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Shrinking Violence

I was MC-ing. There was a guy in Long Island who taking the comics’ jokes and putting them in cartoons. So they said, Keep an eye out.

Sure enough, one night somebody said to me, “Richie, there’s a guy out there with a tape recorder.” A well-dressed man with a beautiful woman.

At the end of the show I said to the guy, “You have a tape recorder. You taping this a part of the show?”

He said, yes. I said, “Well, why don’t you listen? I’m going to make it nice and easy. Take the tape out. You hand it to me.You go home. Nobody gets hurt. OK?”

He said, “I’m not going to do that.”

I said, “Let me tell you what’s going to happen. Before you leave here, I will have the tape in my pocket. That’s the bottom line. There’s nothing you can say or do that going to change that.”

“You tell him, Richie!” My comic friends all behind me.

He goes, “That’s not going to happen.”

I said, “I don’t want to embarrass you in front of your nice lady here. I have six comic friends behind me.”

He goes, “What are you going to do? Rough me up?”

I said, “No, they’re not going to do anything. I’m going to get the tape. I’m going to ask you one more time, and then it’s going to get hell. I don’t want to use bad language. You’ve got a nice lady here. You better give me the fucking tape, or I’ll…”

He said, “No!”

“Oh,yeah!” I hit the guy, pop him. I wrestled him down to the ground, I’m grabbing his tape recorder.

He goes, “Gimme that tape!”

I go, “You’re not getting it!”

He goes, “I’m a psychiatrist! One of your comedians is my patient!”

“Oh no!”


I get up and go, “Aw, I’m really sorry.”

Actually, he pushed me first and I pushed him back and then I punched him. That was the last physical confrontation for me.

The Hostage Who Wouldn’t Shut Up

I was on one hostage case who had gun to his girlfriend’s head and never let it go. Every once in a while he would drop it. Each time I would get him to the point of putting down his gun and coming out, she would start saying something. She had to get the last word in. He’d get crazy and the gun was back again. She did this for hours.

I was in the apartment next door on the phone and he wouldn’t let me talk to her.

About fourteen hours later he said, “Why do you want to talk with her?”

I said, “I just want to make sure she’s alright.”

He said, “Alright.”

She finally got on the phone. I said to her, “This is the police.”

She said, “Yeah?”

I said, “What is wrong with you! Shut up!”

“But he said…”

“I don’t care!” I was screaming. We’re not suposed to lose control like that, but I was screaming at her. “I don’t care what he said! Agree with anything he says! The idea is to get you and your child out of that apartment!”

“But he said…”

When she said that to me, I gott more crazy, and started just screaming at her. Finally, she started crying. It shook me that I lost control there. I backed down.

I said, “I’m sorry. Let’s agree with anything he says, because we’re not going to let him do all this stuff. Just agree so we can get him out.”

He put the gun down and started talking about coming out, saying, “When I get her, I’m going to do this.”

And she’d start, “No you’re not!” And then the fight would start all over again.

I finally talked him into coming out. Coming out came be very dangerous.

I told him that day, “you have to listen to everything I tell you to do. You can’t deviate because there are so many cops out in this hall and they all have guns.”

When they come out they can often seem quite calm, but when they see weapons all over they freak.

She just kept with the mouth. By the time this guy came out 14 hours had passed since it started. When he did I was screaming final instructions. We were in a housing project. -I knew on the phone he was mad at me the whole last hour.

He came out backwards, like I instructed. They handcuffed him. When he turned around he gave me such a violent look. I touched his arm, told him everything was going to be alright. He pulled away. He was MAD!

More from Joseph JK . . .