Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with Kip Addotta by clicking on the video player above!
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience that will repeat after me: We commit to the interview; We go through the interview; And we never ask permission to tell the interviewee that this part is a joke… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
(NOTE: Kip Addotta passed away on August 17, 2019. He was a delightful guest, funny, charming and sharp as ever. RIP. — Bob Andelman)
I guess I thought I knew Kip Addotta.
Now that I am reading his autobiography, Kip Addotta: Confessions of a Comedian, I realize I don’t know him at all.
My guest today was a staple of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s comedy scene as he found it: comedy clubs in Los Angeles, nightclubs in Miami and Las Vegas, and an endless series of guest appearances on the talk shows that could make a comic’s career in those days – “The Mike Douglas Show,” “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.”
KIP ADDOTTA podcast excerpt: “I called Elvis Presley’s suite at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Someone from the Memphis Mafia answered. ‘Who’s this?’ I said, ‘This is Kip Addotta. I’d like to talk to Mr. Presley!’ The guy said, ‘Kip Addotta?’ and I heard Elvis say, ‘I’ll take that call!’ I said, ‘Mr. Presley, let’s go go-karting.’ He said, ‘Kip, I can’t go out; I’ll be mobbed.’ I said, ‘Mr. Presley, take off the chrome suit, put a ball cap on and some tennis shoes and jeans, and let’s go!’ There was a long pause–I felt that he was looking down at himself and he WAS wearing a chrome suit. He chuckled and said, ‘Pick me up out back in 30 minutes.’ That happened three different times while we were both in town. The Memphis Mafia didn’t like it.”
But behind the curtain, as his memoir reveals, his early, personal life was anything but glamorous.
• His mother deserted him and his father when he was just two years old. He never saw her again.
• He slept in his baby crib until the age of 9.
• His father, who never physically left, emotionally abandoned Kip shortly thereafter, although he delivered beatings to his son long into his teens. Dad threw Kip out of his house at age 15 with just two dimes to his name and the clothes on his back.
• Kip was raised by his fiercely protective paternal grandmother, a sicilian woman he described as being a “Made” woman within the ranks of the Mafia. Because of her ties, Kip was escorted and protected whenever he traveled east of the Mississippi by goodfellas.
• His first wife, Mary, mother of his first two children, died tragically at age 23.
Need I go on? This is a book you really must read and I haven’t even told you about his encounters with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Kenny Kramer of “Seinfeld” fame yet!