Two clowns flippin' you the bird...
Beetlejuice mobbed by fans at the Clubhouse...
So the Killers of Comedy from the Howard Stern Show were in Tempe at the Clubhouse Music Venue this past Saturday, and I had to make the scene to see my two favorite Stern show regs: the black, mentally challenged dwarf known as Beetlejuice, and Yucko the Clown, a Big Top Lenny Bruce whose un-PC wisecrackery has been featured on Stern and on MTV's short-lived Stankervision: starring Roger Black as Yucko, and Black's writing/performing partner Waco O'Guin.
As I suspected, the best parts of the show consisted of Yucko in his crusty clown getup opening the set, and Beetlejuice ending the set by eating blue cheese out of the asses of two willing Tempe hotties, with the Rev. Bob Levy egging on Beetle to nosh out. Levy was somewhat amusing, but after a while, it seemed like every joke had to do with him popping a load. This bald comic Shuli, whose banal signature is saying "Shalom!" to the audience, was pretty fucking boring. And Sal the Stockbroker, though a favorite with the club attendees, did little but spout cheap frat-boy racial humor. Really, really dumb stuff.
I was glad I got to see Beetlejuice and Yucko, being huge fans of both, but I was disappointed Yucko opened the set and only did about 15 minutes. According to Roger Black -- Yucko minus the greasepaint, the "Killers" switch off on who opens, and Yucko got the short straw this time 'round. Actually, I felt like I got the short straw, but the cracker-white goofball crowd seemed to be feelin' most of it, especially Levy's appearance and Beetlejuice's date with some gooey buttcrack. So maybe the Killers know their target audience better than I do.
After the show, Beetlejuice was mobbed for autographs, proving who was the real star in the room. I told Yucko, who was also nearby taking pics with fans, that only in America can you be a retarded Gary Coleman and end up being this loved and appreciated. God bless Howard Stern!
After the show, Beetlejuice and Yucko (sans Bozo vestments) headed over to Shayna's, on Scottsdale Road right next to Jenna Jameson's stripclub Babe's. It doesn't suck to be either Roger Black (Yucko) or Beetle. Both were getting beaucoup free drinks and shots from fans. While Beetle was being loved-up by these spikey-haired Scottsdale yahoos who otherwise have probably never spoken to an African-American in their lives, I hung with Black for a bit, and he told me he'd be in town for the remainder of the week visiting his girlfriend Nicole's family in Mesa. You can read how they met in the interview below, which I did with Yucko prior to his appearance.
The Yucko/Beetle crew soon made a bee-line for Babe's, and though I was tempted to go watch Beetle get earmuffed by stripper bolt-ons, I didn't think it was worth the $10 cover at the door, so I bid adieu to Black and Beetle and headed back to Shayna's (formerly the Cat Eye Lounge) to ogle hot chicks with tattoos.
BTW, Yucko's CD The Damn Show Volume 2 is on sale at http://damnshow.com/, and it includes a segment shot in Scottsdale! For real. Also, check out this new site from Turner Broadcasting that Yucko and Waco are writing for: http://www.superdeluxe.com/ Funny shit. Beetlejuice's site is http://www.jollydwarf.com/.
Feathered Bastard yucks it up with Roger Black, the man behind the foul-mouthed Pagliaccio, Yucko the Clown.
Anyone who’s a fan of Stankervision, knows what Yucko looks like minus his clown makeup on. He looks like Roger Black! But I won’t go into a detailed description here, save to say that if you didn’t know what he looks like otherwise, you’d never guess Black was Yucko the Clown. The following Q&A was done via phone a few weeks prior to Yucko’s appearance at the Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe. Black did it in his regular voice for the most part, instead of Yucko's deranged, nasally delivery.
Feathered Bastard: So have you gotten laid a lot as Yucko?
Black: I’ve got a girlfriend right now, ya know. But like I do live shows and stuff and there are chicks just throwing themselves at you. Like, sign my tits, flashing you and stuff like that. They feel like they’re part of the show when they come out and see these live shows like we do at the Clubhouse, with Beetlejuice, the little black midget from the show. It’s like a fucking circus.
FB: Have you every knocked boots with the clown suit on?
Black: No, once the show’s over, I’m ready to get out of the makeup. Plus, the outfit, it stinks. It’s repulsive.
FB: I heard you never wash it.
Black: I’m superstitious when it comes to the suit. It’s like a pair of Super Bowl socks. You wear ‘em all season long and you don’t wash ‘em cause it’ll jinx you. It’s got puke from Vegas on there, beer, mustard stains, DNA.
Black: You know, you go to the strip club and stuff and they rub all over the suit.
FB: Tell me about your girlfriend. How did you meet?
Black: Her name’s Nicole. I’ve been with her a little over a year. She was a cocktail waitress at a place called Mardi Gras (in Scottsdale). We met there on New Year's Eve (of 2005) and have been dating ever since.
FB: How did you approach her? Were you in the clown suit at the time?
Black: Kind of half-and-half in clown costume and out. I was in my clown suit, but I don’t think I had my clown nose on at the time. I said, “Hey, what are you doing later?”
FB: In your Yucko voice or your regular voice?
Black: In my Yucko voice. I think the line prior to “Hey, what are you doing later?” was, (in Yucko voice) “So you’re a cocktail waitress? I wanna put my cock in your tail.” And it melted her heart.
