BOCA RATON – As the U.S. prepares to remember the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack that toppled the World Trade Center towers, comic L. A. Hardy thinks many Americans are missing a crucial point.
“We’ve got to start thinking about others as Americans and remember we’re supposed to be on the same team,” Hardy said.
Hardy’s performed in more than 30 countries, including for the troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq in the years that followed 9/11.
Always searching for killer punchlines, Hardy never experienced more firepower that he did on those trips.
“They have so much down time,” Hardy said. “They want to show you what they do.”
Shooting military rifles sounds cool, but that’s not all Hardy did.
“They let me drive a tank,” Hardy said. “They let me land a Chinook helicopter. Me! They let me do it.”
Rather than eating turkey in his kitchen and watching football from the coach, Hardy and a handful of other comics even spent one Thanksgiving performing for the troops
“These men and women gave up their time with their families,” Hardy said. “The least I could do was give them some of mine.”
Having appeared on Comic’s Unleashed w/ Byron Allen, BET’s Comicview and According to Jim – among other shows – and with film credits that include Universal Remote, China Dolls and Guess Who w/ Bernie Mac, Hardy is recognized throughout the world.
His international trips provided a unique insight into world affairs and other cultures.
Hardy didn’t get political during his Thursday night headlining set at the Biergarten in Boca Raton. Afterward, he preferred to tell stories about his time performing for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq rather than discuss recent policy decisions.
“We were embedded man,” Hardy said. “We were inside. It was the most rewarding tour I was ever on.”
After everything he saw during those trips, Hardy can’t believe Americans are currently arguing so fiercely about COVID protocols designed to keep fellow citizens safe. To wit, he’s vaccinated but has no problem wearing a mask around his 92-year-old mother as another layer of protection for her.
“We’ve got to get back to just loving each other,” Hardy said. “People have got to quit arguing about things that don’t matter. The only thing that matters is being alive.”
If people insist on arguing about things that really don’t matter – say, whether a hot dog is a taco or a sandwich – Hardy’s willing to facilitate.
During the pandemic he launched a YouTube show called Meaningless Debate where viewers in real time pose meaningless questions – Is golf a sport or a game? – and two comics debate the answers.
“We have the comics argue points that are sent in by the audience,” Hardy said. “The people that are watching, they’re a part of the show. It’s all interactive. There’s nothing political in it. We just want to have fun.”
Thus far, well known comics Jimmy Shubert, George Wallace, and Scott Henry joined the debate. Hardy hopes to eventually turn what is effectively a comedic Zoom call into a full-blown television production.
Those who would rather see Hardy perform live have a few chances in the coming weeks to do so. He’ll headline Fasil Malik’s Spill the Beans show on Oct. 9 at Fort Lauderdale’s Underground Coffeehaus. The following night Hardy will be at Miami’s Villain Theater. And on Oct. 16 Hardy will be with Michael Winslow in Melbourne.