Episode 475 – Mike Kowis

Mike is an Attorney & Off-Road Racer

Mike Kowis, a tax attorney at Entergy Services, LLC, talks about his passion for off-road racing, doing a presentation in the office about his passion, how it helps him with his job, and much more!

Episode Highlights

• Getting into off-road racing
• Side by sides and 4-wheelers
• Racing with his son
• Doing a presentation about off-road racing in the office
• How off-road racing helps with his job
• Don’t be afraid to open up about yourself



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Mike’s Pictures

Mike and his teenage son (Cash) enjoy off-road racing together in the Texas Off-Road Racing Championship Series.

Mike wrote an award-winning book entitled Texas Off-road Racing: A Father-Son Journey to a Side-by-Side Championship.

Mike and his teenage son (Cash) enjoy off-road racing together in the Texas Off-Road Racing Championship Series.


Mike’s Links


  • Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close

    Welcome to Episode 475 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett. And each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby, or a passion, or an interest outside of work. And to put it in another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, those things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.

    And if you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. And if you want me to read it to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audiobooks. And both versions go more in depth into the research behind why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. And I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and writing such nice reviews on Amazon and, more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it.

    And please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. And this week is no different with my guest, Mike Kowis. He’s senior tax counsel with Entergy in The Woodlands, Texas and an adjunct faculty at Lone Star College as well as the author of several books including Texas Off-Road Racing and American Tax Trivia. And now, he’s with me here today. Mike, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Mike: Hey, John, glad to be here.

    John: Yeah. This is gonna be awesome, man. You’re a busy, busy dude. So, this is gonna be fun and off-road racing is gonna be really fun to talk about as well, but I have some rapid-fire questions to get to know Mike out of the gate here. Here’s one. Favorite color.

    Mike: Purple. Because a lot of my schools that I went to in the past, purple was their official color.

    John: Okay. Nice. That’s unique. That’s good. How about a least favorite color?

    Mike: Maybe black.

    John: Oh, okay. All right. Now, that’s safe. It also has nothing to do with any of the college colors in Texas.

    Mike: There you go. There you go.

    John: So, that’s a good pick. I was like, well, we’ll see where this goes. How about a favorite adult beverage?

    Mike: Oh, gosh. Right now, I like Mexican beers. So, like Dos Equis with lime. It’s probably what I’m drinking the most right now.

    John: You are the most interesting man in the world. That’s awesome. How about a favorite movie?

    Mike: Oh, gosh. Princess Bride.

    John: Oh, nice.

    Mike: The classics.

    John: Always good. So many great scenes in there.

    Mike: Knowledge. Knowledge.

    John: Right.

    Mike: Billy Crystal

    John: And Andre the Giant was there too. Like “Oh, man, it’s so cool.” So cool. How about puzzles? Sudoku, crossword, or jigsaw puzzles?

    Mike: Honestly, none of them. I don’t do puzzles now.

    John: Okay. Yeah. Well, you do tax. So, that’s similar.

    Mike: There you go. That’s kind of a puzzle, right?

    John: It’s a puzzle. There you go. All right. I’ll give it to you. How about a favorite comedian?

    Mike: Oh, gosh. Robin Williams.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Mike: He’s my all-time favorite. I’ve read a biography on him and it was, you know— You know, at the end, what’s coming is— Oh, God, just rips your heart out even though you know the ending. What a story. He’s such a talented soul. And I was a fan of him from the first time I saw him, you know. I rented a movie, a VHS in high school. It was actually rated whatever. Rated R or Rated something. And I checked it out. I’ve been a fan my whole life. He was amazing.

    John: Yeah, he really was. He was like just 3 seconds ahead of everyone when he was performing, you know. And it’s like did not see that coming. Absolutely. Would you say you’re more of a suit and tie or jeans and a T-shirt?

    Mike: Jeans and a T-shirt.

    John: All right. All right. That works. That’s awesome. Yeah. Or a jumper maybe. Or I don’t know what you race in. I’m not sure what that is called, but like it’s—

    Mike: Yeah. Race suit. Fireproof race suit. They’re not comfy.

