By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – If you talk about how bad this winter was comic Bob Marley feels your pain.
The Maine native and resident told Reminder Publications
, “In New England we have complacent behavior. ‘I love New England’s four seasons’ translates to ‘I don’t have enough money to movie to Florida.’”
He said a recent day during which the thermometer reached 41 degrees “was like a revival – bring me down to the river and baptize me.”
Marley will be appearing April 5 at the Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee.
Marley brings his New England attitude around the country with him and said, “I hammered them for 20 minutes” when he appeared on a Phoenix, Ariz., radio station to promote an appearance there.
“I told them you don’t know how lucky you are,” he said. Marley added their biggest problem in Phoenix is whether or not their feet are going to get hot if they forgot to wear their flip-flops on the way to the mailbox.
Marley said of his Maine heritage, “If something happens, if I see a joke forming, I know my perspective.”
He said witnessing a conversation between his mother and his aunts in which his mother started a story with a debate about which day of the week the event took place proved to be comedy fodder.
“I told her, ‘It doesn’t matter Ma [what day of the week it was] unless it’s a homicide investigation,’” Marley said. He noted his aunts were impressed with his mom’s story-telling skill.
“They looked like ‘What an emotional rollercoaster,’” he added.
Marley believes that everyone who lives in New England shares certain experiences.
“It’s like we’re all family. We’re on the same pulse,” he said.
Besides performing stand-up, Marley has been busy expanding his audience through social media. His website, www.bmarley.com, has a page of videos and Marley produces a weekly podcast available through iTunes.
He said his management would like him to have celebrities as guests on the podcasts, but Marley is happy with interviewing everyday people who “have no agenda” behind the appearance. In one episode his mother describes a delicate plastic surgery on her pug dog, which yielded some 87,000 downloads
Marley, who has acted in several movies, including the two “Boondock Saints” films, said he prefers stand-up because of the control he has.
He said some of his comic friends who have done several movies have suffered from being away from the stage.
“Their act is getting stale. When they go out and do stand up they’re not as sharp,” he said.
He enjoys the relationship he has with an audience, and likened himself to a gladiator. He admitted that audiences think, “I like the guy, but I wouldn’t mind if he got eaten by the lion.”
Marley said standup comedy has become increasingly politically correct and that his show would be rated PG-13, but that doesn’t prevent him from presenting “some good sarcasm with good edge.” His audiences range in age from 15 to 80.
Speaking of his career he said, “I didn’t do it as a business plan, but it’s what I am.”