Standup Comedy "Your Host and MC"

Stephen B Interview and Comedy Set Show #125

September 11, 2022 Scott Edwards Season 3 Episode 125
Standup Comedy "Your Host and MC"
Stephen B Interview and Comedy Set Show #125
Show Notes Transcript

I had a chance to sit down with a very successful Nor Cal comic, Stephen B. He started in the South bay Area, did lot's of radio, and ended up a popular Corporate comic. He now has the "Stephen B Show" Vlog, be sure to check it out. We discuss comedy, the effects of Covid shutdowns, and the challenge of the new WOKE environment. Good interview!
I also added a few mins of Stephen B's comedy from a live show...Enjoy!

Hosted by: R. Scott Edwards

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Announcer:

This is another episode of stand up comedy, your host and emcee, celebrating 40 plus years on the fringe of show business, stories, interviews and comedy sets from the famous and not so famous. Here's your host and MC, Scott and words.

Scott Edwards:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of stand up comedy, your host and emcee. And I'm very excited. I have a terrific, professional comic. We've known each other for a long time, but we haven't worked together much lately. So it's gonna be great and interesting to catch up. Ladies and gentlemen, He's clean. He's in Northern California, one of the top corporate comics, and he has a podcast, ladies and gentlemen, it's professional comic, Steven B. Hey, I get applause and everything. The crowd is so excited to have you here. Steven, we have known each other a long time. And we were just talking before the show that you've recently well recently for me in the last decade, moved into my area you're actually in came from the East Bay up to Elk Grove in Sacramento, the Northern California area, and still working all the time. Congratulations.

Stephen B:

Well, thank you very much. Yeah, actually came from the South Bay. Came up here in 20. Was 2001. We moved up to Elk Grove and I'm telling you what, great move, you know, brought my kids up here great schools and settled in really well. And yes, still doing comedy have a show last night. It's been a lot of fun.

Scott Edwards:

That's amazing. And for those in, in podcast land. Don't bring it up much. But yes, I'm a Sacramento slash Elk Grove, worker liver, and raised my kids in this area. It's a great place to raise children. And it's it's not a huge city. So there's still a chance to kind of make a name for yourself. And Steven has done that. Now you've been in comedy a long time. How did you kind of end up deciding to become a comic? And when one's that?

Stephen B:

That's a funny question. Because I well, a little background, I had a tumultuous childhood without getting into details. I'm not here to whine. But my refuge was always comedy. I Marx Brothers were the first people that really made me laugh hard. And from there, I started watching stand up comics on daily talk shows, you know, so the kids would be out playing and I'd be you know, watching Merv Griffin, because, you know, there was a comic on there, you know. And I really became a student of comedy. And then I started buying albums, send them to Carlin albums, and Monty Python and, and all of these people just inspired me. So in my eyes, stand up comics were like untouchable. That was like, Oh, man that these people are, I could never do that. Because that's a skill set that only very special people have, right? And that's how I viewed it that to me, they were therapists. And I moved to California in the middle of my senior year of high school with my mom. And a couple of years later, after I got to high school, I met a girl who I really had a crush on. And she, you know, she had me in the friendzone. And, you know, I figured out there's got to be an end. And one day we were at a party and she said, you know, you're so funny. You should try comedy. I'm like, Okay, so

Scott Edwards:

that's inspiration.

Stephen B:

I figured, why not give it a shot. So I went to a place that was called the gold rush. It was a club in San Jose, that was a country western bar that had a talent show. And I went down there with five minutes of material. And I did it for the very first time and was booed off the stage. And then there was an I thought, You know what, it was only one joke they didn't like, and I knew it was only one joke, and I was doing really well up into that joke. So I went to do you remember that a saddle rack in San Jose, the big country western bar. Three nights later, they had a contest. And I did the same set without that one joke without that punchline. And I won $50 First prize. Yeah, and that was my first lesson in comics. Sometimes you die. Sometimes you just win. And and I've been doing it ever since. And that was early 80s. Yeah.

Scott Edwards:

Wow. That is interesting story in just to go back a little bit. You and I are relatively the same age. I think I'm a bit older. But there weren't comedy clubs, per se back when we were in junior high in high school. And it was the The comedy albums of Bill Cosby Bob Newhart Carlin that exposed us to this art form. But as you said, it seemed like it was an unreachable unattainable type of art form, where, you know, back in those days, it didn't even know where it was coming from, you know, now, being more of an historian, we know that it started in strip clubs in the Catskills. And the right there was maybe, you know, 40 Comics in the whole country, in the 60s and 70s. And you know, and then in the 80s, when we got involved, it exploded, but that's a great way to get started doing an open mic. And winning. I mean, congratulate Wait, we should do it. Anyone? Yeah. That was first jokes.