    John: Yeah. Okay. Then never mind. Jeans and T-shirt it is. There you go. How about Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Mike: Star Wars for sure.

    John: Okay. All right. How about when it comes to books and you’ve written them too, but even reading ‘em, audio version, e-Book, or real book?

    Mike: Print books. I just love the print books. I can’t get into the e-Book for some reason. It’s not the same. The feel of the pages and I don’t know, it’s just not the same to me.

    John: Yeah. Yeah. I hear you on that. How about a favorite number?

    Mike: 77. That’s my race number.

    John: Oh, okay. There you go ‘cause 7’s popular. So, why not two of ‘em? There you go. 7,777,777. It’s just seven 7s. There you go. Are you more of an early bird or a night owl? Night owl. Okay. There you go. And how about your favorite tax form?

    Mike: Oh, good Lord. None of them because I let the CPAs— They do the real work. I always say that I’m just a tax attorney. So, they fill out the forms.

    I just tell ‘em where the numbers go, you know.

    John: Got it. Okay. Okay. So, none of ‘em. Perfect.

    Mike: None of ‘em. Yeah.

    John: All right. All right. No, that’s actually the right answer. That’s the only one of my questions that has a wrong answer and that was the right answer as a non-tax guy myself. How about do you have a favorite day of the week?

    Mike: Friday.

    John: Friday.

    Mike: Yeah. Getting ready for the weekend.

    John: Yeah. Totally. How about your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?

    Mike: PC. Where I teach at the college, they have Macs and it’s like foreign language trying these things. So, I’ll stick to PC.

    John: Pretty much I’m the same, man. I’m the same. I’m like how does this mouse work? It’s got 1 button. It’s not even a button.

    Mike: Right.

    John: It’s like just you’re supposed to know.

    Mike: It’s crazy.

    John: Yeah, it’s crazy. We got three more. Your first concert.

    Mike: Gosh. They did a concert while I was in high school. I wanna say it was 1986 or `87. It was called Monster Jam. And it had like 6 bands in Dallas. Boston was the headliner and then Tesla and a few other smaller bands. I couldn’t believe my parents let me go, but I went with a bunch of friends. We stayed in a hotel room along the way. We couldn’t afford like more than one room. There was like six of us and I slept in the bathtub and my neck hurt the whole rest of the trip. It was miserable, man, but we had fun. It was a blast.

    John: But what a great story that you remember so many years later. Right?

    Mike: Exactly.

    John: That’s awesome, man. I love it. That is so great. Man, Boston and Tesla. I mean, if only Scorpions were in there, like who knows? That’s super cool. It’s awesome. All right. How about a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Mike: Pistachio almond from Baskin Robbins.

    John: Oh, very specific. And that’s fancy.

    Mike: That’s good stuff. It’s addictive. Don’t ever try because you’ll eat every day.

    John: Right. There you go. You’re the enabler here.

    Mike: Yes.

    John: Yeah. Right. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Mike: Well, that would be my 2018 Polaris Turbo side by side that I race with. I love that thing. It’s a lot of fun.

    John: That’s awesome, man. You’ve had it for 3 years?

    Mike: Yes. I got it brand new. My son and I drove out to Oklahoma to pick it up. A little tax tip: If you buy your toys like that out of state, you don’t have to pay sales tax there. You don’t have to pay sales tax here. So, that’s why we drove all the way to Oklahoma to buy a new machine so you don’t have to pay sales tax.

    John: That is impressive. There you go. Nice. We already learned something like 7 minutes in. That’s awesome. Very cool. I might start off-road racing just to use that loophole like simply because.

    Mike: Just to save with sales tax. That’s smart.

    John: Right.

    Mike: Very smart.

    John: Just to stick it to the man. That’s awesome. Right? So, yeah. So, that dovetails perfectly into off-road racing. And how did you get started with that?

