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Whatever Happened To The Jerky Boys?

King of Queens

It’s Friday, December 30, 2011, and the last day the Palace Diner in Flushing, Queens, a local favorite for nearly four decades, will be open for business. As the staff boxes up silverware, Kamal pushes a large bacon cheeseburger past his wide smile. He left the Jerky Boys over a decade ago but still enjoys some perks. “I’ve gotten crew and actors to work cheap because they remembered me,” says Kamal, a 6'3" bear of a dude whose dark hair is now tinged with gray. “One guy donated 40,000 feet of film.”

What angers Kamal the most is that Johnny calls himself the “sole creator of the Jerky Boys,” even going so far as to say that he created Kamal’s char­acters based on various family members and friends in his life. 

Since the split Johnny has released two Jerky Boys iPhone apps. He also revives the Rizzo and Rosenberg voices on radio appearances and on his podcast. He believes the material still has legs and is eager to repurpose the Jerky Boys for an animated series, most likely without Kamal. “I’ve been holding the torch,” Johnny says. “I gave Kamal props for spreading the tapes out, but the whole franchise, I have to keep it going.”

Illustrated by Sean Taggart | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

[Check out the Tarbash Soundboard here!]
Kamal says he buried the hatchet when he and Johnny last spoke back in 2009. Johnny says they just “touched base.” They also have different takes on another significant moment in their history. 

At the 1995 Grammys, Johnny and Kamal walked what felt like a mile of red carpet, past the hordes of paparazzi and photographers. “You know how people slow down to make sure their picture is snapped?” says Johnny. “We just kept walking, like a Three Stooges thing.” 

Kamal laughs. He remembers it a little bit differently. “When we were nominated for the Grammy and the limo dropped us off, we walked past every photographer, and not one took a picture of us,” he says. “I asked John, ‘Do you still think we’re as important as you believe we are?’”

“He said nothing.” 

Want more funny stuff? Check out Comedian Trevor Noah and Spain's Answer to the Dog Poop Problem.


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