Sam Adams is a dyed-in-the-wool storyteller. Regardless of what his occupation du jour is — as a comedian or long-time sports journalist — his joy for storytelling is the tie that binds all of his pursuits together. Whether it was his time as a columnist for the Denver Post or the Rocky Mountain News (shuttered in 2009), or his radio and TV broadcast work, or the books he’s written, or his rising star as a top-notch comedian and public speaker, Adams tells stories that are at once engaging, relatable, and often carry a deeper meaning, if you read between the lines. Over the course of nearly two hours, we talked to Adams about being a storyteller, the incredible success of his Dry Bar Comedy video that went viral in 2018, and what it was like playing “the most racist city in the United States” as a Black man…
French Davis: I love the way you tell a story, Sam.
Sam Adams: I try to mention it in some of my bios— I don’t want to be seen as just a storyteller, but that’s a part of my makeup on stage. I think if you’re able to get people that are willing to listen to a story, I try not to take them too long, but they enjoy it. Especially if there’s some humor in it…
FD: Well yeah, it’s been a thing I think that separates it. I don’t know if that’s a Denver thing, like you, Adam Cayton-Holland does that masterfully too. His recent bit on a bit on “prices and participation may vary” where it’s an 11-minute setup to nowhere. But it’s just hilarious in the storytelling. It’s like your “true color” bit is now wildly popular. 30 what? 34 million views on that?
SA: On Facebook, 34.2 million. I still feel bad for my late mother because she had to press that button a lot. That was just way too much to ask of one woman. But it was about the team… I love seeing the view count, but when that video first came out, and I didn’t even know that it was out. I mean I knew I did this special, that was part of a Dry Bar comedy special that I had filmed in 2017. They didn’t put that “true color” clip out until the summer of 2018. I did it in July of 2017. At one point during the fall of 2017, I thought, I guess it wasn’t good enough to make the cut. Then, in August of 2018, I come out of a commercial audition, I check my phone and it’s blowing up with messages, “hey man, you are tearing up Facebook,” people are saying, and I’m seeing these comments that people are leaving, saying things like we always knew in high school that he was going to be the funny one. And I’m like, what’s funny about that is in high school I had no personality whatsoever, let alone the funny one. People laughed at me, but it wasn’t because I was funny, I looked funny, but it wasn’t because I was making jokes…I’m seeing these comments and like, what is going on here? By the time I got home about 25, 30 minutes later, the thing had already crossed the “Viral” line. It had only been up for two, three hours. And it just amazed me. I mean I was sitting there, a little kid on the sofa just looking at my phone, refresh every 10 minutes and seeing it 1.5, 1.75, 2 million, two-and-a-half million, 5 million. The next day, 10 million.
FD: It’s interesting to me your timing because when it came out, I didn’t realize it had been recorded in July of 2017…The reason I mention it is because Charlottesville happened a month after you taped it, then? And, I wondered to myself if that bit was, in somewhat reaction to Charlottesville given the time. Now, the climate was already getting more racially charged than it had been previously, for a few years. But, having such an insightful take on race and race relations in that moment. So, it comes out, Charlottesville happens a month after your comedy special taped, and then it’s released right between Charlottesville and then Elijah McClain and George Floyd. Does that change your perspective on your material in that moment at all? Or does it make it feel more resonant to you than it was before?
SA: It made me think and rethink. I’ll tell you this, the video comes out August 22, 2018.. And within 24 hours, my booking agent for corporate events is over at Comedy Works Entertainment, a fellow named Mike Raftery, gets an email and forwards it to me…And it’s an email from a theater booker in Harrison, Arkansas. And, it starts off, and again, I’m kind of paraphrasing because I don’t have it in front of me, but it basically starts off with, “Greetings from the—” and in parentheses, “Allegedly,” end of parentheses, “Most racist town in America.”
