A 20-year veteran stand-up comedian Tim has entertained millions in legendary venues ranging from Radio City Music Hall to chow halls in Afghanistan. From his first time opening for the legendary Earth, Wind, and Fire in 1998, to his 6-year-run with international superstar Julio Iglesias, and a live stage interview with the cast of Modern Family, Tim has worked with some of the biggest names in music and entertainment. He's entertained our troops in Afghanistan, Kyrgystan, and state-side bases as part of the “Comics on Duty” World Tour.
He's opened for BIG names including Diana Ross, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Righteous Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Olivia Newton-John, Hall and Oates, Styx, Belinda Carlisle, Wynonna Judd, Julio Iglesias, Frank Sinatra Jr., Paul Anka, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Isley Brothers, Loverboy, Eddie Money, Michael McDonald and many more.
You've seen him nationally on HBO, ESPN2, Fox Sports, TLC, CW, WE Network, MOR in Tampa, LifeTime, “The Daily Buzz”, “BetterTV”, “Daytime,” and CMT’s “Next Big Comic”.
And yet, he still sits down with me. We talk comedy, fitness, family, throughout our unforgettable conversation. There are lots of laughs, a few tears, and Tim's amazing stories as only he can tell them!
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Welcome to the unforgettable conversations podcast, where you'll meet people from all walks of life. Everyone from experts in their fields to ordinary folks leading extraordinary lives. We're pulling back the curtain every week on sometimes difficult, often hilarious, but always engaging conversations that promise to be unforgettable.
Today's guest dreamt of being a standup comedian since he was seven years old. Not only did he achieve that dream, but he is surpassed it. He's a TV and radio personality. He's been seen at all the networks TLC see WWE. Oh. All the letters. The daily buzz, better TV, daytime, Nickelodeon, and CMTS. Next big comic. You can hear him on Sirius XM, radios, comedy channels. His dry bar comedy special password protected is a must-see. He is a speaker and a writer who has performed on stages around the world everywhere from radio city musical and the Greek theater. To the biggest casinos cruise ships and even chow halls in Afghanistan. He's worked with everyone from Larry, the cable guy to Bob Saget. He's the voice of COVID. The face of Teeter fitness. And as of late. You can catch them on the big screen. I think he's amazing. And I'm honored to call him a friend for the better part of the last two decades. His name. Tim Wilkins.sandi:
Hey Tim, how are you?Tim:
I'm wonderful. It's so good to see you.sandi:
It's good to see you too. And thank you for taking the time out to talk to me because you are truly an unforgettable human beingTim:
you've made my day. Thank you. Goodnight. I always wondered, when you were growing up because you cracked me up, I think you're hilarious. And I love that about you, but did you come from a family that. Was funny or that laughed? How did you get your sense of humor? Uh, you know, it's a fight between my divorced parents, who inspired the comedy. My dad played old, reel to reel and, and cassette tapes or what, eight, eight tracks of comedians. And he loved to laugh. Mom is just naturally weird. Funny. Like a, a quirky next door neighbor on a sitcom, funny. And then all my relatives are very country down home people that would laugh heartily. But I think a as you know, comedians have such needy sides, my parents were so busy and my family was so busy. I think a lot of my comedy came from putting on a show to get their attention. And from the time I was about six or seven, I realized comedians got laughs and people paid attention. And by fourth grade, sixth grade high school, it's in all my yearbooks that all I ever wanted to be was a stand of the comedian. That's amazing that you knew at such an early age where you were gonna end up, but how did you get there? Cause the road couldn't have been all that easy. I mean, I know a lot of standup comedians and it's not as glamorous as one would think. No. I actually just watched a friend, has a documentary out on YouTube called one nighters that was, uh, nostalgic and incredibly depressing to think that was my life for four years, going around to schlocky one night engagements in bowling alleys and smokey bars. And, and that was the middle of the career. So, I did an open mic night. I had a fake ID to go to comedy clubs, uh, to be 21 when I was 16 and 17. And I went to my first open mic night in about 86 and I did okay. And the funny thing is I did the things that I thought, you know, 16, 17 year olds thought were funny in their heads. It was sex and things like that. And the, uh, owner of the club took me aside and he said, I, I see that this is your passion and this is what you're into, but, uh, Why don't you talk about things, you know, like school lunch and homework. I can tell you don't know anything about sex. And, uh, he was right and, and I did a couple more open mic nights and I got scared and I didn't do it again for a couple years. I got outta the Marines. I was, uh, driving a delivery truck in LA and my boss, uh, we were talking about what we were gonna do over the weekend and he said he was going to the river to ride his motorcycles. And I said, didn't you do that last week? He said, last week we took the jet skis. And I said, what do you do if you don't take the jet skis or the, the motorcycles to the river, we stay home and clean them. And I said you're 37. You've been here 19 years. It was your first job outta high school. Don't you have any dreams? He goes, what dreams? I'm 37. I got two kids, a white picket fence. I got motorcycles and trucks and toys. And, and it scared me to death. I said, you're 37. You're done dreaming, kill me. And I said, I lost my inside voice. It was my outside voice. And he said, what do you have for dreams? I said, I've wanted to be a comedian since I was seven. No way you should do that. So I looked in the paper and I found, uh, an open mic night. I had a notebook that still had some comedy in it. I wrote some jokes and I went that Sunday and I went to that club every Sunday for a few months until somebody booked me for $10 for 10 minutes. And then I quit my job, cuz I said, if I do that 40 hours a week, I'd be rich. I didn't realize you get 10 minute sets and it's once a week and it's 10 bucks. Then I kinda hacked my way up the food chain and did stuff and drove all over and. Waited two hours for a set to do five minutes of free comedy and honed it and honed it. And then I moved to Florida in 94. Did the one nighter tour from 94 to about 97. 