    Mike: So, when I was a teenager, I saved up my money and I decided to buy a Honda 3-wheeler. It was 1984, so I was like 14 years old. And I lived off in the country kind of like Dayton, Texas, which is halfway between Houston and Beaumont. And I was out in the woods. And the Trinity River runs close to our house like a couple miles away. So, I bought the little 3-wheeler and I called it Big Red. It was a 200-cc 3-wheeler. They don’t make them anymore because they’re banned. They’re supposedly too dangerous because there’s only 3 wheels and they’re very tipsy.

    John: Yeah. They tip over.

    Mike: Exactly. But it was a blast and I would ride it every day. You know, it was my first sense of freedom. I was like Huckleberry Finn, you know, exploring the woods and the wilderness. And it was a lot of fun. I just had so many good memories of the thing.

    John: Yeah. I know. I mean, I rode 4 wheelers. They weren’t mine, but I always had friends that had them. And yeah, that was always so much fun because you’re right. It’s freedom and you’re driving. And you know, you’re just out in the woods in 4-wheelers, 3-wheelers.

    Mike: Yeah. Playing the mileage. And you go hunting. I mean, it’s endless possibilities. The girls always wanna ride on the back. So, it was a great way to meet girls. I mean, it was the perfect vehicle for me when I was 14, you know.

    John: Yeah. Totally, man. I love it. I love it. And then did you just keep riding or the toy just got bigger over time?

    Mike: Yeah. So, what happened was they actually had like ATV rodeos in the little town next door like in Liberty, Texas. And so, I started competing in those. And they were like timed events like in the rodeo arena, so like barrel races and other obstacle courses. And I won a few of those.

    John: So, you gotta like drive around. So, it’s a timed thing. Okay.

    Mike: Right. So, I ended up winning some of those, which was a blast, but it was my first time to compete on anything other than just normal sports. And so, that was a blast. And I sort of like got hooked. But at some point, I turned 16 and I realized I really need wheels, right, because I got to have a date on Saturday night. So, I sold my 3-wheeler very begrudgingly and ended up buying like an old beaten car, my first car, like a 1976 Ford Granada. A 4-door piece of junk, you know. More Bondo than actual metal.

    John: Right.

    Mike: Anyway. Basically, I gave it up at that point. And then after I got married and got a job, and a truck, and all that like 2001, I decided to be fun just for old time’s sake to buy a 4-wheeler.

    So, I bought a Hondo 250 little 4-wheeler and rode it around the back of the woods in my neighborhood. I live in the woodlands area. And so, I bring my daughter at the time and put her on my lap. And we just plod around the yard, that sort of thing. And then I discovered cross country racing a few years later like in 2004. That’s when I really got into this racing thing. The event is known as Grand National Cross Country or GNCC. And they’re a national chain, but most of the races are on the East Coast. And it’s mostly like 4-wheelers and dirt bikes. And they did expand it to side by sides a few years ago, but they have since stopped I think for insurance reasons or whatever. So, that was my first gig. I rode out the 4-wheeler. I had no idea what the heck I was doing. And I went to Gilmer, Texas, which was like 5 hours away and it’s like Northeast Texas. And it was so exciting. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t realize it was like a national event that draws hundreds and hundreds of people and media.

    John: Right.

    Mike: And there’s all these national racers.

    John: It’s awesome.

    Mike: It was the real deal. Yeah. And so, I’ve been following all these racers on off-road magazines and stuff.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Mike: You know? Mike Penley was there, Scott Kilby, and all these names I have followed. And I got to meet them. And I was just like “Oh, my God.” I’m star struck and I can’t believe it. So, it’s really exciting.

    John: And you’re one of them.

    Mike: I’m one of them. I’m one of those guys. Right? So, I met ‘em and I’ll never forget it. Like Scott Kilby and I were in like ‘cause you had to get a— They called it tech inspection when you go through and they check your machine, make sure it has all the safety equipment, kill switch, and all those things. And I just looked behind me and I’m like “Oh, my God, I think that’s Scott Kilby.” And so, I said hi. I couldn’t believe I had the guts to even say hi. And I told him it was my first race ever. And he looked me. He gave me a little advice and it stuck with me all these years. He said your goal should not be to win. All you wanna do is 2 things. You wanna finish the race and try to have fun in the process.

