“King of the One Man Shows” Bob Dubac

Fun interview with a comic actor Bob Dubac who went another direction…after a decade as a road comic, he spent the next 12 years acting on soap operas and making TV appearances as a comic. Then he decided to take control and wrote/produced/starred in 3 different One man Shows. He uses Robert Dubac for his shows…google him! Search “Mans Intellect, An Oxymoron”, “Book of Moron”, and “Standup Jesus”.
Very unique history in comedy, listen and learn…Ha!

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Podcast Transcript:

Announcer: 

This is another episode of stand up comedy, your host and emcee, celebrating 40 plus years on the fringe of show business, stories, interviews and comedy sets from the famous and not so famous. Here’s your host and emcee Scott and words.

Scott Edwards: 

Hello, everybody out there. Welcome to this week’s show. We have a tremendous interview and stand up comedy set from one of the finest headliners from the history of laughs Unlimited, ladies and gentlemen, all the way from Colorado. Let’s welcome Bob Dewback. Bob, it’s so great to hear your voice. We haven’t worked together a couple decades, but it’s really great to connect again.

Bob Dubac: 

Oh, well. You know, it’s great to hear that canned laughter.

Scott Edwards: 

The excitement of the crowd.

Bob Dubac: 

Right. You know, at least we know that our crowds out there that we’ve recorded.

Scott Edwards: 

Exactly. Well, I was just we were just chit chatting. Before we started the podcast, I edited a recent podcast show. And some of them are based on the television productions I did back in 1986 through 89 for ABC and NBC. And you were the headliner on one of those shows. So you’re already out there in podcast land and upcoming show. But it made me think of you and I wanted to reach out because you were one of our regular headliners, especially in the 80s. A little bit into the early 90s. But let’s let’s not jump ahead, Bob, you’ve very talented comic and actor what how’d you get started in comedy?

Bob Dubac: 

Well, I always started as an actor and as a writer. But you know, I found that I and I always performed I, when I first started out it was before comedy clubs. So I was opening for rock and roll bands and touring around with them. So I would be the opening act scene. And back in that day, you know, you couldn’t afford two bands. So you’d have to a comic who would open to half hour. And it wasn’t bad. I mean, I hear all these people talk about these horror stories of rock and roll audiences. But you know, in the 70s, they were very appreciative because there was no other. Like I said, there were no comedy clubs. There was no other outlet for any kind of entertainment whatsoever. So people would go to these. I guess nowadays there was a high end kind of, you know, folk, coffee shop folk things. And you know, the big rooms.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, some of those clubs were famous, the Hungry Tiger in the Bay Area. Close.

Bob Dubac: 

And they were places like that all over the country that, but those were the ones that got the notoriety. Yeah. Where do you start bad? I grew up in the South. And then I was doing you know, I always get some for show some sort of show business. I was doing magic tricks at birthday parties and things like that. And I

Scott Edwards: 

don’t know why you were doing magic to

Bob Dubac: 

Oh, sure. Sure. You know, and then I, I was doing, and I first started doing like a comedy magic act is what it was. And that’s what when overwhelmed with rock and roll audiences first started doing a ton of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. And the guy who owned the Capricorn records, which handled the Allman Brothers Band, Leonard Skinner, and all those guys who are just starting out, they weren’t big yet. And he was putting them in the small rooms, he saw me and I was doing, you know, it was kind of a carrot top max. And when you’re performing in front of rock’n’roll audience, you know, they need something visual,

Scott Edwards: 

oh, it has to be high energy to keep their attention.

Bob Dubac: 

Well, pretty much and you would say is, it’s not hard to keep them protected, because back then everybody was stoned out of their mind. All I’d have to do is say, Hey, I’m going to make a piano disappear. And they would think that the piano disappeared. You know, it wasn’t really hard to do magic tricks for a rock and roll it. I would say it was tough. It was tougher doing tricks for five year olds at birthday party than it was for, for a rock’n’roll audience.

Scott Edwards: 

Now, that’s great information. You know, we did work together for many years. And I guess the subject never came up because I knew you as a terrific stand up comic. And I know you were an actor, and you ended up actually doing a lot of acting into the 80s and into the 90s. But starting off as a comic magician for rock and roll bands is a different kind of start, but I bet it helps you interact with the audiences I mean, dealing with, you know, comebacks and hecklers.

Bob Dubac: 

Oh, of course, you know, you kind of learn that and they had now you know, I emphasize there were no comedy clubs, except maybe you know the places in like Dangerfield From the places in New York and places, no way the Comedy Store, but they were just getting their footing. I came out of this whole rock and roll era with an axe. I mean, I had a headline act. And when they first started opening comical, there weren’t any headlines. There were just people who were just kind of starting out. So it was very easy for me to kind of weave from one step to the other. I mean, when I was first getting into the Rock and Roll business, I took over opening for bands that Steve Martin used to open up for a third band and Linda Ronstadt and Buffett, and all these other rock acts. And then from there eased into the comedy club stuff. And from that point, moved out to LA and pursued the acting stuff. And then from there went from, I mean, I was always just, you know, the sounds odd to say, but I didn’t look like a comedian. I looked more like an actor. So that was going out for roles, as a comedian, weren’t very successful, because they always wanted some goofy looking neighbor. Yeah, and I worked in a soap opera. So I ended up.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, and everybody out there and podcast ran Google Bob, do back, you’ll see what a handsome young man he is. And it’s interesting that you made that transition, we should also explain to the audience, when it comes to stand up comedy, when you said, you were able to come in as a headliner, because you had developed an actual act, it was so true that when I opened my club in 1980, there was a lot of funny people that we were meeting and running into, but very few that would have 40 plus minutes of material, which is really what you needed to be a headliner, you know, you could be extremely funny for 10 or 15 minutes, that didn’t make you a headliner, you had to be able to fill time in a comedy club.

