I had a bit of a time travel experience last week.
Or at least I thought that’s what it was at first.
It all started with a voicemail that I mistook for a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton robo-call.
The male caller spoke in a loud, well-rehearsed, full-charge-ahead voice. He was entirely too cheerful for what my ear was prepared or willing to hear.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
I listened while my fingers did some warm-up exercises in preparation for an especially emphatic delete.
Then the man said who he was, and everything around me folded in on itself and began to swirl in a time-space continuum blur.
“Um. What the Pardon my French?” I said to the universe.
I was so very confused. I looked down to see if I was wearing jelly shoes and stirrup pants. I checked the walls of my cubicle for Corey Haim and Ricky Schroder posters. I searched my purse for trickle-down economics.
And then I texted my two closest friends, which brought me right back to the present time because no one could text in 1987, not even Al Gore.
“Skippy from ‘Family Ties’ just left me a voicemail,” I told them.
They responded appropriately with a “SHUT UP” and a “What” spelled with 72 A’s and multiple interrobangs, proving you are never too old to be 12 again.
Marc Price, a standup comic who played Skippy, the sweet and nerdy neighbor hopelessly in love with Mallory on 1980s sitcom “Family Ties,” is on Hilton Head Island through Sunday to headline at the Comedy Club of Hilton Head in Shelter Cove Harbor.
And he will gladly talk to you about Skippy and “Family Ties” if that’s what you want to do. He is not one of those celebrities who will ruin your day because you haven’t kept up on his IMDB profile. You don’t have to duck if you call him Skippy.
In fact, he has fully embraced his Skippy-dom, which is just so refreshing.
“Yeah,” he said on the phone Monday, laughing. “I’m still milking that.”
This is only partially true, though. I think I figured out his trick. He leads with “Skippy,” but leaves you with Marc Price.
“It’s not all Mallory jokes,” he said.
Since “Family Ties,” Price has starred in movies, his most recent, “Wig’d Out,” was released earlier this year. He has also written and produced shows for E!, the Food Network and Animal Planet. And he is the creator of “National Lampoon’s Funny Money” on GSN.
Everything he has done in his life has revolved around laughter, from the time he was a baby and on stage with his father, comedian Al Bernie. He later performed with his dad and did stand-up as a kid on “The Merv Griffin Show.” And now he has his comedy tour “Make America Laugh Again.”
No wonder I thought it was a Trump robo-call.
Though Price is doing exactly what he wants in life with his career, it’s not necessarily the path his mom, who was in show business before becoming a police officer, would have chosen for him.
“She tells people, ‘Oh no. He joined ISIS,’ ” he said.
This is clearly payback for him telling his friends that she was a stripper.
“They’d see the uniform and the handcuffs,” he said.
You might be wondering why Price is coming to Hilton Head. It’s not really that complicated. It’s beautiful here, and he wants to swim in warm water.
“There are sharks in the water,” I told him.
“You don’t scare me,” he said.
Oh. And he wants to Rollerblade on our paths. So if you want to be among the only people in the world who can say they saw a 1980s sitcom star taking part in a 1990s trend while existing in 2016, be sure to say hi to the one guy on the island that you see Rollerblading this week.
Because that is him.
Or just go to his shows, where he’ll share some stories about growing up in Hollywood. He told me some already, and they’re really cool. (He took girls to the bar at the fake “Cheers.” How 1980s is that?) Also, according to IMDB, he was in the E! True Hollywood Story for Emmanuel Lewis of “Webster,” so you might want to get in on the ground floor on this one.
He also has new material he’s been working on that draws from what he calls his “awkward adult years tour.”
He told me his comedy style includes a little bit of everything and depends on what vibe he’s getting from the audience.
“I’ve been accused of being 300 comedians at once. ... I think I definitely surprise people with an edge.”
In other words, feel free to ask him how far he got with Mallory if you’re feeling saucy.
By the way, Real Life Skippy is as persistent as TV Skippy.
He didn’t just leave me that one voicemail. He called many times. And there were emails, too.
Which means, after many of my parents’ dollars getting spent on Tiger Beat and Bop! magazines and nearly 30 years, I finally get to say the thing I fantasized about when I was a preteen.
“Skippy from ‘Family Ties’ totally just called me again.”
Mallory, girl, you got it all wrong.
If you go
Marc Price, who played Skippy on “Family Ties,” headlines at the Comedy Club of Hilton Head this week. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Thought reader Bill Gladwell opens the show. The club is on the second floor of Captain Gillan’s Seafood Buffet Restaurant in Shelter Cove. Details: www.comedyclubofhiltonhead.com