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Comedy Workshop Reunion – 2006 – The evidence

Last night was day one of the three day extravabonanza that is the 2006 Comedy Workshop Reunion at the Laff Spot in Houston, TX.

As I mentioned previously, this event held special meaning for me so I was very enthusiastic about attending last night. The kick off show featured 14 comedians including:

1. Jim Holder
2. John Farneti
3. Steve Epstein
4. Ron Crick
5. Steve Moore
6. Bill Silva
7. Andy Huggins
8. Riley Barber
9. Jimmy Pineapple
10. Mike Vance
11. Ron Robertson
12. Carl Faulenberry
13. T-Sean Shannon
14. Ron Shock

Most of these guys I remember from my days at the Comedy Workshop in the early 80’s and it was a real hoot to see them again. There were moments when I was transported back in time and it actually felt like I was back in the old Workshop. Many of the routines were the same, but there was some new material. Some of the guys really don’t look all that different.

Last night was the powerhouse show. Tonight and tomorrow there will only be 3 or 5 comedian per evening with longer sets. Last night was the show to see, I’ll likely skip tonight and tomorrow.

It was particularly good to see my old friend and schoolmate T-Sean Shannon. He’s just resigned from the writing staff of Saturday Night Live to pursue his own show on Comedy Central which will be based on his books of short stories.

It’s good to see him being so successful. He’s still one of the funniest stand-ups around, IMHO.

Let me say that comics are not great material for a photo shoot. I mean, I know they were funny and when I look at the pictures I remember the funny but, more often than not, the funny does not show up in the pictures.

There’s plenty in the gallery if your interested.

Don’t forget the one’s from 20 years ago for comparison….

Comedy Workshop Reunion

I was very excited to learn that there will be a Comedy Workshop Reunion on September 14th through the 16th at the Laff Spot Comedy Cafe.

Some of my fondest memories of living in Houston, Texas surround the time in the 80’s when my best friend, Rich Davis, and I would hang out at the old Comedy Workshop. It’s gone now but it used to be where that dry cleaner is at San Felipe and Shepherd.

We would would constantly get free tickets to go see the shows there and even more free tickets to get in to the Comix Annex next door where the comedians would spend Thursday nights trying out new material.

This is the club that produced such notable names as Jeanne Garafalo, Brett Butler and Sam Kinison.

I don’t recall seeing any of them but I do recall seeing T-Sean Shannon and his brother Charlie. Both of whom I attended high school with.

Most notably, I recall watching an up and coming comedian named Bill Hicks. He was unbelievably funny. I remember going back time and time again hoping he would be there on a Thursday night trying out new material.

I was really lucky. I got to see him go from being a relatively new comedian to a superstar in a few short years.

My friend Rich recently reminded me of the time we were at a show and he was following this comedian who was a one-liner wonder. Very lame but the audience was eating it up. When Bill took the stage the crowd was not very receptive and Bill turned dark and, at one point, smashed the wall at the back of the stage with his fist so hard it drew blood.

I remember him saying “I’m bleeding for you and it’s still not enough” and he stormed off.

It was PURE Bill but disappointing because we didn’t get our fix that night.

While it’s a given that Bill won’t be at this show, I am certain the spirit of Bill will be. I expect to see Ron Shock, John Farneti, Jimmy Pineapple along with many others. I am pretty jazzed about this.

I have some pics in the gallery I took with my old film camera of a VERY young Bill Hicks at the Comix Annex as well as from the time he invited me to shoot his performance at Rockefellers when he opened for Warren Zevon.

There’s also these awesome pics of various comedians I shot at the old Comix Annex during the same time period.