Sam Kinison

Sam Kinison at Bonkerz

The legendary comedian Sam Kinison and his Outlaws of Comedy were a fixture at the first Orlando Bonkerz.  Sam made many unannounced appearances at Bonkerz in the late 80’s.  We were also running Orlando’s largest nightclub at the time called Park Avenue and it was connected to Bonkerz.

Park Avenue had a barber’s chair where well-endowed waitresses would lean you back in the chair and pour upside margaritas down your throat while they straddled your chest.  Needless to say, there was always a line for the barber chair.  Sam would lay in the chair and tip the servers $100 bills which in 2016 dollars is $215.  For a server that hoped to make $100 a night in tips for the entire shift, having Sam walk in would certainly make their night.

Sam’s Outlaws of Comedy including Mitchell Walters, Carl LaBove, Jimmy Shubert and Michael Cheselka headlined for Bonkerz.  Sam would come in, hang out and do surprise appearances when they were working.  This usually led to after-hours parties at the first comedy house, which included 3am BBQ’s and were always a lot of fun.  Fortunately for us, our next door neighbor was an elderly woman who turned off her hearing aid when she went to bed and never once complained.

For the record, Sam Kinison was a truly genuine and generous person.  The Sam I knew always made sure everyone else was taken care of and was always nice to be around.