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Road Comedy Recap: Philadelphia’s Joe DiMaggio of Comedy

Last week (Wednesday thru Saturday) I was performing at one of my two favorite clubs in America: Helium in Philadelphia (the other being the DC Improv, where I will be performing Feb 26th-28th).  The problem was I had to commute all week because I am working a day job and there is no hotel for features at Helium so it is more economically feasible for me to use Amtrak points to commute each day than to get a hotel.  I referred to myself as “the Joe Biden of comedy” on stage 4 times – it killed once, got some applause twice and bombed once (Biden famously, or not so famously according to 75% of crowds in Philly, commuted on Amtrak every day back to Delaware from DC to be with his family). What followed was the most successful merch haul of my comedy career and the most exhausting week of comedy of my life. For those not lucky enough to be in attendance here is the recap:

Wednesday

Run out of work at 4:25 – get on the A train to Penn Station to catch a 5:10 Amtrak to Philly. The single scariest experience of my life on the NYC subway occurred (even scarier than when a 400 lb black woman tries to squeeze into a seat space made for an anorexic dwarf and more scary than the time on my 7th birthday when I got on the 1 train without my mother and had to be comforted by a nice Latin lady, which may explain my life long affinity for Latin women). The train was fairly crowded and then at West 4th Street a man with no shirt on, with the build of Tommy Hearns who may have been high on bath salts (not kidding). I have never been on a subway so quiet because this guy was yelling at the top of his lungs (thankfully to no one in particular) the following (just examples, not a full transcript):

  • Don’t you fu*king look at me
  • You think I am a fu*king ni*ger?
  • If I had a knife I would fu*king slash you (especially scary because there has been a rash of slashings on the NYC subway in the last month)
  • Does this train stop at 59th street? (Ok, this one is a lie)

When I say yelling I mean Samuel L Jackson “I hope they burn in hell” times 10 yelling.  As I sat there I said to myself  “don’t look at him and only get physical if he attacks you or a hot chick sitting near you.” He moved to another car at 14th street, but that was the longest 80 seconds of my entire life.  And with that fun start to the week it was time for Philly comedy!

Nothing too interesting to say about the show other than the fact that I killed, sold CDs and avoided Shake Shack next door.  Also it was my second time opening for Bob Marley (New England comedian, not a hologram of the dead guy with one good song – I am a huge fan of Could You Be Loved), who is a funny guy, really nice and should absolutely be cast as Bill Burr’s nice older brother on a sitcom.

I got home around 12:30 am and fell asleep quickly after setting my alarm for 6 am.

Thursday

I woke up Thursday at 6 and took Cookie (my dog) out for her morning piss. I then made it to work at 8 am, allowing me to get my 8 billable hours in before going to Amtrak again.

There were no homicidal maniacs on the train on my way to Penn Station or Philly (unless I have some inner demons that have not yet surfaced).  The show went great and I sold a lot of CDs.  It was at this time that all the comedy pundits began to realize something special might be happening in Philadelphia.

My personal record for merch in a week is $410 – 6 shows in Philly in 2013 I sold that amount of albums ($10 per album or all 3 that I bring for $20). Well after good sales Wednesday and Thursday the experts began to wonder if this could be the week I break my own modern day record for CD sales by a middle act (these are unofficial stats).  I just told myself to take it one show at a time and not to worry about the week.  Went home same way and when I walked in Cookie did not even greet me, presumably because she already thinks she has a deadbeat dad and because she likes my girlfriend more than me and that is who she was getting quality time with in my absence.

Friday

When I got to the club on Friday, both shows were sold out and I made a killing after the first show.  I also had a guy come up to me and tell me he liked my appearances on The Adam Carolla Show (now the key is to turn my media presence into people who intentionally come to see me perform, not just get pleasantly surprised).  The record looked to be in my sights. But like any no-hitter in baseball – you cannot talk or think about it or you can jinx it. Well, as it turns out the second show started 30 minutes late which meant I would have not be able to sell merch because I had to catch the last train to NYC at 12:10 am.  So I left the club and walked to 30th street station and found out that my train was 40 minutes delayed. So now I had missed my chance to sell and had to sit in majestic 30th Street Station with just a pack of peanut M & Ms and some docile homeless dudes until my train arrived.

Saturday

Now with all attention firmly fixed on me as I entered the last day with a chance to pass $410 (at this point it was the comedy equivalent of DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak – and just so you know, t-shirts and other non-CD/DVD items are like the juiced ball era of merch sales. I am trying to be Hank Aaron, not Barry Bonds #Purist #Hero). I had some good and bad omens.  On the good side there was a third show added on Saturday at midnight. Not that I expected to stay to sell after that, but it meant I would have to stay for the  first two shows, both of which were sold out, since my only transportation option was a 2:20 am Greyhound.  But a bad omen occurred also. My train to Philly was at 5, but my Fresh Direct order, which was supposed to arrive between 1 and 3, was severely delayed due to computer error and would not arrive until 5 at the earliest. So I had to cancel my food order, meaning that Sunday I might not be able to eat, unless I walked two blocks to a local supermarket. But like any great athlete or performer, I blocked out this stress and just focused on having great shows.

