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New Movie Shows How TMZ Sports Brought Down Ray Rice and Roger Goodell

The Ray Rice-Roger Goodell-NFL scandal that rocked the sports world has predictably gotten a cinematic treatment.  In the spirit of the classic All The President’s Men comes this generation’s great saga of intrepid journalism conquering corruption in power.  Check out All The Commissioner’s Men:

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=qlvE7dqYHfA)

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: Comedy Sharecropping in Connecticut

This past Saturday I had a gig at an Italian restaurant in Connecticut.  To be fair I also had a paid gig at a bar in NYC on Friday so it was basically a cash bonanza for my comedy career.  The Friday gig conflicted with the Utah Jazz- (my favorite hoops team of the last 27 years) NY Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.  The Jazz had lost 9 of their last 10 games at MSG (including the last 6 that I was in attendance for).  Last year I went to the game courtesy of Lorne Michaels’ seats (a writer on an LM show gave them to me because he was unable to go last minute and when an NYC comedian hears Utah Jazz they think of me) and the Jazz lost by about 140 points.  So of course this year I decide to take a $20 spot in NYC and predictably the Jazz won on a buzzer beater in a very exciting game.  Meanwhile at the bar show I was heckled for 20 minutes a cop during my set (the kind of heckler where after the show he/she says “hey man… I am just being me… it’s all good” which is basically what the heckler said).  My main response to him halfway through one of his unsolicited tag suggestions was “Thank you, I will be sure to stop by your station house Monday and offer tips on how to better beat up black teens.”

On Saturday morning it was time to film a new sketch. I had to construct a desk podium the night before, but after filming the sketch I donated it to Ripley-Grier studios. So not only am I a great artist, but I am also a patron of the arts. #Hero

All of this was prelude to the main event: featuring at a restaurant in Danbury, Connecticut.  Not only was there a check at the end of the show, but non-alcoholic beverages were on the house!  However, alcohol and food were full price.  First step was the $27 round trip ticket on Metro North. Upon arriving in Bridgeport it was a $30 cab ride (split with the emcee so only $15 bucks per person #blessed) to the restaurant.  There was a Dunkin Donuts next door to the restaurant so I thought, “Hey I will go to Dunkin Donuts, eat a cheap egg white sandwich and juice for dinner to save my constantly diminishing profit margin!”  But we arrived at 8pm to the restaurant and guess what time DD closed?  8pm. It was like a coherent strategy had been implemented against my financial well being.   So I went inside and ordered a lasagna at the restaurant bar.  As my profit officially dipped into double digit dollars I just instinctively began humming negro spirituals.  Here is a clip of the emcee and I right before our sets:

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=tzUUFwbPaE4)

The sets went really well, but during the headliner’s set I got hungry so I ordered a piece of carrot cake because I knew we would be making a run for the 11:13 train (the last one to NYC for the night) and I did not want to starve on the train home (#HalfWhitePeopleProblems).  So with $1 left in my pocket I got my check and the booker’s wife drove the emcee and I to the Metro North station.  There was no time to sell CDs sadly so I ended up netting slightly less than my monthly Sprint Mobile bill.   I know the sharecropping analogy in the title may seem a stretch, but if the financial realities of a one-nighter don’t convince the reader I was also forced to sit in the comedians-only section of the Metro North train on the way back to NYC.

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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Comedy and Weight Loss Across America

When life closes one door, another one opens.  This is very true in my life, but generally when one decent door closes , the new door opening is an elevator door opening yielding an empty and fatal elevator shaft.  For the last couple of months I have been struggling to keep up with my free content empire (blogs and sketch videos have suffered the biggest reduction, the podcast has had more solo episodes while movie reviews remain the most consistent) with some very time consuming daytime legal work.  But no need to worry fan (or possibly I am up to fanS plural now), my day job assignment ended two weeks early so while I will start desperately seeking day time work (I receive replies to 5% of my comedy booking emails, but 75% of my legal work emails so at least I get some positive affirmation on top of actual money from pursuing legal work over comedic work) and experiencing financial related stress I will have more time to reaffirm my status as the King of All Unpaid Media.  Today’s contribution is a series of videos from stand up shows this year that will showcase some solid bits (mostly new from the 2nd half of 2014, or improved if not new bits) and provide an accidental time lapse of some of my weight loss this year.

