The Funniest guy I know—playing in Vegas and I’m in Europe needing a good laugh! Grrrrrrrrrr.

One of the questions you get asked a great deal when you are a comedy performer is, “Who is your favorite comedian?” or “Who makes you laugh?” Well, non-performers always expect you to say, “Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams” or “Jay Leno,” or someone they see on TV all the time. I always disappoint them by being much more individualistic in my response, it kind of upsets some people if you name someone they haven’t seen on the ‘telly’ ad infinitum.

The most famous people on my list include, Andy Kaufman, Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield and Robert Schimmel. Actually there are one or two comedians who make me laugh who are still living! Bobby Slayton always makes me laugh in seconds flat and keeps me roaring ’till the end of his show. However, the man who makes me laugh the most isn’t on this list (which has probably pissed off many of my good friends) it is Jeff Wayne.

If you have never seen Jeff work then you have missed a treat! Of course I am slightly biased because Jeff has been a close friend for over 25 years now, however there are many other people I’ve known that long who don’t reduce me to a quivering mass of laughter. What does help in knowing Jeff so well is understanding what an encyclopedic knowledge of comedy and showbiz he has, he is truly brilliant. OK, I really don’t get the Jerry Lewis thing but………different strokes for different folks. 

Among his many other accomplishments, Jeff created a one-man show, ‘Big Daddy’s Bar-b-que’ that allows his brash stage persona to be subtly interfaced with the ‘other’ Jeff. It is a masterpiece of comedy theatre and deserves to be seen by everyone who loves comedy.

Well, I am very sad this week. My favorite comic is working in my home town and I am out in Europe unable to see him perform. Grrrrrrrrrrr. I want to give a shout out to all my Las Vegas friends so they can catch this one of a kind performer. He is appearing at the ‘Riviera Comedy Club’ at–you guessed it, the Riviera hotel in Las Vegas.

‘Big Daddy’ Wayne is billed as a ‘Troubled Man for Troubled Times,’ and that pretty much is a perfect description. Jeff performs with an unabashedly right-wing agenda while I am so much a ‘lefty’ that it never fails to amaze me how often our extreme positions meet in the middle and coincide! My favorite line in Jeff’s show is, “People ask me if I believe in the electric chair? I believe in electric bleachers!” Well, while I’m no great fan of capital punishment but I love his enthusiasm and can think of a couple of bleachers full of people we could kick of the new system with. Damn, maybe I’m not as far to the left as I like to think I am.

The structure and wording of Jeff’s comedy make him an object lesson in how to get an audience laughing and keep them there. He is totally original and one of the finest comics to work our generally rather hack city. Go on and catch him, you won’t regret it and God knows the Riviera needs the revenue. Go up afterwards and say, “Hi from Nick.”     


~ by Nick Lewin on August 31, 2011.

One Response to “The Funniest guy I know—playing in Vegas and I’m in Europe needing a good laugh! Grrrrrrrrrr.”

  1. Kat and I had the pleasure of seeing Jeff last evening at thr Riv’s “Comedy Club.” He’s a laugh a second. What was even funnier was sitting in the Kady Coffee Shop drinking Diet Coke and martinis and listening to his stories about John Wayne and Lawrence Harvey exchanging hugs and kisses. Jeff loves to act out all the characters. It felt like a Woody Alllen film with the comics all swapping their best stories. One day the evening will appear in one of Kat’s short stories: I just know it!

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