it.
Yes, that's what I'm trying to get up early
haven't we wanted to give you brought up and for some reason and his active
but I could live you two fingers
I fear that that that it hit me round my rope
literally, let me run up the stage because I was in shock, but he pushed
back in my throat. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't get another and he now.
Was that it had. One of those guys saw that it was probably was finally going to children,
grab. Me and took me to the firewall and threw me out into the street
the door opened and I went out in the sun was so break back about that.
Waken. The immediate cause me to get a gas will bear here and I was able to breathe and I went back and tried again. They wouldn't let me and then after that
on stage. How's, your big break, but big red.
About without was being physically abused by a white cowboy actor
That's crazy, man. You know it is the lesson
you learn about Dave stuck with me. I knew it
you would survive.
At one of the reasons are having to be a part of the discussion of of mister,
dollars is because, when I left
that community I'm talking about at the graduating from college. My first job at the civil rights era was the
being hired by you. I do part- and I was the first blow
hard in their management training programme. A black working in fact, reasons
not in management training. Now this was the that's. What brought you to Chicago? That's what Britain
the Chicago arrived in Chicago and sixty eight
a few days after the assassination about the key and, of course the streets were filled with wooden
military vehicle and love city was burning.
and I got my first home
Am I was literally living in a project that February of this year and then
yeah mood and first house at Rome,
and about a few months
later on New year's eve, I will. I will never forget his long, whether this sixty eight new year's Eve. I happened to pick up the paper and I saw an air from Mr Kelly tonight,
rigid prior the upbringing of EU and I'm gonNa Richard Car. I want to see him
I've seen one he had fellowmen job. So I looked at me
Oh I've, member country boy come from blue eyes closed
I dont understand a big time, never been make what my life really. Oh, let's go down to see Mr Kelly
my wife and ok, so we dressed up. Do you the groundwork, lock the address of the drive down? Mr Kelly, I get down there.
frustrated nine degrees below zero in Sulaco. I've gotta go.
I don't want to get out and stand in line. I feel like I'm going away and that banning line, and luckily I was trying to find a place to park women.
certain by eight times that, finally, someone to define and flip it from
full to warm. There was one spot somebody left early and we will then I walked around to the fore
don't banging on the dark about it want to stand it. I have been trying to figure out.
How do I get in here
Maybe you d come what what do you want? I said we'd like to see Mr Kellett. He said what
We like to get a ticket back. He said a man,
What do you understand? You see almost people, I could use paper,
my family, my reservations. A year ago. You think you can just now he will angry whereat. Yet aware you probable, I did I'm from Virginia so now
Let me give this guy lesson and show me about that.
And they let out the first show. So he
Let me end by Dirk opinion want to stand in the calls at Vienna chastise me, but we were
blocking the exit for other people wasted stand over the out of await you stand over there we get older, they entered the whole year,
and by the time they into room, he turned away from me and he s just stay there and he left,
everybody else. The letter by the off the street, in
and now he can tell me how stupid
about the time of spite broke out right at the bottom of. You will remember telling what they do, but you come in the door and the boy was elevated up, so you come in the bows
you left elevated, be a
and I guess her husband got into a big role at the binding struggle and she threw a dragon
throw it on him, a broken glass and everybody paid attention. Of course, the big day and they re just left the club yellow he said- are you coming back the guy tat? No one they. Let me look the bans that take those two seats at the bar
bar and and Burst Sanger whatever, and then our king rigid, bra yeah. What a performance
never seen anything live like that in he
yet the room and hysterically did a credible shop and when he finished I looked at my feet.
But I said you know
what I want to do that I want to do
but on backstage, and I want to do it on New year's eve.
as you know, Mr Kelly shut down and fairly,
Private beggars everything, but I was the last comment to work.
Mr Kelly's on New year's eve before clothes, you did it at that
I work in the way we work our time and I work at t very successfully fought for several years
We heard it because I've talked to her. I talk to Tom,
not too long ago,
He said he I knew he was from Chicago, but how did you guys come together?
Certainly you knew I was watching. It carries the UN and its denied. I happened to me Tom
for a time and a J C meeting. I wanted it to be
The company really wanted the employees
to get involved with their community and I'd just what a house about Markham Illinois, which is right next to Harvey, were Tom's from here and I went to the Jesse meeting. I said I want to join the Jason
is the J C Chamber Catalonia Game our farmers at that I never understood what that is about what is at what are they doing with the aim of the community organization that worked and commanded to try to work?
is awareness of business opportunities
Economic, but also help with the community. Did things like fun fun.
