New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 7, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
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Friday, January 7, 1983 3
Ifs a laugh
Comedian waits for big break
ByDYANNEFRY Staff writer
“All comedy is somehow stress-related,” says Ronnie Flynn.
“That’s right,” said Judy Segar, his manager and fiancee. “Every single thing you can think of that’s funny involves some sort of stress.” Sometimes, ifs hard to tell which is which: does stress make a person funny, or is it the other way around?
“I’ve always been the class clown,” Flynn said. He admits the tendency got him into a lot of trouble. But it also offered an identity, a raison d'etre, to a boy who had difficulty getting along with his peers.
For example, “I wasn’t able to play sports, so I made that up by making a lot of people laugh,” Flynn said. As a seventh-grader, he remembers using humor to avoid a fight with a bigger, older boy.
“I told him I was gonna use the two-finger method. He didn’t understand what I was talking about. I took off my shoes, put a finger in each one and ran away.”
Clowning around isn’t Flynn’s only talent. Son of a Baptist minister, he started his performing career by singing in church at the age of six. At 13, he was more interested in rock music, and formed his own band. Irater, he dipped into country. He plays piano, guitar and (once upon a time) saxophone. He took drama in an Austin high school, and played roles in Cyrano de Bergerac and Waiting for Godot.
He does some songwriting, and still loves to sing. But Flynn, now 24 and living in New Braunfels, has given stand-up comedy top priority — at least for the time being.
“I want to concentrate on one thing, and I decided to go with comedy first,” he said. He moved here about a year ago, and says he plans to make New Braunfels his home.
“It’s a nice, quiet, decent place,” he said. It’s conveniently located between Austin and San Antonio, two places that offer work opportunities. In this town, “I don’t have to worry about having my car stolen, like I do in Austin. People are a lot friendlier,” he added.
Right now, he’s working as a disc jockey at the Skate Skelter. In the past few months, he and his stage personalities have spent a lot of evenings at Austin’s new Comedy Workshop.
Flynn has a number of alter egos. First, there’s over-confident rock singer Bobby Pin, lead singer of The Hairdos.
“His name is already a household word; I don’t have to worry about making it one,” Flynn quipped.
Then there’s Ernie Flunk, a nasal-voiced kid with big eyes behind thick glasses. He could be compared to Arnold Horshack of Welcome Back. Kotter.
“Every class has an Ernie Flunk,” said Segar. “Everybody thinks he’s kind of dumb ... but he usually ends up with the cutest girl in the class because he’s an unconceited, sympathetic, caring person.”
Flynn also appears periodically as May Belle Sullivan, a seedy, short-tempered alcoholic; Mary, an eight-year-old figure skater; Hugo the Gorilla and Timmy the Dog.
To some extent, all these characters are part of Flynn. Like May Belle, he’s seen the bottle from the inside. He spent some time “drying out” in a hospital last June, and now considers himself a recovering alcoholic.
“I’ve been drinking since I was 12 or 13,” said Flynn, going back to the stress theme. As a teenager, he felt a strong urge to rebel against his parson’s-family background.
Fiancee Judy Segar is Flynn’s biggest fan. “Sometimes people ask her how much I pay her to laugh at my jokes,” he cracked.
“I wanted to be like everybody else; I didn’t want to be Mr. Prim and Proper,” he said. And though he doesn’t condemn gospel singers in general, he says he’s met some religious personalities that seem to be in the business for the money, taking up collections for “charities” that don’t exist.
Some present-day gospel singers will admit to being ex-alcoholics, inspired to a new career by the grace that saved them. Flynn hopes he’s not being blasphemous, but he doesn’t think religion had anything to do with his push toward recovery.
Instead, he credits the love and influence of five people. One is Steve Doring, his counselor at the local mental health center. Another is his son, whom he hasn’t seen in four years.
“I don’t want my little boy to grow up one day and finally see me and say, ‘You’re nothing but a bum,’” said Flynn.
The other three are his fiancee’s mother, her brother Jeff and, last but not least, Segar herself. She helps him in his work, and Flynn says she’s his biggest fan.
“Sometimes people ask her how much I pay her to laugh at my jokes,” he cracked.
If stress is so important to a comedy career, Flynn hopes he’s had plenty. “Now I can go into entertainment and not have to go through all that. I’ve already done it,” he said.
“Humor is real healthy, and I'm just now starting to enjoy it.”
Ronnie Flynn laughs to get life under control
On area screens
Cinema I&U, Walnut Square — Airplane ll (PG). Show times 7:15 and 9:15 every night. Matinees Saturday and Sunday at 1:15,3:15 and 5:15 (discount show).
Also The Toy (PG I. Shows at 7 and 9 every night. Weekend matinees at I, 3 and 5 p.m. (discount show).
In area clubs
Bluebonnet Palace, IH 35 South — Tonight: Nashville Sounds. Saturday: Clifton Jansky.
Bronco’s, Courtyard Shopping Center — Tonight: Stormy. Saturday: Cone Star Country.
Crystal Chandelier, Loop 337 — Tonight: Clifton Jansky and the San Antonio Drifters. Saturday: Texas Rose.
Heidelberg Halle, IH 35 North, west access road — Tonight, 9-1: Rock with Voyager. Saturday, 9-1: Morning. Sunday, 6-10: Moonlight Express.
Starting Gate, IH 35 South — Tonight: Don Head & the Travelers. Saturday: Nightlife.
Texas Dance Hall, U.S. 281 South — Tonight: Bubba Kittrell. Saturday: Middle of the Fiddle.
Texas Junction, 262 W. Jahn — Tonight: Morning. Saturday: Possum Gap.
Wagon Wheel, FM 306 at Sattler - Saturday, 9-1: Wagon wheel welcomes a brand new group from Austin: Kiln Cochran & the Country Rhythm Band.
Wolfgang's Keller, 295 E. San Antonio — Bill Knight at the piano.
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One movie worth 64 million pictures
ROCHESTER, N Y. (AP) - All the film used to make moves in the United States in 1981 was enough to make some 16 billion 35mm color snapshots — or about half the pictures taken by all U.S. photographers, according to an industry source.
William A. Koch of Eastman Kodak explained that a feature film typically consumes more than 8 million feet of color negative and color print film — although a major release could consume twice that much.
In 1981, the industry released about 240 features for a total consumption of some 1,920 million feet of film. Each foot of film produces a little more than eight 35mm snapshots, leading to the 16 billion picture estimate. This, he added, does not include film consumed for television programming or other types of productions.
The Brauntex Theatre at 290 W.
San Antonio is under new ownership, and we’re already seeing some changes. Starting this week, there will be two shows each night on both the upstairs and the downstairs screens, and two matinee times on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for the early one will go at a discount rate, and a bargain price will be offered Monday night, as before.
Trail of the Pink Panther I rated PG) will start tonight, with shows at 7 and 9 p.m. and weekend mats at 2 and 4. Kiss Me Goodbye (PG) continues, with shows at 7:15 and 9:15, matinees at 2:15 and 4:15.
Country singer Merle Haggard will
be at Texas Dance Hall on Jan. 22. It you prefer less twang and a more even beat, Texas Junction is hosting a reggae band called The Killer Bees this Sunday night.
Miss M moved
Due to scheduling conflicts, Bette Midler has rescheduled an Austin concert for 8 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Frank Erwin Center. The original date was Jan. 26.
Outstanding tickets will be honored for the new date. Anyone who would rather have a refund should go to the Erwin Center box office. C.E.C, members will have to go to the Texas Union, and Sears charge customers should go to Sears.
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