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.