Is a drive to help kid biting through ample scope of the programme and so that night
but I join. They mentioned that there was some issues that the community that they needed to pay some attention to those drug abuse.
What was happening at this juncture and they would be junks tuna, the elementary school and they wanted some of us to go and talk to these
yeah yeah yeah from a street me being from the street.
About appeared, but he said I am sorry, but I got everybody is dead but gimme your name. If anybody drops out I'll call, you the elderly,
Three days later, someone dropped out me and I thought this programme with the police,
We must remember that
yeah and programme became so personal, better
adopted by Daisy Chapters throughout american and fifty point and the one that you in Tom did yeah
It was a very successful programme. Are we used human and we try
going out with drink it, and then we know a little bit about that. My my father at that time.
It was the how and added that at that time,
broadening run. It was how inadequate slander. I knew that a lot about the dark side of the drug abuse did you find out where you're you're real there was yet. I cannot marvelled at work. We will be with you. My uncle Toby was laid out in my pocket
But again we became their friends, so he was around.
Yeah he was around, but he was my uncle. I thought no intelligentsia never die
mental. I was generally low level of my grandma, but here and there they got me together, make that ban and told me in there. What do you do it? I like it, but you by day the man your mom was with when you were really young was a junkie,
that's the one that I had believed them I couldn't they were mother could see was he was over
difficult man the earlier than that they always economic brown war.
And he would be there in a very difficult lives of my grandmother- came up to get me with my uncle died. Trying to save me,
What they thought was gonna be a pretty bad light and they happen. What happened to your mother? She went armies, you finally elbows monopoly that man he ended up
I haven't had a very difficult lifelike start making money in show business that brought. I took care of the rest of your life. You did
That was so good tat was good.
It was army, certainly happen to take my family, but
it was. It was a difficult time. I am my. My grandmother were again raised me here and so much of her
me and my father- they passed the wind,
familiar? Oh, I lost the two most important.
People in my life and then my mother was having a very difficult time so
it was them. I was thrust into
ahead of the family long before I was ready to take them.
nonetheless, wiping com and I got along so well together because a bit difficult path by the ass
We had the weird thing to where he didn't know who is who, in there
he found it was there, and I think that one reason Richard and I got a lotta well after we. Finally, I met him a few years later.
the game, I would say, if I would say, did France but acquaintances.
I had the opportunity to spend a little time with him occasionally and his past my ass. There were some similarity here
and we came out of that era and soda top. So you and I'm do this- you do that.
you put together. They stick to help the kids
We do that in finding one day and an outgoing programme in the morning, one of the kids
the funding to be accommodated, and when
I thought about it and I thought the one
are you became more, haven't a drink. You think I'm begging, you wanna. Try that
and that would then, with late, sixty nine and we started performing in local spots,
the way we could work and ended up at Mr Kelly that thinking seventy hours time with seventy two, I believe so
What's it what's the scene, though, so you can like. What do you do with the pie? You just say it:
the held them both object,
the working. I stay with the part for about a year a year and a half.
and loan lighted ever comic, would that much work at that time. There were no comedy club right, of course here, but we advocate
You know you end up working over the gentlemen. Better. Do the polish certain
the italian third option, we always somewhat you weak, but he opening for musical acts. Or what are you doing? What are you go in your house? All you do know wherever they are the restaurant, what its banger they might enable the comic we got lucky and that we open for account basis.
Is there a ban on all those be when they were conquered committed a you know that they would need somebody to be thought of an empty comic.
and they give you a few dollars, not a lot and but it gave us naturally the work, and then we were of the clubs at that time. The burning spear old black clubs that were injured
why do I gotta see what they ask you and then
We worked out to the north side that working things up there and then, finally, one day
We got the mystic out for what what was it like for you guys anyway? How did they received
you have time, and now you know me what was there ever?
by attention. I got boy will chase time out of a waste
the law. I mean everything. Recent data yeah
I think it was not the somewhere, but anyway that's the thing about that error
with that. Whenever we walk out of date and open for sound a most unusual, we open a shot and not about we open up
and by an appropriate we open for the doubt. We with the open for a really interesting
and we were never expected that whenever we walked out there were a career. The first few second report is back into a minute. It was
please silent, no matter whether with the black audience white, all mixed though they didn't know what to do with it. They were well, they were afraid they were inquisitive like what is
to happen now add the whole.
