My memories of Kevin Meaney (Opinion)
We lost Kevin Meaney way too young. The actor/comedian who made it Big in "Big" as well as such TV shows as Saturday Night Live, Johnny Carson, Uncle Buck, Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, 30 Rock, and 2 Broke Girls, would have turned 65 this Friday, April 23. Kevin passed way almost five years ago on Oct. 21, 2016 at the age of 60.
Kevin was truly one of the good guys of comedy, as you can see when Big Joe Henry had Kevin on his variety show. Comedian Julia Scotti remembers her friend Kevin Meany by telling me;
"I don't think I've ever heard anyone EVER say a bad word about Kevin Meaney. He was loved by everyone, fans and friends alike. I miss him every day, and at least once a week, either I or the person to whom I'm talking will slip into 'Kevin Voice' and drop some Kevin-ism into the conversation. He left us way too soon and anyone who knew him will tell you 'that's not right.' Happy Birthday, Kev!"
My memories of Kevin Meaney come down to two stories. One took place in 2005 when I was lucky enough to open for the late Richard Jeni on a Saturday night at the Strand Theatre in Lakewood. Kevin was opening for Jeni the night before at the Keswick in Glenside Pa.
I went to the Keswick to see Kevin and he was absolutely and brilliantly hysterical. He ended his set singing Frank Sinatra's "The Coffee Song" and he got such an ovation that when Richard Jeni came out his first words were, "Damn, I was all set to open with Frank Sinatra's coffee song." It was a few years later in 2007 that Richard Jeni took his own life.
A few months after that I was opening for Kevin Meany at a place in Union and when I met him, I told him of how he opened for Richard Jeni on Friday and then I did on Saturday, to which he replied "then he killed himself, what does that say about us?" I still crack up as I write this!
My other Meany memory was when I was to open for him on a Friday night at I Play America in Freehold. We had gotten word that Kevin train was delayed in Manhattan and that he was running late. We waited as long as we could to start the show with the audience getting restless. one thing you don't want as a comedian is restless audience. The other thing you don't is to have to do more time than you actually have material for.
At the time I had a good 30 minutes, after we got Matt Bridgestone to come fill in as as I was running out the door to get to Philadelphia I run into Kevin who walked from the door to the stage and rocked the room. Just like I imagine he's doing right now with or without Richard Jeni.
Rest in peace funny man!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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