I knew that the one-year anniversary party for The Tom Leykis Show that happened yesterday at the Laugh Factory Long Beach would be packed, but I still wondered how many people would show. After all, Leykis is online-only now, it was a Monday night, and the NCAA men's basketball championship game was scheduled at the same time.
But I should've never doubted the Professor. By the time my cousin Plácido and I rolled up half-an-hour late to the party, the line already wrapped around the Laugh Factory--and more people were arriving by the minute. Inside, the venue was already nearly filled to it 550-person capacity.
Obviously, even Leykis and his crew underestimated their own power--fucking thing should've been held at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello! But the Laugh Factory's stage setup was perfect for Leykis to thank the fans that have made his new radiola an success.
The setup was genius: doors opened at 7 p.m., but the show didn't get started until 8 p.m., the better to get the overwhelmingly male crowd buying shots of ON Tequila and laughing at all the Al Bundy T-shirts more than a few guys were wearing. Once the rowdiness got to the appropriate level and a quick intro by show producers Gary Zabransky and Dino DeMilio (who also produce the excellent The Gary and Dino Show podcast) and engineer Art Webb, Leykis took to the stage to a standing ovation surrounded by the Leykettes, a collection of supple lasses picked for the honor by divorce attorney Adam Sacks, a hilarious guy who's the living embodiment of Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad fame, except Sacks actually wins cases.
Leykis profusely thanked the crew, then told a brief story about how a KABC-AM 790 exec offered him a job for pennies, which got the audience booing. Even better, however, was Leykis' continued war against KLOS-FM 95.5, specifically The Heidi & Frank Show. The bad feelings go back to their KLSX-FM 97.1 days, and Leykis listeners have taken to prank-calling the show just to fuck with the thin-skinned team. The party was so loud by this point (and me so loaded on the ON by then), that all I remember was Leykis eventually proclaiming, "KLOS would give their left fucking NUT for a crowd like this!" which set the crowd howling.
All in all, a fabulous night. Now, random observations:
*Media people in the audience: Richard Horgan of Fishbowl LA, radio legend Shotgun Tom Kelly of K-Earth 101, and other folks who begged me not to reveal their name lest their bosses get mad.
*HUGE OC contingent there, from Anaheim to Huntington Beach to Irvine and beyond. There was even a TSA agent who, months ago, checked my ID and knew me from Leykis. Fucker didn't even know I wrote for this infernal rag! I introduced the star-struck guy to Leykis; maybe he'll let me keep my water next time?
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*Although the audience was overwhelmingly male, it was Southern California in a nutshell: a lot of Latinos (with a HUGE collection of chilangos), with big contingent of everyone else--black, white, Asian, Middle Eastern, you name it. But what was most impressive was that the audience was mostly self-made. After everyone got their Leykis photo, they began networking like a bunch of Irvine douches, save for the douchebaggery.
And one final word to potential advertisers based on that point: Sergio Olmos of ON told me that the Laugh Factory told him they had never sold more tequila in one night than yesterday. Leykis says buy; #leykisnation buys. Captive audience, advertising cabrones!
Congrats to Tom, and again: you can hear your humble Mexican the last Wednesday of every month at blowmeuptom.com. Now, take me out KOBE style!