Friday, July 10, 2015

An Interview with Jack Carter - Part Nine

My sessions with Jack Carter occurred during the final four years of his life. He was a wealth of showbiz history. He had a facile mind for minor details and an incredible memory for old nightclubs and forgotten performers. He was a fantastic resource and his profane anger was endlessly entertaining. I have hours and hours of unpublished transcripts. Jack Carter was not merely a showbiz veteran, but an impromptu history teacher.

Jack Carter: Carl Reiner sent me a copy of his new book. It's called I Remember Me. I'm flipping through it and what do I fucking come about? A picture of Shecky Greene and then a whole chapter on Shecky. I said, "Where the fuck did that come from!" Carl had raved about me and told me I should have done Jolson as a one man show.

The show Call Me Mister, I did it on Broadway and then Carl did it on the road with Buddy Hackett and a comic named Alan Dreeben. I was on an hour before him with a big TV show in 1950. Where was Shecky? I had four big TV shows! Cavalcade of Stars, The Dorsey Show, The Minstrels...

Kliph Nesteroff: Pick and Pat.

Jack Carter: Yeah. Shecky had nothing! He's a lounge comic! He pleases waiters and waitresses. I mean, not that he isn't brilliant, but I was so fucking mad!

Kliph Nesteroff: What was the Shecky chapter about?

Jack Carter: I didn't even read it. I couldn't. Where did Carl come up with Shecky as his favorite? I didn't say anything to anybody about it. I'm just eating it up amongst myself. [Jack flipping through a series of advertisements I brought him] I'm amazed you found a Call Me Mister playbill. Ah, yeah, The Riviera with the DeMarco's. The DeMarco's got me out of the Army and into the Air Corps with Lew Spencer. An ad for the Mapes Skyroom? I was one of his favorites, Charlie Mapes.

Great, beautiful hotel up on the roof. I worked it with Lili St. Cyr, with Billy Eckstine, with several people. Charlie Mapes said, "Jack Carter, goddammit. He comes in here with a new act every time." This picture - it was Sun Valley with Louis Armstrong. I remember there was this singer I nailed, a Black singer who was almost white. Gorgeous. She spilled an orange juice on me. I cursed her and I blew the whole thing. Oh, this is a photo of Jack Palance. Once I was in line with Jack Palance, a real charmer, and a woman came up to us. She said, "You know, who's here? Dinah Shore!" He said, "Get the fuck away from me, you idiot." She was this little lady who was a real character that hung around supermarkets. One time she came up to me and said, "Do you know who you are?"

Kliph Nesteroff: You worked with Buster Keaton on your TV show. How about Harold Lloyd?

Jack Carter: Never met him, but he lived right up the street. He owned this whole Beverly Hills compound. About four homes in a row. This multi-millionaire owns the house now. Buster Keaton had a big, weird home up Hartford Way. It's still there. It's like a museum piece. Very strange. He built it like a castle almost. He was the sweetest man I ever, ever met. I booked Buster Keaton through an agent named Ben Pearson and he handled some of those great, old giants. Tom Corman, my agent, was friendly with Ben Pearson and he did The Jack Carter Show.

Kliph Nesteroff: I recently watched this terrible documentary about Jack Sheldon... It was basically homemade...

Jack Carter: Rickles always hires Jack Sheldon for his parties. He was the band at Rickles last party, which didn't go well for me. I was crippled after my accident. Fucking Norm Crosby sat at my table. He'd been doing all my jokes. As I got up I said, "I'm doing this joke, Norm, so forget about it!" So I was in no mood. I got up and Sheldon was in the band. 

Usually I kid Jack Sheldon and heckle him a little to get a roll going. I didn't do that. I did some stupid thing at the start and it was terrible and I never got going. I never scored. It was the worst outing I've ever had at Rickles' with a whole celebrity crowd. Brad Grey, Mrs. Sinatra, everybody. I just got by with a couple of stockies. 

I gave a joke to Norm Crosby because he has no material. He has a song now! Norm has a closing song, I can't believe it. We're not friendly anymore because we resented this lady marrying him who has taken all of his money. 

Kliph Nesteroff: In the late 1940s you worked Newport, Kentucky...

Jack Carter: Yeah, down by the river there were a lot of nightclubs.

Kliph Nesteroff: The Lookout House.

Jack Carter: Yes and Mrs. Jimmy Brink. She hit me with a pocket book and knocked me cold because I called it The Outhouse. I never worked there again. I worked at the Beverly Hills Country Club. It had that tragic fire and one of the chorus girls was Norm Crosby's wife and her sister. I'd always go and hangout there.