Unknown:

Unfortunately. Yeah. I I'm not going to repeat them. I don't want to you know, make people stop listening. So, you know, when you're young, you do comedy, that's from a young perspective. And you know, I'm in my 60s now, and I prefer not to relate back to those. I will say this though. The stand up comedy of the youth, like, I know, I mentioned works brothers. I didn't mention the honeymooners, which was another show that I used to watch all the time because of the comedy in the show. Jackie Gleason, you mentioned the Catskills and strip clubs and all that. Gleason started out in strip clubs and started doing comedy. But he was stealing comedy from Milton Berle, which is the funniest story ever, because Milton Berle was known for stealing everybody's material.

Scott Edwards:

So I did not know that I knew, Oh, yeah, Jackie Gleason got his start doing comedy on stage. And of course, you know, a lot of our audience may not even remember him, but he went on to fame and fortune movies, TV, and one of the funniest guys of the 50s and 60s era. And

Unknown:

Howard did the man. He was a composer. He wrote music, you know, the honeymooners scene was his composition. Brilliant. Yeah. I'm a big fan. Yeah.

Scott Edwards:

Wow. That's interesting. Well, Steven, yeah, it sounds like you've studied Mr. Gleason. And I did not know he had all those talents. But I knew what a funny funny guy was in the story about him. And Milton Berle, it's so funny, and obviously a truism or, because that makes so much sense back in the day, like I said, there was not a lot of people doing this, there wasn't even TV when a lot of it started in. So if you saw some of these act, and, and let's say borrowed a little bit of it, nobody would know. Nobody knew. Right, right. It's not like today where everything's on TV, radio and Internet, you know, you can't say anything.

Stephen B:

Very true. That's why whenever I read a joke, I the first thing I do is, as I documented on Facebook, this one's mind you No,

Scott Edwards:

no, no, that's actually smart. It's what's it called, like self registration, you have to get it out there. So in those early years, it even in the early 80s comedy was just kind of coming of that what I've called the wave of the rock'n'roll, Age of comedy. There weren't there were more and more clubs. Were you finding? Were you hitting San Francisco? Were you hitting clubs in the east and south bay? Where were you finding work?

Stephen B:

Well, the entire peninsula was exploding with one nighters. And because the industry was really catching on. So you know, people like Mickey Joseph and Tom Kenny, and gosh, the names go on, I can go forever on these names from people in from the Bay Area, who are all over, you know, from the South Bay to the you know, the peninsula to the East Bay to San Francisco. You could work an open mic nearly every night of the week back then, and try out new material and that's how we got really sharp at comedy because we were we had an opportunity to keep that machine honed and oiled and you know, work in and editing as each night. Hey, this part of the bid didn't work last night. I'll change it up a little bit tonight. And we all got better doing that. And it was really a hay day for creation. Yeah,

Scott Edwards:

I remember. It's hard to explain to younger people today in there still a few stand up comedy clubs. laughs unlimited still going. And there's still a few in San Francisco in the East Bay. But back in the 80s. Like you said, everybody wanted to partake of this new kind of, you know, so funny because stand up comedy had been around for decades, but it was just coming to light to like the general public people that weren't going to jail. clubs are strip clubs. And all of a sudden, there's this great exciting new freedom of speech format that you could share with an audience. And like you said, every bar, every disco, every restaurant would throw a little stage in the corner, and have a comedy night or an open mic night. And that was I think it's great and important that you point out that that was such an important time to learn and build on what this industry offered. Stand up comedy is really something that has to be worked over and over and over. You can't just write a joke, and it's perfect. There's segways, there's callbacks, there's getting the right verbage it's pacing, timing, and that all comes with experience, wouldn't you agree?

Unknown:

Oh, absolutely. You know, you don't do an ice carving for a banquet and make a battleship out of a chunk of ice the first time you grab a chainsaw, it takes years to learn the technique and how to do that. And it's the same thing with comedy. It's a trial and error. Industry, it's a craft, it really is a craft. And when you take the stage, and if you're willing to take the humiliation of bombing, and still want to come back, you've got what it takes.

Scott Edwards:

That's a great analogy. The the ice sculpture is a great analogy. But it's so true that you have to. It's much like being an entrepreneur and business. If you're not, you know, making some mistakes and failing here and there, you're not going to succeed in it's the same with stand up comedy that it's what you learn from bombing and creating that callus on your entertainment soul. withstand the, the different audiences, you know, and that's one of the things and Steven maybe you could speak to this. There's all these different clubs, from Western clubs to rock and roll clubs, to restaurants to discos that all of a sudden, we're allowing one night or two night of comedy, the audiences were always different. Yeah. Isn't that kind of interesting. And we as comics, well, you as comic, I'm a producer, but still, you have to be able to adapt to each and every audience.

