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....Original Northstate Comedy Since 1978....
75 Year Old Man Thinks He's Cool
Because His Birthday is 4/20

Originally published April 20, 2010
Updated April 20, 2015
Cottonwood, CA

75 year old beatnik, community radio guru, and substitute teacher Erik Mathisen says his birthday--April 20th--hasn't always been the coolest day on the calendar.

"When I was born in 19 and 40," lectured Mathisen to a classroom of high schoolers who pretended to listen while sexting pictures of themselves to each other, "the date April 20th was only known as Hitler's birthday. Every year I'd lose at least one Jewish friend. Which wasn't easy to do, considering I grew up in Corning."

Mathisen explained that he continued to celebrate his birthday with little fanfare for almost fifty years.

"Every once in awhile I'd meet someone who fought on April 19th in the first battles of the American Revolution at Concord and Lexington. They'd tell me that the 20th was known as Scalping Day or Hangover Day, but I think most of them were drunker than me at the time."

Mathisen gave up drinking in his forties, but it was hard to tell as he continued to 'entertain' young people with stories of "the sixties" and old people with pause-filled stories of sobriety. His big claim to fame to this point was being nicknamed 'Captain Radio' and 'The Goddamfather of KZFR,' in ode to his long hours helping to start-up and guide that successful community radio station through its infancy.

It was about this time that his birthday finally started getting hip.

"I'm not sure if the marijuana thing or the Columbine thing came first, but either way 4/20 was all of a sudden a very groovy date with the kids," he told a reporter from the radio trade magazine, What's The Frequency?

"It brought the little stoners and the disaffected loners together. When they found out my birthday was 4/20 they were ready to start a cult and follow me anywhere. I was intrigued and suggested forming a committee to study the viability of such a proposal. That was about the time they lost interest, not wanting to have to look up the word 'viability'. It was a shame, too, because I had already hit up all my friends for donations. Oh well, guess I'll buy another ham radio." (Editor's Note; Ham Radio is not a sandwich. It's like a CB radio, but too big and antiquated to fit in your car.)

Mathisen finished bragging about how his once dubious birthday has become an annual event for the younger generation.

"The kids still celebrate my birthday every year by getting stoned before class and shooting up the cafeteria for lunch. And just because they do that every day, doesn't mean I'm not touched."

With that, Mathisen returned to his closet, from where his newest radio endeavor, KTHM 90.7 FM, is broadcast. "Oops, I got a bit distracted by the interview," he chuckled after putting in another 8-track, "Just had another twelve minutes of dead air. That makes thirty-six in the past hour --the old man's still got it!"

The old man is also the old man of washed up comedy hack Aaron Standish, a fact both of them dispute.

"That's why I gave him a middle name," clarified the elder Mathisen, "plausible deniability. Plus nothing screams 'showbiz' like an anachronistic Puritan nom de plume. Why, back when I was a pilgrim..."

Birthday wishes and hot pictures of old radios from people who are scared of Facebook can be sent to Erik Mathisen


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