Source: The Independent

My Brush with Fame
September 27, 2012 | 05:48 PM

Hey Jerry,

At least you had the moxie to get on stage. Case in point ...

I was pretty much a regular customer at New York’s Improv during the ‘80s and eventually came to be recognized by Silver Friedman " Budd Friedman’s estranged wife. Sometimes I’d bring an official date for the actual feature show. But most times, usually on a whim, I’d simply jump in a cab from my apartment in Murray Hill and walk in alone just to hang out for a while and see what was happening. Maybe sit at the bar or stand in a corner, it didn’t matter. Just being part of the scene and getting a quick fix of stand-up was enough for me.

But here’s the rub ... One night I walked in kind of early just to hang out and I noticed Joe Piscopo sitting at the bar. Holy shit! Joe Piscopo just sitting there like a normal person!

I said to Silver, “Hey, isn’t that Joe Piscopo?” She said “Yes, would you like to meet him?”

Next thing I know she introduces me to Joe and we’re sitting at the bar together just having a drink, talking it up a bit, and having a few one-on-one laughs. And that’s when the stand-up comedy bug really bit me! In front of Silver, Joe said I was a very funny guy and I ought to get on stage for an audition and give it a try.

Needless to say, I never gave it a shot and I still regret it to this day. Making people forget their troubles for a while with laughter. The ultimate elixir for everything and what a great way to make a living. Bill Crandall


Bill Crandall