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Road Comedy Recap: Eyes Wide Shut at Wayne Manor

This weekend was a unique one for road work.  In early July I featured at the Albany Funny Bone and the emcee was a local named Frank Gentile. We had a nice week and went our separate ways, but then I got a message from him on Facebook a month later asking if I wanted to do a one night gig in the Albany area.  I was going to say yes because travel to Albany is cheap from NYC, but before I could say yes, Frank informed me that the gig also paid money and I almost had to reconsider taking the gig since losing money on as many shows as possible has become integral to my brand as a comedian (“The King of All Unpaid Media” (TM)).  I decided to take the gig and then learned it was a private party (Frank actually told me that initially, but I was so distracted by the thought of making money on a show that I didn’t read all the details.

When I arrived in Albany off of a packed Amtrak train I was greeted by Frank and we made our way to Clifton Park, NY.  We stopped at Wendy’s where I ate a spicy chicken sandwich meal (just like athletes it is important for comedians to give their body the right fuel to generate the proper amount of self-loathing energy before performing).  When we got to the venue I was greeted by what I would refer to as “Wayne Manor” the rest of the evening – a huge home with a Ferrari (or Corvette or some other car that I will never be allowed to touch, let alone own in my life) in the garage, a tent for the party and a deluxe his and hers porta-potty that put most Manhattan studio apartments to shame.  And I would be remiss if I left out the fact that for a party with about 40 guests in the middle of nowhere (NYC bias), the women looked great – proving my theory that money to women is like heat to bugs.  In the middle of upstate NY in a town I have never heard of there were still several attractive women (and there with husbands and boyfriends – so very legit – not imported/rented talent like the Platinum porta potty), which shows wherever there is money – Beverly Hills, Clifton Park, Syria – there will be attractive women.  Much like in the middle of winter if there is one sunny 50 degree day all of a sudden bugs show up with no warning for that day, hot chicks and money are the same – they just show up, even in places where you might only expect morbidly obese people on scooters wheeling around the local Wal-Mart. This is not even suggesting gold digging – it is more like how a plant will lean towards sunlight – it just sort of happens sometimes.  To prove my point, when I mentioned that I was taking Greyhound back to NYC during my set, three of the women in attendance died. This was not intentional – it was just their natural response to being so close to sad economic situations.

The evening was a catered, DJ event – as I joked, the guy who had the party and owned Wayne Manor basically throws small weddings as his regular parties. In fact, since I only have audio of my performance – here are some of my favorite off the cuff remarks from my set:

  • I will keep my set short as I know you probably have to go fight crime in downtown Albany soon
  • I assume everyone has their masks for the Eyes Wide Shut sex party inside after my set?  Kids, I suggest you leave before then.
  • (During Southwest Airlines bit the host clapped) Don’t give me a pity clap sir!  We both know you do not fly Southwest.  You probably have a tunnel built in the airport for yourself to avoid the riff raff that flies Southwest
  • (while his wife stepped away) I bet your wife tries to get mouthy now that she feels comfortable in her big house – like her opinions matter (I then point to the house) Do you just look at her and say THAT’S YOUR OPINION?!
  • Your Summer party is a wedding level event to regular people.  P Diddy should be taking notes.

The rest was basically just my routine, but what a fun gig!  The audience was great and I crushed the desert trays before and after my set.  The host is basically an auto body shop mogul – a self made business success. He told me he grew up in a trailer and has been working his ass off in the industry for 22 years (the last seven in his own business) and he told me that he thought I would eventually break through in my industry.  It made me sad to inform him that seven years ago I was a six figure attorney so if anything I will be in a trailer by the end of my career, but I still appreciated his kind words and the great party he put on.   But like any gig of mine it had to end on a sour note.  Enter Greyhound.

I referred to this as "Resting Greyhound Bus Face" on Instagram

Frank gave me a ride to the Greyhound station, which by Greyhound standards was a Ritz Carlton: various vending machines with snacks people might actually want, a separate cafe and only one homeless man semi-pants-less outside the door.  I was scheduled to board the 11pm bus which was scheduled to arrive at 1:45 at Port Authority – this is what you get when you travel for $17.  To be fair Greyhound has upgraded their seats to leather so now you no longer need a black light to see the body fluid stains.  The bus was 30 minutes late, but I did get a seat to myself. However, all lights on the bus were off the whole time so I could not read (bus driver asked “Does anyone want to read?” and to no one’s surprise no one said yes so I didn’t want to be the douche with a reading light on so I just listened to my iPod and rubbed my sore knees (from the cramped seating not any Eyes Wide Shut activities at Wayne Manor).