Bob Dubac: 

Well, that’s true. That’s true. And you know, I kind of, I always look back on this. And even now, with the whole change going on, with clubs and what they have to do, hopefully, they’ll go back to what the original idea was. It really never was an emcee, a middle, and an end a headliner, that was never really what the business is all about. That was a financial excuse. Because the MC was cheap. The middle act was just a little more expensive than the headliner was expensive. And they convince the audience into thinking they would have been seen three acts, when really they were seen to developmental accident one.

Scott Edwards: 

That’s so true. Not had a broken down that way. But that, as a club owner, that’s exactly what I was doing.

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah, and you were doing because it was something all club owners did. And there’s nobody really came to in Britain and overseas, they do it a little differently. And it’s always held up. And even some of the specials that I’ve done in certain places with another comic, they actually have just two headliners and a break in the middle, and the guide swamp every night. Yeah.

Scott Edwards: 

I was just gonna say I experimented with that. And I did it a couple times. But it is a more expensive way to go because a headliner. Now this is back in the 80s, it was a lot of money at the time, but you might be making 12 to $2,000 for the week. So if you had two of them, that was much more expensive, then, as you mentioned, a couple developmental acts. So that’s an interesting concept that hasn’t been brought up. And to be honest, I don’t think I even thought of it that way. You know, I was just following the format that clubs had started out in went with that, and it worked.

Bob Dubac: 

Yes, and of course it works. But you know, nowadays, we’re in a whole different spectrum. And I would be nice to see a go back to the legitimate way of doing a show because you know what it’s like with Dino and I know, the club owners have to make money, they got to sell drinks. And then there’s waiters and waitresses, and they’re in the way. Everybody knows, if you’re a headliner, the last 1015 minutes is a pain in the ass because it’s no fun, but people drop in check. The best part is really middle spot. And if you can go in and just go in and get out and do your half hour, it’s you know, you’ve got the best time for the audience. But if you schedule it, and you know, I know you don’t want to bring up this. I think it’ll teach us something. So if you and I’m not trying to take away jobs from people, but I’m just looking at this, from a revenue standpoint, how would it work the best if you just have a bar in the back, and you let people go and buy their own drinks before the first act, sit down, the bar closes. Then the guy who’s the headliner, who is the second act, comes out and does five minutes. Because originally when the tech catch a rising star and the improv that the emcee was the best guy on the stage. So your headliner comes out in those five minutes, introduces the other act which actually gives a headline I don’t that guy does his 40 minutes. And then you take a break, everybody wants to go with bar, get more drinks, they can, because the bar opens back up. And they come back and sit down. And the guy who was the one you just saw, is the emcee and introduces the very first headliner who closes the show. And then you swap it every night.

Scott Edwards: 

That’s the one guy, great format. And I’ve never seen that done. You ever thought of being a club owner?

Bob Dubac: 

Well, I target people, I do it. I do it every once while up here in Telluride, where there’s a there’s a room that’s like that. It’s mostly a music room. But we do shows here every once in a while. And I’ve done it overseas with some of the guys I’ve performed doing these solo shows nowadays.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, we’re gonna talk about that those are fascinating. But in the regular club format, doing a two headliner show, the way you just explained, I, in my 40 years of being around stand up comedy clubs, I’ve never seen that done. There was a few times

Bob Dubac: 

nobody wanted to hear it got at the time. You know, I mean, it’s been around, it’s just that everybody, you know, we all get very lazy with the way we have our patterns and do our things over and over. And whether it’s a Canadian or a club owner, or even the waitstaff, you know, they do the same things. And after they’ve been through it, and they’re just, you know, walking through their jobs without any real interest in it. And of course, this isn’t everybody, but it’s just, it’s the natural way, the

Scott Edwards: 

natural order recordings, right?

Bob Dubac: 

Right, you would lose, you wouldn’t have as many on staff, your your overhead would actually be lower, so you can afford those two headlines. But you know, the only reason I bring this up is because in doing all my solo shows, and traveling and promoting producing them around the world, you learned the business end of comedy, whereas I would say 90 95% of the comedians have no idea how the business works. They always like to tip and moan and write your, how they’re not having. And they have no idea what the costs are, they have no idea how to run a business. And in fact, to be honest, most of them that are from my generation are sitting in a one bedroom apartment wondering what the hell happened. Because they didn’t know how to manage your checking account.