    And that was brilliant advice because it took the pressure right off. I really enjoyed the rest of the day because those events were like 2 hours long. It was an 11-mile course, up and down, really treacherous trails. And this is at a park that’s open year round. It’s in Gilmer, Texas. It is called Barnwell Mountain. And I’ve been there before since. And some of the trails are literally marked jeep only because they’re too dangerous for 4-wheelers or dirt bikes. We were racing up and down. We were just going up and down. We were racing those trails full speed, you know. It was just like “What am I doing?” Well, I’m stupid. Right? But it was so much fun. Yeah. It was really something.

    John: That’s great, man. And what great advice not only for that, but like work and life? You know, you’re not out here to win. You’re out here to have fun along the way. I mean, what great advice.

    Mike: Right. Just make it to the end.

    John: Yeah. And survive. Yeah. I mean, in racing, there’s definitely a winner. But even then, you finished. I mean, to me, that’s winning. I mean, you know, like the definition of winning and the definition of success isn’t necessarily becoming a partner, or a CEO, or CFO, or whatever it is. It’s just being the best version of you, you know. And I love that advice, man. That’s so great. So, side by side is how would you describe it to people listening. And also, the pictures are on whatsyourand.com in case people wanna go check them out. They’re super cool.

    Mike: Thanks. Yeah. So, side by side is kind of like a 4-wheeler, but it’s a 2-seater. And they’re side by side, hence the name. It is kind of like a golf cart on steroids. That’s what I tell people.

    John: Right. There you go.

    Mike: Yeah. And so, it’s got taller suspension and bigger tires than a 4-wheeler, so it soaks up the bumps a little better. So, that’s kind of a good thing, but it is wider and heavier. So, it’s not quite as nimble and quick as a 4-wheeler, but there’s pros and cons with everything, but it has more safety features because you have like a 4-point or 5-point safety harness. You have to wear not just a regular seatbelt in the car. And we used to have window nets to keep it from falling out ‘cause you don’t have glass for obvious reasons. We have a fire extinguisher. You have to wear a fireproof suit from head to toe, which is very uncomfortable and hot. And this doesn’t breathe at all as you can imagine.

    John: Especially in Texas.

    Mike: Yeah. 95-degree temperature. Oh, yeah, it’s miserable in the summer. It does keep you warm in the winter though a little bit. So, that’s kind of plus.

    John: Right. And it’s got the roll cage inside.

    Mike: Exactly.

    John: Yeah. No. I think it’s cool, man. And so, do you do a lot of the maintenance on it as well?

    Mike: I do all of it because I’m too cheap to spend the money to have somebody else do it. So, I learned a long time ago I can’t afford to be in this sport if I don’t do all the work myself. And that started in the early days of us doing 4-wheelers and racing those. I had to like literally rebuild engines and the whole thing. I kind of enjoy that kind of hands-on mechanical work, getting dirty in the garage and really getting into that.

    And it’s fun because you understand the machine better and you know its limitations. And you understand what will break something better if you— You know, it’s kind of like doing a tax return and giving tax planning advice. If you know where those numbers end up and how to it affects the bottom line, you’ll give better tax advice. So, it’s good to know the ins and outs of the whole thing.

    John: That’s amazing that parallel because I’m guessing at no point in your education did any of your professors tell you go off-road race and work on engines because it will make you better at your job, but it straight up does.

    Mike: Yeah. It does.

    John: That’s cool, man. And it’s also neat to see especially in the pictures. Your son now is also racing. He’s in the other side of the side by side.

    Mike: He is. That’s probably the best part of this because there’s so many father-son activities or father-daughter activities that you can do where you’re watching your child perform or compete, and that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but there’s something about experiencing the race together. And he’s not just a passenger. He’s actually helping out. And there’s many times where it’s blinding dust, and I’m exhausted, and it’s an hour long racing, and we’re battling on this course. And it’s basically the way cross country is setup, is they setup a 3- to 5-mile track and then you do as many laps as you can in 1 hour. And whoever does the most laps the least amount of time wins.

