The Hawaii Comedy Blog

The official blog of the gang at Hawaii Comedy Theater

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.

Dennys.

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.

4 Responses to “The Late Great Larry Beezer”

  1. November 19th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    John Kirchner says:

    I worked at the Ice House during the Beez Years. My friend Larry was without equal, a one-of-a kind item, and we all miss him.
    Thanks for posting this, guys.

  2. November 20th, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Linda Zapf Franklin says:

    Larry dated my sister Erika when I was just 13. All the years I knew him he was and inspiration to me. He lived Comedy. At the time he was going to school in Phili for Comedy. Sometimes I would record him practicing at the house . I still look for those reel to reels. I am now 54 and sad I never got to say good bye.

  3. November 24th, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Rico Lozano says:

    …at the time of his passing, Beez and I were working up an act where he was able to do that which he always wanted to do on stage…play the flute…we had been rehearsing in the back of the lil’ church (along with the generous accompaniment of sweet Jorge “Succio” Delgado)…we managed to work up a pretty tight 12-minutes, since that was all he was allotted at the Ice Hole anymore..but the crowd loved it, and the Beez was high on life that night(and nothing else…’til after).. we said goodbye with a hug and a promise to keep working on the “Act”…somewhere there exists a video of that night…I was to receive it as my “pay”…but Larry thought other “friends” needed it more…that’s OK because he left me rare live recordings , some studio work he produced..and rehearsal audiotapes I recorded…would like to see that videotape though…on it was Larry as happy as I’d ever seen him…I got my pay seeing it live…

  4. August 9th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Harry Schultz says:

    I met Larry a few years before He died. He was living in Los Angeles and in need of money and he got a job in of all places, a nursery where I was working. I was immediately struck by his humor and outgoing personality. As I got to know him more, i found out about his career in stand-up and as a musician. When Larry found out I was was also a musician, he insisted we get together and jam. Larry was renting a room at an old church at the time and I would go to his place after work (unfortunately Larry injured his shoulder shortly after starting this job and had to quit soon after) and we spent many hours playing jazz standards and talking. People who knew him as a comedian might not be aware that Larry was an excellent jazz flutist and free improviser. He said he had been inspired to play .by hearing and seeing Roland Kirk play in the late 60′s.Larry was a true raconteur. and could regale you for hours with stories of his exploits and adventures in show business. He also had a huge interest in govebrnment and politics and had produced a unique set of trading cards featuring current members of congress. These cards featured the member’s voting records on important measures-one local congressman had actualy personallt written a letter to Larry explaininf why he had voted against a popular bill and kindly asked that his card not to include his voting record! Way to fight the man Beezer! Sadly, I also saw firsthand how Larry’s alcoholism and addictions had taken their toll on him even though he genuinely tried, as hard as he knew how, to fight the darkness inside him. Larry wanted to stage a comeback to comedy and music and I am so pleased that he was able to realize this dream near the end. In the midst of his struggles with drinking, Larry spoke of his faith in God and we also prayed together. I hope he was happy at the end and pray the he is now at peace with the Lord-a truly unique artist, a creative, restless force aand and a gentle, honest soul. I hope to meet my friend again someday and to laugh and enjoy the man, the Beeze.

Leave a Reply