Will Durst

Working Stiff:  Fired As A Busboy From Dante's Sea Catch, Pier 39

Working Stiff: Fired As A Busboy From Dante's Sea Catch, Pier 39

I moved to San Francisco on November 4, 1979. I remember the date because the first day I did stand up for real was November 4, 1974, and the day I married my first wife was November 4, 1981. Just a coincidence. But an odd one. When I left Milwaukee, I was working on stage maybe six times per month. All the... Read More »

Working Stiff: Memories of Being a Summer Camp Counselor, Pelican Lake, Wisc.

Working Stiff: Memories of Being a Summer Camp Counselor, Pelican Lake, Wisc.

I vividly remember the summer of 1968. All hell was breaking loose all over the world. Meanwhile, I was comfortably ensconced in a teenage cocoon. A hormonal bubble. Sixteen and raging. In the spring of my sophomore year of high school, we had moved one contiguous suburb of Milwaukee west-from New Berlin to... Read More »

Working Stiff: Bartending at Le Belle Chalet Supper Club

Working Stiff: Bartending at Le Belle Chalet Supper Club

Bessmer, Mich., is a small town about 10 miles east of the Wisconsin border, and in 1973 I moved there to replace a guy who had quit the part of El Gallo in a production of 'The Fantasticks.' For real money, I worked in The Abbey refurbishing it as a ski lodge. More on that later. But then I got a second job... Read More »

Working Stiff: Running for Mayor of San Francisco

Working Stiff: Running for Mayor of San Francisco

I was in the midst of blazing a trail as a political comic in San Francisco and was making some headway breaking out of the comedic clutter. That's when the Democrats convened their national convention in my adopted city in 1984. Being the political guy in town, I was able to garner a bit of publicity. Read More »

Working Stiff: Being Ronald McDonald

Working Stiff: Being Ronald McDonald

I had a friend who was Ronald McDonald. No, really. THE Ronald McDonald. His name was Aye Jaye, a diminutive of Alexi Jankowski. He came from a circus family, had been a wandering clown, and was asked to audition for a clown character at McDonald's corporate headquarters in Chicago. A couple of other guys had... Read More »

Working Stiff: My Mall Job at Chess King

Working Stiff: My Mall Job at Chess King

Southridge was a typical early 1970s shopping experience: one of the new mega malls with dozens of stores on two levels and thousands of parking spaces surrounding the massive enclosed structure. One of hundreds that were popping up in Edge Cities all over the country. An advance scout in the homogenization of... Read More »

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