Bob Nelson Comedian – A King of Humor and Comedy Legend

bob nelson, comedian bob nelson, bob nelson comedian

Written by Tim Grable

March 28, 2017

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bob nelson, comedian bob nelson, bob nelson comedianA native of Long Island, New York, Comedian Bob Nelson launched his comedy career in the late 1970s as the result of an on-the-job accident. The accident occurred as Bob placed a call to a client relative to a telephone directory problem. Unbeknownst to him, Bob accidentally miss-dialed the number resulting in his speaking as a comedy character to a Massapequa, Long Island comedy club owner who hired him on the spot.

Many routines created by Nelson suggest that his list of mentors and idols included Rodney Dangerfield and especially Red Skelton, whose face said it all. Through the years, some of Bob’s most popular and memorable characters have been punch drunk prizefighter, Jiffy Jeff, nerdy, Eppy Epperman and hillbilly chicken farmer, Wilby Ktuckerson.

Bob Nelson Comedian and Entertainer

Bob is an industry favorite, with numerous television appearances and comedy performances in exciting venues across the country. Starting in comedy clubs in the 1970s, his extraordinary talent shot him to fame and earned him television performances on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson,” “David Letterman” and “The Merv Griffin Show.” He has performed in famous venues across the country, including New York’s Radio City Music Hall, Broadway and the Las Vegas Strip.

Bob also performed as an opening act for Rodney Dangerfield at the height of the comedian’s stand-up career. He starred in two of Dangerfield’s HBO comedy specials alongside big names like Jerry Seinfeld, Sam Kineson and Roseanne Barr. This led to two of his own HBO specials. He also had roles in several movies, including “Airplane!”, “The Naked Gun” and “Kindergarten Cop,” to name a few.

Comedian Bob Nelson has captivated audiences by his edge-of-your-seat style since 1978. His unexpected spins on topics, physical demonstrations, and witty satire, made Nelson one of the most sought-after talents in the 1980s. His characters endeared audiences to them, making people relate as though they were flesh and blood. Eppy Epperman, a nerdy kid, is one of those characters that resonated with people. He made appearances in several skits, adding familiarity to the segment. Nelson’s skill is making people genuinely feel the comedy instead of hearing it is uncanny.

Johnny Carson once said of Bob’s character Jiffy Jeff Gym, “You can’t laugh any harder in five or six minutes than you did at Bob Nelson.”

Bob has been in the business of comedy for twenty-five years. He was host to an HBO pilot that was geared to toddlers and children. “The Laugh a Lot Club” involved a couple of clowns who performed skits with a moral, mostly to discourage children from teasing each other. He has made many videos of his past performances in various venues around the country.

Throughout his comedic span, Bob has perfected many characters. Besides Jiffy Jeff Gym, he has developed characters in his skits like Eppy Epperman, Ping Yeh (The Landlord), Henry W. Stone (Eppy’s Grampa), Otis (The prop Gorilla), a Cop, and a little kid.

In his infamous “Duck Routine,” Comedian Bob Nelson does his version of a pantomime sketch, complete with amusing sound effects. From crazy farm animal noises that wake a farmer to manic movements of pretending to shoot the animals, the crowd is delighted by Bob’s hilarious antics. The audience goes even wilder for Bob’s Donald Duck-like voice during this pantomime routine.

During Bob’s “One Night Stand” comedy special, he performed what he calls “Babushka Juggling.” He cues up the synthesized dance music and the crowd dances, whoops and claps along as he juggles three colorful scarves that float around him. He does this in character as a bumbling man with a lisp. Bob rhythmically juggles these three scarves to the beat of the dance music while keeping the crowd entertained by its silliness.

In the hit comedy special “Nelson Schmelson,” we find Bob at his comedic best, in character screaming for his mother out the window because he needs toilet paper. He yells for several moments and then disappears until he bursts through a different part of the set with a roll of toilet paper, presumably as the character’s mother. His comedic timing and portrayal of bizarre characters is perfection.

During “Nelson Schmelson,” Bob shows off more of his knack for creating crazy characters with a nuclear power plant worker assuring the public that the factory is safe. What starts as an ordinary monologue becomes an increasingly funny performance, with Bob twitching and losing control of his speech from the effects of the power plant. The surprise, in the end, leaves audiences gasping and shrieking before erupting into even more laughter.

