Here’s the neat thing about comedy. You can work with someone once or twice and totally hit it off. Maybe you see them a grand total of six days in eight years, but you just feel a real bond with that person because you share the same point of view and profession. That’s how it’s been for me with Mike Brody. I was shocked when I saw him the other week because he didn’t look exactly like I remembered and then we both realized that it’s been years since we’ve seen each other! Sure, we’re Facebook friends and have each other’s phone numbers, but I have a lot of phone numbers and even more friends on Facebook (probably a lot more than you)!
Mike Brody is simply fantastic…both on stage and off. The reason he’s instantly likable is because he’s just a really decent person. I honestly think if I were to trace back when I realized I needed to be more conversational on stage, it’s probably right around the time I worked with Brody. The fun thing about being his friend is when you hang out with him before a show and then watch him get on stage, it’s just like the conversation continues, but now the audience is involved.
So when Mike was in town, we went out to lunch and just started talking about all sorts of things. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
You got married since the last time we hung out. What was it like the first time your wife went to see you perform?
It was at a Montreal audition, so it was already high stress; and my new girlfriend was there to see me for the first time! So basically I had to tell her, “Here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to go to the club and you’re going to sit by yourself for two hours. I’m going to occasionally walk by really fast and say, “Hi”, but I have to pace. My shows are not going to be a date for us.”
Quick plug to my friend comedian Mike Brody. He is the “Official Comedian of Beyond Reality Events”. In fact, if Deadpan takes off and we get to do a second season, it’ll involve hopefully either Mike Brody or a character based largely on Mike Brody. Maybe we’ll call him Brody Michaels. Hm.
To kick things off, here’s my spooky story. I was at the notoriously haunted and historic Holly Hotel doing a Christmas party a few years back. Normally the comedy shows are in the basement, but this private party was on the top floor, which is supposed to be where the “stuff” happens. I was delighted and making jokes about the ghost, when a large painting fell off the wall and freaked everyone out. So I changed topics and went back to my normal nerdery. It made me jump though!
Jeff Dwoskin: I once was doing a show at Holly and it started out great and then everyone stopped laughing. To this day I swear it was because of a super-natural intervention of some sort. I swear this stuff usually kills!
Andy Pitz: I’ve never experienced paranormal activity at a show or in lodging. I have been creeped out by several club owners though.
I feel like I worked with Tony Deyo shortly after this great story happened to him. It’s one of my favorite comedian stories: I was performing at a college in Albion, MI. They had me staying on campus at a 150 year old place called Belmont Manor. First of all, any place with “manor” in the name is haunted. I joked about staying in their haunted Scooby Doo mansion at the show. Afterwards, the opener asked me if he could come over and check out the place b/c he had been into studying the paranormal for about 10 years. When I had checked in at the mansion, I thought other people were staying there too, but when we got there after the show, no other cars were in the parking lot. I realized I was going to be alone that night in the creepy mansion. We walked around the place, and he told me that his fingers were getting a little numb in one room, which probably meant that someone had died of a heart attack in there. As we wandered upstairs via the giant spiral staircase, he told me that that’s where I might see a ghost in the middle of the night. At this point, I was still under the impression that I might actually spend the night. All the doors upstairs were locked except for mine, so as I was walking back downstairs with him, he noticed a door that went to the basement. He couldn’t find a light switch, so he went down with just his penlight on a keychain. I did not follow. He came back and told me that a lot of people had died down there… and that they were killed. That’s when I told him that he was staying with me for 5 minutes while I packed up my stuff and left. I never knew if there was a ghost there for sure, but I wasn’t about to find out.