you had to get a man you had to get up quickly. Our view is the festival we weren't always
and getting them to build some time, but if you go
at them. Early on. It was a heck of a chair near we chow
once the within right quote: race job
there was no radio spacing what we did was we ourselves and take the world,
through the world that, as we saw it right, we risk on the toilet and again places like the Playboy Clubs and Mr Kerr
please we're going through the same kind of thing. You know it's hard to think about Jolly and not think about contractual lifestyle. The better,
you know, Mr Kelly's were breaking ground
and but in Chicago it was just taken as part of this
how the deal once you're in the club. I add a glow of thank you,
right. You didn't go to Sister rohingya different quantities blatant and they didn't want to go out and about that, but he had club it had an atmosphere that is hard to find. If, at all,
today in the club. You knew you gonna to something interesting. You knew the performer whether they were saying. As you know, you are seeing in many cases the first time
I'm the one ever really get quote in the beginning of the big tat. He Kelly, in our view, a performer. You dream the working Kelly.
Like I said the first time I went in there, I wanted to be a net like who is like who is doing the circuit when you were around. Who are you contemporaries, you'd see out and about gosh? Well,
course I wouldn't go contemporaries, but working class at that time before
Gregory here, slowly,
Mitchell love my gun.
the top comic we open or at Kelly's, will pour out some of them
great, you know as a third, thereby here between
open now for gallery, but I saw in under that members. First,
for raid into nightclub business when she left the bath and we are only subjects with Mr Kelly
now you would see anyone you see the smuggled from you to be anybody there I mean if you are entertainment and you were quote making your way and rising above the fray
that that level of I'm going the outbreak
You wanted to and had the work, Mr Kallas and the images
you, want and show me. You really did it sure, and then you are doing the road having south how'd you get it. How do you get to get poisoned and in South Dakota? Well, are you luckily, we hooked up what a grew out of Chicago they were doing. Colleges
you get a college bills and there were many, but we went to
an Cato. We went to a far go now after Kyoto. We wanted to these places these children state. Now we want to be small colleges,
and we follow we open for meal diamond. We open for new, though
Brad we're here, however, was there we get a few we'd all before both court.
They didn't give you a lot and we had to get there. So we did
make a lot of money. We had to drive wherever we work in the case of the US,
but not the coda. You'd sometime, you spent staminate out of a car. I know I know I done it here and we start to eat and sometimes the places that we stop them. People
didn't take kindly to my present that use
and her hand, but we'll get pour boiling up in that area and he got out tat in the place.
And Missouri we had. We had worked a prison
about a Missouri think job.
Anyway. Work prison, we're coming back and coming back and hungry is doing it.
before Thanksgiving America get Minute Miss BAR to eat
we're only open roadside nearby whereby motorcycles parked outside, but hunger will wish you to do things. Sometimes your brain judge you not to do here
we will very army. We went in there and spun
he would give me election- is another here,
the two down. Don't let your temper get we'd get hurt, we yeah get hurt in here. I know what I'm doing what I actually crackers.
It was tat. He was Cochin me
We go in there at that time,
yet long, hair, no shit little ballet that longer and filled with
now a few days, the tough bikers there looking at long haired weird over there
And we are paying no attention em, but they didn't like pop.
they were giving him. Aren't we
we are waiting to have our food combat. We realise that there would be no, so he said the he said TAT to my face that you got started
turn it around here and I didn't know, no go, go, don't start with anything, but I gotta get the gun.
I put the round by the door, flew open door open, and he
and I really do
these guys and interesting.
discussion about who they are and altered by the by,
when they finally went up in him. He rests
got the door slammed it, and
jumped in my car, and we took out about re motorcycles and got away. You have to take out the motorcycles. Oh yeah, backup your powers
that's really good. Night
just. Let me we got attacked on page drawing thing battle. You know
an interesting but again, two guys from the street
Who believed that damn
They had an idea that would work
We were funnier time. We work that act strong enough to be in places like this,
Kelly than a play by certain work with my boy circuit bedtime, all over America. Plainly clubs yellow in our
you work those Boston allay with his.
Was very. I gave you a tat chance to work you in.
back in those the unlike the day, you know kid,
Can you language, moral and words boiler worded the punchline, add but backwards
we were doing, you have to have an act
you re at it.
to be able you couldn't stable. Thank you could Kurtz was a headline show. Was it like a thirty five, forty minutes, depending on the on the plate? If we were headliners at which we were a few times, we had to do anywhere from forty to forty five before it is sixty minutes here. If he knew were of course, most time we were opening act
and we would do depending efforts, Playboy Club eighteen minutes, and they met eighteen minutes
Nokia, Rwanda and eighteen. You they get paid you.
But twenty they would bring the slow. We do.
