Mistress Doesn't Miss

Artist's rendition of William ("Wild Bill") Lundin's performance at the Improv, taken from the actual cocktail napkin it was sketched on.  Maybe next time Bill will think to have a downloadable picture posted somewhere so we can steal it instead of having to use sketches we make while we were enjoying the two-drink minimum.

Ethel "the Mistress of Mirth" Halpern, rising comedic star, in a photo she thoughtfully provided.

Halpern a Hit, Lundin Lands Laughs, in Comedic Debuts at Hollywood Improv

Share Socko SRO Showbill with Some Stand-up Named Seinfeld

Hollywood, Calif. - Ethel "the Mistress of Mirth" Halpern and William "Wild Bill" Lundin have made their stand-up comedy debuts at the world-famous Hollywood Improv, May 13.  Although it was a Tuesday night, there was still a "standing-room-only" crowd that included friends and fellow radio personalities.

   Halpern and Lundin, already established radio air talents, recently completed a course of study with Comedy Workshops and were invited to participate in Judy Carter's New Stars of Stand-Up, an event open to the public, but intended to showcase new talent to comedy industry professionals, adding to the tension of their performance.  Kicking the challenges up a notch was sharing the night's billing with Jerry Seinfeld.

   Halpern and Lundin, as well as the rest of their fellow

comics, bore the pressure well, however, and all performances were well-received by the audience.  "No one fell to the floor weeping and no one wet their pants," observed Tom "the Extremely Deranged Sarge-at-Large" Murotake, freely admitting that he would rather defuse a live bomb than to bomb on stage.  "At least I can figure-out how to take apart a bomb with six-week's worth of training."  Murotake acknowledged, however, that he already had some experience with explosives, but countered that he also had some "small" experience bombing on the radio, so he felt that this balanced out any advantage he had with explosives.

   Also present with The Sarge were "Chief Jack Hawk," his lovely wife, and "Uncle Mikee," from KTST-FM.  Joining them at the table were two members of the law office that Halpern works at, who wished to remain nameless as they have respectable jobs and positions, and even though one of them is a lawyer, even they have some standards about the company they keep -- although the lawyer did allow that Halpern "was going to pay" for a disparaging remark she made in her routine concerning the difference between a law clerk and an attorney that was not suitable for republication even in this release.

   The Chief, no stranger to being massacred on a stage and in wrestling rings, was pleased to see that his friends made it through their ordeal "without being thrown out of the ring."  Uncle Mikee, no stranger to being sunk himself, was well-pleased that he didn't get "that sinking feeling" at the conclusion of either Halpern's or Lundin's performances.

   While speaking for herself, Halpern believed that she also expressed Lundin's sentiments in commenting that she was grateful for the support of her friends and that the group of her fellow announcers expressed their approval of the stand-up performances by applauding, instead of stand themselves and doing their classic dance routine of line-dancing, can-can, and conga line.  "I've seen The Chief, The Sarge and Uncle Mikee do that at an outdoor concert once.  It was very frightening."

   Both guests and performers were also entertained by comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who was in town for an appearance on The Tonight Show.  As is often done by stand-up comedians performing on the talk show circuit, Seinfeld was testing comedy material that he was planning on using in his Tonight Show appearance and most of what was demonstrated on this Improv audience was used on television the following evening.

   Speaking on behalf of MAGNet-Media, the unit that produces the Extremely Deranged Sarge-at-Large Show, which features Halpern's "Mistress of Mirth" character as its regular co-host, producer Tom Murotake said in a prepared statement: "We are happy for both Ethel and Bill and cheer their success.  We are, of course, very proud of Ethel's continuing successful development of her performance skills.  However, I don't care who she shared the bill with, she's still not getting top-billing on The Sarge-at-Large show or a raise.  At least until she becomes rich and famous -- and when she gets there, she had better remember who her friends are."

   While Halpern did not reply immediately, an informed source said it was more likely that she still hadn't stopped laughing yet at Murotake's remarks than her avoiding making a response.

Back to the Front Page