“Comedy Team Magic” Mack & Jamie Interviw & Set

Yes, it is a magical pairing; when Mack & Jamie joined forces, the comedy world gained an amazing Comedy team. From humble beginnings, Mack & Jamie went on to play clubs across the country, had their own show in 1985 “Comedy Break”, and ended up being one of the strongest Corporate Event acts on the road. Enjoy this funny interview and comedy set by Mack & Jamie.
Hosted by: R. Scott Edwards

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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: 

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week’s show. I gotta tell you every week I tell you, I have a special show, because I get so excited. But this is extra special. We have our first comedy team. Now that’s not really true, because we had Willie Tyler and Lester a few weeks back. But this was definitely one of the funniest comedy teams ever to appear at my clubs and are famous around the world for being as strong as they are. Ladies and gentlemen, joining us today on the podcast. It’s Mack and Jamie. Hi, everybody. Hello. Hello. Hello. It’s so great to have you. And so the podcast audience knows who who Mac, say hi.

Mack Dryden: 

Hello, I would be the southern half of the team. So you can probably pick that up. And Jamie? Yes. And I’m the one with the blue sweater.

Scott Edwards: 

If they can’t tell you apart, now it’s on them. Right? I know. Hey, this is such a treat as I was explaining to you right before we started this, not only for Jill and I his owners of the club and all the owners. But and I talked to him all the time we we’ve always felt that Mack and Jamie is a comedy team was not only always an audience pleaser, always entertaining, but two of the nicest guys we could have worked with off the stage. And I just want to say right off the bat. Thanks so much for everything you brought to laughs unlimited our history. We really appreciate it.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Man. Thank you, Jill. Yeah. I mean, we never felt more comfortable being at a comedy club anywhere in the country. Always looking over. Yeah.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, that’s not to say cuz you guys have worked everywhere, right?

Mack Dryden: 

Pretty much. Yeah, we’re not we’re work. We’re work anywhere. But we have worked everywhere. Yeah. Well, in fact, I’ve just got to say that one of the things that endeared me see you and the club immediately start with the first night we stayed in the condo. And there was a note up there saying that the employees of the club were like family members, so please treat them as such, which, of course was a diplomatic way of saying to the comics, keep your horny damn hands off the way.

Scott Edwards: 

I was famous rule number eight.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Yeah. And I bet that really resonated with me. I thought that was very, a very human touch. And it made a lot of fans. And yeah, however, if you do remember Mac, if you remember, we did fumble, Scott. Got well.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, well, we’re management we get around the rules like everybody, right? It’s funny. It’s so funny. You mentioned that rule number eight. It’s been brought up in a couple the earlier podcast in it was it was a list of 10 rules. Not really rules but you know, an idea of what’s going on with the club for people that were coming to the room. And rule number eight was don’t mess around with the staff. I did find out after I sold the club that rule number eight was broken several times. But we made an effort to protect them.

Mack Dryden: 

Well, and and didn’t Jill work at the club.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah. She started off as a food girl when she was like 12 years old.

Mack Dryden: 

Look at you, I guess. wrangle them amongst staff. That’s so funny. Oh, yeah. You really are the the prime so we should talk about rule number eight. I can say he wants to change the subject immediately.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, that’s so funny. It’s if you get a chance. Listen, everybody listening in the podcast world go back. One of the podcasts is called it was her idea. And it’s an interview with my bride Jill and she proudly states in that house she slept away to the top and of course it’s a joke because she started off as an employee

Mack Dryden: 

your way to the bottom

Scott Edwards: 

was she was a was a longtime employee. But the friendship developed into more over many years. I mean, we dated for over 15 years before anything bad more serious, holy moly, and we’ve been married 22 years so it’s been quite a trip. So let’s wonder let’s bring this to a beginning for comedy. Now. It is unusual to be a comedy team. It’s so much harder. You have two guys are splitting the pay you have more to deal with and travel you have more to deal with in in housing. And but you do have the energy to work off each other. Let’s bring the podcast listeners back to the beginning. I don’t know what year it was. I know that Mac was working in a paper mill, I believe and Jamie was a radio DJ, is that sound right?

Jamie Alcroft: 