    And so, it’s an endurance race. It really is. And it will beat you up pretty good because these are not smooth highway trails. Right? There’s cactus, and there’s sharp rocks, and there’s drop-offs in the creeks. Sometimes it’s muddy and you can’t see because you’re coated with mud head to toe. And you have goggles with these tear-offs, you know, and then you run out of tear-offs and then you take your goggles off. It’s very intense. It’s very intense. And then if it’s hot and dusty, you’re breathing dust. You’re gagging on it because the back of your throat is all caked up with dust. And you can’t see anything. And so, you’re depending on your co-pilot to tell you “Oh, yeah, you gotta turn left, to your left, the left.”

    John: So, he’s got the map and he’s like following where you are.

    Mike: It’s not even a map.

    John: Or in his head.

    Mike: It’s in his head. Yeah. He remembers and I don’t because I’m exhausted or whatever. Or he’s looking up the trail further than me ‘cause I’m just trying to squeeze between trees. A lot of this racing his dodging trees. He has luxury of looking 20 feet up the trail. I’m just trying to make it between these 2 trees right in front of my wheels.

    John: It’s sounds absolutely crazy, and intense, and nuts. And I wanna do it so badly. You’re like describing mud and breathing in dirt. Just your spine getting all jacked up from all this bouncing around and who knows what. And I’m like “You know what? Yeah. Let’s do that, you know, like type of thing.” And that sounds so fun, man.

    Mike: It’s an adrenaline rush. That’s the best way to describe it. It’s an adrenaline rush. And just to survive and get to the end of the finish line, that is a true accomplishment because so many times like every race there’s always machines broken down on the side of the trails. It looks like a graveyard at some point. And they break down because either they hit a tree, or they hit another machine, or they broke – a mechanical failure, or they pop the tire. I mean, it happens every race. There’s always people broke down. So, just to make it to finish line is an accomplishment. And everyone is celebrating. They pop a cold beer at the end. It’s a lot of fun.

    John: That sounds great, man. That’s super cool. And it’s something that you talked about throughout your career, or something that you bring up with coworkers, or is it kind of just on the side as people hear about it they hear about it?

    Mike: It’s kind of on the side. I never really thought my peers would relate to that, you know, the sport. And so, it finally sort of came out, if you will. A few years ago, they were looking for employees in the finance department at my company, Entergy. And when had an annual meeting for all finance— There’s a couple of hundred employees. And they meet in a big ballroom. This is pre-COVID. And so, they asked for people to submit what’s your unusual hobby and they’re gonna pick one or two. And they’re gonna start off the meeting that way. So, I was one of the two people they picked. So, I get up there and I had like 2 minutes to explain this crazy hobby I do.

    And everyone was looking at me like “What’s wrong with this guy? He’s got some screws loose or something out there.” I even was teasing my boss. He’s up on the stage with all the important people. Right? And I’m down in the floor and they just asked me to stand. And all these eyes are on me. And I’m trying not to be too nervous and say something too stupid. But for some reason, when I get a little bit nervous, I’ll just like be silly. And so, I started like saying “Oh, I raced with Joe up there. We call him 1-lap Joe because he’s not good for anything more than 1 lap.” So, I was teaching him. I was talking about my other co-workers, you know. “Oh, yeah, we see her at the races all the time.” And then she’s looking at me “What?” She’s never been to a race. So, I was just having a lot of fun with it. Right?

    But then afterwards, people would come up to me and say “Oh, you’re the guy that races.” And then they would just be like an icebreaker. So, that was kind of fun.

    John: Yeah. I love that they did that. I absolutely love that. You had 2 minutes. Here’s 3 people that work here, what their “and” is basically. And now, everyone can see your personality and how much you light up about— Like if they had asked you to come up and give them a tax update, first of all, no one would pay attention. And second of all, you probably wouldn’t be that excited, but they were like “Hey, come up and—” I mean you’d be excited, but not like off-road racing excited and joking about 1-lap Joe and she’s always— You know, whenever I do a tax return, she’s always there. it’s like no one says that, you know. And so, I love that they did that and I love that you did it too. That’s so cool to hear that months later, years later, people are like “Oh, wait, you’re the off-raid racing guy.” And it’s not a bad thing at all, right?

