|Former WC grad headlines comedy show in Washington
Rob Busboom laughs about his funny website in which he tells a life
story that is far removed from reality. Busboom writes all his own comic
material and says he is looking forward to seeing old friends at the show
he is headlining in Washington---Photo By Kelly Overton
By Linda Perry, Staff Writer
Rob Busboom is funny even when he's being serious. And the story he
tells about his path to becoming a stand up comedian is absolutely hilarious.
The Washington Catholic grad who went on to study physics at Purdue University
will do his stand up comedy routine at the Knights of Columbus, Fourth
and Main in Washington, on April 27 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
His website bio states he is the child of secret agents who stole the
formula for Twinkies and then fled to Indonesia before moving to Indiana
and producing two genetically enhanced children.
Busboom -- real name Rob Larkin -- studied physics for two years before
deciding on a 180 degree turn resulting in a new career direction. He found
he couldn't even use his real name because there was another comedian with
the name Ron Larkin and things got...well, a little confusing to put it
Busboom -- personal motto: "Just do it...later" -- declares he is a
comedian, actor, writer, and awesome lover. His friends call the 6-foot-4-inch
(if he stands up straight) entertainer "The Hurricane."
Asked by Daviess County Sheriff's Detective Ron Morgan to do a comedy
show in Washington, Busboom, who had met the police officer at Washington
Catholic bingo, agreed.
Busboom has appeared with television stars Kevin Meany, Jimmy Walker
and Gabe Kaplan and has been a guest on the Bob and Tom radio show. (Inside
scoop: Bob and Tom are quieter in person than their radio personas would
Billing himself as the world's second funniest comedian -- number one
is already copyrighted by James Gregory -- Busboom admits his true childhood
was a little different than his website would lead one to believe. He is
not the son of secret agents. His father, Bill Larkin, who lives in Loogootee,
is a computer scientist at Crane Naval Weapons Center, and his mother is
a nurse practitioner in Wichita, Kan. His sister has a master's degree
electrical engineering. And Busboom was in the honors physics program at
Purdue for two years before he switched to getting a degree in creative
Told that was quite a shift in direction, he remarked: "That's what
What brought about the quantum change? He stutters, then says: "Alcohol.
When I started college I was a social introvert, then as I continued on,
I changed...and things like the theory of relativity are not as easy as
He had a couple of short stories published and hung around after graduation
"until the lease ran out." He then returned to Washington and got a job
on the sports desk at the Washington Times-Herald.
"I wasn't very good," he says ruefully. "I only lasted six weeks."
Whazzzup with that?
"I was creative. If I didn't know a fact, I'd make it up. That's why
I got fired. And writing stories, I might do two short stories in six months,
but at the paper I had a deadline."
And after getting the proverbial boot?
"I was depressed for a little while, but then I moved to Indianapolis
and I was okay."
After landing a day job as a computer tech, he worked night spots at
the One Liners Comedy Club in Greenwood. His first five-minute gig on stage
at the comedy club came on March 10, 1997. He was 23.
"There were 54 people in the audience," he says. "And 22 of them were
my friends who had come down from Purdue. One was from Detroit." He was
offered a full-time job that night -- as a bouncer, which enabled him to
hone his material and get more stage experience.
In March 1999, he quit his computer job with the Indiana Department
of Health to begin his full-time comedy career. He was seldom home, doing
shows all over the country.
The best part of his job?
"Working eight hours a week."
"Road life. Every week it's a different city."
Busboom now lives in Los Angeles, where a trip to a local grocery often
leads to chance encounters with famous people. He works the clubs in L.A.
and his roommate dates a country music star. Television sitcoms are his
goal, and he recently auditioned for ABC's new talent development division.
Onstage he is ebullient and animated, off stage quieter and more reflective.
He says he tries to keep his 45 minute show "clean" and notes there is
nothing in it a person wouldn't hear on television.
The emcee for the Washington show is another hometown boy, John Pitman,
who graduated in 1960 from Washington High School.