Last night, I worried about performing at Adam Wade's "Whatever Happened to the Nerds?" storytelling show. The talent line-up was packed with seasoned yarn spinners: Peter Aguero, Maya Genis, Jake Goldman & Andy Ross (I used to watch Andy on Ed Sullivan ~ he's better than the guy spinning the plates). I was the rookie.
How could I ensure the alien audience would embrace my story?
I planted my mother in the house in a seat alongside Murt the Barkeep from Loftus Tavern.
Mom's famous for her TV laugh track on "Bilko," and "Car 54 Where Are You?" Nat Hiken, the shows' creator hired Mom, not yet 18, on the spot when he heard her laughing at a friend's joke while sitting on a stool in Nedick's on 6th Ave and 49th Street in 1952. I brought Murt for ammunition. His ongoing murmuring under his breath with his strong Irish brogue has a giddy effect on everyone around him. Not sure how well I succeeded, but I was comfortable on stage having Mom and Murt in the peanut gallery. Mom & Murt saluted all the performers with raised lollipops.
After the show Mom went directly home to tell the birds. Murt sat in the back of the tavern in a booth, nursed his whiskey and told anyone who would listen, “I’ll have none of your shenanigans. I threw your father out of the place and I'll do the same to you. Stop your gallivanting and get your carcass down to Magnet Theater for “Whatever Ever Happened to the Nerds,” next show May 30th. Rest your soul, Have a pop, your mother approves."