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Stand Up Comic & ATU 714 Member Johnny Cail Comes Out of Retirement for Make-A-Wish Benefit Show

Andy O’Brien
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ATU 714 member Johnny Cail of Westbrook drives a bus for Greater Portland Metro these days, but for fifteen years he was a full-time stand up comic performing all over the Northeast alongside well-known Maine comics like Bob Marley, George Hamm and others. He officially retired from standup after Portland's iconic Comedy Connection closed in 2012, but he'll be back on stage at the Portland Eagles Club this Saturday April 20 for a Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit.

"Anything you can do for the kids is obviously going to get me off the couch," he said.

From the early 2000s to the early 2010s, Cail was one of a number of full-time comics who performed at the Comedy Connection. Bob Marley, who got his start at the club, came home from living in Los Angeles in 2005 and brought Cail on as his opening act, including a week at the former Laugh Factory in New York's Times Square. He also opened several times for his friend and colleague George Hamm.

"We toured around a lot together," said Cail. "The Comedy Connection had a lot of outside rooms all around southern Maine and also booked shows at University of Maine at Farmington. The scene was pretty good and there was a lot of homegrown talent."

Click image above to watch Cail's 2010 performance at Portland's Comedy Connection

One of the highlights of Cail's career was opening for Josh Blue, who had been on the reality show Last Comic Standing, for a series of shows including for a massive audience in Syracuse, New York. Cail said he continues to try to be creative and still tries to be funny in his daily life.

"I don't miss the spotlight necessarily, but I still crave it once in a while," said Cail. "We'll see, maybe I'll get the taste Saturday and decide to get back to it, but you never know."