Back in the early 80's, when San Francisco was the hot stand-up comedy scene, or at least seemed like it to me, you could hardly miss with a live performance: Dana Carvey, A. Whitney Brown, Jim Samuels, Rick Overton, Al Clethen Jr., Warren Thomas, Brian Haley, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno and many, many others were coming through town to perform. But Bobby Slayton was the guy you wanted to see if you liked watching audiences get roughed up just for being there.
Oh, you kids probably only know Howard Stern, right? That about explains the difference between my generation and yours. Who listens to that guy? Maybe in the same way Joey Bishop, whom Slayton has portrayed, explains the difference between my generation and the previous one. But if you're not into stand-up, forget it, ok? Got no time to explain it to you.
Slayton's playing an extended run at Hooters in Las Vegas. In case you're trying to think of a funny comment to that, don't bother. About 40 comedians have done it, compiled to a DVD that plays before the show starts. Your line will suck by comparison, so please, don't invite one.
My friend David and I got free tickets by signing up for "Owl Club" cards -- guess they've toned down the T&A image that raked in the cash and broken teeth all over Louisiana. I was worried. I hadn't been tracking Slayton's TV & movie work, since I'm only interested in his stand-up, so I was wondering if maybe the act had softened. Fear not. Slayton is the still the same loutish, neurotic, outrageous blowhard on stage he's always been. I can't believe they'd have a reason to give away tickets.
I haven't laughed that hard at a stand-up show in a long time. It felt like the old 80's scene for a while. We got seats next to the stage, so of course we were a gay couple. Slayton noticed I was clearly the husband, however, so it was funny. We were offered a free round for the abuse, which we didn't take, and a free CD, which we did, right out of Slayton's unzipped pants. Great time.
Go see him if you're in town. If you don't like getting picked on, get seats in front and don't break a smile. Slayton won't pick on you unless you're having fun.