Stephen B:

Well, you also learn that when you begin actually getting paid as a comedian and going on the road, what you're doing here in maybe a major city in California isn't going to fly in some of these small cities in the Midwest or, or even Utah, you know, where your, your perspective has to be a human perspective, rather than a micro culture perspective. And a lot of comics, I think, who have a great amount of talent and prospect, stay within their micro culture and, and are never able to break free of that. Because they don't, they don't want to relate to the rest of the world. And you have to learn to relate to all sorts of people from all walks of life, all economic backgrounds, all races and religions and perspectives. Yeah, and to be able to do that, you've got to make sure that you know enough about them. So it takes it takes some some level of willingness to really learn about the world more and to be more introspective, and to be more curious. Well, I have the word work. And I think that's how you reach people.

Scott Edwards:

Yeah. And you bring up a good point, we both can name people that were huge successes in San Francisco, that never were able to leave, because they wrote for the San Francisco audience and me as a producer. One of the things that I felt laughs unlimited provided was when people were coming out from Boston or New New York. And they were coming to Sacramento, which is kind of like Central US. You know, it's more middle America. They were sometimes challenged in labs and limited became a great proving ground, or what I used to call University where they could, they may have already had an established hour set in Chicago or Boston, and they come to Sacramento. It was a great place to adapt before you try going to LA or somewhere where you might have a shot at TV or something more generic. There was a lot of people like you pointed out perfectly that could not adjust to that and yet to succeed, you have to connect with the audience. In fact, I've shared many times. Stand up comedy is a lot about relating to a roomful of strangers in a humorous, yeah, in a humorous way. And you have to do that now. You've been on the road for years. Any good or bad experience says while touring

Stephen B:

Oh, hundreds and hundreds, just I want to piggyback off of what you just said, here's how I put it. Comedies about taking a random sampling of strangers and converting them into an audience. Oh and right. That's how I view it. And your job there is to find unity in a crowd, among a bunch of people who may think different, who may worship different, who may, you know, have different worldviews, and making them all agree in laughter. At one particular time, it's like sharing a meal, there is a, there is a power in in laughing as a group, there is a connection that happens. It's magical there, there's definitely some amazing stuff that happens on stage. And I can go into the depths of you know, being the performer and almost like a conductor. And there are moments where you have you have that control over the crowd, and it's powerful. And it's like, wow, this is, this is a moment, I'll remember forever, where you just you ride the wave, man. And it's, it's, that's when you kill him. That's when you know, you're on your game. And it's, it's very, a lot of fun. And I'll tell you what, for bombing, most of my bombs have been corporate, because they set you up to do stupid things. And you go, Okay, I need a paycheck, I'll do it. And then, you know, you get into it, you realize I should not be doing this. Like, for instance, I had a gig in Sunnyvale one time at a fish restaurant, where they wanted me to dress up as Santa and act like a drunk of drunken Santa. And I thought this is not a good idea for a Christmas party, but they pay me a lot of money. So I'm gonna do it. And it didn't last very long. I was they were chanting, we don't like you. And I'm like, Okay, I guess I'm gonna go, then. That

Scott Edwards:

would be a nightmare. Because not only are you personally taking the abuse, but you're representing this icon of Santa in the audience is going, No, we're not buying this.

Stephen B:

Right. And I didn't buy it going in. That's probably why you've been so badly. But yeah, I learned as I grew in the industry of where my audience was, and how to relate to them, like, to this day that has shifted, because culture is shifting. And unfortunately, this world has become a little ideology bubbles, that set up over regions, that you can only say things within these parentheses that are acceptable, and anything outside of that is considered unacceptable. And I'm very sensitive to that. And I'm not going to those places, because I will not be censored into a, you know, a bubble think mentality. So there are certain areas, I won't work anymore because of that. But that's okay. You know, I've been there before, before it became that way. And I've had great success. And I've enjoyed, I guess, you know, it's been 40 years now of doing stand up comedy. And that's

Scott Edwards:

why it arrived. That's a successful career, Stephen, if anybody that can spend 40 years doing something they love and something that touches their soul, and make a living, you know, you're a winner, you're a success. And the fact that we've all had shows that didn't go well, is just part of the process. Nobody has a winning day, every day. Doesn't matter what you do, lawyer to a doctor. I mean, it's it's all part of the process. But I wanted to go back to what you said about the audience just a little bit, because it's an important point that you're trying to gel a group of strangers into one mindset where they're connecting with that comic, in accepting his material, as you said, as a group. And I think that the challenge is that in those first few minutes on stage, for every comic, whether you're an opening act or a headliner, you have to kind of prove yourself and get the audience focused. Now, I was an emcee for 21 years on stage, six nights a week, eight shows a week. I've had lots of audience experiences. And I will tell you, and tell the audience in agreement with you that it's so important to get the audience focused, get them together, even if it's laughing at me, you know, self deprecation works because you're getting the whole audience to focus on one thing, you're gelling them. In that moment, you know, I used to wear I'm a little overweight and I used to wear Hawaiian shirts and I get up on stage and I'd say Oh, I can

Unknown:

still see you. I honestly see you standing there on the on the stage at birdcage downstairs. at that venue that was a fun little venue doing comedy after you showed the the Warner Brothers cartoons and the Porky Pig.

