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This Video Exposes the #WorstComicCon in America

Everyone is buzzing about Comic Con 2014 in San Diego this weekend, but in light of the popularity of the real Comic Con a lot of lesser, more exploitative “Comic Cons” have sprung up around the country. This video from Action 4 News details the man behind a lot of these other Comic Cons and goes behind the scenes at the Buffalo, NY Comic Cons.

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=bkPojlxTDv8)

What do you think?



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Summer Doldrums

Today’s blog is one that will hopefully adequately lower expectations of my content for the rest of the Summer.  The podcast will continue to come out every Tuesday and I plan to maintain the “at least 1 video per month” schedule as well, but thanks to the nature of comedy I am working a fairly time intensive job for the next few months to help fund my respected-in-every-way-but-monetarily comedy career.   All this could be cured with a manager’s phone call to Lorne Michaels that he has to check out my reel of sketches and impressions, but assuming that guardian angel does not exist this is the way of the world.  So movie reviews will be sporadic and almost definitely not on Fridays and blogs will be all over the board as well, most likely.  Consider this just a friendly update to my 18 loyal readers that I am not dead (yet) or quitting comedy (yet) or moving to Cleveland (yet), but simply working to fund this terminally ill dream of a career in comedy.

In other positive news I have lost 17 pounds in the month of July bringing me down once again from morbidly obese to “football player who let himself go a little bit” level.

This Wednesday a new sketch will be unveiled on my YouTube page, which I hope you all watch, laugh at and share with no one to maintain my career’s current trajectory of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, and of course, tomorrow there will be a new episode of my podcast.

OK. Bye.

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 Super SNL Reel Is Ready! (hello? anyone out there?)

With the flurry of NBA free agency signings last week and this week, as well as the announcement of several Saturday Night Live departures. it got me thinking.  Last year I had a manager submit my stuff to SNL and I know it got to a level where I had to fill out a legal form so I know someone had to at least care that much.  Shockingly to all of us I did not get an audition, let alone a spot on the show.  But with a recent expulsion of feature and regular players on SNL (UCB is calling it their Red Wedding) it seems there is another shot for me to replace the Fred Armisen Latin-Middle Eastern-North African -White slot on the show.  Plus, in the interest of non-traditional diversity, I think there should be a push for the show’s first 6’7″ cast member (I think).  So because I don’t have  a manager, an agent or any heat to my career here is hoping that the 8 videos I post here as my reel can become one of those fun viral posts where a loser catches a huge amount of attention from the industry. Oh who am I kidding – just enjoy this diverse group of impressions and sketches and subscribe to the YouTube channel.  Here you go:

Adam Sandler

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=GKWWTrc5gn8)

Adam Carolla, Donald Trump & Barack Obama

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

Notorious B.I.G.

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=T5TjoTFNik4)

Louis CK

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=E7Fe3blRKU0)

Bill de Blasio

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=JfIESqhz8y8)

George Lopez

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=B2Pzg0OL97w)

The Rock

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

Liam Neeson

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=NKW3UzvcWYE)

Assorted (Alan Rickman, JC Van Damme, etc)

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=1485uZt7LIY)

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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Chicago Journal Pt 1: Law Degree to the Comedy Rescue

Well yesterday was my first day in Chicago to start a week of feature work at Zanies.  I flew a very bumpy short flight from Cleveland to Chicago and had my usual dosage of annoyance from the new brand of airline terrorist: the woman (or man) who thinks they are the sole owner of the window.  I like seeing outside but I would at least like it put to a vote of the row of seats.  Otherwise I reserve the right as the aisle seat person to refuse the window seat passenger access to snacks or the bathroom.  Anyway I arrived in Chicago and was picked up from the airport by my friend from law school who has provided me with shelter each of visits to Zanies in 2010, 2012 and now 2014.

The last time I was in Chicago she had added a cat to her apartment and that cat promptly sat on my head while I was sleeping, putting the fear of God into me.  So this time when I met the cat I have been kissing its ass and scratching it – like Anthony Cumia taking pictures with black fans I was out to show Biscuit (the cat) that not only do I NOT have problems with cats… some of my best friends are cats!