I killed with the first crowd and sold a ton of albums and had several repeat fans come up to me saying that they had seen me before and were happy to see me opening (once again, 2016 is the year of the intentional fan support, instead of the accidental). In fact, my total stood at $340 going into the second show.  I went to Shake Shack next door to Helium to take my mind off the historic accomplishment awaiting me and order a burger.  A woman in the kitchen came up to me and said “You really killed it the other night at Helium.” I said thank you and she then told the cashier to punch in a code that gave me $3 off  of my burger.  I then headed back to Helium with the swagger of Steph Curry playing a WNBA team knowing that it was not a matter of if, but when I would break the $410 barrier.

The second show went great and I pushed the total to $450. Confetti came down from the ceiling and I got a call from President Obama.  I then had a good show on the third show despite being in a sleep deprived semi coma. I left the club and made a 1.2 mile walk to the Greyhound bus station, which, surprisingly was fairly clean and did not have the feeling of a Taliban or Crips meeting place like many bus stations around America.  When I boarded my bus at 2:15 am I realized I was on a bus that President Trump might actually drone strike.  It was a few black people, 377 Mexicans and 220 Asians.  I heard almost no English spoken and realized that this Greyhound bus was basically the 2016 Underground Railroad or a Latin/Asian re-boot of Mad Max: Fury Road.

The bus arrived ten minutes early in NYC and I made my way home for a restful night of sleep, probably already awash in the Zika virus from that bus ride, but also swimming in cash like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal.  All in all a net gain.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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Training Cookie – The Finalists For Who Will Train My Dog

It has been just over a month since I got Cookie, my dog, from a Tennessee rescue organization for golden retrievers. Cookie is just over a year old and very puppy-ish in her behavior.  Peeing at times out of both joy and anxiety is normal I am told, but she also has a crippling fear of cars and especially trucks and emergency vehicles.  This fear has become somewhat problematic as it looks half the time like I am dragging her to lethal injection when trying to get her to the park. At this point when she even sees the leash she runs to her bed. In the grand scheme of things she is a good dog and it could be a lot worse considering she was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park (an almost guaranteed path to doggy stripping), but the time has come to get serious about this her training and mental well being, despite the increased forearm strength I am gaining from pulling her around the East 50s. But instead of going with some amateur dog training entrepreneur who will simply try to give her treats to induce good behavior (she is so scared outside that she won’t even take a treat) I am going to elite trainers who have made heroes and champions over the last few decades. So here are the finalists to train Cookie and their pitch to win over Cookie – feel free to vote in the comments section below:

1) Tony “Duke” Evers – The man trained two heavyweight champions – Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa.  Proved to be a voice of reason when Apollo was not taking Rocky seriously and provided emotion and passion when Rocky needed it.  His advice to Cookie: “NOW THIS IS IT! I NEED YOU TO WALK TO THE PARK!! ALL YOUR LOVE, ALL YOUR PEE, ALL YOUR POOP! EVERYTHING YOU GOT!”

2) Mr. Miyagi – Turned a lanky wuss into a local Karate champion, so given Cookie’s fears this may be a good approach for her. Plus he works for bonsai trees, so he is in my income bracket.  His advice to Cookie: “Car-uh no-uh hit-uh you. Sniff-uh the pavement-uh. No look-uh at-uh truck.”

3) The Janitor in Rudy – A man who has seen hard times and has regrets may be a good trainer for her since he may see the possibility of redemption in Cookie. His motivation for Cookie: “You’re 3 foot nothing, 40 and nothing, you don’t have a spec of courage in you. But you are the dog of J-L Cauvin and in this life you don’t have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself (forceful, proud clap).”

4) Johnny from Dirty Dancing – A man with great physical abilities and a history of getting young girls to do what he wants may be the right combination for Cookie to respond to.  He was able to teach Baby to dance well despite a nose so large that it  threw off her balance so maybe he can give Cookie more physical confidence.  Johnny’s advice, however, was to fu*k Cookie, which I am pretty sure is not legal.

5) Coach Cuzo from Best of the Best – he is fat and it is hard to believe he ever competed in kickboxing, but his Darth Vader-esque voice was enough to coach and inspire the US kickboxing team. His advice to Cookie in a baritone of confidence: “Walk.”

6) Rocky Balboa - a champion and a trainer to up and coming fighter Adonis Creed (who for some dumb reason goes by “Donnie” instead of Adonis), but his greatest work was turning an HIV positive hillbilly with a mullet into a heavyweight champion. His advice for Cookie was: “You know, like, you think that these like trucks are your enemy, but you maybe have, like a different enemy, like maybe, it’s you that’s your biggest enemy – ALRIGGHT COOOOKAY!”

7) Full Metal Jacket Drill Sergeant – my preferred choice because other than Cookie’s adorable face she really could use the Private Pyle treatment. And since Cookie cannot fire a rifle this would be a much safer training environment for the drill sergeant. His technique for Cookie is as follows: “Holy sh*t Corporal Cookie – you look like every mutt had its way with you in Kentucky. You are scared of trucks you fu*king moron, but you should have been worried about that train that every mangy mutt ran on you in your hometown. You disgust me – DID I SAY YOU COULD LICK YOUR ASS?!”

