Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Sunday, July 24, 2005




So thrilled, I don't even care that this may be the second worst picture ever taken of me.

I met Blake Clark tonight.

I've been quoting him for at least 15 years. Fifteen... years. At least. When Wesley and I had to move to Illinois at the very end of 1990, we had already seen a few "famous" comics at the comedy club in Chattanooga. My sister Amy said we couldn't move -- what if Blake Clark came to Chattanooga? We moved, anyway -- well, for a year. I couldn't handle being a Yankee for long, after all.

And the years stretched out and turned into a decade, and another half of a decade passed. We heard that Blake Clark was in Chattanooga *after* we already missed the show. Still I stalked him. When he showed up on TV (Brett Butler's sitcom) and in movies (ohhhhhhhhhhhh, he was sublime in "50 First Dates"), I was glued to the screen.

I mean -- I really love this guy's work. He's Southern. That's a big plus. I love his voice. But most of all, I love the way he rants. He's so *smart*.

He came to Knoxville, and dagnabbit, Amy now lives in Las Vegas. Is Blake Clark in Las Vegas? No. He's in Knoxville. (And it occurs to me, at 3:00 in the morning, that he's just up the road, and maybe I could go stalk his hotel.... nahhhhhhhh, he's married......)

Since my sister couldn't come with us, Wesley snagged 12 people to come along. Actually, two of them were friends of mine from high school. We all had a very good time before the show -- some of us got there early and ate dinner. (I had a great grilled chicken salad, and I didn't even have to knock over any little old ladies for it, either.) I also started drinking rum & cokes much earlier than usual.

Donna Carter, the opening act -- as I posted earlier this morning -- was very, very good.

But when Blake hit the stage -- I swear -- I got goosebumps on my arms. And it was pretty hot in the club with so many drunk people packed in to see the guy who played Farmer Fran in "Water Boy." (I've never seen that movie... shhhhhhh, don't tell Blake. I did see his Farmer Fran reprise in "Joe Dirt" -- I hope that makes up for my ignorance.) I couldn't believe he was really here. And we had *excellent* seats. We were directly in the middle, one table back from the front.

Blake was completely brilliant, and I laughed so hard that I feared I would hurt myself. He was just *hilarious*. It was all new material, with some favorite old lines thrown in for good measure. ("I fought in Vietnam, and I grew up in Georgia. That's like being punished for the same crime twice.")

When the show was over, Donna was selling her darlin' t-shirts and Blake's co-writer was selling autographed copies of their book "You Know You're a Hacker if...". (It's not a computer book, y'all. It's about golf.)

We hung around for a bit, waiting for the crowd to thin out. Also... Uh..... Remember, I had those two rum & cokes? I *ran* for the ladies' room the second Blake moved to leave the stage. I was about to *die*. I wouldn't get up in the middle of his act to save a drowning child, though -- I had waited 15 years for this!!!!

That's when we found out Blake wasn't with the book. His co-writer John Hodge was really nice, though -- he's the one who took the pictures on my blog tonight. I chatted a bit with him about writing and blogging and websites and such, and it turns out he now lives in Knoxville. Kewl! How'd we score a hottie like him? He's gotta be married.

In the meantime, Wesley was chatting with the owner of the club, who let slip that Blake *might* be in the bar after the second show started. Most of our companions had left, but Sharon and Scott and Wesley and I all went to the bar to hang out and wait.

It was hot in the bar. And crowded with the people who were there to see the second show. And there was no place to sit. And my shoes hurt. And every single inconvenience I experienced was totally worth it, and I would go back and stand in the heat all over again for what happened once the second show started.

See that picture up there at the top of this post? That's me. And Blake Clark. And Wesley. And see where Blake Clark's arm is? Yes! That's right!!!! It's *around me*!!!!!!!!!

But that's not even the coolest part. The coolest part is that after the photo, Blake Clark -- Blake Clark -- sat there and chatted with us for about half an hour as if he knew us and was just hanging out for a while before going off to do a shift at his normal job.

Just as Donna was doing her last little closing bit (which is hilarious) and the audience was clapping and cheering for her, he stood up and shook hands with us.

I'm never gonna wash my right hand again.

OK, maybe next week. But only if I have to.


At 24/7/05 2:04 PM, Blogger Amy said...

JEALOUS is what I am. Can we agree at this point that you and the universe have punished me sufficiently for moving to Las Vegas? I wish I could have been there. I know how difficult it is to tell someone how funny a comedian is, so I'm left to imagine how hard you must have laughed. I understand the thrill of being star struck. You're much cooler than I am in the face of fame, so I know you didn't squeal and giggle like I would have if Blake Clark had started talking to me. Did you ask him to come to Vegas so I could see him?!


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