Playboy clubs, and we were eighteen minutes that Kelly's we're dead?
they were very strict about time, first
strict about language,
racially. We never had any issue that we would. You know,
if we were racial just by standing upon one another, I mean you didn't ragged today be a lot of integrated confrontation, but you got
you addressed it, though right
we did what we did it in our own way. It wasn't it was. It was putting each
in situations where race
Was the out? Was the elephant in the room? You know, but we didn't talk about the out rang and
they would they would. We did think like we had a couple routine that I went to visit
is italian, family right and the things that I was saying in the wrong way and and then we did one where he had, we had to go somewhere in the black community. You wanted me to teach him how to be black.
with new things like day out at the audience
really relate to because many of them with
making or thinking about maybe I'll have a black friend or white brand. I wonder how that would be, and then we did things happen dating game. Where I played reach Iris has he played
the young lady and our know, how is gonna be another one of those directly with those
and the thing you did and we worked wherever we worked in and then we had
Madame, but Mister Collins always migrate. But if we were
club. Where was predominantly black, the first use men at the second one
always the same, whether will all black or white. Now? What is it? What's gonna happen here here as it sooner
you could see that you were gonna have bought
and the audience could be that ok, they're gonna have fun with it. This is different.
You will always win them over
I think it's really difficult for me
but just as a white guy, my age
You know, to sort of you know really kind of like try to put myself in the place it dead. You came up in in the sense in this is this is not,
this is not ancient history. This is
recently its recently
you know yet I tell people
when I was living in the community which act neighbour
We couldn't vote, they pull tat. You know this is this
not long ago, like you say there, my life here where I had to get out about in the back of the side. They call it back here of all those things
I went to all black through time was actually my first white trim, the first white person. I had any social discussion, which was time I'm before that
and I will quote looking for any. Does there was
but in my peripheral life, so
When did you guys come out here? California,
California, we went out their first time, the workplace, like love,
and then we had met the recent manager German.
they will be maggot here,
Finally, he was gonna managers yandah and put us in a few
bang up. So I would say: seventy four than seventy five ever team,
We split up in the early part of seventy thick,
now what now? What was the decision? There was it
grow ammonium? Now
Not I don't. I don't think it want from for me
you can read a book, hematoma communism,
black and white. You see,
dueling versions of. Why
but, as I think back on a good many years ago, when I was feeling,
You know I could
won't make any money.
The hand I left do pot,
and I mean we we were in, that we were in financially. Ah yes in difficult times
and so I'm goin. If this is show business, maybe I made the right choice.
Poverty would never anything. I will never gonna be. I lived through. That is the first of the valley wanted my life of ass. Like the thing could it be,
a bad mistake. Although to company departed already offered me an hour
job. If I wanted to return, I looked
I'm Goin does not work and I'm not making any money here that I got two kids at that time. He had three.
and it was very difficult la I got a better. Try began to look at other option, not from common.
But I got acting doing commercials anyway
like it, makes them money
in this field, can attain, did you guys do the, but did you were you at the comedy store know where that time we had in the communist or back, then we should really start as what it became until seventeen
I bet you guys were already broken up by then yeah. We we split up and seventy think we work there with them,
made did I slept together, but it was nobody I mean and no crowd.
and then, when we split up,
It became more and more successful and I worked there so low.
I was working with adults time with a solo course, David Letterman jail now
All of us were struggling trying to make it and that the new
once command, like George Wallets Ameer Ali people, but surely a bill, parkers patrimony,
and John Witherspoon, my good buddy, I mean, but we're all struggling all of us,
Were there at that time struggling. Nobody would, I think the first person to break out was Jimmy Walk
yeah then after that, pretty friend capable he never really spent a lot of time at a so. He came from New York, hit the big time
had she gonna man and what straight startup, who worked, of course at Mr Kelly's nightmare fact. He did his first common.
The argument that we call southern the movie. I wrote one of his
She liked. What am I repeat that that you call me
I was living in California. Tommy call me and me the ten minutes. This
need the moment- Taylor allow material. Can I figure you're you're peace than that of one of the pieces of it. I should love ready. We
no pretty when he was breakin end in New York, when you like,
eighteen years old guy, he was a very good guy, you're wonderful, I had an army,
he's just had an energy about it that you couldn't help it. Just you know, love you,
The aim of life
the fine guy and very funny man on and off stage.
and so we,
but then we got out there. The work was
they are the bed was about. I do a bit about Santa
about how the voice of a black man would change
when he's talking to his brother.
