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One of the most clever songwriters and quick-witted live comedians in the business... with his high speed, low-drag act that constantly changes and evolves, Pat has such strong material and improv skills, no two shows are ever the same... not even close.
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What, And Quit Show Business?

IMG_4304It’s December 3, 2014 (Year of the Nasty Divorce), and I have just completed two runs doing comedy on a cruise ship and I have one day off before I start the next one. I’m burned out, and I could use a night to recharge. The cruise line flies me from Roatán, Honduras to Miami and then gets me on a shuttle to the delightful Doubletree Inn, where they’re putting me up for the night. As soon as I get there, I’m informed that it’s sold out, so I take a taxi to the Comfort Inn where the overflow gets stashed—and rumor has it—it’s not so delightful. The hotel has changed its name to the Clarion, which understandably confuses the cabbie, resulting in a drive that cost one hour and $65 bucks. Adding to the fun is the fact that the cruise line was also oblivious to the name change and had yet to contact the Clarion; an hour and a half later, I still didn’t have a reservation. It’s midnight, so instead of waiting any longer for the hotel to contact the cruise line for verification, I pay for a room, knowing that I’ll be reimbursed. I try to nap a little, which has been nearly impossible since the wife and I broke up. I miss my kids too, so unfortunately, I sleep like a shark.

At 5:55 a.m. the next day, I fly to Cozumel, Mexico red-eyed and saggy tailed. I arrive and spend an hour shuffling through the customs line, which is annoyingly typical. It’s only about 1:30 p.m. and the ships leave around 5 or 6 p.m., so I’m good time-wise. This lovely cattle-drive customs experience leads to a thirty minute cab ride in a packed van with no air conditioning, just a pine tree air freshener long past its due date. Pedro the Aromatic drops me off last. I got to the port at 2 p.m., just in time to find out that my ship left forty minutes ago.

SON. OF. A. BITCH!

Obviously, someone in the cruise line travel office had made a mistake and since it was a private charter the departure time wasn’t posted online, something I always check in case of any travel discrepancies. These things happen, so I go borrow the free Wifi at Señor Frog’s so I can email the person in charge of Travel Emergencies. They reply quickly and tell me that now I have to meet the ship I missed in Roatán, Honduras. I immediately think of Alan Arkin’s alarmed response to being tricked into flying to this dangerous country by Peter Falk in The In-Laws: “Honduras?”, as he bolts for the plane’s door. (Anyone under 40, Netflix it.) “I just got out of Roatán alive yesterday,” I say to myself. I’m told by the cruise line to check my e-mail, keep my phone on (I have no International plan), stay put (Where am I going?) and a port agent will drive me to the first leg of my journey to get me to the ship. (Great.) The port agent arrives, races through traffic and gets me on a rickety ferry that takes me to Playa del Carmen in the 90-degree heat and blazing sun. From there, another port agent (straight out of Central Casting: Mexican Villains Division) in a hot van all out of Freon rushes me to the surprisingly nice Cancun Airport. From there, I fly to the unsurprisingly scary Mexico City Airport, landing at 11:30 p.m., drained of my patience, moisture and will to live. My emergency contact tells me that it’s a six hour layover, and I should just stay at the airport, so I sleep on the floor with my guitar, luggage, and European-style computer bag tied to various parts of my body for safekeeping. I put my genuine fake Rolex, St. Christopher’s medal (some help he’s been) and passport in my underwear, because no one’s been rooting around in there for a while. Ba dum cha!

The next morning, I feel like an arthritic octogenarian after crashing on the hard marble floor. I slowly creak toward the ATM to get some cash for “whatever the f*ck may happen next” and my debit card gets swallowed by the machine. Apparently if you push too many of the wrong Spanish commands, it takes your card. I’m going through a divorce, my credit’s shot and I only have one piece of plastic, so now I’m penniless. SH*T!

