Voice of the Gophers: Dick Jonckowski pursues stand-up comedy

For decades, his voice has been a common thread that weaves together the fabric of Gophers sports.

Dick Jonckowski’s career spans from the diamond to the court, including a 31-year run with Minnesota
basketball that’s come to an end.

But as he steps away from one microphone, he’s picking up another.

“I don’t know if I am a standup comedian, I just tell a lot of stories,” Jonckowski said.

The man known for his calls is now creating comedy. Saturday night he took his routine to the standup stage for a benefit in St. Paul.

“As far as the humor is concerned, I just like going into any place. I don’t care if they’re eight or 80!” Jonckowski said. “I just try to make them happy.”

When he’s working at a game, sports are often spontaneous, and the same can be said for when he’s working a crowd.

“Most of the stuff is ad-libbed; sometimes I know what I am going to say when I get up,” Jonckowski said. “A lot of times I don’t, and I just ramble.”

“I see someone in the audience that reminds me of a story, and I just work off of that.”

Dick doesn’t put a timeline on how long he will be doing this, but as long as the smiles stay constant and the laughs are lengthy, it’s enough to make this show go on.

“I love to see people happy, especially if they’re down or having problems,” Jonckowski said. “Even if they’re very sickly, because I had the same thing when I went through cancer three years ago.”

“If I can make somebody happy just for a short time, to me, that makes it all worth it.”