For all of you that were unable to experience the genius that was this show (or were there and want more), I suggest you go to iTunes and get my new stand up album Israeli Tortoise (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/album/israeli-tortoise/id1140802153) which went #1 this month on iTunes (also available on Amazon and Google)



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Road Comedy Recap: #1 With a Rubber Bullet in Toledo

The last week has been a great microcosm of my career. My latest album, Israeli Tortoise, with no industry, label, management or iTunes support hit #1 on the comedy charts for a day and stayed in the top 10 for 4 days (as I type this it currently sits at 110, so basically my album has had the same arc as the movie Awakenings – a miracle occurred and everyone became happy only to see it quickly fall back into a Robert DeNiro stupor by the end of its run. The album also received a Twitter endorsement from Jim Gaffigan, the Pope of iTunes album sales. And to kill time on the road I saw 4 movies, 3 of which I enjoyed.  That’s the good news.  But like any comedy adventure it also featured the usual assortment of low lights – a 15 hour train ride with 20 minutes sleep and then having to wait 4 hours before checking into the hotel, being avoided like a leper by 99.9% of the audiences of the shows after performing, despite crushing 4 of the shows and only having one stinker (LATE SHOW FRIDAY – I AM TALKING TO YOU).  Fitting that during the week where I hit #1 on iTunes I have my worst week of merch sales on the road ever (I am averaging 1 CD sold per show with one show to go – the good news is I will get an unsuspecting workout dragging 90% of my albums home on Monday morning) . Here is my truth (hand to the chest) in more expansive details:

Travel Torture

If Eli Roth is looking for a new movie idea for one of his awful torture porn films, perhaps “Cross Country Amtrak” could make a compelling subject.  I have taken the Lakeshore Limited (the one that goes from NYC to Chicago by way of Greenland) well over a dozen times in my comedy career as it hits Cleveland, upstate NY and Chicago, all places I have performed in many times.  But perhaps it is my increasing #ComedyMogul status or just getting more uncomfortable as I get older, but the train is rough. Especially to Toledo.  It was an hour late and arrived in Toledo at 7am and let me tell you, there is nothing more refreshing than getting off a train filled with the obese, the “I need to avoid TSA” and bare feet crowd of an Amtrak after 15 hours (and kudos to the two separate people who took powerful shits in our car during the Odyssey) and only 20 minutes sleep.

At 2 am on Amtrak no one can hear you scream... about all the bare feet.

Movie Mania

Due to inconsistent Internet in the room and the fact that the gym in the mall closed 2 years ago, movies ended up being my main time killer.  I saw 4 movies, one each day.  I loved Sausage Party (see the review here (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=LNyS5e5PMoY)), was more than pleasantly surprised by Bad Moms, found a lump in my throat during Pete’s Dragon and wanted to murder every critic on Rotten Tomatoes who gave the atrocious Lights Out a positive review.   Also one of the great benefits of the Toledo Funny Bone, besides the excellent hotel across the street (not withstanding the Internet, it is pretty swanky) from the club, is the fact that food and the mall (not a great mall, but better than nothing) are within walking distance and involve no crossing or walking along the side of any highways – always a plus in the life of the car-less feature).

The Shows

The main event for every trip are the shows and I have been very happy with my performances.  But to be honest, I have eaten it on stage (Birmingham, AL 2009 comes to mind as an overall week that was a struggle) and still came away still selling decently.  However, the Toledo crowds have been a perfect storm of people who don’t want to buy AND don’t particularly want to make eye contact with you after a show.  I did get a handful of “are you really half black”‘s – slightly fewer than the “good show”‘s I got, but a lot closer than I would have liked.  The main thing I have judged from the crowd is that a lot of them seem like stand up novices – those who may not be comedy savants so they simply know by the end of the show “the guy who went last and did the most is the only human being that counts on the lineup!”  I have opened for some of the biggest names in comedy and although never overshadowing them – if you hold your own as a feature, good crowds can recognize the talent and promise in all the acts.  These crowds laugh their asses off (EXCEPT YOU LATE FRIDAY SHOW), but then walk by you like you were the 25 minute mic stand repair guy.  Very weird and frustrating, but that’s the deal sometimes.

Wow you guys are laughing hard... I am going to sell a ton of albums!

The worst though, was the guy who came out after my set with his wife or girlfriend to specifically tell me that he thought I was really great and that my set blew him away. He asked for a picture, I obliged and he and his lady went back in for the rest of the show. I went to the emcee and said, “Well, at least I will get one sale after the show.” Fast forward 245 minutes (black headliner) and the same dude might have been able to challenge Usain Bolt for the 100m. I kept thinking – don’t you at least want my website info?”

Usually merch money pays for all my food and movies for a weekend and then some. Now I am going to have to hit an ATM to tip out the bartenders after the last show.  This is my 9/11 (which if I had sold between 9 and 11 CDs I would not have to go to the ATM).

One other thing I have learned about myself being on the road for the last few years is my ability to depress emcees.  It is admittedly cool that because of my videos and impressions my reputation and skills have outpaced my actual career within stand up comedy (which is sort of counter-intuitive – “Hey people know and like your work – of course we can’t book/represent you!).  On top of that my exposure on podcasts like Carolla and TBGWT have made more people on the road familiar with my work. But it is sort of a bizarre compliment seeing comedians getting sort of depressed about the business when realizing that I am still a nobody (implying that they think I should be further along – hence the compliment). Not to mention I get slightly aroused seeing comedians become more aware of what a shameful joke this industry is.  Quick teaching moment – kiss the ass of a headliner, get a manger or be under 30 with a pinch of talent (but not too much so that they don’t think they can mold you into what they need at their agency) – these are the ways to “make it.” All other methods are red herrings.

