Friday, July 22, 2011
In a Boston scene that was known for being wild, Ken Rogerson was wilder than most. The 80s boom is often described as a free-for-all of incredibly funny people, several shows a night, and copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. Rogerson recently spoke with CNN about the scene, and I followed up with him to fill in a few more details. He’s still one of the funniest guys in town, and you can catch up with him at Giggles in Saugus this weekend.
I know this is something that a lot of the comics who lived through joke about with each other, is there any hesitancy about talking about it too much, or mythologizing it, to those who weren’t there?
No hesitancy at all about talking about it. For those of us who lived it, it happened. It was a very special time in the comedy world and we were a part of it. There were three clubs on the same street for a while. We made lots of money and hung around with some of the the funniest comics ever. Personally a lot of it was wasted on me because of the booze and drugs. I was never really aware of what a special thing we had going on. The drug part was the tragic part. I always make it a point when talking about the madness, funny though some of it may be, that it never ended up fun for me. The end of every drug and alcohol run was horrible. I want to pass that on to the new comics. None of tht shit makes you better. You just think it does.
Do you think Boston was any worse than other cities in terms of the partying and drugs?
Boston was worse than a lot of towns for partying cause there were more of us and we made more money. But quite honestly whatever town I was in I found people and comics to get fucked up with. We just did it on a grander scale.
Do you think people sometimes lose sight of the fact that there were so many legitimately funny people here when they focus on that aspect?
None of the people that were involved do.
You talk about stopping as a sort of epiphany – were you able to stop that quickly?
That epiphany took twenty-five plus years to happen.
How much different is your creative process now than back in those days?
I never really had any creative process. I snorted blow and wrote shit down. Some of it worked. some of it didn't. I enjoy writing and doing stand-up now, more then I ever did back then. Mostly I was about the party back then. The comedy paid to keep the party going. Today I sit and write and re-write and work on the things, other then stand-up, such as acting and screen writing, that I should have concentrated on back in the day instead of waiting for the dealer to show up. It's a million times more fun now and I'm in better shape physicaly now, then I was twenty or thirty years ago.