Brush with Greatness


Mark's Friggin'... At Bob Levy's Divorce Benefit Comedy Show at The Stress Factory - Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

I headed down to see Rev. Bob Levy's Divorce Benefit comedy show at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, New Jersey. I didn't get to hang out with Bob and Artie too long since I had 3 guests with me and the green room had a constant stream of fans taking pictures with Artie. Shortly after I got there I went in to say hi to Artie and Bob. Artie was already working on his Jack and waters and it was only about 7 o'clock. The show wasn't going to start until 8 and Artie didn't go on until 9. He had a few hours to get himself plastered.

There were some great comedians at the show and they were all there to help Rev. Bob Levy raise money for his upcoming divorce. It was the best show I've ever seen. Hosting the show was Bob's radio show partner Eric McMahon. Comedians Jim Florentine, Rich Vos, Jim Norton kicked ass. They were so friggin funny my eyes were tearing. Levy did a little time on stage as well and he kills every time I see him. This night was no different. The guy is an amazing talent and I'm honored to be able to hang out with him once in a while.

Notes Artie's time on stage was fascinating. He was already drunk by 9 o'clock or so when he went on stage but people immediately started buying him shots of Jack Daniels. One after the other people would walk up to the stage and hand him a shot. Artie would drink it down and chase it with Jack and water! When I go to these shows I bring pen and paper to write down names of people and other notes about the show. I was keeping track of how many shots he had after about 3. On the paper you can see the numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 all crossed out with a final tally of 9 shots written down. At one point someone gave him a shot of something other than Jack Daniels so Artie tossed it against the wall and told them to bring him nothing but Jack. He said that he didn't want some ''fag drink'' like whatever it was they handed him. Needless to say, Artie was pretty wasted by the end of his gig.

By the end of the show it was very late and my girlfriend Jennifer, and our friends Jessica and Doug were getting tired. I saw that constant stream of people going into the green room so we all decided to bail out and not bother Artie and Bob. We ended up hanging around Jim Florentine and Jim Norton while they sold their CDs and DVDs out in front of the club. Club Soda Kenny was there as well doing his very loud sales pitches. Jim and Jim were very busy selling their stuff so we didn't get a chance to talk to them much. Florentine did tell me that he didn't goof on me even though he did see me sitting in the crowd and thought about it. He was running short on time so he didn't bug me. Whew!

This wasn't much of a ''Brush with Greatness'' story but the comedians at this show were all great so I figured I'd write it up. Artie's drinking was scary at some points. It's kind of frightening to see someone so talented appearing to self destruct in front of my eyes. It is kind of amazing that he was coherent after those 9 shots and Jack and water chaser. After seeing that I don't think that Artie's fat belly is from eating, I think it may just be his swollen liver.

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