Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling was born and raised on Long Island, NY, earning a degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University in 1971. He initially pursued a career in rock & roll with his college band the Pillowcayse, and after relocating to Denver, CO, in 1973, he formed a new group, the Off-Hours Rockers; however, Martling always harbored a love for comedy, and was famed among his friends for a seemingly inexhaustible supply of jokes. After the band dissolved in 1978, he began working comic bits into his solo musical act, eventually trying out his stand-up routine on open-mike night at New York City's Catch a Rising Star. He continued polishing his craft in small clubs, and in 1979 issued his debut LP, What Did You Expect? Martling released two more albums, 1980's Goin' Ape! and 1981's Normal People Are People You Don't Know That Well, sending all three records to then-unknown New York radio personality Howard Stern. By 1986, he was a full-time member of Stern's show, later becoming the program's head writer. Despite call-in listeners' regular admonition "Eff Jackie!," Martling enjoyed sufficient popularity to issue a series of new comedy records, among them Sgt. Pecker, Hot Dogs & Donuts, Snart, and The Very Best of Jackie Martling's Talking Joke Book Cassettes, Vol. 1, and maintained a steady schedule of live dates as well.