The airport security guard, dressed head-to-toe in camouflage and donning a stylish AK-47, shoots me a look. I nod as if to say “I’ll keep it down, Sir.” Despite his terrifying accessories, he looks like he’s about 14. I head to the ticket counter to check my luggage and get my boarding passes, wait in line for 40 minutes only to find out that my Aeromexico flight has changed terminals and the new ticket counter is a cab drive away. “F*CK!” This vulgarity, familiar to all cultures, and loud as all f*ck, can be heard in Chile. Security boy shoots me another look. I hold his gaze for a full five seconds and then mime for him to please shoot me, shoot me now, por favor.

I have no cab fare, so I hoof it approximately a mile with my guitar, large bag and man purse to my new Aeromexico ticket counter. Soaking wet from the 99% humidity and badly in need of a knee replacement and a heart shunt, I make it to my gate with ten minutes to spare. Flight 397 to San Salvador, with an on time departure of 5:30 a.m., is a turbulent one and normally would scare the food court fajitas out of me, but I’m unusually calm. I’m reading over my divorce papers—I welcome death. When I arrive and get to the next gate for my flight to Honduras, I sit, sigh, and close my eyes for just a second since I have another hour before the next leg of my never-ending commute. “Ahh… just relax,” I plead with myself.

When I open my eyes, I come to the unfortunate realization that everyone waiting for my flight has gone. Now I fall asleep? Are you kidding me? NOOOOOO! This can actually be heard in hell, which from what I hear, is the majority of El Salvador. I rush to the agent at my gate who, thankfully, says that if I run to the plane on the tarmac, I just might make it (she says this in Spanish of course, but I figure it out from all of the exaggerated gesturing, like a Telemundo comedy sketch). I take off as fast as my 50 year-old legs will take me, with all of my items flopping clumsily beside me. I must look like an older, white, out-of-shape, overly accessorized cartoon caricature of Usain Bolt. They open the hatch door and let me in. I thank the El Salvadorian gods, whomever or whatever they may be. (I’m going to assume their higher power is a chicken, coconut shell with Jesus-like markings, or a cell phone taken from a dead tourist.)

When I get to Roatán at 11:00 a.m., I am picked up by yet another grizzled, dandruffy port agent who escorts me to immigration, which, as it turns out, is a hut in the hills manned by a woman with one arm and what appears to be chocolate around her mouth. God, I hope it’s chocolate and not some sort of voodoo sh*t. Her name-tag is heavy on the consonants. She looks me up and down with her cataract-clouded eyes, grunts, checks my passport and then looks at her computer. She asks me in her native tongue why I was in Roatán a day and a half ago and I’m back today. The port agent translates, I explain, he tells her, she doesn’t understand, and I spend the next hour in a small room being searched, prodded and probed by a man with large hands. He finds nada, so I’m free to go and walk to our van like an aging, bow-legged Blues singer.

We proceed to the ship, and on the way, my Honduran driver tells me that his country is the world leader in homicides, “Ees almos two to one,” he says. He seems proud of this fact. I ask him, as politely as I can, to drive a little faster because I have children and would very much like to see them again. We stop for a public execution—just kidding, but at this point, it wouldn’t have surprised me. I finally get to the ship and am informed that it’s a gay charter and it gets pretty wild, especially in the hot tubs and pool areas, so I may want to stay in my cabin between shows if that sort of thing offends me. Oh and by the way, I have three shows the first night. Now, I’ve been traveling for two and a half days and I’m afraid that doing three shows on very little sleep and a lot of aggravation might make me a tad cranky on stage. (Did I mention that I’m going through a divorce?) Heaven help the Mojito-addled, hapless, homosexual heckler.

Now, any sane person reading this may question my career choices, to which I can only reply, “What, and quit show business? Being a comedian, or any other kind of entertainer, is about the journey, the experience, the stories, and some of the best trips, times and tales are the ones that occur on the outskirts of rich, the fringes of famous: the guns drawn at hell gigs in country bars, the long drives in the blinding snow when you don’t know where the ramp starts and the highway begins and the shows on chartered cruise ships with flamboyant drag queens, regular queens and a naked guy on a skateboard being led around like a pull toy. That’s my job and this is the career I chose. As the saying goes, “they pay us to travel, not to perform” and I can’t stop now, I’m just starting to get the hang of it. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go, I have a show for a boatload of gay people to prepare for—right after I take a nap. (I better set 2 alarms.)”