Well, it’s a great story by it is a great story. We kind of got together I tell it very well. Got. Well, I actually, we were in Fort Lauderdale. We met in Fort Lawton Miami. Miami, in Miami right next to Fort Lauderdale. Very close. And we we went up to Georgia to visit my uncle Fernando. Man. We went to Orlando to visit my aunt George. I’ll never forget, right. Like it was yesterday. She lives in this beautiful, huge kind of a not a mansion. Exactly. But what would you call that they are trailer. Right trailers. huge, giant. It was a double wide. Yeah. I forget he had this pet. We had to leave early. Jamie didn’t get along with this animal. a doberman. And it was a Siamese analog. Right. Siamese and over the thing I’ve ever I have nightmares. I can’t believe it’s amazing. I can’t believe I remembered all that. We brought it all. Thank you for triggering that one. Yeah, boy, you haven’t done that years. Hey, you want the true story? If you want the true story, actually, Mack was living in Key West. He was a cartoonist and he West and a writer. I think he contributed to the paper and some magazines around town. And everybody owns a Mac dragon cartoon calendar. Key West cartoon calendar, drawn by MAC Dryden with all these clever little things on it. Everybody had one in their kitchen. I thought the guy was probably about 5060 years old. Because there’s so much wisdom and comedy coming out of these calendars. I didn’t know. And I was the DJ the morning DJ on the am radio station that broadcasts the Key West, which is an island about three miles by one mile. I got to know when I got off the air one day said you must be one of the funniest men in Key West. I’m the other one. Relax. And he said come on up if you’re interested. So he had his address. There are no phone number just gonna dress. So when I got off the air that day, I drove through around to his apartment and lightning bolt on my bicycle. Yeah. I rode bikes. Yeah, yeah. No moped in those days is all bikes. So I got my cruiser and I cruised up to his place. And we sat there and had a beer and talked about what our ambitions were and they seem to mesh. And so we started doing stand up together. And in the first one back, if if I’m not mistaken, was actually at the castle Marina Hotel. When I produced those Sunday night shows. Yeah, that was it. And you asked me, let me back up just a little bit. And Scott, just so you’ll know. I was I wasn’t taking their paper mill worker in Mississippi where I grew up. Okay, you have that right. But then I was a newspaper reporter for a little while in Mississippi. And then I moved down to Key West because I saw an 80 story about how cool it was. But Jamie working on the station there. I mean, being morning, DJ. It was the station. And everybody in Key West listened to it. Everybody knew him. And a lot of people in Havana knew him as

Scott Edwards: 

Taylor with the Cuban monarchy. Hmm.

Mack Dryden: 

Well, you had a big Cuban audience as well, especially at night because it was an am station so the skip waves were bounced down to Cuba, and we would get handwritten notes and communist Cuba, saying please play our havens, sunshine. So we knew that was Richie Havens. And the song was sunshine. It was it was just it was a great connection. Radio Free Havana we called it

Scott Edwards: 

a bet Castro did that.

Mack Dryden: 

Oh man, we dropped out to replace some heavy rock and roll. And in those days you can play anything you want to do on the air. It was AOL album oriented rock. Oh yeah. attract

Scott Edwards: 

great state. Yeah, get in tied with radio

Mack Dryden: 

It was so much fun and Bobby Keller, who’s on the eagle there in Sacramento. Because my boss, yeah, no way. He’s the top DJ in California, Bobby Keller. Oh,

Scott Edwards: 

Bobby was so important to the beginning because he used to be with ks app radio. And right. He was the one that we would go in with comics like you guys, Bruce Baum, Seinfeld and some of these early guys saying that we would go in. And what was great about radio in those days is it was so loose. We could just show up at the studio hang out for an hour or so. Yeah, get a lot of plugs in the comics. We get some material in and boom we go on it really helped. Put laughs unlimited on the map. And Bob Keller, we will owe him forever. Great guy. But I didn’t know you worked for him. That’s amazing.

Mack Dryden: 

Yeah, we were he was the Program Director at the station. Bobby Kelly. I can still do Bobby Bobby teller.

Scott Edwards: 

He must have been Yeah.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Yeah, but he wasn’t. Yeah, we were both in our 30s. Danny, wasn’t he disco Bob back then? No, we were in our 20s He was in his early 30s. I was in my late 20s. And he was called Frisco Bob

Scott Edwards: 

with gusto. But, wow, I had no clue.

Mack Dryden: 

Nobody on the island. Everybody on the island would listen to him at night. Frisco body and

Scott Edwards: 

nobody knew music like him and having a hard rock station to work on. That must have been fun for you, Jamie and having that.

Mack Dryden: 

And that’s, that’s how I met Mack. We started working together in Key West. The comic strip from New York, had opened a annex club in Fort Lauderdale. And they would bring down for comedian to New York every week to Fort Lauderdale, and have them perform in that club. And we got window that through a gal who used to live in Key West but went up there and she was a waitress at the club. And she called us and said, Hey, you guys are as funny as any of these guys. And you should come up and work out of this club. And we were so freaked out to be able we work with Paul riser, we work with Dennis Wolford, with Sinbad with Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Carol, Carol leaper, and Murphy, all these people would come down to the Fort Lauderdale club for design. And we would drive up every week as the five hour drive. And we drive up to the weekend shows and we got so that we were regulars there and so we got to know these people and Rick Overton and all these great comics would tell us hey, I should go to New York. So

Scott Edwards: 

did you get a showcase? Were you actually performing or were you just a student of the art form then?

Mack Dryden: 

Now when we go up listen to this. We would it was a drive from he went to Fort Lauderdale it’s not like it was right next door. Right and we would get in that car that might 1970 satellite because we might because my 1950s Lincoln cosmopolitan they had a broken started.

Scott Edwards: 

Classic all classics.

Mack Dryden: 

We remember we we tired, tied the muffler to the chassis with coat hangers, and ended up one time we headed up there when the Marielle boat with the Cuban blood of people are coming up the keys remember that? Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. And Castro empty the prisons? Yeah. We were also handed up there one Oh, and what I was going to say as we go up there, and we can only do 10 minutes, because basically all we had at the time. So yeah, yeah,

Scott Edwards: 

five hour drive for a 10 minute set that sounds like the beginnings of a comedy life.

