A star-studded comedic memorial for the thinking man’s jester.
A star-studded comedic memorial for the thinking man’s jester.
Like me, chef Judson Allen was a FAT KID.
I can remember walking down the hallways of my school, dressed in Sears HUSKY chord pants, hearing the ‘swish swish swish’ of my bloated thighs rubbing against each other as I waddled towards lunch.
As a 250lb Freshman, I realized i had to do SOMETHING… if I ever wanted to have a date. So I started a big work out regimen, running every day after school with the girls cross country team – no way could i keep up on the guys team – and started eating only ‘good food’ in reasonable quantities.
From Christmas to June of Sophomore year, I lost over 70 pounds. And got some dates.
Chef Judson Allen had a similar epiphany on his way from Fat to Fit, and now, he’s criss-crossing the country showing people that ‘healthy’ food doesn’t have to be bland, it can be exciting and tasty too!
We did some LIVE TV COOKING together at a jam-paked Dominick’s CULINARY CORNER STAGE at America’s biggest and best foodie party: TASTE of CHICAGO:
LA / SF = Santa Barbara. Gorgeous coastline, warm and friendly people smack dab in the middle of wine country.
I spent last weekend nestled in the bosom of California’s fastest growing wine making hotbed, sampling tremendous wines, delicious food and free cookies – ’cause we were staying at the legendary Fess Parker Resort… which is now a Hilton Doubletree. Doubletree Hotels = cookies on demand.
* insider tip: Even if you’re not registered at a Doubletree hotel, if you walk in and ask for a cookie, they are instructed to give you one. Probably because those gooey delights are so incredible, they know that eventually you’ll stay with them. Seriously, if you like chocolate chip cookies, do it. Walk into a Doubletree hotel in your town and ask for a cookie. In seconds, your grubby little mitts will be graced with the brown paper envelope containing heaven. With nuts.
The Santa Barbara Wine Festival has been thriving for more than a decade, but this was my first visit. The event is staged at Palm park right off the beach in downtown Santa Barbara. 300 high-end wines were poured, 30 food booths dished their premiere dishes, and one lonely Tequila booth provided all the paying patrons could eat and drink from 11am to 4pm.
This was the first time I performed my Comedy Cooking Contest at the SBWF – and happily the place was packed at 2:30 when I took the stage. Attendance was up 20% over last year. Which I’m sure is more about the $10,000 Yucatan Holidays Caribbean 8 day all inclusive vacation I was giving away than me and my glib patter.
But that did not deter me. I glibbed as best I could, pulling three patrons out of the audience by virtue of winning raffle tickets, and forcing them to make their best version of my Yucatan Guacamole recipe. This time, each winner brought up a friend to help them cut, snip and moosh their ingredients. The three teams worked tirelessly, under a hot sun, to mix up the most delicious guacamole they could… then stood by as the entire audience filed by to taste their offerings.
Each audience member voted for their favorite, and in the end, Patricia’s guacamole earned 2X the votes of the runner up. She is going to the Caribbean!! Think she’s happy:
Later this summer, I’ll be at the Taste of St. Louis, the Hollywood San Gennaro Feast, the La Dolce Vita Festival in Laguna Nigel and Des Moines Iowa performing my show and bestowing similar all inclusive trips on more lucky, talented chefs around the country!
Keep tabs on my schedule at http://www.DeCarloEntertainment.com
What a great summer! We’ve been traveling and doing book signings and, of course, appearing on Chicago’s #1 show, Windy City LIVE.
This week promises to be a FUN ONE in Chi-town… and i have discounts for fans who love tequila.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT, July 11, The Dinner and Live auction takes place at ADOBO GRILL 1610 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60614 312-266-7999
There’s a silent auction and even MORE tequilas to taste. One ticket gets your free samples of all of the brands… and great deals on purchasing these premium spirits. Tickets are $60… unless you are still reading. In which case, go to http://thespiritsofmexico.com/purchasetickets and use code MEXICO to get YOUR tickets for $45 @
SPIRITS of MEXICO is a great event for a worthy cause. Come on by and tip a few!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: VIP DINNER AND LIVE AUCTION, Raffle and VACATION GIVEAWAY + Book Signing $110/ticket with code
THURSDAY NIGHT: MAIN EVENT AND SILENT AUCTION. TEQUILA SAMPLES, food + fun! $45/ticket with code
SEE YOU THERE!
