Marc Price to perform at Nutt Street Comedy Club

By Brian Tucker

Marc Price returns to Wilmington to perform at Nutt Street Comedy Club. Price starred as the lead character in 1986’s horror film Trick or Treat, one of DEG’s early produced movies at the relatively new studio on 23rd Street. During production Price performed at the Blockade Runner resort on Wrightsville Beach.

You come from a comedy household.

My dad was a comedian. He used to go on the radio with Fred Allen.  He was on the Ed Sullivan Show. He led me towards stand up comedy. I started performing when I was 14. That led to family ties.

You performed comedy while in town making the movie.

Price: It was one of the first times I did it alone when I was on the road. Keep in mind I was 14 on the Merv Griffin show. When we made Trick or Treat I was 17. Comedy clubs were just starting to pop up in places like Wilmington and WB and that place Blockade Runner. It was a really memorable, the few times I performed there. I got friendly with the comedians and a glimpse into what the road scene was like at comedy clubs.

It was a combination of my dad’s jokes and Jay Leno jokes. It was joke book jokes, anything I could do that sounded like a joke. I did a lot of my dad’s act. Things that a 14 year old goes through. Divorce is rough. My parents were divorced and that was one of the reasons I got away with it. I (left home) and the reason I did was because I could.

What did the Family Ties producers see in you?

Price: I was performing on Merv Griffin and there was this little adult, this Borstch Belt comedian. It was a hit and they called me and asked me back on (Merv Griffin) right away. They called into NBC and it wasn’t specific at first. They were kind of grooming me for something.

Was the transition from TV to stand up difficult?

Price: I do it a few people at a time. I’m not sure everyone accepts me as a stand up comedian yet. For me it’s always been easier than for people who don’t know my story as much. I was born into it and I never questioned it. Get accused of, or used to, sometimes of riding out the success of the show or jumping on a bandwagon because comedy clubs really started catching on right around as the show got hot. But I was already into it before they were starting catching on.

You’ve seen the industry change a lot.

Price: It’s ridiculous how much it’s changed. Has it changed for the good? Yes. There are more funny stand up comedians today than there has ever been. It’s amazing. With it comes more or less than solid winning acts as well. There’s a glut of acts. Everybody’s a comedian, literally. They have a sense of humor they can tap into and express themselves comedically. I still love it. It hasn’t changed my love for it. When I was born you could count the amount of comedians. That’s how few there were of them.

Old guard comedians. Did you come into contact with them?

Price: I did. George Burns, Milton Berle, Don Rickles. I got to hang out with those guys. They’re all contemporaries of my dad. Don Rickles was the young guy. When I met them Mickey Rooney’s still going. So many have left us. But when I met them I’d never say anything other than I’m Al Bernie’s son because my dad was looked up to by a lot of the best of those guys. So that’s a thrill just to meet somebody that knows my dad.

But George Burns, he used to have an office in the same building as me. He had an office for a million years and finally they closed it. My office was above his on the first floor.  I used to come down and hang out with him and he’d be reading the trades. He gave me a cigar. It’s been over 15 years since I’ve acted. I haven’t’ auditioned or acted much at all. I have been performing my stand up over the last year quite a bit.

You stayed on the straight and narrow after being a child star.

I think I got lucky. First, I was never was all that famous. I saw that I was in proximity to Michael J. Fox but I wasn’t Michael J. Fox. I didn’t have that Beatles type phenomenon. I got a taste of it enough to be thrilled by the experience and no complaints here with my level of fans. I think that was part of it. I was always humbled, I was just the neighbor (on Family Ties). Stand up comedy was another thing that helped me. It gave me a place to have a voice and a place to stay afloat in times when you need to make some money or whatever. Because a lot of times a lot of problems come from money desperation – what skill sets do you have when you grow up a child star.

About avenuewilmington (314 Articles)
A website hosting articles about Wilmington music history (its bands and bands visiting the area), articles from my ILM based base publications Avenue and Bootleg magazine (2005- 2009) and articles from other publications (Star News, Performer, The Tonic)
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