Scott Edwards:

Yeah, we use videos, old jokes and football follies and other things to get, again, it's the ad get the audience on the same train of thought to get them focused. And I was Aleut, I was about to share that I would say something deprecating, because it got the audience focused and all on the same page. And I would say I'm wearing this white shirt, and I'd rub my belly and I'd say I don't hide it, I decorate it. And there you go. And it's just a simple, quick throw away. And everybody in the audience was, you know, is immediately seeing and thinking the same thing I'm sharing. And guess what you've done, you've taken 50 to 200 people, and you put them on the same page, and stand up comedy is really about getting that focus, getting that attention, and then telling them a story or taking them on a trip. And good comics like you. And it's extra hard when you're clean, you know, boy, that you're making me go off on a tangent. But some people that aren't as funny will go out and you know, drop an F bomb or do a dick joke, because that's their way to get the audience focused. It's a cheap way. It's an easy way. But it does work. And I know it works the true professional, like you and I that that tried to work clean and understand the importance and how much more work you can get when you're working clean. It's a little bit tougher job. And I just thought you gave a great analogy and story on that. So thank you for that. Now you've had all these great experiences you've had 40 years of success in the industry, is there been somebody that kind of mentored you or any famous people you got a chance to work with that may have influenced you in comedy?

Unknown:

Well, the very first famous person I ever met, was a Whitney Brown. And I remember at the time, and this was even before I had done my very first stand up act. Oh, really, I was yeah, this was back when RoosterTeeth others was still the country store. And they had a comedy night at the Country Store. And I went there to at the time. In fact, that was the night the first night I was going to take the stage for the first time as a comedian. After the open mic, remember that I did the open mic thing. And then I got this gig with a K pen radio, two days a week doing a comedy character on the air on radio K, Penn was out of the old mill up in Palo Alto. And they had a little comedy contest at the country store and I met a Whitney brown. So I pulled them aside and I said, Hey, look, I think I really want to do this stand up comedy stuff. How do I do this? And he said, You just do it. And I'm like, that was kind of a letdown. I thought, What a jerk. You know, why don't you want us to tell me you know how to do it. He says you just do it. I'm like, This was long before Nike came out with just do it. Right, right. And so I left a bad taste in my mouth. And then years later, I ran into a Whitney brown again, and I said, Hey, you know what, you gave me the worst advice at the time, I thought you said just do it. And now years later, I realized that's the best advice you can give anybody. The only way you can find out how to do comedy is to do it.

Scott Edwards:

Yeah, it's not something you can really practice because you know, even if you practice your material to memorize it at home, you're not getting a reaction from a roomful of strangers, even if you're conforming it for your family or friends. It's not going to be the same when you get out in in a room full of strangers. You know, your family.

Unknown:

Here you wrong every time. I always tell about my wife. I said, I hate running new material past my wife, because she always loves it. She's not an objective person. She loves me, she supports me, she thinks I'm funny. Then I go out there and I do it in front of a bunch of people. And they're like, yeah, there's so much so

Scott Edwards:

well, I think that a Whitney Brown who was a regular at the club and a terrific comic, giving you that advice. And even though you were not happy with it, it was a truism that you did stand up comedy is one of those things that you can only do learn by doing I think is the way to say it. And now I didn't know that you did radio too, because that is a form of what's interesting about radio and stand up comedy is they're both forms of audio entertainment. Then even though there's prop comics and guys that can you know, mill table can ship you know, really sell a bit With his facial expressions and mannerisms, a lot of Stand Up Comedy when it's just you behind the microphone is very similar to radio where you have to use timing and voice variances to sell a concept or sell a story, how long? How long were you in radio, and that must have been really fun for you.

Stephen B:

I've done radio on and off multiple times. So my very first radio experience was with K 10 radio. And then I started doing promos and IDs for Komu me with Dennis erectus remember him back then and genome mytilini. And so I met all these people in the radio industry. So I would do character voices back then I did a lot of impressions that were popular. And my biggest one was Archie Bunker because I really nailed it. Nobody knows who he is now. So I don't do that now. But oh, come

Scott Edwards:

on. We can't hear any Archie.