So as I gear up for the finals show of the week (and a 3:20 am Amtrak back to NYC – SEE AT THE BOTTOM FOR SUNDAY EPILOGUE) I leave you with some bits from the weekend and a reminder to go buy Israeli Tortoise on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/album/israeli-tortoise/id1140802153) (or other digital platforms),  Enjoy – and pray that I don’t get Zika, Ebola or Bird Flu on my way home.

Play Station Banged My Ex

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=TUMvRicn5XU)

Workplace Shit

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=4utk-vbhfjA)

The Problem With Ocean’s 8 in 1 Minute

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=VJ36xq4kA0Y)

Epilogue

I sold 1 CD on Sunday night after a very strong set, which helped complete my 1.0 sales per show rate – the lowest of my career for any road weekend.  However,  group of older black people came up to me at the club after the show and said the following (for ease of writing I have turned all of their voices into one speaker):

OBP: We were on your Amtrak coming here. We sat next to you and in front of you (there were 4 of them total)!

J-L: Oh yeah, I remember you!

OBP: Yes, you were very funny tonight. And we commented on the train how often you got up to go to the bathroom.

J-L: Yeah, I didn’t sleep for the whole trip so my body kept having to pee.

OBP: Will you be going back on the train tonight?

J-L: Yep!

OBP: Then we will see you there. We will get a picture with you there!

So look for a pic of me and 4 older black people at the Toledo Amtrak station coming to the Internet soon!



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Trump’s Pre-Written DNC Tweets Leaked!

With the Republican National Convention over and Cleveland still standing, national attention now shifts to Philadelphia, PA where the Democrats will hold their convention.  While the Democrats lack the star power of Scott Baio and Antonio Sabatao Jr., they will still bring some pretty heavy hitters to the Convention in the prime time hours. Now other than watching what the speakers have to say, the only other place you should be looking during the Convention (besides my Twitter account @JLCauvin) is Donald J Trump’s account. Well, thanks to Wikileaks I am able to share some of the pre-written tweets The Donald has locked and loaded for the 4 nights (be advised some of these are offensive):

Monday: Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama

“@RealDonald Trump Crazy Bernie clearly doesn’t like Crooked Hillary. Pathetic! His supporters should come to me. Be great!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Crazy Bernie is so full of lies, but he’s crazy so I feel bad for him. Needs assisted living!”

“@RealDonaldTrump The politically correct police are so pathetic. Now they are letting Leslie Jones talk! Not funny!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Michelle Obama wants kids to eat fruit and drink water. So poor! My kids drink the tears of immigrant laborers”

Tuesday: Bill Clinton and the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland & Michael Brown

“@RealDonaldTrump Bill Clinton - liar, rapist, murderer – one of the worst presidents of all time. Pathetic!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Rapin’ Bill now raping the truth. The American people won’t be fooled. We will win!”

“@RealDonaldTrump If Trayvon Martin respected law and order he would not have been attacked by George Zimmerman #BlueLivesMatter”

“@RealDonaldTrump So what if George Z wasn’t a cop? He has a gun and wanted to be a cop. Great guy! #BlueLivesMatter”

“@RealDonaldTrump Shame on the Democrats for taking these poor women and exploiting them. I will be great for black women!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Our law enforcement deserve better than this. We need more police and better moms! #BlueLivesMatter”

Wednesday: Barack Obama and Joe Biden

“@RealDonaldTrump I wonder who Plagarisin’ Joe stole this speech from. Melania would be a much better VP. Hot!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Joe Biden lost his son last year. All of mine are alive. Pro-life is the best!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Barack Obama would be the biggest liar of all time if Crooked Hillary were not still alive. Someone should see about that.”

“@RealDonaldTrump Barack Obama did nothing for black people. I will be the greatest president for blacks ever. Even better than Lincoln!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Barack Obama destroyed our country. I will make it great again. Believe me!”

“@RealDonaldTrump RT @WhitePowerParty “After a monkey president, we can’t have a bitch president. No more animals in the WHITE House #Trump2016″”

Thursday: Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton

“@RealDonaldTrump: Chelsea Clinton is a 4 on her best day. Ivanka is a 10. Great lips, breasts and legs. And her voice is seductive. Great lady!”

“@RealDonaldTrump: How sad to have a rapist father and a crooked mother. Amazing she has not killed herself. But still, not as hot as Ivanka on Ivanka’s worst day”

“@RealDonaldTrump Why is Crooked Hillary shouting? Screaming and shrill. NOT PRESIDENTIAL!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Crooked Hillary has told more lies tonight than even Lyin’ Ted. BAD!”

“@RealDonaldTrump Worst convention ever. No stars. No people. Just politicians and blacks. We are going to make America great again.”