SA: Right away, my eyebrows went up. The gist of the email was, “We saw Sam’s video, and we think that having him here will help make a difference in the climate that we’re in. We’re not the racist town that people make us out to be.” But, somebody put racist billboard messages in the town, so everybody associates them. If you look up Harrison, Arkansas and Racist, type that into Google and… I kind of just lights up like a pinball machine. So, Mike goes, “Hey, what do you think about this one?” And I said, “Talk to him.” Mike said, “What?” And I was like, “Yeah, talk to him. I’ll do some research on my end, but you talk to him and see how much they got. Just tell him racism rates apply.” So, Mike starts negotiating with this guy and I start looking him up, and I started seeing where the billboards came from; town’s got about 20,000 or so people. And, in my mind, I just thought, “There can’t be 20,000 racists in one town.” The guy said they have like seven different hate groups within a certain radius of the town. And I was like, “Wow, seven?” Like the Klan’s not even the number one seed on the racist tournament. They’ve got competition from some other groups. And, we booked the gig. Mike was like, “Dude, do you want me to have a security rider?” And I was like, “No…how about I just fly in, I’ll stay in Fayetteville, I’ll drive to Harrison, I’ll do the show, and then I’ll get my butt out of there.” And that’s what I did. I was booked for a 45-minute set. I ended up doing 90 minutes. And then I’m getting a standing ovation that lasted almost a full minute. And, I ended up going back the next three years after that, including a pandemic year where they had people masked up.
SA: But, within that, George Floyd, nationally, what was happening here, locally, I started wondering, “Why does this resonate with people?” It’s a silly bit. “Hey, go to the hardware store and see what paint chip matches your skin tone…” I’m literally in the early stages of writing a book about that experience and race as a whole. I mean, I live in Parker. Hello? It’s 1% Black here. So, I’ve always found myself in these situations where I might be the only brother, one of the few brothers, and knock on wood, nothing violent has happened to me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen to others, because I’ve seen it, and read about it, and heard about it. And it makes me wonder, “How do we solve this?” And the thing that I know is, that particular bit is not enough to solve racism. But, there’s something in there to me, there is an element in there that could help in the process. And that’s been the hard part for me, as I’ve started to write the book. I’m just like, “Okay, this book’s got to have a purpose.” … We always talk about having a conversation. The conversation starts, and this is usually how the conversation morphs into, within a couple minutes… It just becomes yelling and screaming.
FD: Sure. Sure.
SA: And then it’s not a conversation, it’s a shouting match. And you don’t get anything accomplished. I mean, how can I take my experiences and relate them in a way that if we use some of that this’ll get the process going. I even stopped doing the bit for a few months, because I didn’t want to seem like I lean on that bit. There’s more than that bit. And people would come up and say, “We’ve seen you, and you didn’t do the True Color’ bit. Oh.” So, I’m like, “Yeah, I know. I’m tired of that song.” So, I kind of got away from doing it. And then I worked with John Lovitz, just a couple months ago. John was talking to me, and I was telling him about the bit, getting all those millions and he’s like, “Oh, that’s got to be pretty good. Are you going to do it tonight?” I was like, “Nah, man. I’m not going to do it tonight.” “Why wouldn’t you do it? I want you to do it.” So I did it. We worked a weekend together, so I did it that Friday night. And people are laughing. And then, we went out afterwards, sat around, had some conversations, and I just happened to tell him, “Yeah, I used to do that bit using the paint chips. I had them in my pocket and I would show the audience, and the audience would explode with laughter.” And then he goes, “Well, what happened?” And I said, “Well, David Letterman’s booker for comedians told me that I would never get on the show using props.” And he goes, “Eff that guy! I want you to do the bit tomorrow, and I want you to have those cards.” And I’m like, “Okay.” So, I had the cards in my suit jacket, so I go, “I’m not black, I’m a shade of brown, called sumptuous spice,”, and then I’d reach in my pocket and go, “See? That’s what the card says.” And they went from a loud laugh…to just an explosive laugh when I would pull out the card. “See? That’s what it says.” So, after that show, John’s like, “What’s was the big laugh about?” And I said, “I pulled out the card.” He’s like, “See?”
