David Bruce: The Funniest People in Comedy — Friends, Gays and Lesbians


• Early in his career as a stand-up comedian, Jay Leno worked in a lot of strip clubs. One club was the Teddy Bear Lounge in Boston. The strippers weren’t hookers; they were working-class women who worked hard to earn a good living. They also were very supportive of Mr. Leno, who was working in a place notoriously difficult to get laughs. One day, he was doing his act in front of two naked women taking bubble baths in tubs that looked like giant champagne glasses. The crowd was not interested in Mr. Leno’s act, and a man in the audience started heckling him. One of the women got out of her giant champagne glass, walked over to the heckler, grabbed him by his collar, and punched him in the face, giving him a bloody nose. Then she walked back to her bubble bath. Mr. Leno says today, “That was the first time in my life that a nude woman had to defend my honor.”

• Jimmy Durante was a very gregarious fellow. Wherever he had a hotel suite, it was constantly filled with his friends—and with his friends’ friends. One day, the telephone rang, and the hotel operator told Jimmy that Dave Rappaport from New Jersey wanted to see him. Jimmy didn’t know any Dave Rappaport from New Jersey, so he asked the numerous people in his suite if they knew a Dave Rappaport from New Jersey. It turned out that they didn’t know him, either. “So nobody ever hoid of him,” Jimmy said. “Ah, what the hell, tell him to come on up anyway.”

• While the members of Monty Python were filming their movie The Life of Brian, Ian Johnson made a documentary of the process, during which he asked the various Pythons to comment on each other. They got together in a group to watch the documentary, in which they had been open about each other, including criticisms of each other, but after seeing the documentary, a moment occurred during which they all looked at each other as if to say, “Yes, I know you. I know your good points, your bad points, but the hell with all that anyway, because—I like you.”

• After becoming famous as an entertainer, Will Rogers was occasionally seen doing his comedy act by people from back home. One person saw Mr. Rogers’ act, then he returned home where friends asked him what Mr. Rogers was doing to become so famous. He replied, “Oh, just acting the fool like he used to do around here.”

• Jack Benny used to fall down on the floor laughing at the witticisms of his friend George Burns. In his later years, whenever Mr. Benny saw Mr. Burns coming, he would say, “Wait, let me lie down on the floor. I’m too old to fall.”

Gays and Lesbians

• The homes of gay men tend to be cleaner (and better decorated) than the homes of many single straight men and lesbians. Lesbian humorist Ellen Orleans once visited the home of a gay friend of hers. While talking to her, his roommate, another gay man, moved a vase and saw a ring. He immediately got a bottle of Windex, sprayed the ring, and wiped it clean, all without stopping his conversation with her. Meanwhile, her friend prepared himself a bowl of oatmeal, spilled two flakes on the floor, and immediately got a Dustbuster and cleaned up the flakes. He noticed Ms. Orleans staring with disbelief at him and his roommate, and he said, “We can’t help it. We’re gay.”

• A talent manager—one of the top people in the field—told gay comedian Bob Smith early in his career that he could go far if only he would drop his gay material. Despite making only $3,000 a year from his comedy back then, Mr. Smith was not tempted to accept the advice.

• Lesbian humorist Ellen Orleans remembers her very first gay bumper sticker: “I’m One Too.” As she was driving on the highway, a car filled with women pulled up beside her. The women rolled their windows down and shouted, “So are we!”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: Karana — “Concierto Para Enamorados” [“A Lover’s Concerto”]


Music: “Concierto Para Enamorados” [“A Lover’s Concerto”]


Artist: Karina

Record Company: Oldies

Record Company Location: Los Angeles, California

Info: This album consists of 11 Spanish pop oldies by various artists.

Price: FREE Download

Genre: Pop