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Rock Gods with Dad Bods: Guns N Roses in Philadelphia

In 1987 I was eight years old and Appetite for Destruction came out. My first introduction to the best rock album of all time (in my opinion), or at least the best in my lifetime was my brother arriving with the single (for my young readers that was like an iTunes song but played on vinyl, not ironically or to be cool because you think it “sounds better,” but because that was the option available) for Sweet Child O’ Mine.  I mostly laughed because he kept trying to sing along, but did not know the words. Of course once I started seeing videos for Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine and Paradise City I became a huge fan.  I managed to purchase Appetite for Destruction right under my Dad’s nose, who as a well meaning, but misguided and strict immigrant parent, often took PG movie ratings too seriously (“It says parental guidance – I am your parent.”) and missed the Parental Advisory sticker on AFD.  Much to my surprise as I hit song #2 on AFD, curse words happened (“so fu*king easy” on It’s So Easy) and I was a little startled, but the music sounded so good I quickly got over that. By the time I was a 7th grader GnR had released 4 albums and were clearly destined for status somewhere near the Rolling Stones. And then Axl Rose went Axl Rose and it all disappeared.  I was too young and broke for the use Your Illusion Tour in 1991-92 so basically my last chance to see the original GnR in concert was a quarter of a century ago.  I discussed on my podcast before the rumors of the Not in this Lifetime Tour began that a GnR show was a bucket list for me.  And then, as if I was Knockin on Heaven’s Door, my bucket list chance fell like November Rain (sorry)!  I bought 2 tickets to Philly when I thought I couldn’t get tickets to their NY/NJ show – but then they added a second NY/NJ show – so I will be headed to that next week. But this Philadelphia show is the special one. Short story – I would give it an A+, To compare it to virginity (since it was my first GnR concert) it was like losing your virginity to your favorite porn star, while she tells you she had never had better and decides to quit the business because she wants to marry you and have kids with you, while putting her Harvard M.D. to good use to give medical care to poor children, but only when you are not home. In other words – great! Here are more specifics:

Travelling to Philly – The Daly Show

I took Amtrak down with my girlfriend and it pretty much resembled this scene from Step Brothers:

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=tm2Jy64b0dI)

When I arrived in Philly I saw my buddy Jim from law school.  I knew he was going from social media, but had not thought to ask “Hey will you be on the 12:54pm train from NYC?” with the show at 8:30pm.  My gf and I went to our hotel – the Doubletree and as we walked in (not a joke) Sweet Child O’ Mine was playing.  I then ate multiple Doubletree cookies and we headed to the nearby Cheesecake Factory to try and get diabetes so that the concert could become a literal bucket list event.

At about 7pm we hopped on the train to the concert venue and when we got off the train we ran into… Jim from law school.  We walked to the venue where Jim parted ways to have some beverages with his buddies and I went to the gift shop to make my girlfriend buy me a t-shirt (#ComedyMogul handles train, hotel and tickets, but inside the arena it’s time to earn your keep).

As the show as about to begin (probably an hour between opening act and GnR, which was within the bounds of reason – the only thing more notoriously late than CP time is WAR (W. Axl Rose) time) I get a text from… Jim from law school, indicating he can see me – his tickets were basically directly behind me in a higher section of the stadium (obviously the financial difference between us two Georgetown Law grads is that my comedy earnings of $45.51 per week allow me the finer things in life). Other than sweating like Striker at the end of Airplane! it was pleasant enough waiting for the greatness to begin.

The Show:

The show was great. How great?  The band performed one song off of The Spaghetti Incident (McKagen’s cover of New Rose (sounded great) and four off of Chinese Democracy (none of which were my favorite two – Street of Dreams and Prostitute – FYI – hate on that album all you want, but it showcased that Axl was still a great song writer – and with the original band lending themselves to those 2008 songs they sounded damn good live) and the show was still an A+.  I am pretty sure to get Axl to commit they had to let him do at least 4 songs off of Chinese Democracy (an ego thing – like these are the songs I did by myself but they count).  It is an easy thing to agree to though. Axl is like Phil Jackson – he is demanding to run the triangle offense – but as long as he brings Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (his voice and name recognition) to the table you are content to let him believe that everything he does is genius.

They opened with some deep voiced Axl songs (It’s So Easy and Mr. Brownstown), probably to warm Axl up because when he hit Welcome to the Jungle a few songs later, all doubts about his range and power were put to rest.  When the band did Double Talkin’ Jive, a song I actually didn’t like, I was mesmerized by Slash’s 3 minute solo.  And Axl takes too much heat for putting on weight. He is a little more burley, but who looks the same at 25 and 55?  And Slash has old man A-cup man nips, but no one is ripping him?!  Only Duff McKagen looks like a statuesque rock God (seriously – dude is in his fifties and is a tower of lean muscle – in his bio he talks about how he got into martial arts and running to get out of alcoholism – he then was an early investor in (I think) Starbucks and Amazon (he is a Seattle guy) so basically fu*k him!  But Slash and Axl are holding down the Dad bods to make up for Duff’s stubborn commitment to healthy living.