Many comedians believe that only a person like Nelson could create a character like Jiffy Jeff and yet manage not to offend anybody. As Jiffy Jeff, Nelson appeared as a minimal brain dis-functional boxer dressed in large, bright orange boxing gloves and sporting an orange helmet bearing the inscription “Everfast.”

For his routine entitled “Morning,” Nelson relied on a stage prop that consisted of a large, rundown house with several doors enabling his character to exit through one only to suddenly reappear via another that the attention of the audience was not focused upon.

The standing opening act for Rodney Dangerfield’s show for eight years, Bob Nelson has enjoyed a prosperous career in comedy this far. He has performed before President Reagan, on the Merv Griffin Show, at Radio City Music Hall, and, most recently, at the Grand Ole Opry.  He was one of the few comedians to get their special on HBO…, and he’s done it twice.

Ascending the ladder with peers like Sam Kineson, Eddie Murphy, and Roseanne Barr, Bob made a name for himself in comedy clubs. His career has taken him from the stage to the silver screen. With movies, such as Kindergarten Cop, and This is My Life With Julie, Bob Nelson has solidified his place in comedy history.

A highlight of his career occurred as a comedian; Bob served as the opening act for Rodney Dangerfield, which became an ideal venue for his football spoof that continues to delight audiences. One “Tonight Show” host once commented that it is impossible to laugh any harder than while watching Nelson. Ironically, his football character was destined to become a masterpiece in the history of comedy routines.

Bob Nelson’s football routine is regarded as one of the funniest skits in comedy history. His flair for turning stereotypes into laughable and some might say teachable moments are demonstrated in full form during this skit. Football players in the college football All-Star Game trot out to introduce themselves before the big game. Players from all walks of life emerge to announce their presence. From the Hunchback of Notre Dame to depictions of racial and socioeconomic stereotypes, Bob Nelson Comedian made people laugh with him and at themselves. His parodies often strike a timely chord.

Nelson quickly moved into the HBO sector of television with one special centered around Rodney Dangerfield, whom Nelson dubbed as his “Godfather of Comedy.” Another unforgettable HBO special occurred while Nelson was a member of “The Identical Triplets,” whose co-stars included comedy legend, Eddy Murphy.

Comedian Bob Nelson showcased his effervescent nature and a hilarious knack for storytelling in this first stand-up comedy clip. While he starts with relatable jokes to warm up the audience, he then morphs into a ridiculous hillbilly character, complete with farmer’s hat and fake crooked teeth, and gets the crowd roaring with laughter.

Nelson’s accolades include being a 1983 Emmy winner for a children’s television program entitled “Double Muppet Hold the Onions” which he wrote and performed. Nelson also appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Kindergarten Cop” and portrayed Harpo Marx during a 1990s revival of the Marx Brothers classic “A Night at the Opera.”

Many experts in the field of comedy believe that Nelson’s Emmy was an outgrowth of his coming to the attention of a Merv Griffin Show talent scout. Perhaps the acme of his career occurred when he was invited to participate in a Ford Theater performance entitled “The Stars Salute the President’,” whose audience included President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.

Comedian Bob Nelson is a Comedy Legend

Bob’s comedy skits use everyday humor while avoiding unnecessary profanity making his comedy perfect for a family to sit down and laugh at together. It is refreshing not to have to send the kids out of the room in fear of hearing the inappropriate material.

All of his skits are unique. From a fish devouring bubbles to a cowboy doing tricks with his guns, he will have you on the floor in fits of uncontrollable laughter.

A few simple props such as an old hat, a set of ugly teeth, or bubbles are all this performer needs to get into character. His skits are well thought out and written in creative tones that will inspire any young comedian wishing to make a way in the comedy field. The rest of us will laugh.

Bob Nelson Comedian prefers clean comedy, getting laughs because of his ingenuity and creativity, rather than with foul language. He patterns himself behind his mentor, Red Skelton who commended him on his decision not to incorporate vulgar behavior in his show. As if to embody the choice to “go clean,” Bob’s decades-long comedy career has made him an industry legend among clean comedians. He has worked with some of the biggest names in television, film, and comedy. His television specials, comedy club stand-up acts and film performances, have entertained audiences with his unique, entertaining blend of relatable stories and wild characters. His comedy show has animated gestures, vocal talent and amusing props draw you into his hilarious world.

Bob Nelson Comedian can be found touring the US at comedy clubs and colleges.  For booking information on Clean Comedians call 615-283-0039.

 

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