“When I was a kid the Dead Sea was only sick”
To know George Burns is to love George Burns. The cigar, the glasses, the wit and the kind Grandfather like image he projected in his later years all found a way into our hearts and many of us grew up with George as another member of the family.
I had been looking for another character to perform and had plowed through many, many biographies but nothing clicked. Among the lives I had seriously researched were the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Vince Lombardi, Groucho Marx , Howard Cosell and Houdini. Somewhere along the line I made the decision that I wanted to do an entertainer.
I wanted to do a show that was light and funny, something that would make people laugh and leave them with a smile. The idea of doing George Burns had popped into my head several times but I had not gotten around to reading much about him.
It was a Saturday afternoon. I was booked to perform at a library in a small Midwestern town. I had arrived early and as I often do I went to the bookstore to pass the time before I had to get ready to perform.
Now library bookstores are small with maybe a handful of biographies but occasionally you find something interesting.
I had just stepped in when the thought of George Burns again popped into my head. At that exact moment I looked up and staring me in the face was an autobiography written by George Burns himself, needless to say I bought it.
Fast forward one week later I am in another city at another library heading into the bookstore. The thought occurs to me that it would be really funny if I looked up and like last week there was another George Burns book looking at me. Well I looked up and there it was another George Burns book. I remember thinking maybe George Burns is giving me a hint.
The very next week on a Saturday afternoon in another city and another bookstore I have the same thought. Only this time I think if I see another George Burns book it will most definitely be a sign and I will have to do a George Burns show. Well you guessed it. No sooner do I have this thought then I look up and another George Burns book is smiling back at me.
I have to say that of all tne man shows I perform this one required the most work and at the same time was the easiest and most fun to do. Everything about it was a joy. Even finding the music which was nothing short of a herculean task was fun. George used to joke that he was going to be buried with his music. He would say that he didn’t know where he was going to go but he wanted it in his key. He probably was buried with his music as finding it was nearly impossible. I thank George for his special invitation every time I perform this show.