Kelly Monteith has a been a comedian for more than thirty five years. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and its suburb Kirkwood, he migrated west at the age of seventeen to attend the famed Pasadena Playhouse College of Theater Arts. After graduating with a degree in theater he was well prepared for a life in show business. (I was in hock up to my eyeballs.) In order to support his habit, (eating), he took a series of odd jobs, (booking drunks at the LAPD’s central jail. It doesn’t get much odder than that), and after a stint in the U.S. Naval Air Reserve he took his classical theatrical training and put it to practical use doing stand up comedy in strip clubs working to a bunch of horny drunks.
Although strip clubs were not the most conducive environment to creative development, they did teach Monteith the necessary skills to survive in show business. (For one thing it taught me how to share a dressing room with a stripper without becoming…well, you know, involved. A skill I’m happy to say, that I failed in.) From strip clubs he graduated to working the Playboy clubs, where he continued to develop his stand-up skills. (I still worked to horny drunks, but horny drunks with a membership!) During this time he landed an audition for the Mike Douglas Show which resulted in being chosen to make his television debut on that show. That led to an appearance on Jack Paar’s return to late night television where Kelly’s appearance was singled out in a Time Magazine review of the show. (It said I was a “new and funny comic”. Not a big review but hey it was in Time. Two years before I was intro-ing strippers at the Body Shop in Atlanta!) That appearance led to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson where he made his first of numerous (over 40) appearances and The Merv Griffin Show, where he appeared regularly.
Soon he, (Kelly Monteith, in case you the reader has A.D.D.), was appearing in every major room in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Reno as well as theaters throughout the United States and Canada, sharing the bill with the Who’s Who of performers (some of who are still alive!), from the likes of Bill Cosby and Loretta Lynn to Aretha Franklin and Tony Bennett to name just a few. (It was an honor to share the bill with them, supremely talented all.) Along with television and personal appearances he had his own summer show on CBS, “The Kelly Monteith Show” and a late night show, “No Holds Barred” (which if memory serves, was cancelled during the credit roll).
After two highly successful appearances on a British “chat” show, the Des O’Connor Show, he was offered his own series on the BBC, which he created, wrote (with Neil Shand) and starred in. It ran on both BBC2 and BBC1 for six years. In its first year of production the series was one of two shows chosen to represent the BBC in the prestigious Montreux Television Festival in Montreux, Switzerland where it won the Silver Rose.
During the series run (this is getting serious now) he began touring the United Kingdom, selling out concerts in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, culminating in a Command Performance in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, (no we didn’t date, those are just nasty rumors), and a “Night of a Hundred Stars” in the presence of Princess Margaret. (See pics in the Photo Gallery). Upon the completion of the series’ six year run, he, (Kelly again), performed a one man show in London’s West End, the British equivalent to Broadway. Returning to the United States with a wife and new baby daughter, which a few years later became two. (Another baby that is, a boy. The way I phrased it made it sound like our daughter cloned herself.) Monteith hit the road once again, working comedy clubs, appearances with Jay Leno and David Letterman and hosting a syndicated show called “The Hit Squad”, which predated “America’s Funniest Home Videos”.
Mr. Monteith continues to make television appearances and tour extensively. When not performing he’s ensconced in his Malibu manse where he writes. (Checks, mostly. Okay, I admit I don’t have a ‘Malibu manse’ but you got to admit it does dress up the bio.) In addition to his stand-up he (me, Kelly remember?) is very excited about his independent feature film comedy, “A Lousy Ten Grand”, which he wrote, directed and appeared in along with a terrific ensemble cast.
To prove that Monteith has completely lost his sanity he has filmed another independent feature film titled: “Too Hip For The Room”, due out later this year.