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Phil Jackson is Donald Trump

In Ace Ventura’s voice: “Trump is Jackson… Jackson is Trump… Jackson is a cuck!”

The two biggest news makers on my timeline (besides me and my brand new comedy album Fireside Craps – only $4.99 on iTunes (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/album/fireside-craps-45s-first-100-daze/id1249491657)) this week have been “President” Donald Trump and Knicks “President” Phil Jackson.  Trump is the worst president in American History by Secretariat margins and Phil Jackson is the most inept president of a basketball team since my last NBA 2K season on Play Station.  I thought a quick comparison would be interesting and it sure was.

2 Presidents: Same Awful Results

Donald Trump entered the presidential race based on an unearned, but highly public reputation as a business genius because he turned his father’s empire and money into a bigger empire and several bankruptcies.  Phil Jackson took over the Knicks with an unearned reputation as a basketball genius (whose signature offense was designed by a former assistant coach) built on the backs of 4 of the top 20 players of the last 30 years in the NBA, including 3 of the top 10.

Both have their roots in 1970s New York City – Trump as a young real estate douche bag.  Phil Jackson as a player for the Knicks who threw a lot of elbows like a douche bag.

Trump took his job with no experience, but lots of unearned arrogance.  He clearly did not want to live in the city of the job and believed his charisma and confidence would somehow make the job easy.  Jackson had no experience in management, wanted to do the job remotely from Montana, and believed that his reputation would lure players to NYC.

Trump has been a colossal failure, unless your only reason for support is “I am a spiteful bigot so Trump is crushing it right now.”  Similarly, Jackson has been a colossal failure unless your only hope for the Knicks is “Maybe they will be so bad the NBA forces James Dolan to sell the team.”  Both fan bases probably hope for Trump and Jackson to say racist things on tape, but for very different reasons.

Trump has alienated allies, shown zero knowledge of politics, government or the world and has made horrible personnel decisions.  Jackson has alienated fans, shown no knowledge (in fact has been dismissive) of the modern NBA and has made horrible personnel decisions (the Joachim Noah trade is his Michael Flynn, and suggesting he would trade Porzingis is basically his version of putting Jared Kushner in charge of everything).

But here is the main difference between Trump and Jackson. Trump told America all the stupid things he believed and would do.  And America still elected him.  But if Phil Jackson had said “I will give Joachim Noah $72 million, berate our star player and lower his trade value and then threaten to trade our best player in 2 generations” no Knick fan would have supported his hiring.  So take heart Knick fans and even James Dolan; it could be worse.  You could be as dumb as Trump voters. I guarantee 35% of Knicks fans are not sitting at home wearing Donald Sterling jerseys claiming that “trading Porzingis would Make the Knicks Great Again.”

I learned after writing this that Observer.com had written an article in April comparing Trump and Jackson, but mine was written without this knowledge (and is funnier).

 



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No Eyez On Him: The Black Jai Courtney

This week the autobiographical film about Tupac Shakur, All Eyez on Me, arrives in theaters.  Named after his 1996 double album, the film is no doubt an attempt to capitalize on the success of Straight Outta Compton, an outstanding musical biopic that I put right with Walk The Line and the criminally under-viewed Love & Mercy (about the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson) as my favorite musical biopics of all time (FYI Amadeus, my all time favorite movie, is far above any sub-genre categorizing, just as The Dark Knight is above any discussion of “best comic book movies.”).  When they announced Eyez I had my suspicions and those suspicions arose from another rap biopic: Notorious.

Notorious, to put it simply, is a pile of shit.  Notorious BIG is my favorite rapper of all time (sorry Gerardo) and the movie drew me to the theater like a hip hop pied piper. “Hey I love Hypnotize! I will see this movie that looks like a few wealthy NYU film students with 1.9 GPAs made it!”  It was awful. The performances sucked. The dialogue was corny (“We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves” is still one of the 5 worst pieces of dialogue I have ever heard in any film, porn included) and everything but the soundtrack sucked.  In the lead role was a new actor named Jamal Woolard and he was now associated with a movie that would go down as the worst thing to ever happen to Biggie.  When I saw Straight Outta Compton my main concern was that it would be another Notorious-esque experience.  Fortunately it was not.

So thanks to Straight Outta Compton, I became cautiously optimistic for All Eyez On Me. And then several months ago, I learned a bombshell – Jamal Woolard would be playing Biggie in All Eyez On Me.  At that point I realized AEOM was likely to be dogshit.  If you think I am jumping to conclusions allow me two pieces of evidence.

Item 1: The Trailer for All Eyez On Me (DON’T BE LURED IN BY CALIFORNIA LOVE!)

Item 2: The film has not been screened for critics less than 48 hours before opening day. This is basically a signed confession that your movie is trash.

So although this is not his starring film, Jamal Woolard will be playing significant roles in two movies that are going to stand for a while as the film legacies for two hip hop icons.  My advice to Jay Z, Nas (Eminem already did his film and had the guy from Ballers), LL Cool J and Kendrick Lamar – if you have had fat black men play significant roles in your lives, put something in your wills that Jamal Woolard cannot be allowed to play them.

This is not to say that Jamal Woolard is necessarily a bad actor, but he may be something worse: he may be the black Jai Courtney AKA “The Franchise Killer.”

The Franchise Killer

Jai Courtney is an actor who has surpassed Taylor Kitsch and Sam Worthington as the white actor who gets the most chances in Hollywood to lead films or get major roles in franchises, despite no exceptional abundance of talent or track record of success.  Courtney has been (as far as I have seen) a main player in Die Hard 5, Terminator 5, Suicide Squad and the Divergent series (wannabe Hunger Games, whose final installment had to go straight to On Demand or Seeso or something). This would be like being the Secret Service agent in charge of Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan and then being handed another detail with the next president.

Jai Courtney has killed more franchises than Amazon

But the danger of Woolard becoming the black Jai Courtney is that he is doing historical damage.  Courtney is destroying beloved film franchises, but if Woolard is carrying the Jai Courtney Syndrome (JCS) then he may be destroying legacies of black icons.  What might be next for Woolard? A 15% Rotten Tomatoes score for an MLK Jr biopic?  Losing weight and winning a Razzie for playing Barack Obama?  A starring role in Tyler Perry’s Oprah biopic?  Do you see my concern now?

The bottom line is All Eyez On Me looks awful and the black community does not need a black Jai Courtney. It already has Jai Courtney.  Jai Coutney is not a white problem or a black problem – he is a human problem and film fans can only handle one.

Final Thought

All Eyez On Me is actually an excellent song, except for the guest verse by “Big Syke”.” In the history of rap I don’t know if I have ever heard a rapper do less with more – the middle verse on a great song on a #1 double album from an iconic rapper and he turned in a stinker.  Maybe that is why the film was named for that song – the idea sounds good but it’s hiding a big turd.

