Alan King passed away the other day.
King was a stand-up comedian who exuded confidence… which is not necessarily a good thing for a stand-up. Having confidence, yes. Exuding it? eh.
But I really didn’t get to know his key work; by the time I was paying attention, he wasn’t so big in actually doing comedy. He was a pretty good guy to talk about comedy.
I appeared on TV with him once. Of course, that makes it sound like some sort of equal partnership, but of course that is not the case. He was shooting one of his “College of Comedy” specials at CalTech, and they wanted an opening bit with Alan in a CalTech laboratory. They needed some folks there for atmosphere. Now, I was never an actual Techer, but at the time I was part of the larger community (by then, I had broken up with the CalTech doctoral student I had been living with and had started going out with the CalTech doctoral student I would later marry. Nat’s plan: always hook up with well-educated gals, it’ll give you someone worth leeching off later!) Sp I volunteered to be an on-screen lab guy in the background of the shot.
Everything got set up, King came in and gave his smoothly-delivered, not very fun intro, and then that night he hosted the entertaining and insightful College Of Comedy session.
Oh, I suppose there is some insightful comment I could make. But I’m sleepy. Just rambling. Ignore me.