You're going to care and I'll find out what a beautiful woman walked by you know what his brothers he was like
Don't worry! I won't get near the window what about with a long day, and he really like that, of course he did it changed into his culture,
in view of the fact that I believe me, my baby, give credit for its great that's a great story, so you have here with all these guys are yet so sad because so many those guys you mention passed away. Pretty recently,
I thought you not talk to George while, as he's ok but the moon, easy, I'm Witherspoon
we're alive and George Miller he's gone. How many? Who back then
accommodate a heart, but he is not to be taken lightly from you that your comments about ten, if that's, how much does the in difficult
in terms of what you do. Is it what it does,
to you on the inside
dear, not straw.
Up on the inside and take the the downside of it
I can really regulate. Megan bacon drive you into a drug.
Whatever it is. You know it
so many of them. I now hear it. I don't have a choice:
it is a method to have to have the bar.
Tom and I were together recently talking about it-
and though, of course, I stated
and then he says to me. Neither of us would be
Where we are today at we not come together.
and God in the trenches together and fought for six years-
and taken the defeat and taken the victories together. The debates are, I have I've. Had the marble thing happened, losing people, I love,
but not many of them have ever reach the depth of the pain,
when you bomb it doesn't go well
and your life is about as it be paid or the euphoria of when you hit me when you yeah
I mean when you ve got that you in that year, and you know you rule Rome got these people. There are living off of your image
and the high from that
not a drug ever invented that can count la here, and so, when you, when you have to live with those time book role,
Costa right here I am
it can the United Strong about begin. Now. I can change your life away. The two would open
you never got. You never got screwed up to now,
we were again, you know,
keep bang common. I had, but a few
You ve been common one of what we have achieved so much
a tragedy as young people, kid raw, already drug abuse, alcohol
with me, I live at my grandma roominghouse, my
I had one of the biggest poor housing enough and they therefore a year
the thing you had in common with Richard.
yeah yeah, yeah richer, would talk about that. What you know he didn't say they are digital jobs would be wait. We dance with nickel
you know, and then you see, transit people belies the trend,
the people. My grandmother's roman house people would come and go and an you would see.
Broken a man
I'll just hang in there. There are few of them. I got to know but deeply, but I gotta talk to you here. That story
where a war veterans-
whoever they are things that have gone back bombs are when you see that
You come away and you lived through segregation. You know you chased by the clan doubt turned on you
you get the Hollywood and they sat ruin him. We think that dipping quite so bad you go. That's all you got here in Amerika and out of rivers, Tom about were able to add the weakest part of
of our adventure. One thing
go on where we looked at each other,
and one thing we knew was we were let whatever that was pockets and weaken.
and everything I'm one of my favorite, Mr Kelly argument, we had the first show didn't goes well. We had hoped, and course
what you promised will do.
Blame, the other to the big argument, a blade
Maybe you don't blame me. Blame me,
and the way we were just shouting at each
energy, but for a show, negative energy that pressure and the mining knocked at the door
I don't know if you ever heard of a gentle by name, captured it but earth captain. It was mister
the time when he was the male had a hopper Chicago, yet a column in Chicago sometime,
and if you do that, you didn't get a new power, you didn't get reviewed by him. He could eat literally help a career and he took a liking to Tom, and I were earlier. We did her heart crew
He would have every year, but war veterans,
and you ve. We got some very favourable really
its remit, where he would always come up as the main aspects,
before the show. I dont know that their
and we're yellin grandma in and out of the boat.
And Tom knew he was coming,
and he abandoned. I counted be quiet that that probably a cup
and knew not believing em said,
something very nasty
While I was paid out in thinking there, you know like gown and open the door, and he was standing right there. Looking at the failure of naked
Korea is over lacquered aided like living. If that is what I was up
come on now came down and talk to the owner
that man we went down and out of Rachel
when you were at the store. I can. You are gone so low with that when he started acting more was that when richer was around Europe
I would I would like I have to say I was always thought I could. I could make an audience laugh was my problem.
But I didn't love Banba harm, love stand
yeah and Tom,
and was a better comic. Then I was he understood,
The mechanism of comedy understood how to structure is
and he also love he would work all every night. He goes
Where me I would like now to be an actor
make me laugh so
I wonder, then they believe and thought.
Acting a lot, and I remember rigid enemy. One night I performed at
how many the main room- and
was coming down. Rachel was sitting in a back you up to this,
I have been damaged watch the outer was working
come on man. He said the
no well enough. I forgot what show outlining all unhappy you didn't. Do well asked the recumbent don't Wilma,
yes said: the limited happens. It don't ever give up and stand
don't ever give it up
they don't know you look to make other ire
it's on later and it might be even more take that I think, would stand a really
Why didn't you were you on that show? He did with all those comedy store people, oh yeah, that was before allowing Beverly thick we'd all
I just finishing allay about a year and a half. Would that be
he's everybody right Robin and share a burly everybody. It was neither a bubble and and Paul Bony went to him and said: look written.
