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Sludgeaholic Of The Month – March 2003, C.C. Banana

 

SLUDGEAHOLIC OF THE MONTH

C.C. Banana

This month’s Sludgeaholic Of The Month is everybody’s favorite banana! Many of you might recognize C.C. Banana from our post 2 years ago called The Adventures Of C.C. Banana. Since then, C.C. Banana has become legendary and even has his own video in the works!

C.C. Banana is actually a comedian named AJ. He’s sent us a variety of captures as himself when he’s not running around in a banana suit stalking C.C. DeVille. He’s totally dedicated to the Metal Sludge Cause, whatever that is, and he’s a funny guy too!

Congrats to C.C. Banana for being our Sludgeaholic Of The Month!

1. Where are you from and how old are you?
Born, raised, and still residing in beautiful suburban New Jersey, just a stone’s throw from the Big Apple. And since my agent frowns on me revealing my exact age, let’s just say that I’m "30-ish." But I can tell you that I have the same birthday as Dee Snider, Bret Michaels, and Fabio, for whatever that’s worth. We were all born on the Ides of March!

2. Ambitions: There are many, so I’ll just list the first 5 I can think of:
- To be known as someone who creates great entertainment.
- To work with other talented individuals in the creation of said great entertainment.
- To have a means of delivering this entertainment to as many people as possible.
- To contribute something of consequence that is remembered even after I am gone.
- To collect one of every "Star Wars" action figure, mint on the card.

3. Turn-ons: Smart chicks. Artistic chicks. Musical chicks. Chicks with good grammar. Chicks with good skin. Chicks with muscles. Gothic chicks. Indian chicks. Tall chicks. Hot older chicks. Chicks who don’t mind being called chicks. And well-rounded chicks who aren’t afraid to show off their curves.

4. Turn-offs: See previous list, and invert it.

5. How long have you been coming to Metal Sludge?
A little over three years, ever since February 3, 2000. I remember the date because it was the day after I’d endured a devastating basement flood, which wiped out countless irreplaceable comic books and collectibles.

Later that day assorted friends, neighbors and relatives stopped by to console me in my time of grief. One of these well wishers was none other than Banana Guard Ron Albanese, who told me about some new website he’d come across:

"It’s like Metal Edge, but it’s cool."

6. Favorite bands: The hottest band in the world — Kiss!

Also WASP, Queensryche, Cinderella, Aerosmith, Winger, Poison, Alice Cooper, Quiet Riot, Berlin, Def Leppard, Kix, Motley Crue, Heart, Dokken, Twisted Sister, Alannah Myles, Great White, Skid Row, Kingdom Come, Cyndi Lauper, LA Guns, Tesla, Ratt, TNT, Bullet Boys, Guns N’ Roses, Mr. Big, Bon Jovi… all the usual suspects.

Oh, and the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, natch.


AJ with 2 guys from Kiss.

7. Least favorite bands: Pretty much every one that’s came along since 1993. I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but virtually none of today’s music moves me in the least. Teen pop, boy bands, modern rock and current metal — they just don’t do anything for me. I’m not saying that this music is without merit, but I find that I simply don’t enjoy very much of it.

I’m just happy to have found a genre of music that I love as much as I do.

8. What do you do for a living, other than dressing up as a banana?
I also dress up as barnyard animals, cartoon characters, various superheroes and assorted holiday deities. I write personalized song parodies while driving to faraway locales, then sing them to complete strangers in public places. I crash parties under implausible pretenses, then improvise ludicrous stories to entertain the masses. I dance the "Hokey Pokey" alongside dozens of inner city children, then make balloon animals until my fingers blister. I emcee birthdays, barbecues and corporate events, and I’ve even been known to strip down to my undies for the occasional bachelorette party.

Best of all, I actually get PAID to have all this fun.

Essentially, I have the distinct privilege of making my living solely as an entertainer. Though some gigs are more glamorous than others, it’s all still show biz to me! And that sure beats getting a real job. Ultimately, this unorthodox means of existence keeps the bill collectors at bay while I quietly attempt to dominate the media.

9. What made you think, "I’m going to dress up like a banana and talk like C.C. DeVille?"
Actually, it’s all kind of a blur. It was just one of those magical moments when a bizarre news item, an outlandish costume, a nutty idea and an instigative friend combined to create ungodly havoc.

The banana costume was in the car from a booking I had done earlier in the day. There hadn’t been time to remove it before leaving for Jones Beach, and during the drive I somehow came upon the following improbable notion:

"Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if I wore the banana suit to the Poison concert?"

Additionally, C.C.’s sandwich board antics had been one of the topics du jour, and somehow this led to my next idea of questionable merit:

"Hey, wouldn’t it be even funnier if the banana had a sign, charging for his autograph and pictures and stuff?"

And that’s when it all clicked. The voice and the character just fell into place after that. Originally we’d hoped to simply walk around the venue and annoy people with our banana shenanigans. We had no idea that our behavior would eventually attract the attention of Poison’s crack security force, let alone be our ticket to meeting C.C. and the band! Looking back, it was
probably one of the dopiest things I’ve ever done. And you can bet that I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Considering what I do for a living, I suppose I’ve just learned to live without shame.

10. Has Sebastian Bach tried to kick your ass lately?
No, but with my track record I’m due to piss off Axl Rose any day now.

11. You’re a comic. So exactly how bitter are you?
Not as bitter as I could be, I suppose. I’m now at the point in my career where most of my contemporaries have either A) succeeded in the business, or B) thrown in the towel.

