"Friend zone" was coined during a 1994 episode of Friends, when Joey tells Ross he may have waited too long to let Rachel know how he feels about her (spoiler alert: they eventually end up together). It may have been the first time we heard the term, but it wasn't the first time we saw a dorky sitcom nerd in the throes of unrequited love. For the full 1982-1989 run of NBC's '80s tentpole Family Ties, comedian Marc Price played Irwin "Skippy" Handelman, the neighbor kid with a crush on Mallory Keaton (Justine Bateman). Price was only 14 when Family Ties went on the air and, like so many of his fellow child actors, when his show ended, Hollywood didn't really have a place for him. Rather than go the way of so many of his fellow child actors, Price turned back to his first love: stand-up.
"I've been doing this a long time," Price said. "I don't want to age myself, but I started young."
The comedian isn't joking. At age 9, he opened for his father, who was a classic Catskills comic. At 14, Price performed on The Merv Griffin Show, which is what sparked his seven-year stint as Skippy. Now at 48, the seasoned comedian is sharing his stand-up knowledge with the next generation: Price and Boise's Funniest Person 2014 winner Kaz Gable are hitting the road for a short Idaho tour, playing Jerome, Pocatello, Stanley, Ketchum and Twin Falls, and ending with a one-night only show in Boise at Liquid on Tuesday, Feb. 16 (show starts at 8 p.m., tickets are $15). As far as Price is concerned, he'll get as much out of working with Gable as the young comedian will—including enjoying Idaho's outdoor recreation.
"The best way to do [a tour] right now is to do it with somebody that you enjoy their company and have a good time with," Price said. "This is more like a vacation than a tour."