So those are your finalists to train Cookie.  Leave your vote in the comments if you feel so inspired.  Here is a picture of Cookie in her usual state of anxiety outside:

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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Road Weekend Comedy Recap: Highs and Buffalos

This weekend I was in Buffalo, NY at Helium Comedy Club featuring for Donnell Rawlings (best known as “Ashy Larry” on Chappelle’s Show).  Like most of my road work the first step is always some needlessly arduous travel.  Enter an 8.5 hour Amtrak trip to Buffalo.  I rail against this (PUN) all the time, but what is with the bare foot phenomenon?  It seems any time anyone in America is on any form of transportation for more than an hour off come the shoes.  Other than walking and texting this has become my biggest social pet peeve.  (Note to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders – first candidate to propose legislation banning both walking/texting and bare feet on public transportation gets my coveted endorsement).  So after the long trip I arrived in Buffalo and made the mile long walk to my hotel (road gigs for me are as much as about doing whatever it takes to maximize profit as it is about doing comedy, so no unnecessary cabs).  I arrived at my hotel and was pleasantly surprised that Hotwire.com had given me a swank ass hotel for only $83/night (I cannot publicize where I stay beforehand anymore because I have a mentally ill stalker who calls hotels where I am staying at).  The Buffalo Hyatt Regency is probably the nicest hotel I have stayed on the road in some time and you could tell it was nice because it was right next to the Buffalo Convention Center and had a lot of gay employees.

Digital Elevator Panel! #ComedyMogul

The first night of shows was fun and I ended up selling 25 CDs the first night. To put that in perspective – a feature selling 25 CDs on a Thursday show is somewhere between Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in a single game and Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon.  Little did I know I would only sell 5 the rest of the weekend.

The next day I was going to walk 4.5 miles to see and review Kung Fu Panda 3 (review here (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=p6PDygqij3c)), but about .5 miles into the walk it began snowing pretty heavily so I hopped on a bus that just so happened to be going on a straight line to the theater.  I sat down on the bus and like most public buses in America I cannot fit in the seats. So sitting on a 45 degree angle my knees jutted out , but left plenty of room to get by.  Except for the mentally disturbed man who would get on at the next stop.  He saw me from the front of the bus (I was 2/3 toward the back) and he started warning me “You better move them legs – I am coming back!”  I said “I don’t fit in the seat,”  And he said “you better find a way!”  And then he stood at the front of the bus arguing with the bus driver. I sort of wanted a confrontation because walking around Buffalo had made me feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, but it never materialized.

The Friday shows were both strong, but I only sold 5 CDs after the first show and none after the second.  The real highlight of the day was the vanilla bean cheesecake at TGIFridays that I had near my hotel that afternoon. I highly recommend it if you are near a TGIFridays.  And they make a very solid bacon burger for a chain restaurant.

Saturday was mostly spent with me in my hotel watching Iowa news reports on CNN.  Before my shows I went to Mass at a nearby Church, St Michael’s.  I prayed for three things: my family, people I hate (“those who have trespassed against me”) and to sell some merch.

St Michael's in Buffalo

Well that night I sold zero CDs.  I guess like people selling stuff at the Temple, Jesus metaphorically turned over my merch table for asking for sales in Church.  After the first show ( I murdered both sold out shows on Saturday) my merch table was placed in possibly the worst place to sell, other than the green room bathroom. Zero foot traffic. Zero. I couldn’t even meet someone to awkwardly reject my CDs.  You miss all the shots you don’t take type shit.

Someone get me an uber to where the people leaving the club actually are so I can sell some shit!

So I drowned my anger in a piece of delicious peanut butter swirl pie (if you are a comedian working any of the Helium clubs – highly recommend).  I sold none on the second show because I left after my set to catch some sleep before my 7 am train back to NYC.  But here is a quick bit from Saturday to show how hard I was killing it:

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=MtuCZiFONO0)

The next day it was off to Amtrak at 7 am (it began raining halfway through my walk to the station, at which point I raised my arms like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank. Another successful comedy trip. I just had to endure another 8.5 hours of bare feet on Amtrak. And then I got home and my dog Cookie pissed all over the kitchen. #Blessed

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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The Origin Story of Cookie Cauvin

It is the beginning of a new year so it is a time for people to claim that they will attack 2016 with a new fervor and sense of purpose (they won’t) or to self-aggrandize through reflections on all they learned and grew from in the previous year (they didn’t).  I have opted for a different approach.  Rather than focus on myself I opted to adopt a dog. #Hero.  Her name is Cookie and she, to the best guesses of dog people, is half golden retriever, half beagle (sort of like the canine equivalent of Kathy Moriarty and Robert DeNiro’s marriage in Raging Bull).  I began my adoption process in earnest in the Summer of 2015, when I realized doing legal work from home AND having a comedy arc with less promise than Stephen Hawking’s MMA career provided me with a lot of free time that I could give to a dog in need.  I expressed interest in some dogs (always small – my building has a weight limit on dogs, usually pure breed golden retrievers and cis female (they are usually calmer than cis male dogs and call me old fashioned, but I didn’t want a trans female dog) – the organization Adopt A Golden – Knoxville (http://www NULL.adoptagoldenknoxville NULL.org/) – specializes in golden retriever rescue), but never was matched up because of high demand (and most people had large yards, kids, hope, etc. so they got preference for a lot of the dogs).