FD: He was right on.
SA: Yeah. So, now when I do it, I’m back to using the card. But, that being brought up, as I’ve started to use the cards again, and get that explosive laugh, there’s a line in that bit… And this ties into the book, that has just… I don’t want to say bothers me, but it’s made me think. The setup is me being in this little town, Hershey, Nebraska, and this woman wanted to take a picture with me, and she looks up and says, “I’ve never been this close to a Black man.” And I look at her and I go, “I’m not Black.” Now, depending on where I’m at, who the audience is, when I say, “I’m not Black,” that gets a laugh. It’s not meant to get the biggest laugh, but either it gets a laugh, or…I start to notice that when there are more Black people in the audience, when I say I’m not Black, I feel like they’re kind of like, ‘Hm-hmm. Yeah, see. I knew that. Hm-hmm'” It’s kind of like that. And then it comes back to me telling the audience, leading into the whole it’s the skin tone, it’s not about my quote-unquote Blackness, it’s about skin tone. That whole bit is all about the skin tone… But, these are the things I’m analyzing. I wrote one chapter, and then I’m just like, “Nah, man. You’ve got to really think this out.” Because I don’t want to write a book just to say, “Yeah, this is the bit, and this is… and I got 30 something million views…” No, I want to dig into it, and I want people to close the book up and say, “Wow. That’s an ingredient that we all need to put into this conversation. That can help move forward.”
FD: But that’s what makes it so insightful, you know what I mean? Aside from the fact that coming from an honest place, the underlying theme there is the similarities between us all as humans are far more important than the differences of our skin tones. That’s the thing. And that’s why now, hearing your timeline, makes it so much more prescient to me than I realized it was in that moment.
SA: All those things were jumping off during the pandemic. There was no place to go, nothing to do, and the conversations about race were just rampant and heavy. Everywhere you turned. Why is skin tone important? Those are the things that I’m looking at. And in doing the comedy show, I can’t really start laying that type of stuff on them, but I’m using my audience’s reactions. And, using going into the most racist town in America as the backdrop. How does this Black dude go into a predominantly white town, supposed to be the most racist town in America to tell this bit and win them over?
FD: Which is a beautiful moment. And, hopefully, one that continues to resonate for everyone.
SA: Yeah. You weren’t expecting that, man, were you? You weren’t expecting me to go there. I don’t know, maybe you were, I don’t know.
FD: I’ve always respected you, Sam. I know that there is a depth to your content that is much more aware than I see people on the surface may sometimes get. So, I actually was expecting you to go a little deeper on that one, and I’ve been… And you delivered. I do want to ask you, on a lighter note. A couple of questions. Talk to me a little bit about being Denver-based, and the comedy scene here, and what’s kept you here and not thinking about relocating, and what do you like about the scene here, what do you wish would change?
