Yesterday I told you about losing a radio gig because my “friend” stole my material. Now flash forward four years. I’m writing on MASH and doing a Saturday night disc jockey show on KTNQ (Ten-Q) in Los Angeles. Yes, I finally got to be on the radio in my own hometown. The station wasn’t in a high rise, it was in an abandoned mortuary in Koreatown but still!
I’m on the air for
about six months when I get a call on the station hot line. It’s Rick
Carroll, who was the program director of KKDJ. He asked if I remembered
being thrown out of his office. I said, “Yes, I still have the tic.”
He went on to say he owed me a big apology. He had been listening to
me every week on Ten-Q and clearly his DJ, Bobby had stolen the material
from me, not the other way around. It was a lovely gesture on his
part and I appreciated it greatly.
The truth is, the only way I
could get respect in radio was by leaving it. Before I became a writer
I was always being told by my program directors to stop trying to do
schtick. Just shut up and play the damn records. I can’t tell you how
many memos I got insisting I was not remotely funny.
And then a
strange thing happened. I sold a couple of scripts, quit radio
full-time, and suddenly I was a comic genius. My content was fresh and
original and hilarious.
It was the same schtick. In some cases the exact same jokes.
point is this: don’t let other people tell you you’re not funny.
What the hell do they know? Yes, your material and/or delivery might
need a bit of polish, but the first step to success is believing in
yourself. All you gotta do is find one person who likes you. Then
the ones who didn’t will start going around telling people they
“discovered” you. Trust me, it’s a beautiful thing not to take their
And maybe if you're lucky, the first guy to recognize your talent, won't steal all your material.