The other thing this trip is providing is a great contrast in paths taken by Georgetown Law graduates.  As I wrote on Facebook last night, many of my law school classmates, several of whom who have been exceedingly supportive by either recruiting people to shows in different cities or, in a few cases, providing me a couch or a spare bedroom (see as a lawyer you can have more than a one room apartment) to stay in when clubs do not provide lodging.   Well my friend owns her own place in the heart of downtown Chicago and it is a great loft.  Then she gave me guest passes to the East Bank Club – the greatest-to-an-absurd-level gym I have ever seen.  I am legitimately living a more luxurious lifestyle (except with a cat creeping around) than if I were staying in a great hotel (by great I mean EVEN BETTER than my usual Hampton Inn when I am feeling like a baller).  The point is the best thing I can say about law school is that it puts you in contact with people who will be successful and might help you on your difficult path to mediocrity. #Blessed

The show last night went very well at Zanies.  Here are my three favorite interactions that will help you see how I did:’

3) “Are you always the middle at clubs? (Yes) You should be a headliner.”

2) “Did you perform at Vanderbilt with lawyers?” (YES!) “That was a lot more tame than your act here” (well did you still enjoy it?) “To be honest I am very much against porn (I did a bit on the absurd fact that porn is still labeled interracial in 2014) but you did get lots of laughs.”

1) “My boyfriend died this week and I lost my job and you made me really laugh tonight and I am going to tell people about you.” (So you’re single?)

This will probably be the last blog of the week, but be sure to check out www.YouTube.com/JLCauvin for my review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Friday.

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! THIS WEEK’S EPISODE WAS A MASTERPIECE



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Cleveland Journal Pt 2: The Wrap Up (in Pictures)

Well, another week in my home away from home, Cleveland, has concluded and between good shows, great weather and saving money on my Con Ed bill back home this week was a huge success.  Since I was busy snapping a ton of photos on the trip I will just give you a short write up before giving you the photos (with hilarious captions of course).  Wednesday through Saturday I middled for Tim Gaither and Sunday I emceed for Gary Owen.  The great thing about working with Gary Owen (other than him being a funny dude) is that my first paid gig in August 2004 was emceeing for Gary Owen at the DC Improv.  So in 9 years, 11 months I have finally made it to the point where I am… emceeing for Gary Owen?  But since I worked with him in 2013 (and he remembered me then too after an 8 year gap) he remembered me as “the Georgetown law grad” (better to be remembered for something, right?).  He also remembered me telling him how good Season 3 of Breaking Bad was (apparently I really was like a Born Again Christian with that show).  But all the shows were fun (some more fun than others), but unlike most of my road comedy blogs I will let the pictures of the city and my time here do he talking.

Morning in Cleveland. Not a bad view

 

Downtown Cleveland on the 4th of July

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - best museum in the world

Big open fields for people to play Frisbee downtown. Has Cleveland become a liberal arts college campus brochure?

 

Science Center on the lake where they test Josh Gordon's blood for PED and alcohol (Cleveland Browns burn!)

 

A Cleveland bird tried to shit on me... my backpack took the hit for me. #NeverForget

 

All for one and one for all.. and by "one" they mean Lebron James

 

Legends line the streets of Cleveland near the lake

 

The view from inside the Cleveland Improv. Best location of any club in America (that has had me)

 

Car crash right outside of Church before Mass on Saturday #NotBlessed

 

Bar Louie in Cleveland - spinach dip with LOTS of artichokes - $8.50; Hillstone in NYC - removed artichokes from its dip, $17 - WIN FOR CLEVELAND

 

This pit bull was the guest of honor at the cookout I was invited to on the 4th. I think it's a pit bull. It was scary enough for me to call it a pit bull. Too much muscle tone

 

The Cleveland Improv

 

Walked by it yesterday, will be there tonight for Yankees vs Indians.

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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Cleveland Journal Pt 1: A Weird TV Offer & Why Fear May Be Better Than Alcohol for Comedy

I am currently in Cleveland in week one of my two week “My schedule does not constitute a tour, so unlike other comedians I will not refer to my slate of gigs as a tour” Tour and already it is shaping up to be a tremendous trip.  Like any of my comedy adventures it starts with mediocre travel arrangements.  In an effort to constantly win the battle of life vs. crushing economics of feature work I took a 530 am Amtrak to BWI (using points) and flew from BWI to Cleveland (saved me almost half the airfare, but none of my dignity).  The flight started annoyingly because during the emergency exit symposium with the flight attendant (I got the exit row because I had A 21 as my Southwest ticket, which allowed me to enter the plane early – if you don’t understand the Southwest seating system I won’t explain it; I will just congratulate you on having the money to fly real airlines) a guy sitting on the other side of the aisle asked if the door was one that pulled in or pushed out.  Really Captain America?  Because you have so much experience saving lives on commercial airplanes you just want to make sure you use the proper technique during our plane crash?  What a douche.