SA: Well, first of all, I didn’t start until I was… My first open mic, I was 41. 2001. And it was just a release, really, to get away. I had my column at the Rocky, I was doing some things for Fox Sports Net, Rocky Mountain on T.V. I just wanted to do something to get away from the monotony that was, and still is, sports. I never thought I was going to one day be doing this for a living. That was never a plan. Scripps (The parent company of the Rocky Mountain News who chose to shut down the paper in 2009 – ed.) made that happen. People say, “Don’t quit your day job”, well, the day job quit me. But, by then, by 2009, I had done plenty of open mics, and was starting to MC at some clubs in and out of town. “C”-level rooms, mostly, but still. Albuquerque, Tucson. Was getting some work that really was a supplement to the day gig. To me, because I cover sports, I was looking at things through a competitive lens. And, it wasn’t competitive for me. I was always like, “Yeah, but I’m in the paper and I’m on T.V., and then I did radio for a while with Terry Smith.” At one point, I was a triple threat, really. I’m doing it all, electronic and print media. And visible. And a Black dude. How many brothers were doing all these things visibly, at major… I’m on the number one sports station. I’m on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain, at that time, it was fresh and kind of new in Denver, and getting a lot of exposure. And, five times a week in the Rocky Mountain News. And doing stand up on the side? It’s just whatever. But, I watched the other comics, and there’s a level of competitiveness whether others want to admit it or not. You see somebody moving up, you want to move up, too. Josh Blue (famous comedian with cerebral palsy –ed.) and I started at the same time. If you don’t mind, another story: So there was a open mic at … I don’t even know if this bar is still open, Ogden Street South. The thing I remember about Ogden Street South was they had these huge wooden pillars, which I always felt bad if you were really drunk and you ran into one of those things, good night, you know? You were out. So it was, I want to say, a Tuesday night. I went to Ogden Street South to sign up for their open mic and I was either the second or third comic to sign up. The Avs were playing and we were supposed to start at 7:30. Well, it’s 7:30 and we’re not starting. And then the guy that was running it says, “Yeah, we’re going to be waiting on some other comics to come, so if you can hold on.” And I was like, “Yeah, okay.” So sometime between the sixth and seventh Budweiser, I’m like, “Okay, are we doing this?” And he says, “Yeah, hang on.” Well the Avs game goes into overtime, so he doesn’t want to start it during the Avs game. And then by the time the AVs game ends, it’s like 9:45 maybe. And then all of a sudden these guys start walking in and I recognize them. Steve Gastineau, Troy Baxley, these are guys that had been on the comedy scene for a while. I’ve seen them at Comedy Works, so I know them by name. So what this guy was doing was waiting for the … Well, I guess you could call them pros. He was waiting for them to come to be on the show. And what he was doing was moving guys like me further down the list. I went from being number two or number three to number 23 or number 24. And whatever number I was, Josh was just before me.
SA: And for whatever reason, the crowd wasn’t laughing at them. One up, one down, two down, three down, four down, and then finally Josh comes up. Like I said, Josh had to be like 22 or something. Josh comes up, place goes crazy.
SA: They go nuts. And I’m sitting there probably on my eighth beer thinking, I got to follow that? I’ve been waiting all night long and now I got to follow the one dude that gets all the laughs. Now, I didn’t know Josh, Josh didn’t know me. I did it this one night, I’ve never done it again. Where I used my time to talk about another comedian. When I came up, all I could do was talk about Josh and I talked about what he was wearing. I was like, “Can you believe that dude that was just up here. Funny Family Affair, Buffy and Jody, Mr. French-hat-wearing, corn-pipe-in-his mouth-having, short-bus-riding …” I took a lot of his stuff that he was using, just threw it back. And the audience was laughing because they’d been really still laughing at him. And then Josh starts walking towards the stage and he reaches out to give me a high-five or fist-pound or whatever. And at that moment I was like, “Oh my God, he’s not acting. His arm …” I thought he was doing that as an act.
FD: Oh, my God.
SA: I was sitting by a pillar. So my view was sort of … I didn’t have a full view but I just thought, “Okay, this dude is just doing this.” And then he comes up and he goes, “Man, I’m going to get you back.” And so after we were all done, we were walking out the back and I was like, “Hey man, just so you know, that’s not the way I do comedy. I kind of freaked out because everybody was laughing and I knew what I had wasn’t going to get laughs and I didn’t want to bomb.” And he was like, “Oh no man, you did what you had to do. But I meant what I said, I’m going to get you back.” And two weeks later there was a place on Lincoln, like 9th and Lincoln called Armida’s. They had the stage set up to where a big window was in the background, so my back is to the window. And they had me MC-ing. I don’t know who was on the show. Josh was not on the show. I had the list of comics.. So I’m the opener, I’m the MC and there are only a handful of people there. And they were being polite with their laughing. Ha..ha… you know? And then all of a sudden, this couple that’s sitting closest to me, the lady just starts bursting out laughing. And I’m like, “Ma’am, I didn’t even say anything yet.” But I’m looking at the man she’s with and he’s not looking directly at me, he’s looking outside. And I turn around and Josh had been jumping up and down in the window making faces. Now one time he jumps up, his head’s tilted to the left. The next time he jumps up, his head’s tilted to the right and he’s making faces. And so I introduce the next comic and then I walk over to the bar area and Josh walks in and he goes, “Told you I was going to get you back,” and we have been friends ever since.
