Archive for June, 2011
Of all the things to do in Waikiki, on this particular night the correct answer was the Honolulu Comedy Club.
“Bo,” I breathed with excitement into the phone. “Redd Foxx is sitting in our club right now. 3rd row.”
Powerless. Helpless. Bo Irvine was headlining at our Turtle Bay comedy gig on Oahu’s North Shore and was too far away to hele back into town to meet his idol. I knew Redd Foxx was on the top of Bo’s list, because a year or two prior to this we had a minor disagreement over the subject of Redd Foxx.
What happened was I had set Bo up for his first press interview with the Honolulu Advertiser. Cool. The next day I find myself reading in the paper that his comedy idol is none other than Redd Foxx. Not cool.
“Are you kidding me?” I whined at him. “Redd Foxx? REDD FOXX?? What the heck were you thinking!”
Bo was bewildered. “Because the reporter asked me who my comedy inspiration was and I answered the question.”
“Truth has nothing to do with what you say to a reporter!”
“What’s wrong with Redd Foxx?” he asked, still not knowing where I was coming from.
“Well, nothing’s wrong with him. Great comedian. Legendary comedian. But he’s blue. Blue comedian. Very R rated. You’re not an R rated comic, but if you tell everyone Redd Foxx is your comedy idol everything might get the mistaken impression that you are trying to emulate him. To be Redd Foxx. To be R. Bo Irvine is R. But you R not R!”
“I was just telling the truth.”
He just doesn’t get it. Or maybe I’m the one not getting it. Yes, tell the truth. But no law says you have to tell the Whole Truth unless you’re in a court of law and your hand’s on the Book.
The reason this came up was because a few minutes ago I was on the phone with a very nice gentleman who works with a program that airs on MTV and also happens to be Redd Foxx’s grandson. He is working on starting a show in Las Vegas show at the hotel for which I am the entertainment consultant. I asked him a question that had been nagging me. “For years I’ve been telling people that Redd Foxx was in the audience at our comedy club in Honolulu six weeks before he passed away, that he was on his honeymoon. Do I have my facts right?”
I’d always been concerned that I dreamed this up. I’m in show business and delusion is contagious. I like knowing I have both feet on the ground. Besides, I distinctly remember calling Bo who raced back to Waikiki after his show was over but to no avail. Too late. Redd was gone.
Fact check: Green light, positive. Redd did honeymoon in Hawaii just before he passed away. Note to self: No senile yet.
I never did ask Bo if he cut a few minutes off his stand-up show that night at Turtle Bay to get back in time to meet his comedy inspiration. Bo always tells me the truth and I didn’t want to know. Do not shave points off the show to meet an idol. The truth? I can’t handle the truth.
Factoid: Redd Foxx’s real name was John Elroy Sanford. I never knew that!
Okay folks… If you can stomach blue R rated stand-up, which has NO relationship whatsoever to what Bo Irvine does on stage, here a link for ya: Redd Foxx
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