Get J-L’s new stand up albums KEEP MY ENEMIES CLOSER &  ISRAELI TORTOISE on iTunes, Amazon & Google.



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Wonder Woman: Feminist Trojan Horse Courtesy of the Patriarchy

This Friday, Wonder Woman, the latest DC comics attempt at a film, opens up nationwide.  The film has recently generated (or manufactured) some headlines in anticipation of its release with Alamo Drafthouse receiving angry criticism from men at their “Women Only” screenings of Wonder Woman.  Now, I do not know if that means 11 emails, or 11,000, but I am guessing it is a lot closer to the former.  This was savvy strategy. After all making an all ladies Ghostbusters worked the same angle. The movie was terrible and unfunny, but by making the marketing a quasi political quest to show how funny women are, critics largely gave it praise and liberals and feminists heaped praise on a movie before they even saw it. Thankfully for good taste, lady Ghostbusters did not make enough money to warrant a sequel, but the same tactics will probably prove much more successful for Wonder Woman. The main reason is that Wonder Woman is a comic book movie, which as DC has proven repeatedly, is critic-proof.  They have yet to make a good one not involving Christopher Nolan, but they have all been massive hits.  Add on top of that a sort of Trump-America guilt (after all what is more American than not voting in the eminently qualified Hillary Clinton for the comic book villain Donald Trump, but then flexing our collective progressive muscle by supporting a comic book hero in bigger numbers than a real woman who could provide real things) and savvy social media posts about “men losing their minds” over all female screenings and you have a recipe for a major hit.  But there are several issues with this. Quite simply, they are, in order, DC films, Gal Gadot (the star of Wonder Woman) and Wonder Woman in general.

DC – A Tradition of Crap

Ever since Christopher Nolan set the bar with The Dark Knight trilogy, DC has done their best to erase the memory. It’s as if Christopher Nolan was The Cosby Show and every film DC has made since has been a rape allegation. Man of Steel – mediocre, Batman vs Superman – a mess, Suicide Squad – atrocious (with a good soundtrack to distract you from the pain). And yet, despite all evidence pointing to a rushed and incompetent franchise, now everyone is going out of their way to claim that Wonder Woman will be different. Fool me once – shame on you; fool me twice – shame on me; fool me 4 times and I am a comic book loving moron.  Nope. DC – you are terrible and unless you pay Chris Nolan or David Fincher to rescue your garbage factory I will keep my money.

Gal Gadot

While I like the idea of a girl named Gal playing a Woman, praise on her has been absurd. She has benefited from the Tony Campbell rule (a mediocre pro basketball player with a 6 points-per-game average, Campbell averaged over 22 ppg the year he was picked by the expansion Minnesota Timberwolves because someone had to score points). People have said Godot was the best part of Batman vs Superman. That’s like saying the bathroom air freshener is the best part of violent diarrhea – sure it is true, but how much of that is mere downward social comparison?  Lets look at Godot’s last 4 films:

  • Triple 9 – 53% on Rotten Tomatoes (rotten)
  • Keeping Up With The Jonses – 19% on Rotten Tomatoes (rotten)
  • Criminal – 30% on Rotten Tomatoes (rotten)
  • Batman v Superman – 20% on Rotten Tomatoes (rotten)

Basically the only way to have a worse movie track record than Godot is if your name is Tyler Sandler.  But she is very attractive and married to a real estate mogul so if Ivanka Trump can have a moment in 2017 then why can’t a lady named Gal?  But I am not ready to sign on to the emergence of a star just yet. Though, if Ryan Reynolds got 17 chances at being a leading man before he finally had his hit with Deadpool, it stands to reason that we should extend Godot 13 chances to do the same (that’s 77 cents on the dollar of chances a white leading man gets).

Why Does Wonder Woman Have To Be a Hot Woman?

Then we get to the casting, once we have gotten through the phony marketing politics and the failed track record of a dame named Gal.  I am just surprised women have not yet railed against the choice of a tall, thin, attractive white former model.  So instead of getting caught up in this bullsh*t toxic masculinity, male privilege, patriarchal micro-aggressive casting choice I would like to offer some other choices that might actually move us forward, instead of backwards (if the movie doesn’t suck):

Ariel Winter – If there is anyone fighting the real struggles of modern women with style and grace it is the middle child from Modern Family.  Will Wonder Woman ever face the level of scrutiny that Winter has faced for dressing like a porn star to attend an elementary school picnic?  Has Wonder Woman ever had to “clap back” at Internet trolls for pointing out that her ass cheeks need not be exposed to order a sandwich from Subway? In other words, once Winter’s ample chest and Miley Cyrus booty have dealt with the issues of today, channeling the strength to play Wonder Woman would be no problem – and also a little more relatable to today’s millennial ladies.

Just a normal dress to attend a high school graduation party with family – AVN Awards High Class of 2016

Michael Jordan – He never lost in the Finals, basically making him and LaVar Ball the only two people qualified to be superheroes (SORRY LEBRON).  And why can’t Wonder Woman be a man?  This path only seems to go one way. Maybe it is finally time for a man (a BLACK MAN to boot) to play Wonder Woman… OR DO WHITE GENDER NORMATIVE THINGS ONLY APPLY TO WHITE WOMEN TAKING OVER TRADITIONALLY WHITE MALE ROLES????? (thinking face emoji)

Caitlyn Jenner – If we are going to restrict casting to only physically stunning women then why not Caitlyn Jenner?  Olympic Athlete, around since WWI, media savvy, banging body – I mean maybe we should just re-name Wonder Woman “Caitlyn Jenner.”

Ivanka Trump – as mentioned above, if we must cast a “hot woman,” married to a real estate mogul who is having a moment in 2016-17 then why not the First Daughter-Wife-Thot?  Gal Godot is basically the Israeli Ivanka, which is probably what Jared Kushner would have preferred (sadly Gal was not attached to several billion dollars).

Wonder-DaughterWife!

So, to summarize I won’t be seeing Wonder Woman and if you are someone who likes good movies, women from Dove commercials or embraces true liberal politics and not just surface level hashtags, then I know you won’t be seeing it either.

Get J-L’s new stand up albums KEEP MY ENEMIES CLOSER &  ISRAELI TORTOISE on iTunes, Amazon & Google.