I considered posting my half hour submission to Comedy Central from the DC Improv, but I would rather keep that product private until I officially don’t get picked. In the unlikely event I get selected then I definitely won’t post it because I think 90% of it would end up being what I would like to showcase on a television taping.  So enjoy this collection of random bits from 2014:

The Fatal Mistake of Quiznos

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=1SJrpi7-9aI)

Dating vs Hooking Up

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=-VgMl0CK7fw)

The Battle of Generations at Panera Bread

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

The End of Racism and Black Bouncers

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=LGrCllt3gpg)

The Benefit of Gay Marriage

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

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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Keanu, Denzel Or Liam: Who is the King of The Angry Homicidal Loner Heroes?

This  year has been a big year in a growing trend in movies – the resurgence of the Angry Homicidal Loner Hero.  Throughout the Clinton and Bush 2.0 years it seemed action movies became more about collaboration and wits and mismatched pairs.  And the individual action hero began to die a slow death. Gone were the days of Reagan when action heroes could show that one American could destroy all the forces of evil in the world, even if that solitary American action hero sounded a lot like an Austrian.  But with the election of Barack Obama there was a rise in two types of films – scared white people being hunted/murdered/threatened in their homes and having to fight back or die and the Angry Homicidal Loner Hero.  Just as the War on Drugs and the Cold War gave America two reasons to crave heroic, angry white dudes in the 1980s, so too did the election of Barack Obama give rise to the need for new heroes to battle frightening scenarios (yes this is all anecdotal evidence).  If a black man is in the White House, just imagine who could be invading YOUR house?!

The undisputed godfather of this new movement is Liam Neeson.  In real life his wife died months before Taken arrived in theaters and with life imitating art he attacked his career with a vengeance after the loss of his wife. Taken set the new standard for action movies.  As I have said recently, not every movie has to be great, but it should try to be great at what it is trying to do.  Taken was a very linear action movie – daughter is kidnapped. Former CIA-type goes on rampage to get daughter back. The End.  It had great action and never tried to be better than it was. It just tried to be great at what it was doing.  From there Neeson has made this his new brand.  Gone are the days of rescuing Jews or fencing with Tim Roth. He is now an action star.  None have reached as high as Taken, though I actually enjoyed The Grey a lot as it was a little higher degree of difficulty than Taken and still delivered a solid film.  But with Taken 3 coming out in 2015, 7 years after Liam Neeson took over has his time as the King of the AHLHs already passed?  In a word… yes.

You had a good run Liam, but now it is time to go back to Merchant Ivory type movies

That is because other movie stars have taken notice and are simply doing it better – like Samsung ripping off Apple and making bigger and better phones. Now perhaps Liam has an Apple 6 movie equivalent in the works, but without it he is already being left behind.  First person to pass him? Denzel Washington.

The Equalizer was a tremendous AHLH movie.  First off Denzel broke the mold by being black.  In an age of Obama you would expect all the loners fighting for our happiness and way of life to be white, but with a black, female republican in Utah being elected to the House, anything is possible (the role was originally considered for Russel Crowe though so I am still sort of right)!  What Denzel does in The Equalizer is just show that he is better than Liam Neeson. No knock on Neeson, but Denzel conveys a lot more with a dead-eyed stare than almost any actor. And for an AHLH silence is key and what you convey with a look is huge.  Plus, The Equalizer was directed by Antoine Fuqua who did a killer job stylizing the action scenes (that last scene in the hardware store is a visual treat).  And they made Denzel’s character more deadly and efficient than Liam Neeson’s.  Lastly, they opened up The Equalizer to more sensible sequels.  A friend of mine once said to me, upon seeing Taken 2 arrive (paraphrasing) “That’s dumb – they shouldn’t have his family being kidnapped again (which is happening in 3 as well). Instead his reputation should get him other jobs around the world helping people.”  And that is precisely what The Equalizer set up with its ending. New plots with new character give you new chances for new stars or big stars to join the franchise.  When Denzel said he should be the new Bond I chuckled. Then I saw The Equalizer and stopped chuckling.