Editors note: the only part of this story that uses the “Godwin Exaggeration Factor” (sometimes as high as 12%) is the implied cavity search at the Honduran immigration hut. It was actually just a thorough pat down and luggage check. If you doubt the “guns drawn at hell gigs in country bars” line, ask Lee Loren (Carrot Top’s sound and light guy) about the time he and Pat had a shotgun pointed at them while trying to get paid in

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Octapussy

IMG_0456In honor of Roger Moore, here’s a little story from the mid-eighties.

I had just started dating an attractive DJ from Rock 107 in Scranton, PA named Suzie “Something Italian” (name withheld on account of I don’t want to piss her off) and it was time to meet her parents. They lived in Kingston, PA and I found out their next door neighbor was Russel Bufalino, former head of an Italian crime family. I was hoping there wasn’t any connection.

I walked in their lovely home, was greeted by Suzie, and her Father was seated at the far end of the dinner table, stirring his coffee. The Mom was nowhere to be found. He says, “Sit down.” That was it. I sat down and the kitchen light splashed on me like an interrogation lamp and the Dad was in the dark, just staring at his coffee cup, still stirring. He never looks up. “I hear you’ve been dating my daughter and I wanted to meet you. (long pause) Godwin is an Irish name, right?” That’s correct, sir,” I said. (Strike one) And you’re a singer?” he continued, saying the word “singer” like it was a crime. “Yes”, I said, (strike two). He took a long, dramatic Marlon Brando-like pause and said, “What are you two doing, tonight?” (lingering on the word “doing” like it was a forkful of pasta) I said, “We’re going to see Octupussy,” without thinking how dirty it sounded. (strike three)

He looked up, slowly, like I was a hit man from an opposing family and said, “Octu… pussy? Oc… tu… pussy? You’re taking my daughter to a pornographic film?” I said, “No sir, it’s the latest James Bond movie, ‘Octupussy’, and that’s the name of it, I swear. They had a character in one of their other films called, ‘Pussy Galore’. They use the word ‘pussy’ a lot, as a joke, sir.” (every time I say “pussy,” I make it worse) Suzie’s large, intimidating, Italian-American Father is standing now; staring a bullet hole right through me and says, “You mean to tell me the James Bond producers, in their infinite wisdom, decided to name their new movie “Octu… pussy?” Yes, sir,” I said, “The censors missed the boat on that one, eh?”

Luckily, there was a newspaper on the table and I was able to prove it was a Bond film, not a porno, and save myself from being “fish food”. As Suzie and I were leaving, her Father took me aside, gave me $20 and said, “Take her to see anything besides ‘Octu… pussy’.” We rented “The Godfather”.

Author’s note: Never judge a book by it’s Mario Puzo cover. Suzie’s Dad, as it turned out, was a sweetheart, owned a respectable silk flower business and a restaurant. The Mother, on the other hand, was the one who had it in for me; threw a drink in my face at The Crackerbox Palace in Kingston, PA and threatened worse. Long story short, I moved to Tampa.

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Bond, James Bond

IMG_0415Sean Connery was arguably the best James Bond, but Roger Moore’s dapper, smooth, and haughty take on him was more in line with Ian Flemming’s books. I never met Mr. Moore, may he rest In peace, but I did bond with Mr. Connery.

I was on WMMR’s Morning Zoo in Philly and we were doing a week of live radio shows at Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers in London, in July of 1990. The radio station put us up at the Grosvenor House Hotel, a place famous for being one of the Beatles’ last gigs, right before taking over America. When we were checking in, we noticed a well-dressed Sean Connery sitting in a comfy lobby chair, reading a newspaper, smoking a pipe, and drinking something brown. “This place must be great,” I said. “James Bond’s staying here.”