So, being tired from my early wake up I started to doze off during the short flight to Cleveland.  Now one of the things I do before any flight is scan the NY Times weather map.  And on the Amtrak to BWI I noticed nothing but lightening bolts (not a good symbol in case you were wondering) from Chicago to NYC.  So I momentarily forgot that we were heading into the beginning of a potentially horrific storm (which apparently hit NYC last night) and dozed off, something I almost never do on airplanes.  Well, I was jolted to consciousness about 20 minutes outside of Cleveland by the worst jolt of turbulence I have ever encountered. The first jolt woke me up and then the plan turned to the side (if 90 degrees would be us on our side we definitely wobbled at least 30 degrees)  The bumps and turns only last about 15 seconds and I realized I sort of prefer that to the 30 minutes of nothing but chop.  Then I discovered something that I am sure most psych students know – fear is the best warm up for jokes.  Because the humorous comments I made for the next 5 minutes after the turbulence had my terrified row mate laughing hard.  And then I had an epiphany:

Instead of alcohol, comedy clubs should scare the shit out of customers before the show.  Think of how much we laugh nervously after leaving a haunted house or getting a jolt from a scary moment in a horror movie.  Why not apply this to comedy clubs?  (This feels like an idea for Nathan For You).  You just get big scary dudes (black a bonus at most American comedy clubs) to threaten patrons in the lobby of the club, and blocking the entrance so the show room is the only escape. Or a guy with fake dynamite to his chest runs into the club screaming “Allahu Akbar!”  Or a barrage of killer clowns.  Or maybe girls walking up to couples on dates claiming to be secretly having sex with the men in the couples – basically just an assortment of things to create nervousness and fear and then they walk into the club and laugh harder than they ever have.  Sure you will have to pay lots of actors/comedians for their work inciting fear, but you save on your liquor license and insurance.  Added bonus this might provide me another alley into working comedy clubs.  ”J-L we are all booked up for stage time, but there is a bachelorette party coming in that we would like you to strike fear into.  CONFIRMED!”

Well I arrived in Cleveland around noon I took the city’s “we are really trying hard” 2 car subway from the airport to the city center.  Getting to the comedy condo I saw that the club has continued to improve the condo (I have been coming to the club since 2010 and the condo has improved every year – but do not worry, even back in 2010 it was 10 times better than the Saw basement level accommodations at the River Center Comedy Club in San Antonio (seriously comedians – shame on any of you for working that club – not worth the money). Condo is now very clean, has two mounted flat screens, fast WiFi and the toilet paper is even folded with a triangle like at the fancy hotels like Days Inn.  And then after dropping my bags I received a Facebook message from a non-FB friend:

“J-L”

That was it. So I replied:

“yeah?”

And the reply to that was:

“Would you like to be on COMICS UNLEASHED?” (caps included in message)

Now the person sending the message was not a friend of mine and I was not sure if it was a prank or a goof, considering the accompanying lack of any pleasantries or introduction.  I checked the person’s profile and they do work in entertainment so I replied:

“Sure. Sorry for the delay. I’m travelling.”

That was 20 hours ago at the writing of this blog.  I have not heard anything back. Perhaps it was just a poll to see if comedians would agree to appear on the show, but I am still somewhat confused by whether I have been offered or submitted for anything.  Maybe it’s just like Ghostbusters, “When someone asks if you want to do a TV show you say YES!”  Anyway, show went well last night and I am sleeping in the quasi-famous windowless bedroom of the Cleveland Improv comedy condo.  Sounds creepy, but is fantastic for sleep.  No light of day or hope to interfere with me and my slumber.  Check back Monday for the Cleveland recap and Chicago preview as my Tour continues.

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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Righteous Prick 2014 Heroes Nominees (half way point)

With 2014 halfway over (apparently time flies whether you are having fun or merely trekking the wasteland of comedy drudgery) and a few weeks on the road about to offer me numerous opportunities to share comedy stories I thought today would be a good day to offer some early possibilities for 2014 Righteous Prick Heroes (like CNN Heroes except unlike doing good works of charity or humanitarianism, these people have just entertained me).  So here are your first batch, and it is a diverse batch with two Latinos, two Asians and someone who will give me diabetes:

1) Luis Suarez – the Uruguayan star player who sabotaged his own team’s chances (and his own legacy) at the World Cup by biting another player (his third career biting infraction I believe).  If there is one thing this blogger/podcaster/comedian believes in it is sabotaging one’s own talent through questionable decisions.