Can't wait for a sequel, but Denzel's reign was still short lived.

But alas, like George Lazenby’s reign as Bond, it appears Denzel’s reign as King of the AHLHs is short lived because Keanu Reeves just one-upped him in John Wick.  First off it needs to be said that the phrase “Black Don’t Crack” needs to be amended to “Black and Keanu Don’t Crack.” Dude is 50 and along with Tom Cruise clearly has found the way to appear as a 35 year old white man for life (though Keanu has Asian blood, which helps explain his tremendous black hair).  But like Cruise, Keanu has the ability to do physical action still and that sets him apart from Denzel and Liam.  And John Wick is the most straight forward, simple and excellent of the new batch of AHLHs.  The hand to hand combat/MMA style fighting from Keanu is stuff that the other two are incapable of. I found myself very impressed with it on its own merits.  Also, Wick is the most brutally efficient killer of them all.  Everything is finished with a headshot.  Keanu was also born to play these roles.  Liam and Denzel have chops and range, but Keanu appears perfectly suited for a guy whose single minded purpose lurks just beneath the surface of a relatively pleasant, ordinary guy.  He goes into cyborg mode with just a few angry lines and it is perfect.  He wears a suit well and shoots a gun better – why mess with a whole lot else?  To prove the point, Wick is hell bent on revenge because of the death of his beagle puppy.  To give him a greater purpose would render him complicated. Instead he is willing to execute dozens of people to avenge his puppy (to some of you that makes perfect sense and you are scary).  Lastly, the movie is basically filmed like a montage of violence and cool stories about John Wick. When Wick is digging up his old reserves of weapons spliced with his old Russian mob boss explaining why Wick is so dangerous I was getting goosebumps.  If Rocky IV is the greatest sports montage music video then John Wick is maybe the greatest action montage posing as a movie.

So who knows what 2016 will bring? Perhaps a Chris Christie presidency will lead to a spate of fat heroes or villains (Jonah Hill’s agent will be busy either way) or a Hillary Clinton presidency could lead to horror movies about menstrual blood causing a pandemic across America.  But whatever the future holds for action and horror cinema let’s enjoy the AHLHs and see if Keanu can retain the title for the rest of Obama’s presidency.

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 Mega DC Comedy Recap

This weekend represented the last major weekend of gigs for the year (or if you look at my website calendar – my life apparently) for me and it was a big one (all due respect to the Connecticut restaurant I will be performing at in November and the casino I will be at in December).  I was opening for the third time in my life for living comedy legend Dave Attell at the DC Improv.  Here is why that is a great gig.  First, the DC Improv is one of my two favorite clubs in the country, along with Helium in Philadelphia.  The audiences in DC are always sharp and typically diverse.  Second, Dave Attell is comedy famous enough to sell out five shows in advance with comedy savvy audiences, but not so famous that it is sold out with people who were solely attracted to the name of a famous actor or celebrity.  Third, I am very good at comedy which also makes it easier to do.  So it has been a couple of weeks of long hours doing legal work so now that I am on a 4 am Amtrak from DC to NYC on a Monday morning this is a perfect chance to give you an extremely thorough recap of the weekend (videos from my sets will be up mid week).

Friday

Any trip in the Northeast Corridor for me involves a trip to Penn Station, the answer to the question, “What if NYC was actually the capital of a developing nation and had a train station?”  Now every major train station in the northeast has enough space and well mannered citizenry to line up in an orderly fashion to get on the train.  Penn Station is more of a post apocalyptic battle for fresh water-type environment when a train gate is announced.  I happened to be within about 15 feet of the correct gate when the train was announced.  As I start shuffling towards the escalator a woman does a 10 yard sprint to duck around me and get in front and then immediately starts calling for her daughter to come to her.  I then start getting quasi-shoved aside by a 14 year old as she seeks to reunite with the piece  of sh*t that birthed her.  I loved their technique – be rude and then act like your daughter, who already has mom’s full grown rudeness has to be reunited like she’s a toddler.  They were both holding Subway drink cups and I can honestly say I was about 80% of the way to knocking them out of each of their hands and dropping a $5 on the ground next to them like Sonny smashing cameras in The Godfather.  Just to prove I do not just pick on women, a guy kept bumping me with his bag and I turned and said “Get the fu*k off me.”  I was in a generally bad mood, obviously.  Normally I would just keep my mouth shut and blog later.

