My goal with these brief posts is to be fun, informative and in touch.
Taylor Mason Beat

Thank You!


Thank you, Principal Shirk from Walker School. I remember you wearing your “LBJ” cowboy hat to school. You were always complimentary, helpful and kind. You made a difference.

Thank you, Mrs. Randall, wherever you are. You introduced me to the piano, to performance, to working in front of an audience and you taught me the “Bumble Boogie.” I never looked back. You were patient with me when I didn’t deserve it. Now I can’t repay you.

Thank you Jim Ellis, Doug Ingraham and Tom Harris. I don’t know where you guys are, but thank you.

Thank you Coach Gary Sulaski. You defined “high school coach,” and I owe you a great debt.

Thank you, Johnnie Johnson.

Thank you, Mary Fennessey. You were much more than a teacher. At 18 years old you guided me to a career.

Thank you Coach Sutherland, Coach Murphy, Coach Riley, Coach Steinbach and Coach Myers. There is an old jock adage: “Victory doesn’t go the bigger and stronger man; victory goes to the man who thinks he can.” I took that to heart. I think of you often.

Thank you Mike Purcell and Howie Brewer and John Wolslegel. Riding around Ottawa, Illinois, trying to make each other laugh turned into a career. Whoa! Thank you John Cassidy and Donnie Sutherland. Thank you Bob McNamara - you were a great teammate and someone to look up to. I did.

Thank you Professor Curley. You told me I could write. I’m still doing it. I owe ya…

Thank you, Leon Russell.

Thank you Dean Wessels. Thank you for a college degree, an incredible experience, and for letting me out! You changed my life. Thank you for letting me take your daughter to the dance!

Thank you to my friends and brothers at Sigma Chi Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Chapter, University of Illinois. You need to know what you have meant to me. There was a dream. You let me do it - and fail a LOT - and you gave me more confidence than I deserve. You allowed me to see the future when I was 20 years old. Looking back, I owe you all a lot… forget being paid, though. I’m not that thankful. I love you all.

Thank you Rod Cardinal and Skip Pickering, the training staff for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini football team back in the day. I was too small, too slow, too weak and too dumb to play in the Big Ten. You got me thru those 5 years and I’m alive to tell the stories, thanks to you.

Thank you Chuck Leavell.

Thank you Coach Blackman. You told me I “would never play.” I played. Partly thanks to you.

Thank you Derwin Tucker. I admire you more than ever.

Thank you Dean Fryburger, Don Schultz, Professor Gordon and my classmates at Northwestern University, Medill School of Advertising. To those professors with whom I fought for that year, I apologize. But I learned more about “how to write a joke/a monologue/an act” in that 12 months in Evanston than you could possibly know. Thank you Sara, Elisa, Jeannie, Mary, David, Paul and everyone in the class. I gained more from you than I can ever repay.

Thank you Bert Haas. My opening line when you first hired me went something like this: I walk on stage. I take a moment. Then I say, “Well, as you can see, I have absolutely no stage presence at all.” You gave me countless nights and opportunities. It’s been a great ride, and I’m still at the wheel - you are a big part of that.

Thank you TP Mulrooney, Tim Cavanaugh, Larry Reeb, John Caponera, Teddy LeRoi, Judy Tenuta, Emo and all the acts that came thru Zanies. I’m still awed.

Thank you, Nicky Hopkins.

Thank you Paul Sills. Thank you Bernie Sahlins. Thank you very much, Joyce Sloane. Thank you Second City. My career in comedy hasn’t had any kind of “arc.” That’s a good thing. Thanks.

Thank you Fred Kaz and Ruby Streak.

Thank you Rick Uchwatt. ‘nuff sed.