Kliph Nesteroff: That was the big Mob area.

Jack Carter: All Mob. You could hire a hit man there. That was the home of a famous hood, and it was all Mob. Especially down by the river.

Kliph Nesteroff: There was a place called the Glenn Rendezvous.

Jack Carter: Glenn Rendezvous, yes. Down by the river there were four or five late joints. Gambling. Oh, what's the name of the hood who came from there? But you could hire a gun to put someone away.  That is where you went for a hit man. 

But, y'know, Norm Crosby... We went for a weekend in Palm Springs to the home of this girl who was married to Jerry Moss, Herb Alpert's partner. She was in a pilot I did called Friends, Romans, Countrymen where she was a slave. It didn't take. That was a William Morris disaster. In order to do that pilot I left Freddie Fields and my shot at having a great agent. We were never friendly again. I pulled out of my contract with him even though he was making me money. You know the story of Freddie Fields? He brought David Begelman into the business. Begleman committed suicide.

He owed Sidney Kimmel three million dollars. He would have been in jail for life, but instead he killed himself. Danny Wilkes was the one who got the call to come to the hotel room, but he couldn't find him because he registered under another name. He was just an insurance agent married to Freddie's cousin and Freddie got him into show business. He had no talent at all, but he was a sweetheart of a guy, Begelman. He loved to laugh. He emulated a writer named Harvey Orkin who was very funny and fashionable, sort of like Cy Howard. Cy Howard was a one-story playwright. He had one hit and it never happened again just like the guy who wrote Stalag 17. 

Kliph Nesteroff: Cy Howard was busted in a prostitution scandal in the 1950s.

Jack Carter: He had a big home up on Sunset with a big driveway. He was pushy and gregarious. You were reminding me of that show I did with... what's his name? Burt Mendelson? Bob Masterson? Buddy Ebsen?

Kliph Nesteroff: Buster Keaton.

Jack Carter: Yeah, Buster Keaton.

Kliph Nesteroff: You know, I went and saw Tony Bennett at the Hollywood Bowl the other night...

Jack Carter: Why? He has no voice at all. A klutz. You know who else is a klutz? Michael Buble. He's like Frankenstein walking around the stage. My doctor is his doctor. Our other buddy who plays piano kinda discovered him and pushed him - David Foster.

Kliph Nesteroff: I wanted to ask you - who was this comedian Ollie Franks? He was on a bill with you and Jeri Blanchard at the Kitty Davis club in Miami Beach.

Jack Carter: Oh, I knew him. He was a singing comedian of George Abbott's. I remember Jeri Blanchard vaguely. God, the names that disappear. I mentioned stuff to you about Bob Hope and his last girl. One of Hope's tricks was named Joey Monroe and she lived in one room with her mother. Hope was so cheap he wouldn't give them enough money to eat even. He had about five of these girls around town.

I remember once I was banging this Russian girl. Hope said, "You got to get out of here quick!" "Why?" "Kirk is coming over!" Kirk Douglas was screwing her too. Another place I was at with a girl, "You've got to leave. George Marshall is coming over." An old director was seeing this girl. Kirk Douglas had several around town. The wives always knew. Jack Benny was the only one who never screwed around.

Kliph Nesteroff: I thought he had an affair with Giselle McKenzie.

Jack Carter: Yeah, supposedly, but I don't think so. George Burns got caught cheating so he had to buy Gracie... there's a whole story there about what he had to buy her. He really did love her though. He used to go to the cemetery and sit and talk to her. What a sweet man, what a sharp guy. 

Kliph Nesteroff: Some guy told me that Bob Leslie wrote all of Alan King's material. Bob Leslie from the Leslie Brothers.

Jack Carter: How would you know about the Leslie Brothers? They were insane! When I worked in New York the little one was on the phone in the lobby all day. I had to get the police to get rid of him. He was always asking for money. They'd hang around by the stage door and they were a terrible act! Terrible. Bob Leslie was the little one who drove me crazy. 

You have all these ads for the places I worked in Canada. I worked an Arab place outside London, Ontario with a vicious, nasty boss. Had to climb stairs to the club. When I was in Canada I stayed at the Frontenac, I used to call it the front and back. And at the Elmwood, over in Windsor, the owner had never been friendly. We'd go to Detroit for dinner with Al Siegel, who owned the Elmwood. 

Kliph Nesteroff: You previously mentioned the Jewish comedienne Molly Picon. Was she sort of like Fanny Brice?