Jamie Alcroft: 

And we ended up we would sleep in when sometimes they have too many comics at the condo. And we couldn’t sleep at the condo, and we would sleep in the club. And we wouldn’t be awoken the next morning by the cleaning crew. You know,

Scott Edwards: 

jeez, that’s, that’s such an interesting way to be introduced to the industry and to that type of career choice. But exactly the type of experience where you’re either going to, you know, make it and be a professional, or you’re not going to put yourself through that that was your crucible in deciding what your future was going to be. And obviously, you passed it in. We’re starting performing Mac you were saying you had about 10 minutes of material. When did it become more of a set that we were getting

Jamie Alcroft: 

laughing because we were back the story they’re terrifying are so funny. This is terrifying is right. So we were at the Comedy Store. And we had, by this time we kept building every week trying to add this. Yeah. And we had about 25 solid minutes. And and we could improvise for another five to have half an hour. And so this guy approached me said, I got a club up in the Tampa area. It was time Ellis Park. And his club has a very classy name of Mother Tucker’s. He asked us if we could come up. And you know, do what was Danny two weekends I forgotten anyway, it was your one weekend? No, he offered us $1,000. Oh, yeah. Perform because his idea was that he could have comedy in his club. We were the first comedians to ever perform at this club and dig this. This was 1980. Okay, so this club, it was a bar, and in the middle of the bar was a swimming pool. Oh, wow. And backgammon tables, because backgammon, and cocaine was huge. I can’t remember where the Qualys are cocaine was bigger in those days, but somehow in bold backgammon. Up there, he says. He says two shows a night. I said, Great. And we got up there. And I said, How does the how does the audience in the first show different from the audience than the second show? Are they rowdy or quieter? Or what? And he said, Oh, no. Same audience.

Scott Edwards: 

It was like vaudeville all over again, where they just well, just thrown out

Jamie Alcroft: 

30 minutes. 30 minutes of material and he wanted us to do an hour every night. We were pulling jokes from the eighth grade. Yeah, yeah, we got I’ll tell you what happened exactly. Is Mack set up a command center in the kitchen with his typewriter. And I took the car and drove it to the grocery store and bought supplies. And for the next five hours, we wrote a half an hour.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. And you didn’t? I mean, you’re no, we didn’t have a choice.

Mack Dryden: 

There we are that night.

Scott Edwards: 

How did it go? Are you happy with it? Are we just scared? So scared? Oh, yes. Plug through it?

Jamie Alcroft: 

Well, we let’s, let’s just say that we got asked back for three more weekends. Well, that’s great. Yeah, so we stayed up there. For three, I think it was three weeks, two more weekends. Because we were there for three weeks. And we had enough money in our pocket. We looked at Key West to our left, we looked at New York to our right, and said, Let’s go to New York.

Scott Edwards: 

Good choice, what that ratio is, but what a great way to get started not only $1,000 a week, which is great pay back in 1980. But yeah, you were forced under the circumstance to create and write and really hone your act in probably a very difficult situation. Because for the podcast audience, we want to make sure you understand comedy really started its boom. In fact, I opened in 1980 that it was it was just transitioning out of the strip clubs and out of the jazz clubs into a mainstream entertainment format. So just like this bar where there was no shows there was no format, there was probably not decent sound lighting and staging. It was really the crux of the business just developing and everybody was winging it.

Mack Dryden: 

Yeah. Well, we were certainly winging it because we had to come up with an hour

Scott Edwards: 

I that’s a Grand Slam five minute that’s great.

Jamie Alcroft: 

When I was doing when I let me just a little non sequitur here, but when I was doing stand up by myself in Key West, he was the best stand up and key with being the only stand up so naturally, I gravitated toward him. Well, I mean, a fella named Paul in the became a fan and he would come to the poorhouse where I was performing every weekend with his rowdy group of boys. So I got to know some of his friends. And Jim McClellan with who was just a great guy told me a story about 1958. Paul and was in Columbus, Ohio at Tenri players doing pillow talk with some accuracy If he was, he told his friend Jim, that he had always wanted you to stand up and to find a club. And so Jim went out and found a strip club that would let Paul and get up and perform stand up in between the Anzac night. Do you know this is a true story? So he got introduced. As you know, these strippers, you’ve taken it all off. And he gets introduced after the strippers and he walks up on stage he says, Wow, it smells like pussy in here

Scott Edwards: 

the audience’s attention didn’t me.

Mack Dryden: 

A follow that with, I think. Ah. So let me do the dance. There’s you interrupted me with your laughter. Wow. It’s an outside venue here. I think

Scott Edwards: 

when you do a pretty good Paul Lynn.

Mack Dryden: 

Oh, I know. Y’all are called in. Yeah. And because when all became a friend of mine, he was a customer of mine. When I was a jewelry key was well, the silversmith was a silversmith. And he he bought a belt buckle from me once. I call it the quick release. There was a piece of turquoise in the middle of the belt buckle and he pushed the belt buckle, the belt buckle release. And he came into my store one day. And he said, Oh, I love that. So they call it my quick release. He said, Oh, but sold it to him for $350. And then it got to be every time that he got a new boyfriend. He come in the store. And he say Jamie made another buck call. When I go a quick release, he said Oh you bet. Yeah.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, that’s funny. And what a great guy to meet in the beginning. Now how much success did you have in New York? Were you were you in New York long?

