Famed Radio Comedian Comes to Zionsville

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By Henry Holloway, Staff Member

 Comedian and Musician Tim Kavanaugh came to perform at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center Friday January 24 to a crowd of 263 people. Half of all ticket proceeds are going to benefit the Instrument Endowment Fund, a fund for purchasing musical instruments for the Band and Orchestra programs. Kavanaugh’s performance included a variety of music with his guitar and comedy, with both Zionsville and Zionsville West Middle School Jazz Bands performing. The Zionsville High School Green Jazz Band also performed three songs, including two with Kavanaugh, titled “I Thank God for Credit” and “Christopher Colombus,” the former of which he wrote in 1987. The show then closed with a performance by the ZCS Faculty Band alongside Kavanaugh, which includes of both Band and Orchestra teachers from both middle schools and the high school in which they performed Kavanaugh’s rendition of “Vehicle.” Kavanaugh performed a solo stand-up routine in between acts in which he interacted with audience members frequently.  

  “I was really excited when they invited him because he’s nationally known and he’s been on radio stations,” Zionsville Middle School Band Director Josh Weirich, said. “For my students to get to meet him and see him and play at the same concert with him, it was a really special opportunity.”   

Kavanaugh’s performance includes a variety of comical songs he’s written and plays on his guitar, as well as a variety of jokes.  

Kavanaugh is a monthly guest on the nationally syndicated comedy radio show “Bob and Tom” out of Indianapolis, as the Chicago native has a long career in comedy. Following a three-year teaching career at an all-girls Catholic High School, Kavanaugh pursued a profession in stand-up and performing the songs he wrote. Highlights of his long career include performances on ABC and Comedy Central as well as relationships and interactions with famous comedians such as Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Weird Al Yankovic, Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Carey, and even the late Robin Williams.  

Kavanaugh relays such experiences as being in many cases, quite unique.  

“Drew Carey opened for me.” Kavanaugh said. 

Some celebrity relationships have even been quite personal. 

“I’ve worked with Weird Al...I get a Christmas card from him every year,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s a very nice man. He did a parody of “I Think We’re Alone Now” called “I think I’m a Clone Now.” Right after he released it we did a radio show together and he told me about the song and I said I wrote “I think I’m a Clone Now” about eight years ago. I have my own version. He didn’t steal it from me. In my life it has caused a little bit of difficulty because I was taught if you wrote it you keep doing it. Some would say ‘Oh you stole that from Weird Al’ and I’d say no I didn’t. Al knows I have the song.” 

Kavanaugh has also worked closely with Tonight Show Host Jay Leno and opened for Sitcom star Jerry Seinfeld.  

“Jay Leno has called my house many times and he’s ridden in my car a bunch of times,” Kavanaugh said. “He’s a very cool guy. I’ve worked with him quite a lot,” Kavanaugh said.   

Kavanaugh is quick to relay amusing experiences he’s had with the comedians he’s encountered.   

“[Robin Williams] actually tried to pick up my wife after a show,” Kavanaugh said. “He didn’t know it was my wife but she knew it was Robin WilliamsHe’s a very funny guy, a very nice man, and obviously [Williams] has good taste in women because he tried to pick up my wife.” 

In addition to touring, Kavanaugh has also been featured on Dry Bar Comedy where he has a special set to come out within the next couple months. Even as a well-known comedian, Kavanaugh has still yet to meet some of those who he’s always looked up to.  

“Steve Martin is my hero,” Kavanaugh said. “I’ve never met him but that’s one person I’d love to meet.”