Brian T Shirley

Brian T Shirley
Jokers Wild, Atlantis Resort

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Explaining "Earl"!

 I'm sure my whole family will get a kick out of this post when they read it, but it's been a long time coming. I'm going to "out" myself to the public.

I'm very SILLY!

There, I said it. I was an extremely silly child, who grew into a silly teenager and just when I thought the silliness would end it didn't.

One of the silliest things I ever did was come up with a hand signal to denote a person's name that cracked me up and that name was "Earl". I'm not sure why I got a kick out of that name, but I would curl my index finger down to my thumb to form a circle, leave my other three fingers extended close together and search out a victim. Once I found someone I would thrust my hand forward parallel with the ground and shout "Earl"! I'm sure to the average person, my friends and my family this was rather strange behavior. I think it started when I saw a damaged sign for a flooring company that we would drive by all the time called " Earl Smith Floors". The "r" and "s" had fallen off so it read "Earl Smith Floo". That was just the thing my silly little brain needed to get started on years of "Earling" people. My grandfather actually took me into that flooring store to meet old  'Earl Smith Floo ' ( I pronounced it 'Flow") and it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I can't remember if I "Earled" Earl or not, in my mind that may have been sacrilege.

 Of course people that did not know me that well thought I was crazy or "special". One time I "Earled" a man my mom was seeing, he had come over for dinner. He was sitting on the couch and my mom was in the kitchen. I walked up and gave him one hell of an "Earl"!! He yelled at my mom "Teresa, your son just gave me the finger!!"  She replied " No, that's just his little thing he does."

 They never got married, I think "Earl" may have had something to do with that.

 Now, I do realize there's a sitcom called 'My name is Earl" and if would have came out 30 years ago I would have peed in my pants laughing. But those days are gone, I have not "Earled" anybody in years, but you never know. I'm kind of scared to do it now because it could be seen as some sort of gang sign and I would get shot.

If you ever see anyone doing a hand gesture that kind of looks like the "Okay" sign and they yell "Earl" afterwards you know where it came from.  I bet you'll laugh!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Growing pains!

This post cocerns a post made on LinkIn about an internet radio program I co-host called "The Triangle Variety Comedy Show".

We learn as we grow and growth is not without some pain. I read a post that smacked me in the gut and of course reacted with a bit of anger. I discussed the post with my co-host and we agreed with some of what the person had said and have made adjustments to the show. I also think I have learned not to react to those criticisms directly, but really look at what they are saying. Two lessons from one post, not too bad.Here's my explanation along with the post and response, warts and all.
I got a negative comment on LinkedIn about the Triangle Variety Comedy Show show this week. I posted an advert for the show on LinkedIn saying "We put the 'V' in Variety. Listen to The Triangle Vairety Comedy Show, etc...". Here's the post and my response.
Their post:
People are crying out for variety shows. When I saw your post I got excited. But I listened to your blog talk and heard laughter without humor. There were no jokes or comedy routines, only conversation sprinkled with pointless chuckles as if everyone were sharing a private joke that the audience couldn't get in on. So sadly, I turned it off. As a variety artist and writer of comedy, I wish I had heard something that would leave me wanting more and set me in hot pursuit of your shows and your book. May I suggest one solid week of Laurel and Hardy, the Colgate Comedy Hour, Soupy Sales, and the Ed Sullivan Show--for starters. Study what made Hal Roach's Lot of Fun work. Watch the film "Bug Bunny Super Star." Cop a fix of Harold Lloyd, Burns and Allen or Buster Keaton while you're at it, and then put on a show. All the world wants to laugh. The material just has to be funny. Truly funny.
My reply:
We do play comedy clips and do interviews with authors,comedians,actors,writers,club owners, etc. It's a new show and a new type of format. I recap what's going on in the first segment and yes, we do chat a bit. I was doing a remote from a club I was performing at, first time we've done that, so it was a bit rough. You missed some great interviews and some funny songs. We do variety comedy from today's comedians who are our guests and send us their material. A great deal of what we play is exclusive content to the general public. We have established road comedians who send us their material. I respect and enjoy the folks you named, but they were not born famous, they had to get a start and a break somewhere. I've been touring for twenty years and I'm on the road twice this week, it's hard to get noticed, especially when people are hard pressed to embrace new acts. We offer PG-13 humor in many forms on our show and yes, discuss the ins and outs of the business. That's variety comedy to me, sorry you don't want to come along for the ride. I know we have a long way to go (We started August 1 2012) but I'm not going backwards to "The Colgate Hour" or Soupy Sales (who I watched as a kid, he had a morning show). We're trying, and succeeding I may add, to bring these talented people to a wider audience. I believe there's a lot of talented people out there, it's a shame folks like you don't want to give them a shot. I don't want to just stick a bunch of comedy clips up and take credit for having a comedy show. I want to have substance and meaning as well, all 3 of our guests made some very good points this week. I got a message right here on LinkedIN as a matter of fact that "Comedian Amaru was very funny on your show and I would go and pay to see him". Sorry, but that comment was 1000 times more worthwhile to me than your close minded approach. See you in the 1950's! 


Here's my little critic again, she's back at it. This is fun. Here's another one from her and my retort.
Sharon EvansI clicked your link expecting to hear comedy because that was the pitch. Where can I hear the comedy routines and funny songs without the interviews?
Brian ShirleyWe are building a collection of clips from comedians from all over the country, that does take some time. There are some clip shows in the works. Believe it or not (as Jack Palance would say) there are folks who enjoy our interviews and look forward to them. Are you trying to get a spot? Boy, that would be ironic.

From apparent foe to friend?

How do you get rid of an enemy? Turn them into a friend.

Sharon EvansOkay. Well, I do understand how things go starting out. It does take time to really get rolling. What I will say is that your use of variety with your comedy is an old standard that has fallen by the wayside that should be picked up again. I can certainly applaud you for that. Comedy shows that are simply one standup act after another don't quite cut it, even when the comedy is top drawer.

Brian ShirleyThanks Sharon, I'm learning as I go and you have helped. I'm also a remote co-host as I call in from Chas.,SC and Patrick and his station are in North Carolina. As you can imagine this limits some of the things such as timing, visual ques, etc. I also still tour quite a lot as a stand-up comedian and sometimes I can not be there on the show the full 3 hours. I'm not giving excuses, just drawing a better picture for you. As they say,"The Show must go on!".

Last Update:

Sharon will be on the show May 1st @ 10:15 PM EST. I'll be in the Bahamas, but Patrick will do a good job with the interview as usual. Can't wait to hear this one when I get back.