Funny Dad Week, Part 3: Say Hello to Mike Mercury, He’s Funny!

Who is Mike Mercury, you ask?
Mid-western funny man, father of one and former full-time stand up comedian, Mike bares no resemblance to Freddy Mercury, the late singer of the rock band Queen. To my knowledge, Mike can barely carry a tune. But he is funny.

Mike is currently a professional writer and copy director at a major catalog company in the mid west. He is part of the The Cheese Head Monologues, a trio of Wisconsin comedians who will leave you rolling in the aisles. Mike’s Web site has clips and additional info, including how to hire him for corporate events. Mike will even make fun of the CEO of your comapny if you pay him enough…in advance.

And now, a few words from Mike about comedy…

Why have you chosen comedy as your form of communication? Why not another genre?
I think you have it backwards, Daddy Brain. Comedy chose me.

Also, what makes you think I’ve limited myself to one genre? I’m also an accomplished sculptor, poet and painter.

Okay, not really. But I found your question pretentious and insulting. Like I’m only capable of doing one thing. Maybe I am. So what? Oh, sure, I could’ve been a rap “singer” but who couldn’t? What other “art” form can you openly rip off legitimate artists and call it “sampling?” Those millionaire rap guys are a joke with all their money and sweet cars and big mansions and hot babes and cool clothes. God, I hate them.

Why is stand-up comedy so intriguing to you? Have you ever used a chair?

I think it’s safe to say that stand-up comedy is intriguing to you, seeing how you’re the one asking all the nosey questions about stand-up comedy.

As a kid, what intrigued me about it was that, on the face of it, it seems SOOO simple. You stand there by yourself and you talk. And the audience laughs. At the age of 10 I was naïve enough to think, I could do that.

More intriguing, though, is that once you do it, you discover how maddeningly complex it is. And exciting. There’s nothing like it. I hate to use a cliché, but performing stand up is even better than that cake called Better Than Sex, which as it turns out isn’t even remotely close to being better than the worst sex you’ve ever had in your whole life but relative to other types of cake is pretty darn good. I think they saddled that cake with a bad name, and in the end it does a grave disservice to both cake and sex.

Next time you make love to your wife tell her it was better than cake and you’ll see my point. And perhaps more importantly, if you ever meet the woman who invented Better Than Sex cake, do NOT sleep with her.

And yes, I have used a chair. In fact, I use chairs regularly. They come in very handy when you want to sit down. For instance, I like to kick back in a reclining chair when I read. Right now, I’m sitting in an office chair, which helps keep me elevated just high enough off the floor that I can easily reach the keyboard without straining. Chairs are great. If I ever meet the guy who invented the chair, I’m gonna give him some Better Than Sex cake.

Who is the funniest comedian on earth? Why?

Well, given my relative anonymity, we can safely assume that it’s not me. So who’s left?

I don’t think there’s any such thing as a single funniest comedian on earth. There are lots of really funny comedians and a smaller handful of really exceptional comedians. There are also lots of really funny people that aren’t comedians and never will be because there’s a HUUUUGE difference between being funny at a party with your friends and being funny on cue at 8:00 on a Saturday night right after the emcee introduces you to a crowd of 5000.

To my funny bone, my favorite stand-up comedians include Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Pat Paulsen, George Carlin, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan.

But to be honest, I’m not sure that it’s fair to limit it only to the funniest comedians on earth. If I were asking the question, I would’ve left it more open ended so as not to exclude or offend anyone.

Who is the least funny comedian on earth? Explain their success.

Great question, Daddy Brain. First off, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to participate in this forum. And I’d like to thank for hosting the event. And I’d like to thank your readers. My friends, my opponent and I have a fundamental disagreement over this issue. Frankly, I don’t think it’s my call to make. Let’s just say that certain names have come up – Dane Cook, Carlos Mencia and Mort Sahl among others. But my opponent and I do agree on one thing and that is that success speaks for itself. As long as it is achieved ethically and legally, the results speak for themselves. So in the end it has to be about job creation. And when the results are in come November, we believe that we will be successful and as president, I can and will fix health care. Thank you.

If you inherited $500 million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with your life?

I suppose I should be deliriously happy. But after I realized that I would have to pay the federal government half the money in estate taxes, I’d be livid. Which would be enough to compel me to run for the US Senate with the single goal of changing the inheritance tax laws in this country. So by the time I fund my campaign, and then lose 40% of the money in the stock market, I’m practically broke. Then I’ll need the federal government to bail me out. Sure, $500 million sounds like a nice chunk of change, but it just doesn’t go as far as it used to when you get right down to it.

Can you share the best joke you’ve ever heard or written?

After re-reading what I’ve written here, I think the thing about Better Than Sex cake might be my best work ever.

How about the worst?

Thank you for the question, Daddy Brain. First off, let me start by saying that it has to be an “all of the above” approach. And that Joe Six Pack doesn’t think about things like the “worst” whatever. We’re Americans. We have a “can-do” spirit. And when push comes to shove, we will win the war in Norway. Thank you.

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I hope you enjoyed the final installment of Funny Dad Week. To learn more about Mike, visit his Web site, or check out his blog.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:

Funny Dad Week: Say Hello to Jeff Sawyer, He’s Funny!

Funny Dad Week, Part 2: Say Hello to Tim Bete, He’s Funny!

Funny Dad Week, Part 2: Say Hello to Tim Bete, He’s Funny!

Who is Tim Bete, you ask?
He’s a dad who’s fascinated with pirates, parenting and making people laugh. He’s written two books: Guide to Pirate Parenting, and In the Beginning, there Were No Diapers: Laughing and Learning in the First Years of Fatherhood. 