2) Mendez – Watching season 2 of Orange is the New Black on Netflix this weekend I was struck by how much more nudity, fingering and all around sexual horse play there was on this season.  It was giving me a True Blood-ish feeling, meaning I enjoyed the first season of True Blood. A lot.  Then I think marketing people got their hand on some stats and realized, hey – our fan base has a lot of women and gays so lets start upping the beefcake factor, the gratuitous sex and the campiness because we really want to solidify our base.  It is like the Tea Party – instead of sticking to your original principles you pander to a loud and critical base, which then makes the political process, or in this analogy, the show, suffer.  Well I was getting that feeling until Mendez showed back up.  The abusive, mustachioed prison guard only appeared in three episodes, but it was the highlight of the show for me and brought me back from the brink. Let’s hope (no spoilers) that he can make it back to play a big role in season three or else I may have to tap out.

3) Masuhiro Tanaka – In this season of Derek Jeter (the icy cool, bland, gives baseball memorabilia to hook ups, has his boys approach women for him at clubs, was obsessed with mariah Carey as a teen which would have made their dating really weird if he was not a famous baseball player Yankee – you know a real hero) I am glad that it is another Yankee that is stealing his spotlight.  Tanaka has been an absolute beast on the mound for the Yankees, even when he loses and I like that he arrived in NY on a 777, the rental of which cost $200,000 with his wife, dog and only a couple of advisers in a gesture whose hubris lands somewhere between the 2010 Miami Heat pep rally and Donald Trump architecture.  I love it.

Derek Who?

4) Godzilla – Giant monster that literally burns bridges and creates hostile division among movie fans.  How could I not have him as a hero nominee?

5) The guy who brought girl scout cookies to crumbs – My favorite cookie is probably the Samoa.  One of the foods most responsible for my weight gain over the last 5 years the Crumbs cupcake.  Well in a move that rivals the pairing up of DeNiro and Pacino in Heat, they are now selling Crumbs Girl Scout cookies.  They come in at a cool 950 calories each, so as expected I only eat two per sitting.

The death of me. Possibly literally.

6) George RR Martin – There were hard feelings after “The Mountain and the Viper” episode of Game of Thrones, as exhibited by this video (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=aekzW-Fh_-8) I made, but after deeper reflection I have to offer the highest level of respect to a man willing to continuously anger and destroy fans on a season-by-season basis.  Not since Drago yelled to the Russian crowd “I DO THIS FOR ME. FOR ME!” has a hero turned on his own fans so harshly.

7) The Guy Who Does The Sound Effects for Tyrant on FX – I do not know if Tyrant is going to be the next great show on television, but it is clear that FX is preparing to challenge AMC for the #2 cable quality spot behind HBO.  They just had Fargo, which for my money was far superior to True Detective and possibly the best show this year, they have The Americans and they are also premiering a 10pm Sunday show in July called The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro, which signals to me that with Mad Men ending soon, The Walking Dead ending soon (I think they said 5 seasons, but maybe they dont want to end that cash cow) and Breaking Bad already done FX is ready to move into the Sunday prime time level.  With all that preamble, the pilot of Tryant was fantastic.  And the singular moment for me was when the lead character slaps the sh*t out of his son.  Whoever did the sound effects for the double slap deserves an Emmy because it sounded like a thunderclap in a storm. Ridiculous? Yes.  Excellent? Double yes.

8 ) The People Who Made Fargo on FX – As I already mentioned – the 10 episodes of this show can only be rivaled (within the qualifying Emmy period) by Season 4 of Game of Thrones.  Better than the final 8 of Breaking Bad. Better than True Detective.

9) Lebron James – Just like he is always a top MVP candidate, he is always a top nominee for an RPH of the year.  By opting out of his contract (and the rest of the Miami Heat following suit) he has opened the door for the Heat to add more firepower in needed areas (like point guard, interior defense and the assassination of Dwyane Wade).  What I hope more than anything, including success in my own career, is that if they sign someone of quality (sorry World Cup has me calling things quality), BESIDES Carmelo Anthony, that they all come out in another pep rally and it simply says “Fu*k Y’all” in big bright letters behind them. They are going to hate anyway – might

10) J-L Cauvin – duh.