A while back we did a live remote for ABC’s Windy City LIVE #wcl with legendary blues harmonica player (and Chicago icon) Corky Siegel. We met at Chicago Bagel Authority on Armitage and found some very talented local singers – who didn’t even know they were singers before we forced them.
I worked my way through college, playing music and telling jokes in small clubs around the midwest. My very first “Big” show was opening for Corky at Drake University in Des Moines.
Corky was great that night, and on this cold Chicago morning. That same impish smile and killer harp tone filled up CBA with blues and mojo enough to share. This is an un-aired outtake from the live shoot. After we switched off the live camera, we just felt like playing a little more. Keep up with Corky’s travels at http://www.Chamberblues.com
My fiance Yeni and I are the special guests on the Season Finale of Bravo’s new hit reality series,
Typically, Jeff and his delightfully hilarious – just friends – better half Jenny Pulos, storm-troop through couples homes, forcing them to
face the crippling relationship issues that simmer just beneath the surface of their seemingly tolerable lives. Jeff picks and pokes the couples about their differing opinions and tastes in home decor, only to release a tsunami of tears and tendencies that miraculously always resolve themselves in the final moments of the show.
However, in our episode, we skirt the uber-drama and rely on go-to crowd pleasers: slapstick humor and scandalous innuendo. Jenny, a gifted improvisor from Chicago is hilarious, but Jeff does his best to provoke an apocalyptic meltdown.
Our non-disclosure agreements prevent the inclusion of any more information. Lets just say there’s a reason its the last show of the season.
Set your DVR’s and watch it twice! BRAVO!
Make sure to stay tuned until the final segment, when Jeff and I saddle up in authentic jousting armor and settle our issues like men.
“And stopped on a Dime! …Unfortunately, the dime was in Mr. Rococo’s pocket.”
Along with Mel Blanc, Groucho Marx, Peter Sellers and George Carlin, the Firesign Theater forged my comic sensibility amidst a sea of suburban blandness. I spent the best parts of high school reciting chunks of their inspired comic jazz – to peels of laughter from my friends – thinking along that I was as clever as they were… ’cause I understood all the jokes.
Turns out, I wasn’t. Years of listening later… I STILL don’t think i’ve gotten ALL the jokes. But I get more every time!
They pack more comedy into 60 seconds than… uh, professional comedy packers. They are a singularity. A comic black hole, so densely packed with material, that once you breach the Firesign Event Horizon, there is no escape. Along with Phil Proctor, Peter Austin and David Ossman, Peter Bergman was one of Four Horsemen of the 60’s LA apocalyptic comic-awakening.
Is there a funnier 28:20 on the planet than “How can you be in two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all?”
Years after high school, while living off my own version of humor, I decided to get my car washed in Santa Monica. Mostly because it was dirty. My car, not the City.
And I was IN Santa Monica – it was 5pm on a Friday, the Antelope Freeway would be impassible.
I dropped off my car, and took a seat on a wooden bench in the sun and looked over the rack of dingy newspapers by the door. Some kind of lefty, insurgent rag with ads for medicinal pot, botox and all sorts of surgical rejuvenations.
Next to the rack, waiting for our cars or something like them, an older bald dude read one of the papers. He looked up for a moment, and a shock of recognition hit me in the face like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist. It was Peter Bergman, THE Peter Bergman, not wearing a flimsy Burnoose, but simply jeans and a shirt.
One of comedy’s Beatles was sitting 12 feet away. I had to say something… but what?
Obviously, I had to parrot back my favorite line from his body of work… but which one? Which character? Betcha Noone’s EVER done that before. I walked over, quietly rehearsing my top 5…
I stuck out my hand and croaked – in my own dumb voice, “Excuse me, are you Porgie?”
He turned and smiled broadly… the most unassuming genius I’d ever met. ‘Course, I never met Einstein.
The next 25 minutes was my personal comedy hall of fame induction. Peter was as funny, smart, humble and intelligent as we want all our heroes to be. I gushed, asked questions about their production process – in stead of payment, they were given unlimited studio time – which explains all the tracks and finesse in their work – and asked even geekier comedy questions. If he felt trapped by a nerdy fan, he hid it well.
Just as we were about to become BFF’s, a staccato horn broke the spell. We shook hands, and he drove away… Forward into the Past!
If you are not familiar with the Beatles of Comedy, #firesignnews, I gotta piece of advice for you, go to http://firesigntheatre.com/montage.html – it’s like they’ve built the perfect time machine… with REAL gylcerin Vibrafoam!