Sidebar – I never even realized golden retrievers needed rescuing – I thought they were like the busty blonds of the dog world – when was the last time you saw a chick that looked like Anna Nicole Smith or Pamela Anderson homeless?  I thought it worked that way with dogs too.  Apparently not.  There are several golden retriever rescue operations, though because goldens are the best dogs in the world – there is a lot of demand from people who want to tell you they rescued a dog.  Let me be clear – I didn’t rescue sh*t. I adopted.  #HonestHero

OK – so after missing out on a couple of dogs I started to get discouraged.  Then in mid Fall the organization got a group of golden retrievers from Turkey (I wrote jokes about this and then a month later CNN actually ran a story about how in Turkey Goldens were a status symbol, but then when people found out that puppies don’t stay that way they began abandoning them,  So I saw some of those goldens, but also a small mixed golden named Olivia.  She was not a Turkey dog, but rather, she was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park starving and scavenging for food. She had mange, a bad skin condition, and also was working as a stripper at a full nude club… on the day shift.  In other words, Olivia was living a very rough life.  But clearly she had a resilient spirit because she survived. However, she was sent to a shelter in Kentucky with a high kill rate (Southern states love the death penalty for all species). Hearing about this, Olivia was sent to Adopt a Golden – Knoxville who took her in to avoid her going from the pole to the electric chair.  They got her healthy of her skin issues, fed her good food and then got her into a foster home where she became a very sweet dog that liked to play with toys.  I expressed interest in Olivia and I think because I am mixed race, the people in Knoxville said (in Southern sheriff voice from the 1950s): “Pure bred goldens are for the WHHHHHHHITE Man. Give this mixed bred pup to the product of an unhhhhholy miscegenation!!!”  Or they just thought I would be a nice pairing with her.

So in mid December I got the word that I would be given Olivia, but I declared in a Roots like statement – “Her name is Cookie!”  She was then spayed and had to spend another 11 days recovering in Tennessee (or just wanting word to get to NYC that she could now raw dog consequence free – come on – a cute trailer park Southern chick? You know she is DTF until I get her back to a normal life #FatherFigure).

Cookie needed to learn her name one way or another

So on January 1st I drove with my girlfriend to Spring Valley, NY to pick up Cookie in a strip mall where an organization, Pooches on the Move, shuttles adopted dogs up North to waiting families.  It is like if Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber ran the Underground Railroad. We arrived early, got some Burger King (“new me, new body” lasted 21 hours in 2016), and then waited in the parking lot (it felt more like I was waiting for a meeting with Waingro in Heat, than for a dog).  Then a large van approached at 10:20 pm and numerous people emerged from cars in this parking lot.  We all made our way over and, yes it was the van!  Now Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE!) was on the van for approximately 14 hours so when she came out she was excited, freaked out… and went to the wrong couple.  Yes, the woman in the van walked her over to the wrong people and they had a look like “we didn’t order this” so I asked one of the van women “Is that Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE – *whip*)?” And she said yes.  So already I missed that initial moment of joy of greeting Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE *whip* (tears)). Just proving she was a woman of ill repute from the south, thirsty for anyone to pet her.  Well, I took her leash anyway because I am a good man (like when Smith Jared hugged Samantha in Sex and the City, even after she had just gotten plowed by Richard the Gap-Toothed Hotel guy, while Smith was at the hotel waiting for her) and I jogged her around the strip mall before getting her into the back seat of the car.

This is how the Canine Harriet Tubman travels north

So far she has sh*t twice inside my apartment, but she is on a 2 sh*ts in a row outside streak, which I hope will continue until one of us dies (I have Cookie in my apartment death pool, which may explain why she keeps telling me to eat more cookies), although she has yet to piss outside.  And a quick note to the makers of wee wee pads – either they aren’t “super absorbent” or my dog urinates the same stuff that dripped from the Alien’s mouth in Alien.  As expected she has nothing but happiness for my girlfriend and mixed feelings for me (I told her, I don’t care how they got down in Kentucky trailer parks, but she can’t get on or in my bed).  She is also terrified of fire engines to the point that this morning (Sunday – Jan 3) she forced her way out of her leash and sprinted one full avenue faster than I could ever run, even in college when I was playing basketball (I have since adjusted her leash to”Almost Eric Garner” level). The good news is that she ran right to my door and waited for the doorman to let her in.  The bad news is that she is fu*king crazy.  Maybe in Kentucky fire departments shoot dogs of color and she doesn’t want to be about that life.  Silver lining she is the fastest and strongest 40 lbs dog I have ever met – so if Petco offers doggy cross fit classes please let me know. At least if she reforms her whorish ways with exercise she won’t turn into one of those enlightened “spiritual” chicks.

