By Kathy Kane
We’re keeping our eye out for former Trenton residents online just to touch base ask them what they’ve been up to since they left town — as well as what they miss about Trenton since leaving. Each month we’ll use this space to share some of our more interesting “finds.”
Remember Tim Slagle?
Comedian Tim Slagle lived in Trenton from the time he was born until he took his act on the road in the early 1980s.
He went to the former Owen Elementary School for kindergarten, St. Timothy School, Monguagon Middle School was in its first eighth-grade graduating class in 1972. He also is a 1976 THS grad.
He attended University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for a couple years, but realized he was better at hanging out in nightclubs than getting up for class. He started doing comedy in 1979.
Slagle lived out of a suitcase for a few years, before moving to Chicago in 1986. He had been on the road for four years, and had eaten more meals off the passenger seat of his car than at his kitchen table.
“At the time comedy was exploding in and around the city, and there were around 30 full-time clubs within a two-hour drive of the city, so I moved there to get off the road, and live like a human,” Slagle said. “I’ve seen a lot of my friends become really famous people. When I started doing comedy, Tim Allen was just one of the guys who would hang out at open mic night.
“When I moved to Chicago, Chris Farley was just a guy who lived down the street, and Mike Myers and Steve Carell were guys that would hang out at the bar after the show.”
One thing that stands out for Slagle is that he really wanted to be on MTV.
“I was never one of the cool kids in high school. I think every geeky kid holds that resentment into their adulthood,” Slagle said. In the late 1980s, MTV was the coolest thing going, so he thought if he could get on MTV that would prove he was the coolest, because he knew that no one he went to school with was ever on MTV. In 1991, as part of the MTV half hour Comedy Hour, he did appear on MTV.
“Unfortunately, by then all the people I had graduated with were watching VH1,” Slagle said with a sigh.
The funnyman reminisces about his love for the waterfront.
“Back when I was still honing my act, I would take long walks down to the Harrison boat dock after all the clubs closed, and watch the sun rise over Grosse Ile,” he said. “A lot of times I would spend the walk rehashing my routine, and working on new lines. There is a very good chance that if you lived along my route in the early ‘80s, you heard a little of my routine, and wondered about the crazy guy talking to himself in the middle of the night.”
Slagle just happens to be in town this month at the Comedy Room at Portofino with Trenton’s own Julie Lyons, for two shows only, January 27-28, at 9 p.m. For reservations call (734) 734-624-5561. Portofino is located at 3455 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte www.thecomedyroom.com.
He also welcome friends from his home town to Like his page on Facebook.