Billy here!!! My girlfriend pointed out to me how out of date my bio is, and suggested I change it just a little.
I'm not the new guy on 95.1 The Brew's "Wease Show" anymore. In fact in terms of senority I'm second only to Wease.
I'm no longer single, living alone with my cat Geraldine (a tribute to one of my comedy idols, Flip Wilson). Geraldine and I have been joined in my house by my girlfriend Susan (#BestGirlfriendEver) and the cats she brought with her when she moved to Rochester from Akron Ohio, Dora and Precious. One of the great things about Susan is she's as silly as me, and we've made up voices for the cats, and speak to each other in those voices. At least we don't have voices in our heads.
Susan has also helped me rediscover my love for comic books, superheroes, and other nerdy things I enjoy. I've started rebuilding my collection of books, toys, statues, figures, etc... and actually display them in our house.
Before I was asked to come back to The Wease Show I spent ten years working at a sheet metal factory called Barthelmes Manufacturing as a shipping clerk and machine operator. It was a good job, and worked with lots of great people, but I can't tell you how happy I am to be here instead. One day I was getting dirty and sore lifting heavy, sharp steel... the next day I'm getting paid to do something I love.. To quote Yakoff Smirnoff (when was the last time his name was mentioned)... "WHAT A COUNTRY!"
In my spare time I enjoy listening to music (obviously), going to concerts (obviously, again), movies, reading, writing, tv channel surfing to see if I'm missing something more entertaining than what I'm already watching, and am especially good at taking naps... To quote the great Ralph Wiggum "When it comes to sleep I'm a Viking".
I'm also a huge fan of baseball and football. I try to go to 5-10 Rochester Red Wing games a year, and am an insane fan of the NY Mets... during the season while normal people are out enjoying warm weather there is a good chance I'm sitting in front of a television watching my favorite team break my heart. During the fall and winter I spend lots of time on the weekends watching football, and managing my fantasy teams.
Favorite musical acts include.... Elvis (both Presley and Costello), The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Barenaked Ladies, Counting Crows, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Steven Kellogg and the Sixers, Eddie From Ohio, U2, Old Crow Medicine Show, and many, many more. Motown music from the 60's is the best.
Favorite movies... I once wrote a whole blog about my ten favorite movies. I just looked at it, and it still holds up. Check it out. Scroll about half way down the page to see the list.
Favorite TV shows... Comic Book Men, The Simpsons, The Office, Rescue Me, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Freaks and Geeks, MASH, and 24 are all among my favorite shows in TV history. Netflix will help me someday catch up with stuff like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, and maybe even some shows that aren't on AMC.
You're still reading this? Wow. Even I'm not that interested in me. Thanks for checking out my page, and for listening to The Wease Show.
One of my comedy idols passed away over the weekend, the great Jonathan Winters. When I was a kid I would borrow comedy albums from the library, and the Winters records were ones that were borrowed repeatedly. Those records, and his television apprearances on talk & variety shows in the 70's were a cornerstone in me forming my sense of humor, and learning what funny was. Many people remember him as Mork and Mindy's son Merth on the popular sitcom, but he was so much more. Many comedians tweeted tributes after learning of his death... here's a sampling:
Albert Brooks: "R.I.P. Jonathan Winters. Beyond funny, he invented a new category of comedic genius."
Kevin Pollak: "Had a great run. Actual genius."
Richard Lewis: "A genius and the greatest improvisational comedian of all time."
Dick Van Dyke: "The first time I saw Jonathan Winters perform, I thought I might as well quit the business. Because, I could never be as brilliant."
Patton Oswalt: "No him, no me. No MOST of us, comedy-wise, come to think of it."
Bob Newhart: "Jonathan Winters was the king . . . a true genius. He was number one. There is no number two."
Jim Carrey: "Jonathan Winters was the worthy custodian of a sparkling and childish comedic genius. He did God's work. I was lucky to know him."
Jimmy Kimmel: "I feel very lucky to have had the chance to know the great Jonathan Winters, who was funny from beginning to end."
Steve Carell: "Jonathan Winters was wildly funny."
Steve Martin: "Goodbye, Jonathan Winters. You were not only one of the greats, but one of the great greats."
Pee-wee Herman: "Comedy loses a KING! Jonathan Winters was an influence on so many and there was nobody like him. Loved you, Jonathan!"
His other credits include the classic 1963 comedy "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", And he was the voice of Papa Smurf in the "Smurfs" movie and its upcoming sequel.
Here's a great clip of Winters doing improv, in character, at the 1978 roast of Frank Sinatra....