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White Women vs Black Twitter: The Cultural War of Our Time

American (and world) pop culture has stolen borrowed from black people for decades. From Elvis to Led Zeppelin to Justin Timberlake (hear my bit on Timberlake duets here (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=MReCtgQdrK4)) to Katy Perry on SNL this weekend, white artists have taken what black people have created and made it their own (doing the same thing, but with a white face to make it more palatable to the American “mainstream”). It is like this country had 400 years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow and is now in the middle of its Pop Culture Sharecropping phase.  America basically cultivated the environment and the need for black people to thrive in sports, arts and entertainment (I mean did you see what the country did when it gave a qualified black man real power? It responded with Trump, basically white America saying to black people “Stay In Your Lane” like an angry, old, white LaVar Ball.  But all of these cultural appropriations that have made America what it is today, still required talent and time. Elvis may have used old black music, but he still was a talented artist.  Nowadays, the Internet has exponentially sped up the rate at which vernacular and culture get taken while simultaneously broadening the spectrum of people who take it beyond the talented and into the mediocre.  In this clip comedian J-L Cauvin (me!) summarizes how average white women are on the vanguard of co-opting black Internet culture and vernacular.  Enjoy it – it’s lit and savage (hands clapping emoji)!



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Road Comedy Recap: The Fairfax of Life

This weekend I was in Fairfax, Virginia to perform at headline at bless two restaurants. I was booked by a DC area comedian a month ago, negotiating a decent rate for myself (as the author of The Comedy Art of the Deal I adhere strictly to rule #1 of comedy business: “When possible, try to make a profit, but don’t insist”).  Once I guaranteed myself more than $0 profit I closed on the deal like my name was Mariano Trump Rivera and prepared for highly anticipated gigs at The French Quarter Brasserie (Saturday) and The Blue Iguana (Sunday).  As usual this story will involve Hotwire.com, Amtrak, sweaty walks alongside highways and small crowds full of passion. So let’s begin this epic journey of comedy genius.

Saturday: How The Sausage Gets Made

I headed to Amtrak for a 1:17pm poor people’s train. When the announcement was made for the train gate, most people actually got into a line (it sort of resembled the zombies in World War Z uniting to try and murder humanity, but if you travel from NY Penn Station with any regularity you know that this is a distinct improvement).  But of course, several animals just cut the line like they did not know there was a line. I wish people like that got the death penalty. Seriously.  People who murder are not deterred by the death penalty.  If you are such an outlier to commit murder, knowledge of the legal system is not a consideration weighed before lighting the elementary school on fire.  However, people who do annoying things like rap loudly on the subway, litter, or cut lines for Amtrak could potentially be deterred if they found out the result was a firing squad.

The train arrived in DC on time and I got on the Metro headed to Tysons Corner, Virginia. I was staying at the Westin hotel in TC because thanks to hotwire.com (as I shared with the audiences) is a site where they give you cheaper rates, but they only give you the general area and star rating of the hotel.  So I chose a highly rated hotel for $68 a night that was within 450 miles of where I wanted to be and landed up with the Westin, which was a 1.5 mile walk from the Metro. So over the course of the next 27 minutes I hauled my bags through Tysons Corner looking like a beige, sweaty ISIS recruit. I got to the hotel with about 30 minutes to spare before show booker and comedian Jon Yeager was to pick me up from the hotel.  So I dropped my stuff off, did snow angels on top of the hotel comforter to build up my immune system and then headed down to the lobby.

The Wild Wild Westin

We arrived at the French Quarter Brasserie (New Orleans food and Jazz-style comedy, in that it was not very popular) and I decided to have the “beans and sausage entree,” which was to play a profound role later in the weekend.  I then met several local comedians that I had only known through Facebook up to that point, heard several solid sets and then went up to perform (after about 90 minutes I then went up and did 55 minutes – I referred to the show as more telethon than comedy show).  The crowd was good, though a little fatigued and I even ended up nailing a newer bit:

After the show I bought a pack of donuts, reviewed my set and then went to sleep, think all was right with the world.

Sunday: Louis Armstrong’s Revenge & Killing The Blue Iguana

Sunday I woke up and ate a healthy breakfast and then returned to my room to binge watch some Hulu before heading out to do 3 Guys On Podcast (listen to the episode here (http://www NULL.threeguyson NULL.com/e/episode-653-not-racist-but/)). For me, Netflix is the wife streaming service. She holds it down for me at home, provides me with the best content of any streaming service and is central to my streaming life.  Hulu, as I would inform the crowd that night, is a road groupie whore streaming service.  I watch shows on Hulu in hotels and occasionally on my phone if I can get a private, sneaky, sleazy moment (to further this point the first thing I did when I got home on Monday was watch a new documentary on Netflix – also, notice how “Netflix documentaries” have replaced “books” for the way my generation and younger discus things to sound smart? That is why we are an increasingly stupid population, while simultaneously more arrogant).  Well, just as I was ready to Hulu and Pimp Slap, the beans and sausage came upon me as unwanted as another season of Orange is the New Black.  I then proceeded to spend the next 90 minutes losing about 10 lbs (with vomit playing the best supporting actor in the new Hulu series “New Orleans Food Exacts Revenge for Katrina on Toilet Water.”  The food had been tasty and I am pretty certain it was my delicate system that was at fault, but if any more shit came out of me I was going to have to name my asshole Happy Madison Studios.

Well after that ordeal I made my way to Pentagon City to do the aforementioned 3 Guys On Podcast. And then got a ride in (Listen people, when you are a #ComedyMogul other comedians drive you around!) to DC to go to one of my favorite Churches in the country – St Michael’s Cathedral in DC (2 blocks from the DC Improv). I went in for Mass and something happened that really annoyed me. A very curvy Latin woman decided to sit in front of me at Mass.  Many big Churches have sound proof rooms for families to sit in if they have babies.  However, crying babies do not annoy me. Their cries are the wondrous sounds of new life and nothing could be more like a choir of angels than that.  However, when I am trying to be spiritual and chaste and pure, I don’t need some 20 year old Salma Hayek sharing her Satanic blessings within a Peace Be With You handshake from me!

After leaving Mass I headed back to Fairfax for the Blue Iguana.  Greeting me there was DMV comedy legend Rob Maher. We caught up and as usual I was happy to have him there, not only to chat with, but also for him to watch my set.  I still maintain that if I am to remain a quasi-nobody in the world of comedy, I would rather do that in DC than NYC.  Also on the show because he probably wants to be written up, was DC area comic Danny Charnley who I referred to as “Meth head David Beckham.” He had me laughing both nights, but especially Sunday night because I was paying more attention.  Then I went up and had, with no exaggeration, one of the ten best shows of my nearly 14 years performing comedy.