Oh well, here is to the birth of a new friendship, new levels of stress and happiness and me having to say no to the 1.8 road gigs I am on pace to get this year.  Here is a pictorial history of Cookie in case you are illiterate and don’t enjoy reading the best comedy writing since Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain.

Cookie when she was moved to AGK. Her coat was nasty as hell

Patchy and terrified is how she looked when arriving in Tennessee

After some eating and medical attention she started to look a little better and cuter

After weeks in foster care (and getting spayed) she was starting to look very healthy

 

This is Cookie in the car leaving with us. Hey - why the terrified look again??!!

 

And this is Cookie on her bed in her new home. God help us all.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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The Top Ten Righteous Prick Episodes of 2015

Since it is the last week of the year it is time for me to remind old fans that there were actually some episodes of my podcast worth listening to, and to enlighten recent additions to the fan base that there were some great episodes of my podcast this year you may have missed – thus giving you reasons to stick with it in 2016 (and hopefully bring new fans into the fold because this linear growth over the last 4 years is not getting anyone paid – I NEED EXPONENTIAL!).  Podomatic links are included (all episodes are archived there, but going forward subscribing on iTunes is the best way to listen). So without further adieu, these are the ten episodes you should listen to if you have not already:

10) Episode 173 – All Things Comedy with Josh Homer – for loyal listeners of the podcast, Josh Homer is a comedian who has emerged as a sort of comedy life coach for me over the last several years.  As usual he offers sound advice and comedy insights that always make for some of the most listened to episodes of any year.  Listen to the episode here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-04-20T20_20_12-07_00)

9) Episode 196 – Comedy Fam – This was one of my best solo episodes for everything people either love or hate about the solo episodes – lots of manic impressions, honesty about hypocrisy in comedy and heartfelt praise for supporters of the podcast, in particular The Black Guy Who Tips podcast.  Listen to it here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-09-28T18_38_11-07_00)

8 ) Episode 206 – The 4 Rs of the Republican Party – Several topics are touched on in this episode, but the second half is my discussion of what I think Trump and Obama tell us about America in 2015 and I think you will at least find it interesting if nothing else. Listen to it here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-12-08T06_55_48-08_00)

7) Episode 190 – Bernie’s Life Matters with The Black Guy Who Tips - To discuss why the Black Lives Matter movement was going so hard after Bernie Sanders I brought in the man who started the trending hashtag #BernieSoBlack, Rod of The Black Guy Who Tips for a funny and then engaging discussion.  On a non-episode related note no one has done more to help build my fan base in the last few years then Rod.  So give a listen to this episode here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-08-17T21_44_51-07_00)

6) Episode 161 – Kendrick Lamar with Chris Lamberth – Normally we discuss movies, but this fun tour through 2015 rap as I try to figured out why Kendrick Lamar is the king of rap despite having music that largely sounds poetry slamming with non-catchy beats (my opinion) is probably the best stuff Chris and I have done on my podcast. Check it out here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-01-26T15_26_17-08_00)

5) Episode 193 – We Aren’t Going to Make It with Rob Maher – While on the road I recorded this episode with one of only two headliners to ever ask to have me work with them (the other being Patrice O’Neal – so this guy is either in good company or going to die soon) and it is a great and honest talk about doing comedy when it appears your break may never come.  The sound on this episode is not great, but it is still definitely worth a listen.  Check it out here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-09-07T11_48_45-07_00)

4) Episode 170 – Fast and Furious with Brandon Collins – On this episode I pledged to go on a one week marathon of all 7 Fast and Furious films.  This episode is one of the most purely fun episodes, if not the most fun, of the year.  Come for the movies, stay for my impression of F & F techno music.  Listen here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-03-30T20_29_38-07_00)

3) Episode 181 – Making the Bed and Cutting Your Losses – On this episode (which was part of a streak of well regarded solo episodes where I got very personal on many matters while discussing my comedy mortality) I make a comparison of my comedy career to Apollo Creed that I think makes the episode worth listening to by itself.  Take a listen here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-06-15T18_14_03-07_00)

2) Episode 183 – The Origin Story of J-L Cauvin – For anyone who has ever wondered why I talk about quitting comedy so much, but have yet to pull the trigger this is the episode that goes back into my basketball career and my family life to explain.  Listen here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-06-30T09_15_39-07_00)

1) Episode 200 – Politics, Religion and Comedy with Mike Payne – For the second year in a row (I think), Mike Payne is the guest from the #1 episode of the year. Perhaps it is our similar background religiously, our similar political beliefs (with Mike more well versed than me) or our similar bitterness towards stand up comedy, but these episodes are always fun and thought provoking and I knew after we recorded this one that it would probably be #1.  Listen to this one here (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-10-26T18_54_14-07_00) or his other two appearances, which easily could have both been in the top 10 as well, Episode 188 – Rusty Trump (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-08-03T19_23_53-07_00) or Episode 164 – 50 Shades of Feminism (http://righteouspk NULL.podomatic NULL.com/entry/2015-02-16T19_17_27-08_00))

Thanks to all my guests (including the Mt Rushmore of guests: Rod, Josh, Chris and Mike) and all the listeners and subscribers who stuck with the show through some low episodes and low moments. Hopefully newer listeners will catch up on these episodes and follow through 2016. Happy New Year



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The Top 5 (JL) Sketches of 2015!