The GnR set ran over two hours and delivered everything I could want except for the lack of Patience (and if they did Patience I would have screamed for the acoustic version of You’re Crazy).  If I had to rank any one song as the highlight it was, surprisingly, Civil War. I always liked the song, but the live version was beyond incredible. The only time I frowned was when I would look at the girl next to me recording herself dancing. I understand taking pictures or even recording a little bit of video – but this girl was almost pretending to dance to capture a video of herself dancing at a concert. It was “peak millennial” (the caption was probably “Feeling so #Blessed that all I can do is dance to this amazing song by Whitesnake).

Back to the main event – Axl’s vocals are there. Slash’s guitar playing is mesmerizing.  Despite the crowd looking like a white power rally (I counted by the end of the night – 11 Indian/Asian people, 6.5 black people (including me) and 400,900 white people, with approximately 1.7 million tattoos among them. It looked like a Comic Con for people whose favorite comic is Donald Trump: 2016.  But the concert, which concluded beautifully with Paradise City, was everything I wanted and hoped for and more.  For more photos (not that many, but some) – check out jlcomedy on Instagram.  Now I have my GnR experience locked away forever, in case they suck in NJ and then break up forever.

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! And look for J-L’s new stand up album ISRAELI TORTOISE in August 2016.



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The Jim Gaffigan Show: TV’s Funniest and Best Depiction of Stand Up Comedy

With Veep‘s season over (please Silicon Valley people be quiet – SV is a very good comedy, but it is not in Veep‘s league), my binging of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt long over, no more OJ-themed TV shows on the horizon and Game of Thrones 10-500 months away from its seventh season, there was a major hole in my TV roster for great comedy and/or must-watch-TV.  However, those vacancies have been filled admirably and surprisingly by the 2nd season of The Jim Gaffigan Show, which to me, is the best and most satisfying depiction of stand up comedy that I have ever seen.

As far as depictions of stand up comedy (calm down Seinfeld people – that show featured a stand up comedian, but was famously a “show about nothing”) in my memory I can think of Louie, which before I gave up on it had glimpses of greatness (the episode featuring Dane Cook still stands out as the best one and his season 1 episode going to Birmingham was incredibly authentic and funny, and not just because I too got heckled at a large room in Birmingham) and Funny People – the bait and switch 4 hour movie by Judd Apatow that was “about stand up comedy,” but turned out to be another rom com that was too long that happened to have some scenes at stand up comedy clubs.  I may be forgetting other things, but for me that is irrelevant because TJGS has been brilliant in its humor this season and specifically in its simultaneous depiction and parodying of stand up comedy in 2016.

Season 1 of The Jim Gaffigan Show was very good, but it felt like more of a focus on the family and personal life of Gaffigan. It made me laugh and was a pleasant diversion from life, exactly what most would want from a 30 minute sitcom.  The cast was excellent, especially a longtime favorite of mine, Adam Goldberg, in what I think must be some sort of amalgamation of different comedians Gaffigan has been friends with (I always thought it might have been Greg Giraldo, but the character, Dave Marks, is too much of a quasi-loser, underground figure to be an exact parallel). At the end of season 1 I thought, “I hope that show gets renewed.” And it did.  And even though Gaffigan and Louis CK have different sensibilities and styles, I thought TJGS was more of what I hoped Louie would be. Instead, Louie morphed into a largely unfunny (to me) homage to Woody Allen movies.  Fortunately, season 2 of TJGS is not a Kubrick-esque exploration of art and family, but instead has turned into a brilliant depiction of stand up comedy that combines accuracy and parody seamlessly.

Whether the show found its voice more clearly, hired additional writers or if simply this was its natural progression, season 2 has been one of the 3 or 4 best comedies I have watched on TV all year (I would have to imagine ABC which, given Gaffigan’s clean and widespread appeal and well known family of 7, would have seemed to have been the ideal landing spot for TJGS. Instead it is on TV Land).  And the main reason to me is the brilliant direction the show has gone with stand up comedy in particular.  The last two episodes (pardon the recency bias) have mocked the alternative scene (“Union Hall is actually a mainstream alternative room”), the idea of road comedy (“I do theaters,  I don’t know if that makes me a ‘road comic’”), the obligations to your friends in comedy (“You gotta have your buddy open for you”), seeing your friends not help you out in comedy (“Oh THAT Q.E.D”) and portrayed the struggles of a non star comedian with tremendous humor and accuracy (“I might have to get a day job”).  What makes this more impressive is that Gaffigan’s actual career is far removed from the professional struggles he portrays.  That is either a credit to his mind and memory, a credit to the writing staff, or both.

There are literally too many moments from the last two episodes for me to recall all of the jokes that hit so well on truths in stand up comedy, but the tight rope of parodying something, while still accurately depicting it is really impressive.  Perhaps stand up in 2016 has already become a parody of itself and TJGS is merely reflecting it, but to anyone out there who wants to laugh and wants to see something that really and truly depicts the world of stand up comedy, set your DVR to The Jim Gaffigan Show.

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! And look for J-L’s new stand up album ISRAELI TORTOISE in August 2016.



