Dead Bob, of Renaissance Fair fame, is a hypocrite

A while back laserkitty and I visited her oldest brothers family up in Michigan. Part of the visit involved going to a RenFair (Fest?), which was all in all, a really fun time. Part of it, though, bothered me more than I think I let on at the time- the Dead Bob show.

Dead Bob is an act that people clamor for, year after year, weekend after weekend, show after show. You’re lucky to get a seat if you show up at the beginning of the show before DB is the kind of crowd this guy pulls. Laserkittys brother has always missed part of the show and was determined to catch the whole thing this year, so we waited dutifully through the dancing and drum troupe that seemed to be a collection of dred-locked potheads who happened to be active enough to hit drums and do some “African” dancing (I should note they were all white people.)

They finish, and the push is on. We snag some seats pretty close to the front, but mostly nobody moved, since much of the crowd had gotten there early to claim seats for DB and weren’t leaving.

Right off the bat, before you even see the guy, he pipes up with “Hey, Audience!” to which we’re all supposed to reply “HEY, WHAT?” as loud as we can. Except, no one knew he was about to start and many people had never seen him before and didn’t know their “roles,” so there was only a half-hearted reply- “heywhat?”

So he makes a crack along the lines of “See, it’s apathy and stupidity like this that got you guys your President. Let’s try that again- Hey, Audience!”

So, right off the bat I’m thinking, oh, wonderful, a fun-filled politik act! Whee!

He ended up not making too many cracks, but he did make a few, most of them dealing with stupidity, mean-spirited-nature, or greed. Sure, some of his show was funny, but I was mostly unimpressed and found him somewhat-to-mostly distasteful, even though, I generally like mean-spirited and cutting comedy which was his main act.

The thing with acts at RenFairs is that they make their money, their income, off of the tips at the end of the shows. We saw some jugglers and a sword swallower almost as soon as we had arrived and they were great, so I/we tipped them a couple dollars (and when you have a crowd of 100+ doing that, you do might alright.)

So, Dead Bob sends these people around with baskets to collect money from the crowd, which for his show was easily over 400 people and he goes out himself to collect from the people right up front. I remember hearing this and thinking he was a dick for saying it at the time, but now that I think about it, he was a hypocritical asshole, too- one kid came up and tried to tip him some change, a few quarters or something, and DB says (with a microphone so all the crowd can hear), “Hey, I don’t need money that bad, asshole. Keep your change!”

So, he’s making his money off of the crowd, right? People are tipping him, paying him, out of no obligation other than they want to show their appreciation of his wit and skill, right? And part of his “wit” is cutting on people for their greed and callous nature, right? And he has the nerve to mock some kid for not offering the proper for of currency for his tip, preferably green and foldable.

It’s been a few months but the thought popped to mind and I got all pissed off all over again.

Eat shit and live, Dead Bob.

I used to love Ded Bob (and it is spelled D-E-D, incidentally). BUT… you’re right, he’s kind of a jerk. I know of several Ren acts who occasionally push the envelope when asking for tips, but Ded Bob takes it waaaay too far. Blatant profanity at the Faire is not cool, especially with all the kids that go.

If you’ve ever been to Ded Bob’s website, you’ll see that his responses to letters he gets from fans are generally rude, too. He’s like the Don Rickles of the circuit, only not as lovable.

He’s a comedian, folks. With rare exceptions, comedians are the most bitter and cruel people in show business. They get their start by defying teachers and bullies (and getting punished thereby), and got the most strokes (as children) when they made the most cutting jokes. Most never get respect, never get awards, and never get laid. They’re lower life forms to actors and musicians, and even some of the stars never get past that. A friend of mine who used to book talent tells me of hosting Milton Berle; the young intern who idolized him waited on him hand and foot, fawned over him, and asked “Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Berle?” “Yeah, kid, y’ can suck my dick.” Charming.

I can only guess at the rage and bile that must drive the clown prince of the the Ren Fair circuit.

Wow - sounds really Medieval there, doesn’t he? :rolleyes:

Q took me to a comedy show where the opening act came onstage screaming, “WHO WANTS SOME PUUUUUSSSSSSSY?!?!

I was unimpressed. (Fortunately the headliner was actually funny.)


Personally, nothing beatsThe Swordsmen for Ren Faire entertainment. Bristol Ren Faire in Kenosha is arguably one of the biggest in the nation, and Ded Bob wasn’t invited back there, so it looks like he’s suffering at his own hand, which is apropos for him, i suppose. The guy’s kind of an ass, and he hides behind the fencers mask, which makes him even more of a puss, even though it’s a part of his deal.

Love love love the Swordsmen (and their proteges, the Bold and Stupid Men - rowr!) but NO ONE is better than Moonie The Magnif’Cent for laughs.

OK, maybe Sound and Fury, but they haven’t been around Bristol Ren Faire for awhile.

So, what you’re saying is, this guy verbally abuses people, viciously, to their face, and they pay him for the privelege?

This man is my God.

Is Ded Bob the guy who fell out of the coffin in the hearse sketch in Jackass?

I loved Ded Bob the first couple times I saw him, but his act pretty much stays the same, so it got kind of boring.

It’s been a few years since I’ve seen him and I never remember him doing anything that obnoxious in the shows I’ve seen.

But, if the people are coming to see him (400 you say) then his act must be working.

I’ve always found Don Juan and Miguel very amusing myself.

From what I’ve read, Milton Berle is known for being a jerk. When he did Saturday Night Live, the cast absolutely hated him.

Wow, back when I performed at Fairs I caught Ded Bob a time or two and he didn’t seem that bad. Of course this was ten or so years ago, plenty of room for him to get popular, get a big head about it and turn asshole. shrug

Sounds more like a ruder version of Chris Rock.

Moonie, and Sound and Fury are the reasons that I go to the Faire (along with the Poxy Boggards of course)

Can’t forget thechaps from the Mudshow ©


Oh come on, didn’t you know that these (small time local ren fest players) are big time stars who so richly deserve to carry themselves like the massive celebrities they are?


Actually, a big plus at the Maryland and Pennsylvania RenFairs is that they’ve gotten so successful that the performers are paid enough to not be allowed to beg for tips.

The last one I can remember doing so is Johnny Fox, Sword Swallower. And he’s clearly the most popular act in Maryland.

Ded Bob was funny the first time.

Kind of funny the second time.

The third time – “Wait. I’ve heard all these jokes before.”

The fourth time I walked out when I realized I could recite the entire damn show verbatim.

I was at the Pennsylvania RenFair a couple of weeks ago and I did see the mud show people do the tip thing. Didn’t see anyone else do it, though.