We asked the ole chap manning the front desk why Sean Connery was in their lobby and he says, “Leave him alone and don’t try to interview him for your radio show, because he doesn’t like being bothered. Oh, and don’t call him ‘James Bond’, unless you want to incur his wrath. He hates that.” The guy goes on to say that the very private Mr. Connery takes a month off from his work, wife and family every year and stays at the hotel to be by himself. Just then, Sean chortled at something he read. He looks happy in his solitude.

After our 1st live London radio show, we headed back to our hotel and met up at the bar. We were loud, laughing, and discussing the day’s show (we had Roger Waters on and he cursed a lot). I even played piano while La Toya Jackson sang (she was staying at the hotel and dressed like her brother, Michael, during his epaulets on the shoulders phase). It was going to be a crazy week. This was not a typical workday in Philadelphia. Sean Connery was there, too, but we never talked to him, as promised. He was quietly reading a newspaper, smoking a pipe, and drinking something brown. He never looked up and seemed content.

The whole week was nuts like that, with James Bond in a corner, by himself, oblivious to his surroundings, and us carrying on like ugly Americans. We’d do our show, interview stars like Pete Townsend, Sir Bob Geldof, and Peter Gabriel, run around town doing touristy things, go back to the hotel bar, grab something to eat, have a drink, crack wise, and there he’d be… all alone… every night… Sean Connery. It was surreal, and as much as we wanted to, we never talked to him, never invited him to be on our little show, and never called him James Bond.

One morning, after a few days of eating and imbibing too much, I figured I’d go down to the hotel gym and get a workout in. It was empty, except for myself and Sean Connery, who was on an exercise bike, reading the paper, sans the smoke and drink. I paced around for a little bit, trying to look manly, made eye contact with him, nodded, but he didn’t return my gesture. I went over to the bench press and looked at the weights on the bar. Hmm, it wasn’t labeled in pounds, it was in kilograms, the English measurement of weight, and I didn’t have a clue how much it was, but it looked do-able.

I got the loaded barbel up off the bench, shook violently, and then BOOM, it slammed down on my chest. I was trapped. It was so heavy, I couldn’t slide it down my body and the bar was choking me. It’s like I was having my own International fight to the death with a Bond villain at my throat. I closed my eyes and with all my might tried to lift it. Nothing. I’m going to die. All of sudden, the barbell was pulled off me and I breathed a sigh of relief. I opened my eyes and found myself staring face-to-face with my rescuer, former British spy, Goldfinger’s nemesis, the man who got Pussy Galore… Sean F*cking Connery. I said, “Thank you, 007, you saved my life.” He smiled and said, “Shonny boy, you may want to try a shmaller amount. Perhapsh, a weight more shuited to your body type. And the name’sh Bond, Jamesh Bond.” I laughed hard (his desired response), did some light lifting, and went back to my room.

I never told the Morning Zoo crew about my encounter with Mr. Connery, because I didn’t think they’d believe me. As we were leaving the Grosvenor House Hotel to go to the airport, Sean Connery was in the lobby, and I said, “Nice to meet you, Mr. Bond, and thank you for saving my life,” to which Mr. Connery replied, “You’re welcome, Shonny boy, and you may want to pick a fight with a tiny dumbbell, next time.” I looked at my Morning Zoo co-workers, their mouths agape, and said, “I’ll tell you on the plane.”

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Big Fat Head Dot Com

IMG_0354I was at an outdoor musical festival in Reno and some lady tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Sir, excuse me. Do you have trouble finding baseball caps that fit?” I said, “What are you talking about? This one fits just fine. Is this some kind of joke?” (truth is, it did not fit properly, none do, and was perched on my noggin precariously like an organ monkey grinder’s hat)

She handed me a business card and continued her pitch, “No, I’m not kidding. I noticed you have a HUGE head and I have a company that caters to your kind.” I said, “My kind? What kind? You mean, the cranially deformed kind? Who put you up to this?” I turned to my buddy, Gary Raffanelli, and said, “Dude, is this your dirty work?” Gary was bent over, slapping his thighs, laughing at my discomfort and says, “No, I swear. This lady’s on her own. It wasn’t me.” (Gary was our piano player at Catch A Rising Star comedy club, a rapscallion, and I wouldn’t put it past him)