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Road Comedy Recap: Albany Fireworks

This weekend, in the spirit of patriotism and comedy, I travelled to Albany, the capital of New York, to perform at the Albany Funny Bone. For anyone concerned for my safety, do not worry – Albanians do not come from Albany.  The club is located in a mall with an 18 screen theater, a Pizzeria Uno and a Dunkin Donuts (along with dozens of other stores with no relevance to my life) so you can anticipate that this recap will be full of humor, movies and gluttony.  But it will also feature a horrible heckler, a terror threat in the Mall and Donald Trump watching fireworks.  So here we go…

Travel and Accomodations

I left for Albany on Thursday morning on a packed train (and 90% of the people were headed to Albany – who knew it was such a big destination – perhaps it was just a bunch of corrupt business people and escorts headed to the capital to celebrate another “hey at least WE weren’t federally indicted” end of the political year for the State Senate and Assembly.  Anyway, when I arrived in Albany I was greeted by Travis, the club manager who drove me to the Hampton Inn (I have always liked Hampton Inn and this one from the staff to the accommodations was the best one I’ve ever been in).  The only thing I found disturbing was one of the guests who each morning during breakfast basically gave herself DVD commentary on her whole breakfast (while verbally smothering her son – I thought he might have had some special needs, but then I realized it may have been the Mom with a social and/or personality disorder (“Ok so we are going to have some oatmeal and then – where is the milk? Oh here’s the milk – do you want cereal or waffles – you have to have one, cereal or waffles – and they have bagels, what kind of bagels do they have – need some kind of juice…”)  But some kid’s awkward upbringing is hardly a concern when you are crushing delicious waffle iron waffles (the three historically great equalizers in society – the printing press, the Internet and the budget hotel waffle iron).

J-L’s Movie Life

I ended up seeing three movies that weekend.  The first and worse by far was The BFG.  I will post my review here for your perusal, but it was weak on effects and boring – perfect combination.  I then did a Purge marathon on Friday – watched the first two on my computer and then went to see the third in the theater before the Friday shows.  Unlike many thriller/horror franchises that just become shameless money grabs, The Purge started with an interesting and provocative concept and has actually improved with each installment, especially as mild social commentary.  I couldn’t help but think that the man with his two kids under 10 years old had made a poor choice bringing his kids to it, but no judgment. The third movie I saw was The Shallows with Blake Lively and other than a goofy climax (and no I am not referencing my reaction to the first 15 minutes of the film that feature Lively in slow motion putting on and taking off her surfing wet suit) was a very well done thriller.  So who would think that a shark movie starring the wife of Blond-Dane Cook-with-creatine and a third installment of a low budget horror franchise would beat Spielberg, but they both did.

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=QMou1EwPIw0)

Terror Watch List

I realized a harsh lesson walking through the mall on Friday.  As a comedian on the road I spend a lot of time walking on the side of highways and milling around shopping malls – plenty of time to kill, but not a lot of money to spend.  And I like to take cell phone pics I think are funny.  Well in today’s environment, looking like an HGH infused angry Egyptian walking around a shopping mall taking pictures can rightfully raise suspicions.  And that is what happened, because as I was walking around a security guard approached me and said “Hey sir, can I help you find something?” to which I responded, “which way is Mecca – I need to pray ASAP.”

Shows: 5 Great Shows, 1 Incredible Heckler Lady

So I had a great weekend in terms of crowd response (but so-so in CD sales).  Guy Torre (headliner) and Frank Gentile (emcee) were both very fun to hang out with and there was only one blemish on the weekend – a drunk lady (of course) at the Friday early show (the only thing stopping me from a perfect 6 for 6 weekend).  She was loud, drunk and never shut up for 18 of m 20 minutes (she was escorted out at the 18 minute mark). I got good marks from the crowd for my increasingly hostile response to her, culminating with calling her “DJ cu*t” because she kept scratching every one of my bits before they were done.  Below are a couple of clips I threw up on YouTube.

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=QykKmv8ONWI) YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=6WrAhfQDWQs)

Epilogue – 4th of July

I arrived home on the 4th of July to be greeted by Cookie, who was so happy to see me she peed not once, but twice in my apartment upon my arrival.  That night I made my way over to my girlfriend’s apartment which has an east river view so good for fireworks it was as if they were right outside her window (because they were).  And here is the comedy gold I produced while watching the firworks (enjoy and tweet this one today!):

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=mAkIBlCDm9c)

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! And look for J-L’s new stand up album ISRAELI TORTOISE in August 2016.



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Donald Trump Congratulates the Cleveland Cavaliers (but just the white ones)!