You work best when you working offer other people,
so let me put together team and though he put together, the team brought us all on our money. Did there and no shows were probably eighty percent improper? Really.
It will come out. Is the scattered the costume this set up here?
I was barred billboard and it was
It was like being in both camps, the comedy it was, I believe
Somebody should read a book about her to rise above the behind the scenes in rich browser. It was for nominal. I mean it.
Things that went on this.
and the people involved they would. There has never been.
Anything like a mockery. I've done about twenty twenty three twenty seven.
television theory, the Mai and my career left fifty years and
while all of them have been you'd need now
as you make those forever, both without a browser, do you think it was a good like entry into thinking on your
feed and being on camera and all that stuff. I think it was. It was not only just
but it also gave all about a power
yeah, you know wasn't just that we were funny or individually could do improvisation. It made all of us
Ashley Mysel, Robin we all of us,
realize the power that we had.
Atomic Hindoo presentation that good could change the face of what people thought about carbon. Here I mean
prior to that Robin it's funny, but he wasn't quite is as dominant as he was after that he found his his his power.
and I think I've found a certain amount in mind and certainly the spoon all over it. It was. We never had a kind
freedom before M. Richard was there to drive the hot air and he was the leader and everything was book after we had the best drill.
structure, and I guess you have common, that's amazing, but yeah,
You know like all of us,
then probably was loved him for what he did,
then for how he thought about humanity. You know it was,
There are few people who ever been able to walk. The path,
What do you think it was exactly? How have you characterized that path, boy out, a pack of truth, storytellers? Much,
understand the path of true go. How you medium, whether writing singing.
Damn every item. Will you tell a story? I value your body must
Have an understanding of the power truth and use it to per year
and he did that
manufacture when one he was. He was forced out of business, were breakthrough it after you.
It's not working. It beggars like us. They went after sobbing Adele
That would be the same. Copier who did craps the out of breath?
right after after he hit the wall in Vegas in Buddha, yeah. Well, they took him out, I'm aid. They did what they wanted there. He could, but she could not be.
they wanted him to become?
He didn't want to lose his true and his true.
was born in the distance at. Is
pour out here, and this is what the people he had seen the characters. But you see, when you add the depth of struggle,
when used to buy. You can't do that
makes you a little
where more aware than the average person. I guess you
that that empathy, yeah yeah evident, and also that that anger- that true, that
our that you want to you want to
use your power to change to affect people were shot people to get him to understand the depth of the bed.
Look at his routine, I even back before craps, but when you get caught
that album. I remember the first time you had a bad and they got a the record. The by the head of the counter, Jerry would maybe have it out and when you
sit down and listen to them,
routine it. There was such true that
I had never heard that kind of truth before an anniversary in a funny way. I never heard it never that kind of true and that think that
that was after him, leaving beggars hanging out in Oakland, going back to the source being around.
and the people that he had grown up with?
and realise that he owed them. They are true.
And then, when he started coming back and the crabs in Cuba
How bout that
Ah he wasn t he found his bait.
We have a comic I've, never found. My big time found him
they then you gotta have that base. You gotta know what what's your platform you
and I know what it is,
I know what it is that big people, I know what it is one I am.
I never really took the time to discover my base and
I didn't have that that Vegas moment Richard Hare, the I know why,
You know you know in your heart, if you, if, if, if
If you want to live on that stage, it is not just living in Dhaka, make the money on the ever comic, but he again is back
through a comic today, the closest I know that kind of truth is days per year.
that mean he's flying close to the sun, and I pray that he doesn't.
Ash into it. I mean because his troop, these being propelled by his place, it's true
and it is
the very difficult, a platform to maintain. As you saw
Richard new silence of as many Bruce
you know your name, those people, and they are that many, you name those people who sacrificed
there being for true and it's a nobleman, incredible life. You choose onstage
my I don't know why. I think. Maybe
Anger at your can be kept people who suffer from here s a d
which is post segregation, stress disorder,
and it is in my life. It comes out sometime funny way of positive way, but I can't shake it and I don't think
I just couldn't shake it anticipates away. Richard found a place score, but he peed it
five minutes away, you don't you found a place? Words bays. He could you know
I will end with him the night Mattel monies in front of us.
with it made the front that live on Sunday and the first
night. He ball right and I mean it was. It was working.