Scott Edwards: 

Right. Right. And you’re so right, because even back when I was running the club, there was times I was trying to explain to the entertainers that, you know, yeah, there might be a couple 100 people coming into the room. And yeah, we’re generating some money. And they were like, well, why isn’t that all coming to me? And you’re trying to explain overhead and taxes and payroll? And it was like, boom, right over their heads. Right? You say, real grasp on it?

Bob Dubac: 

Well, I Yes. I mean, I’ve been doing it for 30 years. I mean, I kind of stopped that I failed at a comedy club in the late 80s, early 90s. It was but I kind of saw the writing on the wall. First of all, you know, when I said earlier, I came into the business already with an act, and then worked real strong for 10 years doing that, and then everybody else got had was able to put an act together. So you’re competing with each other. And then you realize, wait a minute, there’s going to be more talent. And I use that term loosely. There’s going to be more talent than there are saves time. So then, if I was a club owner, I start making down the price because I got I got 10 guys to choose from. I got two weeks to fill.

Scott Edwards: 

Right? Right. You could you could use that to your advantage from a business point of view. Well, we’ve kind of jumped ahead a little bit. I gotta be honest, Bob. I don’t remember your first time working for me in laughs unlimited. Do you have any wreck recollection of what year I imagined it was about 8384.

Bob Dubac: 

I don’t remember the year but I do remember that. The condo, which was actually one of the nicer ones. Because it had its own gym, whatever, comedy condo that you guys set up. So it was during that time where you still had the comedy kinda when we got the early 80s, early

Scott Edwards: 

80s. It was called Governor square West. In fact, for a few years, the governor was right across the hall. And it was called Governor square not because the governor happened to live there, but that that was just a story that’s come up in a couple podcast. But yeah, no, we, we were when I started the club. I was directed by other comics. I wasn’t directed by my own sensibility or other club owners. It was George Wallace, Bob Saget channeling people like that saying, This is what you need to do. And one of the things I tried to focus on was making sure that the entertainers whether I paid him a lot of money or not, were treated well. And that included having good housing, so I’m glad you remember something positive.

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah, it is. I mean, it was positive. The only negative part is I think I stole a couple weeks from from this year.

Scott Edwards: 

We won’t tell anybody it’s only been 40 years old. They You may have written it off.

Bob Dubac: 

I sold a couple of dumbbells. I think they were called. You know, at the time before my roommates were Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey, oh, I think as I recall, we all live in the same house up in the hills. And as I recall, a lot of times, you would book us, one right after another. And it’s almost like I would drive up, I drive back, almost passing Kevin on the road, you know, on Highway five, because he’s going to fill the slot, and then be back in Dana’s there, and he’s packing up getting ready to go the next week. So it was like this rotation that

Scott Edwards: 

we went on. Well, I mean, three, I mean, everybody knows now knows all those names. But back in the day, I happened upon you three acts, not knowing your roommates. And of course, as a club owner, I’m going to take advantage of that and get you in as much as I can. And what I was able to do by bringing everybody in every three or four months was build a reputation and an audience. So people would keep coming back to the club to see you and Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey. So do you have any memories of working at the club other than the condo? I mean, you were there quite a bit and you did the TV show?

Bob Dubac: 

Well, you know, I, to be honest, you look at that time period in the 80s. And there were those of us who were fueled with more than just alcohol. So our memories are.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, that’s true. That’s I would

Bob Dubac: 

love to say, Oh, I remember a specific, you know, and really look at this as pre aid. Everybody was single this was, you know, it was, it was I don’t think what people don’t realize about comedy clubs in the early 80s. It was like rock and roll in the 70s.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, we were in the thick of it. I’ve told the story a couple times of John Fox chasing me around the green room with a spoon of coke. And yeah, it’s happened in the green room.

Bob Dubac: 

Right. I barely remember the greenroom. But I do remember that. Those of us who did do drugs would pass off the names of our drug dealers

Scott Edwards: 

in each town. So you were you’re well connected when you came up?

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah, there was I remember between Gary mule deer and myself and Kelly. Monty. We all had the same guy up in Lake Tahoe.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, I haven’t heard. Yeah, those those names in a while those guys were great comics.

Bob Dubac: 

Oh, yeah. Kelly and I real good friends. I mean, you mentioned the channeling, channeling our best friend comes and goes, yeah. You want to use it? It was you want to use this segue? He helped immensely. And the second show that I do around the country called the Book of moron,

Scott Edwards: 

oh, really, it was involved in the writing or helping you develop it.

Bob Dubac: 

Mostly the development, he was always Vicki nurtured everything. And he was very skillful and not doing the writing for you, but helping direct you into, you know, pursuing right, certain angles and certain things that kind of target and go after and making the, you know, the flow and the actual experience. I mean, a solo show isn’t just somebody up there doing his act for an hour, because they just go to Comic Books.

Scott Edwards: 

No, it’s Yeah, and we should explain to the podcast audience that a one man show is an interesting hybrid of a stand up set in a play. In other words, you have to have some of the characteristics of a play. And yet you’re doing you’re you’re taking your material in turning, you know, maybe jokes or bits into a storyline. And there is a lot of writing and a lot of performance to it. Before we move into that because I want to talk about your shows you’ve had some real successful ones. For your 10 years on the road. Did you have any interesting experiences work with anybody exciting, any good road stories?

