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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

The Game Of Numbers

Sunday February 22nd, 2009 - Milwaukee, WI/Kenosha, WI

According to numerology this is an important date. Allegedly 11 and 22 are numbers of significant power and importance and anyone born on the 11th or the 22nd are known to be very strong and/or influential personalities. Allegedly. My biggest heroes George Clinton in music and Rodney Dangerfield in comedy are both ‘22’s so I guess it might be true.

Bob Uecker is my other one in that group but his birthday is January 26th. I guess there are exceptions to every rule and even the cosmos has a few hiccups once in a while. Even so, all this stuff still fascinates me. My cousin Brett calls it ‘moonbeams and stardust’ and laughs at me for being interested in it but I am. There has to be something deeper to it all.

Yesterday was Brett’s birthday and he missed being a ‘22’ by a day. He’s a very strong personality and a generous soul and the closest person in my family by far. We always got along well and still continue to remain in constant contact. He and I are on the same page.

Another person who had a birthday yesterday is Ross Bennett. Ross is a comedian and a huge influence mentor of mine when I started and we still continue to stay in contact also. The fact that Ross and Brett are born on the same day makes me think it’s all connected.

I think Ross Bennett should be a huge comedy star. He is hilariously funny and unique and a master comedy craftsman. His show is second to none and I remember meeting him back in the ‘80s at the old Funny Bone in Milwaukee. I could see then he was a master of the stage but he also had a dented can side that I could relate to and we bonded back then.

Ross had a lot of things to overcome. He has a joke in his act that kills but it’s true. ‘My first wife died, my second one wouldn’t.’ Wow. Talk about a joke born out of pain. It gets laughs on stage but that really did happen and he had to raise his son as a single father but still be on the road and making a living to pay bills. Ross Bennett has my utmost respect.

It was he that helped me survive the L.A. jungle when I lived there back in the mid ‘90s and was not in a great position to be there. I’d lost my radio job in Reno and wasn’t ready for the L.A. game yet but Ross was living there then and helped me settle in and adjust.

Then he moved to New York and years later when I went there to explore the scene he’s the one who showed me the ropes there too. He helped me get a set at the Comic Strip in Manhattan and showed me around all the other clubs too. Ross is my comedy big brother.

He has guided me at times when I really needed it and I’ll never forget him for that. I’m grateful for his kindness and in turn it has helped guide many other comedians who have come to me for help over the years. I always try to pay kindness forward and I’ve done it.

Is any of this interconnected or is it all a big coincidence? Who knows? I sure don’t but I do know that for a ‘22’ this was a great day. I visited the sports card show in Milwaukee and did a strong Mothership Connection radio show on WLIP in Kenosha. It was all fun.

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