Jamie Alcroft: 

there for a year. And we we were dealing with their three year yeah. We were just killing them in the showcase clubs. Comic Strip catch rising star and the improv.

Scott Edwards: 

I don’t think they weren’t paying in those days though. Were they?

Jamie Alcroft: 

No, not no. Yeah, that had

Scott Edwards: 

a tough

Mack Dryden: 

it was just working. We were just working man Belzer was it catch? He was the emcee Bill Maher was an MC at catch Bill was the first MC to put us up at catch. Because that’s what you had to do. You kind of had to know somebody to get on stage a catch.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, that worked out in LA to at the store and the improv if you got to know somebody or they over a period of time is regular. Right? They could throw you up. Hey, I got five minutes go, you know, go for it.

Mack Dryden: 

Right. Well, well, we were back next week. We were kind of seasoned pros. By the time we even got to LA but New York. It was kind of raw. And you remember that? I’ll tell you two quick categorising story, anecdotes, Bill Maher finally said these guys are great. You should put them on and they said okay. So he told us to eight minutes, guys that’s it. Eight minutes. We we planned out our set. Eight minutes. We went in there. We just tore the house down. And we got off at eight minutes while Bill was outside on the sidewalk having a cigarette.

Scott Edwards: 

forgot his own rule.

Mack Dryden: 

Well, no can’t fly him and he said what did you do? Did nobody just does what I tell him to do. And I get a we’re rookie bill we work you tell us to do you say do eight we do eight we killing was as you remember Scott. We would end our set. I would sing Desperado. And Danny would do horrible things to his face. But he got behind me. Yeah. And it was a killer bid that we couldn’t follow. So it was our, our closing bid. And when we came in one night, somebody said oh, by the way, guys, and this was during football season. Somebody says there’s some eagle in the audience there tonight. And I thought football immediately. Right Philadelphia Eagles. Why do I care? Football guys. So I think that’s Bravo. And then

Scott Edwards: 

you know, the Eagles.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Yeah, the Eagles. Frey came up to us in the lobby afterwards. Hey, I’m Glenn Frey. So I just wanted I mean, he looked kind of threatening when he came up to me that I went well, you know, we walked up to us he said you sons of bitches. Yeah. first words out of my mouth. That’s a pretty song I ever wrote, never be able to sing any game without thinking to you.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, that’s a compliment. Really?

Jamie Alcroft: 

Oh, he was pretty loaded. It was pretty loaded. And we told him we had a car. And so he suggested that we go out and ride around in the car. And of course, he had some produce with him. So it was a wild night on the town.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow, with Glenn Frey. Well, you couldn’t have picked a better audience member to see that bit. And for him to say that is really a compliment, but I bet he really did kind of freak out a little because even though you’re doing his song, it’s what Jamie was doing. That really pushes that whole bit over. That’s hysteric guy,

Jamie Alcroft: 

people. People would be crying in the front row that bit. And let me tell you, I can follow up that story. Because I hung out Mack went home that night. I hung out with Glenn that night. Yeah, I remember. And we became pretty close. And he had this girlfriend named Dixie. And Dixie joined us. And we went to a party for a little bit, but nothing was really happening. There wasn’t really what he wanted to do. So we, he said, Would, where do you live? And I said, Well, I’m in New Jersey. And he said, Oh, hell, you’re not going back there. And I usually just come on back, I’ll get your room. So he got me a room at the Warwick hotel during the course. And I saw him the next morning for breakfast. And then he and Dixie were there. And and he said, I said, Listen, sometime, we might want to use it so on on TV. I said, Could we get the rights to it? Anyway, how do you? Who do I contact? And he said, well, here, here’s my card, he gave me his card. He said, anytime you guys want to use that song on TV, you just call this number. That was three years later, I think that was three years later, we were on a show called solid gold. We were the comic relief for the solid gold dancers. And they they say Do you do any music? And we said, Yeah, we do Desperado. And, and they said, Oh, we can’t do that. And I made a call. And the Secretary said, oh, yeah, Glenn said you might be calling. Oh, that’s cool. And we got that song for free. Wow. By the way.

Scott Edwards: 

That was smart to ask Jamie by the way.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Yeah, yeah. Conversation, you know, I owe you one. But I wasn’t the one who played the guitar. And which was such a pain in

Scott Edwards: 

trauma, the guitars are.

Mack Dryden: 

And we, as you recall, that we also had some props. Well, we had even more props when we first started. And then we made a rule for ourselves. If we can’t get it in this briefcase, it ain’t going in the show. Jamie carries great case. I had to carry the briefcase and I carried the guitar. But anyway, went that night at kids. When Glenn Frey saw us do Desperado. And he accosted us in the lobby in a very funny way. He also said in the side to me, he said, By the way, I’ll be glad to teach you how to play that. So if you’d like

Scott Edwards: 

a nice job, but if you want to do it, right.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Yeah. I mean, oh, my God, I was I was so horrible. I was I just learned exactly what I needed to learn to do my job. Oh, you say, oh,

Scott Edwards: 

yeah, that’s cutting with me. That was part of what made the bit so good, though. I mean, it was. That’s a hilarious story. Well, I’m gonna I’m gonna bring it all back down a little bit and ask you, you were in New York or Florida, New York. You came out to the West Coast. Do you remember how you came to work for me? Did you audition or was that booked through an agency? I don’t recall. I’m losing it a little. I think it was to build soccer. Oh, yeah. Would have been Gail. And I did a lot of business in those days.

