The Greatest Weekend of All Time Part Two

11am 10/12/07
We took our obligatory photos with O&A and headed back to the hotel, riding high on the morning’s events.  “We may actually pull this off,” I said at one point to PA John on the walk back.  We were so excited we didn’t realize our hotel was right across the street from the studio…we walked about 4 blocks before figuring out we were a couple of bumbling idiots and hiked back in the right direction.

Our next destination was the COMIX Comedy Club on west 14th.  We were to watch a taping of Ron Bennington’s “Unmasked” with Robert Klein.  Now, I’m a pretty old guy, so I remember Klein when he was young.  He did the very first HBO comedy special and there was a time when no one thought anyone would ever be funnier than Klein.  I was pretty excited about the whole thing.  What could be better than an afternoon with Ron and Fez?

We pulled up and got out of the cab.  We hadn’t been there a minute when Ron Bennington strolled out of the comedy club.  You could feel the awe, love and respect that the fans milling outside had for the man.  I know Ronnie hates for people to say anyone is their “idol”, so I won’t do that, but he is certainly a very strong role model for me.  I’ve been a fan of radio broadcasting my whole life, since I first heard Larry Glick on WBZ on my shortwave radio (and Barney Pipp in Chicago…anyone remember him?)  I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a finer broadcaster than Ron Bennington.  He greeted us warmly and I felt immediately as if I’d known him forever.  I could see from my wife’s eyes that she was in love. 🙂

Fezzie was next; he was as wonderful as I could have imagined.  We talked for a bit and he introduced me to the lovely Deb, AKA Happy Typing Girl and several other R&F fans.  Then Earl emerged, then Lily, then we went inside and met Dave and Pitzy.  It was insane.  Everyone was so kind to us we were fahklempt.

Klein was a little controversial…he bashed a few comics and forgot a few others’ names and Ronnie didn’t have to break a sweat to keep him talking and guide him toward the end of the show.  Afterward, Ronnie got us a copy of his DVD set and he signed it for us.  We really wanted the cast to come out to dinner with us but we were too embarassed to ask so we took off for McSorely’s and drank way too much ale in the middle of the afternoon.

9PM
BAR 9
I’d heard about Bar 9 on R&F, but never could quite imagine what it was like.  It’s an old place, very narrow inside, and goes pretty deep into the building.  It was dark and smelled like old beer and despite the smoking ban, old tobacco seeped from the walls.  It was perfect.  We met Martin, JustJon, MafiaLifeChris, Jeremy G, the delightful Winnie Cooper, Jose from DonRigo cigars (as your doctor, I can’t condone you smoking them, but they make a great investment) and several other fans of the show.  Then Ant and his amazingly interesting girlfriend Mellinda showed up, which was a real surprize.  I always imagined that Anthony would shun such events.  Ronnie and my wife seemed to hit it off pretty well…she was cracking him up with her country aphorisms while he educated her on the status of modern Judaism in the “big city”.  Hanging out with all of these people was an unbelievable experience.  I felt like a little leaguer who’d just been asked to be ball boy for the Cubs.

Martin, Ronnie B, Mikeyboy, and some other guy outside at Bar 9

Hanging over our heads, though, was the fact that we still had to do a show the next night that would be heard in two countries.  Everytime I thought about it, I shuddered.  Tonight I was everyone’s friend…tomorrow I would be a laughingstock.  Well, enjoy it while you can, my friend, enjoy it while you can.

[continued in Part 3]

Weird Medicine Addendum with Doctor Steve

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