Long Island comedians Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling and Peter Bales have been making audiences laugh for more than 40 years. These days, they are cracking each other up on their new podcast, “Stand-Up Memories,” which they are recording on Tiedin Media in Plainview. The episodes air every Wednesday morning starting on Groundhog Day on February 2nd.
“We jump off each other perfectly because I’m an idiot and he’s more straight,” said Martling, 73, of Bayville. “Peter is drier and quieter than I am. When I’m cut down from 10 to 2, I’m still five times taller than him!”
Bales, 67, of East Northport adds: “We’re just clicking. We’re both Baby Boomers from the North Shore who want to share these memories of a time that passes quickly. We’re getting ready to pass on to the next generation. We’re not talking only about what we had fun with, but what we learned. “
Both Martling and Bales were at the center of the stand-up comedy boom on Long Island with the birth of the Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown and the long-gone East Side Comedy Club in Huntington. On the podcast, the duo gets into stories from the old days.
“Comedian colleague Richie Minervini knew there was room for a comedy club, so he took our show at Cinnamon in Huntington Tuesday night and developed it into the East Side Comedy Club,” Martling recalls.
Bales was the first comedian on the microphone when the East Side Comedy Club opened in 1979.
“I remember stepping on the stage and saying, ‘Welcome to the East Side Comedy Club, this is the beginning of an era,'” Bales said.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s Comedy Club was not far behind the opening in September 1981.
“There was a rock’n roll club in Levittown and the bands got louder. The neighbors wanted them thrown out, so they turned it into the Governor’s Comedy Club,” Martling says. “At the time, I had my dirty joke line 516-922-WINE (9463) and they called me to book all the shows.”
Bales remembers meeting Martling for the first time when he went to see his band Off Hour Rockers at Rumrunner in Oyster Bay in the late ’70s.
“Jackie played songs and told jokes between songs,” Bales says. “This podcast will show a side of Jackie that people have not seen. They typically think of his dirty jokes, which are terribly funny, but he also has a great sense of irony and sarcasm.”
Each section lasts approximately 20 minutes and features a variety of topics.
“We keep them in bite size so people want one more,” Martling says. “The focus is on interesting stories from the early days that come up as a comedian, but they can look into my time at the Howard Stern Show for something recent. That’s all that’s interesting – a real potpourri that will continue with to develop.”