On a day when it was revealed that Donald Trump’s campaign manager was let go by Ivanka Trump and that his campaign had almost no money, The Donald tried to offer some congratulations to the newly crowned NBA Chamption Cleveland Cavaliers.  However, in classic Trump style he managed to forget Finals MVP Lebron James, star sidekick Kyrie Irving and everyone else that is black on the team! He gave a big shout out to Kevin Love, but Trump has obviously moved well past dog whistle politics and has gone full racist bullhorn with this one.  Try to laugh if you aren’t crying while watching this:

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

(Be sure to give the video a like on YouTube when finished watching)



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Top 10 Predictions for the 2016-17 NBA Season

Lebron James ended the NBA season on a high note last night delivering a title to Cleveland, a city over 5 decades without a sports title, despite having three major sports teams.  He defeated one of the greatest teams ever (and statistically the greatest regular season team ever) and led the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.  He did it in versatile and dominant fashion and ended all doubts that he is a top 5 all time player (I have him as 1B to Michael Jordan’s 1A).  As someone who has loved Cleveland since my first visit to the city in 2010 (my endorsement has led to a nice renaissance of the city over the last six years) and has defended Lebron’s greatness since the late 2000s I am super happy for the city, Lebron and mostly myself for being completely correct.  But now that we are left with only baseball for the next 2+ months (with a brief respite for Wimbledon) I figured I should at least compile a list of things to look forward to for next season. Here are my top 10 predictions for next NBA Season:

1) Steph Curry returns built like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – After hearing that the physical play of OKC and Cleveland damaged his game, Curry will undergo a Michael Jordan-esque commitment to weight training.  He may go overboard though as he tries to go from the NBA’s Kevin Hart to the NBA’s Rock.

A computer generated projection of what Steph Curry will look like next season (still in Under Armor)

2) Kevin Durant goes to the Miami Heat – Pat Riley goes full Vince McMahon and brings in Durant to disrupt Lebron’s eastern conference dominance. Instead of Durant, Bosh and Wade doing a big pep rally it will be Riley coming out alone in McMahon cadence: “Oh I am happy for Lebron. He won his title for ‘The Land’… BUT NOW WE HAVE A NEW SON OF THE BEACH!” and then a curtain drops with Durant coming out as Riley flashes all his rings for the camera.

LEBRON! LEBRON! LEBRON!

3) Russell Westbrook Has The Greatest/Worst Season in NBA History – With Durant gone, Russell Westbrook will average 38 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists, 15 turnovers and shoot 36% from the field,  He will actually tear both ACLs midway through the season and still play all 83 games.

4) The Knicks Sign Harrison Barnes – Harrison Barnes was tremendously awful in the last three games of the Finals (seriously – Nick Anderson level mind issues may have occurred – it looked like Barnes was aiming his shot in Game 7).  He may have cost him a lot of money, but in Montana there is one team president who probably thinks he can snatch Barnes at a discount.

5) Demarcus Cousins punches his coach – Every season needs a controversy and Cousins seems to be on the edge of all NBA talent and 30 for 30 cautionary tale.

6) The Utah Jazz Make the Playoffs and, inspired by Cleveland, start calling Salt Lake City “The Lake” if they don’t already – Hey, I am a Jazz fan so give me this one.

7) The Minnesota Timberwolves Begin Frightening the Entire League – Great new coach, loaded with young talent (and about to add another lottery pick). I think T-Wolves make the playoffs and everyone realizes that Towns-Wiggins are coming for all of you like the White Walkers in Game of Thrones (GOAT episode last night by the way)

8 ) Lebron Haters Go Completely Silent – This is the only way to tell that Lebron has been great.  Look for them to reappear in 2019 to declare that Lebron is not THAT great.

9) David Blatt Joins ISIS – I think we can all agree that joining a terror organization is wrong, but Blatt is as close to being justified as anyone could be.  Watching Tyronn Lue’s “coaching” get praised has to be killing him. He comes from Europe to Cleveland and is spit out by the heart of rock n’ roll?  Not on his watch!

I will have my vengeance in this life or the next

10) Steven Adams pledges his loyalty to Daenerys Targayan – Kahl Adams should date Emilia Clarke raising his celebrity profile during what should be a breakout season for the OKC big man.

Going to make a lot more money so he should be part of a new power couple

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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9 Reasons Tupac is Happy He Did Not Live to His 45th Birthday

Tupac Shakur, one of the most revered rappers of all time, whose career highlights included not being as good as Notorious BIG and being in the film, Poetic Justice, that rapidly destroyed John Singleton’s clout in Hollywood, died young in a hail of gunfire in 1996 in Las Vegas (after just finishing OJ: Made In America, didn’t OJ go to Vegas after his acquittal in 1995? very suspicious).  Well, social media is honoring Tupac today on what would have been his 45th birthday.  People wonder about how much great music we missed out on with “Pac” (I hate people who call him “Pac” – it’s the rap equivalent of when people call Robert DeNiro “Bobby”) and my guess is not much.  He would have probably transitioned into either a poor man’s Ice Cube or Eddie Murphy and now maybe you know where I am going with this – maybe the world and Pac’s legacy are better off with him dying early.

1) He would have probably signed with No Limit Records.  And then been a judge on American Idol or The Voice.  Ask Ricky Williams how he enjoyed signing with Master P.  And as rappers of the 90s became mainstream loveable like Snoop Dogg who went from Murder Was Tha Case to Eating Hot Pockets Like They’re Hot, 2Pac would likely follow suit:

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=COYRAOy1_jo)

2) Tupac would be doing family films. Ice Cube was a lot angrier than Tupac (and his debut film Boyz in the Hood is much better than Juice) and Hollywood money turned him into a chubby Dad doing movies with Kevin Hart. It is not a stretch to see 2Pac in a Tyler Perry movie as an evil black man lured by a white woman who gives him AIDS.

