And this is why you don't be a dick in your career.
Fifteen ... let me walk that off ... fifteen years ago, DJ McCarthey and I went to Melbourne to perform for two months at the Last Laugh Theater, overlapping with the Melbourne Comedy Festival. DJ got all the great reviews, while I did all the heavy lifting. It was ever thus.
The booker who brought us over there was Rick McKenna, a great bloke who delighted in tormenting me with cultural pranks. But although he was a fine guy and we got along great, he was a club owner like all the rest. He was a bit eclipsed by his immensely talented wife Gina, who was both funny and had a set of pipes on her like Big Mama Thornton.
Last year Lovely Wife adds some Aussie show to the Tivo list that she's heard good things about -- Kath & Kim. It is funny and broken and the characters are truly awful in that distinctively Commonwealth way -- wait, is that Gina Riley? Well, I'll be damned. I wonder if this show is popular?
Um, yes. As in broadcast in several dozen countries, biggest comedy hit in Australian history popular. And, inexplicably, Gina has still not shed Rick, as he explained while we had drinks at the Polo Lounge tonight -- Rick being in town to negotiate a massive American network TV deal. He is now the type of people who would not return my call if I had not, at some point, worn a goofy robot shirt because he assured me it would be a good idea.
Several hours later, discussions about Australian TV, international financing and DVD sales later, I realize I have been given yet another lesson in the somewhat pokey yet relentless inevitibility of karma. It's not quite as explicit as how the office assistant to the two writers who wrote my pilot became the head of ABC comedy just eight years later, but damn close.