The audience was small.  It was 945 on a Sunday night when I reached the stage.  This is a point where someone can mail it in or try to make something happen.  I decided that I wanted to make something happen.  I scrapped most of my more prepared material and decided to use the 55 minutes I was on stage to work on some major new bits I want to be part of my 2018 album (tentative title Light Privilege, possible new title after the show Rain Whore).  I spoke about and sang Chris Cornell, did 20 minutes on a traumatic relationship that yielded absolute gold, discussed why Marcus Allen’s legendary penis can be directly linked to Donald Trump’s election win, and after talking about breasts for about ten minutes, compared a woman at the show, who had the largest breasts I have ever seen in person, to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (“whatever you do Ray, don’t think of breasts”).  My Trump impression killed (Obviously #GOAT), but rarely have I felt as great a connection with a crowd as I did Sunday night.  I think they appreciated my honesty, my energy and obviously my skills for a lightly attended show. To my pleasant surprise, after the show I ended up selling like 9 CDs, which to extrapolate, would be like selling 10,000 CDs at a full comedy club show. There are no clips to share as I taped it more just for material improvement purposes, but it confirmed my feelings that I am rapidly approaching having a new great hour, on the level of my best album Keep My Enemies Closer (https://itunes NULL.apple NULL.com/us/album/keep-my-enemies-closer/id710932829)). It was a really fantastic night and the kind of show that made me feel like I am not wasting my time with comedy.

Epilogue: Monday Amtrak 

On the way home I took the Accela because the Sunday performance demanded an upgrade.  A guy tried to cut me in line and, already having PTSD from the cutting in NYC two days earlier, I told him there was a “fu*king line.” He apologized, which was hollow of course because he knew what he was doing. He then ran to the 1st class customer line and cut me and about 25 other people. I took a deep breath and said to myself, “Well, if he is in 1st class he actually should already be on.” But then I scanned the 1st Class car and he was not there.  I then made a blood oath that if I ever see that man again, to throw a food item at him.

I sat down on the train next to a very nice older woman and as has become my Amtrak tradition, proceeded to have a great conversation with her for most of the trip. She reached the conflicting conclusion about me that many people, including family members come to, which is that all that I need is representation or PR to get my skills a wider audience, while also seriously questioning what a Williams-Gtown Law grad is doing wasting his time with a struggling comedy career.  Well if you need an answer to that you can ask some of the people or giant breasts at The Blue Iguana. *mic drop*



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RIP Chris Cornell

I was going to write about LaVar Ball and/or Aaron Judge today for this week’s sports-themed blog, but then I woke up to the sad news that singer Chris Cornell had died at 52 so you get this instead.

When I first started dating my current girlfriend  forever love (she reads this) she expressed that she was a fan of Chris Cornell, the suddenly late front man of Soundgarden and owner of one of the great rock voices of all time. Of course she expressed it with googly eyes and an Antoine Walker shoulder shimmy, a expression of love she only usually used for Johnny Depp (her #1 celeb crush).  Since my celebrity five list (the list of celebrities you are “allowed” to cheat on) had ballooned to about 4,700 names I allowed her her PDCA (Public Displays of Cornell Affection).  When it came to her birthday in August of 2015, despite already having Hamilton tickets  (original cast, orchestra, #ComedyMogul) for less than two weeks after her birthday I decided to go big and add two tickets to a recently announced Chris Cornell tour promoting his then forthcoming solo album Higher Truth.

The show was in October of 2015. I was familiar with Cornell (unlike my audiences in St Paul, Minnesota who gave me nothing for my Chris Cornell joke about how he began his show at the Beacon Theater by getting the crowd pumped up… right before beginning his set with a song he wrote for the movie 12 Years A Slave – a video of this bit actually working, just 10 days ago, is at the bottom of this post). I was never a big Soundgarden fan, but I did own their mega hit album Superunknown (featuring Spoonman, Fell on Black Days, Black Hole Sun and The Day I Tried to Live to name a few), as well as a few Audioslave songs (his side band with members of Rage Against The Machine).  But what I did know was the Cornell had one of the great rock voices of all time.  The lead singer from Boston is still probably my favorite, but just like Guns N Roses was so far ahead in quality in comparison to their hair band contemporaries, Cornell’s voice was so far ahead of his early 90s rock contemporaries.  His lyrics are just as depressing as Kurt Cobain’s, but Cornell had a voice that felt more like a male Whitney Houston than a grunge cousin of Eddie Vedder.  Below is a song that I consider one of the great breakup songs ever written from his 2015 album:

So we thoroughly enjoyed the concert. He sounded great, played Like a Stone (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=7QU1nvuxaMA) (a hit with Audioslave that is probably my favorite song of his), all the Soundgarden hits, many tracks off of his solo album and a great song, where he sang the lyrics to Metallica’s One, to the arrangement of U2’s One and called it “Won.”  After seeing him live I played his solo album so much on my iPod it would have worn out a tape had it been a tape.  His lyrics were so deep and depressing (even his love song to his wife Before We Disappear (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=dsW2mJG9BtQ) made me feel good and depressed at the same time – framing their love as something to hold on to because in a blink of a cosmic eye they would both be gone) and his voice was still super rangy and powerful.

What I really felt about his voice and what I feel separates music from other things, like comedy for one good example. is that it really seems God given (or whatever you believe).  When I hear voices like Whitney Houston, or Brad Delp of Boston or Chris Cornell it feels like something Heaven sent.  Like something not sarcastically #Blessed. I believe I have comedy talent, but a voice like those I mentioned (and obviously many more) make comedy talent feel like something born in a gutter.  I heard as a child in Church that to sing is to pray twice (I think that was just to encourage me to sing instead of go mute during singing portions of Mass – BUT TO THIS DAY I DON’T SING AT MASS #Integrity), but Chris Cornell’s voice was one of those voices that did seem to be a divine instrument that he used with great success.  I am glad my girlfriend was so expressive of her lust, passion, appreciation for Cornell because it allowed me to become a bigger fan and see him live before he passed. Much like George Michael’s sudden passing last year, Cornell was an artist with tremendous gifts gone way too soon. I don’t know yet if he relapsed (there is no cause of death, but the death was completely sudden) now that he is touring with Soundgarden – perhaps old habits resurfaced, but whatever the cause, this is a major loss.  But alas, since I am a comedian, here is my description of his show at the Beacon from a recent show (maybe I really am a jinx).  #RIPChrisCornell



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Road Comedy Recap: A Tale of One Twin City

This weekend I was in St. Paul, Minnesota at the Joke Joint Comedy Club headlining (one of three headlining engagements I have this month, so apparently Hell has frozen over).  It was a great weekend, but emblematic of the struggles of being a (supremely talented) struggling comedian trying to make it to the next level.  For instance, I did not draw particularly well because… the weather was really nice.  To be fair I did have a fan from The Adam Carolla Show show up as well as a fan from The Black Guy Who Tips, but the crowds were the smallest I have had in my 4 headlining appearances at the Joke Joint (and this after adding more credits and picking up more fans from around the country).  It is always a sad measure of your stature as a comedian when “seasonably warm weather” is a deterrent to coming to your comedy show.  Admittedly the weather was great and the feature (whose name is Dan Mogal – #ComedyMogul meeting #ComedyMogal – we could not shake hands because it might have ripped the fabric of space) informed me that it was also some big fishing weekend in the Twin Cities.  So I guess I lost to sunshine and Nemo this weekend, which didn’t really soothe my wounded pride.  Since I am in an hurry to get to my day job (#ComedyMogul) I will give you the highlights and three very instructive videos from the weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday Crowd – The Soul Crushers

