Comedian Dobie Maxwell grew up in Milwaukee and has been making people laugh for years, but he wasn't laughing after being involved in two local bank robberies.
Now he's writing it all down in a new book called "Monkey in the Middle." He stopped by "Wisconsin's Morning News" Monday to preview his incredible life story.
"There's so many twists and turns, and people said 'You gotta write a book about it!' That was the hardest thing, to go in my head. Hemmingway once said 'to write a book, you basically sit down and open a vein'. And to go back there in my head and go over and over the details, it was very difficult for me."
Maxwell explained to the "Wisconsin's Morning News" crew that he had no idea he was helping with the first robbery until well after it was done.
"It's going to be a guy trip," Maxwell recalls. "Four guys from Milwaukee going to Vegas. We're going to have fun the week before Christmas. Well while I was renting the car, my friend robbed the bank. I had $105,000 worth of stolen money in my rental car as we drove from Milwaukee to Vegas, and he didn't tell me until almost a year later."
After learning that his friend was going to rob the bank again, Maxwell recollects his reactions to watching the second robbery unfold before him.
"I'll never forget it, around the side of the bank comes a man in a gorilla mask, a tuxedo, helium balloons (the good ones, not the little ones, he got the good ones), and a package. So he's waddling, walking like a gorilla would walk, and I'm thinking 'This is the most brilliant scheme I've ever seen in my entire life, or the stupidest. It's nowhere in between. He's going to get shot, or he's going to get away with it."
"Monkey in the Middle" is available to buy at Eckhartz Press. Maxwell will also be having a release party for the book on March 21 at Shank Hall.
To hear the full segment with Dobie Maxwell as he recollects this true crazy tale, click the Soundcloud player above.