• As starving comedians very early in their career, Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong had to come up with creative ways to get food. Cheech used to write letters to the companies that marketed food he liked and tell them that he had found something gross in their food—even though he hadn’t. For example, he would write a famous soup company and tell them that he had found flies in their soup. The companies almost always responded by sending him cases of free food. Once, a company vice president even personally delivered three expensive steaks to him.
• Selma Diamond was one of the earliest women to make her living from writing comedy—she wrote for such comedians as Jimmy Durante, Milton Berle, and Jack Paar. For years, she lived in New York, but eventually she left to write comedy in Hollywood. After being gone for nine years and becoming a big success, she returned to New York and went into the candy store she used to frequent. She asked the owner, “Did you know where I’ve been?” He replied, “You been buyin’ your candy from the store across the street?”
• When he was growing up, Sam Levenson and his friends occasionally headed for Central Park to go hiking. While there, the kids got hungry, but fortunately their mothers always packed their lunches. Each time the kids went hiking, the “miracle of the sandwiches” took place: One of the children would say he was tired of the sandwiches his mother fixed for him, the other children would agree, so everybody would swap sandwiches. But miraculously, all the kids ended up with salami sandwiches.
• Lisa Kron performs a theatrical one-person show titled 101 Humiliating Stories. One of the stories is about her walking down the hall in a law office, stopping along the way and talking to everyone she met. Once she is down the hall, a female employee tells her, “Your skirt is tucked into your tights.” Ms. Kron says she felt like telling everyone in the law office, “You don’t get a butt like this eating Slim-Fast for lunch. You have to eat a real lunch to get a butt like this.”
• For a while, Joan Rivers told many, many fat jokes about Elizabeth Taylor—for example, “She puts mayonnaise on an aspirin” and “Her car has a bumper sticker that says, ‘My other car is a refrigerator.’” Ms. Taylor was a good sport and sent Ms. Rivers word that the fat jokes did not offend her—in fact, the fat jokes had inspired her to lose weight.
• One of Red Skelton’s most famous comedy routines demonstrated the different ways in which people dunk donuts. While doing this routine, Red ate as many as eight or nine donuts. When you consider that in vaudeville, a comic might do a routine five times a day, it’s easy to see why Red’s physician ordered him to stop doing the routine.
• When comedian Dick Gregory was in high school, he wanted to learn etiquette. So he took a high-school cooking course, where he learned not to eat all the meat, then turn the plate and eat all the potato, then turn the plate and eat all the greens.
• Comedian Eddie Cantor’s wife wanted him to eat his spinach, which he disliked, so she used to hide it under his mashed potatoes.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
The Funniest People in Comedy — Buy
The Funniest People in Comedy — Kindle
The Funniest People in Comedy — Apple
The Funniest People in Comedy — Barnes and Noble
The Funniest People in Comedy — Kobo
The Funniest People in Comedy — Smashwords: Many Formats, Include PDF