November 2, 2006

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Return of the class clown
Marley performs two shows at the Palace
By Erica Febre efebre@hippopress.com

Comedian Bob Marley returns to Manchester with two shows at the Palace Theatre on Friday, Nov. 3.

After the first show at 7 p.m. was sold out, a second show, at 9 p.m., was added.

Featured on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Craig Kilborn, Marley lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

So what kind of jokes do you have about New England?
There are so many things that happen in New England, especially if you grew up here. Like you don't ever touch the thermostat in your mother's house or she'll come out of nowhere like a ninja. Or common words in New England, like dink, or chuck. You don't throw things in New England, you chuck it and when you throw it back, you chuck it back, then they wing it at you. Throw something heavy and you heave it.

When did you find out that you had a talent for making people laugh?
I knew I was funny when I was seven. I remember we had this summer camp and I had these two Irish uncles; one was an undertaker and the other owned a shoe store. They would never do anything but just sit there and talk. Sometimes it would just be me and them sitting and I can remember trying to get a word in, which I could never do, cause they'd just keep talking back and forth with each other. Finally I said something that was funny and they were laughing hysterically and repeating it. I knew then that making people laugh would make people listen to me. By the time I was 12, I could do it whenever I wanted to. It's more like a Rainman thing. I'm kind of just the dummy that was lucky to be funny.

Were you the class clown in school?
All the way from seventh grade through my senior year at high school and never got detention. That's my claim to fame.

When did you know this was going to be a career for you?
In 1992 I made $7,000 ... but back then I could still live off of it. My second year I made $21,000. I remember thinking then that it was working out. The money was never an issue. After I got a deal with Quincy Jones I think he paid me like $150,000 then I remember thinking now I don't have to fall back on what I went to school for.

What did you go to school for?
I went to school for health education. ... Even if I was still only making $15,000 a year, I'd still be doing the comedy thing.

Do your kids pick up on your sense of humor?
Oh my god, they're hilarious. I do jokes about them all the time. Kids can be kind of creepy. Like you wake up in the middle of the night and they're standing right next to your bed, like they're sizing you up for the trunk or something. They're just funny and hilarious.

Ever have anyone get mad at one of your jokes?
Yes, big time. I have had people get angry. There was this guy in Maine who had choked his mother-in-law to death. They were fighting about the proper way to start a snow-blower. It's awful that he choked her to death, yes, but you know she was standing there in her robe and night gown shouting, "David, you gotta use the choke, use the choke." My joke was, now that he's in prison, he'll have plenty of time to read the manual. I did that on the radio and people were calling in pretty angry. Every comedian has had horrible shows. You wouldn't be any good if you didn't. That's what makes you better.