I looked at the lady’s card, and if this was a prank, it was a good one. The card was well done, expensive looking and had their website www.bigfathead.com printed on it. I said to the woman, “Big Fat Head dot com. Seriously? You solicit people in public, insult them with the horrible name of your company and expect that to work.” She said, “No, not usually, but I was hanging out, enjoying the band, and I couldn’t stop staring at the size of your head in comparison to your hat, and since my husband and I just started the business, I thought I’d reach out. You’re our target customer.” I handed her back the card like it was a hot turd and said, “No, thank you. I’m good.”

When I got back home a week later, still bummed out over the Big Fat Head lady and my moon dome, I went on line, checked out their website and discreetly ordered two baseball caps. I still have them, and no, they didn’t come in separate UPS trucks, smart asses.

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Passport Problem

IMG_0293Honduran customs lady kept looking at my passport and shaking her head. Then, she takes me to a private area and tells me to wait. I’ve only got 20 minutes before my flight to Miami boards — so I’m concerned. 10 minutes go by and I can see her and the supervisor looking at all my passport pages with furrowed brows and checking the computer with mad fingers. They slide my passport through some kind of “check to see if he’s on a Wanted List” thingy. 5 minutes go by. Next, they take a copy of one page and seem troubled by it. Both of the agents approach me and point to a particular stamp and ask me what it means, but they ask me in Spanish. I tell them that what they’re holding is an American passport and I speak English (that did not go over well). They repeat the question in my native tongue, with accents so movie villain thick, it takes me a second or two before I understand. I look down at the page in question, take a beat, and proudly tell them, “That, mi amigos, is a tiny crayon drawing my 4 year-old son did of the character ‘Anger’ from the movie ‘Inside Out’, and in the future, I’ll be more careful where I put my passport when I’m home.” They both look at each other, mumble something, and slap the passport in my hand. I make the flight.


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Appearing Tonight, Tom Goodwin

IMG_0503As I was driving to Lima, Ohio recently for a show, I heard the radio station advertise a “Tom Goodwin” was performing at “Waldo and Stiemy’s Sports Bar and More”. How they got “Tom Goodwin” out of “Pat Godwin” is beyond me, because I sent the proper promotional material months in advance. Why I’m at such a place is not beyond me, I booked it. The commercial went on to say this “Tom Goodwin” was hilarious and making a name for himself so check out his show, blah, blah, blah. Since I was doing a door deal with the club (I get paid a percentage of the tickets sold), I panicked. It’s hard enough to pack a place with the right name, let alone one with an extra letter and a different first name. John Mayer draws a crowd; Tim Mayek does not.

Thinking that this may be just the radio station’s mistake, I pulled in to the nearest gas station and got one of those weekly entertainment papers but there it was: Appearing tonight at “Waldo and Stiemy’s Sports Bar and More” (formerly Just jokin’)-Tom Goodwin. It was then and there I realized I’m not in show business. I may think I am, but I’m not. I get paid for making people laugh, put on a show and do some business, but I’m not in show business. I don’t have a manager or an agent; I don’t schmooze well, spend the day on the phone or do any of the necessary things that shape a career. I write, practice and perform. That should be enough, but it’s not even close.

People in show business have representation that looks after tiny details like not working at a place called “Waldo and Stiemy’s Sports Bar and More” and getting the performer’s name right. My friend, Daniel Tosh, who has a show on Comedy Central, is in show business. Tieve, the one-armed plate spinner I saw on “America’s Got Talent” is in show business. Hell, even the elusive and enigmatic “Tom Goodwin” is in show business but “Pat Godwin” is not.

Next week the “More” part of “Waldo and Stiemy’s Sports Bar and More” is presenting comedian Costaki Economopoulos and guess what? His name is spelled right on all the advertisements. Despite what I think about the venue he’s working or his agent’s booking skills, Costaki Economopoulus is definitely in show business.

