Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

I'm Good-My Bad

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

I'm Good-My Bad

Article excerpt

I call the "Bob & Tom" radio show each week with my take on current events, as mentioned here before. For 15 years, my self-promoting "Zany Report" has almost always included a bit entitled "Good News. Bad News," one of the oldest premises in joke-telling. So when my editor filled me in on the theme of this edition of the magazine, no problem. I thought. Because I got a million of them, as the saying goes.

The bad news: in October 2011, hackers hijacked Sesame Street's You Tube channel for about 20 minutes, replacing children's videos with hardcore pornography for some 150,000 subscribers. (I'm not kidding, though I wish I were.) The good news: PBS reached its yearly fundraising goal in a record 20 minutes!

The bad news: last June, the U.S. Postal Service cut the hours of its branch in Sugar Hill, N.H., to 30 minutes a day for the rural community's 563 residents because of nationwide budget problems. The good news: it still sells forever stamps!

Obviously, these angers stem from other people's problems. In all fairness, it's about time that 1 take aim at myself. So here goes. It's a doozy--and the easiest and hardest column I've written so far. The bad news: I'm gelling a divorce. The good news: I'm getting a divorce.

No joke. Well, I hope to get laughs, but I'm serious. Or maybe better said, I'm telling the truth--after almost 20 years of marriage. I'm on my own. More like rent-to-own, with an option to trade me in for something better. So, the good news: I had a marriage in Hollywood that nearly two decades, a rare occurrence in this town, especially when both spouses perform in show business, as is the case with me and my soon-to-be ex-wife. So, the bad news: Gunsmoke played on TV for that long as well, but it, too, was eventually cancelled, despite loads of success for much of the run.

I've been a road comedian for 25 years, so half of my life has regularly entailed lending for myself: booking (lights, renting cars, turning down blankets, eating continental breakfasts, and figuring out what to do in between gigs when away from my better half. In some ways, then, I'm already up to speed. In others, of course, I'm so far behind.

Since leaving my wile. I've stayed on more friends' couches than a moving guy on a lunch break. The good news is that I have people I can count on in this period of adjustment: I can never repay them for their hospitality. The bad news is that I'm going through financial difficulties and even if I tried to repay them, they'd be lucky to get 10 cents on the dollar. …

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