The thing is, becoming a fast talker was never really a conscious decision on my part. I was working at a radio station, WBLS in NYC doing comedy bits. Joking around I said, “I could do a really cool Mae West Impression, but that I called the character, June East, (Mae's long lost sister.) The DJ, flung the weather and traffic copy at me and I went on air for 30 seconds. A reporter from the Daily News happened to be listening and was doing a story on weather and traffic people. She called and asked me how long I had been doing it. I wasn't going to say, “30 seconds”, so I said, “Oh a while.”
Then she asked what I was planning on doing next. I didn't have a next but I had on the line from the Newspaper so I said, “Oh I'm thinking of breaking a world record.” She asked, “For what?” But I couldn't tell her, because at that moment I didn't know. I told her I'd call her back. I ran out, bought a Guinness Book looked at all the world records and saw fast-talking. Since people always told me I talked fast I figured, what the heck, I'll go for that. I called her back and told her. She asked, “Well what's the present record at?” I said, “552 words per minute.” She said, “And what are you at?” I said, “550, those last two words are a killer.” She printed it in the paper and the very next day the Larry King Live people called me and asked me to go on their show and break the record. At first I didn't even know who Larry King was. I heard cable, and I thought, “Is this some kind of porn?” She said, 'No honey this is a national show.”
So I figured what the heck, what's the worst that can happen? The worst is that I look like a fool on national TV and the best, I break a world record. I gave it a shot. I called Guinness they said to break the record I had to read something from Shakespeare or the bible. Me and Shakespeare never got along, so I chose a psalm from the bible. The Larry King live people told me they'd have a limo at my house in 5 hours. So for 5 hours I practiced and practiced, making sure I enunciated every single word, having my dad time me to the 100th of a second. I broke the record then on his show doing 585wpm on March 5th, 1986.
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