I really like to cover events other than musical variety, so it was a simple “Yes!” »When I was offered the chance to chat with a local actor Dennis fogg about his next concert at Johnson Room November 20. I remember seeing clips from an episode of “Restaurant Impossible” on the Food Network that featured a South Portland establishment called Uncle Andy’s Diner, which I had familiarized myself with while my daughter was enrolled in the Southern Maine Community. Middle School. I later learned that Fogg ran this restaurant, which prompted me to interview him even more. I started our conversation by asking where I was calling?
Fog : Delaware, I’m in Wilmington.
Q: Well, that begs the question: how far do you go on your tours?
Fog : Not as far as it used to be after the pandemic, but I’ve been to Florida a few times, basically all along the east coast, wherever I can go.
Q: Now, are you still in the restaurant business?
Fog : No. Right before the pandemic, I decided to sell it because I was going to go out and get more involved in comedy. I have four children – and my wife and I made a deal: I would wait until the last one graduated before going out. I could do things here and there, but I didn’t want to go out for weeks.
Q: Well, as things are starting to get back to normal, are you going to go on more tours as before?
Fog : Well I guess I should give you a little background story. As soon as I got rid of the restaurant, my wife convinced me to get a checkup. They found out I had cancer.
Q: Oh my word, I didn’t know that.
Fog : I had kidney stones, and they found it very, very early on – it ends well – so don’t worry (laugh).
Q: (nervous laughter) Okay.
Fog : I have pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. They found it very early on so they put me in a Dana Farber trial on a new drug that they have, and it basically got rid of the liver cancer and reduced the almost inoperable pancreatic cancer. I have been chemo free for almost eight months now and live a different life. I got my hair back and right now I’m just happy doing what I’m doing.
Q: Would you prefer that I leave this part outside the article?
Fog : No, it was a good fight, and I think I won!
Q: (Laughs) I would say from the sound, yes you did. Now as to what you do: what do you base your comedy on?
Fog : I have four children and five grandchildren and I base my comedy on my life experiences with them. I started with my wife and I, and by the time I finished my set I basically introduced all of my kids and five grandkids, my dog and everything. I like to chain my life as it goes together.
Q: Are you adding to your recent medical battle?
Fog : I don’t talk about it too much on stage anymore because now I have my hair back and I’m fine. But, when I was bald (laughs), I kind of had to address the elephant in the room – but now I really don’t talk about it that much on stage anymore.
Q: Gotcha… how long have you been acting?
Fog : About 30-35 years old. I just turned 60 and when I was about 25 my wife and I went to a show and I said to her, “Wow, that sounds kinda fun, I would like to try that! She said, “Well, don’t come back to me later and say we stopped you from doing anything, try it.” She thought I would take it out of my system and move on, but it actually got stuck and it’s very addicting.
Q: I’m sure the audience response – and the immediacy of that response – to what you’re doing is addicting.
Fog : And that’s it too: I don’t play darts, I don’t bowling, so it started out as a hobby and turned into a lucrative hobby. Everyone needs something that is not at home, and that is what mine used to be. And it worked really well.
Q: I’m sure you’ve done shows with Maine Event Comedy before, but what can people expect from the upcoming show at Johnson Hall?
Fog : Johnson Hall is a great place – it will be a great time and I am very happy to work with Ryan Gartley and a young woman from Lewiston. It’s gonna be a great line-up. I’ve worked with Ryan for about 25 years, and he’s from New Hampshire, he’s hilarious, and he’s a family man too. And then we have a new girl that’s really kicking up in the Lewiston-Auburn area: Dawn Hartill, and she’s doing great. It’s going to be a great series because we’re pretty much the same type of comic book: family and not disgusting and stuff like that.
Q: Is there anything, Dennis, that you would like me to pass on to the people reading this story?
Fog : Yes, I think social gatherings are very important. It’s one of those things that, if we’re not careful, we’ll start to lose our ability to come together socially; and without social gathering, there is no social, there are only gatherings. I know it sounds silly, but we’re starting to see fewer and fewer of our audiences because they’re all involved in their own little phones.
Q: Unfortunately, this is so true. Now, that’s usually my closing question, but I just have one more: Have you ever put chef Robert Irvine, host of “Restaurant Impossible” into your issue?
Fog : Ah-ha (laughs), you did your homework! Robert Irvine, when he came to our house, was great. He basically yelled at me and tried to make me cry and all at the right time, but it worked really well for my career, both at dinner and in acting, because it gave me TV credit. because I’ve actually been seen telling jokes on stage on a TV show that got me excited – it really got me known – it got me nationally featured. Robert and I still speak occasionally, and he took me through shows through wounded veterans. I did services for them and stuff like that. My dream is to be on a USO show and it was almost ready until the pandemic hit and everything was put on hold. We were supposed to be on a tour and it was going to be awesome. I was really excited about it.
Lucky Clark, winner of the 2018 Keeping the Blues Alive Award, has spent over 50 years writing about great music and the people who make it. He can be contacted at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.