A quick FBI Story? When I worked for the FBI NIC in West VIrginia recently something funny happened. (Ok, a lot of funny things happened…but here is one.)

Because I was scheduled to do my speech inside the FBI office building, I had to get FBI clearance; they had to do a background check on me.

(That fact alone was enough to make my nine-year-old think I was cool.)

When I was filling out the paperwork, I goofed around a tiny bit, and then totally forgot about it: One question asked for “Aliases.” So I wrote in “Studmuffin. But only my wife calls me that.”

A very serious woman apparently went over my form, saw that I had an alias, and immediately called my contact. “He has an alias!”

“He was kidding.. didn’t you read it all?”

“But he has an alias!”

“He was joking… he’s a comedian. It is his job.”

In the end, I was eventually cleared, although not without a hissy fit. And it made for a great story when I told it from the stage.

Yes… I know their job is serious… especially in this time of war. And I guess I shouldn’t have joked. But, like she said, it’s my job. Even when I’m speaking for the government.

Thanks FBI. I had a blast.

Visit my official professional speakers website here.
Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Government Speaker, FBI Wanna-Be

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I wanted to give a shout out of thanks to my friend, fellow Colorado speaker and expert (and I mean expert!) facilitator for coaching me on a recent project. Sarah Michel is in my master mind group; we’ve been involved with Colorado Speakers Association together for years, and have been pals since we met.

She is at the top of her niche, she’s talented, and kind.  And most of all…. she is very, Very, VERY generous.
colorado speaker sarah michel
I was eager to learn a bunch of techniques from Sarah, and she was a rock star in answering my call. The main thing I was interested in learning is how to translate my message —that we need to take ourselves lightly while at the same taking what we do seriously — into action steps for my audience.

In other words, I wanted to do more than just teach my audiences about the importance of humor and laughter; I want them to leave with specific and usable humor tips and techniques that work for them. I wanted them to be able to make changes based on what they learned from our humor seminar.

Bottom line: it worked. And it never would have happened without Sarah’s continued help.  She is a star.
Sarah is a total pro, and her skills are awesome. And the fact that she shared so much of her knowledge with me is mind blowing.

Sarah is a rock star in so many ways.

Need some help in connecting to your clients, your co-workers, … with anyone?  (Sarah is a speaker and facilitator for all groups, but lately is specializing in the health care arena) Call Sarah!

Need a motivational humorist speaker to visit your company or association? Visit my Official Website here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Colorado Resident, Humor Expert, Seminar Leader, Fan of Sarah Michel

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Looking for a place to procrastingate? This little site was pointed out to me by my pal and fellow motivational humorist speaker.

Bored.com – Fun Stuff To Do When You Are Bored

Here is my own favorite place to procrastinate: We call it the Procrastination Station.

If you’re that bored, come to think of it, you might really need one of my seminars or keynotes on Humor in the workplace.

Brad Montgomery
Speaker, Author, Expert Procratinator

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Just back from Maine, where I worked for the Maine Hospital Association. (I did their closing keynote for the health care conference.)

I loved it… It was a great group, and a fun day.

It was amazing (and a weird coincidence) to be back in Maine; I was a speaker there just a few months ago. I had worked in 49 of the 50 states until I finally got to work in Maine. And then, BAM, I’m back again.

Weird and fun. I took this photo (this is the SECOND time I took a photo in front of this picture in the Portland, Maine airport. You can imagine the look I got when I grabbed this total stranger and said,” I’m a humorist motivational speaker and I’ve worked in th 49 other states… can you take this photo to prove I was in Maine?”

He just laughed and did it.

Fun trip.

Bonus? I got to have a lobster roll from a road-side fish shack. Very touristy! Yum!
Need a motivational humorist speaker to visit your company or association? Visit my Official Website here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humor Expert, Lover of Maine!