97 I'm out with Larry, the cable guy. And he was about to take off and the redneck comedy tour. And I said, well, you're not gonna be, uh, you're not gonna be doing this anymore. I won't be able to open for you. Hook me up with your manager. And she said, well, I can't manage you cuz I only handle three really big names, but I have a friend in, uh, St. Pete that could probably use you in Clearwater. His name's Bobby Rossi. And I called Bobby and he said, you know, funny, you should call. I, I need a guy for Wednesday and it was Tuesday. I was in Atlanta when I called him and he needed an opener for earth, wind and fire. And I think that's when I met you. And that blew my career up. Earth, Wind and Fire came into my dressing room and said, Hey, we've got four more nights do you want to go? I think I had to cancel two shows at some bar in Tallahassee. And I said, yeah, I'm free. And that got me in with all those theaters, which got me into opening for a ton of other people, and I got the cruise ships that year. I got into corporate shows that year. And that was the year that my friend Carmen, who's been one of my mentors for the last. 32 years said, uh, you know, you got another kid on the way. You better figure out how to make some good money. And, he was doing construction comedy, which he still is teaching contractors and making them laugh. He said, write some jokes about working out. So I did. And I've been hosting bodybuilding shows and doing fitness, uh, comedy for corporations for 25 years, 30 years, and all in 98. And then, uh, just hacked away at that for about five or six years and things started to go progressively better. And then I think it was another call or another email from you in late 2005, early 2006. You, you said there's a TV show in Tampa that's interviewing hosts. And I auditioned and that changed everything. Uh, the funny thing is I was on tour with Julio Iglesias. It was my fifth or sixth year with him. And, uh, I got the call. My ex-wife got the call. She was my wife at the time. She said, you got this call for this audition and they wanna see you. I'm gonna, I'm gonna do it too. It went to a focus group. All the hosts that auditioned the two people got the lowest ratings were she and I, I got the highest male rating, but as a couple, she and I got the lowest ratings and they didn't know we were married. They said these two people hate each other. They have zero chemistry and they should never be in a room together. That was foreboding. That was, I wish I'd known that 12 years or ago. It would've saved me a lot of time. And then I hosted that show for a couple years and it led to just every opportunity I've got to this day. I I'm still working some of the jobs that I got from that show. So it was just a game changer in every direction.sandi:
But you don't only do comedy. You're a chef I've seen you on, uh, sometimes I'll turn on the TV on one of the shopping channels and there you are. You're cooking on some new piece of, I don't know what, what you would call it, but you're cooking, cooking away.Tim:
So there's your influence again? So that schlocky TV show I had from 2006 to 2008, we couldn't get guests at first. We had some holes in the schedule and our producer comes in on a Monday and said, look, guys, we've got a hole on Tuesday for nine minutes and Thursday for seven minutes. I don't know what you can do. And I said, well, I grew up watching TV chefs. I'll be at TV chef on Tuesday. He said, good, write a web story, come up with a recipe and we'll see you Tuesday. And so I was having so much fun and one of the account people comes in and said, you know, I can get that sponsored, do it again. Next week I'll bring sponsors in. And the sponsors came in and I was cooking on behalf of smart balance foods for two years, which was a blast HSN called and said, Hey, we need guys in the kitchen. So to what led me into HSN, So I was in the kitchen off and on for them for about five to seven years. And in the middle, I kind of ventured into other products. And in this last two or three years, I, I told HSN, um, my passion is helping people with health and fitness. I just want to get on exercise equipment and bring in healthy foods, but that you, you helping me get that TV show is what led to home, shopping at work, which is what led to my fitness stuff, which is, it really did open. Every, not just a side door, it was the garage door in a two car garage that opened everything in my world. And that's how I started cooking on TV and actually winning awards. How I have no idea, uh, people say, oh, what cooking school did you go to? Publix? I went to the Publix cooking school on university in Sarasota. You're a good cook because I see some of your pictures and I know your family loves the specialty meals that you come up with at home. So you're a, you're a Renaissance man. Really? When you think about it, I think so. That's why I've been wearing the glasses. No, I it's been, it's just been a fun, like you say, it's a journey to go. What do I wanna do? What's left on my, on my dream list. And what else do I wanna do? And kind of just jump and just have fun with it. I think that's not, not taking yourself too seriously. Really just loving what you do and following your passion that's what opens doors. It's, you know, it's, it's not people, it's not people it's having that passion, having that drive. Yeah. I tell my middle daughter all the time, uh, she says, do you think I should do it? I said, even if you hate doing it this time, I, I swear to you. It's gonna lead to something else. You're gonna meet somebody there. Something's gonna happen, shake it hand, and someone's gonna call and go, Hey, we really liked meeting