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One Way Down

IMG_5770I met “Princess Millionaire” (name withheld because I can’t afford another lawsuit) after a show in Sanibel, Florida, and we hit it off immediately due to our common interests: music, heartbreak, and talking about music and heartbreak. We dated for only a month or two, before I moved into one of her family’s guest houses on exclusive Star Island in Miami Beach. Usually, I make most of my relationship decisions based on a gut instinct, but that day my gut was clearly thinking below the belt. Poor, struggling, Irish Troubadour and rich, pampered, Jewish American Princess. What could possibly go wrong? The children’s song, “One Of these Things (Is Not Like The Others)” comes to mind.

As the Princess and I got to know each other AFTER we moved in together, the story of both her and my failed marriages came up—a lot. I drowned my feelings in the bottom of a shot glass back then, and kept busy by performing as much as possible to get out of the debt incurred by my lawyer ex back in Philly. She, on the other hand had been wallowing in grief and self pity after her divorce, almost to the point of harming herself. I stood there shocked one night when she told me just how far she had fallen emotionally and what she almost did to end the pain. The guest house where we stayed under the watchful eye of her smothering parents still had her old wedding photos on the wall, pictures of her ex-husband in the bedroom, and pressed dead flowers he’d given her in ornate scrapbooks and antique vases. It bothered me, but I said nothing and just grabbed another vodka and something. I too had a heart to heal, and a habit to feed. She drank and talked a lot, and I listened and drank a lot. Our late night conversations mirrored scenes from the movie, “Days of Wine and Roses”, but with me poorly cast in the reasonable Jack Lemmon role. Why I didn’t highball it back to my cheap Irish shanty back in Philadelphia, I’ll never know.

The Princess told me that after her husband left her, she nicked herself on the forearms and then showed me the marks. This is the first time that I had ever heard about cutting, let alone saw it up close. “Cutters”, as they’re called in analyst jargon, injure themselves on purpose to relieve emotional pain by making scratches or cuts on the body with a sharp object. This is why I wrote the line in my song, ‘One Way Down’, “I cut to feel and see I’m bleeding, lipstick red to match my frown.” Most people who cut are girls, but guys self-injure, too. I skipped the knife and eased my pain in more toxic ways.

A year earlier I had first-hand experience with suicide when my brother’s live-in girlfriend and my radio partner John DeBella’s ex-wife, Annette killed herself by letting the car run with the garage door closed (long story, and like I said earlier, “I can’t afford another lawsuit”). I drew on that memory to flesh my song ‘One Way Down’ out with details that were beyond the Princess’ experience. I always thought Annette’s death was a ploy to get attention and never thought her true intention was suicide, and that’s what I drew upon for the song’s final send-off, “So pay attention, because I can’t back down. My soul’s on fire.” The “my soul’s on fire” reference having to do with the Catholic Church’s stance on taking your own life, and where you burn, when you do.

The song, “One Way Down” is terrific melodically and lyrically a bit dark, but I think the two compliment each other nicely. It’s got a Pink Floyd feel to it because that’s all she played at the time and it was bound to seep in to my songwriting consciousness. By the way, if you’re ever feeling situationally depressed, you might want to stay away from booze and Pink Floyd. In combination, the two tend to act as a blues accelerant.

If I wrote this song with a woman’s eye (not literally, of course, that would be gross), and I’m in the process of recording it. If you were wondering what happened to the sad, tragic figure who inspired the song, she dumped me a week before 9/11 (the unintentional symbolism of the Twin Towers falling was not lost on me), is happily married with 4 kids, and building her 2nd home in Nantucket, RI. Take that, stupid song!

Editor’s note: Pat’s lawyer, Gary Schatzstein would like the reader to know that Mr. Godwin made this whole story up. Gary says, “He’s got an imagination on him, that guy. Great song, but the story behind it never happened—it never happened, I tell you.”

One Way Down

My love was there just for the taking
Arms were open, defenses down
Where are you while I’m shaking
In the quiet of the heart breaking sounds?

