Ive been asked to tell you a little something about my daughter, Cathy. Cathy Ladman. Thats her name, L-A-D-M-A-N, Cathy, with a "C". Shes my youngest. If you havent seen her on TV – I dont know how you managed to miss it, what with her six appearances on "The Tonight Show"; her HBO "One Night Stand" comedy special; as winner of the Best Female Stand-Up Comic award in 1992 at The American Comedy Awards; pilot that she just taped for ABC – maybe youll catch her at a gig (thats the comedy lingo) in your home town. Her with her frequent flyer miles.
Shes been so busy lately. I hardly hear from her. But, I figure thats good, because it means shes okay. Oh well.
Cathy was always funny. Sometimes fresh, but always funny. At age eight she would sit in front of the record player and listen to Nicholas and May Examine Doctors. She memorized it, verbatim. Every night when I came into her room at bedtime, she would say her prayers and then do a selection off the album for me. (To tell the truth, I didnt quite understand that. But, I smiled anyway).
She just loved comedy. It was in 1981, I think, that she began performing at the clubs in New York, which is where were from. She had been a teacher for a year, which I thought, was a wonderful job, but she really wanted to do the comedy thing. So, off she went. And she hasnt stopped since.
From Catch a Rising Star and The Comic Strip in New York, Cathy began traveling on the road. While she was home, she studied improv – thats improvisation – and acting. And she was writing, always writing, "Listen to this new joke," shed say. I miss having her in New York.
Shes in Los Angeles most of the time now, pursuing her film and television career. Shes landed a few pilots, including "American Nuclear" and "Hot Prospects"; her film credits include "Dont Tell Mom the Baby-sitters Dead" and "Nervous Tricks"; and she continues writing her act, developing television treatments, scripts, and sketched, and writing feature-length screenplays.
Cathys mentor – besides me – is Woody Allen. She admires his work so, and he inspires her to bring honesty to her work. Talking about the truth. Thats what my daughter says is important. And funny.
Cathys work focuses on family, growing up, relationships, and real life from a very personal perspective. (Sometimes, too personal, I think. But, I only mention it in passing, every so often, as often as possible). Family reunions, teaching, living alone, her first mammogram People love Cathy because its so easy to relate to her and her experiences.
I love seeing Cathy on television because, frankly, thats where I get to see her most often. All of our neighbors in Queens keep asking about her. I tell them to watch her on her Showtime and HBO specials. Shes been on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and youve seen her on "The Sunday Comics," on which she has a series of short films, "The Three Stoogettes", which she co-wrote and in which she starred. Did I mention that she was chosen to appear on the last two "Tonight Show Anniversary" shows? I am particularly proud of that. And shes been nominated two years in a row for the Female Comic of the Year at The American Comedy Awards. (She won the second year, in 92. Oh, I already told you that).
I cant even count all the shows shes been on. Her father has them all on tape. When Cathys away, performing in places like London, or Scotland, or Australia, we can pop in a tape – her father does that – and feels a little bit closer to her. Sometimes I even listen to her album, "Women of the Night," and make believe that shes here.
I dont want to get too emotional. But I do want to say that Im very proud of my daughter, Cathy, and what she is doing with her life. Besides being a talented and creative woman and a hard worker, she is a good daughter, sister, and friend.
I just wish she would call more often.