Once on the train I realized how long it had been since I had been on a Friday NYC-DC train – what a mess.  I was on the Accela (used points for anyone in DC who would challenge my on stage assertion that I cannot afford Accela), which is relatively expensive. That did not stop the train from looking like a Depression-era freight train.  On the plus side I observed no bare feet, which is something of a miracle in today’s “the world is my living room” culture.

Under Obama even our rich trains are looking like poor trains! Nothing is sacred.

When I arrived in DC I headed to the Dupont Circle.  I was staying at the Windsor Inn. Sounds fancy right?  Well according to my budget conscious travel agent, AKA Hotwire.com, it was a beautiful 2 star property. What that means is you get a small, oddly shaped room and are greeted by a cat chilling in the lobby all day.  Given its location near Dupont and its unassuming mediocrity I am guessing it is a popular place for low level Republican lawmakers to meet their gay lovers while away from their wives and children.

The Windsor Inn mascot

Then it was time for the shows at the Improv and they were fantastic. CD sales after both shows were robust (I would sell 32 at $10 per for the week and since my hotel only cost me $321.44 I only need someone to Paypal me $1.44 to net zero dollars from my CDs – #Blessed).  A highlight of the evening was having a friend of my brother’s, a journalist, who, if my memory serves me correct won a Pulitzer recently, come up to me and tell me good job.  See people – who needs “comedy industry” or “profitable gigs” when you can make power players in DC laugh??  Truth is he was there with a friend who was an Attell fan so it was a coincidence. He mainly remembered me as one day losing my temper on the basketball court – my brother, when he lived in the area, would play hoops many Sundays with other journalists in DC and when it town I would join him. As a 6’7″ former college hoops player I might seem like a ringer, but fortunately my skills and fitness were at their nadir when I was playing in these games so it was much fairer than it should have been.  Well on what would be my last time playing with them I ended up playing horribly and getting so mad at myself that I was basically (and understandably) not really welcome back, probably by my brother as much as anyone.  Basically it was like the Melee at the Palace if Ron Artest had just yelled expletives at himself and inadvertently scared the young son of one of the other players, instead of going into the stands and beating someone up.

As a special surprise, comedian Nate Bargatze showed up to do a guest spot on the late show. Nate is a wonderful comic and all around guy who, like Amy Schumer started right around the same time as me in comedy a decade-ish ago and has now lapped me several times over.   We had a solid round table discussion of comedy after the show and then Nate picked up the tab. Great end to the day as I walked back to the Windsor Inn.

Saturday

The second day of the three day comedy extravaganza started with a 2pm breakfast at Panera (a clip of a new bit based on a very real showdown in Panera between a 60 year old guy named Timothy and a 25 year old woman I dubbed iCunt on stage will be up this week).  I then went to Washington Sports Club in Dupont for a workout.  It was going to cost me $30 for the day (yikes) but just as I was handing over the cash, the woman at the desk said the system was not working so I could go in for free #Blessed.

The shows that night were great (including a killer set in the side room), the CD sales were great, and the people watching outside was great, being that everyone was celebrating Halloween, even though Halloween falls on a Friday, which would seem like a great excuse to actually have Halloween parties on Halloween, as opposed to 6 days earlier.  Walking along all the bars on Connecticut it seemed the most popular costumes were “Slut” and “Black Guy Dressed as Regular Guy Looking to Pick Off Drunk FUPA Exposing White Chicks.”  Everything seemed in pretty good cheer and order except for the burly guy mouthing off to the cops in front of Lucky Bar, whose girl was pulling him away as a cop whipped out whatever those sticks they used to beat people with (look like the “sick sticks” from the movie Minority Report) and said “Come say that to me again you fu*king bitch.” He didn’t say whatever the cop asked him to say.

