Jim Dykes - New York City Tours

Jim's Adventures in New York

Joan Rivers with Jim

My first appearance with Joan Rivers was an accident of fate

Joan Rivers did an evening call-in radio talk show on WOR-710am here in New York at 1440 Broadway between 1997-2002 from 6pm to 10pm. One evening NYC was hit with a huge thunderstorm...rain, lightning, etc. I had my earphones strapped on, listening to her show as I walked to the subway.

Joan opened her show and she suddenly sounded nervous as she was giving out the 800 number for people to call in and chat. Apparently the storm had knocked out all phone lines and she had no one to talk to....after telling a few jokes and hoping the phone lines came back, you could hear in her voice she was nervous and she suddenly said: "I need a guest-- live here in the studio! Is there anyone within the sound of my voice who can just come over to 1440 Broadway and we'll talk?"

So instead of going to the subway, I thought "poor Joan" and I rushed right over to the studio and her producer took me right on the air. We hit it off so well and just gabbed for hours about celebrities, funny New York trivia & history, my sightseeing tours, tourists, etc. That night she nicknamed me "The Celebrity Tour Guide of NY" which I still use in my promotional materials. The hours flew by and after the show, we rode down the elevator and she gave me a huge hug and said "you saved my ass tonight. I won't forget it and I owe you. If I can ever do anything for you or help you promote your tours or anything, just let me know" and she gave me a card before jumping in her car.

Miss you Joan!

Alison and Jim

And Then There is My Friend Alison

Alison Arngrim and I have known each other for many years thru mutual friends we share in Los Angeles and New York. For years Alison has done a one-woman show about growing up in Hollywood as a child star. After laughing at her stories for years, I was one of her friends who kept telling her over and over to WRITE THE BOOK! So she finally wrote her best-selling memoir CONFESSIONS OF A PRAIRIE BITCH, in which she thanks me on the Acknowledgments Page. On her list of "People without whom this book could not have been published" I'm the first one.

Carol Burnett, Alison Arngrim, and Jim Dykes

Recently Alison was in New York and invited me backstage to meet Carol Burnett so they could swap memoirs and meet each other. As it turns out, one of the women who handled Alison's book tour was handling Carol's most recent book tour.

Charlotte Rae and Jim Dykes

Alison's P.R. guy handles many Hollywood personalities...from Dawn Wells (Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island) to Tippi Hedren (Hitchcock's The Birds and Melanie Griffith's Mom), the cast of Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons cast, The Brady Bunch and many other classic shows. He called me one day and explained that legendary comic actress Charlotte Rae (she's 90!) would be in New York for a week of TV appearances and promotions and he needed someone in New York to assist including helping her set up a dinner event at Sardi's.Charlotte and I took a picture underneath her Sardi's caricature as "Mrs. Garrett" on The Facts of Life.

Marlo Thomas and Jim Dykes

Meeting Marlo

In New York, you meet everybody! Last year a bunch of friends included me in a theatre evening to see the hilarious Off-Broadway comedy CLEVER LITTLE LIES starring Marlo Thomas. Well, what do you know...after the performance Marlo joined us for drinks across the street from the theatre. After chatting with her for an hour, we all began to leave and nobody had taken a picture with her. So finally I said "Marlo, would you mind if I took a picture with you?" She said in her very funny voice "Well honey I've been here an hour....I was waiting for SOMEBODY to stop being polite and ask me!"

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Jim as a Macy's Santa Claus

One Christmas at age 21, I worked as a Santa Claus at Macy's famous Herald Square store and met all the people in Macy's Special Productions including Jean McFaddin (who ran the parade) and her assistant Mary Burns. I volunteered to be in the Macy's Parade for FOUR years! Twice I was a clown holding a giant balloon, another year I was a Toy Soldier standing next to Santa & Mrs Claus at the end of the parade, and one year I was the coachman on Cinderella's float. Cinderella and Prince Charming that year were soap stars Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos from ALL MY CHILDREN. Kelly now has her morning talk show LIVE WITH KELLY & RYAN (Seacrest) mornings at 9am. Here's a picture of me in the parade and also me as a Macy's Santa Claus.


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