Jack Carter: No, she was a sweet little lady and she was very minute. She did little comedy things, "There are hands - that do applause, there are hands - that do the work. There are hands that give me a hand." She had a beautiful number about hands. Her husband was a famous Jewish writer, Jacob Kalish, who wrote for the Yiddish theater. He wrote plays and stuff. Molly Picon was a bright little woman and she was in the original Fiddler on the Roof. She was classy, she wasn't mawkish. She had some great, great numbers and was a very delicate little woman. Molly Picon was a big star of the Yiddish theater and of regular vaudeville. I worked a big nightclub with her in Montreal. It was a big club in an alley.

Kliph Nesteroff: El Morroco?

Jack Carter: El Morroco was above a bank at first and then it moved near the hockey arena. So we'd hear the roars of the hockey fans during the show. I loved the El Morroco. I went to see BS Pully when he worked with HS Gump. He loved me.

Kliph Nesteroff: What was HS Gump like?

Jack Carter: Tiny little guy, a little nebbish, the kind you slap around like on The Benny Hill Show. Gump was a cute, little nebbish. "Bleed, Gump, Bleed!"BS Pully used to slap him around, "Bleed!" There were a lot of nondescript comedians in those days. There was Paul Gray, who was a very tall, unfunny man who had a commercial kind of an act like Jan Murray. Very manufactured. But Jan was brilliant at ad-libbing. Billy Vine was a great character. An actor, basically. He did a crying thing. His whole act was crying and blubbering. He worked the Latin Quarter a lot.

Kliph Nesteroff: Rip Taylor used to do the crying thing. I guess it was a common shtick in those days.

Jack Carter: Rip is a sweet man. When I was in the hospital he came by every day. In those days there were so many civilians that became comedians. They had three jokes and they were in. In those days there was so much work. A lot of comedians were just emcees. Little Jackie Heller was a little singer, Pittsburgh originally and then he ended up in Florida and eventually Las Vegas. Danny Goldberg was originally in Philadelphia and then he wound up at the Sands. 

Kliph Nesteroff: People always want me to ask you about Eugene Levy. He did an impression of you on SCTV back in the early 1980s.

Jack Carter: Yes, Albert Brooks used to do an impression of me and so did Eugene Levy and Martin Short. "Don't get me started, don't get me started." When they did SCTV, Eugene Levy did what was a typical nightclub act and it was me. It was a put-down... but it was okay. It was funny so I actually didn't mind.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kliph Nesteroff talks Jack Carter on NPR

I was on NPR this morning talking about the career of Jack Carter. Listen here

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

An Interview with Jeremy Vernon - Part Two

Kliph Nesteroff: You played the Latin Casino with Peggy Lee - February 1967.

Jeremy Vernon: Not a hip audience. It was a huge room. I think it held 1200 or something, but it was okay. The owner was a guy named Dave Dushoff. He picked up the tab and everything. I told him, "God, you're real nice to the acts." He said, "It takes a lot to get 'em to come down here to Cherry Hill, New Jersey."

Kliph Nesteroff: How about the Mob element in nightclubs in those days. Did you have any memorable encounters?

Jeremy Vernon: I did. All these clubs in places like Springfield and Chicopee Falls... I didn't realize at the time that they owned all these places. Somebody would say, "The Boys are coming in tonight." They'd come and sit at a table and I would rib them. I assumed if I was onstage I could say whatever and they would know that it was all in fun. One time I was working the Highway Casino in Providence, Rhode Island.

These guys came in while I was already onstage. They walked in single file. They all had those hats with wide brims turned up. This was the late 1950s. I said, "Here they come! They're marching in line! All in uniform in their camel hair coats!" They all looked identical. I said, "Oh, wait a minute! One guy is out of step!" They glared at me and said, "Go on. Go on." That's all they said, "Go on." They were waiting for the stripper.

I did have an encounter at the Bon Soir in New York. I didn't realize it was part of the Mob too. Ernie Sgroi was connected somehow. I had just broken in a new bit about Italian singers who changed their last names to an initial. I said, "You have Frankie B and Joey G and Johnny D." After the show, the maitre'd called me over. He said, "You see those two guys at the ringside table?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Those are two of the roughest hit men in Brooklyn. They told me you made fun of their guy Johnny Dioguardi." He ruled one of the New York Families at the time. I had heard him called Johnny Dio, but never Johnny D. He said, "You want us to get you a police escort? You want us to walk you to your car?" They had asked him, "How long is that comedian going to be here?" He told them, "Two more weeks." And they told him, "Don't be surprised if he don't show up tomorrow."