FD: That’s awesome. That’s a great story.
SA: Josh wanted to get to where he is and I didn’t have that desire. I just liked getting on the stage. Now I’m in my early 60s and I’m kind of like, “Time’s running out man and I do want to try to find some fame.” Why not go out in the blaze of glory, if there is any. I dig that about the Denver comedy scene… It’s ferociously competitive, from my eyes. But that’s a good thing because you got men and women younger and older who are trying to be as good as they can be. At the end of the show, the audience is the winner. People care about their craft and there’s a whole crop of young comics that are being able at Comedy Works to work with people like Jon Lovitz or these national touring acts that come in…And I didn’t have that desire to, quote, unquote, “Get there early on.” I kind of wish I had. But at the same time, man, it is not too late. Funny is funny and it doesn’t have an expiry date. You know what I mean?
FD: No. True I still find anything Mel Brooks does, any glimpse of him, I find, he still makes me laugh. And he’s what, 130 now? 2000-year-old man.
SA: Yeah. Just this past weekend was the weirdest weekend. Thursday I was in Angel Fire, New Mexico. And I always get a laugh because when I tell people some of these places I go and they laugh. You know, wow, Angel Fire, New Mexico and I’m like, “Yeah, I was actually working, getting paid and you were thinking about hoping to get a gig to get paid. So don’t make fun of where I was at.” I was in Angel Fire, New Mexico for this gig. It was an RV club. They had about 300 members and they had a get together in Angel Fire before they were to drive to the Carolinas for their next get together and 90-minute show. At the end of the show, I got a standing ovation.
FD: Yeah, yeah. No, I know that feeling. Yeah, that’s pretty … For me, I got to headline with the heavies at the Prince Tribute Show at Film on the Rocks, the year he died. That moment when you look out in the audience and we’re playing Purple Rain and everyone’s crying and it’s a sellout is why, I think, so many musicians end up on drugs because you’re chasing a high that is unlike any other high. When you have the prolonged ovation, that moment is worth every hour you spend honing your craft, in my opinion.
SA: Right? And at Red Rocks, they do film on the rocks and have … I don’t know if they still do the comedian thing but for a while they would have a comedian close before the movie started. They would have a band play and then they’d bring on a comedian just about the time it gets dark and then the movie would start. And I’ve done six, I think, five or six film on the rocks from 2010 or 2009, maybe until 2014 or something like that. The first time I did it was billed as the World’s Largest Music Lesson. And they had Chris Daniels, several well known comedians from Colorado kind of leading the class. John Hickenlooper comes out and Hick fancies himself as a musician and then I’m the comedian. Well, I play trumpet. I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about this, man–
FD: Briefly, briefly.
SA: Yeah, I still got a trumpet here. So I asked him, I said, “Can I bring my trumpet? And can I start my set by playing trumpet?” And so my whole bit was that I missed the lesson. So let me play a little something to get you guys going. And I played Tequila, and I stopped and pointed to the audience — and there were 6,800 people they said that night — and when I pointed and 6,800 people shouted back, “Tequila.” And I was like, “Yes!” So I took my horn and balanced it on a finger and held it out for somebody to come and take it from me and they did.
FD: That’s awesome.
