The Daren Streblow Comedy Show Mini-Cast: Ed Wiley, Jennifer O’Brien, Kerri Pomarolli & Bob Smiley
Ed Wiley kicks off our show by calling in from deep in the country. As should be expected from a comedian / goat farmer.
But, Ed’s problems go back farther than his recent comedy dates or goat misgivings. They go back to when he wanted to take things with his then-girlfriend to “the next level”. There they were, gazing into one another’s eyes from across the table at IHOP. And over a mile-high stack of chocolate chip pancakes, Ed mustered the courage to tell her, “I think you are an attractive sister-in-Christ, and I’d like to continue interacting with you.” And with that one statement, Ed was transformed from a nerdy spiritual romantic into a telephone customer service agent. All that was left for him to do was ask for a call back number in the event that the two of them got disconnected… and of course, the brief survey before she concluded their interaction.
That’s how they began their relationship, and it’s continued like that even through marriage. Just the other day, he tried to shoot a smoldering look at her from across the room. She wasn’t even aware it was occurring until she got up and looked away from her phone for a second. With one glance, she locked eyes with his gaze and said, “Are you okay? Are you having a stroke?!”
“Yeah… a stroke of bad luck.”
But, knowing Ed and his wife, the hard truth (harder for her, I’m guessing) is that she’s crazy for him… or he drives her crazy… either way, they are a lot of fun to be around!
Next up, the beautiful and talented Jennifer O’Brien calls into the show, who recently moved into a new house! And ever since, her daughter has been begging for a dog. So, Jennifer conceded, so long as it was a rescue dog… since rescue pets are the height of trendiness these days. So, she went online to begin her pet adoption process. After three days of logging in, writing her essay containing her family history and desires for a pet, logging out, and beginning the whole process again and again, it dawned on her that she had just written the equivalent of a Masters Degree thesis on pet adoption. So, she did what so many other people do when they find herself in that same position…
She dropped out.
As Jennifer put it, “If I wasn’t going to finish regular college, there’s no way I was going to finish this one.”
Then, she found the DeVry Institute of pet adoptions… it’s called Craigslist!
All that effort makes Jennifer long for the good ol’ days when she could just take a stroll through a nice neighborhood and see a cute dog wagging its tail on the other side of a picket fence, then reach across the fence and make off with the dog, renaming it, and making it her own!
Sadly, her new dog barks incessantly and chews up everything. So, if you find yourself in the middle of the pet adoption process, be sure to check Georgia’s Craigslist and you may find this very dog available quite soon!
Finally, two dear friends join me to wrap up this week’s show to talk about a very special project: Kerri Pomarolli and Bob Smiley. I don’t normally have two comedians on the line together (for obvious reasons), but Bob made room in his busy schedule between performances and work out sessions (he just started a new French style of exercise called Lamaze… it apparently involves a lot of heavy breathing.)
These two recently began a new tour that is gaining a lot of ministry attention. Over the past few years, both of them have gone through very painful divorces that neither of them asked for. Yet, both of them work primarily at churches and Christian retreats and have received very interesting feedback as they have remained quite transparent about their divorces.
Kerri: Bob, I don’t know what your strategy is, but a Lamaze class is definitely not the right place for you to meet women.
Bob: Well, I don’t think I’m going to stick with it. Everyone there is totally out of shape.
Kerri: And most of them are taken, Bob. I don’t know if you got that memo or not.
Bob: That explains why all the women were ignoring me.
Bob: I was surprised because I thought that churches would be against me coming in and talking about divorce and telling people that God can get you through anything – even the end of a marriage. Now, I’ve been divorced for three years and have been talking about it for the last two, and I haven’t received any negative feedback at all. In fact, quite the opposite, people have been very encouraging.
Kerri: I feel like Bob is our Norma Rae for Christian comedians who happen to be single. He’s a pioneer. And he gave me some really good advice a while back. I was at a point where I had nothing funny to say about my divorce. It was all tragic. And he told me that I didn’t have to talk about it until I was good and ready. In fact, through God’s faithfulness and the support and encouragement from Bob and others, I can finally say out loud “I am single… and I’m okay.”
Single Is Not A Four Letter Word is the name of the tour that the two of these dear friends of mine are on where they use comedy and encouragement to minister to the newly single or people who have been single for a while.
Bob: You know, I grew up in a church where, if you were divorced, you were shunned and without value in the congregation, but the reception that I have received since opening up about my divorce has been so encouraging. And let me tell you, raising three kids as a single dad is not easy. You have to teach them how to do things like washing the laundry, or cleaning the dishes… which we can do pretty easily at my house, since we have a huge swimming pool!
Kerri: I wish he was kidding, Daren. You’d be appalled by what goes on at Bob’s house!
Bob: You know what we did last week? We strapped duct tape to the bottom of our shoes and played tag all over the house… that way none of us had to vacuum!
Now, as these two take the stage together, there have been more than a few rumors that they might make a good couple.
Bob: No… no way. When I talk to someone who I’m interested in romantically, I want them to listen, not to just wait until I’m finished so they can upstage me with a better punchline.
Kerri: And I’m looking for someone with a 401k and a secure future, which eliminates all comedians right off the bat.
And, on top of NOT being romantically interested in one another, another thing they have in common is their love and devotion to Jesus Christ and God’s will for their lives.
Bob: I’m constantly amazed at how, when you remain focused on God’s will for your day, even when you find yourself in the middle of a day that you don’t think you can make it through, He will shower you with blessings that will encourage you and push you through! I faced days of real depression, accompanied by my kids’ broken hearts and disillusionment. Yet, every time I thought I was about to hit rock-bottom, a Christian friend would call with a word of encouragement, or God would show up in some other way. I’ve just learned to keep my eyes focused on God and He gets me through even the toughest of times.
Kerri: I really thought that I was going to be on OkayCupid.com before the ink dried on my divorce papers because of nothing else but the fear that ran through me each day, especially the fear of being alone. But, it hasn’t been that way at all. Time and time again, it’s been like God has spoken to me and simply said, “Don’t fear, Kerri. I’ve got you!” Whether it’s been through His word in the Bible, through friends who have come up alongside me, or even financially with gigs that have come out of nowhere to help provide for me and my girls… He has never left my side! God is faithful!