you. We think you'd be good for this. And that's how everything has worked. Now tell me though, what about the pandemic? All right, because for two years, you know, life changed as we knew it for a little bit. And so you're not doing big events for the most part. So what did you do with your time? So first of all, I was getting ready for a body building and fitness competition, uh, as a competitor, as, not as a host this time, and I knew they were gonna close the gyms. Which was one of the dumbest things they did. So, uh, I said to my wife, they're gonna close the gyms she got on next door Craigslist and something else. And basically retooled our back porch as a gym. So I worked out. There was a kid that's like a family friend who became family. He's, he's just such a sweet kid. He became like my nephew. He just fell into a depression and said, I just need to keep working out. Can I come to your house? And he'd come over and wouldn't just work out, we'd talk life and help him get into college and talk about his future. He wanted to know how to get established credit. That was, that was so much fun. That was the first three or four months. We did what everybody else did. We played virtual games against other families. HSN Closed their studios. They still haven't reopened, but they started letting you shoot from your house. So my big, client is Teeter fitness. They sent all kinds of exercise pieces to my house. So I'm shooting segments from my house shooting segments for their app in my backyard, which was so much fun. Um, comedy just died. I did my first show back after COVID July of last year. July of two years ago, it was awful. I couldn't remember my show. I was literally listening to my own CDs on the way to the show. And every once in a while I go, well, that's really funny. And then I listen to the next bit and go, Ooh, don't do that. That's not funny anymore. And I just went up and couldn't remember the words to my own songs. It was, it was karaoke for the Eagles. And, you know, having Glen fry say, I don't recognize any of this. It didn't really ramp back up. I, I opened for Kathleen Madigan a lot. She's one of my favorites. I'm still touring with Dennis Miller, when he's nearby. I did some shows with Lionel Richie, which was a blast, but everything else just died. All my old corporate event, clients just fell by the wayside. it was the bodybuilding stuff emceeing the shows I'm part of the Pay Per View team for the Olympia. Another passion growing up 16, 17 in California, going to muscle beach and peeking over the fence and going, those guys are big. I wanna be big someday and people of those guys. Well, I never got big like those guys, but I get to talk to those guys. They're my friends. But I just dove into that arena and that's what I did a lot in the last two years, I had to adapt to a completely new world. I think we all did. So emerging from the pandemic you seem to have really weathered it well, though, I mean, not only do you have a full gym in the house, which is your passion to begin with, but you're getting paid to use it. I mean, that's pretty darn cool. What a scam? Typical. How do I, how do I sign up for something like that? How do I get somebody to pay me to stay in shape? Let's let's how do I work that out? Yeah, or get me in shape is more likely but that's awesome. That's really great. So how do you emerge from that? What do you do? So I retooled and, and redesigned and, I did a ton of voiceovers. That was a lot of fun. So, um, just before we started you, you were saying hi to my wife. She has an animation company and, her business kind of totally evolved, which was so scary, but amazing what she's done. But at this same time, one of her biggest clients called and said, Hey, we have a big animation campaign for COVID and we need, uh, a voice. And I got to be the voice of this giant national campaign, which was so fun. Well, I had no idea you were the voice of Covid. Just the first variant. just the hard variant. I, the easy variants. I didn't wanna be Omicron. That's weak. I wanted to be Delta, man. Yeah, I was I'm long COVID if there's ever anybody I'm long COVID well, you've survived. Well oh my God. Why? Yeah. That's interest. So, pivoting, you are the king of the pivot when one thing fails, go on try something new. I think there's a, a kind of a more modern way of people saying, you know, don't get fixated on the destination, kind of enjoy the journey mm-hmm and I've just been open to, well, that didn't work. I'm not lost. I've just adventured somebody else. So this is, I found a new place to eat because my place is three streets over and I turned the wrong way. COVID did ruin one of my other dream gigs. I get a call from a friend who said they need a new emcee for the world's strongest man in Colorado and the guy who's the current reigning world, strongest man, Brian Shaw. And I'm like a little kid. I love those guys. They are mountains that do stupid things. They pick up trucks with their teeth and pull 'em through rivers, but it's just insane. And I got COVID and I called and I sent him a text and said, Hey man, I know this thing's in a couple days, but I got COVID. He got back to me and hey, I'm really sorry, stay home. We'll get you next year. so that was a bummer to lose that show. Yeah, pivoting wise, uh, I just completely changed what I do and I had to adapt. I just shot some more stuff. Teeter fitness has products on the Canadian shopping channel and other shopping channels. So I just shot some stuff for them last week, which was a blast. And, uh, and one of the, those things is the inversion table where you go upside down and stretch your neck out in your back. Yeah. Glorious, but that's another one. When my teenager walks through I have a 14 year old and she said, they pay you to hang out, upside down. That's craziness. And one of the things I show on air is a spine and how it helps elongate and with the health of your spine. And I got one of her friends walking through the house, going why does your dad have a spine in the living room, cuz your dad gets paid to have spines, I'm a fake chiropractor. You're a chiropractor on TV. You play one. I play one. I don't have to actually know anything which