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: Chappelle, Danbury and Twitter Credit

This weekend presented a diverse array of comedy exposure.  I featured at a country and western bar in Danbury, Connecticut on Saturday night, but the undercard for the weekend was going to see Dave Chappelle at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday.  I have not been to Radio City Music Hall since I was a child and I forgot how big and beautiful that place is.  It really looked too big for a good comedy show.  But being a huge star that the crowd has been missing for a decade has a way of taming an intimidating room.  The DJ started the show with a tremendous slate of hacky jokes, but he’s not a comedian and the crowd enjoyed them so as usual… I’m the asshole.  The show started late, which led to numerous people standing in front of us (what happened to places like Broadway and Radio City? It used to be if you were late enough you didn’t get to sit and especially a comedy show with an intermission there is no reason to allow late people to disturb the experience of people who paid substantial money for tickets (they were a gift to me for my birthday but I am never above acting indignant).

So the show started with an immediate J-L Cauvin connection.  Tony Woods, a well known DC comic, was the opener.  The difference between DC comedy and NYC comedy is at some point NYC comedians decide they are above open mics and some bar shows, whereas in DC Tony Woods, who was already an established headliner, showed up all the time to any decent bar show or shitty open mic to work on his stuff.  And he always killed.  And I remember the first time I saw Dave Chappelle and Greer Barnes at the DC Improv, after seeing Tony Woods enough times, and it didn’t seem hard to guess who one of their inspirations was.  Whether that is true or not I do not know, but when you see two younger comics with a similar style to an older, funny comic your brain cannot help but make connections.

Woods did very well and then after an intermission Donnell Rawlings had a set that had me laughing at a few moments harder than anything I would see that night (this is only meant as a compliment, not as an insult to any other performers).  Then it was Chappelle time.  I enjoyed his set and I also enjoyed the fact that he was wearing a suit and  not a sleeveless shirt.  One of the few areas where black people are given a pass that white people are not is fashion (#blackprivilege?).  This is why Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook feel so comfortable walking around like morons after games wearing clothes that the Emperor would not be caught in.  And this is also why when Chappelle wears sleeveless shirts on stage to show off his new muscles people marvel at his guns.  White comic with muscles does it today I guarantee other comedians are chanting douche-bag at him (the way we all did at Dane Cook – unless we were the chick he was banging that night – and he didn’t even have muscles to show off).

Cool or Douche?

The set was fun, fairly light and enjoyable.  I was more impressed with the ability to control a room that large with standard stand-up.  Obviously his fame and devoted fans buy a longer attention span, but he also delivered.  If I had to grade it I would say it was a B+/A-, but I am sure that is “hating” to most people.  Oh well.  It was a relief to me though, because he washed away the memory of when I saw him in DC a decade ago, for top club dollar, and he delivered what amounted to “Hey man, I’m Dave Chappelle and I’m famous, rich and just me talking about anything is worth the price of admission.”    I left with a much better impression on Thursday.

But this was all prelude to my soon-to-be legendary performance at Coyote Maverick Bar in Danbury, CT on Saturday night.  I was featuring, but still brought 10 CDs because you never really know if you are going to sell zero or all of your CDs on gigs like this.  When I arrived at the location about 20 minutes before showtime I saw that the room was pretty small (roughly 100 capacity).  That is a good thing, unless you consider that 20 minutes before showtime and there are still approximately 98 seats left to fill.  I was informed from the smiling manager that the advertisement for the show (which was jam packed the week before) was placed in the wrong paper in a different city.  So now I had to deal with the fact that people in Bridgeport, CT were intentionally ignoring my show, instead of the good people of Danbury intentionally ignoring my show.  Now they just had to indifferently miss my show.

When the show started the crowd was about 25 strong.  I worked my ass off and felt good about my set, but pretty bad about my life.  They were a solid crowd (though with the average age being Crypt Keeper I had to dump a bit of my 40 and under material) and I did some of my best crowd work ever so at least that skill set got some exercise.  However, the biggest laugh of my set came with “I am selling CDs after the show…. oh who the fu*k am I kidding…”  But the gig was fun, the bar is cool and the check cleared despite having my last name spelled incorrectly.    So great job Dave Chappelle opening for me for the weekend. You really set the comedy table nicely.

