On Saturday, September 23rd, 2018 I got to open for Jim Gaffigan at the 17,500 seat FiServ Forum in Milwaukee. Jim knew I was from Milwaukee and was nice enough to let me open, along with Ted Alexandro! It was amazing and I got to share it with my 92 year old Dad. Enjoy this photographic (and video) journey of that day!
First, we were picked up in this luxurious 2004 Toyota Corrolla. When that car rolled up and the driver (me) manually rolled down the windows to yell at my friend Joe Neumann to "Get in the car before it stalled!" I knew this night was gonna be magical.
Next we pulled up in the back of the arena and I called the number I was given for the promoter. I was sure there would be some very complicated, secretive way to pull our car in the arena. After all it was brand new and state of the art. The promoter answered the phone and said, "Pull up to Garage 6 and honk." We got in.
The first thing we saw was the poster they made for Jim and it was pretty sweet! (see below)
We walked in and no one really told us where to go, so we just walked into the first room we saw marked "Green Room." They really hooked it up! There were big screen TVs on every wall, a bar, buffet line, and beautiful leather couches. Not to mention a Pop A Shot basketball set up. This was gonna be a relaxing time before the show...then 2 minutes later we were told, "This isn't your dressing room." Below is some of the posters they made for Jim, along with jerseys and Gaffigan basketball cards.
Most powerful comedians have a large entourage. This is mine: my dad, my best friend since I was 4 years old, Joe Neumann, and my cousin Mike O'Leary. This is our dressing room. Mike found an unopened bag of bread and unopened peanut butter in the garbage from the Justin Timberlake show the previous night and made us peanut butter finger sandwiches.
We had almost three hours to kill before the show, so I utilized that time to the best of my ability.
I'll be honest I didn't really know how to prepare for the show. There were about 13,000 people in attendance and I think my previous high for a show was about 2000 when I opened for Weird Al in1999. Also the show was in the round and I'd be in the middle of the arena, it was all very new to me. Here's some pre-show video.
Before the show Ted reminded me to just do my thing and stay calm.
The show started and I was instructed to wait by the stage and Ted would introduce me. When you're a comic, your goal is to get to the mic before the applause die down. When there's 13,000 people you think the applause might last a little longer...not when you're the opening act. I should've sprinted to the mic. Ted was kind enough to take video.
Before the show I had decided to do some local references about how all 3 arenas are right next to each other, that the same drunk person who designed the Marquette Interchange must've named the FFffffiserv Fffforum, and the cultural landmark that is the Bronze Fonz.
Here are some other cool shots I found on-line or that friends sent me.
I can't thank Jim Gaffigan enough for letting me have this crazy experience and I was even able to give my dad a shout out during the show! Also on Thursday, October 11th it's going to be Art Clark Day in Milwaukee...I haven't told my dad yet.