has glorious for my life. Yeah, just, it just build it and they will come. Yeah. They don't know that it's a facade, that everything is, is a house on the old universal studios tour where it's a burning house from the front and you make that tour in the tram and it turns right to go. That's the front of a house with flames coming through. That's not a fiery house. I'm not a flaming house. I'm just a facade. So, how do you come up with your bits? I've heard you many times and, and I laugh all the time and you're known as a clean comic, which is something in this day and age that's pretty rare. I mean, you can go anywhere with your act and, it's totally appropriate in an inappropriate world. So how do you come up with stuff that's enjoyable, by everyone, but it's still funny. That's been a challenge, but it was a cognizant effort early on. Um, one of my early, early mentors, was this lady named Phyllis Silver who owned the first comedy club. I actually got to spend the night away from my house. And I said, where do I sleep when I come up there, Phyllis? And she was hilarious. She smoked, I think before she quit, she probably smoked eight packs a day. She called me the boy. Oh boy, for the love of God. Where do you think you sleep in the condo with the other comedians. I said, there's gonna be more people. It's a sleepover. Oh, you for the love of God. So, uh, it was the first gig I got to bring a toothbrush. I was very excited And she said, look, here's the deal. I was doing some rough and tumble sex, drugs, and rock and roll stuff. It still wasn't funny. And she said, here's the deal. If it's not funny without F it's not fing funny, you wanna make a living, but you wanna be some kind of legend that nobody's ever heard of. And I thought that's kind of genius. Do I wanna make a living? Yeah. I wanna make a living. And that's what led me into cruise ships. You had to be clean concerts when I met you, you had to be clean to open for these bands. And I realized all the things that were outside the clubs you had to work clean, and that's kind, I've always kind of just guided it that way. Put a little extra effort into finding a, the punchline. And then from there you talk inspiration. Two marriages that, uh, didn't go so good. That was easy. That's that's a full CD and a half to two CDs, uh, kids, there's another CD and then current events and just technology and things I can't manage to figure out there's CD number four. So that was easy CD five's been the, the tough one. One of the things that you do is some really spot on impressions. How did you develop your impressions that you do. you do it in Obama that if you dialed somebody up, they wouldn't know. I mean, you did a cameo. I mean, people would think that it was him. Well, that was kind of a weird thing. And, and actually, um, I've put on a lot of weight that you can't see. And, uh, it kind of messed up my Obama and messed up a few of my impressions. Now it just sounds like a very large Casey Casem. When I was in bootcamp in 87, we did this voice and one of my buddies was grabbing his throat. And that was his, his voice of his drill instructor. So I started doing it as my drill instructor, but I first started doing it as Don Cornelius from the soul train. And I had this impression with Don Cornelius, Casey Casem, uh, Arnold Schwartzenegger. And it was basically these guys singing, uh, a duet with James Taylor called fire and Rainman. It was pretty fun, but as Obama was running for office, I started grabbing different spots in my throat to find different angles and went from Don Cornelius from the soul train to, Obama's cadence at this very crucial time in our nation's history. Uh, you might be watching TV wondering why does my gasoline cost $6 a gallon? Well, uh, you you've been paying $7 a cup for Starbucks. Now you wanna complain about a whole gallon that that was a 16 ounce beverage. You need to get your prior straight. So it was one of those crazy fines that just kind of, and driving around. I used, I was telling my wife, I used to drive four to 10 hours a day for weeks on end. You work on impressions. You pick up the harmonica, you do what you can to keep yourself awake and you pick up a new skill. That's funny. I just, can't can't imagine. I can't do any impressions, so I I'm I'm impressed by any. Your Obama is amazing. well, it's funny. I've done. I've gotten to do the impressions. I did that one night. And his security team from the Latin American police officers coalition, I was doing a big show for them. And two of his, uh, secret service guys were there and whipped around. And one guy walked over and said, I thought the boss was here. And that was the highest praise I'd gotten. But I've done the impression of a lot of people for those people. And it's always funny to see. I didn't do it on purpose. Cuz somebody go, Hey, he does you and Schwartzenager. I go, everybody does me. I don't only hear it. And then you do it. You go, it's not bad. It's not good. Who's it bill Cosby. And it's always funny to hear what their reactions are when they do the impressions. Who's your inspiration in the comedy world? Well, I just lost one of 'em. Uh, and that was a weird thing. Uh, Bob Sagat was one of my very first and, uh, I watched that Rodney Dangerfield, young comedian special in 84, a thousand times and thought he was the coolest thing. I liked just the way he was and I got to work with him. I was the last one to work with him and he mentioned me in his last tweet, which was really sweet and kind of devastating at the same time. Kathleen Madigan is brilliant. Dennis Miller I've always thought was smart. Those are people that I really look up to Kathleen's work ethic is insane. She cranks out, she cranks out a special almost every year. And I don't know how many comedians you've seen, but you can see their act at minute 14 and it hasn't changed in 20 years. She changes every single time you see her and has a new hour. It's unheard of. So I, I, I remember my first time working with her, I took up my notebook and I said, I'm kind of embarrassed. I have a notebook. She said, do you have new material? Yeah. I've got like eight minutes. Do you have any new material? Yeah, I'm working on