The Department of Homeland (In)Security

I was recently traveling home the day after a performance for the Executive Club of Louisville in Kentucky. It was just one of those days. Tornado warnings and high winds delayed my small plane from departing on schedule. We hit the runway in Charlotte just in time for my connection, but the plane's brakes promptly locked and we sat on the runway. A 45-minute layover became an 8-hour layover. In addition, all the delays meant an extra 2-hour wait for a shuttle once I finally reached Phoenix after 16 hours of transit.

When I took my bags off the carousel I opened one of them to get a toothbrush, shifted a few items from my prop case into my suitcase and went to the men's room. Bags in tow, I then headed for the elevators to the departure level for food.

As I boarded the elevator two men who had also been right next to me in the bathroom got on the elevator as well. There was nothing unusual about them, except once they stepped onto the elevator they split up, each one flanking me on either side. Exiting the elevator I turned into the empty corridor when the two men quickly jumped in front of me and blocked my path. One whipped out a shiny metal badge which he flashed in front of my nose and curtly introduced himself as an officer with the Department of Homeland Security.

Turns out my shuffle of stuff from bag to bag made me look suspiciously like a bag-thief. They started asking a lot of questions, the final one being, "How do we know these bags are yours?" It's easy if you have the bag tags; problem was, I had tossed them in the trash upon arrival.

So instead I opened up my show case and started using the things inside. There in the airport the officers suddenly found themselves audience to a 5-minute version of my variety show with juggling balls, a meat cleaver and other assorted objects being tossed and balanced all over the place.

Their undercover tough-cop exteriors melted immediately and they broke into gales of laughter. They apologized profusely and proceeded to tell me that I had made their last 4-month stint in the airport worth it. They walked away as relaxed human beings instead of as confrontive authority figures, and I had made it through a tight fix.

Let's face it, to be an event planner is by definition to be in a tight fix. Never underestimate the power of entertainment and good humor to get you and your guests to the other side.

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Rick Lewis has been entertaining and inspiring audiences for the last 30 years. The success of The World's Funniest Waiter over the years is based on clean, interactive comedy and high-level circus skills.

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Hidden Camera Fun


“Fear is the lock and laughter is the key to your heart.”

Crosby, Stills, and Nash

"Why don't they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff."

Steven Wright


The Worlds Funniest Entertainer can be customized for all types of special events and meetings. Some of the events I've customized for include:

Sales Meetings
Leadership Presentations
Peak Performance Trainings
Safety Awards Banquets
Company Holiday Party
Hotel Staff Show
Mental Health Professional's Meeting
Science Center Show
Food and Hospitality Industry Show

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