When I was a teenager and new to America and comedy, I used to go wherever comics gathered. Back then, anyone could open a stage, because comics weren't paid. I tried to have some stage time at a showcase at the Hyatt Hotel on Sunset Boulevard and was accompanied by the great comic and my dear friend, George Miller. We were promised a spot, but as the evening wore on, a singer impersonating Jose Feliciano playing a flamenco guitar and another singer were brought on stage ahead of me The emcee got up and told some unfunny jokes and delayed further by bringing up another "foreigner," Yakov Smirnoff. George had had it and dragged me out front, where we saw Tom Dreesen in his car. Tom was on his way to meet us, but Miller said to him, "Take us to Ye Little Club in Beverly Hills," and off we went.
I'll never forget that night. We walked into the club, and Tom introduced me to Joan Rivers. She was larger than life and a woman comic to boot! I felt immediately the warmness and genuineness and kindness of her presence. Joan was standing next to comic Paul Mooney and Marshall Edson, the owner of ...
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