Those who’ve succeeded are doing amazing things. They’re either working with Howard Stern, or directing films for David Lynch, or producing shows for Nickelodeon, or writing for "Saturday Night Live," or appearing on "Whose Line Is it Anyway?" I could go on and on. Talented individuals all, they’ve earned those positions and they work hard to keep them.

However, their good fortune now relegates me to the position of "hanger on." And I’m not normally one to ask for a handout.

Conversely, those who’ve thrown in the towel now seem intent on justifying that decision by deriding me for not bowing out gracefully alongside them. I suppose to them I’m nothing but a constant reminder that they’re no longer in the game, and they tend to regard me as some juvenile whacko who just doesn’t know when to grow up.

Naturally, I don’t much keep in touch with these people, either. Instead, I cling fast to some cockamamie notion that I am in fact destined for greatness.

All in all, I’ve done some very cool stuff in my life thus far. I’ve made over a dozen guest appearances on daytime talk television. I’ve even been featured on "Talk Soup." I’ve had bit parts in feature films. I’ve performed stand-up at Caroline’s in New York City. I’ve entertained thousands at sci-fi conventions. I’ve marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’ve shaken hands with NY governor George Pataki while dressed as the Toxic Avenger. I’ve been groped by Queen Latifah on national television. I’ve made James Cameron burst into laughter while recording voice-overs for "The Abyss." I’ve made Kate Mulgrew laugh during a taping of "Late Night with Conan O’Brien." I’ve danced the "YMCA" with Matthew Perry while singing him a personalized Emmy nomination song. I’ve spent 5 years as a hard rock radio DJ. I’ve conducted a broadcast interview with Eric Carr. I’ve annoyed Gene Simmons. I’ve appeared
in a porno flick.

And of course, I’ve dressed as a banana to meet C.C. DeVille.

I know I have the drive. I know I have the talent. I know I have the credentials. I just need to keep at it until something clicks. Though my particular route to fortune and glory may be the road less traveled, I think mine makes for a more interesting journey.

So I suppose the answer to this question would be that I’m not bitter… yet.

12. When was the last time you got laid?
Valentine’s Day! Or exactly 2 weeks from the day I am writing this. Thankfully, she didn’t make me wear the Cupid costume I’d been wearing for work that day.

13. The 5 best comics ever are: Crisis on Infinite Earths (DC) by Marv Wolfman & George Perez Daredevil: Man Without Fear (Marvel) by Frank Miller & John Romita, Jr.
Star Wars: Dark Empire (Dark Horse) by Tom Veitch & Cam Kennedy Kingdom Come (DC) by Mark Waid & Alex Ross Aliens, Book One (Dark Horse) by Mark Verheiden & Mark A. Nelson

And in case you didn’t mean that kind of comic…

Norm McDonald
Redd Foxx
David Letterman
Bob Newhart
Paul Reiser

These guys could read names out of a phonebook and I’d find it funny. I love them because they’re not only great with prepared material, but because they’re funny even in casual conversation. The ability to create comedy on the spot is a most difficult skill to master, and I’ve learned a lot from each of them.

14. When you went backstage last summer at Jones Beach as C.C. Banana and interviewed the bands, how come your idol C.C. DeVille blew you off like a spoiled piece of fruit?
To be sure, I was disappointed not to be able to interview C.C. DeVille for the new video. As the very inspiration for C.C. Banana, we were really hoping to include him in this project! We had some very funny things lined up, especially for the esteemed Mr. DeVille.

When we arrived backstage for the shoot, C.C. couldn’t have been any nicer to us. He came right over, gave me a big hug and an even bigger smile, and told us how happy he was with the original Metal Sludge C.C. Banana story. He absolutely loved it, and even re-enacted portions of it right there in front of us! He explained that he is always grateful for the coverage, regardless of the venue. He’s just flattered that people care enough to talk about him. When we told him of our plans to shoot some wacky sketches with all the bands on the Hollyweird Tour, he said that he was all for it, and would be happy to oblige.

Curiously, he disappeared shortly thereafter.

The next time we saw C.C. was hours later, after Poison’s set, running past us at MACH 5. Spying our camera crew, he paused for a moment and shouted, "I’ll be right back for you guys! Don’t go anywhere!"

Needless to say, we never saw him again.

Personally, I chalk the whole thing up to the fact that C.C. DeVille is an individual with many demands on his time. If I honestly felt that the guy was blowing us off, I’d be the first one to call him on it. But C.C. has been extremely accommodating of this ridiculous C.C. Banana phenomenon, and I’m sure he would have returned that night if he could have.

Besides, next summer’s Poison tour is just around the corner. And he can’t hide from his six-foot yellow doppelganger forever…

In the end, we still came away with some fantastic footage that day! Enough rock & roll rowdiness to fill a banana boat! We captured some hysterical impromptu interviews with Jeff LaBar, Kip Winger, Rod Morgenstein, Paul Taylor, John Roth, Steve Brown and a bunch of other cool people.

In fact, we’ve just finished editing that footage into a thoroughly entertaining new video! It’s called BACKSTAGE BANANA, and it’s the best C.C. Banana adventure yet!

If you’d like to learn more about this exciting new project, follow this link to its temporary homepage:

http://hometown.aol.com/Cybercomic69

15. How do you feel about being our March 2003 Sludgeaholic Of The Month?
Shocked! Amazed! Dumbstruck! And flattered beyond belief. It is an honor and a privilege to be named Sludgeaholic of the Month. And it also makes for one hell of a birthday present! Thank you all so very much.

16. Personal Motto: "He’s so freakin’ talented! Why ain’t he famous yet?"

Look for more fun and games from C.C. Banana this Summer!

Congratulations once again to C.C. Banana for being our March 2003 Sludgeaholic Of The Month!

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