Bob Dubac: 

Well, you know, I, I’m not No, I, you know, I hate to let you down but but you know, I mean, I don’t think what people understand is, you know, when you’re on the road, unless you’re a team, like you know, Mac and Jamie or something. You’re not with anybody else. You’re either with the people who were the MCS or the or the opening acts, if you’ve never met before, or you’ve already been to the town like I’ve been to Sarah, Sacramento, and there were other friends that I knew. And I think you found that when comics came into town after a while they kind of went off on their own because they had, you know, their own little interested family around around the around the city. You know, I wish I could say something like I remember one time when I saw Scott Edwards passed out on the front of lamps unlimited with the doors wide open.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, that people it never happened yet, but I don’t. It was interesting that I don’t know if you recall, but by the late 80s, I had three different clubs, two here in Sacramento and one in Stockton. And because comedy stand up comedy on the road is kind of a lonely business. One of the advantages of having multiple clubs in a region is a headliners would tend to get together and you know, meet for lunch for dinner and do something to be around somebody they knew appear.

Bob Dubac: 

Well, you know, that is a great advantage. I don’t think I was doing your clubs when that happened. Otherwise, I would have taken advantage of it. Yeah.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, let’s let’s talk about before, I know you had some amazing one man shows. But before we get to that I both of us have alluded to the fact that you’re also a very talented actor. From my research, I know that you appeared in approximately 14 different TV shows. So you were very active in the 1900s. I mean, in the 90s. And the 1900s. You were you were Yeah, you were,

Bob Dubac: 

I was I was, I was the only person doing television.

Scott Edwards: 

So there goes for the good mistake there. So in the 90s, and into the 2000s, you were doing 14 different TV shows you made appearances. And this is purely acting not as a comic at all right? Yep. And then on top of that, I’m sorry, go ahead. I was just gonna say on top of that, I know that you appeared as a comic, on at least seven different shows, including evening at the improv. So you had the advantage over a lot of other stand up comics is that you bridged that gap between acting and comedy, and you were able to make a living off of both?

Bob Dubac: 

Right, it was kind of spinning plates, you know, you I’d have to hope comedy career going in one direction, and I had the act in one direction. I mean, I remember when I first you’d go off on the weekend, to do a comedy club with you had to get back in town to do auditions. But the auditions I was doing was more for dramatic roles. And I. And after that I’d done you know, all those shows that you’re talking about where I’d had my experience working, that I from that I was hired to do soap operas, which is actually the best, you know, training ground? For anybody? I mean, as bad as they are?

Scott Edwards: 

No, people don’t realize, yeah, not only is it a sanity check, and get you into the Union and get your benefits. But you are, you’re you’re working with a lot of other talented people on a almost daily basis. So you really get to hone your craft.

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah, yeah. I mean, you learn all the technical aspects, not only you got to memorize and hack, to know where to get your light and find your spots, and you know, where the cameras are going. And much more so than, you know, doing the tonight show where you got three cameras, you got to look to see which one’s got the red bulbs on which you know, which which camera to look at. I mean, you do this every day doing a soap opera, and you have to make very weak material work.

Scott Edwards: 

So that’s where the thing comes in.

Bob Dubac: 

Right? The problem with soap operas were, it doesn’t matter if say you’re a, an ad, a scale of one to 10, you’re an actor who’s got the chops to, and an actor who’s got the chops that with 10. You’ll both look like sixes. Because the material is you can only do so much with it. So the great actors really don’t look so great. And the terrible actors look pretty, pretty decent. So

Scott Edwards: 

when you were mentioning that you were I was commenting that you bridged acting and comedy and that you were saying how, you know, one week you were working as a headliner at a club and the next week you’re doing showcases, it was a very similar path that Tom McTigue took down, Tom was doing some serious acting. And then you know, the next week, he’d be out on the road headlining somewhere, it sounds like you had kind of a similar experience. He went down the path of TV commercials, and you went down the path of soap operas and TV shows. In fact, I know that in between you did the one man shows which we’re leading up to, but even as recently as last year, you were working on real geezers of Beverly Hills

Bob Dubac: 

on teeth, Joe, and it’s Kelly, I mean, you should probably talk to him, he would enjoy some stories and some old parts of the business that were pre my generation is my generation is more you know, Dana, and Kevin and

Scott Edwards: 

Kelly’s from the generation right before that one.

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah. Kelly It’s more like Gallagher, and Grayson, and all those guys that have went really we’re at the very beginning of all this. And so,

Scott Edwards: 

yeah, Kelly worked the club just a couple times, but I remember him finally. And he was a professional, they had a lot of experience. And that’s always something from a club owners point of view. And you know, we’re dealing with a lot of amateurs and open mic ors, and yeah, like you said that people training. So when you get somebody like Kelly Monteith, coming in, you definitely get a different feel, and energy in the room. We lived

Bob Dubac: 

in England for a number of years and had his own show there on the BBC. I mean, here’s a guy who performed for the Queen of England. And, and in the meantime, he’s doing laughter limited in Sacramento. Took over businesses.

