Five Comics Tell Their Best Stories from the Road
One of my favorite road stories though was the time I was working with Kevin Nealon in California. We had two shows on a Saturday night. I was watching Kevin's first set from a table in the back of the room when Kevin James and Adam Sandler came and sat down next to me. I didn't say anything. I just sort of sat there and pretended that famous people sit at my table all the time. They said hello. I gave a head nod. The show was still going on so saying nothing seemed helpfully appropriate. Before the show ended they were ushered into the green room. The club manager informed me that they were working on a new movie, Funny People, and were going to do sets on the next show.
"So I can leave?" I asked.
"No. We'll do Kevin James first, then Adam Sandler, then you, then Kevin Nealon."
"What? Fire me. I can't follow Adam Sandler. Why don't you just throw me to a pack of wolves?"
"You'll be fine," he assured me as he walked away without any concern for my impending nervous breakdown.
I paced and smoked fifteen cigarettes. Ya know, trying to look cool.
I begged the manager to fire me in one last ditch effort to avoid embarrassment.
"Send me home. You don't even have to pay me. I can sneak out the back."
I don't know if it was for my benefit, maybe the look of terror in my eyes prompted the re-order, but at the last minute they changed the lineup. It would be me, Kevin James, Adam Sandler, and then Kevin Nealon. The news was like finding out I'd been cured of a horrible disease. I did my set. It went well. It was pretty cool to walk off stage and have Adam Sandler say "That was awesome."
"I'm putting that on my resume" I said as I walked back to take my place at the table in back.
After they were done with their set they each came back and sat down in a very normal-we-don't-have-a-billion-dollars-way. They had a drink and made a little small talk which was nice considering I was doing my best to not say anything at all. Eyes straight ahead. Don't be weird.
Adam Sandler leaned over and said, "Hey, we're taking off to avoid the crowd. It was nice to meet you. Good luck."
"Good luck to you too." I said.
He looked at me with a face that clearly pointed out "I don't need luck" and walked away.
Andi must have done something right on stage that night, because along with appearances on Comedy Central and a strong showing on Last Comic Standing, she is the preferred opener of former SNL cast member Kevin Nealon. Andi and Kevin will be at the Westport Funnybone this weekend. More importantly then any credit, my wife, who's seen to many comedy shows to count, thinks Andi is really, really funny. That's something we agree on.