people to watch. This is our hero, but
We all knew that. That was just that night. You get didn't his group
didn't get the area and he came. We were there the next night when he came back here as well,
when he shows that everything how you you could be when you ve gotta, be you gotta, find you able to come back here. You know
and do it. It doesn't
The store you that there is a lot.
it's interesting now you kind of carry that with you. That way, you felt like he
He was disappointed in you. You are no question about it
but he was always make me Richard Richard was was always
whither away. I guess the word nice is the best way
he always treated me
in a very cordial a warm way without being Guenaud ever just with just because
you're, not gonna, get ahead while background
do what I we, both wit
is that an early age? And you don't you don't share those wound than anybody else and advocate better than someone I could. If I spotted been taught you, don't you don't forget that you respect that anybody who goes through there,
by respecting and in when you, when you were under view care p, I mean that I mean
that was one. Those shows that
people loved it, and you know I have to assume that not unlike you come
but he family, those people must have been become a family with you and harassment and those people,
with a family and many of us still working.
today I mean it was back in the days when I found
Both comedy was at its height of accepting dinner
and it was a wonderful experience. It's funny how it happened, play Janni fever. I would have been used to be with a group
The eighth trucking come here with Fred Willard was it. You have read Willard
the offending we love and data routine like we.
When Tom and I decided to go into trouble.
we had no idea. What are we to start writing and one night
I was watching the kurdish issue and out came a struck in company.
and they did a routine of teaching what the breakdown teaching,
No, I dont know how to be black and it was his terrible now I thought I'd told TAT way
But now I don't know. I know enough about the steel, but it with a network
We ve got to find a way to work. That route t hide the stuff we stolen work, everything he answered.
We retreated into it and we did it close to
we could do that, wasn't quite like theirs, but any comic. No,
when the germ that the three year other routine felt. When I come back to me,
and I'm sure word it got back to them. Tat Jack, don't becoming quite quite successful, but more successfully
people are any other black white commonly tee. So when I got back them up
I would have when he looked at me, I looked at it. Yes, we do
I've heard of you a couple. Mama could come back, but I've made, but we live.
They have broken up at that.
and there we became course, dear friend how you did it, you told the truth. I had two. I had to talk to him. Oh yeah yeah,
That's nice man, Yoke is, I talked a lot of people they hold onto those relationships. You know what you guys were together for years. I mean how many
here. I will actually for years
long when we were there for years, and but it was again but different
kind of experience. We were more involved in the making of that show because of the creator. You Wilson passed away a couple years ago in
it was through his guidance in is open
to allow the allow. I forgot my written bill. I wrote you, the episodes rigid wrote some of us directed
and we got we got our t behind the screen and by
the camera. I produced a couple of the show not going to take it all away through delivery to the network. I guess I learned a lot about the business and the power of the business behind the scene.
Ah- but I never would have the opportunity to- and did you you had your own- showed into for a while-
it's about you I did. I did a couple- shows them I created
I'm gonna get one day
Probably one of the more interesting show them. Yes, your television ranks play here nominated a man whom I remember that yeah
It would be quite quite a shop and them
I actually had time on their tea came on. He played a white guy, we're gonna role by radio station with Great Britain. That's funny, and you
It would only be a lotta episodic tv work with Abner. Yet we work with our good at work. Would like that. I don't think there's an
I would have to prove it would prove me wrong, but arabic does. Anyone is that many television by Heaven he stooped down here
here? I would like, for one d gone twelve year than opposed to having twelve came over here.
but now where were you are now with the with work? What are you? What are you doing right now? I am behind as being more directed a feature found another future job. My tv movie that'll be out in November
I launching a streaming service.
for the african bats bore covering.
A girl, Europe and North America about to reach
I don't. I headed up technical body months now we're gonna go brought with it,
a lot of time in Africa, Ethiopia Particular South Africa.
and Cape Verde and the history there so rich mother. What drives you too, that have always been of love.
Travel and have always been someone who just delve into history, that that goes back
by a beggar gave a community. Although we were segregated and assent,
the dominant culture
we were very much
involved with the history of the african passport, because I had
teachers. We had an incredible education at that time.
Eyes blue mileage,
Emma college I want all black teachers are blocked,
and many of them,
we were too veterans, Vietnam just beginning, and these young folks had gone
Until these historically black colleges has turned out so many import,
leaders and business people in this country, and today,
their love for history above all or culture, and that wasn't in our history book filtered through.
The programme yo. I was exposed to a lot of stop it. I normally would not have been exposed to it an integrated community, especially now
Then you can even you know now what we got text saying again: even teach that kind of stuff anymore
though, I decided then the public school system,
been teaching it the way it should. There has to be
now? Let boil so that young people get a sense of
history other than just slavery. Africa is a lot more than just
debris and minerals are there.
people. There are one point, three billion people and they have a history and culture and lesson.