a new hour and a half, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna narrow it down to 55 minutes so Netflix will pick it up. Oh God. And now it's been seven or eight years we've worked together and every year she's got a new hour. That's incredible. I mean, it's not an easy job. job. No. And to have a comic voice, like she does like. I have comic voices. I have voices in my head that are the, the guy that picks up the phone on customer service and the different things that the celebrities, she has her distinct voice that when you hear a bit, you go, that's a Kathleen Madigan, you know? It's, it's genius. Of all the things you do when you do a ton of things to this day, you do it is ton of different things. What is your most favorite or do you just love the variety of being able to do a lot of different things? I will say standup's getting harder because when you do it consistently, you get in a groove, you learn the subtleties of your show. And now when I do it every few weeks to months, Like I said, I don't remember the words of my own act. I definitely don't remember the subtleties. It takes me two or three shows to ramp back up. I love emceeing the body building stuff. Uh, I do a ton of infomercials, so I love working with the guys. I would have to say the bigger and body building stuff like I'm on the Paperview team for Olympia. So I'm there with all the pomp and circumstance at the top level of a sport I've loved since I was 15 years old and get to sit next to my idols and Shaq will pop in. And the Mr. Olympia from 1980 will sit next to me for an hour and just goof off. And it's just the, that's my one of my favorite weeks of the year. That's good. You're still living your dream, every part of it. And you know, and then I'll get some crazy crazy call to come do some corporate event with some chef. I love and get to hang out with some guy that I've watched on TV for 10 years. One of my favorites is Ming Tsai.. What a cool guy, Robert, Irvine's a really good friend of mine that I met through the TV show that we're still in touch and do things. And, it's just such a blast when all those worlds collide and I get to do the variety. I think that's what it really boils down to is just keeping it fresh and keeping things, real, learning new things.sandi:
Now you still open for bands. You still, you're still doing that.Tim:
When, when the calls come. And like you just mentioned, you opened for Bob Sagat on, on the last night that he ever performed. What was that like for you to get the call the next day and say, you know, Bob passed away because it was such a freak thing. It was absolutely freak and it was devastating. So I was just so excited to meet Bob and he's walking the halls, asking if I was there yet. And he plows into my dressing room and he couldn't have been any nicer. And he said, uh, man, I'm really excited to work with you. I've watched a ton of your videos. You're really funny. I could have gone home. That was it. I'm done. I. He was so supportive. I watched his show that night, even though I had just landed two hours before that and was gonna go home. And, I stayed and watched him do an hour and 45 and just kill. And the next night I got there really early because it was in, uh, south of Jacksonville. We talked for a little over an hour. About everything, his wife, uh, comedy, current affairs, just everything. What a sweetheart of a guy and I was gonna stay and say goodbye. And at about the hour and a half mark, I looked up on stage and looked at him and he kind of looked over and I said, he's not coming down. He's having too much fun. Uh, and he ended up doing two hours and I called, Kevin Stone, who you probably remember. Uh, and I called, Kevin said, please tell Bob. I said goodbye. And he said, will do. Uh, I woke up the next morning to that post mentioning me. Thanks for a great week. My opener was awesome. Thank you so much. And then a few hours later, it was Kathleen that actually sent me the text. Weren't you just with Bob? And I said, yeah, why? And she said, turn on the news. And I didn't believe it and it wasn't on the news yet. And then my phone started to go and go. And then it went from comedians and friends calling to entertainment tonight, extra inside edition, all the major tabloidy news things, wanting to have a conversation about what that night, last night was all about. And, uh, it was, it was pretty, I didn't believe it. I still didn't believe it. And it took a few days. I couldn't imagine. I can't even begin to imagine what really close friends like Dave Coulier and John Stamos and, uh, his wife and daughters must have been going through and still going through it. He was the only person you've you were around a lot of entertainers. He's the only person I've never heard a bad thing about. Everybody's got a story and I'd never heard a bad word about Bob. To be able to have people say nice things about you up until the very end is amazing. As sad as it is. I mean, geez. Yeah. Uh, and the stories that did come out were all consistent. You know, he helped me with this. He got me in this club. He, he, it was a leg up for my career and just a genuinely sweet guy. And, uh, and it was pretty crazy. It was, it was kind of devastating to, to finally meet one of your idols, have him be so nice and have him be so gone within 24 hours. Yeah. There are no words for something like that. No. And to, to leave a big hole like that. I'm too old for full house and my kids were too young for full house. That was right in the middle. Uh, I've seen enough episodes to know it's a sweet show, but I had no idea he was that big of an America's dad. Mm-hmm and people asked, you know, do you think he passed the Baton to you? I said, no, that would make me America's stepdad. No, nobody likes that guy. nobody wants to listen to that guy. Yeah, for sure. So what's next for you? So that was another part of the, uh, how big my head gets. That was, uh, another one of those transition things. So I sat down with Amber, my lovely wife, uh, the kind of the beginning of COVID and I said, all right, this is gonna end eventually. What's next? What haven't I done? What do I really want to do? And the year before I was in a movie