The Life of Comic Rip Taylor, “It ain’t all confetti”
Rip Taylor spreads smiles & confetti like pixie dust
There’s something funny going on at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. The outrageous comic Rip Taylor is in the spotlight doing a one-man show about his life. And his story is as crazy and colorful as the confetti he tosses around.
First, let’s clear up how young Charlie Taylor got the nickname Rip. “When I was starting my showbiz career doing burlesque almost five decades ago, I loved to hear people laugh. So I thought I’d play off my last name, because if you give a tailor a rip, he’ll keep you in stitches,” explains the funnyman.
Rip also loves being called the “Prince of Pandemonium.” He’s the original wild and crazy guy. And the essence of his comedy is that he loves to see people smile and hear them laugh. He is a madcap entertainer who really enjoys spreading happiness, using confetti instead of pixie dust.
Taylor has a lot of surprises in his show “Rip Taylor, It Ain’t All Confetti!” playing at the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood (until May 30).
He says, “The show is for people who want to have a good time. I don’t get risqué or dirty. You don’t have to if you’re funny. I’ve been known to be a joke’s best friend because I caress outrageousness.”
When the show starts, Rip does what everyone expects. “I show off the Las Vegas comedian who was named Entertainer of the Year, using all the silly props. That’s the wild celebrity that people wanted to see on The Merv Griffin Show, The Gong Show, and the center square on Hollywood Squares. And then I go into the story of how all of this all started.”
There’s a lot of joking around, but there has been drama in Taylor’s life. He narrates his interesting story, from a bleak childhood, to playing Las Vegas showrooms, and television and movies. And he dishes the dirt about a lot of famous folks who have crossed his path. Some were nice, others not so nice.
Taylor is a fine serious actor who has played dramatic roles, unrecognizable without his toupee as Demi Moore’s boss in Indecent Proposal. And he played Kate Hudson’s dad in the Rob Reiner film Alex and Emma.
He returned to his zaniness for film appearances in MTV’s Jackass, also guesting on the Disney series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, plus does cartoon voices. All that has won him a new generation of fans.
Along with playing on Broadway, Taylor’s lifetime of showbiz accomplishments has earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “Ironically, the star is right in front of a bad wig store,” he chuckles.
There are many sides to Rip, and “It Ain’t All Confetti” (directed by David Galligan) goes back to his beginning “when I did an amateur show and discovered how great you feel when you can make people laugh.”
As a Vegas headliner he brags, “If you can make the casino’s fifty thousand dollar losers laugh in the front row at two in the morning, you’ve done a good job.” That’s probably what earned him the “Entertainer of the Year” title in Vegas three years in a row.
Very charitable, he donates his time and talents to numerous worthy causes. And he appears frequently with his dear friends Debbie Reynolds, Florence Henderson, Carol Channing and JoAnne Worley at various Hollywood events, always the life of the party.
Rip Taylor’s show is as entertaining and as surprising as the “King of Camp and Confetti” himself.
Rip Taylor’s It Ain’t All Confetti plays through May 30 at Forum Theatre of El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. For more information, visit www.elportaltheatre.com