A Tribute to My Mentors
When I began my career in 1982, I was very fortunate to have two close friends, already in the business, available to me as advisors and mentors. Zack and Mack.
Zachary Curry and Johnny McHaynes began their own careers as the opening act for St. Louis comedian Bobby Norfolk. In what seems no time at all, they developed their act into a self-sustaining entity within itself leading them to bookings of their own.
Zack and Mack turned their new found popularity into opportunities for other aspiring comedians in St. Louis by starting a Tuesday night workshop at Maurices Goldcoast Lounge, a disco/restaurant near downtown. The workshop provided new and old performance artist with a venue in front of a live audience where they could develop and improve their talent and presentations.
This was the place where I also trained and honed my comedy skills under the tutor-ledge of the two big men coming to be known as the eighth and ninth continents of comedy. Just like many of the other new comedians, Zack and Mack took a special interest in me and advised me on every aspect of my performance on stage and my attitude off stage, something I never would have learned on my own without first sabotaging my progress.
When I began my comedy club tour in 1985, I had Zack and Mack to thank for many of my bookings. They took it upon themselves to recommend me to numerous booking agents and club owners, providing me with phone contact numbers and names.
I owe my career in comedy to Zack and Mack as do many others.
In the spring of 1987, in route to Manhattan for the first of series of tapings for the cable program “Nite Flicks”, a fatal coronary sadly took Zack away from us all. Two years later, we lost Mack to an ongoing respiratory problem. Both deaths hit the entire comedy community very hard.
Later in 1989, while attending the comedy convention in Las Vegas, I was honored when one of the editors of “Just for Laughs”, the premiere comedy periodical of the time, asked me to submit something to him in writing. I was even more honored when my article was published in the magazine.
A copy of that article appears at the bottom of this page. At the top of this page is a picture of the framed tribute to Zack and Mack that I keep in my home. I miss them greatly and will always honor their memory by being the best performer I am capable of being.
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