One of Comedy’s Funniest & Most Controversial Legends Was Born in Yakima
One of comedy's dirtiest minds was born in Yakima, Washington.
When you think of the great comedians, who comes to mind? The obvious choices to me are Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Don Rickles, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, the mighty George Carlin, Dave Chapelle, and Robin Williams.
I remember listening to Norm McDonald's stand-up a week before he died. I can distinctly recall a very crass joke about dying of cancer, which in a perfect Norm-like twist of irony, he did.
When Bob Saget died earlier this month, people at work asked me how I felt. At that point, I didn't feel much. I knew he was on Full House, I never watched Full House. He hosted America's Funniest Videos, I never watched America's Funniest Videos. The strongest connection I had with the name Bob Saget was the old "Tourette's Guy" videos from the early heyday of original creator-driven content on YouTube. A character, played in faux-reality style, would often swear in any situation available to him, and one of his reoccurring phrases was, "Ah, BOB SAGET!" When people at work told me I'd love Bob's raunchy stand-up, I listened to a couple of his CDs, and oddly enough, he mentioned Tourette's Guy. I found Saget to be hilarious, it was as if he had a rough outline of the jokes he wanted to tell but left the set open to improvisation. He'd needle a select few drunk showgoers throughout the show, and each joke he told felt like it was a buy-one-get-one. He was sharp and nasty.
When I told one of my co-workers I finally gave Bob Saget a listen, he told me there was another comedian I would probably like. "He's very raw," he said. I like raw, so I asked for the comic's name. It was Sam Kinison.
It wasn't the door to love, it was the door to HELL!
Sam Kinison is a bit before my time, he died tragically in a car accident mere months before I was born. But, the former preacher-turned-comic was just my style. He had a distinct scream that reminded me of Guns 'N Roses singer Axl Rose. Boy, was he raw. His comedy has faced a lot of criticism in recent years but was controversial even for its own time. You may hate yourself for laughing at the jokes, but you will laugh.
Sam Kinison was born in Yakima, and part of me wonders if being born in Yakima made him even more twisted than he realized. He moved shortly after he was born, so it's not like he grew up there. But being born in Yakima is more than enough.
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