If this is it, then I’m not living
My morning suit, your wedding gown
I just can’t be so damned forgiving
One way down
One way down

So pledge allegiance to the cold, cold ground
My soul’s on fire

I cut to feel and see I’m bleeding
Lipstick red to match my frown
Yes it’s you that I’m seeking
In the madness of a mind melting down

If this is it, then I’m not breathing
Stuck alone in this cold town
I can’t stand that you are leaving me
One way down
One way down

So sign a contract with the cold, cold ground
My soul’s on fire

If this is it, then I’m not trying
This ocean’s endless, I might drown
Our pressed flowers lay there dying
One way down, one way down

So pay attention, because I can’t back down
My Soul’s on fire

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The Boss’ Wedding Coat

IMG_0290“Then I got Mary pregnant
And man that was all she wrote
And for my 19th birthday
I got a union card and a wedding coat” ~ Bruce Springsteen

Burlington Coat Factory: “May I help you?”
Bruce Springsteen: “Yeah, I’m here to get a wedding coat.”
Burlington Coat Factory: “A what?”
Bruce Springsteen: “A wedding coat.”
Burlington Coat Factory: “We got Winter coats, peacoats, overcoats, but there’s no such thing as a wedding coat. There’s a wedding tux, a morning suit that the groom wears, but we don’t sell them. We sell coats.”
Bruce Springsteen: “Never mind. Can you think of a better rhyme for ‘wrote’?”
Burlington Coat Factory: “Try next door at the Burlington Song Factory.”

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Dick In Yer Bits

IMG_0286A sweet, elderly woman from the Deep South approached me after a show on Royal Caribbean and said, “Son, you were great, but could I make a suggestion?” I thought, “Oh, no—here it comes. She didn’t care for the occasional bad language and she’s going to complain.” She says very sternly, “You were funny, but you weren’t dirty enough. Put some funk on it. You don’t got enough dick in yer bits. Make love to that audience, gently at first, then f*ck ’em hard.” I stood there aghast, laughed a nervous little laugh and told her that I had cleaned up my act somewhat, but if she came back to the late show, I’d work a little bluer for her. She came back, brought her big hat wearing friends and I told the crowd about our conversation and damn if I didn’t put some mother-f*ckin’, t*tty-lickin’ dicks in my bits—and you know what? It killed, and was fun letting loose with Big Momma’s blessing. Her whole table gave me a standing ovation, demanding the rest of the crowd to get off their God damn feet and stand up for the man who had the balls to put some dick in his bits.

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Paco, The Pool Boy

IMG_0285For a while there, I was on “The Bob & Tom Show” every couple of weeks, and rapidly running out of songs, bits, and what Tom and I called, “ammunition”. I had ambushed the crew with my “Iraqi Prisoner Song” a few weeks earlier (my satire of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal) and I had shot my wad, so to speak. I was out of bullets, I was empty… ca-put. Now it just so happened that “Paul and Storm“, the creative duo that came out of the now defunct “Davinci’s Notebook“, an a cappella group known for it’s hit song, “Internet Porn” were in town, so I asked them to back me up on a little something. I thought these great harmonizers would liven up my tired, one-man band sound and give me the new novelty hit I desperately needed, but I was out of the “little something” I had advertised. I got nothing.

I don’t remember where the idea for “Paco, The Pool Boy” came from, but it’s a broad comedy concept, one that’s been mined by others over the years, and now dug up by me out of desperation. Cougars were big in the media at the time and still are, so I chose them, and the stereotypical Mexican pool boys that served them. I was going for the easy target, by making fun of sex and race, 2 out of the 3 Ps of comedy: Penis, Prejudice and Poopy.