The first show of the weekend was lightly attended.  But they had the energy of zero people so they definitely had their apathy working overtime.  I was happy with my set, but the crowd, which was full of smiling mutes did not produce the usual amount of laughter indicating pleasure with jokes.  However, the feature’s Dad was at the show (#FatherMogal) and after a bit on social media he let out the loudest noise of the night, not coming from the microphone, when he sighed “Jesus Christ.”  Needless to say I sold zero CDs after the show and just went back to my Best Western Plus and cried into a glass of milk while emotionally devouring a pack of Hostess donuts (very underrated donuts).  But then I stared into my mirror and recited my mantra, borrowed from Antwone Fisher, a film about a man finding inner strength dealing with childhood traumas of sexual abuse.  Since that felt about the same as what I had received from Thursday’s crowd I stood there saying “I’m still standing… I’m still strong!”  I then made a 7 minute montage of Thursday’s crowd silently rejecting every popular culture reference I made during my set.  It was very popular on Facebook and now you can see it on YouTube. Enjoy!

Friday – J-L’s Revenge

The Friday crowds were great.  Sold some CDs, picked up some social media followers, and I developed a technique that I am patenting for comedy called “Divide and Conquer” (TM).  I basically trashed Thursday’s crowd repeatedly at the end of well received jokes and the Friday (and eventually Saturday) crowds luxuriated in their feeling of superiority over their fellow town folk. I felt so good that the Friday crowds had redeemed me that I put together a compilation video of the same jokes killing (mostly) on Friday, that had failed Thursday.  It was only 25% as viewed and likes on Facebook as the one of me crashing and burning because people are terrible and only like to see me in pain. If you are a decent person (Divide and Conquer (TM)) then maybe you will enjoy this YouTube clip of the jokes working:

Saturday: Praise the Lord and Pass the Comedic Ammunition

I was the only one not smiling about the great weather in St Paul. This is one of the 10,000 lakes I assume.

Saturday was the best day of the weekend. The weather was beautiful (again) so I decided to walk to Church (Saturday evening Vigil Mass) , which was 1.8 miles away according to GPS.  The priest was a visiting priest who has been doing missionary work, which, as he described, started on a trip to Haiti, which got me a little teary given the recent burial of my father in Haiti (but all the white people were like “This Italian dude is soft AF!”), but don’t worry – most of my thoughts during Church were still comedy-centered.  Rather than bore you with more words (Church rock band, 1 black guy in the whole Church…) – here is my summary of Midwest Catholic Mass from the Joke Joint stage that night:

That night the shows were outstanding – and just so the late show Saturday people know I meant it – you were the best crowd (but all the Friday and Saturday crowds were really good).  Sold more CDs and ended the night with an ice cream because I was a good boy who had done a good job. And my favorite compliment of the week that showed what a hypocritical laugh whore I am came after the early show Saturday.  A Trump voter came up to me and said “I voted for Trump, but unlike some comedians, everyone could laugh at your Trump impression and material (GOAT).”  Instead of lying down in front of his car screaming “Free the nipple” while wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, I just shook his hand and with a goofy grin said “Thanks so much!”  The only difference between a comedian and a politician is that a politician only sells his soul and integrity for money and power, while a comedian will give it away for a handshake and a kind word.  Oh well, anything was better than those Thursday people.

Get J-L’s new stand up albums KEEP MY ENEMIES CLOSER &  ISRAELI TORTOISE on iTunes, Amazon & Google.



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Kevin Durant May Have Killed The NBA

Celebrating my 30th year as a Utah Jazz fan in 2017 (in exile in NYC for the whole time, like a hoops Roman Polanski) I began the 2016-17 season with deferred optimism. Last year (2015-16) the Jazz would have made the playoffs if they had not been the most injured team in the league. This year they had a contract year Gordon Hayward, an ever-improving Rudy Gobert and veteran additions of George Hill and Joe Johnson, so it was not hard to convince me that this was the year they finally became relevant again. They won 51 games, despite losing the most starters’ games to injury in the league.  They have a young core, a rabid fan base and a series win over the Clippers to give most of their players a first taste of playoff success.  And as of last night’s bitter defeat in Game 3 of the second round hope has been snuffed out. And it may have been snuffed out for the rest of the NBA for some time.

Kevin Durant – Possibly The Biggest Bitch in NBA History

I think I learned that I hated Durant for the first time last night.  I thought his decision to sign with Golden State was weak and anti-competitive (you get to an NBA Finals at 23, take the defending champs to 7 games – after BLOWING a series lead – and you decide to join your vanquisher instead of staying put?), but I did not really care that much.  I was more focused on the development of Utah and figured we would not be championship ready for a couple of seasons anyway.  But seeing the Jazz, who I think could have easily been the 3 seed this year if they had merely suffered the league average for injuries, make such strides so quickly made me feel more helpless as a fan much sooner than I expected.

The Jazz have built a team slowly and surely that could be a conten- oh never mind.

And before I continue destroying Durant, I think some of the blame for his decision rests with the fans and the media in our age of easy markers of success and low attention span.  As a Jazz fan, and a 90s hoops fan of any good team without Michael Jordan on the roster, I felt many stinging defeats, but in retrospect I am happy to have rooted for a team that was competitive for 2 decades and elite for 4 or 5 years.  Malone and Stockton are among the game’s greatest players and losing to Jordan did not tear them down as much as it enhanced the legend of Jordan’s greatness.  However, with social media, the Internet and stupidity all playing a bigger role in our lives, the scrutiny and need for an easy token of “greatness” dominates sports’ conversations.  So after Lebron was crushed, but then redeemed for winning, by a fickle and hypocritical fan base, Durant probably looked and said “The only way for me to be legit is to win a title and the media and fans will forgive my cowardice if I win, just like they did for Lebron.”  Of course, there are critical differences (Lebron joined a 47 win team and had been in a purgatory of Cleveland – never bad enough with Lebron for elite draft picks, never enticing enough for free agents. He did not join one of the 5 greatest teams in NBA history that had just barely beat him), but I cannot say that fans and media are completely blameless in creating the atmosphere that made Durant choose Golden State.  But that said, his move to Golden State was the most cowardly and bloody coup since the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones (there will be more GOT analogies).

The Decision now looks like storming the beaches of Normandy compared to Durant’s gutless decision to play for the Warriors.