3) Tupac Tweeting #AllLivesMatter. Maybe it would not have happened, but do you really want to have found out what he would have said in 2014?

4) If he were still performing he would have done duets with Pitbull, Ke$ha and Justin Bieber.

5) He would have been on a reality dating show called 2Heartz.

6) If 2Pac got married and had children he would have to learn that Derek Fisher was trying to sleep with his wife.  As my buddy texted me last night – Derek Fisher is this generation’s Marcus Allen.

7) His hologram would have never appeared at Coachella.  In an age of screen watching over experiencing life, how lame would it be to have the actual Tupac performing at a music festival instead of a computer image of Tupac?

8) He would have had to sleep with Kris Kardashian as she is the only age appropriate member of the Kris Kardashian Klan available to ruin his life (like the KKK, this KKK destroys black men)

9) He might not be prepared for how many white people would be comfortable screaming “Give it to daddy nig*a!” in 2016 United States, while singing along to How Do you Want It.

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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My Dog Wants to Die… Here’s Why I Will Help Her

Over the last few days Harambe, the majestic gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo, has dominated the news cycle.  A beautiful animal in the prime of its life was sadly, but necessarily shot dead to save the life of a three year old child that had wandered into the gorilla’s enclosure.  The consensus is that the gorilla had every right to live and it is a tragedy that he is dead.  But the story of Harambe has made me think, what about animals that want to die?  Progressives in this country are always pushing animal rights and right to die laws for human beings, but who will speak up for animals that want to end their own lives?  I have to decided to take on this sure to be controversial idea to help my dog Cookie, who clearly wants to die, but is forced to continue living by a society obsessed with “doing the right thing” for dogs.  Cookie is a mixed breed dog about 1.5 years old and she just wants to end her life.

According to the journal Science, dogs think about suicide 48 times a day and try to end their lives at least once per week, whether it’s chewing down on toys until they become choking hazards or running into traffic or “curiously approaching” dangerous animals.  We have all added our own human spin on these behaviors, but they sometimes point to a clear desire to die.  That is where Cookie’s story begins.

Cookie was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park, presumably giving up hope for the coal industry’s comeback that Donald Trump is promising.  She was malnourished and full of mange. She was sent to a shelter with a high kill rate, but unfortunately for Cookie, her various breeds of dogs, none of which were Labrador or Golden Retriever made her look like a mixed breed golden lab puppy.  So instead of being able to leave this cruel world her “golden privilege” led her to be saved by a Golden Retriever rescue organization.  Less than 2 months later she was sent on a 14 hour van ride to NYC, which she has morbidly referred to as “The Middle Passage,” for her new life with me.

This is how Cookie greeted me in January. I thought she was "cute" but according to scientists, this look actually means "life is pain."

While in New York the hints came quickly and often.  Constant urination in my apartment. She might as well have been Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator screaming “Kill Me!!!!  Do it!!!! I’m heeeyaaaaaagghh!”  But instead I selfishly sought advice on how to condition her behavior and the urination basically stopped.

I began to take Cookie to the local dog park. At first she humored me by playing with other dogs and running around for exercise.  She even developed some solid muscle tone, but eventually she began to get bullied by other dogs and would often just retreat into a corner with a scared look on her face.  Most people just “awwww”ed at her, but i started to realize what she was actually saying to me: “Please Kill Me.”

Cookie's lack of will to live led her to interrupt fu*k sessions at the dog park to disastrous results

Cookie in her suicide corner at the dog park

I didn’t want to believe at first, but then her messages became clearer. Her Thunder Jacket did nothing.  Her face during bath time said “drown me” and all she would do was lie around all day, every day, often ignoring her toys.  Then there was the day I caught her trying to choke herself to death by chewing on a tennis ball. I felt like Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby at this point.

Cookie attempting to asphyxiate herself.

Then I woke up earlier this week and realized, what is more progressive and respectful of the wishes of an animal than to respect its wish to end its life respectfully?  The messages have been clear and it would be selfish and cruel of me not to respect them.  Just this morning I saw her chewing her own paw, and she often chases her own tail, as if to say, “If these humans won’t do it I will have to hunt myself down.”  I am done fighting to preserve society’s old fashioned rules of who gets to decide when a dog should live or die.  I stand up today for Cookie’s right to end it all.  No more NYC traffic. No more cruel dogs at the dog park. No more treats and toys as opiates for the pain of a life not worth living anymore.  As tragic as the death of Harambe was, I think the only thing worse would be letting an animal live that clearly wants to die.  Donations for Cookie’s memorial service can be sent to jlstore@jlcauvin.com on paypal.  Seeking to raise $10,000 to both honor her struggle and raise awareness for other animals who want to die with dignity.  #DignifiedDeathForCookie on Twitter

Cookie practicing self-mutilation. A real cry for help that cannot be ignored.

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