FB: Where did you go for your first date?
Black: It was U.S. Egg, on Scottsdale Road across from the Courtyard (by Marriott). We didn’t hook up the first night. No, it took some time. Flying out there and courtin' her and all that shit. But eventually I did decide to move out there during the hottest time of the year.
FB: What did you do while you were here?
Black: I wrote a screenplay waiting for my agent to come up with something else. I didn’t have anything else going on. I was out there for like six months, from May to July 2006.
FB: You also filmed that segment which is in Volume 2 of The Damn Show DVD in Scottsdale. Unfortunately, it was one of the least funny segments, 'cause people just reacted by laughing when you came up to them.
Black: It was really hard to shock people out there. I don’t know what you have in the water.
FB: We don’t have any water. We're in the desert. Maybe that was it. Where do you live now?
Black: Athens, Georgia.
FB: So why did Stankervision go off the air? You seemed to be building a following when you were yanked.
Black: It scared off a lot of advertisers and stuff. Like we did this whole campaign the ad department wasn’t happy with. There’s just a lot of bullshit red tape to go through, you know. (Jimmy) Kimmel was good buddies with Andy Milonakis. And Kimmel has a good relationship with a lot of execs up there. And I know we were slamming him (Milonakis) in the ratings. And he still got picked up for a second season. And a third season, and we didn’t. A little hostility there towards Milonakis. But it’s a lot of factors. Mostly it’s just a little too edgy. When they picked us up, they knew what they were getting into. But it kind of scared them off, I guess. It’s worked out better for us, because we’ve had more opportunities and stuff. Like right now, we’re working with Turner on a new website called Super Deluxe (http://www.superdeluxe.com/). We’re producing some new bits for them and everything, so we don’t have to worry about language and mature content. Because MTV really caters to my fucking super sweet 16 crowd and everything. But it was a great opportunity. It definitely got our foot in the door for other stuff.
FB: How did The Damn Show, which later morphed into Stankervision, come about?
Black: Basically The Damn Show started out with us (Black and partner Waco O'Guin) just running around with video cameras and crazy pranks and man on the street stuff. Just kind of goofing around. Then we started doing live shows. We’d rent out this old movie theater that sells beer and stuff. It’s called the Georgia Theater. We started doing shows there. We built up a following, and then people started buying our VHS tapes and somehow they got around to all the college campuses and people are dubbing them like crazy. Next thing you know we’re doing shows at like LSU and a lot of the Southeastern colleges and stuff. And all over the Southeast, then we started going out West. It was kind of like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I would come out and do standup, and then we’d show the all the pretape stuff on the movie screen.
FB: How’d you get your big break with Stern?
Black: I called Gary Dell'Abate (Stern's producer) for a year straight. I had to think of some big stunt to get on the air. When the Braves were playing the Yankees, I ran onto the field and I had a big sign that said, “Bring Howard to Atlanta.” And they had the audio of the announcer going, “There’s a clown on the field, there’s a clown on the field!” So I sent that into K.C. (Armstrong) and Gary, and they booked me on the show, and Howard just fell in love with the character….The Stern show was instrumental in getting the MTV show because there are so many Stern fans out there.
FB: What’s the craziest shit you’ve ever done for Stern?
Black: When the D.C. sniper was on the loose, I drove up to D.C. and Maryland. I was dressed in my clown costume, I was pumping gas and I was holding a big bull’s eye.
FB: Describe working with Beetlejuice.
Black: He’s fucking crazy man. He’s really retarded, I mean, I hate to say it, the poor guy. It’s funny to take him out in public and like eat dinner and stuff. Like one time this waitress came up to him and he says, “You got Bud Light?” She says, "Yeah we do.” He says, “I’ll take a Coors Light.” And we’ll get into big arguments and fuck with him when we pay the check. We’ll say, “Wait, sales tax? Did you have the sales tax?” And he thinks it’s an entrée on there, you know. He’s like, “I didn’t have the sales tax.” We’re like, “Yeah you did, it’s right here.” And he says, “But I didn’t order the sales tax!”
FB: Where did the Yucko character come from?
Black: I was doing standup as myself, and then I wanted to tell these edgy, kind of racist jokes and people not take it too seriously. So I was like, I’ll start dressing up as a clown, ya know? Sometimes I wished I’d a picked a pilgrim. It’s a pain in the ass to get that makeup on. But people don’t know what I look like, and it’s hard to pick on a clown, you know?
FB: Do you write those quips ahead of time, or are they just off your head?
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Black: Most of it’s improv, but sometimes I write some stuff up in case I hit a wall or something. Like I’ve got a list of fat jokes, gay jokes, black jokes. But for the most part, it’s all improv. Because you never know what they’re going to say back. You kind of play off what they say, like a set-up/punch-line kind of thing.
FB: Some of the stuff you ask people is off the wall, really insulting. Like Don Rickles meets Clarabelle the Clown. Does anyone ever take a swing at you?
Black: Not as many as you think. That’s the beauty of being in a clown suit, pretty much you don’t take it seriously. On the train ride home, you’re like, “Did that clown just call me a big fat faggot?.”
For more Yucko, search for his name on YouTube, and check out his site http://damnshow.com/.