This weekend marks a couple of firsts for Jim Taylor, host of a fledgling weekly radio talk show that focuses on comics and comedy.
Friday night’s show, the sixth installment of “The Happy Hour” on Anaheim-based KORG (1190 AM), was to be Taylor’s first without partner Bob Faw, who departed because of differences over the show’s direction (Faw will pursue public access cable TV projects, Taylor said).
On Sunday, Taylor will launch what he plans as a series of comedy benefits for Samadana, an Anaheim-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the housing, care and treatment of handicapped children who have been abused.
Sunday’s benefit, to be held at Huberts Masquerade (formerly the Courthouse restaurant) in Santa Ana, will feature local comics Craig Doyle (who won the recent Orange County Fair comedy contest), Alan Mollick, Nancy Schofield, Doak Krause, Mike Fullmer and Paul Lakamp. All proceeds from the show’s $5 cover charge will go to Samadana; Taylor estimates the event will bring in several hundred dollars.
But that’s just the first step; Taylor is already talking to headline-level comics about future benefits. “I wanted to get involved with kids,” Taylor says, and he chose Samadana in part because it is a small group just getting off the ground, one for which money raised by small-scale benefit shows “will actually make a difference.”
Taylor has spent some time on comedy stages but decided the life of a stand-up comic was not for him. Instead, he started a small company that repairs computer peripherals.
He launched “The Happy Hour” with Faw in July, on air time purchased from the station. Taylor plans to stay with the original format, which features live phone interviews with comics (headliners Jeff Foxworthy and Fred Greenlee have been among the guests so far), jokes called in by listeners, pre-taped comedy sketches by Taylor and recorded routines by well-known comics, from Abbott and Costello to Bill Cosby.
Taylor’s program is a showcase for young comics and also features interviews with industry insiders, from club owners to comedy writers. The goal, he says, is to create a show of interest to general comedy fans--"Obviously, I’m trying to appeal to as many people as possible"--while also giving tips to up-and-coming comics.
So far, Taylor says, headliners interviewed on the show have been more than willing to pass along advice on everything from finding an agent to getting work on commercials.
Taylor’s goal is to get “The Happy Hour” syndicated nationally, and he is seeking a national sponsor (currently, he is paying all of the program’s expenses). A station in Indianapolis will begin airing the show in October, Taylor says.
For now, the hourlong show airs each Friday at 6 p.m. on KORG.
A comedy benefit for Samadana will be held 7 p.m. Sunday at Huberts Masquerade, 2 Hutton Centre Drive, Santa Ana. Admission: $5. Information: (714) 545-5060.