I was thinking today about what got me interested in stand-up comedy, what my earliest memories of comedians are, what made me laugh as a kid that still makes me laugh today.
My parents were fairly strict about monitoring my TV and movie watching habits growing up, so I was never exposed to, say, Richard Pryor or George Carlin. (Except, of course, when Carlin appeared as The Conductor on “Shining Times Station.” Choo chooooo.) But Dad was a huge Mel Brooks fan, and the jokes encompassed enough innuendo that, as kids, we didn’t get it when Young Frankenstein‘s Inga vanted to take a roll in ze hay, or when Blazing Saddles’ Lili Von Shtupp crooned that men were always coming and going and going and coming…too soon. We just thought that Frau Blucher was silly, that Sherrif Bart was goofy. We just liked to laugh.
Then, when I discovered Gilda Radner…I was hooked. I’d found my idol. Most girls my age were into (and I’m dating myself here) Debbie Gibson and Tiffany and the New Kids on the Block. I loved Gilda. Loved Steve Martin. Loved loved loved Gene Wilder.
What about you?