Scott Edwards: 

Show businesses,

Bob Dubac: 

exactly. So he started, he and I are also very close. And he started writing when the internet started doing these, and YouTube starts with the small, little, you know, four or five minutes, episodes. That’s what he saw. He wrote a whole arc of about, it’s really about the length of a movie. But he we cut it up. So it’s about 10 or 12 episodes. So

Scott Edwards: 

well, it’s similar to my

Bob Dubac: 

play one of the characters. No, actually, his isn’t more of an episodic it’s about a guy who is, you know,

Scott Edwards: 

also connected pieces. Yeah, they’re all the story, independent segments that didn’t really connect.

Bob Dubac: 

Right? This does. And it’s just like any anthology that you’d watch on Netflix, it’s just, you know, instead of it being an hour long episode, it’s a six minute long episode.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, interesting.

Bob Dubac: 

But that was that’s what we’ve done what I’ve done recently because I you know, you just to help them out. Otherwise, my focus now is in really, I’m writing in acting and doing my own shows.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, let’s talk about that. Because I’m not familiar. I haven’t I sadly haven’t seen one, but I did a little research. And I know you started off with male intelligence, the oxymoron? I think that was the first one right?

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah, the male intellect. Set up as a joke. Yeah, man, if you if you bastardize the joke, Scott. Like you just did that. It’s not gonna be funny. But this title is the male intellect. an oxymoron.

Scott Edwards: 

There you go.

Bob Dubac: 

Right. And that was all about is all about relationships. Now. I started writing that when I was on a soap opera because I realized once again, another soap opera, or manga Zuko back to him comedy clubs and audition for you know, it’s it’s one thing that I did learn from mule deer and Steve Martin and these other guys that you know, you, you can’t be the opening act. You can’t be placeable because you’re going to end up in a one bedroom apartment.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, well, plastic plus the roads a hard gig. So how

Bob Dubac: 

would I go on the road? Now I go, and I do. I do theaters and I do people come to see the show, because that’s what they’re getting the money’s worth, whether it’s the male intellect, or the book of moron, or stand up Jesus. Or even another show that I wrote for a friend of mine called happy though. I mean, those are the four that are around that people in the theater, circuit know the shows, and audiences go and pay to see the show. Because it doesn’t matter if I do it or not. I mean, I’ve had my show seen translate in different languages they’re running. Right now they’re running over in Turkey and

Scott Edwards: 

yeah, and

Bob Dubac: 

it other actors in the state. Ironically, comedians, were always the worst to audition for my show, because they didn’t have the chops on how to act. I do a lot of different characters in the show, too. So when you’re watching the narrative, I portray all these characters that tell the story. Oh,

Scott Edwards: 

hey, mostly, let’s take a minute in in educate me, I kind of know but educate the listening audience to put together a one hours or I don’t know how long your shows are, but a solo one man show, you are basically acting as the writer, the director, the talent, and in a lot of cases, you’re self producing. Is that how you got started? Or did you have backers and that produced you?

Bob Dubac: 

A little bit of both the writing and the acting and putting the show together? Yes. A little help with some directing. The first guy who has helped me well at first, the main director for the male intellect and oxymoron was Blake Edwards.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, wow. Yeah, yeah. So we’re at the bottom there, Bob.

Bob Dubac: 

So, and then, like I said with the book of moron, Garry Shandling helped me quite a bit. But it’s a long process. It’s not just getting up there stringing a bunch of jokes together.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, no, I’ve worked with the headliner. Yeah, I’ve worked with a few people that have done put together one man shows and it and as I said, you’re basically performing or producing a play. And you not only have to fill the stage with the feel of a play, but also the characters in the writing and the energy, except it’s all falling on the shoulders of one person. I’ve always really respected people that could do one man show and there’s not a lot that can and do it successfully. We you’ve mentioned all three, you’ve had the male intellect an oxymoron. Book of moron. In stand up Jesus, your most recent, right. Correct. And to put together three of these over how many years you’ve been doing this 15? Wow.

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah, it’s been about 20 years, I mean, to I kind of learned as I went along, the first one, the male intellect took five years to do, and put together and then another five years, once you have the show set, you end you got to get people to buy it. For people that were places to put it in. You can’t really you know, comedy clubs aren’t going to do it because there was an opening middle, and headliner and they want to serve liquor and food, he just doesn’t work. So you go into you go into theaters now fortunately, the first place I did the May Elimelech, was in Denver, and was in a small little place and got great reviews. And the local theatre company in the Denver Center. Put it up. And this is back before YouTube. And before I you know,

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, right. Thanks. Pretty.

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah. So you could run a show, I ran a show in Denver for nine months,

Scott Edwards: 

did you really that’s a great run.