called Bigger and had a, a decent little spot in that movie. And I did, uh, a couple of independent movies and had auditioned for some stuff said, I want act more. I wanna see what kind of ranges in there. And I want to, I want to make some movies and, and, uh, so I've been auditioning. I'm still waiting to hear back on a decent role, that I auditioned for a couple of weekends ago. We're producing a movie right now, that's in production. That should be hopefully out by the end of the year. That's fun to be an executive producer of a movie. That's exciting. Yeah, and it, we saw some of the stuff. My wife is doing the special effects as she did with another movie that, uh, that my daughter was in two years ago, they filmed just before COVID I think called the Mad Hatter. It was a horror film and my daughter was the haunting dead sister that kind of shows up throughout the entire movie, you know, dragging a Teddy bear with her hair down and she was brilliant. She had to drown in the first scene for her and we worked on drowning for a few days pool and, uh, then she went out in some hot spring here in Florida, just drowned brilliantly. I'm so proud of her drowning. Um, Which my wife did not enjoy. So I think that's big. Uh, uh, comedy's kind of, it's kind of wrapping. I'm still doing some shows and having a good time with it. I think I've done everything I can do. I'm gonna compete again this year and hopefully get my pro status. And I wanna just put that, probably hang that up. I don't know. I don't know if I know if it's time to grow up yet, but it's getting, it feels like it is.sandi:
Did I hear that you're gonna do another standup special?Tim:
I'm, I'm shooting something at the end of the month in, uh, in Gilbert, Arizona. And I think we're filming that with a couple cameras and We'll see how the footage comes out and we'll see how they edit it, because it may be the kind of thing that I say. Let's not put that out. Uh, and it may be the kind of thing that says, all right. If I put this out, it could either, it will make my career for half the country and the other half is gonna hate me. And I've been playing about 70% in the middle for 25, 30 years. I think. I think I'm either gonna pick a side or not put this out. What advice do you, for people who are afraid to make a career change or afraid to try something else or they've stopped dreaming and they're still on the conveyor belt line at the factory. And, you know, they dare not to dream. What kind of advice do you have for them? You know, I'm dealing with that a lot with my, my two daughters right now, my, my older daughter out who you met back in the back in the days we were working together more frequently. She's 23. She's in the army. She just graduated college. Uh, she's a reservist and she's just starting her career. And I keep telling her, everything is an opportunity. You know, you're not gonna fail until you quit. It's not over till you quit. She's just having trouble saying just like my youngest is what's my dream. Do I have a passion? Do I go after it? Cause a lot of people just don't have a dream or a passion. They might have something they think they might like doing. But you might wanna think about that if it's not. You know, we only need so many yoga instructors, and no slight on yoga instructors. I'm just not real bendy. I'm not flexible. It just hurts. I get in the positions that I sweat and sweat, and then they make fun of me. I went to one sleep yoga class and I snored and kept everybody else awake. And it was in furiating for the rest of the yoga people. Typical man. I was out in seconds and they're trying to listen to their music. That sounds like whales dying and people blowing in a bottle. And I was so happy. I was out for 45 minutes. I don't understand the fear. I like to try to motivate and inspire people, but I just don't understand their fear. You, you just don't make a fool of yourself unless you think you've made a fool of yourself. You just have to jump up there. My, my first body building competition, I was six out of five. I swear, five guys got a trophy and I walked off stage, looked at my wife and I said, I'm gonna train really hard next year. And I'm gonna come back and beat one guy. That's all I'm gonna do. I'm gonna be one, one guy and I'm gonna get a medal or a ribbon or something. And I went back the next year and I took fifth and all right. And I looked at it and I said, I wanna win. And we took a full year off and I came back and I did it again. And I did it again. And then I won a bunch of shows and I said, Let's go to the national level. So I get to the national level and I walk in and there's normally 60 people in an entire show where I normally compete 60 to 80. There was 1200 and I looked at the table with all the numbers on it. And I saw number 1149 and 9 74. And I, I do not belong here. I do not belong here. And I ran out before I grabbed my number and I called my trainer and I called my wife and I said, come get me I'm out front, send an Uber, send a Lyft. And they said, no, you're, you're good. You're here. And I took top five in the nation that year in the, over 50 and over 45 class. So you never know, just go hard learn, study, like, like I joked about earlier, I really did. When I got the opportunity to cook on TV, I ran outta recipes at about six weeks. What I knew how to cook was gone, I went to Publix cooking school. Not the one night they have six and nine and 12 week courses. I took it like I was a culinary student. So I would, I would do literally, and I'd be able to grocery shop after, which is great about Publix. And I said, I've got to learn how to cook. I don't know what I'm doing. So I went to the culinary school. I took the first one and I took, you know, what basically was cooking 1 0 1, then cooking 1 0 2, then cooking 1 0 3 and I kept learning more techniques. And that's what got me through the TV show. Then that's what helped me on HSN and learn, explore. Don't be afraid to fail and reinvent yourself. And again and again, it's never over. It's never over.sandi:
