The line began forming after eight o’clock. Sal, short and heavy-set, kept everyone busy. Neat, in a white shirt and sports jacket, with his grey fedora cocked to the side, his crooked grin made you smile. Without warning the heavy door would swing open and the waiters would come outside to join him. They were dressed in pajamas or prison garb, with hats and horns, and were there to warm up the crowd. Some in line expected this, others were shocked.
The pink polka dot building should have been a warning. Complete strangers in line became chummy, exchanging stories they had heard; toilet seat covers to serve drinks on, microphones in the ladies room, toilet paper for napkins. Most had brought their friends there to be roasted. The line of people varied in age. They all dressed casually because they’d heard you could get a pie in the face or a squirt in the eye. The club’s routines were blue in color, but harmless. If you were lucky you might see a “Balls for the Queen” or a “Singing beer.” The price was always right for a good time and Warm Beer and Lousy Food was the place to be.
John S. Columbia was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest of seven children. He served four years in the Air Force where he did shows, as both a singer and a comic. He joined The Crazy Country Club in 1965 and later joined the New York City Fire Department.