Being in my late twenties and fresh off retiring from a successful jewelry business in Boston, I traveled out to Los Angeles believing I could achieve any goal I wanted. I did not think for a minute that I would not be able to become a success in show business.
The first day there, my good friend Mitch picked me up at my sister’s house and dropped me off on the doorstep of the Improv on Melrose Avenue. He gave me the name of a couple of comedians he knew and said good luck!.
After months of just showing up every evening, I got to know Bruce Smirnoff, Mark Goldstein and Barry Marder. Barry and I eventually become roommates for three or four years.
After much urging from Barry, he encouraged me to spend my time taking advantage of the boom in comedy clubs. He told me I should be booking all the comedian friends he and I had since their "big-time agents," focusing on getting them sit-coms, movies or commercials, were not interested in spending their time on two or three thousand dollar weekend personal appearance deals.
The comedians either didn't want to or didn't prefer to get on the phone to get themselves work. It ended up being a great opportunity for me to step in and make the calls for them. That was how it started. I eventually represented 35 stand-up comedians. The rest is history.
Bruce Starr is a very natural interviewer who shows genuine interest in the people he’s talking to because he’s a genuinely good guy and cares. He likes to get people to talk about their life stories and he keeps it interesting. Having been a part of those golden years of comedy, he’s doing a wonderful job of dusting off people like me to reminisce about the good old days
I have asked my attorney to extend the restraining order for another six months so I don’t have to do another interview.
Bruce you're doing such a great job with your podcast. I just wanna say, you've found your calling. Keep up the good work and hopefully we'll be talking soon. Go get em'. The brass ring is within your grasp. Your old pal, Johnny Dark.
Finally got a chance to watch the whole show. You did a magnificent job with the line of questioning as well as the production, inserting photos, promoting the book etc. Great job. Fun to work with you. Hope you get a good reaction from your audience.
Take care, Tom Dreesen