Do you have a secret to when you're going on TV or before a competition, or before speaking to a, over a thousand people at some of these events that you host. How do you center yourself I would just go into a full blown anxiety attack. I mean, I would just pass out and that would be it. Do you have no fear?Tim:
so I, it's a fine line between completely stupid, no fear. I think you think of people that jump off cliffs, you go, are you just dumb? And I think that's kind of what I've got. That don't jump off a cliff, just dumb, uh, Lionel Richie the first night, I think was 15,000 people and the next night was 22. And that first night with earth, wind and fire. I'd never been in front of a crowd of more than 500 people. There was 2200 at the hall. The next night there was 3,500 and the next night was coral sky amphitheater. And when Philip Bailey walked me out on stage to show me where I could do my show and say, Hey, don't go here, here and here that's where the dancers go. Uh, I looked out into the crowd and it was just never ending. I said, how many people he said, oh, probably 6,000 underneath the thing, but there's another three to 5,000 out there. You. I used to get nervous five days in advance of a show, one show for seven minutes, and now to do an hour, I'm probably a little hyped up about half an hour, 30 minutes or four, maybe five minutes. And once that first laugh hits, it's gone. Once the, once the light goes on on TV, it's gone. Now, did you ever bomb? Horribly I had a dream about bombing last night. I woke up to it at. Uh, I have literally had people die in a show on a cruise ship through Panama canal was a 14 day cruise. Okay. Who has 14 days off and enough money to go on a cruise people in their seventies, eighties, nineties, a hundreds, and literally had a guy die in one of my shows. Uh, another guy I almost died, but me and the other comedian brought it back to life with CPR. I've picked the wrong people to talk to in a show and had the crowd turn on me. and just had my material just die a horrid death and just sweat bullets. Julio Iglesias one of his audiences was so Spanish speaking and it was in the Dominican part of little Harlem, Dominican, Harlem in New York. They hate anybody they don't know from the neighborhood. And I went out and died a horrid death. And I look over and I look to the side where the control guys are and I'm expecting just rap. I just get outta here. They're going stretch, stretch, go stretch. Save me. And I look over and Julio has doubled over. He thinks me dying as the funniest thing he's ever seen. And I look over and I'm looking at him and I've been, get me outta here. He goes, no team, a stretch. I like to watch you suffer. So I come off and I said, what are you doing? He said, okay, these people don't like you, they hate you. Uh, very much. They don't like you even a little bit. No. So tomorrow night I want you to come out and say, please welcome Julio Iglesias and run before they shoot you. And that was one of those worst nights. And that night in the hotel, I, I talked to him. I said, do you even want me to come introduce you tomorrow? I'm starting to think maybe it's a bad idea. Maybe you stay in the hotel.sandi:
It's funny that you mention Julio, because one of the most, um, sweaty and anxiety, even experiences I had as my, in my career as a publicist was with Julio because I had a bunch of press lined up and he was supposed to come and do interviews and he was late and he was not only like a minute late, he was like hours late. And I mean, I am sweating bullets. And I I'm getting the side eye from everybody. All the press and the, the TV stations everybody's waiting, he finally gets there. Of course he's so utterly charming. They melt, they they forget about everything, but me, they still hate me. And then as we're walking, he puts his arm around me and he goes, every is okay. Correct. And I was like, yes, Julio. Oh my God. I, I mean, but it was, oh, It was the anxiety of that feeling that everybody hates you. And I think he, he, he really thrived on that.Tim:
he never showed up half an hour late. It was always two and a half hours later. Three hours late. Yeah. Uh, there was my very first night working with him was in Sarasota and I, I walked up to him like I would any other act I was not afraid of the one and only Julio Iglesias and I walked up and said, what would you like for an introduction? He goes, I don't know. That is so much to say, just pick something. And so that left me with nothing. So I go over and start to Google and pull it up on my phone and write it down. And I go out and I do my show and have a good set. I I said, all right, ladies, gentlemen, please welcome the international sensation. He sold over this many album, please welcome Julio Iglesias. And the band starts to play and he waves me over. He goes, do you want to tour with me? I said, I would love to, okay, you need to know this. I am no international. Oh, what are you? I am universal. Universal. What is this? He says, you know, they send this spaceship to Mars, the Rover, they call this thing to look for signs of life. They don't find water. They don't find the DNAs. They find a Julio Iglesias CD. I am universal in the universe.. So I said, this guy's a character I'm gonna love this. And that was the start of about a six and a half year tour with just him. Yeah, he's he is something else. something else is the best one. There are no words for Julio Well, one of the only nights he managed to, we thought he was gonna be three hours late and he was tracking about an hour and a half late for sound check. And we had two new band guys and everybody's in position. Everybody's going nuts. We're hungry. We've been down buses all day. And I said, you guys know, uh, Plush by Stone Temple Pilots? Yeah. The new guitarists start to play the sound guys, come to life. The lighting guys start to put this big show together with these lights going and every which where, and I go out on lead vocals and start singing like it's my concert. This place normally holds 3,500 it's three hours before it opens. And I am rocking out. He shows up. And he's standing by the side, in his Cape, in his suit, his $10,000 Armani suit. Team, what are you doing? This is horrible music. Horrible. Don't ever do this again. anybody who plays this horrible music will be fired. Oh, so what is your most