Turning 50 now a laughing matter for Bumatai
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
Comedian Andy Bumatai turns 50 on Christmas Eve and it's become a laughing matter for him as he embarks on a Waikiki return tonight on a twin bill with Paul Ogata, one of his protégés.
Q. You've been Mr. Clean: Your material is clean, often with real-life roots. Has this wholesomeness worked against you?
A. I'll tell you something and this is absolutely true. Rodney Dangerfield called me;
I was supposed to do this (comedy) show, the one that Sam Kinison broke out in. Rodney told me, 'You're too clean; you can use some swear words. You are like Peter Pan on this show.' Did that hurt me? I'll never know; it was always a personal choice. Now that I have children and those children are in school, I can hold my head up high when I visit.
It's not all based on goodie-two-shoes; it's a good economic decision. You're more likely to be hired and I was, by Hawai'i National Bank if you're not off-color. I'm not a puritanical soul, but I tell my comedy students, working clean gives you more economic opportunities to be hired.
Q. How goes your comedy Web site (AndyBumatai.com)? When do you have time to manage it?
A. I'm on eBay now; my Web site's doing great. I'm sending out albums every day; it's turning into this monster. As George Carlin says, 'You have to do your homework.'
Q. What is funny to you?
A. Aging. I turn 50 on Dec. 24, so I'm doing a lot of humor about that. I'm surprised how many people come up after the show and tell me, 'You know, man, your act is my life.' There are a lot of baby boomers going through similar problems: hearing loss, reading glasses, dealing with teen kids.
Q. You're a family man now. What happens if one of your children wants to follow in Dad's footsteps and do comedy?
A. I'm trying to dissuade my son (Ace), who's 14 and at Mid-Pacific Institute. He's studying commedia dell'arte in school, and evidently it's the basis of all sitcoms or so he tells me. I don't know if this is (a start of) a career for him, but he's auditioned for theater in school. What I worry about is people will expect him to be better than me.
He does have a natural knack for comedy, though he's a fairly serious kid. My daughter (Amy), 12, attends Kamehameha and her friends always ask her, 'Is that really your dad?' So I get paraded around. I'm surprised her generation even knows who I am.
Reach Wayne Harada at 525-8067, firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 525-8055.