Sunday, February 17, 2019

Perry Kurtz's Profile

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A word about Perry Kurtz:

Perry was born(?) in Philadelphia at 2:32am. at Doctors Hospital. As a 10 year old Cub Scout (they had no membership restrictions in those days), he briefly entered the entertainment field when he threw his voice into a sock and began giving puppet shows (at gunpoint) at local playgrounds. Graduating from Northeast High School in 1968, he attended The Hussian School of Commercial Art in downtown Philly.

After graduating in 1972(and paying off his instructors to pass him), he began freelancing for national label companies creating finished art for Pepsi, Tab, Sprite, Levi Strauss, Gerber, and Polaroid, including the design of the Seven Up "bubble pattern" logo in '74(for a measly 300 bucks) (Really!!). In 1976, he became the art director of a religious publishing house just outside of Northeast Philly making an outrageous amount of money.

After 2 years of high pressure, a nervous breakdown from overwork, and people constantly asking, "What are you? A comedian?", his close friends advised that he should (just leave town or) get into comedy.

He quit his directorship and entered a talent show at The Crazy Horse Saloon in New Jersey, taking a $250 first prize for singing a parody of "Eleanor Rigby" as Jerry Lewis. He took a comedy workshop (cash was paid upfront) and lived on his savings until 1979. Then, with his last $500, a suitcase, electric guitar, and roller skates he equipped with headlights, he moved to San Francisco to become a comedian.

His first paying "gig" was as the emcee and manager at the now-closed, Off Broadway Male Burlesque Club on Broadway in North Beach working 6 nights a week and making WAY too much money. A few weeks later, at the request of screaming female patrons (they were blind), he gave birth to his "Comic Strip Routine" parody (he only takes off his jacket and women STILL give him money).

In 1983, he left the "Broadway Scene" (too much sex and drugs) and pursued comedy in real comedy clubs. He spent a lot of time "working out" at the Holy City Zoo Comedy Club in San Francisco, where he had many opportunities to hang out and share the stage improvising with Robin Williams. (He has followed Robin 13 times at management request) A few years later, he was averaging 30 to 40 weeks a year headlining comedy clubs (and getting paid for it) (Go figure) across North America and Canada.

Just before his birthday in 1989, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he became a paid regular at The Comedy Store (the money sucks) in Hollywood and Dangerfields in New York City.

He actually met his wife "online" on an LA bulletin board (they did not hot chat). They talked "voice" for 40 hours over 3 days. Then she drove to his house and they instantly(?) fell in love. He now lives in Downtown Los Angeles, has been married 16 years to the same woman, has 4 kids, one turned 3 years in November 07, and continues to work as a comedian, comedy consultant and instructor, Humor Motivator, voice-over artist, Free-Lance Tonight Show Writer, and appears at comedy clubs, colleges, and corporate events around the world.


Comedian Perry Kurtz has opened/featured for or followed Rick Overton, Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield, Milton Berle, Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, Ellen DeGeneres, Dave Chapelle, Rosanne, Kevin Pollack, Kevin Meaney, Eddie Griffin, Dana Carvey, Richard Pryor, Larry Miller, Bill Maher, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Saget, The Blue Oyster Cult, The Greg Allman Band, The Tubes, Chris Isaak, Maggie Mayall, The Village People, and has sung his "Narrational Improv Blues", based purely on what the audience is doing as it happens, with The Allman Brothers Band (twice), Huey Lewis and The News, WAR (twice, once with Robin Williams), Great White (before the fire), Clarence Clemmons (Bruce Springsteen, Mick Fleetwood, and Sammy Hagar.

Local hangouts:

Comedy Venues, Blues Clubs




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