Loading...

JAIL'S A FUNNY THING 

Thursday, Jan 22 2009
Comments

Though standup comedy and incarceration have had their connections (I'm talking to you, Andy Dick), Felon O'Reilly may time on the West Coast when I wasn't in a blackout!"

Your past is anything but funny; how do you find humor in your life?

I think some of my past IS funny! It's not funny when you are in the middle of all that insanity, but I think one of the reasons I survived all the shit I put myself through is I was always able to laugh at a situation. I probably got that from my old man.

2964533.t.jpg

Related Stories

  • 2776, a Comedy Space Opera Made By a Crazy Number of Famous People

    At first one thinks it's the shrooms — because only a noise like this can be manufactured psychedelically. Then you think "Nah, I’m just waking up from a weird dream and the radio is on." And before you can pinch yourself into reality, you realize "No, I’m wide awake and...
  • $100 Short

    L.A. is the most unaffordable rental market in the United States. And if you're lucky enough to be in the market to buy your own place, you're also facing some of the highest prices in the nation. Now comes word that the cash in your pocket has become less valuable...
  • Are You Ready to Vote on Weed Shop Policing?

    A proposed law that would have established policing of marijuana dispensaries statewide was essentially killed in the California legislature last week. Dale Gieringer, state coordinator of California NORML, says it's now time to take the matter directly to voters. He envisions the possibility, in 2016, of an initiative that would...
  • Porn's Condom Law Goes Down

    A proposal, dreaded by the porn industry, that would have mandated condom use for adult performers on-set throughout the state of California, was essentially defeated in the legislature today. The bill by L.A. state Assemblyman Isadore Hall would have expanded L.A. County's own mandatory condom rules to reach across the...
  • DTLA Fest Is Real

    The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the Jay Z-curated Made in America festival, which is scheduled to take place at Grand Park and on adjacent streets. See also: All-Ages Policy at Jay Z's "Made in America" Concert Is a Terrible Idea The vote came late in the game, with the...

How old when you first were arrested?

I was 16 when I got my first pinch, although I was getting brought home by the cops at 14. My first pinch was for fishing without a license. Seems it was all down hill from there.

How many years total have you been in prison?

I guess around 10 years when you add it all up, perhaps a little more when you count all the parole violations. The longest stretch was three years. I was looking at life sentences on more than one occasion. I was indicted by the feds in 1990 as an armed career criminal. That carried a minimum mandatory 15 years . -- got lucky on that one too!

What were the charges?

God! Everything but rape and homicide! A lot of assaults, drug charges, and a whole lot of larceny and theft. I think the first incarceration was for assault and battery with a deadly weapon on a police officer. I think I did a year on that. It's not as bad as it sounds, He was trying to bust me for dope and i ran him over. so they considered the vehicle a deadly weapon. I got away with the dope though!

What's the funniest thing that happened to you in prison?

I could tell you funny stories all day about prison! I guess one of my favorites was the time this Vietnamese kid came to me with his Vietnamese to English dictionary. One of the problems he was having was getting to use the shower. There were four single showers for a hundred plus guys. He finally managed to make me understand that he wanted to learn how to say "Can I be next?"So he goes over to one of the showers, nothing but a towel on, and yells to the guy in there. The problem was instead of "Can I be next?" I taught him how to say "Wanna touch it"! All hell broke lose and the guy in the shower was chasing him around the unit. I finally had to intervene so the kid wouldn't get killed. I ran into him years later on my last bid and we laughed our asses off again!

What's the universal truth about comedy?

If you can tell a joke and not offend the person it's directed toward, then it's funny. I was doing an uptown bid (state prison) in Massachusetts my last time in. I went up to two tables in the cafeteria. There were 33 Hispanics, so I stood there and told a Hispanic joke. There was dead silence for about 15 seconds, a very long 15 seconds, then they all cracked up laughing. I knew i had delivered it well when i didn't get stabbed.

What other comics do you admire?

I grew up watching Jackie Gleason, and Rodney Dangerfield; they had a huge impact. Lenny Clarke, another Bostonian, was a real role model. In fact it was Lenny who convinced me to try comedy. I think Margaret Cho is a genius. The funniest guy I ever worked with is George Hamm out of Portland, Maine. There are a ton of them -- but they never did any prison time. Not yet anyway.


Mon., Jan. 26, 9 p.m., 2009

Related Content

Now Trending