But none of these things made me hate Kevin Durant.  No, it was not until late in Game 3 of the Warriors-Jazz series, when Durant cursed out the Jazz mascot, Bear, that I realized he was a bitch.  YOU (clap emoji) DONT (clap emoji) GET (clap emoji) TO (clap emoji) ACT (clap emoji) TOUGH (clap emoji) WHEN (clap emoji) YOU (clap emoji) BITCHED (clap emoji) OUT (clap emoji) AND (clap emoji) JOINED (clap emoji) THE (clap emoji) WARRIORS!

I’ll admit I was deeply frustrated that my Jazz squad had nullified Curry, Thompson (FYI – the only non-bitch superstar on the Warriors) and Draymond to bad games and the Warriors were able to rely on the Johnny Gil of their Shitty New Edition to drop 38 points.  But seeing Durant try to be a tough guy, a villain and an “assassin” has made me (I never thought I would say this) miss Kobe Bryant – who may have been a douche and a jerk, but never an anti-competitive turd.  Watching Durant emotionally flex felt like seeing Amazon do a touchdown dance in front of a neighborhood bookstore that was closing.

So is there any hope? Probably not.  I mean maybe Klay Thompson could leave and maybe the overall bitch-ass-ness of the team would force it to implode, but other than that I think we may be stuck with this squad for a while.  But if there are any chances for the rest of the league here they are (with a slight Utah bias showing on one):

Lebron.  Lebron may be the Jamie Lannister of the NBA at this point (how ironic that the King is best represented by the King Slayer).  The Decision was when he pushed a kid out of the window (boooo), but he then helped a giant, unappealing woman (Brienne of Tarth = Cleveland) and we all were fans again (yay).  Well with Durant and GS being Cersei and The Mountain (a bitch and a powerful monster tandem) it may be the King Slayer who will provide us the best chance to prevent a terrible dynasty.  And, by the way, if Lebron actually does beat this Warriors team in the Finals, I (clap emoji) DONT (clap emoji) CARE (clap emoji) ABOUT (clap emoji) MICHAEL (clap emoji) JORDAN’S (clap emoji) SIX (clap emoji) RINGS!  The GOAT title will have passed and I will not longer entertain other arguments… even when it is revealed that Lebron uses HGH for milk in his cereal.

Lebron and Cleveland… GoT style

Chris Paul to the Spurs (or if not, the Jazz).  Gregg Popovich is the only superstar in the NBA besides Lebron with a shot to stop the Warriors.  And getting Chris Paul would greatly enhance their competitiveness for the next few years while Paul can still deliver (he was outstanding against the Jazz).  The Spurs are the Patriots of the NBA, except their leaders don’t like Trump, so they are even better.  With Chris Paul taking over for Tony Parker they would immediately be a legit contender again, especially if Apple updates the Kawhi Leonard operating system for 2017-18.  But if the Spurs cannot get him I would argue that the Jazz could make a compelling argument.  They have a great defense, depth at each position (except center – maybe address that in this Summer’s draft) and with George Hill injury prone and not under contract a possible place for major upgrade. And only a few teams are better than the Jazz and almost all have the pG position filled – GSW, Cleveland, Houston (Harden), Spurs, Jazz.  So basically if the Spurs cannot get Paul I think it would be beneficial to the league, to CP3, the Jazz and my mental health for the Jazz to make a deal for CP3. The pitch the Jazz make is simple – “Right now Chris, you are in the Stockton, Payton, Nash category and unless you get a title you will never break into the Isaiah Thomas category.  We are your best (non-Spurs) shot at that. So what if Utah is boring – it is beautiful and we only want you for 3 years.”

JaVale McGee accidentally injures all the Warriors. Perhaps an athletic move gone awry (known henceforth as a “JaVale”) in practice leads JaVale to land on Curry and Draymond, ending their seasons (note – I have always been a McGee fan – athletic, plays hard, goofy -pure entertainment, and oddly admirable).

Prayer – It cannot be denied that the Golden State Warriors are an unholy creation.

LaVar Ball gets his son traded to the Warriors on Draft Night and all Hell breaks loose.  Now that would be awesome.

LaVar Ball may be our last, best hope to stop the Warriors.

Get J-L’s new stand up albums KEEP MY ENEMIES CLOSER &  ISRAELI TORTOISE on iTunes, Amazon & Google.



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Road Comedy Recap: Fixin to Turn Down for What in Orlando

This week I traveled to Orlando, Florida for my first booking in Florida since 2009 when I performed at a resort in Destin, Florida (my check cleared from that week, but less than a month later the checks stopped clearing for performers, one of the last times in my comedy career that I was not sarcastically #Blessed – though that should tell you something about the stand up comedy business when getting paid what you are owed counts as a blessing). Headed to Orlando, or as I call it “Tampa with an Associates Degree” there were snafus. I was originally slated to perform Thursday-Sunday. So I booked flights on Southwest using points. But a couple of weeks before the gig I was told that it would be Friday-Sunday.  Now, changing the ticket would have used up a lot more points (which I do have #ComedyMogul), but I figured I would save them for trips in the future to max out their value and take my old friend Amtrak to Orlando. And that is where this week’s Road Comedy Recap begins:

Thursday – Amtraks of My Tears

I arrived at Penn Station in NYC at 245 pm for the ironically titled “Silver Meteor,” which was set to depart at 3:15 and arrive in Orlando a mere 21.5 hours later(look up #21HoursOfAmtrak on Twitter to see my chronicles).  I settled into my seat, which, despite the crowded train, I managed to not have to share with anyone the entire ride to Orlando.  The only other two who managed this feat were the black guy behind me who was charming – he listened to music for about 20 of the hours to Orlando via noise cancelling headphones… wrapped around his neck so that basically it just sounded like an iPod playing without the headphones in. So his combination of black skin and shitty etiquette no doubt dissuaded many (white, Southern bound) passengers from joining him.  The other passenger who didn’t have to share her seat was a large woman who said she had purchased two seats so technically she is disqualified from the contest of “avoiding sitting next to a stranger.” Rigged seating!

As the ride progressed I did several hours of comedy related work and recreational reading in the cafe car to avoid settling into my seat before sleep time.  Then a little after midnight I made my way to my seat. I reclined and closed my eyes and slept for an hour. Then I was awoken by one of the three children sitting in front of me with his mother as he listened to YouTube videos on a cell phone sans headphones.  I dozed off again for an hour then woke up (#StayWoke) to more cell phone videos.  I then dozed off for one more hour and around 430am woke up for good to Beats Off by Dre behind me receiving a cell phone call that he stayed on til 530 am.

You’d think a 6’7″ stranger staring at 2 am on a train would be enough to scare a kid. Nope!