    Mike: Right.

    John: That people know who you are.

    Mike: It’s a lot of fun. People make assumptions. They think that “Oh, people that do that are rednecks.” I was born in East Texas, but I’m not some country hick that doesn’t know how to add 1 + 1. And there’s a lot of people that are professionals that I work with. CPAs, business owners, attorneys like me. And they’re all super nice. We don’t care what walk of life you come from or what you do for a day job. We’re just there to share a passion. We help each other. People break down. If someone’s injured, we’ll stop our race and just go help. We don’t care. So, it’s all about sportsmanship, and enjoying the sport together, and having fun. And I’ve met the best people at these races. It’s really amazing.

    John: That’s so cool to hear. And like just imagine if every one could say the same thing about their office or their department. Just we’re all in it together. And if someone’s down, we stop and we pick them up. You know, we care about each other and we celebrate at the end together. Just imagine if people were like “Man, I met the coolest people at work.” If people could say the same thing, like that would be a dream of mine if we could all say that. And I think that you’re only gonna get there if you share some of this outside of work interests in who you are as a person because— I mean, we’re all good at our job and can talk about the work, but that’s not really who you are, you know. And I’d imagine you’ve had different careers and you’ve gotten promoted through that career. And the technical skills that you use have changed. But that off-road racing side of you, that’s always there. That’s an anchor.

    Mike: It is. I’ve learned a lot from the sport. Like just to have confidence and be brave because racing, you know, there’s a lot of times— I broke my right wrist in one of the races. That’s why I went to side by side. So, my wife said no more ATV racing. You know, there’s an old saying, with age comes the cage. So, that’s kind of when we switched over to side by side as you get older. So, that’s kind of why I’m doing what I’m doing. But you know, a bad track at the track, you can be injured or, God forbid, die. You realize it’s kind of a dangerous sport. And that’s why there’s all the safety equipment and so forth, but I just keep that in perspective.

    I go into the office. You know, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You know, maybe a big tax deduction is denied or we have a bad audit and then the company loses a tax deduction and spends more money. Nobody dies. You know, we’re all good. So, it’d kind of changed my attitude. So, if we do aggressive planning, as long as it’s based on very good cases, and even if it’s aggressive, I don’t fear as much anymore because I know at the end of the day nobody’s gonna die over this tax planning, you know.

    John: Yeah. You’re not getting a broken arm, you know. Otherwise, that’s a bad client. Like we need to let you go.

    Mike: Yeah. You gotta stop doing work for the mob. Right? That’s not good.

    John: Right? Yeah. There you go. There you go. I love that so much, man. That’s so cool to hear and also how much it’s enriched your career and spilled over into your work, you know. And you didn’t do it for those added benefits, but it’s an accidental byproduct. That’s pretty cool to hear. And that you recognize it as well, you know. And that’s super awesome. And so, do you have any words of encouragement to anybody that’s listening that maybe they off-road race or they have an “and” that has nothing to do with their job or they think no one’s gonna care?

    Mike: Yeah. I guess just don’t be afraid to be yourself and open up. I think people will appreciate you better. You’ll be more relatable if they understand your passions and what it is that drives you. Even if your hobby is not the same as other people’s, they understand hobbies and the concept behind that and what passion is. And so, I think they’ll see you as a real human being. You’re not just a one-track pony that only does this tax work or whatever it is your day job is. So, don’t be afraid to open up and share. And you’d be amazed there’s probably people that have a connection.

    Oh, my uncle does that or my aunt has one of those or whatever. So, you’d be amazed at the connections you’ll build just by sharing.