I don't know much about began its grand also. What also love about other people
the das, no matter whether it comes from ITALY, Israel, when people
leave their country comments, shuttle in another country. They changed the way people live better, they may bring their food, they bring their culture their. I am using an integrated and in this way,
a place called American Well
I think we
need to know how the thing
integrated into the could be how did life chain
in these countries too, when I travel to
I was an hour, then the Marshall Islands,
then suddenly military ag I'm one of flight short flight from Africa
what one of these small island and somewhere in every
playing look like they came from Detroit and am looking up. They were you from. Is it not a? We will from the Marshall Islands at what you mean you can watch what you look like the body that don't from Detroit, we would joking about it, and then I,
There might be this incredible culture, I'm intrigue. How did you give you? Would you come up with Captain Cook? I mean where wended culture come from and they hit.
we in the story is quite unique. Language,
when the budget for the first time I love you, I gotTa Brazil by ear in places like that,
and I'm looking at people who look more like me than they do here and Virginia work well, and then I find
the majority of slaves coming from the continent of Africa Shuttle
in Brazil. South America mean that the majority of ninety of I guess it was bursting with Brazil
for the first time when he was president and he was shot dead. There were so many black people well
I think out of our country about a hundred and fifty million
eighteen and nineteen million elbow african Union, let's talk about that culture,
Talk about contemplate the talk about that. It's important! It's it's important now to because its being threatened internet, so I think, but also, I think it
What are the reason being retinas because to protect
the dominant culture, whoever they may be at any country. The dominant culture wants to protect disbelief,
yeah? I didn't want everybody think that they will know about. It, think that they did everything. Of course, this is the nature of egotistical nature. Of a few days, but when you look at
The other involvement of people I was when I was in Ethiopia,
Isn't there something that they did not know the country, therefore, over three thousand?
we ve never met a rule by anybody, but Africa. I've never been conquered with occupied work of the Italian before the disease.
It's never been conquered, is ever interesting history, so I was told them,
as you know, Ethiopian the warriors they like they are like
you wanna go out and fight. They fought in Korea, majority of people that career when would not
just America were ethiopian. Many of them said a linear career. So you see
but did you know that the first battle one in seventeen, seventy five?
Washington defeated. Anybody was won by a troop of Ethiopia.
They want the first battle
more independent, their Merton area through a gradual, mercenary, don't bore no point! First battle. You know you look at stuff like that. Why, then did you say? Well it just?
listening to show how cultures that, despite all the negative races history of our country
there are people who have managed to
worked together to do things, change history. That to me is interesting and those
people who do it? No one was, you know we can begin
today to talk about the crime.
What club called Mr Kelly, but when you look back
I want to do history of entertainment.
do. What what's man down
this document. You have to talk about the club doing
the time of the early? Fifty all the way up through the ceremony
what was going on tackling not only in raised, but it
Mr Wynn, cargo, this club was a
almost like a watering hole where all of the species would
yeah, you know all races would comment perform at it.
And may allow people in the room that most
I didn't want to go and women I mean
the time limit. Talking about secularism and stuff, like that, you know I'm going after it. Why else could she do that
Yeah you couldn't do it in Vegas, told Mr Kelly.
Kelly were wildly them, the man would be a part of it, but the sea come out now is because
thank the country need to see more of that kind of history.
As opposed to you, know
nothing about the worst of us all. The time
would be about yeah. I think that's good, as
four message. I don't have a I dont know always able to find hope by and by. I think that's true. I think that's a good.
I too find it once again. My life changed that bar one by watching the person perform that inspired
We saw that I went after that dream and lo and behold I'm setting a target date.
It happened in a very short amount of time. Had I'm back on that night that I've been so stupid,
You could get in a club without reservations about. Do you beat me I wouldn't attempt yet today my life is Jane Spirit for thing.
Beautiful tat M is great.
doc. India body my pleasure man I enjoyed yeah, take care of yourself. I will you
that was TIM Kinraid Documentary live in Mr Kelly's. You can check out the other things you mention lovely gentlemen,
nice guy nice to get
back into the history I like,
the old comedy story step, and I like to know that that place, Mr Kelly's must have been maize must have been amazed,
nothing is ever going to get better. Ever again, there are no
more tunnels to get through. This is
It's gonna be righted out, adapt fixing might be of
it was a negative theirs
attempted some metal.
log in Havana
Transcript generated on 2021-09-13.