published Monday, May 13th, 2013

Get Off the Couch: Comedy Catch honors Wally

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I'm glad and sad to see that The Comedy Catch is hosting a fundraiser for Wally Witkowski's family to help pay some of the bills following his long illness and subsequent death.

That seems like the perfect venue since he was a truly funny guy. Have I told you about the time years ago when he tried to get the Montana Grizzlies fans at First Tennessee Pavilion to cheer before the championship game at Finley Stadium? It was cold, but people were having a great time, and he yelled, "Go Grizzlies" and got back nothing but crickets chirping. He then yelled, "What'sa matter? All y'all's Depends froze up?" Hi-larious.

LISA DENTON: Oh, he was a hoot all right. Did I ever tell you about the first time I met Wally? I had gone by WGOW-AM for something, and no sooner had I walked in the room than he picked me up and started carrying me around.

He was a big guy, easily a foot taller and 200 pounds heavier than I was, so it was no use trying to get away. Trying to kick and squirm away from him wasn't a good idea anyway because I was wearing a skirt that day.

BARRY: That'll teach you to wear clean underwear every day, won't it?

LISA: Well, it taught me to wear underwear.

Spanky Brown and Big Ed Caylor will lead the comedy salute Thursday night. Tickets are $10.

Speaking of good causes, there's a stylist at Regis Salon at Hamilton Place, Holly Thompson, who is taking donations of any amount for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization that fights breast cancer. She'll draw a name from the list of donors Wednesday, and that person will get to "Shave Holly's Head" Saturday in Center Court at the mall.

BARRY: That is a good cause, and a brave girl.

Also brave, though in a different way, are the folks who will be riding homemade boats on the Tennessee River during The Floatila on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Hopefully, the river will calm down some. I know organizers are working with TVA, the Coast Guard and the weather gods to make sure everyone is safe. It should be a lot of fun.

It terminates at Coolidge Park, and they are suggesting boaters and spectators walk over to Renaissance Park for the Beer Over Dirt event.

LISA: I might take in Beer Over Dirt, but anything with "float" in the title is not for me. I took swimming lessons once, and even the instructors were calling me "Rock" by the second week. I try to stay away from open bodies of water, especially when a homemade craft is involved. Duct tape will only take you so far.

Beer Over Dirt, of course, is Chattanooga Brewing Co.'s answer to Wine Over Water. Proceeds go to the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, another fine cause.

Sounds like we could spend the whole week doing good deeds just by showing up.

BARRY: Drinking beer for good. I like it.

Get event details every Thursday in Chattanooga Now or online anytime at

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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