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Howard Stern show royalties? The joke’s on Martling

It’s been 15 years since Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling exited Howard Stern’s radio show over money, and at age 68, the Jokeman is still looking for retirement cash.

Martling says he’s got enough money to live nicely to age 75.

“But with my luck, I’ll live to 95 and I’m going to be broke,” he jokes. “Every time you live a couple of more years, you look at your bank account to see if more interest has accrued, like, ‘Wow, I can push that (death) date back a little bit.’”

Wait a minute. Martling’s work on the Stern show still plays on Stern’s best-of shows on Sirius/XM. How much money does Martling earn from Stern reruns?

“Not a penny,” Martling answers.

“People come up and say, ‘Man, that’s so nice, at least you’re retiring on that money from the best of.’ I do not get a (expletive) penny,” Martling says, then laughs in the same big way he laughed on Stern’s shows. “People can’t believe it.”

By publicly commenting about money, Martling could be leading Stern to crack about this issue once more to co-host Robin Quivers, he says.

“This’ll get back to him, and then Howard will say, ‘Robin, Jackie was whining he didn’t make enough money again.’ ”

But I always heard Stern was such a good tipper.

“He’ll tip a total stranger,” Martling says, “but the people that got up at 4 o’clock in the morning for 15 years and put the funny in your mouth — why take care of them? Ah, who cares.”

Martling will make a little more cash in Las Vegas this weekend, performing Saturday at Orleans Arena’s “24/7 ComedyFest” with Bobby Slayton, Billy Gardell, Frank Caliendo, Brian Scolaro, Steve “Mudflap” McGrew, Tiffany Haddish and Lil Rey Howery. (Tickets: $40)

By the way, Martling is not pretending he’s destitute.

“Luckily, I saved just enough pennies from the Stern show to make myself a nice house on the water in Long Island,” Martling says.

He just can’t splurge.

“You know what (comic) Jackie Mason says: ‘I never have to work again, unless I want to buy something.’

“You know the American way. In the back of your mind: ‘Oh, it would be nice to take a trip to Africa. It would be nice to go back to Amsterdam.’ ”

Instead, Martling is on the road with his comedy buddies.

And he’s grateful Sirius/XM, Pandora and Spotify play his album jokes on comedy channels.

“I do gigs, and 30-year-old kids show up that know me from Pandora or Sirius/XM. I’m just the guy who tells the jokes. A real lot of them are Stern people, but a real lot of them aren’t,” Martling says.

He has perspective, calling his time on Stern’s show a great life while it lasted. He just wishes Stern would have kept the original crew together.

“It’s water over the dam, and it’s too much to go into, but I don’t know what the (expletive) Howard was thinking. I mean, we had the 1927 Yankees, and he just didn’t want to share the World Series money,” Martling says.

Martling doesn’t listen to the Stern show. The last time Martling talked to Stern was two Christmases ago.

“But two weeks ago, I got an email from him out of the clear blue sky, like, ‘Hey, I was watching TV, and this guy said his biggest influences in comedy were Eddie Murphy’s ‘Delirious’ and your first CD.’ ”

Martling thought, “Well, that’s a nice thing to send.” Martling jokes that he wrote back “Thanks” and “P.S., could you send me some money?”

Martling also tweets a daily afternoon joke at 4:20 (“marijuana time”) at @JackieMartling.

“Some are funny. Some are disgusting. People tweet me back and tell me what a jerk I am, and it’s like, ‘Wow, I’m still on the show.’ It’s nostalgic.”


Taylor Dayne is writing a memoir, and she has learned writing, like singing, can be a productive, collaborative process complete with reading rough drafts aloud.

Dayne, 54, came to Las Vegas to sing “Tell It To My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back” and other hits Friday night at the Golden Nugget. (Tickets: $19.)

At first, she found writing her autobiography to be a lonely, elusive experience of delving into old stories.

“Who the (expletive) wants to go back” and think about the past? she says. “I was writing, but nothing was coming to the head.”

So she got herself a mentor/ghostwriter, and she joined a workshop retreat with a handful of authors who wrote for as long as 16 hours a day.

“You’re writing, then you’re outlining, then you’re showing your work, then you’re speaking to the room, then you’re eating, then you’re sharing, then you’re going back and writing,” Dayne says.

That creation process was a vulnerable moment.

“There’s always a risk, but the rewards are incredible,” she says. “This is what helps you focus on it, and it brings things to the light.

“Now I share it. I read bits of it to my agent. I read bits to my manager,” she says. “It’s not as lonely as I thought it would be.”

Doug Elfman can be reached at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman. On Twitter: @VegasAnonymous

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