Glazer: KC Comedy Kingpin David Naster Calls it Quits

Without a doubt, David Naster, as much as my family, started big time comedy in Kansas City…

It was David who came to me in late 1979 with idea of doing comedy upstairs in the Tree-House lounge on the weekend nights. So on a Sunday night with Grandpa Bennie and Jeff Glazer it all began.

David Naster was the star. He killed every weekend night.

In fact, because of how good the shows were Stanford’s became the focus of the then popular PM Magazine television show. David brought in his pals to co-star including Jeff Tamblin, Elliot Threat, Tom Burgeon and many more who started with Stanford’s because of David. In fact it was David who brought in Sinbad and Louie Anderson. Those two went on to huge TV and film stardom and to this day they are household names.

Last night David ended his final show on Saturday Night around midnight.

He had four great sets from Friday through Saturday. David would have worked all week, but due to a minor leg injury he was not able too do the entire week. When he closed the show David told the crowd, "I love comedy, it’s been my life, it will continue to be in film (he has a feature documentary on the way) and books. I will continue to do corporate events, however tonight is my last night on stage doing stand-up comedy as I have for 32 years."

It ended where it began 32 years ago.

That’s the way it should have ended. David is and always was a comedy Icon in Kansas City. Naster performed all over the world, was runner up to Rosie O’donnell on Star Search. He’s opened for Celine Dion, was on television show The Vibe with his pal Sinbad. And he did too many comedy clubs and theaters to name. David has been the toastmaster on so many Kansas City public stages, including Red Friday’s in Westport. Naster also was a morning radio fixture on 101 The Fox with the Dawn Patrol.

We both attended Shawnee Mission high schools in the 70’s, me at East, David at West. In high school we fought over the same girl, Mary Knootz. So we have a long history together. Over the years we often didn’t see each other but kept up on each others careers.

I’m often asked about Naster’s career.

David had the chops to be a bid national star, he just didn’t get lucky like Sinbad who was not his equal.

However, Naster has made a very nice living doing comedy his entire adult life. And he still does. David does cruise ships, writes books and is still a strong name in corporate comedy.

Naster wants to get his documentary to Sundance. It’s about why comedy matters. Naster’s message; "You Just Have To Laugh." He feels comedy is often the best medicine.

I agree. David is one of a kind.

We had a fun weekend. Even a heckler reminded us both of the good old days of Westport, when we were all young and life was a bowl of cherries. Yeah, right. Well, we were younger at least.

I don’t think we have seen the last of David Naster. Like other KC Icons, including the late Bill Grigsby, David will keep on bringing the funny for the rest of his life.

David, I love you man – you did so much for us and Kansas City.
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20 Responses to Glazer: KC Comedy Kingpin David Naster Calls it Quits

  1. harley says:

    nice guy…never had the drive
    i doubt he had the drive of other comedians. And you can’t do it from kc.
    Nice skits…somewhat funny….but you can’t make it big in kc…gotta go to
    the coasts and wait tables for years…
    good luck david in the future.

  2. Howard says:

    “”Without a doubt, David Naster, as much as my family, started big time comedy””

    God grief, just when we thought you could not be more full of shit, you make a BS statement like that.

    Back when you jumped on an obvious bandwagon stand up, standup comedy was already taking the country by storm. You certainly DID NOT start this trend….. you are more full of shit than any person I have ever heard about. Please shut the fuck up you fucking blow hard. Do you actually believe your own BS / lies? Someday when you sober up, and get of the roids and other drugs you will look back and be as embarassed as your dad must be today. You are so pathetic.

  3. chuck says:

    Very nice Glaze.
    He is and was a funny guy imo.


  4. smartman says:

    David and Goliath
    First time I saw Naster, probably 30 years ago, he did his “imitation” of the Plaza. He drank some water, stood on a stool, struck a pose and spit the water out like a fountain. People laughed their asses off. I thought it was fucking stupid.

    I’m still amazed at what most people find funny. I laugh harder at some of the things that are said here in the comments section than any of the things the up and comers on Comedy Central spew out.

    I know David has done quite well for himself in the world of corporate entertainment which is where marginally funny people go to earn a living milking Dilbert.

