Oct 17, 2013
I first saw Rick Shapiro perform when I lived in New York City 1998 - 1999. He wasn't playing in comedy clubs then he had a regular Wednesday night stint at a bar in Lower Manhattan. A musician friend of mine took me to see him and the musician friend told me "This guy does more than comedy. He does raw naked truth". I was ready to not like it but what happened over the next two hours as I sat watching him in this dark bar was uniquely powerful. It took him about 20 minutes to warm up but once he did there were slabs of brilliance. He spoke so freely and candidly about being a heroin addict and male prostitute I was transfixed. The sheer raw power of his honestly as he portrayed different stories of his personal history made me a fan of his work and the comedy thunderbolts he was throwing down.
I didn't meet Rick until about 7 or 8 years ago at a party of comedians in Los Angeles. I must have ignored everyone for most of the night because my main memory of that party is of talking with Rick all night about comedy in the back yard. Sometimes you need to be patient with Rick, just like that first time I saw him in New York, because once he gets warms up it is truly masterful.
This conversation was recorded at Rick's Hollywood bungalow. In this chat a beautiful point is made in that comedy wasn't invented for the young and beautiful. It was invented for the damaged people, the ones with great stories to tell. Few people have lived the life that Rick Shapiro has and I admire him because he weaves his stories throughout his brilliant observations on modern living.
He's not afraid to get angry and yell at the injustice's of the world. I like his vulnerability and his sincerity on and off the stage. I think that sincerity is the bravest choice a comedian could make and Rick is a perfect example of this style.
I respect this man and believe him to be an American comedy legend who will be remembered and studied. Precisely for the very reason how he was first described to me, for his raw naked truth.
I'm proud to present to you here and now the raw naked truth of Rick Shapiro.