Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SuckedIn By LinkedIn

Even though I've accepted invites to LinkedIn, I never used it. Then I broke down recently and invited people.

This is a picture of me and Janette Barber from the 1996-97 Comedy Issue of Dancing Bear Productions. I pinched her contact info off another friend's LinkedIn profile. I hadn't seen or talked to her in 8 years. It's hard to read the copy below but she produced the Rosie O'Donnell show and is now working on Rosie's new variety show. She has lots of Emmys. For followers of Rosie's old show, Janette was the "Ja" in Jahero.

The profile next to my name says 'Hates Everybody.'

My favorite Janette story happened in Buffalo, NY when we were both working for Airborne Eddie. I was headlining but was panicked because Janette killed everywhere and I now had to follow her. So I called her and shared my fear and she pooh poohed the idea that I couldn't follow her. I then called my manager and shared with him and he dismissed me with "I only handle headliners so deal with it."

So of course I got laryngitis the hour after I arrived in Buffalo. During the week my voice got worse and worse until I sounded like Lauren Bacall smoking Cohibas. Then there was a fire in the hotel and they sounded the alarms and Janette didn't come out of her room, which was next door to mine. I pounded on the door until she casually opened it.
"What's up?"

A fireman ran past us.

"Oh, okay, just let me get my book."
"JA - NETTE." She ran back into the room and then reappeared at the door.
"Wait, I need a sweater cuz it's cold out."
"Yeah, you can wear it to the MORGUE."

As we waited outside, I didn't see a book.
"Where's your book?"
She held up a spiral notebook, where she kept all her jokes. She was risking her life for a bunch of jokes. I, on therother hand, would've gladly watched mine feed the flames.

ANYWAY, by the penultimate day of the gig, I could barely talk and asked Janette to switch with me since her spot required 30 minutes while mine required 45. Janette said she'd gladly do it to prove to Eddie how good she was because up until then Airborne Eddie wouldn't book her as a headliner. But he agreed to the switch as I was begging him to give me a break.

Janette killed.

Eddie only booked her as a headliner after that.

End of chat.


  1. I would've left my joke book to burn too.

  2. I opened for Janette several times in Syracuse back in the mid '80's and she always killed. ALWAYS! I don't blame you for not wanting to follow her.

    I worked with her again two years ago at Gotham in NY on the Masters Show. Crowds still love her.

  3. God, I wish I could say that to people at work: "I only handle headliners, so deal with it."

    I was always a little afraid of the LinkdIn thing...I signed up for some social networking site and now I get spam messages from there all the time...

  4. I have often used my joke book to light the woodstove

  5. I don't have a joke book. I'm sure you killed too!

  6. I wouldn't know what I'd save. Probably shoes. The dogs have legs, they can save themselves.

  7. well THAT will teach you to think twice before saving someone's life.