Kliph Nesteroff: Whoa.

Jeremy Vernon: I said, "Hold on, hold on. Let me talk to these guys." I approached their table and they said, "Come over heeyah, comedian!" I started spewing nervously. I was just going, going, going. I said, "I didn't pick that initial for any particular reason! It could have been B, D, G! I was just going through the alphabet!" I went on and on and on. They said, "Hey! Dats okay, kid! We're just puttin' ya on!" And they gave me a punch in the shoulder.

Kliph Nesteroff: So the Bon Soir - sort of an intellectual club - was connected to the Mob.

Jeremy Vernon: So, that was my experience with the Mob.

Kliph Nesteroff: You always did airline material. Today it's considered the hackiest of all topics. Were the first comedian to do airline material?

Jeremy Vernon: No, there had been other comedians that did airline stuff before. Shelley Berman did his stewardess bit, "Coffee, tea or milk? Coffee, tea or milk?" And various guys did airlines. I was the first one doing a thing on foreign airlines. I saw Peter Ustinov on a talk show and he was the first I ever heard do that filtered microphone sound where he covers his mouth.

Kliph Nesteroff: You played the Copacabana again with Al Martino.

Jeremy Vernon: That's right. He was very pleasant.  It was good. The Copa was always good. Al Martino was hot and he had good crowds. Jack Jones came backstage and complimented my act. He had just married a beautiful stewardess so we talked about that.

Kliph Nesteroff: It was the end of the 1960s, so this is the time of the cultural shift that killed off most of those old school supperclubs. It really, kinda, destroyed the Copa. So what was the atmosphere like? It must have been on its last legs...

Jeremy Vernon: Yes. When I worked it with Peggy Lee it was the last time they had a chorus line. When I worked it with Al Martino they didn't have the Copa girls anymore. The big clubs started to go under at that time.

Kliph Nesteroff: So did you enter the comedy club racket at that time? Were you playing the Comedy Store when it first opened?

Jeremy Vernon: I was. I was one of the first people in that. I was with Sammy Shore when he decided to open it. Here's a funny thing about that. Lou Alexander came up with an idea before all the comedy clubs. He said, "We oughta get a store front and make it a club. You and me and Jack DeLeon and Howie Storm can all work there, at our own club, and we can alternate. When one guy is doing the road, the other three will be there. We can get producers to come and see us." I remember how I laughed when he said producers. Lou Alexander said, "We'll call it... we'll call it... the House of Comedy!" I thought to myself, "Jesus, this is corny, wow."

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Jeremy Vernon: But the Comedy Store was a hip name, more up-to-date and modern sounding. So when Sammy Shore opened it we hung out there. What happened was he wouldn't call on us standard acts. Once in a while he would call on us, but he preferred to call on young amateur people who were goofy. There was one girl who came onstage holding a bunch of celery for no reason. Somebody else came on with a carrot stuck in their ear. 

Jeremy Vernon: There was this guy Charles Fleischer who came on swinging a rubber tube around his head that made a noise like, "Whrrrrr, whrrrrr, whrrrr." Someone else came out with a toilet seat around their neck. Sammy Shore, by doing this, started attracted a crowd that made it impossible for him to break in his material. So when Sammy wanted to break in material he had to go to the Horn [nightclub] in Santa Monica!

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Jeremy Vernon: I used to work the Horn in Santa Monica and it was a great room. Sammy would say to me, "Why do you go to the Horn? Why don't you come here? Why don't you come to the Comedy Store and work?" But he himself never worked there when he wanted to break in stuff! Sometimes he and Rudy De Luca would get up and do stuff ad-lib. They'd do opera take-offs with Rudy pretending to be an opera singer and it was very ad-lib. I worked the Improv when they had one in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

Kliph Nesteroff: Did you work the Improv in New York early on?

Jeremy Vernon: Oh, yes. I used to hang out at the Improv in New York. I worked it when I was breaking in material for the Sullivan show. I would go in there and try out stuff and it was great because Richie Pryor was always there and Bobby Klein was always there. And Whatshisname from Philadelphia was always there.

Kliph Nesteroff: David Brenner.