Stephen B:

Oh, have you year will you get a holler wipe me, huh? You know, stuff like that. So

Scott Edwards:

I love it. Yeah, I

Stephen B:

have a lot of fun doing that. And I did IDs and promos for them. And then years later, I got my own radio show with Chicago. Steve Barclay? No. We did a morning show in Salinas. Now, you know, the two Steve's are better than one. And that, that went on for a while and I've dabbled in radio on and off over the years. I've always loved radio. It's it's something that always made me it's always engaged me, you know, the audio arts have always taken my imagination and made me run with it. I was just thinking this the other day and I was taking a shower and I had a laugh and I thought you know who the most lucky fortunate and brilliant man and show business in the history of show business was who was Herbert? Edgar Bergen?

Scott Edwards:

Oh, yeah. A lot of people don't know that story.

Unknown:

Okay, Edgar Bergen made himself famous doing ventriloquism on the radio. Now that that is a sales job.

Scott Edwards:

Yeah. It was so funny was that when TV came along, and he would he was famous. He was huge in radio ventriloquist. And they went on TV and everybody goes, was lips are moving. He didn't know how to do ventriloquism, he just had two voices, and he would literally just you know yakking himself in a funny way and got famous from it. And that's a great reference and a great story. But it's true that radio offers you that opportunity to mold words and mold, audio explanations and descriptions to paint a picture for the listening audience. And that's kind of what we do. It's very similar to stand up comedy. And you know, when you're on stage, you're taking the audience on a trip you're trying to share, and get them involved in a story that you want to share with them. That's fascinating. And boy, you in Chicago? Steve Barkley, that's a great combination that

Stephen B:

I know right? We blend very well together. The only problem with Chicago Steve and I together is an awful we make each other laugh so hard, that we spend most of our time just laughing. Trying to catch our breath, because we really, you know, we're like brothers. We we have been close for many, many years. He was the Okay, I gotta tell this, so you're gonna love this story. Are you ready for this? Oh, yes. This is the story of when I knew I could do stand up comedy. So we had just moved out to California. And here I am, this guy from New Jersey kind of blocked, very insecure, have this love for comedy. And my mom is working for a company called Ray cam up on the peninsula in the Bay Area. And they have this huge this is a time they had huge corporate events. We're talking 1000s and 1000s of people outdoors at this event. They've got a stage headlining as Maria mould our you know, when she's going to sing for everybody, and she was big back then. And opening for her was Chicago, Steve Barclay, a comedian. I said, I'd like comedian. So I'm gonna go and watch the comedian. And I'm listening to Barkley. And I'm like, that is just the way my brain works. How was he doing this? Right? I was blown away, right? And so after the show, I made my way to him. I'm like, Man, you are fantastic. And he did exactly what I do today. Thank you very much. very humbled, walked away, right? He's not gonna have a conversation with me. He's two. He's just come off the stage. He needs to go deal with stuff. And I thought, wow, that was kind of rude. Didn't even talk to me. Years later, my very first road trip ever I'm working for the last Ask laugh. And they were my first paid gig was the last lap in San Jose. And then my first road gig was my last laugh. The last half up in Portland, which then later became Harvey's. And I was the opening act. And Barkley was the headliner. And Rudy Reaver was the middle act. And here we are on the road again. And I shared that story with him. And we've been tight ever since. So, at the very beginning of my career, Barkley and I have kind of grown together as humans, and we've been working together for years. I'll probably talk to him later today. As you know, we're like I, like I said, brothers, great guy, we worked very well together. Yeah, I

Scott Edwards:

think it's, it's interesting, because I don't think he's that much older than us. But that you had a chance to see him perform, and then perform with them, and then end up being lifelong friends. I mean, what a great transition of somebody that you were looking up to as an entertainer, and then that relationship developing the way it was to where you were doing a radio show together. I mean, that's so much fun. And what a great story. Thanks for sharing that.

Unknown:

Oh, absolutely. And you know, the funny thing about this is Scott, he's still a great comic. He still I watch him, and I'm like, man, he has gotten better with age. He's brilliantly funny still to this day. And I just it's, and we both admire each other's abilities. And, you know, he says the same thing about me. And you know, but I think that said, we become family now. So maybe we shouldn't trust each other. But But yeah, I still think he's a great comic. And I've worked with a lot you asked me earlier, if any famous people too numerous convention. The last show I worked with famous people was Louie Anderson, last year, and Kevin Nealon, down at the Gallo center in Modesto. And what a great show that was, was two years ago now. Gosh, time flies, you know.

