Before I start two important news items:
-Racial Chameleon will be ready to ship in less than 2 weeks. Go to the store to pre-order.
-The long-awaited Gulman-Cauvin photos are up in the media-photos and the blog-photos section
Now on to what promises to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. The DaVinci Code is opening today and I couldn’t be more luke-warm excited. I thought the book was good, but like Harry Potter I simply read it because I did not want to be behind on a major pop culture phenomenon, in case there were jokes to tell. It was a decent book, but I have some major problems with both sides (my Catholic homies and my secular homies):
First for the Catholics:
-It is just a book.
-Some of those Opus Dei dudes are kind of crazy – see e.g. Robert Novack, formerly of CNN’s crossfire and full time angry penguin-looking fellow.
-If you can praise the Passion of the Christ (which I did) then you can’t hammer a book/movie that isn’t as favorable. Love thy neighbor’s movie as you love thine own. But do not covet thy neighbor’s movie, key distinction, especially if they are home movies meant only for persoanl viewing.
-Tom Hanks’ hair will guarantee less box office power
-Unnecessary and exagerrated measures (hunger strikes, boycotts, etc.) are absurd and only galvanize the people who think you are loony to begin with (see Passion of the Christ again)
And for the anti-Bible people:
– See the irony in reading a fictional book to discredit the New Testament. Even if you are not inclined to believe much or any of the Bible, two fictions do not make a fact. Tom Cruise is married to a woman. She gave birth to a baby. It does not make him straight.
-Of course some Christians and Catholics will be upset by the story. Boycotting is unnecessary and ridiculous, but if someone believes Jesus to be the Son of God, it will be a little alarming and jarring to think that before he was crucified he had to take Jesus Jr. to a soccer game. And the mother was a prostitute. Short of Julia Roberts, no one would really be confortable with that notion. Especially becasue that means Richard Gere would be playing Jesus and that is just weird.
– No one complained when Battlefield Earth came out and questioned its authenticity. Everyone was just fine listening to John Travolta talk about giant aliens coming to Earth thousands of years ago. In all fairness though, the Scientologists are the Pittsburg Pirates of religions, whereas Christianity is the New York Yankees – everyone hates the big dog.
So as you go to see the DaVinci Code just remember, both sides, that it is just a movie and that we should be concerned about far more pressing matters. Taylor or McPhee in American Idol. Cauvin out.
and hecklers do not stand a chance
Last night I went to Gotham Comedy Club in NYC to see Gary Gulman. Just to prove to how popular he is, my blog last blog which compared yours truly and the Gulman was tied for the most commented blog I have so far written (3 comments, tying my Reggaeton-bashing blog – meaning that my fans like tall comics and hate Reggaeton). Also that blog earned an e-mail of praise from none other than Gary Gulman. Cool, but back to the story.
The show began simply enough with some gin, tonic and good comedy, especially comedian Buddy Bolton (who, when a female patron left to go to the bathroom, grabbed her camera and placed it down his pants and took a photo). And then it was Gulman time.
He took the stage and began to go into one of his signature bits on The Pill, when some people, who apparently came to Gotham to hear themselves tell Gary Gulman jokes, started shouting out bad alternative punchlines to Gulman’s good jokes. What Gary did for several minutes is nicely make fun of the ideas these people had so that the crowd could still enjoy the show even though these people were fucking it up. So everyone continued to enjoy the show even though there were some speed bumps early. At one point Gary said “I have told this story 500 times and this has never happened.” Comedian for: “As comedy audience members go, you hecklers are historic pieces of dung.”)
Personally I have not mastered this skill that Gary flaunts so effortlessly because when someone messes with me on stage I calmly say “FUCK OFF!!” and then stage dive on them Axl Rose-style. I need to work on that.
So the show went on nicely and the hecklers realized that they sucked and no one wanted to listen to them. So Gulman continued his routine and my girlfriend leaned over to me and said “He’s good looking.” After I slapped her for being insolent I realized my girlfriend likes tall, good looking, funny men. Phew – I have at least 2 of those, if not 3. But what if she decides one day to come at with me, “No, I said tall, good looking, funny AND successful.” That might have been her last Gary Gulman show for a while.