Jeremy Vernon: Yes, exactly (laughs). Very good. He'd come in at two in the morning and he didn't do well. He'd go on and people would leave the room! They'd say, "Oh no, this guy." And they'd leave. I asked his manager, "What made him stick with it? How come he didn't just quit?" He said, "Well, he was just determined." His manager was a guy named Rick Bernstein. Before he came to the Improv he was going to all the other little clubs in New York and I think he must have been doing well in those other clubs because otherwise he would have dropped out. He probably did well elsewhere and then came in late at the Improv because I never saw him do well there. I thought it was because Budd didn't want to put him on early, but that probably wasn't the case.

Kliph Nesteroff: What do you remember about the early Richard Pryor?

Jeremy Vernon: I saw him a couple times at the Living Room. He was trying out different stuff and I saw that he would eventually develop. I knew he had something going and was headed in the right direction, but he certainly was not there yet.

Kliph Nesteroff: How about your experience doing The Ed Sullivan Show?

Jeremy Vernon: I did it twice and then the show went off the air soon after that. Vince Callandra saw me my second time at the Copa. Lee Solomon said, "I'm bringing in Vince Callandra. He's a fan of yours from Vegas." He came and he said no. Next day Sullivan comes in. Calls me over. "Jeremy, you're a fine comedian. Where are you staying?" He called me up the next day. I never thought he would call me up in person.

I said, "Is this Will Jordan?" "This is Ed Sullivan and I want you on our show next Sunday." Well, fine! He had to tell Vince Callandra to book me (laughs). Anyway, I did the afternoon rehearsal and it went great. They would do a full dress. Then it started to snow. I went out with a friend of mine. He's a rabbi now, but at that time he was a manager, Jerry Cutler. He accompanied me and we went and had supper and then came back to do the show. Sullivan came on just before me and says, "Well, you know, you're all going to be record holders because right now it is a record snowfall. We're in for three feet of snow tonight."

I'm thinking, "Jesus, he's telling these people they're snowbound and will have no way to get back to New Jersey! My God!" As I'm walking out, and I'm sure you've heard these stories many times, someone said to me, "Cut one minute." Holy mackerel. As I'm walking on - cut one minute! What am I gonna cut? I couldn't think of what to leave out so I just worked very fast. I stepped on my laughs and so on. It was okay, but it wasn't as dynamite as the dress rehearsal.

They wanted me to come back, but the Sullivan show was losing it's audience. This was around 1971. They asked me, "Do you have anything that's more like a sketch?" I had a bit that was a take off on the movie The Longest Day. It was something like a sketch where I do a character on the phone calling Hitler. Just to get on the show I said I'd do it. I remember breaking it in at the Improv and (laughs) one of the comics, I think it was Marvin Braverman, said, "Do you have other material?" I said, "Yeah, lots." He said, "Then why are you doing that?"

Kliph Nesteroff: (laughs)

Jeremy Vernon: I said, "That's what the Sullivan show wants!" They had me put on a German officer's coat and a hat. Instead of having me do the sound effects of bombing and shelling myself they inserted sound effects...

Kliph Nesteroff: God, no.

Jeremy Vernon: Yeah, it was silly. The first time I was on, Sullivan called me over and shook my hand, "Let's hear it for Jeremy!" This time they said, "When you finish, do not go over to Ed." Like they knew it was not going to be a big hit (laughs). Ominous! So that was my experience doing The Ed Sullivan Show, but I will say that Sullivan was very nice to me. Very kind. Whenever he saw me on the street, "Hello there, Jeremy. How's your lovely wife?" And I didn't want to say, "I'm not married." 

Kliph Nesteroff: How about your experience doing The Joey Bishop Show?

Jeremy Vernon: It was good. I got to sit on the panel and Georgie Jessel was there. Every time that I started to speak, he would interrupt. I'd say, "The other night I had chicken and..." "Oh, chicken, I love chicken. I love the seasoned chicken at the restaurant..." And he'd go on and on. So there wasn't much conversation.

Every time you started talking George Jessel would interrupt so I didn't get a chance. At the end of the show Joey asked everybody on the panel, "What are you working on next?" I said, "Oh, I'll just be hanging around like I did here tonight." Joey tended to be a little abrasive. I'd say, "See you later." He'd say, "Thanks for the warning!"

I did a show called 90 Tonight and Cleavon Little was the host. He had just finished making Blazing Saddles. The working title had been Black Bart. He talked about it at the beginning of the show. At one point he asked me what I had coming up. I told him, "Well, I auditioned for the part of Black Bart, but they told me I was too tall." The place came down. It was an all-Black audience. They were the best audience. They laughed at everything.

Kliph Nesteroff: April 1969 you did a Jerry Lewis luncheon at the Deauville in Miami Beach. Dais included you, Jack Klugman, Don Cornell, Jan Peerce, Lou Marsh, Sonny Sands and Eddie Schaeffer.