Scott Edwards:

But yeah, Louie Anderson, everybody, hopefully has heard of him and Kevin Nealon actually got his start it laughs unlimited. And then Saturday Night Live really took him to a whole nother level. And these are guys that to be able to work with them. You get to learn from somebody that's like one generation ahead of you and gone through. What's interesting about stand up comedy is everybody's kind of taken the same path just different times. And it may be slightly different ways. And obviously, if just a slim amount, get the what I call the golden ticket, and end up being the Kevin Nealon. And the Dana Carvey is in the Seinfeld's. But still, somebody as successful as you, Steven have followed virtually the same path, hit the same boards, work the same audiences. And it's, it's a great way, especially with the success you've had of making a living. Now, the last few years have been difficult. I know that you got into corporate comedy, and you did really well with that. And which is important to be very funny and very clean. But since COVID, and especially with you know, what I feel is a real hurtful thing to show business, this whole woke thing that people are, you know, it's it's just, you know, it's not enough that you might be offended. You're now getting offended if somebody across the room, you feel like, you know, somebody said something against them. It's gotten crazy. How have you been able to maintain your industry, your career these last few years?

Stephen B:

Well, I haven't been very vocal. Yeah. Yeah, no. Here's what happened. The roadblock came up, everything shut down. Right, people started getting very, into their smelling themselves too much thinking that their opinions and feelings are actually true because they feel them. And for that reason, this is how I see it. And I hate to get too philosophical, but I am a person who studies humanity. This is my life. This is what I obsess about, because I had to do with me first, I had to figure out what makes me tick. Why do I react this way? I was very much like these people growing up, that was an emotion based thinker. I let my feelings guide my decisions. always a bad idea. You know, people say, Well, you got to let you know, you got to listen to your gut. You know, well, look what's happened, then we have an obesity problem. This is what happens when you follow your gut. No, my point is so without critical thinking without forgiveness and kindness and open mindedness and understanding that everybody sees things the same way because they can't because of the way they were raised because they're not are some real life experiences and that we should understand, just because somebody feels and thinks this doesn't mean that's right for all of us that we have to be open to these ideas. And we're not in this culture anymore. Like we're, we've got bubble think mentality. And that kills free speech, it means you're not allowed to say this because of some marginalized person. And where I drew the line when I came straight down and said, Okay, enough of this garbage, is when they started telling me that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were racist, that math was racist. And that's, and this is for real. And I thought, Okay, this is insanity, I am not going to do this anymore, I am going to start to reach out and try to break that nonsense up with my comedy. So I'm poking fun at everybody, but I'm doing it in a way that I can get by. The problem is I'm not getting a lot of gigs anymore. The past two years have been very difficult to get gigs. I worked last night, thank goodness at the post, it was a wonderful show. We had about 100 people in there. And it was like, the best show of my life was wonderful. audiences need to laugh more now than ever.

Scott Edwards:

Yeah, people are desperate to get out, you know, we were locked down for two years. Now people want to get out, they want to laugh. They want to share experiences. And you're right about this whole woke environment where everybody's being overly sensitive. Comedy, just by its nature, is about making fun of life. And that includes humanity and people. And if people can't take a joke, you know, to me screw them. They don't go out to a comedy club. But for anybody else that wants to go out. I mean, me as an emcee, I'm not a stand up comic, I was not writing, you know, deep creative material, I would go out and I'd pick on myself, I'd pick on sweater boy, or some guys haircut or, you know, some grand having a birthday. And it wasn't meant meanly. It was just a way to get everybody laughing and focused on something we've all experienced. Right? And right,

Unknown:

it's about comedy. For goodness sakes. It's not you're not up there given a campaign speech.

Scott Edwards:

Right. Right. Well, and then we can go on a whole nother tangent about how everything's politicized. But let's keep it on comedy. So it's been challenging. It's been a tough time, you were doing some corporate knew kind of later to the fact that because of wokeness, corporate got challenging idea. And that

Stephen B:

actually started a while back to it started to be before we got on the air, I told you that I was having gigs, a lot of corporate gigs, things are going very well. And then corporate started getting nervous as they started becoming a little more politically correct. And they started checking your material before you went on stage I had the last big corporate gig was a three day gig I had with a big corporation, nationwide Corporation, but a local chapter. And they had three Christmas shows because their organization was so big, and they hired me to do it. But they edited all my material. So my segways and punch lines were taken out. And I went up there and basically I bombed because I couldn't be myself. I was too busy worried about offending a crowd that didn't want to see me in the first place. And it occurred to me that the corporate world isn't doing comedy anyone now they're so skittish. Now they're backing away from comedy completely, because heaven forbid, a person should say something that someone in the back finds offensive. Well, my take on my take on this and then let me just finish the idea of this is I've got my feelings. You got yours. I can't feel your feelings. Don't make me responsible for them. Oh, that's perfect. Yeah, I'm not responsible for your feelings. You are so don't come at me because your feelings were hurt that's on you. That's your brain telling you hey, you got a little weakness here. You might want to work on the world.

