Red White & Off-Color
Tony George speaks: Born in johnstown, PA (a steelworking and coal mining town 1.5 hours east of Pittsburgh, in appalachia) i know that people think that appalachia stops at Tennessee or west Virginia, but it goes right past my parents' house. Appalachia in the 'hood. ^#^president lbj came to the county where i was born and where my wife and i graduated high school and called it 'the other America' and declared war on poverty! That day! 33 years old (34 on October 29, 2005) standup: 9 years straightforward, the 'street kid' where i grew up, jerry lewis, and the classic one-liner comedians, world events, because almost no one else is doing it the comedian idols list is long: george carlin, first and foremost, sam kinison, bill cosby (the godfather of comedy, never to be duplicated), diceman (i couldn't believe he was getting away with it), seinfeld, billy crystal (i learned everything about timing from him), robin williams, dennis miller, eddie murphy was probably my first influence (i can do 'delirious' or 'raw' almost word for word to this day, in eddie's voice). every day before seventh grade basketball practice, me and my friend would sneak into his room and listen to 'delirious.' we would act out the jokes without even knowing what the act outs were. i didn't get some of the jokes until i saw the video of the concert years later. ^#^it sounds funny now (because murphy's material has not stood the test of time) but he was doing the routine i always wanted to do. ^#^he used the language of my neighborhood and talked about the things close to me, and that's what i want to do, speak to the kids in neighborhoods like mine--rough and poor. ^#^my neighborhood was a good place to go if you were bored and wanted to get stabbed. ^#^there were no guns in those days, but a lot of beatings, stabbings, i've seen guys whipped with a six foot chain. ^#^you learned how to keep your mouth shut. And i learned how to crack jokes to keep from getting my ass kicked. ^#^here's my story of when i decided to become a comedian: i'm 8 years old: johnny carson--i couldn't believe that he got paid to tell a couple jokes, joke around with celebrities for an hour a day on tv, then go home. ^#^to me it seemed like the perfect crime. ^#^then one day (i think it was a sixty minutes bit) they showed johnny driving to work in a corvette. i thought it was a gag. ^#^surely a comedian couldn't afford a corvette! ^#^no one in my neighborhood could, and they had real jobs. ^#^then i realized that it wasn't a gag--it was actually his own car. ^#^that sealed my fate right there. i was going to be a comedian. i was up late every night of my life, and my parents would let me watch carson's monologue every night, and let me stay up for the first guest if it was a comedian like carlin, or buddy hackett, etc. i've been fired from all of the worst jobs on earth, and i'm reluctant to tell you some of them because i know the crappiest ones always stick with you. i was in a lot of sales jobs. i worked in sales jobs in oil refineries, steel mills, etc for about 8 years (and doing standup at night) in NYC. i entered a comedy competition at standup NY (78th and broadway in NYC). i inspected the highways of pa. i worked in the steel mill one summer to pay for college. i worked as a producer making commercials in Dallas. i hesitate to tell you this one, because i don't want to badmouth the company, but i once (for about two weeks) sold electric adjustable beds door to door in newark, nj, the poorest sections of newark. i never sold one--they were like three grand a piece. ^#^these people couldn't afford front doors on their houses. i'm not sure why the company sent me to these neighborhoods. ^#^why didn't they just fire me outright? i bartended, i delivered packages for a courier in NYC. All of these jobs bring back horrible memories. i've been doing standup every friday and saturday since (virtually). i gave up my old cutesy-poo seinfeld-esque clean act about four years ago, i needed to separate myself from all the other seinfeld clones, which is virtually everyone, that comedy clubs and audiences expect. i wanted to do 'raw' and carlin and kinison, material that i had written. i was actually on howard stern once, about eight years ago, right when i started doing standup. ^#^he said he was going to fire gange and thought maybe hiring a young hungry comic would do the trick. i called in and gary put me on the air and i made fun of gange, and howard and jackie laughed their asses off. The CD is $12.97, available everywhere but wal-mart. ^#^it's at: target, best buy, circuit city, tower records, virgin records, laugh.com, etc.