    John: Yeah. I love that, man. And yeah, ‘cause I mean that emotion and that passion that you have just comes out and you’re a magnet. You know, it’s like people want that. And that’s super awesome. Well, this has been so cool, Mike. I feel like though it’s only fair that since I asked you so many questions at the beginning that we turn the tables and make this the first episode of the Mike Kowis podcast and let you be the host. I’ll be the guest. And you could ask me whatever you want. I’m all yours.

    Mike: Okay. Great. So, I have a few rapid fire for you. How about Dave Chapelle or Jerry Seinfeld?

    John: Oh, wow. You know, I think I’m gonna be controversial and have to go with Chapelle only because he just tells it how it is. Like there’s that bravery right there. He’s like “Look, this is about to cause a tidal wave, and I’m gonna just stand here and look it down, you know. And it’s because this is what I believe, and this is funny, and a joke is a joke.” And you know, like there’s no ill-will, or intent, or whatever behind it. And it’s a different time. I mean, Jerry in his heyday, I mean, was amazing and just as comedians. You know, of course, the Seinfeld sitcom and the Chapelle show. I’m not including— You know, just as comedians. But I mean, they’re both so prolific. I mean, they write so much. I mean, Chapelle had 3-hour specials in like 2 years. That’s like Carlin level. I mean, that’s like, dude, crazy. Yeah. So, I’ll probably go that, but it’s like 51-49 like close.

    Mike: There you go. Yeah. Johnny Carson or David Letterman?

    John: Oh, Carson all day. Like that guy was amazing.

    Mike: That’s what I thought. It’s a no-brainer.

    John: He was amazing. Yeah. And also, off the show, everything I’ve heard from both, Carson was just like— I mean, he was a little bit aloof. He didn’t like big crowds. He preferred small audiences, but just a nice guy. And so, yeah, totally.

    Mike: How about Jeff Ross or Don Rickles?

    John: Oh, man. So, I’ve met Jeff Ross.

    Mike: Oh, that’s cool.

    John: Haven’t met Rickles, but I’m gonna have to go Rickles. I mean, it’s just old school classic. I mean, he’s just so good. And maybe because I saw him when he was older, so it was funnier to me that there’s this older guy like ripping up the room. But yeah, he’s a legend.

    Mike: He is. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective or Tommy Boy?

    John: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective hands down all day every day. Tommy Boy also was so good. But yeah, Ace Ventura because I love that story of where they gave Jim Carey the script and he’s like “This is crap. I’m not doing it.” And then they were like “Well, what—” And he’s like “I’ll do it if you let me be part of the writing.”

    Mike: Oh, wow.

    John: And then they were like “Okay.” And then that’s what you get.

    Mike: Oh, my gosh.

    John: So good, man.

    Mike: Yeah. He just has a raw talent, you know. Just the emotion in his face, his body movement. He’s just hilarious top to bottom, you know.

    John: Yeah. It’s that Robin Williams-ish thing that you can’t teach, you know. He’s just got it. He’s so good.

    Mike: How about Die Hard, is it a Christmas movie or not?

    John: It’s a Christmas movie easily.

    Mike: I think so too, but I think he was interviewed and he said it’s not. He said it’s a Die Hard movie.

    John: Well, you can watch it any time.

    Mike: Yeah, it’s true. That’s true.

    John: You know? But if you need a reason to watch it, it’s a Christmas movie. I mean, it’s like Home Alone. I mean, Home Alone could be an any time movie. But you know, it’s a Christmas setting. It’s no different. I mean, Die Hard takes place the same time, you know, so like there you go. It’s like how’s Home Alone a Christmas movie and Die Hard— That’s the lawyer in me right there, Mike. You see what I did?

    Mike: Good analogy. I like that.

    John: Right? There you go. Well, this has been so much fun. Thank you so much for being a part of this. This was awesome. Thanks, Mike.

    Mike: Thank you, John.

    John: Yeah. And everybody listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Mike in his side by side with son and off-roading and links to his book or connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Everything’s there. And while you’re on the page, please click the big green button. Do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to check out What’s Your “And”?, the book, as well.

    Thanks for subscribing on Apple podcast or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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