Nothing else of great significance happened on the train, other than it being late. I arrived just outside of Orlando early Friday afternoon, picked up by George, who told me that when he was much younger and living in Miami a guy had tried to work with him to do some modeling or TV work. He declined thinking it was some sketchy 80s Miami thing until he arrived on the set of Miami Vice (where he was interning) and saw that guy with a young actor who resembled him doing a part that he would have been auditioned for by the sketchy guy. The young actor was getting his first big break and his name… was Moe Green (not true – it was Benicio Del Toro, but I just wanted to pull a Hyman Roth from Godfather Part II – but still, what an insane story!).

Friday – Georgetown Law Reunion

Friday afternoon I did some sun bathing (at this point when I take off my shirt my girlfriend says “Plumo” referencing Pablo Escobar from Narcos (and real life) who would offer men “the silver (plata) or the lead (plumo).” This is not because she thinks I am a ruthless leader or criminal, but because of the Escobar-esque paunch I sport when eating like shit and skipping the gym.) So hopefully some of the women at the pool thought I was too powerful a #ComedyMogul and that is why I have neglected my core. But I got some Sun and then headed to the club to open for The Amazing Jonathan, a comedy/magician veteran that was headlining after taking a few years off due to health issues.  When I got there to settle into the green room TJA’s wife informed me that the Green Room was private per his contract, so I settled in the showroom while yelling at her “You know who I am? I’m Moe Green!” (sorry for the Godfather references) No, I didn’t do that and I didn’t care. After all the Palestinians have no home and look how well they are doing, so being a green room-less Power Feature was not an issue for me.

Plumo to the Pool!

The first show went great and I sold a lot of CDs. One couple, that I would describe as poor man’s Kelly Slater and his porn star girlfriend (though she didn’t have that wounded look in her eyes or a high-pitched, my uncle diddled me when I was 8-voice so maybe she was just hot for hot’s sake), came up to me and were emphatic in their praise. He then pointed to the long line of admirers for the headliner and said “What is that? Are they serious? You should have that line.” Unfortunately he started getting louder and I had to tell him “No one ruins my comedy career or burns bridges except me!” But I still appreciated the sentiment and the support.  But it would be very “on brand” for me to get in trouble in my career for getting new fans.

One of the biggest stories of Friday night was three law school buddies coming out to the show!  Well they came to the late show.  The first show was a tour de force.  The second show featured 3 different tables of drunk, loudmouths (women and their weak men) and of course that was the one my friends came to.  They still had a good time and I ended up selling decently after that show as well, I think mainly out of solidarity with people’s disgust with the talkers. We then went for dessert at a nearby bar and watched the Utah Jazz lose at home, forcing a Game 7 (an hour away as I write this – UPDATE THEY WON!).

Just your typical 13 year Law School Reunion at a comedy club.

Sadly the real headline for me on Friday was that my brother was in Haiti with my cousin burying my father’s ashes.  As my brother said, it was sunny and hot, just like my Dad would have liked it.  I would have been there, but there is an old saying in entertainment – when the comedy world offers you a chance to net $310 profit in a week you don’t say no.

Saturday – Rednecks Ruin The Hotel Pool

On Saturday, well rested considering I had slept a fitful 3 hours in the last 44 hours, I made my way to Planet Fitness, the gym for people who hate gyms. Sadly when I arrived it was not hot fudge sundae and donut day.  I understand the purpose and focus of Planet Fitness and respect it to a degree. For many people, the gym can be uncomfortable and discourage people from working out. But Planet Fitness seems to have gone too far in the other direction.  I half expected to see a sign saying “no shoes, no cellulite, no service.”  There was a sign banning supersets.  The exercise bike did not go to a level high enough to challenge me and I am an out of shape Plumo!  The dumbbells only go up to 60lbs. It’s not a gym. It’s a place where people rehab after hip replacements!  But I did a serviceable back workout despite being asked to leave once a vein became exposed in my arm from working too hard.

I then went to the hotel pool for some more rays and that is when the redneck trash took over.  I was lying there getting some sun when 6 people, appeared to be two couples and a couple of friends, showed up. They immediately started playing music on a stereo (that Trump America confidence) and Lil John’s “Turn Down For What” came on in their playlist. Then one of the woman changed it and one of the redneck men said “Why did you turn that off? I was fixin’ to turn down for what!”” I had a private chuckle and then went back into my zone until the youngest member of the crew, who I can only describe as “Lena Dunham, if she let herself go” began jumping into the pool. The pool was small and there was less than a foot between the pool and the lounges where people like me were reclining. I barely got splashed so I said nothing, but then she did it again and I got a healthy dose of water. So I said to one of her friends “she’s got to stop that.” Well, Trailer Park Dunham began pouting and “put herself in a time out” because I guess I was being a cranky old man and not letting Shamu Gallagher have her fun. I kept my cool, but I was seething inside. Or maybe that was just the sun burn I developed on my shoulders. Either way I was hot, but left peacefully.

The shows Saturday night were both excellent. Sold merch, met a fan from The Black Guy Tips (a usual occurrence by now because he has the most engaged audience of anything I have done in 14 years of comedy – UPDATE – another fan showed up to Sunday’s show) who came from Tampa with his girlfriend to see me (despite the fact that the club staff repeatedly told him I was not performing there this weekend because in comedy there is an old saying – “Fu*k a feature, and not in a good way.”  But here are two good clips from the weekend’s shows. A brand new bit and a retooled classic from Keep My Enemies Closer (seriously that album is a masterpiece – get it):

Sunday – The Sweaty Journey to a Fake Catholic Church Before The Jazz Game

Now there are stories that I am not writing here that will be covered on the podcast this week, but this is also being written before the Utah Jazz game on Sunday. So for anything Sunday night or Monday-Tuesday (taking Amtrak back – #PrayersForJL) , as well as things from the weekend not written up here, the podcast is the place to go Tuesday night. But Sunday I woke up (#StayWoke), had a delicious breakfast at the hotel and began walking to the nearest Catholic Church for 10:30 am Mass. Now I forgot to pack walking around shorts so I had to make the 2 mile walk in jeans. So when I arrived at the Church in humid heat and sprinting from cars as I crossed the highway (thanks Google maps for making me think there were sidewalks) I was tickled at the fact that it was an Eastern Orthodox Church. It counts for Catholic Mass (like transfer credits from a strange alternative learning college that doesn’t believe in grades or gender), but it really feels like a parody of Catholic Mass. First off, 95% of the Mass is sung. Even the readings. So during prayers I sounded like the bass from Boyz II Men doing an interlude breakdown while Greek Shawn, Greek Nate and Greek Wanya sing-prayed their hearts out. Also, these folks do the sign of the cross wrong. And Communion was a wine soaked piece of bread. So now I know that I prefer my tasteless wafer.

