Behind the booze 

Chick & Boozy together again

Hard-drinking, washed up 1970s movie icon Chick Starley returns, with sidekick Boozy the Imp at his elbow, for another shot of 100-proof Christmas spirits at Dad's Garage Theatre. Chick & Boozy's Holiday on Ice presents the sixth yuletide extravaganza from the former star of Danger Cop I, II and IV, along with his hard-drinking magical sidekick. In an intimate and revealing discussion with Creative Loafing, Chick and Boozy discuss their early days, new ingredients in their holiday formula and their rumored connections to improv actor Chris Blair and puppeteer Lucky Yates.

Creative Loafing: Chick, how did you get your start?

Chick Starley: I started out as an extra in Slash 'Em Up, Get 'Em Out, a Western slasher film starring John Wayne Gacy. After that, I ended up sweeping floors at Warner Bros., trying to rekindle my acting career, and it worked: I got cast in Danger Cop. Do you know who was originally supposed to get that role? John Ritter. You know what happened to him? He got his tires slashed on the way to the audition.

How did you meet Boozy, and what exactly is an imp?

Boozy: I'm a mystical, magical creature from the ninth dimension, which is populated by folks like me. Every imp is assigned to somebody to give them some sort of habit, and my assignment is to keep Chick drunk.

Chick: I was about to start filming Danger Cop 3, and one day there was a ring on my doorbell. ...

Boozy: And I was in a basket with a note: "Please take care of this little imp!"

When did you start doing Christmas specials?

Chick: We started working together in 1997 on that soap opera, Scandal! We did a Christmas special in 1998 as kind of a joke.

Boozy: It was one night only!

Chick: And it had everything going against it, there was a blizzard that night, but it was a miracle. It was packed. It went well enough that we decided to do it again the following year for two nights. Then it became a regular part of the Dad's Garage season. We didn't do a Christmas show last year because I was booked for some boat shows. But this year, we're back, and Labatt's Brewing Co. is actually our corporate sponsor.

Boozy: The Labatt's bear will be in the show. It's dangerous! Anything might happen! He might kill someone, he might poop.

Chick: The show's going to be divided up a little this year. There's three shows in one night: My show, Boozy's show, and the bear's show. My show is family-oriented. We talk about the holiday season as it should be, with family values and being in bed by 9 o'clock. And fighting terror.

Boozy: I'm going to stick with the old-school-style show! Hot dancing girls from Dames Aflame! And drinking! And happy, fun times! The bear's show goes with big Hollywood names, like Renee Zellweger and country music singer Toby Keith. The bear's kind of sold out.

Chick: Somehow that bear's connected.

I heard you were on the wagon, Chick.

Chick: That's correct, between the last time we did the show and right now.

Boozy: He's killing me, Curt Holman! He's killing me! That's what I'm all about, I got him to drink in the first place. It's kind of my assignment to Chick, to keep him drunk. ... Why have you cleaned up, Chick?

Chick: Because I was tired of waking in the morning and have the morning being the night.

Boozy: But the nighttime's the right time!

Chick: But when the nighttime becomes the only time, that's what I'm saying. I'm growing up, I'm turning 48 this year! I've had six wives!

Boozy: Forty-eight years young! You're the youngest of your gang. Who was in your gang? There was you, Lee Majors, Adam West, sometimes Burt Reynolds -- you were the "Crap Pack," I believe.

How do you respond to rumors that in reality, you're actor Chris Blair and a puppet operated by Lucky Yates?

Boozy: Nonsense! Ridiculous nonsense! This man behind me is merely a familiar.

Chick: It's not true. I am not an actor.

Boozy: Certainly not. You should see the rehearsals.


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