Shabooty Interview Series: JACKIE “THE JOKE MAN” MARTLING (Howard Stern Show)
Does Jackie The Joke Man need much introduction? He was a staple on The Howard Stern Show, before there was such thing as “The Artie Chair.” He, Howard, Robin, and Fred were the original cast of the Stern Show. Jackie ultimately walked away from the show… but he continues his comedy to this day, with a Howard 101 Sirius Show called “The Joke Hunt,” and has just dropped a new joke CD called SNART! Here’s the Shabooty Interview of Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling!
Shabooty: Hey Jackie… I know you’re putting out a new comedy CD, which number CD for you is this?
Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling: This is number six and its the sixth CD and they’re all seventy-eight minutes, so that’s six times seventy-eight minutes of filthy jokes I got out there floating around. I haven’t done one since the year 2000, and this is called Snart. It’s telling jokes on stage, it’s done at seven different places, it’s funny and kicks ass and there are lots of jokes you can steal and tell to girls or guys and have yourself some fun.
On the “Joke Hunt,” which topic gets the most reaction?
You know, there’s no one topic that gets any more reaction – you know, everybody seems to like everything. You mean what do they call in with more? It goes right across the board. I love how successful the show is. When I came up for the idea for just jokes, jokes, jokes, but its not just jokes if you listen, we serve them up all different kinds of ways between the phone calls and the prerecorded jokes, and telling them and the emails – the reaction’s great and I think the strong reaction is due to the variety. The different ways of telling them, the different lengths and the different topics. I don’t think anyone’s ever called up and said hey you should do more boob jokes or hey you should do more anus jokes, they just kinda dig whatever is happening, ya know?
Have you done any stand-up shows with “The Killers of Comedy”?
No, I haven’t gone out on any of those… now which is the Killers of Comedy?
Oh, that’s Reverend Bob Levy, and Shuli, and Yucko the Clown, and Beetlejuice.
No, no, I’ve never gone out with those guys. You know, Reverend Bob Levy, I’m the one that named him that. Has he said that?
Yeah, he has said that.
That’s kind of fun, you know I love those guys, I just did an interview with Shuli about an hour ago for the Stern news, but you know I go out on my own. I’m a loud mouth, I do like an hour and a half by myself. I mean I like all those guys, they’re my pals.
Yeah, you and Bob must go way back considering you named him.
Well, when I first started on the Howard Stern Show, I was there one day a week and so I made a deal with Rascals that I’d go out to Rascals and host their open mic night, and I’d announce it on the Stern Show, and it was great fun. So you know I’d announce it on the Stern show that I’d be at Rascals at night and I’d go to Rascals and there would be all these different auditioners and one of the auditioners was so fucking disgustingly filthily, that I named him Reverend Bob. And I guess it stuck.
Do you have any more acting roles coming up?
I’m going out to Los Angeles on Sunday, to do a part for a film, but I can’t tell you about the film because it’s not so much of a secret, but they’re not talking about it yet. We just did a movie called An Affirmative Act, that’s gonna be the lead movie of the Hoboken International Film Festival. So you know I’m working here and there, I’m getting whatever acting roles I can, I really love it. I’m really enjoying it and everybody’s saying I’m getting better and better, so the more you do it, the better you get. I’m working on a couple other things, some television stuff that’s really fun. So, hopefully you know, it’ll all come together pretty soon.
Yeah, you were on a television show recently, right?
Yes, I was on Leverage, but only for a minute, but it was great fun – it’s amazing how many people see ya, “hey I saw you on Leverage!” I was like wow, that’s cool.
And at what age did you start with comedy?
Well, I told jokes from the time I was in third grade. I saw my cousin tell a joke and I thought it was very funny and I just was sucked into it and I remembered every joke I’ve heard since. And I quit music when I was 31 years old and started in comedy when I was 31 years old in 1979. And my first album came out just a few months after that. So I’ve been at comedy for 31 years.
Did having the music background be the catalyst for putting out the comedy CDs?
