Believe it or not it was this very tape that got me my first professional booking, a week at Laughs Unlimited. The headliner, who I'm very sorry to say I've forgotten the name of, was a black guy and when he walked into the green room and saw me with my old grey tux jacket and black make up on my face he said "OH HELL NO!" and turned and walked out of the room, pissed. I guess he was on his way to have me fired. I
The first Darin Wood Logo which
went on some t-shirts
He paused. Took a breath, realized they hadn't hired someone in black face as his opener and said "Alright. Whatever." He still wasn't happy about having a costume act opening for him. At one point he said "How about that opener eh? Be cool, The Kings used to suck too." Ouch!
I struggled through most every night of my first week as a paid comic. Mainstream crowds just weren't into this kind of silliness. I always had at least two or three people at each show who would just go ape shit for Francois though. They'd seek me out and pump my hand and tell me how funny it was and how stupid the rest of the audience was.
I rolled with it. I remember at one show this woman was giving me a vicious stink eye through my whole set. I dropped to my knees in front of her, apologized, handed her a rolled up newspaper and offered to let her swat me. Not even a hint of a smile but the rest of the crowd loved it.
The enthusiasm of folks who got it was very encouraging. I remember my friend Patrick advising me not to over-do it as he was sure this was my ticket in. This character got me an audition and then acceptance to The Velvet Hammer burlesque show, unfortunately it was right as the show was imploding. I got to do a taping with one of my childhood heroes, Dr. Demento for an experiment in on-line "television" called UHF after the Weird Al cult classic. And I got to be on national TV as part of Last Comic Standing.
|"Puke Splatter" at Trash Film Orgy. |
Photo by Bob Herron
|Logo by Darin Wood|
|Shmoozin' and boozin' with Dino and Frank.|
Photoshop by Nick Roberts.
My favorite Francois Fly story was when I was invited
I gave this doll to the Velvet Hammer instead of a
head shot. Damn, I wish I still had it.
Another fine logo by Darin Wood for a
Trash Film Orgy flyer
Francois was the original host of The Trash Film Orgy, a yearly midnight movie festival I started with some friends. The festival continues without me and without Francois but he turns up there every so often, usually to be killed dead by Sid, the Evil Crest Manager. I've always planned to do more with Francois and I will. He's a very fun character to play. So full of swagger and ego. I watch clips like the one above and it's actually hard to believe it's me. I don't think I could be that bold without the strainers and make up.