Mack Dryden: 

Gail Stocker. I think when you had a relationship with Gail in such a way, if she said these guys are great. Then you took her word for it. And we went up and we knocked their socks off. So

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah. You guys always knocked it out of the park. And Gail was one of those agents that after we worked together, we ended up working together for several years. But in the beginning, she never gave me a bad hit. I mean, everybody that she brought it up and recommended. did well and you guys Oh, yeah. She was amazing.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Thank you. Thank you. You’re saying that we were the funniest comedy team. Oh yeah. You I want to interrupt you when you’re saying that.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, not only here’s what’s interesting, because from a producer’s point of view, not only were you one of the if not the funniest comedy team, but when it comes to ranking the acts in just in general, you guys still come up very high on the list of overall entertainment value, because I don’t ever remember a time that you didn’t bring it for the audience. And that is something difficult to do night after night, week after week. And in the case of laughs, unlimited, you worked for me for years, and all the different clubs and always did well. And and as I mentioned, alluded to, in the beginning of the podcast, you were also great off stage, which is such an important part from a producer standpoint, when you’re working with somebody if they can bring it on stage and be easy to work with offstage. You’re the top of the list.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Oh, hey, thank you, man. Well, I had to tell you, that you you also were a superhero to us. As you recall, one night a couple of Winnebago full filled with drunken football fans who had seen a game that day. And they were seated in the audience while the opening act which I believe you might correct me, but didn’t you have a clown every once in a while, who we just kind of when people were being seated,

Scott Edwards: 

yeah, well, see, the clown would kind of open things up that he would entertain on paper in line. And then he would go up and do about a eight minute magic set mine. He was a mime clown. And it was it was kind of no more. It was kind of poking fun. It you know, everybody hates clowns. And when you’re an adult, it’s not nearly as fun. But see, we were we were working that to our benefit and saying, We’re in charge, you’re going to see a clown and in Clancy’s class, he was very entertaining and did magic. Yeah, he had gone up and things went badly quickly.

Mack Dryden: 

Oh, guys, were just they were hard. They were yelling things and making this life miserable. And I went to you, we went to use their eyes. This is not working out. And Jamie, remember, Scott came down and said, I’ll take care of it. I was like, oh, there’s no way these guys are just animals. And he kept he kept assuring us that it would be okay that they would not be doing that when we went on say. And sure not just before it was getting down to you know, Fischer, but date time. He did the police, the Sacramento Police Department showed up. And I think you must have had a cozy relationship with them.

Scott Edwards: 

But I work very closely. And as a business owner, I always felt it was important to take care of the men and blue. And we had a good relationship with the cops. We were what was nice about laughs Unlimited, because even though we were a bar people were in and out in a couple hours. Generally people didn’t get too drunk at our place they might drink before or after. But our place was always fairly problem free in in this particular situation. And I remember it like it was last week because it was a scary moment for me. We had there was about 1820 drunk guys, and they had come in motor homes. So when I noticed and what you noticed that this wasn’t going to work for a two hour show, I delayed the start of the show, called the police told them the circumstance. And I don’t know how much you guys saw. But it was so rare for me to call, they took it very seriously. And there was no no less than 12 officers showed up. They like they lined up about every 10 feet going from our entrance all the way out into the alley. And then one of them came with me into the club. And I introduced myself to this rowdy group and said, Look, you know, we’re happy to give you your money back. This is obviously not the type of entertainment you’re looking for. It’s not going to work for the entertainers for the rest of the audience and to be honest, guys, it’s not going to work for you. And there was some grumbling and some crap that I had. I had the officer standing right next to me. What was so interesting or really proud for me to see was that as these guys got up, you know, one by one, two by two and marched out. The police were all lined up and when they came through my door and they saw 12 officers waiting, you know, making a path for them to leave. They got obedient really quick, they sobered up really quick. And I don’t know if you know the rest of the story. So we marched him out, we gave him back their money. And we went ahead and started the show. The police marched them out about a half a block away from the club and let them go. Right. But they knew what the situation was and waited for them to get into their vehicle and they drove less than a block and they got pulled over and cited for DUI. Yeah, yeah, they, they made sure that that was not a situation that was going to happen in old Sacramento again. And it was great. It was one of those weird experiences. I mean, over 21 years of owning nightclubs, we’ve had a few interesting moments. But that is one that will always stand out. Mostly because it was such a large group. Way more than one person. I was always the club. I was the emcee, the club owner and the bouncer. So Yeah, no kidding. It was more for me. So thanks for remembering that. And I didn’t know that you were the act that night. But that was definitely a moment. And thanks for sharing that. And it worked out because we had a delay in the show. But then the audience it was so funny is when they walked out the audience cheered. Oh, oh, so happy to see him leave.

Mack Dryden: 

Well, not only did the audience the rest of the audience the the well behaved audience here, but the that were winning in in their group, who were really just theory at the jerks who were yelling and got them all thrown out. And they were yelling it the jerks that got them thrown out.