But like any weekend of comedy it ended on a down note because after the world cup USA game yesterday, which was great and with an objectively incredible ending, I tweeted “That was some George RR Martin shit!  #WorldCup”"  It got 5 retweets and 7 favorites from my 1700 followers.  20 minutes later I saw a retweet, from someone I follow, of a tweet by some tech geek with 11K followers who tweeted 1 minute after me (he doesn’t follow me so I doubt he saw mine) that said “George RR Martin wrote that game” and it had over 3200 retweets.  And I shut off twitter and felt a renewed sense of hate for all things comedic.  Sorry Chappelle and Danbury, but hate is stronger than any joy you can provide, but thanks for trying. #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 Case for Lebron James

I felt like last night’s blow out win by the Spurs over the Heat probably made many people feel the way I felt when Joffrey died on Game of Thrones. Sure it was good that his character ended, but you wanted a more satisfying and violent revenge, perhaps at the hands of one of the Stark children.  Perhaps that is what would have been better for Lebron haters.  Perhaps seeing him blow out both knees while being dunked on by Kawhi Leonard as his family was executed by a Dan Gilbert led death squad, like the Czar and his family during the Russian Revolution, would have been more satisfying end to the bizarre fixation that the country has with Lebron.   All of this is supposedly based on The Decision (which you all watched – you only seemed to turn righteous and pious once he didn’t choose your team, esecially you NY Knick fans) and the pep rally the Big Three had.  Really? So he lost in the Finals to the Mavericks, giving you the schadenfreude you needed, but then wins back to back titles against a young upstart (Thunder) and a great, respected veteran team (Spurs) and still all that pent up envy and resentment came spilling out after the “cramp game” four years later?  And now the world of ill informed, semi-literate sports fans whose hoops expertise often extends no further than NBA2K games  can finally declare Lebron as a much lesser player than everyone who has ever won a title.  His stats put him slightly ahead of Larry Bird (in 2 fewer seasons AND a career that started right out of high school, though Bird’s final few seasons were back-injury hampered so maybe that cancels out Lebron’s youth), his championships put him with Wilt Chamberlain and Isaiah Thomas’s careers and his overall career trajectory in terms of overall stats has no real equal at this age. So here are a few points I would like to make in defense of Lebron (it was nice having last year off, though I did love writing this right BEFORE his epic Game 6 against the Celtics in 2012):

Stop Calling Wade and Bosh Superstars

I know it is convenient to cite Bosh and Wade as superstars that Lebron ran to to get his titles, but that is not Raptor Chris Bosh and that is not 2006 Dwyane Wade playing out there.  If Lebron signed with a team that had Bill Russell and Michael Jordan on its roster would you say “Lebron’s a pussy who signed with 2 of the 5 greatest players of all time to win titles” or would you say “those old dudes ain’t doing shit for Lebron.”  Wade has allowed Lebron to carry a heavy load the last two years for him during the regular season in the name of him being healthy come playoff time.  The result has been a horrible playoffs last year leading into the Finals where Wade was admittedly solid and this year’s finals where Wade was horrific.

As for Bosh – he is a jump shooting small forward in a power forward’s body.  He was outplayed by anyone the Spurs put down low.  Legitimately Boris Diaw appeared to be a better player than Chris Bosh. Now are you willing to call Boris Diaw a “superstar?”  I didn’t think so.  That label has not applied to Wade or Bosh for a few years, but it sticks, because it is simply a tool to diminish Lebron’s standing as the great player of his day.

The Spurs Are a Great Team with a Great Coach – Better Than Any Team Michael Jordan Beat for A Title

Lost in this really has been the greatness of the Spurs.  Tim Duncan now has 5 titles.  He has won 4 with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli, making them the only trio to win four titles since Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper and (I think) James Worthy.   But instead of viewing the Heat’s loss to them as a great achievement by the Spurs, it if offered as proof that “Lebron is not as good as Michael Jordan.” Two points here – one – if the first insult constantly hurled at a player, whose game and body have no resemblance to Michael Jordan, is to say “he is no Michael Jordan,” then you are obviously constantly comparing him to Michael Jordan and doing it for a reason.  Like if the UN is debating if genocide is occurring, my instinct is to say “if you are thinking about it, let’s just assume for safety sake that it is genocide.”  Similarly, if you are obsessing over a comparison between MJ and Lebron then just admit that his talent and unique brilliance is there and the comparison is worth talking about halfway through his career.

The second point is that  I do not think Michael Jordan ever beat a team as good as the Popovich Spurs.  Not to say he would not have. He had a better cast and a better coach than Lebron, as well as greatness that earns him the benefit of the doubt.  But no team MJ ever beat was as good as the Spurs.  The closest two teams I can think of are the Utah Jazz and the NY Knicks.  The Jazz were a system based team led by Hall of Famers that produced good play out of mediocre supporting cast members (an upper-middle class Spurs).  But they were never as good as the Spurs. Clearly.  The Knicks on the other hand played the Bulls tough with a rough style from a great coach, Pat Riley. But they never had more than 2 stars and Ewing was a low level superstar if you want to elevate him above simple “star” status.   So if you are going to say that losing in the Finals, as Lebron has done three times (to be fair he lost in the finals twice at an age younger than Michael Jordan’s 1st Finals appearance – don’t penalize him for being too good, too young), is clear and convincing evidence of Jordan’s superiority (as I have seen many people write) then be honest and realize that these Spurs much more resemble the Rockets that Jordan never played.  Except these Spurs are better than those Rockets as well.