The end of another year brings with it many things, but none more important than the variety of lists I will release on my unpaid media empire.  I have made several sketch videos this year and because of social media metrics, lack of interest and just general business failure you may not have seen some or all of these.  I hope you enjoy the list and will subscribe to the channel and share your favorite(s) or the whole list with friends and fans.  Next year promises more good stuff (some already written and on January 1st I get a dog, which means I will be able to force her to be in pet-centered sketches and movie reviews), but for your enjoyment at the holidays here are the Top 5 of 2015:

5) Tim Cook – a parody of Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs’ biopic.

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=Lrqs6gSHnfo)

4) Joel Osteen’s Lost Sermon – this impression and parody of Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen has generated my most dislikes this year as well as defensive comments from Osteen defenders

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=ByJrku6bQ88)

3) 12 Years A Bringer – a cinematic tour de force linking slavery and the scourge of bringer shows in stand up comedy

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WG5PuV3d6jU)

2) Donald Trump debates Bernie Sanders about Black Jedis -

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=DJLvMzrH-KY)

1) Ken Burns’ Comedy: Episode 1 – I did a lot of obscure voice over impressions on this one, but as a Ken Burns’ fan I most enjoyed and am most proud of this video above all others this year:

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=YKUdhhcVXz4)

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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Weekend Comedy Recap – Sick in Saratoga

This weekend I had, what appears to be my final gig of 2015, in Saratoga Springs, NY. And like the race horses that have run there, my career has been begging to be euthanized.  On top of that general malaise, I also was (and still am) in the midst of the worst cold I have had in many years.  But it was with the warrior’s determination of a vagrant participating in a bum fight that I boarded the PATH train to Hoboken to meet up with Usama and Dan, another comedian on the show and the show’s producer, respectively, to ride up to Saratoga.  Usama, who turns out was going to go to medical school before discovering comedy, or as I call it, “the poor man’s def poetry”, showed off his brains and wit quickly, as he pick 6′d one of my jokes in our initial conversation (a “pick 6″ is a term I coined for when a comedian telegraphs his (sigh… or her) punchline so badly that were it a football pass you could intercept it and take it in for a touchdown.  In this case it felt more like I had been picked off by Richard Sherman or Darrel Revis (like when I anticipated a Bill Burr punchline correctly at MSG – sometimes a brilliant comedic mind can make a great play without it being the QB/joke teller’s fault).  In my case, Usama and I were looking at the Freedom Tower from Hoboken (a Bangladeshi man named Usama and a bi-racial Egyptian-looking giant surveying the Freedom Tower from New Jersey – I am scared and angry that we weren’t profiled) and I said, telling him it was a joke (instead of being one of the comedians who pretends like his organic conversation just naturally morphs into well constructed bits), that it is a good thing we didn’t have cell phone cameras on 9/11 because nothing would have been worse – and he interrupted me and said “People shouting world star as the towers fell!”  And at that moment I realized either I am losing my fastball or Usama is a sharp dude/comedian.  Needless to say both my comedic instincts and my self preservation instincts compel me to choose the latter.

So Dan showed up shortly after Usama and I met and we got into Dan’s Subaru. Dan is Italian, but also has a Mediterranean skin tone that could easily be construed as Middle Eastern, so basically we had a sleeper cell headed to Saratoga, with much worse funding.  Usama fell asleep in the backseat for just about the entire ride up, which allowed me to eat horribly at rest stops without the skinny dude body shaming me. #DoveSoapAd

We arrived at the venue, The Parting Glass Pub, at around 7, just in the nick of time for the 915pm start time.  There were just as many headhsots of horses as there were of entertainers, or maybe Tony Robbins used to do comedy.  I sat in a half coma sounding like Stephen Hawking with a stuffy nose, hacking like I was in the last stages of Ebola, which allowed me the isolation I needed to prep for my set.  The show went really well with Usama really impressing me (he did use the “soul bounce”, generally saved for black comics in all white rooms (trademark pending), to point out he was a real outlier compared to the crowd, whose racial makeup was somewhere between albino and bleach, but his set was really great).  I did well with my 40 minute set (my timer after read “40:07″ which proves that even when sick I am a well-oiled machine of struggling comedy) despite my cold and the local guy taping the show was nice enough to tell me he was a huge fan of my appearances on The Adam Carolla Show.  Basically this was like Jordan’s flu game against the Utah Jazz, but for upstate NY comedy shows.

The most famous headliner to appear at The Parting Glass Pub (before me).