Scott Edwards: 

Everybody ganged up. Well, we brought you the laughs unlimited. And then we’ve mentioned that you work for me for several years and all the different clubs. We always enjoyed having you. Is there any memories from working laughs other than that? positive memories may have of course, that was positive in the end, that you guys

Jamie Alcroft: 

are very, very positive. I remember playing softball with you guys. That was really fun. Yeah. All right. Jamie. You remember the night at nights Unlimited, where an autograph fan came back? And oh, yeah. I’ll never forget that. That was special. Yeah. She asked to come back and meet us. She was a cancer survivor. And I think that’s how she got in to see us. And when she walked in, she opened her shirt and said, Would you sign these for me, please? And they were two beautifully formed. scarless nipples. Were wrist. And we and we find them Mac on the left. On the right, yeah. And I can’t remember who signed the ampersand in the middle with my, with mine, Yvette Scott that have that on it. But I and and she, she said, I have been through chemo and radiation. And I’ve been through a double mastectomy. And I’m having my breasts reconstructed. And I’ve just been through hell the last few years. And I wanted to tell you how much the show meant to me and how I laughed heartily for the first time. And so she was I, we started talking about it. You know, what an experience and I said, you know, I don’t think I’ve ever asked a woman this before, but I must ask you now, where are your nipples? And she said, Oh, they’re here. And she pulled her zipper down and opened her pants and her nipples were sewn to her groin area, right above her pubic hair, where they had growing, where they were growing and living and thriving, and they were assumed to be transplanted over the Mac and Jamie autograph. And Alicia got to enjoy that autograph.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. Such a wild story. Not only is it make you feel good about what comedy brings to those suffering from a disease and how comedy can have healing factors which is so true. But in this case, the unique situation that she was preserving are nipples surgically attached to below her beltline to re be replaced later.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Yes, are autographed on unlimited.

Scott Edwards: 

That had that had to be the best autograph you guys ever gave?

Mack Dryden: 

It was? Interesting one. Interesting. Yeah. Of course I signed in person.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, I gotta tell you guys for our regular podcast listeners. You’ll be surprised to hear that’s the second time we’ve heard that story. Oh, no, really. The feature Act which I think was Tom McTigue, was sitting in the greenroom said he was nothing to do with the situation. But he was sitting there when she opened her pants and showed her nipples, and he will never forget it. He was on the floor shocked and thought it was dumb. And it was the best His compliment, not only to you guys, is entertainers. But he has never forgotten that story and has shared it. And he shared it on the podcast when I interviewed him, just so you know, it’s that important.

Jamie Alcroft: 

That was amazing. Isn’t that amazing? Yeah. You talk long enough to guys in comedy, and all the threads kind of come together? For some reason like that. It’s amazing. You know, that happens.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, well, it’s a shared experience. You know, a lot of people think that being a stand up comic is just fun and frivolity. And I’ve tried to share with the podcast listeners that it is that but it’s also you have to really love what you’re doing. It is an art form. And important to remember it’s business. And so we’re like you said, all these entertainers that have gone through the challenges of being professionals have, in what I found through the podcast interviews, they’ve all taken different paths. But they weren’t all that different. It was a series of different experiences. And they all ended up, most of them, the professionals ended up in the same place. But they all went through a lot like living in your car, working for nothing, the, you know, trying to travel with a guitar, you name it. But that story about the cancer survivor, is something that really is poignant about why we do this, that sharing that gift of comedy and laughter. Does touch the audience. I as a club, owner, and producer, I used to sit back and watch. And I didn’t watch the show. I’ve seen I could do the x by my you know, by memory. I knew the X I was watching the audience. And yes, sir. And it never failed that when you’re watching 200 people laughing their butts off, who’s the one person that you notice? The one not laughing? And you’ll stare until they break? You know, because you want everybody to be sharing the experience. And it always made me feel so good. It was an important part of being a club owner in my mind. Yeah. But you guys brought it on big time. So thank you for that. Thanks, man.

Mack Dryden: 

Well, I tell you that, even though that particular experience was kind of graphic and memorable, for obvious reasons, Jamie can tell you that we had a number of I mean, just dozens, if not hundreds, over our career of people come up to us and say things like I lost. I lost my sister’s breast cancer. Last month, I haven’t laughed since and you guys made me feel better than I have in ages. Four, we just found out that my husband has, you know, colon cancer, or my daughter is in surgery, and blah, blah, but you made us feel better. And you know what, I started realizing that we were not. I used to say in quotes. We’re just, I’m just a comedian. And I don’t say that anymore. You know, we’re providing a very needed service out there. People need to laugh. We are healers.

Scott Edwards: 

We may have taken it too far. But yeah, it was just I didn’t mean to get too deep. But I think that comedy, the art form is important.

