Ok. The short story. The show at the Apollo on Thursday night was amazing!
The space was beautiful, the staff on point and the audience, so giving and engaged. The DJ had vinyl records. VINYL, SON! VI! NYL! I got off stage feeling damn good about my set and how the audience received me.
The slightly longer story.
Back in the day, my Dad used to come to a lot of my shows. Hell, I think he was better known on the circuit than I was. He was not only supportive of me but to many of the comics he came to know and adore. He has many “adopted” comedy kids who still ask for him whenever they see me.
That changed as my career took me on the road, across the country and around the world. My Dad couldn’t just roll with me to Bagdad as easily as he could to Brooklyn. What used to be a regular thing became rare and occasional.
Lately, my Dad has been asking to come to one of my shows but nothing seemed right, until the Apollo. I drove, leaving ample time for traffic, parking and the old folks gait he has now; because even with a cane, walking is not so easy for him these days. But it was worth it just to see him see my name in lights on the Apollo marquee.
When I first told my Dad I wanted to do stand-up comedy, he smiled and said, “What took you so long?” His support of my career has always been unwavering and unconditional.
Being on stage, with him sitting out in the audience, felt like old times. I was only slightly nervous since a good part of my set was about how the parent - adult child role reversal thing ain’t no joke. But when I got off stage, my Dad struggled up from his seat and he hugged me so hard I knew he enjoyed every word. He hugged me as if that set, on that stage was the culmination of all the love and support he and my Mom have invested in me. I felt the weight and fortune of it.
How appropriate then that my play-on song was The Glow of Love. I’m still in it.