Shaq, Rodman & Pippen

If you want to compare Kobe, MJ and Lebron on pure title numbers then let me ask you this – who would you pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd of these supporting stars:

1998-2004 Shaq and a loaf of bread

1995-1998 Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman

2012-2014 Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade

Lebron won 60+ games twice with Cleveland and made the NBA Finals with Anderson Verejao and Mo Williams as his two best mates (and the now fully exposed Mike Brown as coach – Lebron should also have Brown’s coach of the year award).  Kobe won his first 3 titles with the most dominant physical force in the NBA since Wilt Chamberlain.  Do you honestly think Lebron could not have won multiple titles in his first 7 years as a pro if he was playing with the Black Mountain (Game of Thrones reference and my preferred moniker for Shaq in his prime)? Do you think playing with Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in mid 90s form – a glue-like defender and multi-skilled offensive player and a tenacious rebounder (someting sorely lacking from the Heat) would not have been better than a phsically and mentally defeated Wade and a jump shooting Euro big man in a dinosaur’s body named Bosh?  If your answer to the above question is Bosh and Wade then as Adam Carolla says “you’re either stupid or a liar.”

You don’t hate Lebron; you might just dislike yourself (plus he became “uppity”)

This year alone Lebron spoke out in the Trayvon Martin case and took an early stance against Donald Sterling.  This may seem meaningless (though he put more than a hashtag on the line when he did so), but it was a lot more than Kobe or MJ did with their clout at leading stars of the NBA.  Since The Decision Lebron has been a great ambassador of the game, a model citizen (at least in the ways we as fans could know) and a spectacular player on the court.  So why do we hate him?  Because we can never be him. And for a split second with The Decision, he let us all know that to our faces.  He changed jobs and it was ESPN’s highest rated program of the year. We change jobs – not even our Facebook friends really give a shit.  He is a physical marvel, a savvy business man and appears to have a happy family life.  In other words – he has it all nd he did not have to be in a Dove Soap natural beauty commercial to prove it.  But unlike Tim Duncan, Lebron made us feel a bit of shame and envy. What man wouldn’t want to go to warm climate, play ball with his friends and be a sports icon?

The rich irony I have observed over the last few years watching playoff games in bars surrounded by guys who work in finance calling Lebron James a “scumbag” or an “arrogant douche” would make me laugh if it was not so insidious.  Money manipulation and moving from their cities to bigger, cooler cities like NYC are both apparently noble pursuits, but when Lebron does it, he’s a villain.  As I have said before I felt bad for Cleveland when Lebron left. I like the city and I, like many sports fans can romanticize the homegrown talent connection to sports teams.  But what happened with Lebron was worse, and yes there is a racial component to this.  He was the good boy who stayed home, helped the town, knew his role was allowed to flourish and have praised heaped on him as long as he stayed that nice humble boy from the town.  But when he wanted to go the big city he got a little too “uppity.” I would have not made these references before, but the jealousy and rage of Lebron have lingered too long to be based on any rational reason.  NBA fans, including the rage filled white fans (according to a recent poll Lebron lost popularity among black and white fans, but has since become more popular with black fans, but is still not even at pre-The Decision levels of popularity with white fans), basically had the burden of being fans’ favorite house servant – giving us amazing feats of enjoyment with humble habits right in our living rooms and sports bars.  So of course the betrayal felt even worse when he became perceived as the league’s most brash field hand (even though neither was ever true, but that is how the perception was). If you are going to be better than most of America Lebron you better not let them know it.  Barry Bonds can be a jerk and disliked because he was always a jerk. BUT LEBRON – you made us think you were a good one – someone who would entertain us, but never make us jealous – and then you turn around and act like you are better?  That is unforgivable.  We would never let Allen Iverson in our home so we would never feel duped, but Lebron, you were the humble, hard working one!  Never again!

So let’s just hope if Kawhi Leonard’s career keeps up its star trajectory that he keeps his mouth shut for the rest of his career (which actually seems like a distinct possibility).