Sunday

On the final day of the trip I finished writing two killer sketches during a 1245 pm Panera breakfast (I was really committed to an early bird rise) and then met my fellow Williams and Georgetown alum friend for an early dinner and to watch Ben Roethlisburger rape the NFL record books. Allegedly.  It was a great contrast in what one can do with a Williams BA/Georgetown JD. My friend told me tales of his wife and two sons and the business he is running, while I considered it a win to order and pay for an appetizer AND entree.

Sunday night was the final show and it went great as all the others had, though there was a wretched and miserable woman sitting dead center 3 rows back wearing all pink. She would eventually leave during Attell’s set.  She texted throughout my entire set, but did pipe in with a loud “NO” when after my first bit crushed (duh, #blessed) I said “you guys seem like a happy crowd.”  I ended up selling all but three albums I brought with me.  Now if you are a new reader of this blog or think I am being too self-congratulatory my podcast and previous posts throughout the years should solidify my credentials as someone who only says good things when they really happen because 70% of my comedy news is bad news. So allow me an early morning Amtrak trip blog gloating session…

Good luck following this Attell!

OK – gloating over.  Time to get home, shower, put on a suit and review legal documents for 11 hours. #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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LA Comedy Recap Pt 2: Carolla and Cheesecake

Well I am back in NYC after a great and productive week in Los Angeles.  Last blog I gave a thorough recap of Comics Unleashed (hoping the check arrives in the mail this week) but that was only part of the trip.  The next day I was on The Adam Carolla Show for the third time in 2014, which is coincidentally how many times I ate dinner at the cheesecake factory in the three nights I was in LA (a friend is a waitress there, which mean discounts, #blessed).   The appearance went really well (you can listen here (http://adamcarolla NULL.com/jl-cauvin-and-matt-atchity/)) and only one person on the Facebook post wrote “I hate jl” in the comments section.  Now the Carolla producer is in talks with my management (meaning my hotmail account) to have me on as a call in segment, rebooting an old Adam Carolla segment from his television show.  Normally I would not jinx an opportunity like this but a) it is unpaid and b) it is unpaid so what am I really jinxing by telling you before it airs?  So, hopefully this happens and allows me to continue to grow my fan base through the ACS.  Now I am back to submitting for contract legal work to fill in the large gaps in my comedy calendar.  So while that happens here is a pic of better times of myself, Adam and Matt Achity of Rotten Tomatoes:

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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LA Road Comedy Recap Part 1: DJ-L Unleashed

This week I am in Los Angeles for what can only be considered a media blitz by my comedy career’s standards.  Today I record an episode of The Adam Carolla Show (third appearance of the year so I really expect to start seeing the “seriously who the fu*k is this guy and why is he on the show a lot” tweets and Facebook messages) and then tomorrow I fly back to NYC to beg for bar show spots.  This month has really been a peak for me in terms of accomplishing things without management – a successful Last Comic Standing showcase audition, a TV appearance and a repeat appearance on the world’s #1 podcast.  Now if I can just win Last Comic Standing, get 2 or 3 more TV appearances and be Carolla’s replacement when he retires I should finally catch the eye of a manager or agent (did you think I was going to NOT see a negative side to all this?).  Well here is the recap of my trip so far:

I flew out to LA on Delta and paid the extra $100 for the economy comfort seat.  Made a huge difference – it really is amazing to not have my knees bleeding from being embedded in my tray table when I get off of a plane.  I watched Draft Day, the Kevin Costner movie, for free on the flight and actually enjoyed it. Had a corny ending but it was an entertaining way to pass 2 hours on a cross country flight and had many scenes in Cleveland, including filming at the gas station right near the Cleveland Improv comedy condo.

