An insider's view of the world of comedy clubs

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Comedian's Resources

John Cantu on Stevens:

“My MC was a problem. After a few weeks I replaced him with another comic but when Warren had to go into Kaiser for an emergency appendicitis operation I just pointed to a newcomer and said, You're the MC tonight. This guy looked like a frail choir boy but he turned out to be tough as a $2 dollar steak. That was the start of my friendship with Don Stevens.

Don Stevens is extraordinary erudite and I love his stuff (how many comics do chunks based on Thor Hyerdahl’s Kon Tiki raft trips, Jean-Paul Sartre, and The Louisiana Purchase?)”

Comedy Club Diaries is a backstage real-world look at comedy club life written by professional comedians. We started this miscellaneous series of essays with a delightful one written by Don Stevens who was the house MC when John Cantu was co-owner and producer of shows at the legendary (at least in the US) San Francisco comedy club, the Holy City Zoo.

The Zoo became a hangout for performers and often comics would stop by to do free guest shows before or after they headed out to paying gigs. Drop in visitors included: Robin Williams, Kevin Pollack, Jackie Mason, Jay Leno, Eric Idle, Freddie Roman, and more. Don Stevens introduced them all at one time or another

Stevens' essays were published at monthly intervals and were written by Stevens unbidden. Essays by other comedians were interspersed from time to time.

Clarification notes are identified by an introductory Cantu note: and when you see that remember this material was NOT in the original essay and only Cantu bears responsibility for that content.