Great watching you play Lebron and I hope you make your haters eat shit next year.  And as it should be, the final words should be about the Spurs – great run, great team and led by a guy all of America can root for – a wife cheating, former teammate-wife banging, French point guard named Tony Parker. #AmericanRoleModel

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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Lebron, Nipples and Shows: LA Comedy Journal

This week I have been in Los Angeles, with the main purpose of my visit being my second appearance on The Adam Carolla Show, which you can listen to here (http://adamcarolla NULL.com/j-l-cauvin-jonathan-mceuen-and-jade-hendrix/).  The recording went great and I think ensured me a third appearance (at which point I will refer to myself as a show “regular,” which although a stretch, will certainly be more true than the 1.5 million people walking around LA with either “activist” and/or “producer” on their business cards.  Among the perks of the show were the new vending machine that is completely free sitting in the studio.  Leaving the studio I did the classy thing and only took one bag of Famous Amos Cookies, instead of taking 9 bags of cookies, 14 bags of various candies and some gum, like I wanted to.  But there has been so much more to this LA trip than just crushing another appearance on the Carolla Show (#grinding #blessed #thankful).  So here are some of the highlights:

Los Angeles’ Confused Relationship with Lebron James

On Sunday evening I watch Game 2 of the NBA Finals at a sports bar.  My friend Nick and I were rooting for Lebron, which earned us numerous scornful stares, which I found odd given the fact that half of this town are people who left their hometowns behind to pursue the noble professions of acting and fellatio.  But fast forward to Tuesday night for Game 3 at a different sports bar that was dominated by Miami Heat fans (they even had jerseys to prove that they have been die hard fans for at least 4 years) and the reaction was completely different.  Being that this town feels like it is full of front running ass-kissers (imagine if the NYC comedy community ran an entire city) this felt more appropriate than the hostile reaction Lebron support got on Sunday.  Of course I eventually felt uncomfortable supporting the Heat when with 4 minutes left and the Heat  down 18, Rashard Lewis hit a 3 pointer, cutting the Spurs insurmountable lead to 15 points.  And then I saw a 13 year old Latin kid (I would guess Puerto Rican) ,who did not weigh on the triple digit side of 100 pounds pump his fist, mean mug a table of chubby Mexican dudes who were rooting respectfully for the Spurs, and say “what the fu*k you gotta say now you fu*king fa*gots!?”  Now they did not hear him, but I did… and so did this kid’s proud family members.  The response?  Nothing.  Obviously there was an undertone of Latin-on-Latin hate (Puerto Ricans rank 2nd on the Latino on Latino rankings, trailing only Cubans, but far outranking Mexicans), but I thought to myself “What would have happened if I called a group of strangers “fu*king fa*gots” at 13 in front of my family.  My guess is my parents would have stabbed me to death in shame before the table of Mexicans could do it.  But I wish this young man in his future as a low ranking member of the Latin Kings or as a high ranking member of a fast food management team in a decade.

Epidemic of Male Nipples at LA Gyms

So after a few days of eating terribly (the unlimited chips and cookies on a six hour flight are a gateway drug) I went to the gym today, a nearby 24 Hour Fitness.  And boy did it deliver.  Over 50% of the people had tattoos, including several guys that look like Harry Potter.  A majority of the women had ink, but the thing I noticed most of all, besides the worst pec size-to leg size ration I have seen in a good while, was the proliferation of male nipples.  Now I am not one of these tools that thinks women should be allowed to walk around topless (my apologies to Bruce Willis’ oddly big-breasted son who has been campaigning hard for this), but it makes me think that maybe men should do some covering up.  I would actually find it less weird for a dude to be working out shirtless than with a tank top that only seems to be beating the gym rule of “must wear shirt” on a technicality. Congrats sirs, 4 millimeters of each shoulder and your lowest 2 abs are covered by your “shirt.”  Other than seeing two women walking around with gallon jugs of water (is this a new cause? to prove that women can be as douchey as men in a gym?), the proliferation of male nipple was the weirdest trend I saw in the LA gym.

Fun Shows ad Reunions with NYC Comedians

It is amazing the mental change that can occur when doing unpaid bar shows 3,000 miles from home.  Other than been paid in a substance that I have no desire to use my four shows this week are all unpaid (#Grateful #blessed #Grinding #thankful).  Normally I would just watch TV or hang out with buddies in town, but being in a different city in front of different people, has a natural rejuvenating effect that motivates one to get on stage and, at least in my case, work on newer material.  I have also seen enough familiar faces to add a touch of comfort to the experience.  So I guess what I am saying  is when I get back to NYC… I will return to my normal level of unmotivated.  #Grinding

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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