Bob Dubac: 

And then from Denver, I went to Chicago and I ran for 18 months. Then I went to Boston for nine months. And then by then got a and this was when Blake was involved. And we were going to bring it to Broadway. But then we realized, this is the very beginning of our conversation, where you understand the finance that’s involved in this. Even though we had the chance to do Broadway, there was no point in it because you have to give up your rights. And you have to give up all your basically all your income, I mean to the guy who’s put up the show, even back then would have cost a quarter million dollars. So you have to pay those producers back. And then they have to recoup that money by putting it out on the road. And the only thing you get out of saying that I produce I ran on Broadway was the fact that you would say Iran on Broadway.

Scott Edwards: 

Right, right. Finally, not not easy, right. But in the

Bob Dubac: 

in the 40s, the 50s the 60s that made sense, because every every courthouse around the country is direct from Broadway. So people, you know, that’s all advertising needed. But when we got to the point and this was in the mid 90s. We started decided not to do it because we already had we’ve done Denver we’ve sold out Chicago, we sold out Boston, we already had people around in the theater community knew the show was successful. So they just took it on focus on its on its own. Wow. So I get that show for and I still do it because when when you write the solo shows they have to be kind of evergreens. They can’t be, you know, we have

Scott Edwards: 

guys like yeah, no, you have to make them so the material works not only wherever you are in the country or the world, but also whatever year it is you can’t have them be too specific. Because, yeah, then you

Bob Dubac: 

got the Daily Show. We’ve got cold air, we’ve got these guys that can, you know, take current events and it’s a revolving door comes and goes. You know, you want people to pay money, come and see something. It has to have a lot of resonance to it.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, I was always intrigued by it. We did it a couple times. There was Paul and Phil. That did a lot of TV but they did a one well two man show called live radio Theater, which is a series of vignettes brought off like a play and then Big Daddy’s barbecue came in as a one man. Yeah.

Bob Dubac: 

I’ve never been able to get that going, I think. But he’s one of the few people who has done something. But it’s it’s here’s what and I hate to be that critical, but the only reason why is because I’ve had guys like Blake Edwards and Garry Shandling and even doing this over and over and working my way through the theater knowing even when you get the show To complete, it’s really only 60 70% there. And most of the comedians and people that I know, won’t put the extra effort in it into it because it just takes too much work.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, and like we’ve alluded to, it’s not just the directing the writing the performing, which all sounds overcoming. It’s also the producing, it’s the financial side, it’s the rehearsals, it’s getting it the marks down, like a play. So it really is something to achieve for

Bob Dubac: 

that to a guy who stands up and hold the microphone center stage, and maybe walk from one side of the stage to the other side. No, it’s taught, I would love to say, guys who have I know their material, and I know how to make it into a show. It’s just that they don’t have the discipline or the the intention to see it through.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, the commitment you really have to be committed. Now you did mail Intel stepping on that one, the oxymoron. Like that’ll be me. And then you went into book moron. And how long did that run? I mean, I know you still go in. But

Bob Dubac: 

I get finished a big run and I’m sorry, I went back to Chicago in February of this last year with the book of moron and play the neater lander join the big neater landers of our big in the theater business especially Broadway around the country. And we did a huge business that we were going to extend and run in Chicago and then that’s when the pandemic hits.

Scott Edwards: 

And then that stand up ends

Bob Dubac: 

I’ve been right I’ve been working on off and on over the years and now that I’ve had time off I just you know, put pen to pencil and paper and

Scott Edwards: 

work it out yet or is that something coming?

Bob Dubac: 

It’s both I’ve done it. I did it in Austin. I did it. You know I did it. The way you can work these workshop these out is there are little theatre festivals

Scott Edwards: 

grow. Right, right? That’s a big rare test something

Bob Dubac: 

and it is and they’re very, very appreciative audience because they have no idea that they’re gonna laugh their ass off nonstop for 90 minutes. Right? They just think you know, solo shows somebody is gonna stand up there and tell me about how they were abused by their father or raped by a priest or something.

Scott Edwards: 

You’re mentioning the the fringe of comedy and where it can go. But I gotta tell you, you would probably run into some confrontation when you say stand up Jesus. Is this. Looking forward to it? Yeah. Is this a show that’s going to bend a few years? Is it?

Bob Dubac: 

Oh, it’s gonna offend a lot. I mean,

Scott Edwards: 

he says probably look at the three.

Bob Dubac: 

The three shows that I do. I mean, it’s basically sex, politics and religion. So the first show the male intellect is all about relationship. The guy tries to figure out how to grow up, which is almost an impossible feat for a comedian. You know, comedians usually start getting laughs when they’re in their 20s. And getting laughs is like any other drug or addiction, it’s a hit. And you dwarfs your maturity. So that’s why we have these guys that are my age that are still acting like 20 year olds. For me, it’s embarrassing. You know, it’s in they’re still doing big jokes. I mean, I think that’s the the big downfall of Saturday Night Live is they went after Kevin and Dana’s true, they went straight to dead jokes. Yeah, you can if you take all the dick jokes out of Saturday Night Live. The show will be 10 minutes long.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, I was a fan of the show the first few years and then it just, I don’t think I’ve seen it. 20 years or more.

