Jay Hickman has been the best selling and most radio-played comedian of all the Laughing Hyena Records’ artists. If you want to know why, buy Boat Ride, his signature bit about a deprived sex maniac who could not talk very plain. At its peak there were advertising planes trailing a banner that said Boat Ride along Florida’s Atlantic coast.
Jay had a steady gig at Thee Doll House, a topless titty bar in Myrtle Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta, the latter using the name the Cheetah 3. He never played comedy clubs which were still in their infancy in the late 1980’s. Jay enjoyed sleeping in his own bed every night and taking care of employees at the strip joint. On payday he would take his entire check and tip the waitresses with the proceeds because they always needed money. A kind hearted club owner named Michael J. Peters saw that Jay always had food to eat and that his rent was paid.
This series of seven albums almost was never made. We called up Jay on Tuesday to let him know we would be in Myrtle Beach to record him that weekend. When we got there we found out that Jay, a substance abuser, was in critical condition and not expected to make it. Fortunately he did and over the next few years we recorded this classic comedy series before Jay died at age 37 from liver failure. He felt it was his time as he refused to allow his name to be put on the liver transplant list.
We promised Jay during his last weeks we would keep his comedy and his memory alive. His legions of fans, old and new, have helped us keep that promise.