My First Opening Act Gig with Mrs. Brady
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of opening for many A names. But my first time opening was a good enough way to begin…
I must have been around twenty-two. I got a call to drive to Atlantic City and open for Florence Henderson. I had only been sending videotapes out for a year or two. They must have been desperate and only read the fake bio info I wrote because the tape was awful. But this was an easy one-nighter. Two performances of fifteen minutes each.
I remember I was sitting in a dressing room all by myself just waiting. There was a small fruit tray and sodas. I was nervous and early. Not a great combo.
Finally at about ten minutes to show time, there was a knock at my door. And who leaned in but Florence Henderson. “Hi I’m Florence. You’re allowed two Brady Bunch jokes and that’s all.” The door closed.
I wasn’t even planning any Brady Bunch jokes! Was she used to hearing them? Was she saving the allotment for herself? So in a pinch, I told a joke suggesting Carol Brady had something to do with the demise of the first Mrs. Brady. I also, kind of, said she was “loose.”
The joke went fine the first show. But the second show I told the joke and the audience was roaring. I just attributed it to me being more relaxed, until I turned around to see Florence standing over my shoulder with her arms crossed! She wagged her finger at me and left the stage.
A great sense of humor, she and her husband were terrific.
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