Jim Gilliece was a d.w. eye favorite that I did not know during my tour of duty at the club back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I knew Jim had been a part of Chip Chinery’s Comic Relief show in 1991, but I never met him until last summer’s d.w. eye Reunion show, that we assembled after my book, Plrknib came out. One of the great things about the reunion was that so many people – performers and fans – came out of the woodwork to celebrate the legacy of d.w. eye. It’s been more than a year now, and I can still barely describe what an extraordinary, funny, emotional evening that was.
One of the highlights was getting to meet Jim Gilliece for the first time. As you can see in the video, Jim was warmly called to the stage by an audience that knew and loved him. And not just from his stand-up, but from his years of running Chez Nora in Covington, KY. Jim, I learned later, came out of stand-up retirement to do that eye reunion show – and as you can see – when he performs he is totally in control of what he’s doing onstage. I vividly remember watching his act and being deeply impressed. I got to spend some time with him after the show, and he wasn’t just funny, but tremendously sweet and generous to boot.
Jim passed away this past Saturday from lung cancer. I feel honored that I got to share an evening with him. You can read more about him here.