Inspector Clouseau was a great favorite of mine to perform, but sometimes I wished I was Inspector Gadget instead when I was preparing for the show.
When you perform custom comedy and magic for corporate audiences you sometimes find out things about the company, or its employees, that outsiders aren’t usually privy to (but never actually in the privy). For those of you who are not spending their days toiling away for a large corporation, it’s time you knew the truth. Life in the corporate world is no Hanna-Barbera cartoon. (Millennials click here) The level of intrigue, maneuvering, and general fear of dismissal is somewhat akin to being on “Survivor” (Outwit, Outplay, Outlast), only everyone is usually fully dressed. I would be given special access to this corporate reality show every time I was hired to write or customize a show about a new product launch, corporate initiative, or some other excruciatingly non-funny topic.
And how did the company want to plan the party and my involvement in it? Meetings! Meetings, more meetings, and meetings about meetings!!! In the last 30 years I have met very few people in the corporate world that enjoy meetings, yet they persist. And committees are even WORSE! By the time an idea gets banged around and filtered down by a committee there’s usually nothing left of it. I believe a committee should be made up of 3 people, two of whom do not attend the meetings.
Preparing to perform my one-man mystery show for a corporate meeting or party was an especially invasive procedure. Since I no longer perform my “Inspector Clouseau Mystery Show”, I can now safely reveal the following. Not only did the Pink Panther (who’s just a cooler, more svelte version of Snagglepuss) get back-door access to the goings on in the company, but since I used their employees as the victim, murderer, and suspects in the show I was supplied with some revealing info about these individuals, and sometimes how they felt about the other employees in our “cast”.
Sometimes the info I got could actually be categorized as trade secrets, and if I were a different sort of person I might have used this knowledge to my financial gain. But being the responsible professional that I am, I thought it was safer to just get the info, keep my head down, do the show (hopefully amazing and amusing them), and “exit, stage left” while they were still applauding.
I guess that tactic worked. I had a lot of repeat corporate customers. “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”