[Photo: Yours Truly as King Arthur and Jessica Franz as Guinevere in Kill-a-Lot]
After years of therapy and extensive soul searching, it appears as if the reason I got into show business was so that my mother would love me.
Now this makes little sense, because my mother, God rest her soul, certainly loved me.
But for whatever strange reason it seems I was unconvinced of this unless I could make her laugh.
"Your mother laughed at everything you ever said," my wife Karen has observed on numerous occasions.
She always adds: "That was her mistake."
And so Karen refuses to laugh at anything I say, and she usually manages to hold this line rather well.
So I'm married to a woman who never laughs at anything I say, while my mother laughed at everything I said, but not uncontrollably. And there's the rub! I knew on a deep subconscious level that I would never be happy as an actor or comedian - or for that matter as a man - unless and until I found a woman who would laugh uncontrollably at everything I ever said. (Sad but true).
And so, beginning at age five or so I would memorize long-play comedy records and recite them at recess to make the girls laugh. I remember quite clearly the principal of Trinity Lutheran Grade School coming over to the merry-go-round and listening to me recite all of Morey Amsterdam's Mixed Up Stories for Smart Kids. He asked if I would be willing to perform this at the school assembly, since apparently no kindergartner had ever memorized all of Morey Amsterdam's Mixed Up Stories for Smart Kids. I declined, but proceeded to enrapture my playmates every day with a different "mixed up story".
I still remember a sample from that comedy album - "Cinderella's step sisters used to make her sleep in the fireplace. She felt like a silly ash. The older step-sister went on a diet. Every day she ate nothing but coconuts and bananas, coconuts and bananas. She didn't lose any weight, but boy could she climb trees."
But back to the highlight of my career.
It happened on Thursday night last week at Summit Lake Winery in Holt's Summit, Missouri, where Maria Romine and I were performing my comedy murder mystery Kill-a-Lot ("King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table investigate Murder Medieval Style").
There was a cute young woman sitting at a table who not only laughed at everything I said, but laughed uncontrollably at everything I said. She was also sporting tattoos and wearing a very revealing top that was, in effect, almost no top at all.
This girl, then, had the three things I most desire in a woman: breasts and a sense of humor.
At any rate, I realized at that point that my career had peaked. I no longer had any deep hidden subconscious reason reason to be in show business, so from this point on, I can do it all for the glory of God. And to make a living. And because it's fun. And because it's my vocation.
But at least I've achieved the selfish and miserable and unexplainable thing that I had set out to achieve.
And now may the rest of my career begin!
[Above: Me as Lt. Columbo, who for some reason solves the mystery in Kill-a-Lot]