Several years ago when I was doing my Last Kiss comic for The Seattle Times, I found a way to work local kids TV show host J.P. Patches into one of the gags. (See right.)
Of course, it being Last Kiss is was somewhat sarcastic/flip. But I really admired Chris Wedes (J.P.’s alter ego who passed away today–July 22, 2012.)
If Chris wasn’t the funniest man on TV—not just local TV, but TV in general—he was darn close.
His shows with sidekick Bob Newman (Gertrude, Ketchikan the Animal Man, Boris S. Wort—the second meanest man in the world) performed live on TV twice a day every weekday (plus Saturday mornings) and it was mostly unscripted.
Chris and Bob would discuss what they were going to do before the show and then just wing it.
As a kid, I thought they were extremely funny. But their genius was that they were funny to adults too. In fact, in some ways, they were even funnier to adults. They were doing a kids show, but there would be all these extra little references and jokes that only adults would understand.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Chris many times and he was hilarious offstage. And very kind.
Last Kiss couldn’t be more different than the J.P. Patches show. But I suspect that some of his whimsy is an influence on my approach to humor.
One thing I can say—without a doubt—no one in Seattle has ever been more loved than J.P. Patches.