Since I was in Milwaukee last week, it reminded of one of my all-time most memorable stage shows. First time I was booked to headline in the city was at Giggles Comedy Club sometime in the mid-2000’s. (recently it closed.) The club had a great energy and I had good shows on Thursday and Friday night.
I was staying at the comedy condo they had for us and that Saturday afternoon, it was a really warm day for the area. The air conditioner unit was up high on the wall, so I needed to get a chair to reach the temp controls. I grabbed a bar stool which wasn’t as sturdy as I expected. I lost my balance and slammed my chin down upon the stool during my plummet to the ground. I felt a little woozy and then noticed that blood was starting to drip on the carpet. I go to the bathroom mirror to discover I had opened up my chin pretty wide.
I was about 2 hours before showtime so I took a dish towel to the wound and drove over to the club. I knew I wasn’t going to get paid for the shows that night if I didn’t perform and I also had friends coming, so I was determined to do the show. I showed the owner who thought I was being a bit of baby about it, but that wasn’t the same look the waitress staff looked at it. A lot of serious looks of concern. One of them told me they were going to go to the drug store and get me some bandages.
So I figured the wound would clot itself from the pressure I was putting on it. Nope. By the 3rd towel I had went through I knew it was more serious than I had suspected. The waitresses helped bandage me up, which didn’t look so great, but the show must go on. By the time I hit the stage, there was an ample amount of blood seeping from the bandage. I kept the mic in front of it the best I could so it wasn’t too disconcerting. I told the audience that I had gotten in a fight with some guy who had stolen some woman’s purse. Then I told them that I wish that was real story, but instead I fell off a chair trying to work an air conditioner. Hero fighting for artificially cool air.
The first show went well. The waitresses bandaged me up again (Florence Nightengale’s of comedy) and the second show went well again. As soon as I got paid, I went to the local emergency room to have it checked out. The doctor on call was not happy that I had waited 7 hours to come in. She said it was going to make closing the wound more difficult. I can tell you if felt like I was more difficult. 15 stitches later, I went back to the condo. I had the opening act adjust the air condition before I went to sleep.
So if you ask, has any night of comedy ever left a scar. Well, yes it has.