After a not-very-successful career as a singer-songwriter-guitarist, Martling started life anew as a slinger of dirty jokes. "I quit music, and I was the only one who knew I quit," he recalled recently, by phone from the Stern show's New York studio. So the between-song comments and jokes became his whole show. Why the constant barrage of smutty material? "Dirty jokes get the biggest laughs, and I'm up there to make people laugh."
Martling's a wizard at self-promotion. Along with his daily appearance on Stern's national radio show (heard locally at 6 a.m. on the Edge 106.3 and 100.3 FM), he runs a wildly successful catalogue company. His Web site (www.jokeland.com) and 800 line (1-800-323-5464) peddle dirty jokes in every form imaginable: comedy CDs, videos, cassettes and CD-ROMs, tee shirts and books. His most recent literary effort bears the understated title Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling's Disgustingly Dirty Joke Book (Simon & Schuster). He claims his Web site averages 200,000 hits a month. "Jokeland" is one of the most elaborate sites out there--pages and pages of inappropriate humor and tons of photos, sounds and all the cyber bells and whistles available.
About half of Martling's 18-and-older show on Saturday, May 16, at the Celebrity Theatre will consist of a rousing round of "Stump the Joke Man," in which everyone in the place gets a chance to run a joke by Martling in the hopes of beating him to the punch line. The whole crowd gets involved in shouting down the lame-o would-be comics. The prize, should you successfully stymie the raunchmeister? You get some souvenir swag like tee shirts, CDs and so forth--in Martling's words, "Some Jokeland crap."
Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street. Tickets are $19 and $22. 267-1600 (Celeb), 503-5555 (Dillard's).