The Mike & Carla Morning Show

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With the passing of  Bob Saget, and now the dear Louie Anderson, I’ve been thinking back on my own comedy career.

I started doing comedy when I was a senior in high school. In college I hit the road whenever I could to get stage time, then I started actually earning a living at what has now become my career.

Along the way, there were several people who were really good to me, because they saw something in me – maybe something I didn’t even see in myself at the time. They introduced me to the right people and helped me literally get my career going. They may not think what they did was a big deal, or even think twice about it, but to me was all huge – and still is.

George Wallace – Hilariously funny, and as loose onstage as can be. As you can see from the gallery pictures, George is still a dear friend today.  He got me into Catch a Rising Star. Here in Las Vegas, then Boston, New Jersey, and New York! I still work with George ANY chance I get – because he always asks me to, and I’m flattered!

Kathleen Madigan – one of the best, funniest, and original comedians out there, bar none! We started working together at The Comedy Stop at The Trop in Las Vegas. I worked with her a lot for several years – comedy clubs. corporate functions – and she’d put me up when I worked in the LA area, or we worked together. She’s still a friend, and she’s a comic I respect immensely!

Louie Anderson – saw me at Catch a Rising Star. Had me open for him a few times, then recommended me for a big corporate gig. Not long after that I worked his comedy club at Palace Station several times.

Carole Montgomery – Carole asked if I could fill in for her when she would take off a night from Crazy Girls (at the Riviera). Then I was her steady fill-in in the Fantasy Revue at The Luxor. It was a lot of fun, and revues are a lesson in doing a very EXACT amount of time!

Joan Rivers – an inspiration from the time I knew I was going to be a comedian (around 9 years old) and sneak to watch her on the Tonight Show – of course, not completely understanding her humor when I was a kid. Later, and opened for her – just once – but it was amazing to work with her, and hang out with her. She was always so encouraging to young comedians. I got to see her a couple years before she died, and told her these stories when meeting her again. I asked her if we could take a picture, but I didn’t want the traditional picture. I wanted to re-create the Janet Jackson, Rolling Stone cover – she doubled over laughing, then said come her -let’s do it! (See picture below)

There are a number of comedians out there who have helped me, and so many others along the way. A comedy career starts with being funny. If you are, people notice. And those people that noticed me, also helped me get there.

I didn’t always take pictures with the people I worked with, because I always felt they were my peers. But allow me to share some of the pictures I do have.

Carla Rea