    Even though he never had a BIG HIT he’s probably done better personally and financially than many comics who got their 15 minutes of fame. If he’s happy with that, that’s all that matters. It could be worse you know. He could be Tyler Palko.

  5. Tim Osborn says:

    Saw Naster’s Final Stand up Saturday Night @ Stanfords
    We drive over 2 hours to see comedy @ Stanfords and my wife and I feel very privileged to see David Naster’s final performance doing stand up and in KC. Not only was he very very funny. We had a great time celebrating my birthday and watching live comedy. We wish David well in his future endeavors. What a great evening at Stanfords. All the comedians were very entertaining. Thanks for a great night of comedy!!

  6. Hot Carl says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree with smartman. Naster was the most unfunny fuck I’ve ever seen at Stanford’s. And that’s saying something.

  7. Craig Glazer says:

    David Is Funny
    First off comedy is in the eye or ear of the beholder. I have seen every comic out there for thirty years. In my opinion and thousands of others, David Naster was and is funny. Maybe not at the level of say a Lewis Black, but he never said he was. To say he was unfunny is silly, he has made a nice living and career for thirty years…and is held in high esteem in this city. Again, maybe he wasn’t your favorite. As for Hot Carl, “and that’s saying something” I would hate to think you mean we have had MANY unfunny people at the Stanfords. I book the club, I am THE BEST THERE IS at it in America, no argument. I pick the best of who is out there every week. In my opinion we have nothing but outstanding talent headlining the club. Sure some young guys who open are not at that level, but that is how they start. Judgement on comedy club quality is based on the stars not the openers. I don’t have to give our credits on that one.

    There is a reason Stanfords is America’s longest running comedy club, well second only to THE COMEDY STORE in LA….thats a fact.

  8. J.P.Connolly Show says:

    Stanfords Is One of The Three Best
    Living in LA and doing all the comedy theatres there are, I think I should know which clubs are considered the best. Stanfords ranks up with Caroline’s in New York and Funny Bones in Ohio. Those are the tip three by all people in this business, maybe include the Improv in Arizona and the Laugh Factory in LA. They have been a legendary club for thirty years. I opened for Larry the Cable Guy in Westport in 1998. He was a nobody back then, Glazer sold it out. Larry,Dan in real ife, had never even been on TV yet, he told me that he was floored by the attention he got. Glazer had him on Johnny Dare and some other local radio to move tickets. I don’t understand these hateful people who belittle something that makes your city great, Stanford and Sons. You guys get mentioned on TV all the time.

  9. David Naster says:

    Thanks Craig
    Thanks Craig. Very kind of you to write that. And to those who don’t and didn’t find me funny – I understand that and I believe you. Comedy like music is subjective – luckily I have been blessed on the side that more people think I am funny than don’t. It’s fun to read these comments though. Look for my soon to be released Documentary Series -a three parter titled – You Just Have To Laugh.

    Let’s see, I have made my living doing this for 34 years – I think I made it. i won. I got to and still get to wake up everyday doing what I love. And the best is yet to come.

    Also it’s too bad more people didn’t come out to see Tom Burgoon – he is truly of the best entertainers that have ever lived. And he’s from here and was voted the top 20 Magicians in the world. And he he still lives here. He’s the best.

  10. Merle Tagladucci says:

    I don’t know much about David Naster, never got a chance to see him, but it’s amusing to see smartman, who tries like hell to be a funny guy here and on Greg Hall’s site, bad mouthing a guy who actually earned money doing it. Granted, so has Dane Cook, and that dude is a hack of the highest order.

    Right now for me, it’s Louis CK, Lewis Black, Doug Stanhope and Bill Burr as far as stand up goes. Artie Lange is fall out of your seat hilarious in an off-the-cuff conversation but stand up is not his strength. The best comedians in this era are the cynical, social observationist, insightful, pissed-off-at-people’s-stupidity type. Carlin and Bill Hicks inspired guys with a little Lenny Bruce.

    I’m surprised there’s never been a documentary made on stand up and the different styles, or on the lonely road life of a comic, the dive gigs, awful crowds, asshole hecklers, how hard it is and how long it takes to get good and be successful…maybe there’s a doc out there on the life of a stand-up that I don;t know about. Craig if you have any recommendations pass ’em along.