Tim also has a Web site called Where I Live. It currently features an article on how losing control of the TV remote (in the hospital) is the most painful part of labor (for men).

I convinced Tim to answer some questions in-between raiding pirate ships and changing dirty diapers. He typed up a response rather quickly for a guy with metal hooks for hands…  

Why have you chosen comedy as your form of communication? Why not another genre?
I don’t think we choose our genres, I think we’re born with them. Some people just have brains wired for humor. The wiring of most humor writers is faulty and wouldn’t get an okay from a housing inspector without a large bribe. Besides, who wants to write other genres? There are too many New-age, Young-adult, Vampire Romance novels.
What’s the deal with pirates? Why a whole book exclusively about pirate parenting?
You’re just jealous you didn’t think of it first. There are many good reasons to raise your kids as pirates. Here are five:
* Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to be a pirate, and he’ll steal other people’s fish for a lifetime.
* Divvying up booty is good quality time with the kids.
* When other parents hear you’re raising your children as pirates, they’ll stop asking you to volunteer at school.
* It’s fun to watch the emergency room doctor’s reaction when you say your son was injured during “a little mishap boarding a merchant vessel that refused to surrender.”
* Replacing “family movie night” with “family terrorizing the neighbors with cannons night” is a wonderful change of pace.
Who is he funniest comedian on earth? Why?
Oh, sure, limit the question to the EARTH. You are so narrow minded. The funniest person in the universe is Smilken Fdrwesoret who lives on the planet Flipulus. He’s hysterical! And he does a dead-on impersonation of Intergalactic President Quirtdew Clixzasl.
Who is the least funny comedian on earth? Explain their success.
John Candy, although technically I think he’s IN the earth now, not ON it. I can’t explain his success. I never thought he was funny. He’s certainly no Smilken Fdrwesoret.
If you inherited $500 million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with your life?
Funny you should ask because that just happened to me yesterday. Unfortunately it’s all gone now. But it was a GREAT 24 hours. Be careful how often you shout, “Let it ride!”
Can you share the best joke you’ve ever heard or written?
One of my favorite jokes is from the “three guys walk into a bar” genre. It goes like this:
A baby seal walks into a club.
One of my favorite jokes that I’ve written is this:
Q: How can you tell if your child has great potential to be a pirate?
A:  When mom’s water broke, your baby yelled, “I sail with the tide!”

How about the worst?
You mean liver wurst? (That was the worst joke I’ve ever heard OR written.)

I hope you enjoyed the second installment of Funny Dad Week. To learn more about Tim Bete, visit the barge on your local docks, or check out his Web site. If you’re interested in reading more about his pirate book, click here Matey!

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
Funny Dad Week: Say Hello to Jeff Sawyer, He’s Funny!

Funny Dad Week: Say Hello to Jeff Sawyer, He’s Funny!

Who is Jeff Sawyer, you ask?
He’s a talented writer with a great sense of humor. And he’s funny, too. Jeff and his wife have two girls in college, so he’ll be working for the rest of his life to help pay off their student loans. He works as a creative director for a large catalog company in the mid west. And he has a blog called, Sawyer Speaks: short original humor, which probably keeps him sane.

One of Jeff’s short stories, Mountain Boomer, was recently published in the book, Humor for a Boomer’s Heart: Stories, Quips & Quotes to Lift the Heart. 

Here’s an excerpt:
“We boomer consumers are a demographic that marketers pursue as relentlessly as ushers chasing a bat during a sermon. We’re sufficiently Web-savvy to analyze their product offerings more thoroughly than any topic of any research paper we ever wrote in college, and affluent enough to more or less afford what we eventually settle on.

Accidental scrutiny of my own physique one morning in my forties (“What is a mirror doing in a bathroom, honey?) led me to purchase a serious rowing machine. I had actually used it, three times a week for years, until a herniated disk left me frozen in the rowing position. Walk around the office with a posture of a Slinky going downstairs, and people are going to think you’re feeling overburdened. Which maybe you are – and the solution to that, they’ll tell you, is exercise…”

I caught up with Jeff (which wasn’t hard with that herniated disk and poor posture) and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about comedy…

Jeff, can you share the best joke you’ve ever heard or written?

My financial plan.
Or this one, for David Letterman, early 90’s:
Michael Jackson has just married Lisa-Marie Presley. If Elvis was dead, he’d be turning over in his grave.
How about the worst?

Any joke that starts with the word “Knock.”
Why have you chosen comedy as your form of communication? Why not another genre?

All the other forms were taken by Republicans. They left us with laughing and weeping. I choose laughing.

Who is the funniest comedian on earth? Why?

Whoever buys material from me. I think Eddie Izzard is brilliant. Andy Rooney kills.

Who is the least funny comedian on earth? Explain their success.

Any comedian who relies on use of the F-word to be funny. That’s right, “Fabio.” Beyond that, I don’t have an attorney, so I don’t want to get sued. Especially if I inherited $500 million. 

If you inherited $500 million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with your life?

The real question is, what would I do with yours?
I would first ask my sisters when our parents had died, because they were doing ok when I called home this week. And where did they hide this profound wealth all those years?  
I might give it all to Oprah, just to shock her. Put it all in an envelope, and say, “Look under your chair, Oprah!” Then we’d have a great time together over lunch, which neither of us would eat because our comfort waist pants are already stretched out like the steel belts in a radial tire lab test.

$500 million would also afford me the ability to pay my Wisconsin property taxes in 2 easy payments instead of 4. That would be convenient.
I would start a hedge fund involving actual hedges, beautifying America one yard at a time.


I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Funny Dad Week. To learn more about Jeff Sawyer, visit his blog Sawyer Speaks. His book can be found at

And remember, you are not alone…