Nah, it’s show business you know, any comic if you study, you’ll see that almost any comedian played music or they became comedians and comics become musicians and vice-versa and everybody starts somewhere, and they get it in their blood. I learned guitar in 7th grade and played in bands, and then told jokes in my bands and then went to Michigan State and I played in a band and I told jokes when I was on stage with that band, and then we came back and started a band where we told MORE jokes and it was more like a duo and everything kind of leads… you just keep changing and changing ’til you have some success and all of a sudden, I meet Howard Stern and he liked my albums and all of a sudden I went to the moon. You can say I got lucky, but luck favors the prepared, you know what I mean?
Did you have any comedic inspirations?
Well, I loved watching Red Skelton laugh at himself and I was stealing jokes from Redd Foxx and I was such a huge fan of Rodney Dangerfield, ’cause he just goes right for the jugular. And then I got to work with Rodney and it was just like a dream come true. I wasn’t a guy that bought comedy records like Bill Cosby’s or George Carlin and studied them, I’m not a comedian, I’m a joke teller, I like standing there and making someone laugh their ass off, you know that’s what I do and what I’m good at, and that’s what Rodney does and that’s what Redd Foxx did and Red Skelton laughed at himself. That’s what I do too, and you mix those three together, and you get me. Now are all of those guys too old for you to know who the hell I’m talking about?
Yeah, I know Rodney Dangerfield and Redd Foxx. Do you have a prediction on Howard’s next move after his contract ends?
You know what I have absolutely no idea, but I do know that the day he dies, he’ll have been on the radio that morning. I don’t think he’s going to stop doing radio. I dunno if its going to be terrestrial or satellite, I really have no idea, and I don’t even wanna venture a guess and I know he loves radio and that’s what he loves to do and wherever he gets to do it, you know, I think he’ll be happy wherever he does it.
How much of the show do you get to listen to a day?
No, I have never listened to it, ever. I just don’t. People think that’s weird, I don’t think that’s weird at all. I just don’t. I don’t really listen to any radio. It’s not like I’m listening to someone else, you know.
So then you don’t know the new favorite catch phrase on the show, “Get the Poison Out”?
Does that mean like get your sperm out?
Yeah, it’s for the girl to get off and “get her poison out.” Is there anything you now miss about the Howard Stern show?
What I missed the most about the show was just sitting there and laughing for four hours. You know it’s an unnatural thing it doesn’t happen in real life, you don’t sit around with four other people and just goof around and laugh. Everybody else, at the end of their week, if they’re lucky, they go to a bar and sit around and laugh. You know what I mean? And we did that everyday and that’s… that’s what you miss.
I agree, anytime you get to cut up with friends that’s a special opportunity.
Do you have a favorite “Wack Packer?”
No, but I invented that. I came up with the name “The Wack Pack,” did you know that?
Nah, I didn’t know that.
Yeah, that was my invention. I mean not my invention, Howard assembled the people, I just came up for a name for it.
I know you invented “oral” and “anal.”
Everybody thinks that’s crazy but I’m gonna go to my grave telling people – look you show me where it’s used otherwise and what difference does it make, I’m just being stupid. I may be being stupid, but I’m also being serious about it. Because it was a very serious thing how much Howard was getting bleeped and he was crazed and we were looking for ways around, a way to get away with what we wanted to get away with, and that was the route around it.
I know you have an iPhone app out, are you competitive with say the Beetlejuice iPhone app?
Not even a little bit… first of all, I didn’t know they had one – I could never compete with the popularity of the Stern show, like if he’s promoting a Beetlejuice iPhone app, I’m sure they’re promoting the hell out of that.
While you were on the Stern show, was there a specific guest that had you star struck?
Probably the most was when James Taylor came in because i just love James Taylor. We got so used to everybody coming in. I guess when Ringo came in was the one time that I said, “well, alright Howard, you did it. Now you got my attention, you got a Beetle in here, you got my attention.” But, I loved it all. I really did love it all. The fact that one minute these guys would be guests, the next minute they’d be our friends, like Leslie West became a regular pal. I’ve known him for like 35 years now. It’s just great fun.
So when’s the CD coming out?
It came out on 4/20/10.
Yes, that’s the weed day.
Are you on twitter?
I’m not a big twitter guy, but I’m slowly but surly getting into it.
It’s good for bouncing jokes out to the masses.
Yeah, no, no, I def. got a whole thing going with my publicist.
Thank you Jackie!