Thursday, February 18, 2010
HITCHHIKER STORY # 2
One Saturday my husband and I picked up a young hitchhiker and, of course, I asked where he was going and he answered that he was going to Las Vegas to be a comedian. My interest was naturally piqued. I asked him what kind of comedy he did and he said "impressions". I asked him to do some impressions and he started out with the old familiars: John Wayne, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean, etc., but the problem was that every impression he did sounded like Howard Cossell doing impressions.
I learned that he was from Philadelphia and that his stage name was "Tony Jacobs". His real name was a Polish name which I cannot remember how to spell, but I do remember the pronunciation and I believe "Anthony Jacobchick" is close. I asked him, "Don't you need to belong to unions to be a performer?" He answered, yes and he handed his wallet to me to see his union cards. While holding his wallet, I saw on his driver's license that he was 18 years old, although he'd told me he was 21. I asked him if his parents knew what he was doing and he assured me that they did.
I started telling him some of my favorite jokes and I noticed that he was writing on a notepad. I asked what he was doing and he said that the jokes were really good and he could use them. Actually, the jokes were well-worn ones and I told him that he'd get in trouble using those jokes because they came from other comedians and comedians didn't appreciate other performers using their material. I told him, "You'll be blackballed if you do that!"
We took him home with us and had him stay overnight and I made him call his mother to tell her that he was all right. When we arrived home, my brother and his wife and two children were there and my mother had prepared dinner. During the fun-filled evening, Tony asked, "Do you guys do this often?" and my sister-in-law, Sheila, answered, "Oh, yeah, they go out every weekend and pick up hitchhikers and bring them home for our entertainment." Tony asked, "Really?" Sheila said, "No, of course not, Tony, you're going to have to realize when something's a joke!" The next morning after breakfast, we took him to the freeway and waited for him to catch a ride west. As he was leaving, he told us that he would always remember us and our kindness and when he "got famous" he would send us tickets to come to see him.
I still haven't gotten the tickets.