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One of my comedy pals and fellow comedian speakers is Mark Mayfield. I’ve known him for years when we first met at a speakers bureau showcase. Mark’s a clean and talented comedian speaker, based in Kansas City.
Yesterday I talked with Mark as he was on his way to a date in Illinois he was dreading, due to his fear that the production, sound, staging and other AV set up would be messed up. When I asked how it went. Check out this hilarious rant:

The Pavilion bordered by the city swimming pool and little league ball park was a mecca of activity. Because of the heat, they brought in these fans on steroids that sounded like a 747. There were 4 of them. When you’re really hot, it always helps to have more extra hot air blowing directly on you. Between the fans and the cheering of the game and the 20 kids playing Marco Polo, the profusely sweating crowd managed to hear about one out of five words I said. Of course I couldn’t really tell from where I was on the stage because I was about 50 feet in front of them and there may have been some laughter drowned out by the roar of the equipment. If I tried to get closer to the audience I got in front of the speakers which had been supplied by a guy who played in a local country band and had recently purchased them “from the city” (don’t know which one, must have been the city with the “speaker store”). I managed to maintain my focus by watching the guy with the Frisbee dog play catch right beyond the audience. They were both very good. The 40 minute set didn’t seem like it lasted more than a three hour hemorrhoid surgery without anesthesia, so it went by very fast. The temperature on stage was a cool 93 with about 80% humidity and I didn’t sweat any more than you normally do when you run a marathon at the equator. Most of the real entertainment was brought about by the Japanese beetles which had infested the area and dive bombed the audience throughout the night. Everyone knows that repeated yelps and swatting always adds to a show. Fortunately, everyone had already eaten their mystery steak sandwich and melted ice cream so they were content. I’m only hoping I get another gig this good real soon. I’m on top of the world. But guess what, they paid on site and the check is already in the bank. I’m such a whore.

What’s my point? I have two:1. Mark Mayfield is a very funny fellow, and a good writer. (I love his chapter in my book Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists on the Power of Laughter.

2. If you are booking a funny motivational speaker or clean corporate comedian, spend the time and the money on the Audio Visual needs. You’ve invested in your speaker; protect your investment by insuring that they can see him and hear him. Check out my AV requirements here.

Yours,

Brad Montgomery
Comedian Keynote & Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Fan of Mark Mayfield

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(Forgive the re-post / re-broadcast of this podcast episode.  We’re working out some bugs w/ iTunes and have tried some new setting!)

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Not if they know Shawna Schuh, a hilarious business ettiquette speaker!

[If you have iTunes… you can click the small iTunes box below and it will take you directly to our Podcasts within iTunes. Or you can play or download this podcast using the graphics above. Choices baby!]

Shawna Schuh is the owner and constant contributer to BusinessGraces.com. In this podcast, Shawna discusses her totally indirect path to her current role as a highly sought-after (and very funny) business speaker. She talks about her unexpected path through Finishing School and reign of Miss Hillsborough Happy Days, and how the skills and techniques she learned in finishing school actually applied to business.shawna schuh

She is a veteran of entertainment, television, radio, and a dozen other bizarre jobs, all of which have brought her to current job.

Currently based in Oregon, she talks about rudeness, how to handle it gracefully, and how we might better use humor to achieve confidence in these awkward social and business moments.

She’s funny; she’s fun; and in this audio recording she explains her start into the business humorist world.

Do you think somebody who has taught Finishing School has something to teach you? Think your business can get forward if you learn how to gracefully add humor to your skill set? If the answer to eaither of those questions is yes, then this podcast is for you.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Humorist, Podcaster, Fan of Business Etiquette

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My first job as a professional magician was at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, where I was booked (at a whopping $30/day!) as Young Master Bardford, Magician of the Rhelm. It was an awesome, educational, difficult, sometimes scary, and always memorable job.

One of the best parts was watching and learning from a very talented and experienced street magician Johnny Fox. He was a monster talent with audience management, a gifted (and clean) comedian, a very skilled magician, and… get this… a sword swallower.