Jamie Alcroft: 

You know, I, my age, my next birthday is going to be my 72nd birthday. And at my age, you know, they say that laughter is the best medicine. Well, whoever said laughter is the best medicine has never had a morphine drip. Let me tell you. Well, I

Scott Edwards: 

have not been like, tell you what morphine is a guy that hasn’t experienced a morphine drip. I’ll take comedy until that point. But that’s so good choice. So you guys, you work clubs all over the country, you had a fairly normal normal in the comedy sense beginning and you were headliners. By the time you came to work for me. And I know that later on, and I opened in 1982. You started work for me pretty early on and worked for over a decade with me. And it was amazing. But about 1985 You were on Comedy break. And later on. You did the Tonight Show. You’ve done a lot of TV. Compressed in the 80s and 90s. Right?

Mack Dryden: 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, we did. We did 125 episodes of comedy break. That was our show comedy break with Matt and Jamie. Yeah. And Mack was amazing. Mack’s of acting. Well, on Comedy break. We basically discovered Kevin Pawlik and Jan Hooks. Wow. Yeah, that was

Scott Edwards: 

a that was it. I knew about Jan, I didn’t know about Kevin. That’s that’s quite a discovery.

Mack Dryden: 

Yeah. Yeah, he was. He was one of our sketch players.

Scott Edwards: 

Was it difficult Go ahead.

Mack Dryden: 

Kevin. Kevin was just one of the main players for 75 episodes. And we really had to get all those impressions at our fingertips was, you know, invaluable. He’s great. We had a blast. Hey, everybody

Scott Edwards: 

in podcast land if you get a chance Google comedy break. And I’ve already done that. And it is hilarious. And what you guys brought to TV back when comedy was just starting to really hit its its pace was perfect timing. But how lucky for you guys to get your own show that way? Congrats.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Now, it was fun. The two seasons of that. Then we started working with Tony Orlando and Dawn, William Morris, who was our agent, when you don’t have a TV series anymore. They look for things for you to do. And they were wonderful to us. And then we started working with Diana Ross. And we work with her pretty regularly for about six years. Wow, that’s to her. We discovered the corporate market. And that’s where we ended up in corporate America

Scott Edwards: 

where you’re perfectly Tommy, because you’re basically.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Yeah, yeah. We would send out questionnaires to our clients. So we knew the audience’s. You know, James used to give me a hard time, but that, like, yeah, what do you do I just do the same show every time. Like, what are you doing to change your show every time it’s crazy. That’s what we did. Yeah, we would write special material, we would get names. And particular, you know, challenges, whatever the organization was going through, and we would, we would write jokes about it. And they would just eat that stuff up.

Scott Edwards: 

They love that a few of the magicians I know that did a lot of corporate, what always would push the show over the top for the for the employees, or the guests of the conference was when you got the leaders or the CEOs involved in a trick. And it’s the same with comedy. If you can bring them bring them into the show. You’re going to be a success. Now it was in those years that we lost you as a regular act because you kind of outgrew us. But the success was was huge. Congratulations. It what year did you end up doing the tonight show?

Mack Dryden: 

Oh, we were we we did the tag? We did it 1983 About three years after we first got together. Oh, that early? Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Johnny, Johnny twice. This is how old we are. We did it with Johnny Boy. Yeah. Yeah. And then. And then we did it with J once in 98.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah. But being on with Johnny had to have been special.

Jamie Alcroft: 

I really what were what we were backstage. Rip. Taylor came out. And you know, you remember rip, right? Oh, yeah. No, no, wait, wait, wait, it was Charles Nelson Reilly. Oh, thank you. Thank you. You’re right.

Scott Edwards: 

Huge difference.

Jamie Alcroft: 

You’re flamboyant men mixed up. And he was throwing confetti in the audience and balloons and all that kind of stuff. And we had just we had told everybody we were ever acquainted with that we were going to be on The Tonight Show that night. And so we were just, you know, horrified that we might not make it on because he was going too long. And sure enough, at the last minute, they came back and said, It’s time we are standing backstage, and people say oh my god, you must have been nervous. And we were the opposite of nervous. It was like, Oh, my God, let us

Scott Edwards: 

please. You’re ready. You’re trying to get out there.

Mack Dryden: 

Am on that golden curtain. Open it. We did. It was six minutes. We were killing them doing an hour. We could do six minutes in our sleep. So we couldn’t wait. And sure enough, we killed

Scott Edwards: 

that that’s what a great experience and to be able to have that in there. Your memories is so special. Now. I did a lot of TV. You had your own show. You had all this success in clubs. And you ended up doing corporate which made you lots of money, sir, your your huge success. Let’s wrap this up a little bit. Tell me, Mack, I know that you’ve been doing some motivational speaking. Tell me a little bit about that.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Oh, well, when it was obvious that Mack and Jamie we were kind of fading from view. And you know, an aging comedy thing who could get what they would say. But anyway, well, we were. We were in our mid 60s. Yeah. Oh, no early 60s. And so I had some stuff that I done. I spent a little time in an African prison. I had to survive. Through bouts with cancer. And happily, Jamie and I were actually at a convention where there was a humorous Motivational Speaker on the bill. And I went to see him and I found him to be neither humorous nor motivational. And I thought, Great fat. And so I put together a speech and I started doing Kiwanis Clubs and Lions Clubs and stuff in LA, and got my chops down. And just slowly built it up. And and yeah, for the last, gosh, 1520 years. That’s been my main source of income. I do motivation to

Scott Edwards: 

say, Well, ladies and gentlemen in podcast land, he’s still out there doing it. If you’re looking for a great motivational speaker who’s not only has a great story, and a great message, but one of the funniest people out there, give Mac Dryden a call Google and look them up. But yeah, guy. And then Jamie, I know right? Go ahead. Mack. dryden.com. Matt dryden.com. There you go, folks. Now Jamie,

Jamie Alcroft: 

never remember that

Scott Edwards: 

Max. member that will never remember Mack Dryden calm never.com.