Jeremy Vernon: My God, yes. I think Eddie Schaeffer was the emcee. I guess that was when I was at the Eden Roc. They sent me a telegram to come down. I asked someone, "Is this an invite for me to be in the audience or what is it? "They said, "No, if you're getting a telegram that means you're on the dais." I did some dirty jokes, naturally, as it was a Roast and it was pretty funny. Jerry Lewis then came to see my show at the Eden Roc.

He said, "You do some silly stuff!" I took that as a compliment and I started dating his assistant. He said, "I might put you in a picture that I'm doing. I can't promise you, but I might have a part for ya. Keep in touch with stupid here." That's what he called the girl. So I never heard from him about it and I was very glad because the film was Which Way to the Front. I think the movie opened and closed on the same day.

Kliph Nesteroff: Yeah, with Jan Murray.

Jeremy Vernon: I never saw it.

Kliph Nesteroff: You did an episode of Playboy After Dark in 1969.

Jeremy Vernon: You stood in a living room with Playboy bunnies and sat around on the floor. It was like working someone's living room. It wasn't a killer show, but I guess it was okay.

Kliph Nesteroff: If my facts are straight, you did a guest appearance on The Flying Nun.

Jeremy Vernon: I did. Something odd happened there. I was supposed to play a tourist in Puerto Rico. I'm at a table with my fictional wife and Sally Field is trying to sell a parrot that talks dirty because they can't keep it in the convent. I was supposed to be embarrassed about the situation. It was shot in the San Fernando Valley and it was very hot. I was wearing a suit and was looking for a place in the shade. I found a chair and sat down. When I got up I noticed the back of the chair - it said Sally Field. I should have gone and apologized. Anyway, we do the scene, about four takes and the director says, "Okay, good. Cut. Print." She says, "I want to do one more take." During the last take Sally Field took the parrot cage and knocked over a mixed drink, a cocktail, off the table and all over my suit pants. I don't know if it was intentional but...

Kliph Nesteroff: You didn't do too many acting roles.

Jeremy Vernon: I did a Love, American Style. I did a Mork and Mindy. I was booked on The Monkees, but got a Vegas job at the last minute so I got out of that and had a long run in Vegas instead. It was good money and I had a fifteen month run in Vegas in 1968.

Kliph Nesteroff: The Desert Inn.

Jeremy Vernon: Yes. It was a production show. It was called Pizazz '68.

Kliph Nesteroff: We were talking about working the supperclubs during America's cultural shift. You opened for Connie Stevens at the famous Coconaut Grove, but they had renamed it the NOW Grove.

Jeremy Vernon: Yeah, that's right. Sammy Davis took over the operation. The guy who reviewed the show was named Art Murphy, from Variety. He especially didn't like me. Connie's manager told me he gave the show a bad review because he had to wait a half hour for a table. I wrote a letter to him where I said it was unfair for him to review the show poorly based on how he was treated. He wrote me the most scathing letter back full of profanity. "You blame other people because you're no good!"  

Before I went on Larry Wilde came in and he was talking to me. He went on and on and on and all of a sudden I heard my introduction. I had to run the whole length of the room to get onstage and I was out of breath. So my timing was a little off, I have to admit. Because of that it probably didn't go over that well, but this guy wrote a real vicious review. We wrote back and forth and he got real vile. I read his obituary and he was not a well-liked guy.

Kliph Nesteroff: You were on Norm Crosby's Comedy Shop. That show was sort of interesting because it combined all the old school comedians with all the new Comedy Store comedians. It was the first stand-up comedy television series.

Jeremy Vernon: That's right. It was a mish-mash. I also did a TV show called His Honor, which was on for a season. That was around the same time I did Mork and Mindy and then I emceed the porno awards.

Kliph Nesteroff: What?

Jeremy Vernon: Yeah, the erotic... Jackie Gayle was on the show and he did his act. I felt I should do special material so I got together with Don Sherman and we wrote some jokes together. Linda Lovelace had just quit the porn business. She was the one that made Deep Throat. So the line we wrote was, "She quit because she had it up to there." There were people outside picketing the event. My first line was, "If you can't lick it - picket." That got a big scream, but after that it went downhill.

Believe it or not, it was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times and I was panned. I got a real bad review. "Woeful attempt. You can't do dirty jokes to dirty people," or something like that. I did all jokes about the porn industry. "One expression you never hear in the porn industry is come in." It was a goofy experience.