SA: And I felt like a king, man. I was like, I just did and then I went into that little tunnel and found a place to sign my name. And when they brought me back the next year, I think Top Gun was the movie, so it was packed. And there was a comic named Chuck Roy who used to MC. And Chuck before he could say my name, I was so fired up. Man, before he could say my name, I had rushed out to the stage and grabbed a mic from him and started doing my set. It was raining. I didn’t care. And it’s just that feeling, man. Like you say, when you know, look out there and once you understand, especially as a comedian talking that your voice is bouncing off the rocks, so you have to keep going. If you’re waiting for the laugh it’s going to mess up your timing. Once I’ve mastered that, I can’t believe I played Red Rocks.
FD: Yeah. Such a highlight man. Such a highlight.
SA: And I played my horn there.
FD: And played your horn. You did two of those big things. I have this belief that most musicians wish they could try being comedians and most comedians want to try being a musician. I feel like there’s this overlap between those two performance careers. So you got the Denver version of the EGOT already mostly under your belt?
SA: Well the music, my uncle used to play with McCoy Tyner and-
FD: Oh, wow.
SA: My uncle was a well known saxophonist. He was a front man for McCoy Tyner, for Charles Mingus. Played with the Gill Evans Orchestra, then he had his own for a while. But Danny Richmond and, I mean, right now these names are escaping me. But Roy Haynes, he played with Roy Haynes, the drummer. Roy Haynes is still playing. Roy Haynes is like 158 and he’s still drumming.
FD: Was it George Adams?
SA: Yeah, yeah. That’s my Uncle George.
FD: Oh, I’d never put two and two together.
SA: Yeah. That was my father’s youngest brother.
FD: I’m a jazz head. So you’re talking my language right now.
SA: Yeah. That was my father’s youngest brother. And when I was like three-years-old, he gave me the nickname Butchy Bango. My nickname growing up is Butch. Everybody in Cleveland knows me as Butch. But my uncle, he put the music in me. So when I was in the fourth grade, I got into the band at school and played trumpet and sousaphone and tuba.
FD: Well there’s never enough tuba players these days.
SA: Oh, that’s how I wound up playing the sousaphone and tuba, man. Because in junior high, our junior high is the feeder to the senior high. And so the high school band and orchestra teacher goes, “Hey, who you got coming over playing …” They’re trying to figure out what’s coming and you have any tuba players? It’s like, “No, but I got a kid that I think could probably play it.” And I’m like, “I weigh 90 pounds.” I was so small, you could take the bell off the thing and I could hide in it.
FD: We got to thank the Roots for making the tuba cool again. All right, one last question and let’s take Harrison, Arkansas off the table for this question. But what is the weirdest, most unusual gig you’ve ever played?
SA: Oh, man. I mean I’ve had a few because I’ve gone into some small towns but okay, I had a gig, was here in state. And this might not be the weirdest but it’s the one that I can think of. I had a gig sheet and the spelling made me think I was going to be doing a show in a Asian restaurant. To me … Well, you’ll appreciate this. Oh my God, you’ll appreciate this. So I have directions, and I’m following them and I’m thinking, “Yeah, this will probably end in some strip mall, and I’ll get out and they’ll be an Asian restaurant. I hope they got good speakers.” Turns out it was in a residential area. It was a synagogue. The spelling was B’… And I don’t have it in front of me. I don’t know if I have it right. B’N-A-I C-H-A-I-M. I think that’s how it’s spelled.
FD: B’nai Chaim!
SA: Yeah, I don’t know why I thought that might be Asian. I don’t know why I thought that. I just did. Out of all the things you could think of, it looks like it might be an Asian restaurant. I don’t know. And so I’m following the directions and I’m like, “Okay, I saw a strip mall when I got off the highway.” And I’m like, “Well, it’s not that because it’s telling me to turn right.” Okay. So I turn right and I’m driving. I’m like, “Wow, I feel like I’m going into a neighborhood. Are these the right directions?” Because I didn’t have a phone with Siri or anything at that time. This is like 2011, I guess. And so as I’m driving, I started seeing these kids holding up a sign saying, Comedian Turn Here. They got people out and I pull up and it’s at this synagogue and I’m like, “What is this?” And they’re like, “We’re so happy that you’re here.” And I delivered my set from a very low ceiling… Do you say sanctuary? I don’t know.