So the show ended and we got to meet the Gulman, who actually spotted me, probably by the fact that everyone in the Club was 5’8″ and shorter and like two Trees in The Lord of The Rings with hobbits all around us we could easily spot each other. He pointed to me and said “J-L” and I said “Yes.” Some key points from our brief encounter:
-When I shook his hand we did not explode, proving that we are in fact not the same person at different stages of our comedic lives, a la Timecop and that when I cut my face a scar did not appear on Gulman’s face. Apparently my last blog was just a collection of coincidences and nothing more.
-Gulman is really cool. He told me he liked my blog and I told him that another comic had just called them digusting and self-indulgent. Gulman replied – well they are, but I stil like yours.
– Gulman said he would listen to my cd when I have a copy sent to him. And that he would tell me what went wrong and what I should re-record. Laugh at me or with me on this one.
– He was nice enough to take photos with me and with my girlfriend (for scale – but when the photos get posted in the media and “blog photos” section – notice where she chose to stand).
-He also told me that my career looked like it was on its way. I told him, “thanks, so does yours.” He chuckled, which tells me in a room full of Gulmans my material would kill.
-He did not accept my challenge for a Walk-Off.
So I say thank you Gary Gulman – great show – cool dude.
To everyone else, buy my f—ing CD. Please.
Meeting My Comedic Role Model
In less than one week I will be venturing to Gotham Comedy Club in NYC to see Comedian Gary Gulman. If you have looked at my links page you will see that he is the first comic listed under my “favorite comics.” I suggest that you check out his site and buy his cd. It is hilarious. But enough free advertising.
Other than his comedic genius I think the real reason I appreciate Gary Gulman is beacuse there are many startling similarities between our lives (and last names – 6 letters each). You be the judge (side note – all info listed for Gary Gulman is from his cd and myspace page and in no way reflects a White Goodman-esque use of the Freedom of Information Act – “finally the hippies got something right”):
GG – 6’6″
JLC – 6’7″ (+1 for me)
GG – Boston
JLC – NYC (+1 me)
GG – Boston College
JLC – Williams College (According to US News and World Report +1 me, but both located in Mass.)
GG – Football
JLC – Basketball (D1 football = +3 for Gulman, benchwarmer in DIII = -1 me)
LIVED AT HOME UNTIL…
GG – 26
JLC – 27 and counting (+1 Gulman, although struggle and sadness is supposed to enhance a comedy career so this may end up proving huge for me, plus I have grad school loans)
GG – Last Comic Standing
JLC – Georgetown law (-1 me)
MY SPACE FRIENDS
GG – 2000+
JLC – 91 (let’s just call this one +1 for GG)
GG – former accountant
JLC – lawyer (draw)
GG – Tourgasm w/ Dane Cook
JLC – Prema-Tour Ejaculation (GG +1)
OLDER SYBLING MAKING MORE MONEY
GG – yes (as of cd)
JLC – doubled up by older brother (draw)
GG – Worthy Concepts Inc.
JLC – Worthy Concepts Inc. (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – draw, +1 Steve Axworthy)
So right now it appears that Gulman is kicking my ass like Bill Romanowski (steroided ex-BC football player). Even worse is that when I see Gulman in 6 days I will not yet have my cd (it will not be available until the end of the month). The reason that this is bad is becasue I wanted to do my own version of Hustle and Flow. Allow me to explain:
In the movie Hustle and Flow a pimp (Terrance Howard) learns that a hometown hustler turned platinum rapper (Ludacris) is coming back to town for a show. He decides to work on his demo to get it to Ludacris. He gets it to Ludacris and thinks that he has made a connection, only to find out that Ludacris threw it in the toilet in the bathroom. In response, Terrance Howard shoots Ludacris, goes to jail, but has one of his “bitches” bring the tape to radio station and Howard’s “Whoop that trick” becomes a radio hit.
Now I am aware that I do not have a gun, hustling abilities or whores, so I was just hoping to deliver my cd to Gulman and mumble “let me know what you think please.” But I won’t have the cd yet so I will have to just say, “Funny stuff man.” And then I will try to awkwardly explain one of my jokes to him and why it is awesome and he will politely laugh and say “that could be funny, but right now some chick wants me to sign her cleavage.” And then I will ask my girlfriend what the f–k is she doing? +1 Gulman
Fe = irony
According to the NY Daily News, there are 11 middle schools in NYC with the word “science” in their official title. At 6 of these 11 schools, a majority of the eighth grade students failed the State Science Exam last year. NYC has been pumping out lots of ads for Science and math teachers. Unforunately, they have not been advertising enough for science and math students. Interestingly enough, these statistics do once and for all disprove the theory of intelligent design.