Scott Edwards:

Plate. Yeah, and I think that's everybody you know it part of it is that generation of everybody's a winner, everybody gets a trophy that that nobody can accept or take any criticism without it hurting their feelings. And it's it you know, I do used to do I made a reference to sweater boy, you'd have 200 people in the audience and some guys in some goofy sweater, and I would point it out. Well, we all have ugly sweaters. We've all made mistakes getting dressed. But if that guy, you know shouldn't have worn that sweater come to a comedy club paid to be entertained, if he doesn't understand it's just meant is humor. And what was great was everybody in the audience knows that they've made those dressing mistakes and they would see the guy in the sweater and they could all join in together. And in this day and age, I mean, imagine somebody like Don Rickles, you know, that his whole career and he was hugely successful TV, movies, radio, you name it, but he picked on everybody in every genre religion. jobs people color skin, but he did it totally as comedy. And if you got offended you shouldn't have been there. You know? You were going we did man

Stephen B:

in the world by the way.

Scott Edwards:

Oh yeah, offstage him and Bob Newhart great great friends great people. But right the audience's today seems so so many walls up so many concerns that they can't accept the fact that somebody can go up and make fun of all these different things in a way that's meant to bring everybody together. That's what they miss.

Stephen B:

You know, Scott, you know, who I think about all the time. And you know, I, let's face it, I'm a pretty likable guy on stage these days. And I don't do a lot of rough material and don't pick on the audience. But I think about Bobby Slayton. I wonder I wonder if he's even working because he was, they call them the pitbull of comedy. And for those of you don't know, Bobby, he was a Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area icon that really started to get big. But he was fierce. His whole act was attacking everybody in the audience and cruel, I mean, harsh stuff, but they were there to see Bobby because that's what that's what it was about. It was funny stuff. I don't know if he's even working today.

Scott Edwards:

I did an interview with him. Everybody in the audience go to his show his interviews on my podcast, but he's still doing a few shows. He is basically retired but he gets pulled out of retirement does a couple of shows in Vegas, and some of the theaters in in LA. But you're right Bobby Slayton would be our generations version of Don Rickles. He would drive everybody in anybody for anything. But he did it again. He he's getting everybody amped up. He's talking truisms, he you know, him and Don Rickles never told a lie. They're all bringing out what's obvious, you know, Don Rickles, or Bobby Slayton is making fun of the black guy in the corner. Guess what, there's a black guy in the corner. It wasn't like it was, it was all truisms. And it was all meant is comedy. Now I know that you and I think similarly this way. But you have started a podcast would you share with my audience the name of your podcast,

Stephen B:

it's the Steven B show. And it just started. I've got three episodes in two, it's just me one, I'm talking to a friend who I met at a gig years ago when we kind of connected because we see the world the same. And we're just discussing things. And the whole purpose of this is the serious side of the genesis of why I do comedy. And that is to unite people were very disunited in this world, and especially in this country. And it is, in my mind, a tool that's used by government to continue doing what they want to do without us, uniting as a group and standing up and telling them no, no, no, you can't do that. You're spending us into oblivion. And you can't be you don't have this much power over us. We're supposed to have this power over you. And while we're fighting against each other on our feelings, they're running roughshod over everything that we hold, dear.

Scott Edwards:

So it's like magic. You know, you guys go fight with yourself. Because while that's you're distracted with that, we're doing this over here.

Unknown:

Right? So my whole idea is to talk to people about understanding. I'm not preaching to people on the air, but understanding the message of Christ. In a common vernacular, you know it, let's face it, if we're patient with people, if we forgive people, if we're nice to people, if we're generous to people, if we understand that we don't know everything and have a little humility in life, we're going to understand a lot more about how we all have the same things in common. We all want a happy family, a place to live food on the table, ability to pay our bills. We all want to be loved and to appreciate and be appreciated, and to be seen and heard and accepted for who we are. We all want those things. Things are the most important things in life. And yet here we are spending all our time arguing over things. We have no control over at all, arguing over things that are differences that really don't matter. If we spend more of our time getting together and agreeing on where we agree. We can build that bond so strongly that where we disagree, we can actually have civil conversations and work that out. And even if we never agreed we'll still love each other in the middle of it. That's my goal. And if I can talk about these things, as the news happens, and as the world implodes around us on a podcast, if I get five people who listen, those are five people that can Tell five more people the same thing. And then if it gets famous, I'm not in it to get rich, I really don't care about those things. But I heard something said by a Jordan Peterson that really punched me in the face. And that is if you have something to say, silence is a lie. And when I heard that I went, Okay, I get I get the message. So I have something to say, I'm gonna say it, and whether someone listens or not. That's not, that's not up to me. So that's why I'm doing it.

