Laughing Matters in Milano presented from America
monday 5 april 2004
Dwight Slade began his comedy career
at the tender age of 13 in Houston, Texas. He and his friend
Bill Hicks were enamoured by the comedians on The Tonight show
and began writing jokes to try out on friends. Soon they were
defying their parent's curfew, sneaking out the windows of their
suburban homes and riding their bikes to auditions. At 14, Bill
and Dwight had an 8X10, an agent, and lofty dreams of stardom.In
1978, a small improv theatre opened in Houston called the Comedy
Workshop, The two high schoolers conned friends into giving
them rides to try out there stand-up on open-mike night. At
16, the underage comedians were often asked to wait outside
the club before their show to avoid problems with the local
board. The duo's career came to an abrupt end when Dwight's family moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Throughout his high school years, Dwight continued to focus on stand-up. As a freshman at the University of Oregon, Slade finished 3rd in the Euphoria Comedy Contest, losing to then Portlander Rick Reynolds.
In 1981 Slade reunited with Bill Hicks in Los Angeles to write a screenplay. The two, now working as separate stand-ups, attempted to crack the world of Hollywood. At 18, Slade became one of the youngest performers to ever perform at the famous Comedy Store.
In 1983, the comedy Boom was underway and Dwight found he could garner more precious stage time in Portland, Oregon than in Los Angeles. Slade moved to Portland and soon became one of the premier stand-ups in the Northwest. "Why should I live in Los Angeles when I can be just as miserable and anonymous in Portland, Oregon?" He was chosen to open concerts for Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. He also toured as the opening act for guitar legend Jeff Beck.
Slade finished his degree at Portland State University in 1985 and met his wife Barbara, In 1988 marked the birth of their first child and his national television debut on A&E's Good Time Cafe. "My wife insisted on naming our children. She said the names would come to her DURING the delivery. Which is why we have a child named Demerol ."
The young family tried to figure out how to remain close while Dwight continued to tour the US and Canada. The solution was a 36 foot fifth wheel travel trailer which the Slade's lived and travelled in for four years while Dwight toured 39 states and three Canadian provinces, "My second child was born in our RV," says Slade, "We were, of course, pulled over at the time,.."
Slade's career took off in another direction in 1992 with the production of his one-man political primer, "Do People Really Think That Way?" Now, not only funny Slade's humour had become frank and thought provoking, The San Antonio Express wrote: "Slade restores one's faith in comedy as the great equaliser. At his cerebral best, he becomes the voice of the little man looking for a little justice-and just maybe a little payback-for life's daily mundane humiliations."
The '90's found Slade moving into new areas of performing, Radio station KXL AM billed him as the Northwest's most dangerous mind, and he became a noted talk radio personality who used humour rather than bile to express rage and indignation.
His feature film debut came in 2000 when he landed a role in "Inconceivable" he also received high marks for his co-starring appearance in "My Way Home" winner of the Platinum Award at the Houston film festival.
2002 proved to be a banner year when he became the only comedian to be invited to the three major north American comedy festivals, in Chicago, Aspen and Montreal. In 2003 he made his debut at the Edinburgh festival and received rave reviews, thanks to which he is coming to Paris and Milano.