Eight days ago, I gave an update on my proposed television show. While the process is still in it's infancy, I have been having some more ideas.
The problem lies in the fact that I, and Bobby Sunshine, have been dormant.
Sometimes, when a person submits a proposed tv show, the producers, directors or network executives look to see what that person has done recently and if he/she has a following.
They check Youtube quite frequently.
Next year is 2020. Yeah, I know. That's no surprise to anyone. But, next year is also fifty years since I first performed stand-up comedy. I haven't done stand-up in years.
Even when I did perform stand-up, I would do so infrequently.
Youtube has made many people famous. People such as Russell Peters and Anjelica Johnson have both become famous through their use of youtube.com. There are many more examples, too.
I started becoming famous in 1970. By 1973, I was too famous. I was the number one DJ in Atlanta, as well as a stand-up performer. I gave speeches for many causes and organizations.
That fame led me into comedy writing, although it wasn't by choice. I would have been happy staying on radio forever, if I hadn't become famous.
The main reason for my leaving radio was the possibility of being hurt or killed.
The 1960s was a turning point in the history of the United States. Quite a few young people wanted to change the world.
It was because of their courage that I became involved in many controversial causes.
In 1970, very few women worked. They either got married or they went to college to get their "Mrs. degree."
Either way, they found themselves at home tending to children (including their husband) or bored.
In 1970, very few black people had opportunites for a good life. Their pay was substantially less than whites and integration was just starting in the South.
Integration and equal rights didn't sit well with most whites.
1970 also saw homosexuals being beaten up, if not killed, and the police turning a blind eye. Marijuana could net anyone some serious jail time.
Global cooling was summarily denied as fact (which it wasn't).
Yet, in 1970, Bobby Sunshine adopted all these causes publicly. The outrage was immediate. I became a pariah overnight among people thirty years old or older.
When in public, I stood a fifty-fifty chance of being attacked.
The people under thirty, though, loved Bobby Sunshine. It was with their help that Bobby Sunshine was able to become the number one, most listened to, radio host.
It was the struggle that still rages today, balancing parental and child desires.
Sure, the "right wing people" kept an eye on me.
They listened to my show so that they could stir up a revolution back towards the "good old days" of racism, sexism, homophobia and global environmental ignorance.
They quoted me in bars, restaurants and their home. The "old order" wanted me fired and the young people wanted me elevated to champion. It was the classic battle between inertia and action.
Neither side wanted to lose.
Bobby Sunshine was caught squarely in between the two groups and with the fame that accompanies it. I never felt at ease in any crowd.
I never thought that I would be able to get back home in one piece. I was scared.
I said all that to say this:
If my television show is to become reality, I must begin doing some stand-up again. I have to show that I'm still funny and that I can write jokes with the best of them.
I have to prove that laughter doesn't die at 50.
To that end, I have been scouring the internet, looking for a place to begin again. I have found two places that will allow me to take the stage and make people laugh.
I will try my best to keep people smiling and laughing.
My nephew has agreed to go with me and record my stand-up. It will be placed on youtube, on the Bobby Sunshine channel. With luck, I'll be invited back to entertain again.
If I'm not invited back, that's okay, too.
Either way, I've been telling people on Commaful about my past successes. I want to show you all the real Bobby Sunshine. In May, 2020, I will be making my stand-up come-back.
It has been fifty years since I started in show business and I have loved every minute. I have been the luckiest, and unluckiest, man in history.
I got to live a great life, full of fun and adventures. I've also endured pain.
I don't know where the funny comes from. All I know is that I can make people laugh. I can make people happy for a little while. That's what my life has been about and I feel that's enough.
I'll post a link to the stand-up after it hits youtube. Hopefully you'll like it. I just hope that it helps my show to become reality. That's why I'm doing this.
Mark, my producer friend, told me that I had to "get out there."
So, I'll get out there. It isn't as if it will be new to me. I did stand-up for nearly 40 years. It's the only place where Bobby Sunshine can be himself; the only place he can be accepted.
I think that's enough.