Thank you Brian Dorfmann. Thank you Joey Edmonds - and family - for the stability and the thousands of one-nighters performing in every kinda venue around the country. Thank you Rick Rogers for the guidance and the ‘step up’ on the showbiz ladder. Thank you Andy Scarpatti and Tony Comacho and Stan Bernstein and Andrea Levy and Cary Hoffman (and Suzanne) and Bruce Ayers and Scott Bruce and Richie Minervini and Rick Messina and John Yoder and Bud Friedman.

Thank you Star Search! (and thank you Geechy Guy!)

Thank you to the thousands of comics and singers and magicians and jugglers and actors and directors and showbiz-types that have filled my days and weeks and years for the past however-many-it’s-been. Wow.

Thank you Bill Gaither. How do I repay someone who taught so much? I am sheepish and humbled by your grace. Thank you to The Homecoming Artists and Reggie and Ladyelove Smith - you blessed me far more than I deserve. Thank you Derek and the gang on the bus!

Thank you to the entire production staff; the comics; the camera operators and gaffers and assistants and actors and tech crew and office personnel and anyone/everyone involved with “Bananas Comedy” and “Taylor’s Attic.” You were all professional, focused and excellent at your jobs, making me look a lot better than I deserve. Thank you Paul Seaburn, the best joke writer I know.

Thank you Jonathan Bock. You’re way ahead of the curve. And I’m jealous that you’re so funny.

Thank you Ken Davis and Danny DeArmas, two of the most decent, loving, talented and genuine people on earth. That Ken Davis is a comedy legend says more about him than any words I could write. He is the definition of “good man.” Same goes for Danny DeArmas, who convinced me to take a leap of faith that has paid off in too many ways to mention.

Thank you Mary Ann Taylor, Steve Axtell and Verna! Thank you Clinton Detweiler!!

Thank you, Billy Powell.

Thank you Tim Grable. Frankly, I’m always thankful. You and I have come light years in the business. You have a lot of great clients. I’m honored and thankful every day that we are working together. Great job.

Thank you Mildred Mason for strength and perseverance. Thank you Dorothy Miesenhelder and Newt for the unconditional love. Thank you Uncle Gene Baroni and Aunt Ardie Baroni for giving me the start - I would have nothing if not for you. Thank you cousins Peter, Danny and Michael. Thank you Uncle Phil Miesenhelder for the guidance and sincere help. Thank you Aunt Marlene Miesenhelder. Thank you cousins Leanne and Matt and Joe and Mark - I’m an awful relative and you all deserve better. Thank you Ana for visiting us! Thank you Sally. Thank you Wendy.

Thank you Art Mason. Thank you Aunt Gloria. There are people in my family who have influenced me beyond belief, and no matter where I go or what I do, I feel as if I represent them all. I’m blessed to have been affected and loved by such wonderful people.

Thank you to my mother, Patricia Mason. She was her own kind of unbelievable, and I mean that in a loving, positive way! Thank you to my father, Bill Mason. You’re still my hero because you’re still defining “BIGGER THAN LIFE."

Thank you Billy Preston. And Ian Stewart.

Thank you to my brothers, Locke and Tony. The Cubs finally won the World Series. You are never far from my thoughts, but this summer and early this month I thought about the 3 of us all the time. Our childhoods are intertwined, and much of what I think and believe is directly due to the hours we spent together playing ball and messing around in Clarendon Hills/Ottawa. I thank you both. Much love to you and yours this holiday. Thank you Tom and Alison.

Tony, thank you so much for keeping in touch even though you’re living in another country. Thank you Rachel and Roxanne.

Thank you to my children, Hank and Ev. You know how I feel.

Thank you, Marsia. I cannot believe how lucky I got the day I met you in a little theater space in Chicago another 3-4 lifetimes ago. I love you forever, and I am beyond thankful for you. You are everything.

And thank you to the thousands of fans, well-wishers, followers and interested parties who pay for the videos and tickets to see me do what I enjoy so much. You continue to make me work and find new ideas. You keep me vital. I thank you in the most honest way I know, because this is Thanksgiving.

Thank you. All of you.


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