So earlier this past week I got a message from my friend, former coworker (still very weird to have “former” attached to that) and stand up comedian Keith Ernst – or as he was known as at Riot: ERNST!!!!!
He obviously knows how much of a wrestling dork I am and wanted to inform me that his brother Bret was headlining a stand up comedy show at the Improv in Hollywood… and the host of the evening was WWE Legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper! He thought that he might be able to get me and a buddy in for free, but if not the tickets were 20 bucks and there was a good chance we’d be able to hang out with Hot Rod at the bar afterwards.
HANG OUT WITH PIPER?! Uh, yeah – sign me up! Ray and I popped down and got there at about 20 minutes to 8 and called Ernst who was on his way and would be there about a quarter after. So for over a half an hour Ray and I waited outside the Improv. What would happen? Would we have to pay? I’m broke as hell right now but if it came down to it I would simply have to of put down my twenty. We saw Bret show up and Keith wasn’t far behind. After Keith got there, Ray and I were WELL taken care of. Bret told the doorman that Keith was his brother, Keith told the doorman that Ray and I were with him, and we were IN. A hostess found us a spot to sit together and we began enjoying the show already in progress.
Piper was having fun introducing the guys. He told a story about when he wrestled a bear when he was just starting out (which I had heard before) and how one of the guys in the back covered his ass with honey before he went out to the match. As you may expect, the bear went for the honey. First up was a guy named Steve Simeone, whose passion for wrestling was quite evident. His set was made up of stories watching wrestling as a kid with his brother and my life parallells his so much it is ridiculous. At the end of his time he took his shirt of to reveal an Old School “Hot Rod” shirt which of course Piper loved. Chris Porter (from Last Comic Standing which he didn’t win because his arms and legs all worked just fine) was freakin’ HILARIOUS. And of course Bret Ernst made it clear why he was the headliner with a set that had everybody rolling.
So it’s the end of the show. This place is pretty packed – are we really going to be able to meet Pipes?
Quick note: at work we do a bunch of stuff on the show Cold Case. I get the call sheet every day and attach it to the night’s work orders. As I perused the call sheet for Friday I saw a name: Roddy Piper. I think it may have been fate.
Bret and Keith brought us upstairs. Off to the left was a curtained off area that Roddy was in but we kept off to the main other side to wait for the timing to be right. Again – the place was PACKED with people. It began to appear that it just wouldn’t happen. Eventually Bret made his way to the curtained off area. Keith followed and told Ray and I to follow. Piper had a camera following him around constantly, btw. After Piper finished chatting with some dude Bret made his way up to him and Hot Rod welcomed him with open arms. They talked happily with each other for a minute and Bret introduced him to Keith. Keith talked and shook his hand and it looked like our time was up. More people had moved in on Piper and Ray and I would have to be fine with the fact that we were in his VIP room just five feet away from him – which would have been pretty cool.
Bret had followed the natural flow of the room and we started to exit… but he popped back in and asked Roddy if he could introduce us to him.
Fuckin’ right Bret. You went above and beyond.
Piper excitedly and happily shook my hand and asked my name. I told him, then told him that I worked in Post Production and the bit about the call sheet. He thought it was pretty funny and commented how Cold Case made him dye his hair blonde for the part (I forgot to mention – he was blonde tonight). He (not-so) jokingly mentioned how we need to tell Cold Case that we need to get him in more episodes. I explained that I was merely a peon in the world of post production but definitely agreed and we laughed. He also greeted and shook hands with Ray. Piper was super nice and friendly the whole time. Thanks guys, ’twas a night to remember!
Damn cool night.
I’m all out of bubble-gum,