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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 24, 2014

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

Kids, Kidders and Quarter

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Friday July 20th, 2012 – South Milwaukee, WI/Rockford, IL/Neenah, WI

   More fun today, but more driving was involved to make it happen. I feel like a glorified trucker or pizza delivery driver with my payload being jokes. I used to be an over the road long haul guy for years, but now I’m keeping it relatively close to home. Still, this week has been a marathon.

   I made a commitment several months ago to show up at a summer performance camp at South Milwaukee High School for teenagers who are studying to be comedic actors. They are putting a live sitcom performance together and will be filming it at the end of the month in the same place I did a ‘Schlitz Happened!’ performance a while back. It’s a great facility, and I hope it’s a hit.

   I was asked to speak about the comedy business and entertainment in general, and I always try to give back whenever I can. There were about twenty kids in attendance, and I enjoyed having a chance to at least try to plant some valuable seeds of knowledge in their heads. I hope I did, but I saw some blank stares looking back as I told them how it was. I think I frightened a few others.

    I was going for a ‘Scared Straight’ angle, but I’m not sure if they got it. I tried to at least make it entertaining, and whether they realized it or not I told them a lot of things that would be helpful along their journey. Someone did record it on video, so hopefully they can review it in the future.

   That went from 9 to 10am, and I had to be back in Rockford, IL for the radio show from 1-3pm on WNTA. Today was a special treat to close out my week as The Kidders drove out to be live in studio. Having Tim Slagle and Ken Sevara in studio made it feel like the band was back together.

   Unfortunately, we had to take a detour from being funny as we had to address the mass murder in Colorado during the Batman movie yesterday. That was the topic everyone was buzzing about, horrific as it was. We needed to at least acknowledge it before launching into jokes, and we did.

   I thought we had some very intelligent discussion about it, and it felt good to have the three of us on the air speaking as human beings and not just joke machines. It added an element of depth we’ve really not had that much of, and I found it to be stimulating. We all felt how well it went.

  Then it was back behind the wheel to Neenah, WI for two more shows at The Comedy Quarter. The early show was at least as full as last night, if not more so. What a pleasant surprise that is at any comedy club in the summer, and I didn’t take it for granted. They have a well run operation.

   The people up here are generally very well behaved. Yes, they drink a lot but I don’t find them as obnoxious as I do other places. Milwaukee crowds can be downright belligerent when they’re drunk, but I find the crowds up this way a lot friendlier as a rule. The early show was a breeze.

   The late show was a typical late show Friday. They were young and had been drinking, but that is to be expected so I wasn’t upset. There was also the infamous bachelorette party that wouldn’t shut up, but they weren’t that bad either. I dealt with it and did my time, and nobody got hurt. I’ll gladly deal with that in exchange for having a new club to work close to home. Time for sleep.

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