When I arrived in LA I headed to my hotel.  Hotwire.com has been doing good work for me for the last couple of years in getting me good deals on hotels (the trick is you only know the neighborhood and the stars of the hotel, but not the name or exact address).  So I picked a 2.5 star hotel for very cheap within a few miles of Adam Carolla’s studio.  Now when I got word of my hotel, I was disturbed by the name – Safari Inn.  Not a chain. Stupid name.  A sign of a surfboard as their logo as if they misunderstood their own name (Surfari – surf board makes sense, Safari? No sense).  When I actually arrived at the hotel I realized that it was actually a motel.  And near my room they have posters of different Hollywood productions that have filmed at Safari Inn. Among the productions: Prison Break, CSI, True Romance.  In other words Hollywood producers look at my motel and say, “This looks perfect for where fugitives, sex criminals and Mexican standoffs could take place!”  But with less than 24 hours left in my stay in LA I have yet to murder or be murdered. #Blessed

But on to the main event.  On Tuesday afternoon I went to Culver City to record my episode of Comics Unleashed.  Basically what happens on the show is the host, Byron Allen, sits with 4 comics in a talk show setting, but delivers easy set ups for you to deliver your prepared bits.  I had my own trailer with my name on it which was cool.  The show went really well.  One of the bits I was certain would kill had one line fall flat, but several including my last one went really really well and from all of that they will definitely have good stuff to make me look funny when the episode airs.  The most fascinating part of the experience to me was the crowd work.  The crowd was bigger than I expected (probably 4 times the Ferguson crowd) and there was a huge party atmosphere (DJ, hype woman, tons of cheering and dancing, etc) to the point that when I came out with the other comics to take our seats I felt like Drago in Rocky IV entering the ring versus Apollo Creed:

YouTube Preview Image (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=QeoHcB9_wss)

But so far a good trip.  Tomorrow – a recap of the Carolla day (and then a movie review of Gone Girl 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!



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My Final Trip to the Derek Jeter Shopping Mall

Last night I went to what I assume will be my final Yankee game of this season (proud to say I have not yet paid for tickets in the new shopping mall known as Yankee Statdium) and witnessed a boring 4-3 loss to the Tampa Rays. On the plus side the weather was nice and it was definitely great to hang out with my extremely busy brother for a night.  Now I must preface the rest of the post that if you love the Yankees and/or Derek Jeter you will dismiss this as more “hating” by me or something close to verbal half-black on half-black crime, but what Yankee Stadium has become, and more specifically the Derek Jeter farewell industry, is disgusting.  I think the Yankees, Jeter and sports memorabilia pimp Brandon Steiner have turned a storied franchise into a shameless cash engine.

Anyone who has been to the new Yankee Stadium has to have noticed the exponential explosion of gift shops and space allocated to gift shops.  After the fifth inning I accompanied my brother to the gift shop for him to look for a trinket for his kids.  I gladly joined him because baseball is extremely boring. What was shocking was that the store was jam packed.  In the middle of a game the store was jam packed like a Black Friday sale was going on. That is when I realized that the new Yankee Stadium feels more like the Mall of America – a bunch of places to spend money, but instead of an amusement park in the center, an overpriced baseball team performs with accomplished mediocrity.  Contrast this with the open and beautiful feel of Citi Field where the game is always visible as you walk around the stadium and feels like the most important thing going on, which is sad since the Mets suck so bad, but at least the stadium’s heart is in the right place.

At the center of the store, and by center I mean 60% of the store were dozens of shirts, hats, trinkets, used condoms and pubic hairs commemmorating Derek Jeter’s final season.  And then in the next store area a few sections over was the Brandon Steiner store with all sorts of manufactured memorabilia commemmorating Jeter’s career.  And all I could think was how shameless and hypocritical this whole charade was.  For a sport that keeps claiming to be based on nostalgia and creating memories and respect for tradition and history it seems that now this stadium only serves to force feed you manufactured memories and memorabilia, which of course negates the organic development of real history and nostalgia.

People will always praise Jeter as one of the guys who plays the game the right way.  However he was either a little jealous of all the fan fare Mariano Rivera got last year, or he saw dollar signs in his eyes like a cartoon villain, so he announced his retirement at the beginning of his final season.  Plus there had to have been a Yankee-Steiner-Jeter agreement to cash in on the tens of millions of additional dollars of merchadise “commemmorating” the occasion.  I always liked the way John Stockton, a first ballot NBA Hall of Famer, retired. He played his final season. Then he talked to his family and team management and announced his retirement.  No whoring. No self-serving farewell tour. No millions of dollars in merchandising.  And of course it is savvy business decision for Jeter (for a man with hundreds of millions of dollars already), but for a guy always hailed as a great ambassador of the game, it comes off as a shameless money grab.

