The previous reviewer was correct, this was the "finals" in a comedy competition to find "Hollywood's Hottest New Comic". The semi-finals were held over a period of several months at a variety of comedy clubs in the L.A. area, and the winners of those competitions competed in this final, which was taped at the old Wiltern Theater on Wilshire Boulevard and broadcast later on The Family Channel. And he's also correct that it was a benefit for United Cerebral Palsy. John Ritter's brother Tom has cerebral palsy and helped put together this project, and John got involved in it, too. A friend of mine was involved in the production end, and asked me if I could come down and help backstage during the taping. It was a lot of fun, actually. I got to meet a lot of people I ordinarily never would have, most of whom were quite nice (although a few of them had "attitudes").
I remember Mickey Rooney "holding court" backstage and telling some of the dirtiest, most disgusting and hilarious jokes I'd ever heard. I remember being struck at how absolutely stunning Catherine Bach--Daisy Duke from "The Dukes of Hazzard"--was. I had only seen the show a few times, mostly to watch her prancing around in her "Daisy Dukes", but in person she was far more beautiful than she was on the show, and about as unlike Daisy Duke as you could possibly get. She was dressed in a rather conservative business-type suit--which, fortunately, didn't hide that fantastic body--wore almost no makeup, and was smart, sharp and extremely well-spoken with a terrific sense of humor. And, of course, incredibly hot. I also remember how Dawn Wells--Mary Ann from "Gilligan's Island"--was just as pretty and sexy and sweet as she was on the show. It had been 20 years or so since it went off the air but she looked almost the same as she did back then--I actually spoke with her for a few minutes and, though I'm not an expert, it sure didn't look like she had had any "work" done--and was just really, really nice to everybody. I also recall Faith Ford, from the "Murphy Brown" show, being extremely nervous and worried that she was going to screw up on stage, but once she got out there everything went smoothly and she was just fine, which was good because she was so nice and sweet that everyone was pulling for her. On the other hand, Charlene Tilton, from "Dallas", tried pulling the "I'm a star" act, making all sorts of petty and annoying demands--which were mostly ignored--and just generally being a major pain in the ass. On a more pleasant note, I got hit on by Sally Kirkland, who was looking quite good. Unfortunately, I had a girlfriend at the time so I couldn't take advantage of the situation. Ah well, yet another squandered opportunity . . .
Overall, though, it was a very pleasant experience, the people involved were quite nice and professional and everything went, as far as I can recall, very smoothly--except for the fact that Tim Allen (who at the time was a struggling unknown comic) competed in the semis, was hysterically funny on- and off-stage but didn't even make it into the finals, while Rick Rockwell (who no one thought was even remotely funny, was roundly disliked by most of the crew and comics and, most importantly, borrowed $10.00 off me and never paid me back) somehow made it through the semi-finals and won the competition.
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