Brush with Greatness


Mark At The Starland Ballroom Killers of Comedy Show. June 16, 2007

I'll Just Go For The First Show...

I didn't plan on staying through two comedy shows this Saturday night. I just wanted to get out to see the guys and hang out for a little while. I wasn't planning on writing up the show either, it was supposed to be just a quick visit. The show featured the likes of Rev. Bob Levy, Jim Florentine, Sal the Stockbroker, Richard Christy, Shuli and Beetlejuice. They were appearing at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey which wasn't all that far from where I live so at the last minute (two days before) I asked the great Bob Levy if he'd mind me hanging out there with them. No problem, he told me to come on out.

I managed to work my way up to the green room and spent a few minutes talking to Richard Christy who was one of the first guys I ran into. A little later i met his girlfriend who was very sweet. Mutt and Kim from SternFanNetwork were there as well as Irish John and Eddie the Produce guy. Jim Florentine, Shuli and Bob Levy were all there in the green room. Beetlejuice was having discussions with everyone in there and getting louder and louder the more he drank. I had no idea that I'd be the one to ruin his mood later in the evening. Me!?

I hung out and kind of just observed as I usually do at these shows. I try not to annoy anyone and just kind of stay in the background. I did talk to the guys a bit but, for the most part, I was just there to hang out. I gave Beetlejuice a quick ''What's up Beet?'' as he was walking by at one point. He gave me a '' 'sup G?'' as he walked by. It was fascinating to watch and listen to Beet talking to everyone there. He lives in his own world and it's obviously not an act. The way he is on the radio is the way he is off the air.

I went down and watched most of the first comedy show and figured I'd get out of there sometime during the second show so I could avoid the traffic. The show was great as always. The crowd was great, the venue was cool, it was a good night.

Beetlejuice Is Fascinating!

I headed back up to the green room after the first show was over. Jim and Bob went out to sell some CDs, DVDs T-shirts and stuff like that. The guys eventually made their way back to the green room. I told the guys I was probably going to take off at some point during the show but then I got hooked on listening to Beetlejuice's stories. It really was fascinating to listen to the stories he tells. One second he'll be talking about how he's 50 years old (when he's actually 38), the next second he'll be talking about his wife (he doesn't have one) and how he takes care of all of their finances... and how he set up this whole comedy show himself. He lives in his own little world somewhere inside that tiny little head of his. Bob Levy was telling people that Beet had sent him a picture of his penis. Beet agreed with him so I asked if he was serious. Bob showed me the picture to prove it, but it turns out it was actually Bob's penis, not Beet's.

Beetlejuice has a lot to say. At one point he dropped a few things out of his wallet so I pointed them out to him so he could pick them up before they got lost. One of those items was a Dunkin Donuts card. You wouldn't think that he'd have all that much to say about a Dunkin Donuts card... but he talked to me about it for at least 5 minutes! He told me that's how he gets free coffee, so I asked him if he likes donuts too. He just kept telling me, over and over again, that the card was only for coffee. I got that concept, but if I asked him anything about Dunkin Donuts, he'd go right back to that free coffee thing and not answer.

Beet was making his way around the room striking up conversations with anyone who was there. At one point Sal was talking to him and mentioned that Beet knew Tupac and that he and Tupac were still in touch (even though Tupac is dead) and that Beetlejuice actually helped Tupac do a painting one time. That got Beetlejuice started on a whole discussion about Tupac and that painting he helped out with. Beet was saying that Tupac still calls him and that he's living with his mother. Since Beet insisted that he still spoke to Tupac, I figured I'd have a little fun and get someone on the phone to talk to him as Tupac. I figured that my buddy Haydn Porter might enjoy that so I dialed her up, told her to pretend to be Tupac and handed Beet the phone.

Beetlejuice isn't dumb, he doesn't fall for a female voice being Tupac. He did end up talking to Haydn for about 10 minutes, rolling his eyes and saying a lot of ''yeah right'' comments. Beet didn't seem too thrilled about the phone call. He complained about her not being the real Tupac. I did apologize for that and tried to change the subject. Unfortunately I made the mistake of asking him about his manager Sean. That's apparently a very touchy subject with the little guy so he told me not to bring up his 'bro' like that. ''No problem Beet, I'm sorry!'' Beet told me it was okay, no big deal, but he wouldn't stop thinking about it. He kept telling me that no one can talk about his bro like that. All I did was say ''How's Sean?'' so I wasn't bad mouthing the guy, I was just wondering how he was doing. Beet wouldn't let it go no matter how hard I tried to change the subject.

A few minutes went by after the Sean incident. He went off to talk to some other people but that Sean comment continued to eat away at him. Sal and Richard eventually came back into the green room so I let them know how Beet was upset with me. They tried to calm him down by telling him it would be okay, everyone was there just to have fun. That seemed to make things worse though. Beetlejuice said he was getting pissed. He wouldn't get mad at me really, he just kept saying he was pissed and when I'd apologize, he'd say it wasn't my fault, but then he'd get pissed even more. Sal and Richard told Beetlejuice they were going to take care of me for him and opened up the bathroom door and dragged me in there to ''beat me up.'' For the next 30 seconds they pretended to beat the shit out of me. They were kicking the door, pounding on the wall and yelling at me as if they were really beating me up. Then Sal twisted my glasses on my face to look like they had beat me up pretty good. I slid down to the floor to make it look like they knocked me out.

When Sal and Richard opened the door, Beetlejuice looked at me with a puzzled look on his face. And guess what, it didn't make him feel any better. It pissed him off even more so he walked off and into another room where he slammed the door. He eventually calmed down and went down to do his thing on stage with Bob Levy. The next thing I knew, the second show was over so I figured I should just hang out and wait for the traffic to dissipate. Beetlejuice eventually came back to the green room but I decided to avoid talking to him. I didn't want to upset him again. Richard, Shuli and a bunch of other people kept him busy talking to him about his shark hunting... with bow and arrows. you didn't know that Beetlejuice was a shark hunter, did you? He is one in his own mind.

Really!? You Want A Picture With Me? Stop It...

After all of that fun the show was coming to an end so I headed down to say some goodbyes. Everyone had split up around that time so it wasn't going to be easy. I had followed Sal down to the show room and watched as he was mobbed by rabid fans. I'd never seen anything like it before. Fans begging to have their pictures taken with him. He vanished into the crowd within a few minutes. I kind of worked my way out to where all of the fans were and just kind of hung around waiting to see who else was around. While I was waiting, someone called out ''MarksFriggin!?'' and then asked for me to pose for a picture with him. I just said ''really?'' in disbelief. Who the hell would want a picture of me? It turned out it was one of the guys from who was a fan of the site. He and a couple of other people grabbed a couple of shots with me. I'm still in shock that anyone would want my picture.

One of the guys I ended up talking to for a while was Sal's friend Dennis. He kept me busy while I was looking for people to say goodbye to. We headed out toward the exit where the guys were selling their merchandise. They were wrapping up with that stuff and there were only a few people left around. We were talking about my web site when another fan overheard that I was Mark from and said he just had to shake my hand. Again I was stunned. The whole night was great, what more can I say?

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