We then departed back for Hoboken, stopping just once at a Roy Rodgers where I got a burger and fries just to ensure that death would come swiftly. We arrived in Hoboken at 3:00 am and Usama took the PATH back to the city.  I got home at 3:45 and celebrated a good show with a chipwich and 4 hours of sleep.  For one little show the money was good, though I did the math and if I had simply worked on my legal assignment for the entire time I spent on the Saratoga trip I would have made triple the money.  When you are willing to sacrifice comfort and money for comedy that is a sign of dedication to your craft.  Or a sign of masochism.  Either way, looks like that is the last road update of 2015.  Thanks for the least productiv & least lucrative year of comedy road work for me in 7 years comedy biz! #Blessed

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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Weekend Comedy Recap: FInally, J-L Has Come Back to Bethlehem

This weekend took me to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – birthplace of Jesus Christ and high school football location of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  Well, major events happen in threes, so you can officially add my stand up performance to that historic duo.   I was scheduled to headline a 7pm show at Broadway Social and because of my extensive fan base (consisting almost exclusively of friends from college and law school) I knew I would have 2-10 “fans” in the crowd.  To get to Bethlehem I had to take Transbridge bus line (“I took Transbridge bus to get here, so I guess now buses can identify as whatever they want in this post Kaitlyn Jenner world” was my first joke on stage and it bombed), which is all part of my “Not Even Good Enough For a Greyhound Depot” Comedy Tour of America.  At only 3 hours, the bus ride was not quite long enough to cripple my bum knees, but I still had a limp for about a half hour after arriving in Bethlehem.

When I arrived I was greeted by my buddy Scott, Scott’s brother and a friend of theirs.  It was also confirmed that many years ago I coined a term called “Weinberg” that has become very popular in their circles in Bethlehem.  Like many funny things I have forgotten I told Scott that whenever someone tries to shift blame on someone out of nowhere it is like when Col. Nathan R Jessup in A Few Good Men asks Daniel Caffey who’s going to protect the country, “You (Caffey?)” *turning unexpectedly to Kevin Pollack’s character with a hint of Antisemitism “YOU Lt Weinberrrggg?”  So at some point in my storied career of unpaid humor I referred to someone as totally “Weinberging” someone. And for many years that has become a thing in Bethlehem, PA. #Legend

"What did I do?" - Lt. Weinberg

When we arrived at Broadway Social I saw that it was a pretty nice bar/lounge so I took in the surroundings, went over my notes for what I wanted to do on stage and set up my camera that I lugged from NYC.  After several local comedians went up I went up and had a very strong set.  The lounge had a clear VIP lounge area for private parties or something so it got a huge laugh when I said after a sort of dirty bit got less laughs than others “Oh please we are in a club with a VIP rape room right over there!  So don’t act too uptight when you know that visiting stripper porn stars probably come here to fu*k who ever is the important business man in Bethlehem.”  I was extremely happy with the set and knew that I had at least 2-3 quality YouTube clips ready from the set.  On top of that I also was paid $5 more than the agreed upon payment.  So let that be a lesson to you young comics – if you do things right, work hard and professionally you will reap tremendous, unexpected benefits.

Sometimes your talent and height are too big for a normal spotlight.

After the show I went back with Scott to his house, but his three kids and wife were at the in-laws, which led to two benefits: a late night viewing of John Wick on HBO and a free child’s twin bed for me to sleep in (I think I secretly hoped that Scott’s family would arrive before I woke up just for the potential Goldilocks/Home Alone level humor of a 4 year old finding a giant in his bed.  Of course it probably ends with the child standing his ground and killing me in a perfectly legal shoot (especially considering my black father/ISIS eyebrows), but still pretty funny.

An artist's rendering of me sleeping in a twin bed

The next morning, before catching the transbus (Its momma named it bus, I’ma call it bus!), I was asked to stand as Godfather to Scott’s youngest child (After Mel Gibson and Stephen Colbert I might be the third most famous Catholic in entertainment).  I then slapped him and told him he should act like a man!  So, just another typical road comedy gig for me – bus travel, lucrative cash bonuses and providing spiritual guidance.  And then I got home and accidentally deleted the set from Friday night. #Blessed

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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Weekend Comedy Recap: Casino Normal

I was at the Mohegan Sun in Wilkes Barre, PA this weekend, so I guess my Cal Ripken-esque gig-less streak has been broken, but rest assured I am a fierce competitor and am committed to starting a new streak this week.  I love the Mohegan Sun gig because you always get a great room, and it is like a mini-legit casino (the title is supposed to be a James Bond pun on Casino Royale, since the new Bond film opened this week). The comedy club is nice and I have generally done well so nothing to fret.  I will just give you a few small highlights before sharing some clips of new bits that went well over the weekend (FYI – this is going up on a Sunday because Monday will be the all out blitz for my Trump-Sanders-Obama video – this week’s podcast will go up Wednesday instead of Tuesday:

  • Jokes about every group went well except one: women. Now I made jokes about big women, but this line, that attacked women’s overall role as financial beneficiaries on dates, fell flatter than anything I said all weekend: “Valentine’s Day is sort of weird – in honor of boyfriends and husbands paying for dinner all year, they should pay more money for extra date – that is a weird way of saying thanks to us. I mean do you ask your Mom to cook you an extra special breakfast when it’s Mother’s Day?” – It felt like Daffy Duck following Bugs Bunny on stage. Crickets.
  • Got to earn extra loot by doing a firehouse gig before Saturday’s show.  Took my first Uber ride and despite making 2 wrong turns the guy still asked for a 5 star review.  I was leaning 4 stars, but the guy was an African immigrant living in Donald Trump-loving Pennsylvania country so before he gets shot by police or chased out of town by a mob I figured I could give him a charity 5 stars.
  • Got paid in cash for all my shows and some Uber reimbursement, but still managed to walk by all the tables without plopping it down and seeing if I could leave with headliner money.  So thanks to my caution I still have cell phone, Con Ed and health insurance money for the month. What I am saying is that I am a rock star.
  • OK, so without further adieu here are 3 bits from this weekend that I am very proud of. Hope you enjoy them, share them and subscribe to the channel:
Big Girl Selfies
YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=CHIfHCR_GLo)
Magnum Depends
YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=RAGGcADukts)

Utility Son

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=16VCxK3_Ie0)

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

 



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Why We Should Treat the Girl Scouts Like Old Black Musicians

Yesterday I went to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and it was every bit as awesome as I hoped.  As if blessed by the comedy gods I ended up lining up in an aisle seat (about a 1 in 20 chance) so I could stretch my Wounded Knees (my Native American name and condition) and had a great time.  The band was great (though seeing the tambourine player break his tambourine because he was “feeling the pretentious musical spirit” too much was pretty fun and Colbert was tremendous.  Missed Bryan Cranston as guest by a day, but Daniel Craig the week of a new James Bond film is not too shabby.  So, while I wish I could provide more details and emotions about the big day something much more pressing emerged in my life that I need to talk about.

The Food Emporium near my apartment (along with the whole Food Emporium franchise) is closing and it makes me sad.  In a city where neighborhoods don’t exist in the old sense (my old neighbors are nice, but then they die, and everyone under 40 appears to be buried in their phone and be uncomfortable with acknowledging another human being), the supermarket, along with pubs and diners are the only place to feel like familiar faces and smiles still exist in making Manhattan feel even slightly like a community.  Well the silver lining of the Food Emporium closing is that there are big sales on all items, including cookies.  However, all the Nabisco, Entenmann’s and Pepperidge Farm products were very quick to go.  By the time I went for my Cookie Looting Keebler was the only major brand still available in bulk.  Not only are Chips Deluxe incredible (flour, a stick of butter and chips per cookie), but there were tons of them left.  But then I noticed large stacks of cookies called Coconut Dreams.  My date to the Food Emporium (taking a chick for a Fage yogurt and ziploc bags is not so much my “Netflix and chill” as it is my “steak dinner and vacation” – times are lean with my comedy bookings/income) then said words that may echo the death knell to the cartel of cookies known as the Girl Scouts (ahem – cisgender girl scouts as they may later in life identify as something other than girls/women – WAKE UP CISGENDER GIRL SCOUTS – IT IS 2015!):

“Aren’t those Samoas?”

Much like the earthquake that sounded when Jesus Christ took his last breath, all sound stopped when I heard this question.  As you can see from the picture on the package, they are awfully similar to Samoas, so coupled with the discount being offered I bought a package of them.  25 minutes later the package of Samoas masquerading as Coconut Dreams was gone, vanquished to my belly, the same way the Girl Scouts’ monopoly was vanquished.

To quote Maximus from Gladiator, "The time for honoring yourselves will soon be at an end"

They are identical to Samoas, the cost less per package and there is no office guilt to support your co-worker’s daughter, who cannot even be bothered to make the sale attempt herself, and no wait time (if you are going to make the argument that I can order them on-line).  Samoas are the best cookie, possibly ever, and now, like Palm Pilot and Blockbuster video the antiquated and lazy monopoly of the Girl Scouts is over.  However, there is a problem:

The Girls Scouts are not old black men.

Yes, you read that correctly.  In our culture black people are stolen from constantly, from their bodies to their physical attributes to their artistic contributions. But stealing the inventions of black people, men especially, is part of American tradition.  But stealing from little girls, especially white girls, is pretty much the exact opposite – it is never done and almost certainly Keebler would be treated like Elvish Hitler if these cookies become more widely known.  That is why, in a Matthew McConnaughey-esque, A Time to Kill moment, we must imagine that the Girl Scouts are old black musicians.  Now, instead of thinking of the Girl Scouts as chaste angels worth our protection, think of them as old black blues singers that are road bumps on the way to our favorite white musical heroes!  No one wants to buy cookies from Muddy Waters, especially when the white Keebler Led Zeppelins rock so much better!

"Now imagine the Keebler elves were white girls. And the girl scouts were old black men"

So go to a supermarket and buy yourself some Samoas – I mean some Coconut Dreams – the tasty white shreds from the old brown casing – HOW SYMBOLIC! They are delicious.  And someone informed me on Facebook that I was years behind in this discovery, but sometimes it takes a blogger/comedian of huge relevance to make it known to the wider public. You are welcome world.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/podcast/righteous-p***k-w-j-l-cauvin/id504139550?mt=2) and/or STITCHER (http://www NULL.stitcher NULL.com/podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin-podcast/righteous-pk-with-jl-cauvin?refid=stpr). New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!



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Go Back In Time