Then there is the aforementioned explosion of intentionally generated memorabilia.  The whole point was that items gained prestige over time from their unforeseen value and/or personal attachment.  Now thanks to our culture and pimps like Brandon Steiner everything can become memorabilia.  Time and experience should determine the value and meaning of game items.  Someone might frame their ticket the last time they saw Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams, but now we have the Stadium and Steiner telling us that the 19 limited edition t-shirts, signed game jerseys that were never worn and 3 hat set with certificate of authenticity (yes this was offered on the big screen last night) are what we really need.  People often said of comedy that you will love it less when it becomes a business to you and that is sort of true to a certain extent.  Well, memorabilia loses most of its cache when you are instructing me what I need to experience sentimental feelings about an experience, instead of letting nostalgia occur naturally.

The there is Jeter the sports business icon.  Like his idol and business partner Michael Jordan, Jeter has always struck me as cold.  Jordan once famously said that “Republicans buy sneakers too” when he declined to endorse a candidate in North Carolina versus the bigoted Senator Jesse Helms.  Jordan operated with two things in mind – winning and Jordan, Inc. But he was so gifted and successful that we all applauded his accomplishments and never expected him to be a decent human being, as long as he was not a criminal.  I feel like the partnership of Jeter as Jordan brand’s #1 athlete endorsement is a perfect fit.  Jeter has never uttered a charismatic word in his life, he is aloof and is not afraid to whore his image of “playing the game the right way guy” into tens of millions of dollars of shameless merchandising.  But he won and that makes everything great, as long as you are not a criminal.  So congrats to the Yankees and Jeter for turning a hallowed space of baseball into a cheap shopping mall.  I just hope when Jeter gives his hook ups memorabilia bags that he doesn’t charge them since they are “Farewell to the Captain” gift bags.  That concludes this week hate session.

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Comedy Road Recap: A Show for the Aged

This weekend I was on a show in Croton Falls, NY, a place that would be a perfect setting for a horror movie. There was a horrific Summer storm raging and Sprint, which generally has mediocre coverage anywhere outside of a 15 foot radius of a Sprint store, was completely dead. Combined with the desolate, suburbs-on-verge-of The Sticks ambiance, I figured it was only a matter of time before an ax wielding madman chopped my head off. So it was imperative that if this was a horror movie that I find the busty young co-ed showering before I met my demise.  None of that happened, but I was set to perform a half hour at the Schoolhouse Theater, which felt like the clocktower the lady was trying to raise money for in Back To The Future.  The show was sold out (90 seats to hear JLC speak), but the average age was Old Testament and the average ethnicity was Clorox.  But after 11+ years doing comedy, one of the refreshing things is you learn never to judge an audience by its demographics.  Sometimes a crowd of young people can be stupid, unimpressed or uninformed and give you next to nothing, while a bunch of old people in the suburbs can be a great audience, literally dying for a laugh. And that was the case on Saturday (the thumbnail pic on this post is supposed to represent me with the audience).

A few of my jokes rubbed the crowd the wrong way and/or confused them, but my tag line becamse “tell your grandkids to use ‘the google’ to figure it out – then they might become fans of mine who laugh at the joke when I am actually telling it instead of 6 hours later during an Internet search.”  Yes, sort of long for a tag line, but it worked with slightly shorter variations throughout my set.

