Jackie Martling Biography
Jackie Martling is an American stand-up comedian, writer, radio personality, author and actor also known as “Jackie the Joke Man”. He is best known as the former head writer for The Howard Stern Show from 1983 to 2001.
He was born and raised on Long Island, New York. Martling began a career in stand-up comedy in 1979, developing a blue comedy act in local venues. He self-produced his first of three comedy albums during this time, What Did You Expect? of 1979. After becoming involved with Rick Dees’s radio show as a regular joke feature, Martling sent his albums to New York City radio personality Howard Stern, who invited him as a weekly guest and writer in 1983. This led to his hiring as head writer from 1986 to 2001. He released further albums during his tenure, including Sgt. Pecker of 1996, Joke Man of 1996, Hot Dogs + Donuts of 1998.
Since his departure from The Howard Stern Show, Martling has undertaken various projects, including acting roles in television and film, and continues to perform stand-up. From 2006 to 2014, he was the host of Jackie’s Joke Hunt on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. He released his first music album, Happy Endings of 2008. Martling has written two books, Disgustingly Dirty Joke Book of 1998 and The Joke Man: Bow to Stern of 2017.
Jackie Martling Age
Jackie was born on February 14, 1948.
Jackie Martling Net Worth
The American comedian, comedy writer and radio personality has a net worth of $2 million.
Jackie Martling Wife
Jackie Martling married Nancy Sirianni who is his former wife, where they shared vows to be with each other. But the couple stayed together for a long time up until 2003 due to their personal problems. They don’t have any children. After his divorce, he became like a freed bird where he dated other people, but none of them turned out to be serious.
He dated Emily Conners in 2012, where he spent most of his time but separated after a short period. There were rumors to be that Jackie was in a relationship with Alisha Klass but, not publically announced information is available. Right now he is focusing his career and helping himself in his old life.
Jackie Martling Career
Martling became the singer and guitarist after returning to New York, in The Off-Hour Rockers with guitarist Chris Bates and keyboardist Herbie Werner, with whom incorporated jokes, banjos and the kazoo in their sets. He also performed solo shows and told jokes during his act. So as to accommodate the band’s gear, Martling drove a used hearse. Martling took stand-up comedy more seriously when, in 1976, he attended an open-mic night at Catch a Rising Star comedy club in New York City.
“The auditioner bailed out early and the MC wasn’t in the room, so I jumped on stage and told a joke, one that I was sure the entire world knew. The MC, David Sayh, came back in the room and saw me up there but let me finish”. Sayh encouraged Martling to continue performing as a joke teller, and soon found out that “few people knew any of the zillions of jokes I knew”.
By 1979, Bates and Werner disbanded the Off Hour Rockers to start a new group. At that point, Martling started to pursue stand-up comedy full-time, developing his stage act of songs and dirty jokes. Martling met the likes of comedians Eddie Murphy, Rob Bartlett and Bob Nelson during a gig at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, New York. They would perform for several minutes at Martling’s gigs.
He set up a “dial-a-joke” telephone line from his parent’s attic in 1979, Jackie’s “Use Your Finger! (516) 922-WINE”, which remains in operation to this day. The same year, Martling released his first comedy album, What Did You Expect?! of 1979, which he recorded himself using his own recording equipment. This was followed by Goin’ Ape! of 1980. Martling made a breakthrough in 1981 when Dave Lipson, writer and producer of Rick Dees’s morning radio show on KIIS in Los Angeles, discovered his joke line and played his daily joke updates on Dees’s program.
The exposure led Martling to star in a designated joke segment for Dees, who went on to give Martling his nickname, “The Joke Man”. Also in 1981, Martling released his third album, Normal People Are People You Don’t Know That Well of 1981.
The Howard Stern Show
In August 1982, is when Martling first heard of radio personality Howard Stern when the owner of Garvin’s comedy club in Washington, D.C., where Stern performed during his time at WWDC, suggested to Martling that he send his comedy albums to him. By early 1983, Martling had mailed his three comedy albums to Howard Stern, then less than a year into his stint in afternoons at WNBC in New York City.
He started liking his material and invited him on as a guest in February 1983, which soon turned into a weekly guest spot without pay. Stern then began a regular segment titled “Stump The Comedian”, a contest where callers were challenged to start a joke that Martling had to provide the punchline to, otherwise they win prizes. Following the show’s cancellation from WNBC in 1985, Stern stayed in New York City and relocated to afternoons on WXRK.
The actor was subsequently hired as a writer on The Howard Stern Show when it moved to the mornings slot in February 1986, initially for two days a week. It took around two months, Martling was hired full-time and became known as the head writer who would take lines written by himself and sound effects and producer Fred Norris and “determine what goes in front of Howard”. Martling contributed material to radio bits along with Norris and song parodies and is featured and credited on Stern’s television shows, home videos, and albums.
A puppet that resembled Martling in 1994 known on the show as the “Jackie puppet”, began to feature on Howard Stern on the E! channel and voiced by show impressionist Billy West. Martling continued to release further albums during his time on the show, including Sgt. Pecker of 1996, Joke Man of 1996, Hot Dogs + Donuts of 1998 and F Jackie of 2000.
Martling in early 1998, was absent on the show for six weeks while his contract with WXRK owner Infinity Broadcasting Corporation was being renegotiated. During this time, he refused to be filmed on the E! television show until he had also secured a contract from the channel. He always took time off to negotiate his contract “three or four times” throughout his time on the show.
Martling in February 2001 made history when he became the first comedian to perform at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York City.
Stern announced Martling’s departure from the show on March 5, 2001 after negotiations fell through once more. Martling, who was earning $578,000 at the time, asked for $1 million for the next five years, but took his lawyer’s advice and declined the station’s final offer of $650,000. The deadline to accept having passed, Martling twice attempted to accept the offer but was declined. He has since added other reasons to his departure, including his inability to sleep and perform effectively for the show, having to announce his failing marriage on the air and the inability to address his alcohol abuse had he continued.
A newspaper in August 2001 reported his wish to return, but Stern declined, partly due to the Win Jackie’s Money contest he had already started, which involved comedians auditioning for Martling’s place in the studio by sitting in on some shows. Comedian and actor Artie Lange in October 2001 replaced Martling for a tenure that lasted until December 2009.
Following his departure, Martling returned as a guest during the show’s final week on terrestrial radio prior to its relocation to Sirius Satellite Radio, on December 15, 2005. He returned to the show on Sirius on March 13, 2007, and has since returned in the studio and by phone. A two-day special on Martling’s time on the show titled Stern Spotlight: Jackie Martling aired in May 2007.
Jackie Martling Books
- Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling’s Disgustingly Dirty Joke Book (1998)
- The Joke Man: Bow to Stern (2017)