Bob Dubac: 

Here’s what people do. I mean, look, I can we can criticize it. But Lorne Michaels knows the finance and the business and he knows the audience wants it jokes because they’re still in high school that are watching the show. You know, when I was when I was in high school in college, we would watch Saturday Night Live and then go out and stay out till four o’clock in the morning. After the the party era stopped in, especially with age, you had people go home, watch Saturday Night Live and go to sleep. And who is that that’s going to be high school kids that can’t go out? It’s going to be younger people that can’t so that to Lauren cater to. And that’s where the money is, of course. So

Scott Edwards: 

it this has really been fascinating, Bob, I haven’t. I’ve done several interviews, but I haven’t chatted with anybody that’s been so successful with not only one but three one man shows been a terrific actor in made money doing that and started off it clubs like mine. And then who knew you were a comic magician at one point. I mean, you really had a wealth of experience. That is, I’m sure helped you be the performer you are now.

Bob Dubac: 

Well, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s that repetitiveness. I mean, the whole time that I was doing that starting off in this, I mean, I studied with an act of Mexico spending Sanford Meisner, and I don’t know if many of your listeners know about it, but there were, there was still Adler, Sanford Meisner, and Lee Strasberg, who are the three main components of acting, that learned from Stanislavski, which was the Russian director and acting teacher and how they turned the American acting over and made it its own. And that was in the 20s and 30s. And he was still alive back in the Sandy was. And I studied with him personally. So the techniques that they taught is something most comedians have never practiced. And here’s the problem. The main, the main focus on acting is that you have to listen, the main focus and stand up comedy is you never shut up. You never listen.

Scott Edwards: 

That is so true.

Bob Dubac: 

That’s why it makes it so hard. Anytime. A comedian, there’s silence, he freaks out. And of course, we all do, because we’ve been on stage and you know, the flop sweat starts and nothing. But there’s a way to work through. And channeling was a master at this too, because he studied with a guy who was a SAN Bergmeister pupil as well. So I mean, there are certain people who know the techniques of it’s not what you say, it’s how you react to what you hear.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow, that’s a really a truism that I think we don’t normally realize or think of No, and I come from the comedy club era 80s. And the 90s were like you said, it was you didn’t want any downtime or quiet time you wanted to bang through, you talk to you didn’t listen, I was the emcee at my club. So I did a little bit more interaction with the audience. So you had to listen. But the entertainers, eight times out of 10 they were plowing through their material, just hoping to get so many laughs per minute.

Bob Dubac: 

Right. And, you know, I mean, they’re also they’re there, the better they got, the more finesse they had. But still, when you get into a dramatic situation, or even a comedic situation with other actors, it’s real hard if you don’t have the technique, just shut up and listen and react the way you would, you know, under these imaginary circumstances.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah. Now, these are your solo shows. Yeah. Right. And these solo shows have been what you’ve spent your last 20 years, working on honing and producing. So now it’s 2020. Is there a plan? Do you have a schedule for the next year to to keep to get like, stand up Jesus out there? I know you’re still doing I don’t book A Morrow.

Bob Dubac: 

Well, I still do all three. In fact, I, a lot of times, I’ll book all three as a as a weekly event. So I do want to once you on Friday, once your Saturday once your Sunday, I’m really not really, because I can’t remember anything else. Like, I can’t remember any stories. From going to Sacramento, it was so limited, but I can remember, we’ve got our shows that I do. And it’s taken up my brain and that’s all I’ve got.

Scott Edwards: 

You’ve got it all there. Well, I’m gonna bring this back down. And I want people to keep an eye out. You’re you’re producing and being seen all over the country, right?

Bob Dubac: 

Yes, but it’s all in theaters. And it’s like being under the radar in the comedy circles. Nobody has and it’s a shame but you know, comedians, they stay in their own bubble. So they never go and search out what else there is. I mean, anytime I’m in a town, I always go to the local clubs to see if there’s anybody there and just, you know, right out but nobody does it. No, I never see comedians doing it the other way around. Because they I guess they just don’t understand

Scott Edwards: 

that there’s a whole different there’s more out there reward in business.

Bob Dubac: 

I mean, the money in the career that I’ve had and made doing the shows is just as profitable as evidence income.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, I got

Bob Dubac: 

residual checks that come in from all over the world from guys who are doing the show and you know, in Budapest Wow. And it’s just like getting, getting a check from you know, your residual check. I’m doing a commercial.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, the reason I asked was because this podcast heard all over the country is actually heard all over the world but all over the country. I just wanted to let the listening audience know that keep an eye out. If you hear about the show, male intellect, an oxymoron. Book of moron, in stand up Jesus or you see the name, Bob, do back stop. Take a minute and find yourself in that show, because I think you’ll be quite entertained.

Bob Dubac: 

Yeah. Well, thank you. Yes. And that’s regrettably, nothing is getting booked in the theaters were the last ones to go to work. So it’ll be 2022. Before the tour start up again.

Scott Edwards: 

It’s gonna be crazy. But you know what, we’ve we’ve covered your comedic acting, and one man show life. But this podcast is all about stand up comedy. And so we’re going to end it with some material. I have a view, doing your stage comedy from back in the 80s. So with your permission, I’m going to share about five minutes of material with the listening audience, but it’s been great catching up with you.