I had one day to write the damn thing, rehearse the vocals with “Paul and Storm”, and then perform it on “The Bob & Tom Show”. Holy guacamole, I’d better get busy. So I picked up the guitar, got into Mariachi-mode, and started writing. I told the tale of “Paco, The Pool Boy” as a misunderstood Porno cliché. The former illegal alien who had grown up, was now married with children, and no longer interested in being the Taco Bell “Combo number 2″ of the hungry, older, wealthy, abandoned, horny housewife. But, there was a time…

When I got to the studios at 6 AM, “Paul and Storm” where already there and we went over the song, one last time. We. Were. Ready. The original version was written with Latino slang and “Paul and Storm’s” background parts explained my Spanish and broken English. I would sing lines like, “Mis testiculos son de color azul” and they would respond in a half-sung whisper, “His balls are blue”, and we thought it was hilarious. The only problem was that when we did the song live on the show, not only did my Spanglish need more interpretation, but I sung it in a VERY thick Mexican accent. Guess what? “I won’t cheat on my wife” sung like the Frito Bandito sounds just like, “I won’t SHEET on my wife”. Aye carumba! No one had time to hit the dump button on the 7-second delay and everyone else in the studio– Bob, Tom, Kristi Lee and Chick McGee all thought I said shit on the air, one of the famous 7 dirty words that you can’t say on the radio. Unbeknownst to me, I had added the 3rd P of comedy, Poopy, in it’s dirtier vernacular.

Keep in mind that this was a time when the FCC was fining potty-mouthed morning shows, so the “sheety” pool boy song was dead in the water before it even had a chance to doggy paddle. Tom Griswold just glared at me, with a WTF? look on his face for the remainder of the tune. We didn’t have a clue as to why the song was getting such a negative reaction, since Paul, Storm, and I where so used to my ridiculous accent by now. We bravely forged ahead with millions of people listening to my “Paco, The Pool Boy” song (beyond resuscitating at this point) and the sound of crickets (the deathly silent, laugh-less insects that surround a turd). To add insult to injury, Marty Bender, the head of syndication for “Bob & Tom” back then, came up to me afterwards and said, “That song had a lot going on, it was hard to figure out. ” He was right. It was confusing and wordy, too much cheese–not enough salsa… the song was full of sheet!

My new-improved “Paco, The Pool Boy Supreme” has less fat, more lean, mean punchlines, and no bull-sheet. Enjoy it, if you like your fish tacos on the salty side. Olè!

Paco, The Pool Boy

(Spoken) Hi my name is Paco. I came to this country many years ago to build a better life for myself, so I got a job as a pool boy. We have a reputation for being the fast food of the love-starved, aging housewife… the Cougar. We are also featured in many of your Pornographic Movies and dirty magazines, so I am here to set the record straight, and sing you a song about this pool boy, who is not Cougar-bait.

I’m Paco, Paco the Pool boy
I’m here to work, I won’t be your boy toy
You are married, but I’m no fool
You want me to fill more than your swimming pool
But I won’t fall for your little ploy
No not Paco, The Pool Boy

I have nine children with my Maria
I want to bring home a paycheck
Not Gonorrhea
Mi amor que no destroy
My family, I truly enjoy
I won’t cheat on my wife
I am Paco, The Pool Boy

But there was a time… back in my prime
When I would take you in the deep end!
I was shallow, like pool scum, I was slime
Like a a Matador, with his sword
I would have poked you right there on the diving board
Oh, how the cougars enjoyed
Paco, The Pool Boy

I see you lying there topless
while I use the bottom sucker
La Señora, she’s tempting me,
But I can’t fuh–find the chlorine
This puta has quite a libido
And I’ll admit, Paco has a bulging Speedo
Mis testiculos son de color azul
But I must not succumb, I will be true
‘Cause Maria would cut off little
I’d have no more burrito, just taco

And I don’t want to be
Paco, The tool-less, Pool Boy
Chop, chop, chop!

Words & Music by Paddy G.
Good 1 Music ASCAP 2017

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Einstein Thing

IMG_0284Girl at Panera Bread says, “You were great, last night, and look, you’re wearing the same shirt. Is that like your comedy uniform or something?” Embarrassed, I said, “I’d love to tell you it’s an Einstein thing and I have 10 of these clean ones I interchange, or something snarky like I lost all my other shirts in the divorce, but truth is, it snowed last night, I got a hotel room and I slept in it. Could I have a toasted bagel with cream cheese, a coffee, and my dignity, please?”

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