After the show there was a Q & A with the audience where they asked the comedians about comedy, our lives, etc and it actually was kind of cool. And it allowed me to make my final impresssion a nice one instead of as a cynical dick.  After the show I even sold a few CDs and met a teacher from my high school who was classmates at UPenn with the emcee.  One elderly woman in a scooter said to me she wished I would write something so she could learn more about my life. She said that every time I started to talk about myself, whether my family, my jobs, my travel stories, she wanted to hear more about it.  As I always say, all the good women are either taken or are wheelchair bound senior citizens. I told her if I ever write a book I will get her a copy (for full cost – I left that part out).  I then went home and celebrated with some cookies and milk because for all the glitz and glamour tht comes with performing for 90 people in a small theater in the suburbs, I am still just the same humble comedian I started out as. #Blessed

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Labor Day Weekend Comedy Recap: DC Comic

This weekend I was at the Arlington Drafthouse in Arlington, Virginia to feature for Jay Chandrasekhar (or Jay C as I would have called him if I knew him better and had thought of that funny nickname on the spot instead of on a train two days later), known best as a comedy director and star of the films Super Troopers and Beer Fest, though I was happy to hear that he had also directed several episodes of Arrested Development.  I took Amtrak down to DC on Saturday and then ventured to the Metro Pentagon City stop, which was also the location of the mall I always went to during law school when I wanted to spend money I did not have. I hopped a cab to my hotel, the Pentagon City Sheraton, a 4 star hotel according to Hotwire.com, which continued its excellent streak of providing me with criminally low prices for DC Summertime hotel rooms (honestly – I feel like the cheapness of DC area hotels in the Summer could not be any lower even if there was an outbreak of Ebola in the DC area).

When I arrived at my hotel with an almost dead cell phone I realized I had left my cell phone charger at home.  So I took the hotel shuttle back to the Pentagon City Mall to purchase a cell phone charger, which quickly put my net earnings from the weekend at a robust -$21.00.

It was then time to head over to the theater.  My hotel was literally .9 miles in a straight line from my hotel so I started walking, forgetting that I am 36 lbs heavier than the last time I lived in DC for a Summer.  By the time I arrived at the theater I looked like Robert Hayes trying to land the airplane at the end of Airplane!  The staff at the club was great and the crowds were some of the best I have performed in front of.  And CD sales were surprisingly robust.  I saw an older gentleman leaving the theater on Friday night wearing a Williams College hat and I said – “Hey Williams – I am class of 2001.” He then gathered his family around to chat – he was Class of 1964, his son was class of 1996 and his daughter was a vile human being, which I inferred when she said that she had attended Duke.  We had a nice chat and then they bought my albums, which made me finally feel like I was benefiting from the Williams College alumni network.  After that an older drunk woman sort of sexually harassed me which was made weirder by the fact that her date/boyfriend/lover/husband/benefactor was right there. She actually spent 4 drunken minutes guilting him into buying one of my CDs.  It would have been less awkward if he had just paid me $10 to come back to their apartment and have sex with her while he filmed.

The next day was a big day of podcasting.  First was recording a mega movie episode of my podcast with Chris Lamberth (goes up tonight/Tuesday morning) and then I headed back to the theater to record back-to-back-podcast episodes with the guys behind the Three Guys On podcast.  Then, with 7 hours of my life gone I felt like I had had a busy day of accomplishments, until I realized all I had done was record three podcast episodes.  The show was not until 10pm so I had more time to kill so I grabbed dinner with my buddy Ross, whose wedding was chronicled in last week’s blog post.  He then revealed a  truly shocking pair of opinions to me: he is a huge fan of The Leftovers and hated Guardians of the Galaxy.  I asked him when he was joining up with ISIS, since he clearly hates America.

The show was surprisingly packed, sold a few more CDs and then headed back to the hotel. Sadly, my trip back to NYC this morning has been punctuated by a disturbing amount of people in my Acela train car with bare feet up in the air or on their seats.  I am so tired of people putting their feet everywhere like the world is their foot rest.  Feet, whether covered or not, belong on the floor, unless you are in your own home.  And no one wants to see your feet.  I have been angry about this and not many people articulate it better than Adam Carolla in his new book President Me.  From my perspective it is one of those things that is wrong, but the burden shifts to the complainer if you complain.  Like being owed $5.  The person should just pay you back, but if you ask for it back too often you will get the “Jeessh, alright – it’s just $5!!!”and YOU end up feeling like an asshole even though they owe you money.  Put your shoes on people and keep them on the ground.  Other than that, really successful trip to DC.  Hope to see some of you people at the DC Improv October 24-26 when I am back (assuming the people at the shows read this blog).

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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