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'Wild Bill Bauer' and son coming to Pavilion

When the Detroit Lakes Pavilion hosts its second big show of the summer this Friday, June 30, dancing will once again be on the menu -- but with a comic twist.

Prior to the official start of the dance, there will be a comedy show featuring not just one, but two, Minnesota-grown comedians. In fact, they spring from the same family tree.

Anoka native "Wild Bill" Bauer and his son, Patrick Ryan (he doesn't use the name Bauer professionally) will present a 90-minute show on the Pavilion stage, starting at 8 p.m.

"My son is going to open for me," Bauer said in a telephone interview Monday morning from his Minneapolis home. "He'll do about 30 minutes, and I'll be on about an hour."

Bauer, who earned his nickname "Wild Bill" for the manic way in which he delivers his slightly bizarre observations and weird personal tales, is a regular on the nationally syndicated "Bob and Tom Show," which airs locally on Fargo's 101.9 FM radio station.

But don't expect his son to offer more of the same.

"Patrick has his own style... you wouldn't realize we're related," Bauer added. "I have a script, and I stick to it. He's not afraid to go off the cuff -- it's complete different from what I do."

Though he lives in Minneapolis now, Bauer spent several successful years in Los Angeles, working with Louie Anderson, Tom Arnold and many other well-known comics.

In fact, Bauer said, he owes most of his non-standup television and movie credits -- i.e., ones in which he has an acting role -- to friends in the business.

"I've been on 'Roseanne,' I had a couple of parts in movies, and appeared on the Weird Al and Jenny McCarthy shows, but those were all gifts," he said. "I didn't earn any of them.

"I have the best agent in the business, Judy Brown -- she risked her job to fill out my resume, because honestly, I am terrible (as an actor). Plus, I have no desire to get any better. I'm not going to take an acting class at this stage of my career."

In fact, Bauer feels his acting is so bad that he refused a role in a recently-completed independent short film that was based upon one of his own comedy routines.

"We're doing film festivals with it right now," he said. "It's called 'International Russian Roulette Open.'"

The film is available for viewing on the Internet at Though Bauer uses no profanity in his shows, the themes are geared more toward adults.

"Louie Anderson's act... you can laugh at him whether you're seven or 70 -- he's a genius. He figured out a long time ago how to do it (successfully)," Bauer said. "My act plays to all ages, but it plays best to adults."

As for where he gets the material for his routines, Bauer said, "I get ideas from everyday life. I'm an observer -- I observe things, and I react to them."

But aside from his standup routines, Bauer has also enjoyed great success as a comedy writer.

"In the entertainment business, the only measure of success is what you accomplish," he said. "I was out in Los Angeles for seven years, and I got a lot done."

He's written scripts for "The Jackie Thomas Show" (starring Tom Arnold) and for a comedy pilot called "Valdez," about a Hispanic-Jewish family in Colorado.

"It ('Valdez') was based upon the life of my writing partner, Jeff Valdez," Bauer said. "I did the first draft, he went through and changed a few things... Jeff took that script from studio to studio and network to network until he got a taker. He sold it.

"I also did a couple of rewrites on movies (scripts). I did the movie 'Carpool' (where he also had a cameo role as a bank guard), and another one called 'Wedlock.'

"I also did 'Evening at the Improv' about a million times. It' paid almost $1,000 (per show), and they shot it on a Monday -- so that meant I could stay in town, make $1,000 and have the rest of the week off."

Other credits include "Louie Anderson's Comedy Showcase," "Comedy on the Road" for A&E, "1/2 Hour Comedy Show" on MTV, "Showtime Comedy Club," "Stand-Up! Stand-Up!" for Comedy Central, and many more.

Friday night's show starts at 8 p.m.; following Bauer's performance, there will be dancing with music provided by Center Stage. Tickets for the show and dance are $10; tickets for the dance only are $5. For more information, contact the Historic Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-SHOW (7469).

For more information on Bauer, you can visit his web site,

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454