Archive for August 10th, 2011
Tom Bodett, formerly of Homer, Alaska (and a lot of other places along the way) did a live show in Fairbanks this past Saturday. Bodett used to host a radio show – very loosely modeled on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion – out of Homer. And he is famously the spokesperson for Motel 6 (“We’ll leave the light on for you.”). He lives in Dummerston, Vermont now (yes, that’s really the name), where he is a Selectman (kind of a city council member) and genteel farmer. And a panelist on NPR’s satirical weekend news quiz, “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”.
He’s experimenting with with a variation on stand-up comedy, more like Mark Twain’s monologues than traditional standup, and 884 Fairbanksans were treated to a free beta test of his routine on August 6. There’s still some rough edges – it runs a bit long, for one thing – but Bodett is so casual, so laid back and so charming that a longer show isn’t really a problem. The routine was largely autobiographical, with side trips involving old friends, crazy experiences and political commentary.
Some quotes WC jotted down during the show:
There’s only one thing wrong with fame and fortune, and that’s fame.
Vermont was the first state to allow concealed weapons without a permit. It’s a redneck’s worst nightmare. Gay, married couples and they’re packing.
I used to get my septic tank pumped every two years when Don Young ran for Congress. It was how I remembered.
The dumbing down of American culture hasn’t hurt my career any.
The combination of that wonderful, warm voice and a self-deprecating sense of humor have stood Bodett well over the years. Although WC thinks his writing peaked with the hysterically funny story about having his dog neutered, one of the first pieces he ever did.
An altogether enjoyable evening. Bodett will remain in town to work as a panelist for the Fairbanks show of Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me! on Thursday night. Oh, and Peter Sagal? You’ve been set up…