Mack Dryden: 

Already.

Scott Edwards: 

Jamie, tell us I know you’ve got a book out about your recent experience. And by the way, for those who that don’t know, in podcast land, Jamie went through a heart transplant and did a basically a live diary of his experiences. And I want you to tell the story, Jamie, but I was one of the followers and just found it fascinating that you could use your humor to get you yourself through obviously a challenging situation. Tell the audience what you’ve got for them.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Well, I’ve had a change of heart recently. Literally wanted, I want to share, I want to share it with you. I had congestive heart failure was born with a weak, lower descending artery and exploded and I had a heart attack. And for 12 years, I had a pacemaker. And Mac and I kept working. Everything was fine. And then my heart just started to fail. And they told me I needed a new heart. So I waited for three months, which isn’t a very long wait up at Cedars Sinai. And it’s funny that I’ve worked seizures and cedars. I was very, very fortunate. And I have since become an ambassador for one legacy. And what legacy is your organization that puts donors together with recipients in California? So we’re working with the one legacy Hollywood and I hosted an open mic night for some high school kids the other night, but I have been making money doing what I used to do in Key West. And that was being a silversmith. I started doing.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. Yeah. So but you have a book?

Jamie Alcroft: 

Well, I have silver by Jamie. Oh, well, yeah, I kind of I kind of went off in a different direction there. The book, the book was written, every day, I would put an entry in the in the diary, demand diary and post it. And I became known as a tin man. And people were encouraging me to put all these little stories together. And my entries together. And I did. And so I got a book out now and it’s doing quite well. I guess I get great reviews.

Scott Edwards: 

I will tell you that the whole thing is fascinating. And for everybody in podcast land, Google Jamie aircraft and the book, diaries at the done, man.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Is that what it’s no no, no, no. Scott, the Tin Man Diaries

Scott Edwards: 

to men diaries. I want to make sure we got it right. The 10 men died. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve exhausted the time. We have to we can talk forever. And I think we’ll do separate interviews with each of you and get into Yeah, but comedically speaking. I want to end this by saying thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Comedy teams, especially good ones are rare. And you guys were the best.

Mack Dryden: 

Thank you, Scott. Thank you so much. We sure enjoyed working with and for you.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, it was great. Now we’re going to give the audience a little taste of that we have a comedy set from back in 1980 coming up. So Mac, Jamie, thanks so much. Ladies and gentlemen, the podcast audience sit back and enjoy some of the best stand up comedy by a comedy team ever. Thanks, guys. It’s been a real pleasure to have you on the show.

Jamie Alcroft: 

Thank you, Scott. I look forward to I look forward to listening to what we did.

Scott Edwards: 

Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy the comedy of Mack and Jamie

Jamie Alcroft: 

Now let’s see what kind of age range we have. For example let’s see anybody remember when bowling all night men crying your eyes out for remember when getting stoned looked at it like you did or badly bruised? Perhaps. You remember when Rocky was just a flying squirrel? Does anybody remember when Sushi was paid? I don’t remember when Americans bought American cars you remember that American televisions? Back when you could actually pronounce the name of your camera remember our tribute to those days gone by? Any harness on Yo Ma Nikon? Mitsubishi, that’s on Yashi Grace Oh, Yamaha Toshiba, Suzuki Kawasaki Toyota Shi Honda su something very special in my little surprise. This is the little golden book my mother read to me when I was growing up and we’d like to do something out of it for you. Yeah, but this is perfect. They’re drunk which was my time and land far away there was a wandering minstrel he turned it merrily through the kingdom passing over Hillendale skipping nearly along the macro getting laid the women you wouldn’t believe anyone is thrown happily through the farm sharing is frightening music with the birds and playing features stopped at a babbling brook and he heard the software in a nearby meadow a herd of cows passed by the dog barking just some stragglers. Distance I see a flock of ducks swinging by suddenly snorting sound at no wild pigs wild pigs and a dog in the same pasture with a flock of sheep. suddenly out of nowhere a unicorn appear he said Brandley in the sunlight excited and proud Queen Mary just summary helicopter do sirens flew the train George Burns appeared like to sing a little song campaign for the arrival of ultra bright pink followed by Marlon Brecon here’s Jim guessing an ad. Jim suck little bass with an anti digital gotcha covered. said goodbye to the Golden Girls. Let me see skip merrily away

Scott Edwards: 

one of the best comedy teams in the history of stand up comedy. Ladies and gentlemen, that was the comedy set of Mack and Jamie I know you enjoyed that and I hope you enjoyed the interview. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll be back next week with another great show. Bye.

Announcer: 

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Stand Up Comedy your host and emcee. For information on the show merchandise and our sponsors or to send comments to Scott. Visit our website at WWW dot stand up your host and mc.com Look for more episode soon and enjoy the world of stand up comedy. Visit a comedy show room near you.

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