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Comedy and Close Up Magic - The Legendary Jeff Altman

Episode Summary

Jeff Altman is an American stand-up comedian and actor, who has appeared as a guest on Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman a combined 45 times. Altman mesmerized contemporaries like David Letterman and Jerry Seinfeld, and inspired future comedians like Judd Apatow. Jeff Altman - booking information To witness a performance by Jeff Altman is to realize that there are still a few people in show business who desperately need medication. Out walks a guy who looks like Larry, the lawyer. Suddenly, he is transformed into various and strange characters that elicit spontaneous vocalizations and bizarre incantations. It is the way in which Jeff combines physical comedy with keen, honest observations about life that makes him unique and interesting as well as one of the most sought after comedians in the country – in both television and live appearances. Jeff Altman was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, in an environment which inadvertently lent itself to show business. As an only child, he got way too much attention from his parents, and subsequently, faced a real dilemma with the transition of leaving home and being in school. But Jeff figured out very quickly how to get back the attention by making his classmates and teachers laugh. In fact, most of his elementary school time was spent in a special "Jeff Altman" chair in the principal's office. Jeff Altman, Comedian Jeff's first exposure to performing came early in life. His dad was one of the finest sleight-of-hand artists in the country. It wasn't long before his son began to fiddle with cards and coins as well. Today, Jeff considers sleight-of-hand a coveted avocation and he has achieved notoriety for publishing many tricks. Jeff's father also gets credit for teaching his son to play the drums – something Jeff still loves to do. Deluded by academic aspirations, Jeff spent four years in Baltimore where he managed to graduate from Johns Hopkins University. While there, he not only earned a degree, but also a reputation as a disturbed young man. It wasn't uncommon to see Jeff being escorted out of the Hutzler Reading Room dressed as a bush. Twice during his college days he visited Los Angeles, spending most of his time at the renown Magic Castle, an exclusive magicians' club in Hollywood. Intoxicated by the West coast, he began to realize that his days as a "scholar" were numbered and soon after graduation, he packed up and made his way to California. After a six-month tenure at the Magic Castle, he began working at the world-famous Comedy Store. It was here, in its heyday, where he developed a stand-up act and started thinking of himself as a comedian. It wasn't long before he was tapped for several appearances on "The Merv Griffin Show" and started performing in clubs across the country. "Suddenly, I was rich," recalls Jeff. "I was amazed that I was able to generate an income over $3000 in one year by being a comedian." That wasn't bad. His apartment was only $100/month and sometimes, if he vacuumed the halls, they cut his rent in half. Jeff's stand-up and acting have come a long way since those days. He appeared regularly on "The Late Show with David Letterman," has guest-starred in dozens of network prime-time shows, such as "Caroline in the City," "Land's End" and "Baywatch," and has produced and starred in two critically-acclaimed SHOWTIME specials – "Jeff Altman's Scrapbook" and "Sweet & Meaty." He recorded a well-received, live album at the Comedy Store, "I'll Flip You Like a Cheese Omelet" featuring several of his most popular, signature pieces. Film credits include "Highlander II," "American Hot Wax," "Soul Man" and "Easy Money." Jeff Altman is highly pursued by advertising companies and has appeared in more than 30 national campaigns ranging from Budweiser to Panasonic.

Episode Notes

https://www.jeffaltmanmagic.com/

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