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    Posted August 11, 2014 by
    GTinsdale
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    In Memoriam

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    Comedy Store, 1976

     
    In 1976, at the age of 19, I took a year off after my freshman of college and moved to California. At the time I was hoping to land a job in advertising (though my secret dream was to be a stand-up comic. Unfortunately, I never worked up the nerve.) One of my favorite activites was going to the Comedy Store in Westwood near UCLA. Monday nights were especially cool because that was when many of the working comics around town came in to try out new material in front of the unpaying crowd. It was a wonderful education into the development of a comedy bit. Most of the comics who were stopping in for their 5-7 minutes on stage were, at the time, known only locally. Some had been on TV, but most were still hoping for their big breaks. Years later, many of them would become household names: David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmie Walker, Michael Keaton, Steve Landesberg, and more. And then there was this comic, a virtual unknown, who performed his entire act in a Russian accent while wearing an ushanka, one of those Russian fur hats. He was all over the place. Manic doesn't even begin to describe his energy. The guy was lit up!! This one particular night during his performance, an absolutely stunning woman was sitting in the first row, up against the stage. Just after he finished his act, she and her friends left the club. After she walked out, I got up and walked outside hoping to run into her. Unfortunately, she was already gone. But I did run into the comic who had just finished his act, and who, like me, had also come outside hoping to run into her. And there we stood all alone, just the two of us, looking high and low for this woman. A study in disappointment. And for the next 5 minutes, Robin Williams and I talked about beautiful women, comedy, and living in Los Angeles. It was the first and only time I'd ever met Robin Williams.

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