First Published: 21/21/2004
A while back, in the intro to my first article, I casually dropped the name Wayne Brady attached to a sentence about seeing him naked. This was no accident. It was a calculated attempt to impress the living bejeebus out of you all, and render you powerless against the onslaught of my amazing awesomeness. Whether this worked or not is something you may keep to yourselves so as to avoid damaging my painstakingly preserved ego. Thanks.
Seeing as more than a couple of you (mostly women as I recall) had asked that I share the saucy details of the Naked Wayne Brady sighting, I have decided to do so. If for no other reason than that my fractured ego believes that titillating readers with more-or-less interesting tidbits from my checkered past will somehow cause it (my ego, that is) to spontaneously restore itself and break free of the tattered strips of duct tape and gobs of Gorilla Glue now holding it together.
As always, keeping your opinions about this theory to yourselves will be greatly appreciated.
Since this article has absolutely nothing to do with games, the games that people play, or the people that play the games that people play, I’ve asked the management to consider it my holiday gift to you, dear readers. You may reciprocate by sending gift cards or bottles of fine bourbon to: Fletcher1138, c/o GWJ World Headquarters. Thank you, and happy holidays.
How I Saw Wayne Brady Naked:
A Holiday Gift
Twas nowhere near Christmas,
And all through my purse (Shut up. “Wallet” doesn’t fit the meter.)
Not a dollar was stirring
Nor even a useable credit card (Okay, to hell with the meter!)
This was just before the millennium. I was broke. I’d quit my regular, yet soul-crushing Retail Job of My Youth and was lying around drunk in the middle of the day, wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life. Then, like Santa down the chimney (Okay, not at all like that. Give me a break people. It’s Christmas.), my phone rang. It was an old friend offering me a job. I took it.
The job was to stage manage one of ten venues at a comedy festival in Austin. All I was supposed to do was show up in the morning, turn everything on and tell people what to do. I was all over it.
Long story short: it didn’t work out that way. The load-in crew hadn’t shown up to do their job over the weekend, and as a result the stage, lights and sound didn’t get set up until about a half hour before the first performance the following day. As a result, my cushy, high-paying freelance job turned into a nightmare avalanche of theatrical panic. In other words: a typical stage gig.
Yet, despite the initial Charlie Foxtrot, the show opened as scheduled and John and Judy Public dutifully arrived to plant their butts in the seats. The comedians were great, and the improv groups were the best I’d ever seen. Nights One and Two went off flawlessly, and by Night Three I was beginning to feel invincible. Then Wayne Brady arrived.
Wayne Brady, for those of you who don’t know, was one of the stars of the improvisational comedy show Who’s Line is It Anyway?. He went on to have his own talk show, which got cancelled, but this was before that. On this occasion he was the Top Billed Special Guest Rising Star. Yet despite all that, he was an awesome guy. Funny, attractive (no, I wasn’t interested. But he brought in the chicks, man. Boy did he…), and quite pleasant to be around. In fact, he was the nicest person I had ever met. The only problem: the man had no concept of time.
Wayne was scheduled to appear on Night Four. He came in about halfway through the show on Night Three.
“Hey Fletcher. Sorry I’m late.”
“Oh,” says I. Remarking that he had taken the time to find out what my name was (Yes, he was that nice.). “Uh. You’re not late, Wayne. I can call you Wayne right? Hey, who’s the hot chick? Oh my. There’s eight of them. Golly. Um. See, you’re on tomorrow night. Not tonight.”
“Oh. Right. Thanks Fletcher. So I’ve got time to catch one of the other shows?”
“Uh. Yeah, Wayne. I’d say you’ve got about twenty-four hours. Give or take.”
“Great. Thanks, Fletcher.”
“No problem. Say can you leave me one of those blonde satellites you got there?”
He didn’t hear that last part. Wayne must be the fastest-moving comedian on Earth. He was gone in about two seconds and I saw neither him, nor his heart-stoppingly attractive entourage for the rest of the evening. He returned on Night Four. Seven hours early. The show hadn’t even started. There was no one in the place.
See, the problem one normally has with performers, especially those who are approaching or have reached stardom, is that they are consistently about an hour late for everything. So despite how irritating it was to have to manage Wayne’s time for him it was kind of a relief knowing that he at least wouldn’t be late. Or so I thought.
I sent him away again, and asked that he try to catch two shows this time. And perhaps even stop for dinner on the way back. And, oh yes, I’ll keep that red-head warm for you … okay. No problem. She should probably go with you anyway.
Four hours later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The show had just started. It was Wayne. His set was still about three hours distant, but not wanting to have to go through this same routine nine more times, I decided to let him stay. I sent him and the traveling fashion show (now a dozen strong) off to the green room to sip water and do whatever it is that rising stars do before shows. The show went on and time went by.
Then came the moment that everyone had been waiting for. Especially Wayne. Wayne was going to do a little of his singing shtick. The audience filed in from the bar, I hit the lights, punched the sound, cued Wayne and … nothing. No Wayne.
Cut to: me running to the green room. There were now about two dozen leg-stiffeningly gorgeous women standing outside the door, so I knew he had to be in there. What I didn’t know was that he was naked. Thankfully, he was not doing anything obviously pornographic when I burst through the door. He was probably just changing his pants. I don’t know. I didn’t ask.
There is a protocol that male members of the species must follow when one member inadvertently encounters another who is not wearing pants. This protocol demands that both males pretend that the pants do in fact exist, regardless of how obvious their absence may be, and continue about their business as if nothing is out of the ordinary. In Wayne’s case, it was pretty damn obvious that the pants were nowhere near his ass. I therefore followed protocol.
“Uh. Hi Wayne. You’re kind of on now. Just … thought you should know.” I said, looking him straight in the eye.
“Hey, thanks Fletcher! You’re the best!” says Naked Wayne. Also following protocol. Also looking me in the eye.
I thanked him for thanking me, quickly turned away, closed the door and went back to the stage as if nothing out of the ordinary had just occurred. In less than a second Wayne bounced onstage (with pants) and the show continued. He was great, the audience loved it and at the end of the night I still hadn’t gotten anywhere with any of his followers.
And so ends the tale of my encounter with Naked Wayne Brady. I still to this day have no idea why he was naked. Nor why he was perpetually early. Maybe the secret of his anti-tardiness lies in his tendency to move amazingly fast. Perhaps he leaves on time, but arrives hours early. Whatever. It still doesn’t explain the naked thing, nor does it erase the image of his perfect, ebony (YET MALE!!) booty from my memory. I’ll just have to live with that mystery and that memory for the rest of my life, and now so will you.