Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Comedian Dave Anderson has seen the ups and downs of the comedy scene over the years. He told me that when he was starting out as a comic in LA, he went to the bank to get a car loan. Even though he had great credit, the bank wouldn’t lend him the money; and the bank had a sticker on his file that said something to the effect of “Comedian – Income Scary.”
Now, in 2010, Anderson says the comedy scene is a whole industry in itself, and even bankers know people who are “in the "business.” Anderson describes his style of comedy as a clean PG-13 show. It’s not strictly just for kids, but the whole family should be able to enjoy the program. Gleaning material from each unique audience, he knows each show will be different, and that’s fine with him.
“I try to find out things about the audience members (kids, interesting jobs) and work off of that. It’s definitely a more natural and fun style for me in that sense.”
I asked Anderson how he landed his upcoming gig for the Next Door benefit on April 3. And wouldn’t you know it — this stand-up comedian got the job by word of mouth.
“I got the Next Door gig through another comic who did a show for them and he gave them my name. I love driving out to the Hood River area.”
I asked Dave how he got into the comedy business, and who were his favorite comedians growing up.
“I knew that’s what I wanted to do since I was a teenager and by 18, I was making people laugh and writing jokes. When comedy took off in the ‘80s huge, I got to ride that wave. My favorite guy was Bill Cosby. I’ve seen Cosby several times, and years ago I got to meet him backstage. I spent a half-hour talking to him, and I got to introduce him on a radio station show. I’ve got a picture of me and him, and when my kids come in with their friends, they’re like ‘Wow, you know Bill Cosby?’ He’s influenced generations of people.”
Yeah, I know — I’m of those people. Cosby was the first stop on my “Laugh More Tour 2010.” It’s always nice to meet people who have met people you like.
Besides being a co-host on KATU’s “AM Northwest” television show, Dave is also co-host of the “Mark and Dave Show” on 1190 KEX radio. I happened to be driving around Portland the other week, and I couldn’t help notice the huge billboard advertising the radio show. It’s a photo of two guys kind of dressed up as Batman and Robin. So I just had to ask him about it.
“Well, we had to get new promo photos taken. We’re not serious guys, but when the original photos came out, they were kind of boring — we’re just two old white guys, you know. They did the mock-ups for billboards, and they were boring. But the management didn’t want to spend money for new pictures. So someone wound up hand-doodling the pictures with the “Batman and Robin” theme, and that’s what got printed for the billboards. I don’t think I’m quite comfortable being Robin, though.”
Finally, I just had to ask the “age-old” joke question. Exactly why did the chicken cross the road?
“I think he was chased by someone looking for the egg!”
So far, Jim Drake has tracked down 10 Bill Cosby recordings.
Dave Anderson will be performing for The Next Door’s “Laugh Till it Helps” event on Saturday, April 3, at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River. There are two shows, 6 and 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20 adults, $10 students, available at Waucoma Bookstore, and at the door just prior to the event.
For more info visit www.columbiaarts.org and click “Other Arts.”