I lost contact with him, but just found this link to him in the New York Times

Very cool… way to go, Johnny.

SEYMOUR, Conn. – It’s getting hard for an honest freak to make a living in New York. This is both a cultural and economic fact.

It is also the plight of Johnny Fox, a professional sword swallower and expert in sleight of hand, who until this winter was the impresario behind the Freakatorium, a museum of sideshow curiosities at 57 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side.

Johnny Fox, shown with his wife, Valeria, used to be the man behind a museum of sideshow curiosities in Manhattan.

In January, Mr. Fox’s rent went up and he had to close. Now he has moved his wonders to a farmhouse in Connecticut where the only thing they collect these days is dust.

His narwhal tusks stand in the attic near a loose pile of taxidermic heads. His elephant’s-foot liquor chest sits in the living room, seen by no one but himself.

His two-headed turtle lives downstairs in the basement with a sleepy boa constrictor. Out in the garage – forgotten – are Tom Thumb’s vest and Sammy Davis Jr.’s glass eye.

“I’d love for this stuff to be in New York,” said Mr. Fox, a sinewy and black-haired man of 52. “New York needs this kind of stuff, but who supports it anymore?”

It is a hard question to answer. Mr. Fox discovered that his Freakatorium was not the tourist destination he had hoped it would be. Even with its relatively modest $5 admission fee, it drew only 5 to 15 visitors a day.

When his rent increased in January to $2,400, more than double what he was paying when he opened in 1999, he could no longer make ends meet. Worse yet, it seems his collection is out of step in the current culture of New York. He has tried his best to find a new location, but has so far had no luck.

He was turned away by the owner of a 42nd Street video arcade and made to feel unwelcome at the smut shops. No theater will permit him to set up his collection in its lobby. There have been no takers for his offers, no answer to his pleas.

He has even thought of changing the roguish name of his establishment to cater to a different clientele.

“I figured we could call it the Chamber of Wonders, not the Freak-atorium,” he said. “Freak sometimes has a stigma to it. We could do something family-inviting.

Learn More about my work as a corporate magician & speaker here.

Brad Montgomery
Magician, Renaissance Festival Veteran, and Fan of Johnny Fox

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This just made me smile. The world can’t be all bad when a dad is this creative for a kid who needs him most.

Robert Haag has put together an amazing Spiderman fishing pole / prosthetic arm for his young son. It’s part of the “Open Prosthetics Project,” which aims to share ideas and inventions for prosthetic devices.

Gosh darn it… it makes a guy feel good! “When life gives you lemons, make your son an arm that is a fishing pole!” That kid’s dad rocks!
Thanks Boing Boing

Brad Montgomery
Humorist, Corporate Comedian, Dad

The Pink Diary just picked up my post about fat jokes.

IT’s is a totally diverse carnival.  There is some interesting stuff there.

Thanks Pink Diary!

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Blogger, Family Man 

My kids are in year-round elementary schools. Which means, among other things, they they have much more frequent, yet shorter vacations. It also means that they just finished their first week of school.

My youngest was absolutely THRILLED to start her first hear of kindergarden. The thought of learning new stuff — including learning how to read— made her just about pop a vein. She was so jazzed.

Here’s a photo with me and my new student on the first day.

My observation: At some point “loving school” isn’t cool. At some point, even kids who do love school pretend they don’t. And eventually, most kids don’t have to pretend… they just don’t like it.

Can you imagine a bunch of middle schoolers (or high schoolers) who are as eager to start school as these kindergardeners? Can you remember when YOU were that pumped about starting something new… especially regarding learning?

Where do we lose that joy, and why?

(If you know the answer, let me know. We can bottle it up and sell it for gazillions.)

More of my family here

Need a motivational humorist speaker to visit your company or association? Visit my Official Website here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humor Expert, Father of Three Elementary School Kids

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