Scott Edwards:

So ladies and gentlemen, check out the podcast. It's new, it's different. It's a great form of free speech. It's not per se a comedy. Podcast. But I know Stephen, and I know there's going to be some humor involved. So check out the Steven B show. And is that found on all the directories Steven?

Unknown:

I'm getting there, I guess. There's so far it's on YouTube, Facebook, I've got to get it on all the podcast because it's a video it's a vlog, which sounds like a Russian fighter from the 80s. And let's crush you. Yeah, but with, with my blog, I am going to make it audio and video and eventually give me a month or so it'll probably be on everything where you can find it. Everywhere podcasts are sold.

Scott Edwards:

You know, that's great. I appreciate you sharing that Steven. And I think it's interesting, it just to kind of wrap this up that both of us have enjoyed a unique and challenging and difficult in yet fun industry called stand up comedy, which I've always said is was the last bastion of free speech. And now we're in this, you know, we're in our elder years, and we've had all this time and experience under our belts, and it's time to give back and to be able to do a podcast or a vlog, and use our skills that we learned in the comedy industry, in basic based on free speech, and then bring it out to the public through these vehicles of entertainment is important to not only reach and touch different people share our message, share our thoughts. But also, again, like back on the stage, you're bringing people together. And that's the goal.

Unknown:

It is a goal. Absolutely. Because when I meet people, I want to I want them to be smiling and and to welcome me in just like you do, you know, you don't want to be coming up to you with a fist. And if we can generate that energy, you know, I'm going to end my portion of this segment here with this thought when I first started doing stand up comedy. The one thing every comic would say to another comic prior to the them going up on stage other than Is that what you're wearing we just a mess of each other, that we we'd all say hey, have fun. And the reason we said Have fun was not because we really wanted them to have fun. What we're saying was, if you don't have fun, they don't have fun. So you get up on stage as a comic and you have fun, so that they can tap into that, and they can enjoy themselves to it is the key to stand up comedy. And you know what it's going to be the key to your happiness if you're not having fun. Nobody around you seven fun to have fun.

Scott Edwards:

That's that's a great truism. Thanks for sharing that Steve. And when he says they, he's talking about an audience, whether it's 10 people or 500 people, a roomful of strangers. If you don't go out with that idea of fun, you're not going to be able to share with them. And the whole goal is to have them to have fun. And I think that was a great way to end it. But ladies and gentlemen, as always, with our podcast, it's not just about talking in interviews. We have some terrific stand up comedy by Stephen B. Live on stage. So stay tuned. It's coming up right now, before that. Steven, we're going to be listening for the Steven B show. And the big shows coming up later this year. Any projects for 2023?

Stephen B:

I have a couple of bookings. And I think I may have that cardboard box under the freeway secured from my living conditions coming up here pretty soon. That's good.

Scott Edwards:

All right, well, ladies and gentlemen, check out his podcast, his vlog and keep an eye out and Steven is still out there work in the stages and entertaining audiences all around Northern California. So look for him and go out and check them out. And right now sit back and enjoy some great stand up comedy by Stephen B. Stephen, thanks for joining me today.

Stephen B:

It is my pleasure. Good to connect with you against

Scott Edwards:

ladies and gentlemen live on stage. Stephen B

Stephen B:

I don't ever get angry anymore well sometimes I get angry when I drive it's only because of you know you people kind of put you down because we got things in Jersey here even try out here one of them is called merging onto the freeway is the way it's supposed to be getting in the car you get on the on ramp hey here's some specials

Unknown:

for everyone on the road Cesar Can we go I think he's gonna kill us let's get out of his way that you merge onto the freeway

Stephen B:

when you get on the on ramp you're going pretty fast no cupcake catch up to them a bit of traffic to take off everybody we're gonna do one at a time okay. Individual green light feelings getting hurt to take your cars for green nobody reads that. I don't know if there was a conference in the conference. I'm gonna wait for my own

Unknown:

going anywhere when it's my turn anyway, nobodies might be on the road up in front of somebody they lose so they're gonna make sure that

Stephen B:

doesn't happen on the road all the way to San Francisco and Sacramento yell at each other I always see these white crosses on the freeway and you know, just stands out to me when I see that I go there. Another person died trying to merge onto the freeway. It was white crosses and the first thing he does know me is that Christians are terrible drivers. You never see a little poodle or a little Star of David.

Scott Edwards:

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was Steven B live on stage. I know you enjoy that as much as I did. Hey, thanks for listening to the show. Be sure to check out the Steven B show a new vlog that's out there. And we'll see you next week with another terrific show. Thanks for listening. Bye.

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