memorable performance? Oh, that's a tough one. I think one of my absolute, most memorable, I got to do three weeks on a tour of military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, and probably the absolute greatest was about day four in Kyrgyzstan. It was the launch point for the Afghan war. And everybody would fly in and fly outta there. The first night, about 200 people there, we have a good show and these two Marines come up to us and say, Hey, too bad you guys, aren't gonna be here tomorrow night. There's about 50 to 80 guys coming through that really could use a show. Well, our flight gets bumped. So the staff Sergeant from the air force comes in and goes, Hey fellows, I don't know what you wanna do if you wanna put on another show. But there was a lot of guys on guard duty and I guess there's some new Marines. So we do another show. Same, gunny and captain come up to us and they said, Hey, too bad. You guys aren't here tomorrow night. There's like 450 guys that could really use a show. They've been going cave to cave, looking for bad guys. And they are just worn out. And, uh, sure enough staff Sergeant kicks open our tent goes bad news again fellas. Bad news,, this is great news Sarge. I said, get those guys up here, go get some buses and we'll put on a show. And he said, oh no, no, no. Those guys are battle hardened. They'll come up here, they'll break our video games and our phones and they'll eat all our food and steal our women like Vikings. We can't do a show for them. Well, this Colonel said, if you need anything, just let me know. So I went to his, his office. I said, Colonel, we need a truck, a security detail, and a microphone and a speaker. He said you got it. So we go down to this giant airplane hanger, where all these Marines are sleeping on cots and they started to turn their cots into a big amphitheater. It made, it made those, their rows of seats. And then my buddy, Derek, who I was out with and three other comedians, uh, said, what do you think we can stand on? I said, why don't you, why don't you ask that gunny, if you can get one of those loaders for that loads, the big planes to back into this place. And he did, and they backed a loader in and we climbed up the ladder, put our speakers on top of the loader. And that was our stage. And each guy did about 20 to 25 minutes. Me being a Marine and these being Marines, they let me go last. So it comes around where they do my introduction. He said, all right, you may have seen him on this show. You may have heard him on Sirius XM radio, but more than that, from 1987 to 86 to 1990, he was one of you all 400 came to their feet at one time chills from head to toe. I do my show. I'm having one of the greatest shows in my life, looking at these faces. And I look over and my buddies are giving me the, okay, rap it up sign. And I said, guys, honor of a lifetime pop. 'em a nice crispy salute. All 400 jump up and bark. Shoot the salute. I look over my buddies are crying. I'm crying, know I'm starting to cry. I, I I'm crying. I cry every time I tell a darn story. And, uh, and we walked off and shook hands for about two hours and signed anything that anybody wanted signed, even though they didn't know who the heck we were. And, and it was, it was the beginning of the three week tour, but it was, it was just a memory that'll just never go away. That's amazing. That's beautiful. And I can understand why Then we hopped around on, on helicopters for two and a half more weeks going tiny bass to tiny bass in the middle of the war zone, doing shows in chow halls and picnic areas and old aircraft hangers. And it was, it was just so memorable, so amazing to get to go do those shows for those guys. And I bet you that that was like the lifeblood that they needed to get through what was to come. I hope so. Uh, and you know, I grew up Bob Hope was another huge inspiration for me, and that was such a dream come true to do the Bob hope thing and fly around on a helicopter and make soldiers laugh, soldiers, Marines, airmen, a couple of Navy guys, and just, just be a part of what they were going through and try to help. And it was just, and the guys that I went with it, it was just such an amazing experie and such a great memory. You've had such a storied and varied career and you seem to have really just hit your stride. And now you just seem content. I mean, truly you seem, which no, and I don't mean that. I don't mean that in a negative way. No, no, no. It's a perfect word. Is it absolute, perfect word? I am. Um, I'm at peace with me. I've got an amazing wife. Adopted her daughter to be my daughter about three years ago. And, I'm getting the work that I always dreamed of getting on a regular basis and I'm not working hard to get it. It's the phone is ringing it. It's good friends that I've worked with for years, which is the blessing of blessings. Um, it's really a good time. It's a really good time. It's a good time to end the show, then but I can't end that show without being adamant about thanking you for being such an integral part of, uh, of just picking up the phone and being a good friend and making that happen. And then just being so supportive over all these years, it's been over 20 years for us.sandi:
Every year. I like to, as best I can find the people who were catalyst in my life for helping me make the big leap. And it goes, it goes both ways because When you have a new podcast, people are like, oh yeah, big deal. You know, like, oh, So now she thinks she's a radio person. but when I asked you, you didn't care, you you came anyway. And, and I'm grateful for that because that shows you truly who you true friends are that they trust you when they know anything. You, you know, that it stands on the table. Anytime you need anything I'm here. Well, thank you.
I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Tim as much as I did. I'll leave his information in links in the show notes. If this episode resonated with you in any way, and if you know someone who might like listening to it, please share. And if you're enjoying unforgettable conversations, I would truly appreciate if you would rate and review the podcast. It really helps in our rankings. Have a great week.