FD: Yeah. Oh yeah.
SA: But I spent the first 10 minutes just asking questions like that. “Okay, are we in a sanctuary and am I supposed to do a reading? And I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do here. I wasn’t expecting this. I was expecting an Asian restaurant.” And they cracked up and they’re telling me how to say it. I was like, “No, it’s not chime. It’s Chaim.” It sounds like a hairball. I don’t know. It was just like 60 minutes of what am I doing here? But it was enough that they brought me back the next year.
FD: That’s hilarious — B’Nai Chaim is a reformed synagogue in Morrison.
SA: Yeah. Okay. I was going to say because it was on the way, it was close to Red Rocks. It was just before the exit or two, before one of the first exits for Red Rocks. The only other one was actually an Asian restaurant. And it was in Grand Junction. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, but the guy booked me and this was probably 2006, 2007. So I’ve only been doing comedy at that point for five or six years. And he booked me and the show that he booked before sold out.
SA: But it’s only 70 people, whatever. But still knowing that you’re driving over the Grand Junction and whatever room they got you in is going to be full room. Sounded great. And he goes, “matter of fact, I’m so happy that I’ve sold all these tickets. Would you be willing to do a dinner show?” It would start early. It’d start at 5, 5:30. And I was like, “Sure, whatever.” I’m going to get paid for it. So I drive over and I get there and he introduces me to a local weather man who’s going to be my opener. And this guy’s, he’s too wired, he’s just excited. Yeah. He’s telling me the jokes he’s going to do and I’m just like, “Okay, pipe down buddy. Just give me the five day forecast.” And so it’s showtime and I look out just for the dinner show and I see two people. Two people. And the owner comes in and says, “Hey look, I’m really sorry I didn’t sell the dinner show the way I thought I would. I’m going to still pay you, but we’re not going to do the dinner show.” And I look out again and I see this couple and I go, “Did they order food?” And he goes, “Yeah.” I said, “I’m going to do a show.” And he goes, “What?” I said, “Yeah, I’m going to do a show and I don’t need the weather man. Okay, I’m just going do the show.” And so he brought the microphone. I was like, quote-unquote, the green room was just some area with curtains, but it wasn’t a real green room. It was a more the size of a large closet pretty much. And so I’m like “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sam Adams.” And so the wife is, I’m assuming they were married couple, but the woman starts clapping and the guy is just like, I know they’re not going do a show. That was the look on his face. And I didn’t stand in front of him. I sat… My butt was on the side of their table.
FD: That’s awesome.
SA: I sat on the side of the table and did a 45-minute show. I remember that they had prime rib. The guy could not have been more annoyed. He was just like, “How much longer does this have to go?” The woman would not stop laughing.
FD: That’s incredible.
SA: She just kept laughing. And when I said, “That’s my time, thank you guys for coming now, you’ve been a wonderful crowd.” She lost it. The guy was just like, “Thank God it’s over.” And then the owner was just like, “I can’t believe you did that.” And what I told him was, so this had to be 2008. So what I told him was I had met Bill Cosby in 2007 and Bill Cosby told me — well, he told me a lot of stuff, none of the stuff that had anything to do with him getting in trouble. But one of the things he told me was, “It doesn’t matter whether it’s three, 30, 300, 3,000 people, your job is to make them laugh. And if you don’t make him laugh, you get an F.” So I look out there, I’m like, “Well, it don’t matter. I mean my job is to make those two people laugh. They bought tickets, my job is to make them laugh.”
Sam Adams performs Nov. 17 at Comedy Works South in Greenwood Village and at the 1940s Military Ball on Nov. 19 in Broomfield for more information, check out his site at SamAdamsDoesComedy.com.