So now that I am caked in dried sweat with dusty jeans sitting in a Starbucks I am hoping that my #Blessed weekend passes to the Utah Jazz.  See you next year when my Amtrak arrives back in NYC! And meanwhile, back in NYC while I am away:

Cookie: it’s hot AF back in NYC



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Road Comedy Recap: The King of Martin Luther Comedy

This week’s comedy destination was Washington, D.C. for 6 shows at the DC Improv.  Because I had to put myself up in a hotel I did what I do with all comedy trips that won’t make me much profit… I asked my girlfriend to join me for a weekend getaway (this is the way that I rationalize my comedy career – rather than being a struggling feature, trying to make a profit I instantly become a guy who gets paid a few bucks to take his girlfriend on vacation). #CheapVacationMogul.  I arrived Thursday solo at the Westin City Center. It was a very nice hotel that I was able to swing a good deal on through Hotwire.com. I knew it was a nice hotel because nothing was included. Internet, breakfast and prostitutes were all additional fees. Normally when I go to a hotel it’s a Hampton Inn where they give you Internet, a waffle iron and a townie 7 to warm your bed, all for $62 a night. No such luck with the DC Westin.  My favorite thing about hotels like this are the breakfast options.  “You can have a thimble of coffee and one scrambled egg for $25.50… or our buffet which features, eggs, pancakes, french toast, pastries, cereal, an omelette station and a therapy dog for $26.00.”  Hmmmmmmmm, can you come back and let me consult with Jared Kushner on the pros and cons of both options?  So as I write this in a coffee shop (I had to check out of the Westin at noon, which leaves me as a nomad in DC for 5 hours before Mass and comedy tonight before hopping the 1010pm train back to NYC) here is a recap of the week in quips and photos:

Thidepiece Thursday

With my lady not arriving until Friday morning, Thursday became “Thidepiece Thursday.”  Only one fan showed up (thank you The Black Guy Who Tips for having the most engaged and loyal fans anywhere) and she was attractive, but unfortunately she did not get the memo about Thidepiece Thursday because she rolled in with her man. Maybe because he felt guilty about violating Thidepiece Thursday etiquette by showing up or because no one had bought any of my merchandise after the show, but he bought all three albums I had for sale as he and his lady were happy with the show.  So I guess I will let it slide.

But after the 1 pity purchase I texted my girlfriend at 12:01 am (First Lady Fridays) and said, “Bring a bag with room; you are going to have to bring some of these CDs back home.”  And not to be too down, my buddy Ross and a friend of his also came to the show so obviously I am being modest about my ability to draw audiences nationwide. We sat in Shake Shack in between shows and talked about deceased relatives, just to keep it light.  Here is a fun clip from the show:

Food Court Friday

The girlfriend arrived Friday and we promptly went looking for food.  Fridays during Lent mean no meat for Catholics so she got some free-trade, goat cheese-quinoa-avocado wrap that was smuggled out of Brooklyn and I got two slices of pizza.  I actually walked from my hotel to Union Station to get her and then we walked all over DC. By the count of my new invention FatBit (which keeps track of all your steps and the fact that you are still horrible out of shape) I had done at least 25,000 steps before getting back to the hotel to prep for the evenings shows.

Before the evening entertainment we tried to go to the African-American History Museum (see my instagram – @jlcomedy – for Trump’s opinions on it) and there was a huge line. I ended up talking Utah Jazz basketball with the guy standing behind me, which is actually the least African-American way to have an NBA discussion. We then got about 30 people from the front when they said no more tickets were available #Blessed. We then went to an art museum where some Japanese lady who looks like a Pixar character had a big exhibition. We also failed to get limited tickets for that so we looked at other stuff, including a sculpture of a bald, fat girthy-cocked dude (the pic omits the girthy phallus for any young readers of bitter, anonymous comedian blogs #TargetMarket):

I left this couple (unknown to them) in the pic for scale

My girlfriend was meeting her high school friend and her husband at the show (THAT’S 6 FANS ALREADY FROM THE FEATURE ACT – #DRAW) and I had a very strong set. The audience was not full so I set my camera up in the back to capture the action. Unfortunately some folks sat near my camera (for no discernible reason) and bumped my camera so I learned quickly after the set that I had a great 18 minutes of the bathroom door killing.

As I steamed after the first show, and sold nothing, I considered quitting that very moment.  However, I did something smarter. I decided to counter the JL Comedy Jinx with some self-hate.  I decided not to tape my second set.  And of course I crushed. So while I don’t have that set on tape, I did sell 12 CDs after the show (including 3 to ANOTHER member of The Black Guy Who Tips fanbase – 7 FANS MOTHERFU*KERS!). I then crawled into bed next to my girlfriend, who was in a wine-induced coma, at 1 am. #SpoonSaturdays

Sight-Seeing Saturday

On Saturday we woke up and made our way to her friend’s house in East Falls Church for some brunch (“When in White Women Rome…”), though before that I had the pleasure of running into NYC comedian Anthony DeVito on the street. We had a nice chat and I wished him luck on his Comedy Central taping (for blog readers, you may remember Anthony from my intimate Winery Show/Bed and Breakfast in early 2016). After brunch the gf and I went for a long walk around DC and went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the World War II Memorial, which I think is the best thing in all of DC (thank you for your (lobbying) service Tom Hanks.  Both are beautiful.  The weather was beautiful, but then it was time to bring the lady back to Union Station (you either get 3 days in a Hampton Inn, or 2 in a Westin on the Broke Comedian Getaway Vacation Package). We ate Pizzeria Uno, which obviously put me on a 24-esque timetable to get back to my Westin bathroom and I put her on the train back to NYC. Before getting to the shows that night here are some photos (more on my Instagram):

 

Two towers of DC culture and history

WWII memorial is an incredible sight – full view of Washington Monument on one side, Lincoln Memorial on the other and a beautiful design and tribute

GF captured a perfect angle of the MLK memorial

Let’s just hope the Marvel/Disney people get the rights to the MLK comic instead of DC Comics

That night I arrived at the DC Improv for three shows and was greeted by friend, former podcast guest and DMV comedy legend Rob Maher.  We chatted and then I went on stage and did the Lord’s work.  I then went into the DC Improv Lounge to follow another DMV legend and friend, Randolph Terrance and crushed even harder than in the main room (I feel like my new bit on the “Fluidity of Sexuality” would please most comedians and members of the Nixon White House). I then had my best post show sales of the week (I opted not to give CDs to the gf to bring back – either I would sell them (good) or be furious that I was dragging them back to NYC (justifying my rage at comedy) to the point that I had to run back to the Westin to get the remaining copies for the late show.  All joking aside, I do wish I had gotten a job in DC over NYC after law school because the DC comedy scene has always been my favorite.

I had a very good second set and sold a few copies more. Then I received news that Louis CK had started his SNL monologue with a “Why Did the Chicken Cross The Road” joke.  So as I kill some more time on this beautiful DC Sunday, enjoy my video from 2013 that proves that I am way ahead of Louis CK. #JLouisC



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