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Posted: Sep 13, 2004  15:18

Rockin the night away at the Tower Comedy Club


By Amber Reed
RNW Reporter

Rick Reed and Jim Hagel apologize for the interruption of their regularly scheduled programming. They canceled The Tower's August show due to the many ailments of the entire crew, including the Tower house band. Bones, the drummer was out with a sprained arm, Steve Burnham, the guitarist had two ear infections, Rick Reed, the host, lost his voice and they were unable to find a superior act to grace the Tower stage.

Jay will be a high energy act guaranteed to make you laugh.

With August’s misfortunes behind them, Rick and Jim have set the next shows in stone. On the weekend of Sept. 24 & 25 at 8 p.m., the Tower Comedy Club will present three comics, Mick Akin, Yasmine Cortier, and headliner Jay Wendell Walker, and of course, Rick will be hosting the show as usual.

Critics describe Jay as a “heavy weight champion of comedy” and voted him one of the top 10 comics in the Nation. Jay took the time to talk with me, and the following is a taste of what his Idaho audience will hear at the show. Jay shared a story about how he caught the comedy bug: “My mother and uncle were a Vaudeville dance team, and during an after-hours party I sat on a balloon and it popped. Mesmerized by the hysterical laughter, I was hooked from that moment on. I started doing stand-up when I was sixteen, but I got my first paying gig when I was 18. The clubs I played were mainly in Idaho, Montana and Canada because I was not old enough to play other places.”

Jay said his favorite aspect of comedy is the people. He said they are the same wherever you go, but the Northwest holds a special place in his heart, because if you put on a good show they still remember you two years later. “People often tell me heart wrenching stories after the show, one guy who had several heart surgeries had decided not to go through anymore, and he was given six months to live. After the show, he thanked me for letting him forget his problems for an hour, and said he was going to dedicate the rest of his time to finding a way to laugh every day.”

Yasmine is originally from Pakistan. Rick and Jim wanted to bring someone for the ladies!

Jay’s son has toured with him in the past and cannot understand why the young women throw their bras at the old man in the group. Jay explained that his audience tends to look at him as the “safe Grandpa” giving him the hugs and attention rather than the younger men. “If only I could have had that power at 16 rather than 62,” he said.

When asked what his most unique show was, he said that he once did a show for a group of game preservers on top of a very high mountain. Ambulances and medical teams were treating people who were getting sick from the lack of oxygen, and meanwhile, he was standing in front of the chuck wagon telling jokes. “A lack of oxygen tends to make people a little goofy.”

Well known for his ability to relate to any age audience and adapt to any situation, Jay’s rapid-fire monologue, story telling, and hilarious facial expressions have gained him success in many comedy clubs throughout the nation. He added that he listens to new age music, such as 50 cent and tries to stay as mainstream as possible. “Every year there is a new group of people old enough to attend shows. The older crowd can’t always find or afford babysitters, so the age group always varies.”

The Tower Comedy Clubs’ own Rick Reed and Jim Hagel, promised that Jay Wendell Walker would be the best act they have booked yet! The Tower will also feature acts by Mick Atkin and Yasmine Cortier, both of Spokane, WA.

There will be four performances; host Rick Reed, feature act Mick Atkin, Yasmine Cortier and headline performer Jay Wendell Walker. Reserve tickets now because seating is limited! For reservations and more information, call Rick Reed at 208-267-9847. Tickets are $25 apiece and well worth the entertainment. Pass the word and join the crowd to laugh the night away at The Tower Comedy Club!


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