When I was a kid in Hawaii, there was only one stand-up comic in the islands: Andy Bumatai. I had his albums and watched him on TV and wanted to do what he did.
He’s really the person most responsible for what I am. Sort of like the Darth Sidious to my Darth Vader. But, you know, with jokes. Honolulu Magazine once did a story on comedy in Hawaii, and you can see as they trace the lineage of funny.
Flash forward to years later and I was attempting to be a stand-up comic. Andy had returned from a successful run on the mainland and was looking to reestablish himself in Hawaii. To this end, he gathered a bunch of us noob comedians to do a local comedy showcase with him in Waikiki, in the late night slot after Don Ho in the Polynesian Palace showroom.
There we all got to perform with and learn at the feet of the master. It was an amazing learning experience. Largely, I learned to stop wearing ties like in this picture.
Ugh. A pager? That will tell you what year this was.
Jump ahead a bunch more years from then and I returned to the Palace, this time as part of a triple-headline bill including my hero Andy Bumatai and island icon Frank Delima. I remember Andy headlined at the Monarch Room in Waikiki when I was younger and I thought at the time, “wow, wouldn’t that be cool?” And there I was doing just that, and with Andy too! That was a nice moment in time.
Well, this weekend, I’m headlining the shows at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank. And you can catch me there tonight at 8pm and 10pm. But also, Andy Bumatai is in California, tooling around on a motorcycle and doing shows. He’s got a sold out show in Torrance on Saturday, but tickets are still available for his San Diego show on Sunday at 5pm.
So what I’m saying is, you should totally come see me. But then you should definitely go see Andy Bumatai tomorrow.