The Late Great Larry Beezer
Dennys. The bane of a comedian’s existence. It’s the only late night eatery guaranteed to be open when the last show is over and the last hand has been shaken. It’s not Ruth’s Chris but beggars can’t be choosers. But night after night, city after city. It wears on you. Wears on comedians like the legendary Larry Beezer who, in my humble opinion, had the best Dennys line of any comic:
“There’s always a line to get in at Dennys. It’s bad enough that you have to eat at Denny’s. But to have to wait to eat at Dennys…”
These types of observations were the essence of the The Beez’s comedy material. Beez. A man who lived high, and lived low. And whose internet presence today is far too sparse in light of his greatness. To wit, there’s only one YouTube clip of him. I hope this blog entry inspires others to write more about him. Larry did comedy in Waikiki once a year, sometimes more when he needed the money.
Genius in action. The YouTube clip features Sound Effects Wizard Larry Beezer doing his impression of a man on the subway desperately trying to find a place to relieve himself. Makes me wish I had videotaped him during one of the many times he graced our Honolulu Comedy Club stage back in the 80’s and 90’s.
When I say he lived high and lived low, let me explain. In the early 70’s Beez landed The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson three times rather quickly. As a result, he was big on the club scene. Very big. The club scene – where drinks were free and willpower was questionable. Beez had ups and downs. At the Honolulu Comedy Club we saw them both.
Larry Beezer could relate to the man on the streets.
Laundromats, where he made the random observation, “No one in the Laundromat is wearing underwear.”
His car, always breaking down on the freeways, where he would listen to the radio while waiting for a tow truck and hear the traffic report from the guy in the helicopter (he would beat on his chest to create an authentic helicopter reporter sound), “Traffic on the 405 is backed up, and, oh hey, there’s Beezer’s car again, smoking and spewing!”
He never having enough forms of identification to cash a check at the bank to satisfy the teller. They’re always asking for more. “Alright, I’m ready this time. Here’s my drivers license, my social security card, three credit cards, and my passport.” Then he’d give the response from female bank teller in falsetto: “I’m sorry, do you have a bowling trophy?”
Larry Beezer was one of the favorite acts of the guys from Ballooney Tunes, who came to our Waikiki comedy club en masse every week for, gosh, at least three years running. Rocky Toomey, Jamie, Rob, and the rest of the gang.
Thanks to comic Myk Powell and radio exec Ron Burley for seeing him through his downs while doing comedy in Hawaii. And to the guys at the Ice House Comedy & Magic Club in Pasadena for believing in him.
The Beez passed away about 10 years ago. I’ll speak for the group. We miss him.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 4:43 am and is filed under Comedy, People, Videos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.