  11. smartman says:

    Just cause you get paid to suck dicks does not mean you are good at it.

    One’s ability to earn a living doing something does not mean they are GOOD at it.

    I’ve spent a good portion of my professional life fixing other people’s shoddy work.

    Seems you forgot to take your beer goggles off after you said “I Do”

  12. Johnny Dare says:

    first and last post..
    I normally don’t feel the need to post on topics or squabbles but trolls be damned… David Naster is one of the funniest and most genuine people I have ever met, it’s so incredibly easy to motherfuck someones life work with the anonymity of the web.. the proof is in his life, his career, his friends and his fans. David, I’ll always remember the advice regarding radio early on but more than that I’ll appreciate the example you set and the way you’ve always carried yourself. My mom was going through her first round of breast cancer and I gave her “You Just Have to Laugh” and it genuinely made her laugh but more importantly, it gave her perspective. Congratulations on a life well lived David..


  13. David Naster says:

    Thanks Johnny
    Johnny- you will love my documentaries. When I interviewed Patch Adams – he told me – ‘If you want your life to have meaning – help people.” Johnny you have helped people get their morning going for years. You make sure their day starts off with fun and entertainment and what you really care about. You make a difference in people’s life in a positive way – there can be no greater calling.

    It appears smartman does it too – fixing people’s shoddy work. Way to go my man – you make a positive difference too.

  14. Merle Tagladucci says:

    “Just cause you get paid to suck dicks does not mean you are good at it.”

    There’s always an unemployed screenwriter sipping coffee at a Starbucks somewhere who’ll tell you how much better his ideas are than the guys who are getting paid. I can see how ranting online in the comments sections of blogs and articles might provide a temporary release for life’s frustrations. As often as smartman does it, you wonder how shitty life must be.

  15. Please Save Us From the Cirlce Jerkers Hearne says:

    Circle Jerking douchbags are sickening
    Geeezus, now we have no talent, old fuck, joany dare showing up to circle jerk
    with his butt buddies nastor and glazer? this site is heading downhill faster than flight 801

  16. Bob mcintosh says:

    what i KNOW about Dave Naster
    The thing that I know about David Naster about the most is that he wrote a piece in one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul books. And then later confused it was all made up bullshit. Wow someone writing a book and then it comes out it is all lies. Who would do that??? Say Craig tell us about your great book and how its all 100% true.

  17. Suge says:

    Your’re the best NO YOU’RE THE BEST, OH NO, YOU ARE THE BEST
    LMAO at these local bozo all showing up to to compliment each other, talk about a comedy act.

  18. Mysterious J says:

    The biggest laugh here
    is the idea that Louie Anderson and Sinbad are household names.

  19. Balbonis Moleskine says:

    David Naster, working man of comedy
    David Naster, I just want to thank you for playing my “Project Graduation” in the late 90s. One of your nieces was in my graduating class if I am getting the relation right.

    I always found it ironic that after we were deemed competent enough to saunter out into the wide world after high school the first thing they did was lock you in a rec center all night after you walked across stage (NO FUN ALLOWED, YOU MIGHT DIE!!!). You played two shorter sets if it recall correctly, and were age-appropriate funny (I think I liked bluer comedians at the time). I remember being so frustrated with the childish treatment at Project Graduation that I just left. Before I walked out the door I looked back and saw Mr. Naster flapping his arms in a ridiculous manner to a group of 10-20 high school kids sitting indian style on the gym floor. I chuckled, pushed open the double doors, got that whiff of fresh air and never looked back. That’s the last memory I have of high school.

    Thank you for making a shit night slightly less shitty.

  20. Benjamin Meade says:

    Good For You Dave
    I have known Dave off and on for about 30 years. He was my neighbor in Whispering Hills until I moved three years ago, a real stand up guy. He could make you laugh without all of the vulgarity that has developed in comedy. I took my mom to see him for her 79th birthday and she loved it-she was a baptist preachers wife. A one of kind person with a big heart that I would be proud to make a film with or about-

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