By Bobbie Katz
Dennis Miller’s show is filled to the brim with laughter
There is no disputing the fact that there are some things that just go hand-in-hand with Miller “lite.”
They include lots of clapping and loud peals of laughter sandwiched in-between the weird language, unique verbal style and the jokes and delivery one has come to expect from this top-name comedian who has survived the taste test in the comedy marketplace over the last 26 years.
But underneath his stated desire to make people “laugh their asses off” lies the true key to Dennis Miller, who will be appearing at the Orleans October 12-13. Not only does the comic, who will turn 59 in November, want his audiences and himself just to have fun, but it’s a reflection of the fact that he views the glass as being half-full as opposed to being half-empty.
“I actively fight worry on a daily basis,” Miller admits. “I’m sick of worrying. Like people say, it’s not an arm or a leg. It’s a blessing to have rigors in your life because at least you have a life to have some troubles with. Most days now, I just get up and smile my way through it. I have a great wife whom I’ve been married to for 24 years and two sons who seem like happy fellows. I’m happy. I might have been a little more intense when I was younger but I think that prolonged intensity is kind of boring.”
To the point, Miller’s cup runneth over with his self-written humor. In fact, while his TV gigs such as his nine-year stint on HBO and a year-and-a-half on CNBC were more political humor, his standup act is more about getting laughs.
“My standup act is a killer,” says Miller, the veteran of eight one-hour solo HBO stand-up comedy specials. “It’s all new. I turn out a new act once a year, which is more than most -- some comedians still start out with the McCarthy hearings. I’ll have chunks in there about current events but I probably won’t get into it until 35 or 40 minutes into my show, which is an hour and 10 minutes long.”
“Jokes come to me during the day and I’ll tell them to the little tape recorder I carry around with me,” he continues. “I check the recorder once a week, usually finding about 40 or 50 funnies on there. Probably about 30 of them are so embarrassing that I think, why did I waste this digital space on them? I’ll prune down the 10 that are left and get them down to five really good ones. Then there has to be some sort of an overview of the act and where to drop the jokes in. After 26 years, I’m Pavlov’s dog – I know what will probably work and what people have come to expect from me.”
Yes, his stage act aside, Miler is a prime example of the fact that there IS life after television. A little over five years ago, the comic hit the airwaves again – this time on syndicated radio. His show on Westwood One, aptly named “Dennis Miller,” is currently on 260 stations across the country. Miller tapes it live three hours each morning from a studio in his home and calls it a potpourri in which he discusses “everything under the sun” – movies, pop culture, politics, sports and current events. He has guests, and takes listeners’ phone calls, up to 30 a day.
“With HBO, it was simply a matter of I had been there nine years, was their longest running show next to their longest, longest running football show, and they wanted to do something new,” Miller explains. “We parted amicably. I got fired from CNBC. I guess that’s what happens when people don’t watch – it’s the law of the jungle. One of the dilemmas was that it was a comedy, variety, political show at night – on the stock market channel. Overall, I take the Jackson Pollack approach to life – throw it all against the wall and see what sticks.”
“I love standup but being a standup comedian is like being the Marlboro Man – you’re alone on the road,” he adds. “I like the repeating nature of community that I have with my radio show. I feel like I’m in Gertrude Stein’s anti-room. All in all, I have a pretty eclectic curriculum. I have an adventuresome side and I don’t mind trying new things. I call this period of my life 56 because that’s my age.”
While Miller says that he’s a little cranky, less as he gets older, he is grateful for what he’s been given, which is infinitely more than he ever expected. He feels that he has gotten the motherlode – a 28-year career -- which so few get.
“Like Lawrence Olivier said, ‘Memorize your lines and don’t bump into the furniture’” Miller, who loves to travel, maintains. “Still, you shouldn’t expect your career to be everything. Otherwise you’re missing the boat.”
About the head on that Miller “lite”…….
This article appears by courtesy of Vegas Insider Daily.com.