Bob Dubac: 

Oh, well, thanks. And I probably won’t even remember what those five minutes are. And I’ll critique myself. I’m sure I’ll be extremely critical.

Scott Edwards: 

Exactly. Hey, ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a really terrific interview with Bob Dewback. A very talented comic actor, magician, one man show producer. You name it. He’s done it all. Let’s hear some of his stand up comedy. Bob. Thanks so much for doing the interview. You bet. Thanks, Scott. All right, here we go. Ladies and gentlemen, some comedy by Bob Dubac!

Bob Dubac: 

You freak out. Alright, go ahead. Hurry up. Come on. Let’s get it over now. I like to have fun. I think we’re too serious nowadays. Next time. You’re at like a family gathering. You’re talking about my dad has dinner table. We’ll have some fun crack on the table. You look at your mom, you go Yeah, mom. No, everything’s fine. No everything. Again, to crack the whole table up. Your mom was gonna slap the hell out of you, but it will crack the whole table. Fancy idea. We gotta have some fun. We are too serious nowadays. Let’s have some grins. What do you say? Tomorrow? You want to have fun? You’re driving down the street. See people at a bus stop waiting for a bus. drive past them. Roll your window down and yell out Hey, boss, I come in today. Thank you check out the hotel room before you leave, rearrange the furniture. If we got the age to come into work the next day, and they don’t speak English so they can’t complain anybody. The next time you’re in a department store for 10 you work there there’s always somebody who comes up he says hey, you work here? Yep. How much is that television set? Take it it’s yours. Go ahead and those lights are flashing just make your special Alright. Have fun all the time. Sometimes I have sick fun. Sometimes I get a hearse and I drive around just to pick up hitchhikers. Yeah, you want to sit in the back. Go ahead and stretch out. Plus I’m coming I got a great sick costume for Halloween. Put a chair on your head go out is used gum next time you’re on an airplane you have some fun speak back to the stewardess another microphone make this announcement. I noticed your captain speaking with 30,000 people on the left hand side of the airplane What’s your right you folks on the right hand side look to your left you’ll find you idiots are looking at each other actually figure out a way to get the country out of debt. We’re not going to law one law one law like we call it the stupid law which means you catch somebody doing something stupid in public you can charge them five bucks get this country out of debt in about a month and a half we didn’t go around this building push a button the elevator the elevator button is lit somebody will walk right in front of you push that button again. Hey five bucks let’s go pay up same thing isn’t coming any faster let’s go five bucks. Give me five bucks you get some stupid I caught you. It’s the law. What law the stupid law oh you never heard about it. You know why? Because you’re stupid. That’s why now you’ll be 10 bucks All right, let’s go. Any page approves the super charging five more Come on. I was just down south when people have a southern accent obviously they talked about this. It’s kind of a neat way of talking. But you only want to talk with a southern accent when you’re in the South. You don’t walk up in New York go on ball ball Okay, here you got skyscrapers I had a bus on tracks was underground that’s a subway well I’ll be in New York. Oh hey, five bucks let’s go pay up out come on. The people in the south are stupid. You sound stupid the accent fact they’re more intelligent we are because when they talk they don’t move their lips. It’s like a bunch of ventriloquist down there isn’t some poor jerk from New York walks into a bar in Montgomery Alabama. A bunch of rednecks. Look at him. They go How you doing their city’s liquor. Kick you’re you’re in right to the state line. There’s 10 of us here you got to figure out what you’re talking to you get to don’t you? I grew up Catholic. Like most Catholics when I grew up I quit. Freddie Flintstone religion now do under others as a yabba dabba doo and you I just said, each religion has no criteria to get to heaven, right? I mean, if you’re Catholic, you ought to get to heaven. You can have sex unless you’re married. If you’re Jewish, you want to get to heaven. You can eat pork. No, come on if you had to make a choice. Well, I’m gonna abstain from Luas for the rest of my life. Alright, Padre picnics right over here. Chris, I think Jesus had a great sense of humor. He had to, of course, you couldn’t tell them a joke. You start telling Jesus a joke. You go, Hey, I’ve heard it. I wrote it. But the whole idea is to have fun down here. Fact I want to die having fun I want to die for you get somebody? Anywhere. I think it’d be a good place to die. A restaurant right next to a kid who won’t eat his vegetables. Right when his mother says come on and go eat your broccoli, it’s not going to kill you. I bought dead with a little piece of broccoli hanging out of my mouth.

Scott Edwards: 

Ladies and gentlemen, that was Bob Dubac live on stage back in the mid 80s, a very talented headlining comic that turned his interest in entertainment, theater and comedy into not only a terrific career as an actor, but also a series of various successful one man shows that you can still see today. We want to thank Bob for taking time and doing the interview. And if you’d like to find out about as one man shows, go to his website, Robert do back.com His official first name, Robert, do back do you bpac.com And check out there’s information on his shows and where they’re performing. And it’s something it’s a don’t miss. Alright, so thanks for listening to the show. We’ll be back next week with another great lineup of stand up comedy. Bye.

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