Leading the way was my hometown borough, the Bronx, where at the “Math, Science and Technology Through the Arts Intermediate School” 13% of eight graders passed the exam. Perhaps instead of teaching science “through the arts” they should try teaching students “through the science” or change their names to “Burger, Fries, Large Coke Through Inattendance Intermediate Babysitting.”
As a side note, before getting back to science, The article also cited the “Bronx Writing Academy,” where over 80% of eighth graders failed the English exam. When asked to comment the school’s principal said, “The tests results is wrong.” Through an interpreter. I have since learned that they have re-named the school the “Derek Zoolander School For Kids Who Can’t Read Good.”
At the Academy of Environmental Sciences, 15% passed. When asked whether he thought global warming was real or required more study, the school’s principal replied, “Never heard of it.” Then he was appointed head of the EPA.
Through student interviews I have discovered the causes for these declining test scores. Here they are in the students own words:
“I’m in the middle of a Madden Franchise on PS2,”
“The school still does not provide the eighth graders with day care facilities,”
“if I already made it to eighth grade without studying or going to class, why starts now?”
“F–k that S–t”
I think what we are losing sight of is that 8th grade science is not rocket science. In fact it is not even biology. In most places it is Earth Science. Rocks. The kids of NYC are failing rocks! The phrase “dumb as rocks” has now been replaced with “you’re as dumb as a kid who failed rocks.”
One person in the article did offer a legit response. She said that you cannot judge a kid’s ability on one test. Many of the kids at her school have trouble reading and doing math. That is an excellent point Principal. So, how did he or she get to the 8th grade in the first place? I remember making fun of kids who had trouble reading. It was not nice of me. I was also in the 1st grade. In 8th grade if you cannot read, you either require braile or should not be in the 8th grade.
Next week the city will be releasing the foreign language results. I received early results and only 33% passed. In all fairness English is very difficult.
I take the subway approximately 7 days a week and there are some problems I would like to address that can make the subway a lot better for me and many other people. Here are my suggestions.
1) If I can hear the lyrics to the song playing in your ipod you are either deaf and in need of medical attention or inconsiderate and should be accidentally bumped into so that your ipod falls and breaks. Headphones were invented to make listening to music a personal experience. They were not invented as a challenge to assholes to adapt their ways to annoy people on the subway. Turn down the volume.
2) Stop selling me candy on the subway. I get it young people “you are not selling candy for no basketball team (nice double negative).” Maybe if you were in school at 11 am, instead of on the subway selling me “M & M peanut” (I prefer to call them peanut M&Ms), you would know what a double negative is.
3) People who wear backpacks on crowded subways are gigantic pieces of dung. Take your backpack and put it between your legs. If you do not I believe it is the right of every subway passenger to raid you backpack until it is thin enough to not take up the space of another person.
4) Just because you can squeeze into a seat, does not mean you should. I do not believe that people should sprawl accross three seats on a subway, but if there is half a seat available, there is always someone who takes it as their personal mission to fit in. And that person is almost always huge. Stop it.
5) Small children who do not pay a fare should not get a seat. You wanted Jr? Carry him, let him sit on your lap or hold his hand – I am tired and I paid my $2. Or give the kid some M&M peanut to sell to pass the time, you know so he can do something positive with his life, stay out of trouble.
6) If you are panhandling – just come up with a good story. If you are on the same train all the time, do not tell me that your house burned down last week and then 9 months later tell me that your house burned down last week.
7) Stop littering. Washington D.C. has given 12 year old girls fines for eating on their train. And you know what – they are spotless and clean. NYC subways are filthy, as are the stations. I have not littered since about the age of 8 because I learned that it was inconsiderate, like everything else on this list. m
da duh da duh da du da duh de duh de de dah duh de de duh
I am glad warm weather has finally arrived because that means Mr. Softee will be parked squarely outside of my office building until October. And just like kids, except fatter and more tired looking, my office mates and I flock for the delicious soft-served ice cream and shakes. And as an adult bonus some of the names they give their specialty cones are downright dirty: the nutty dip deluxe, the red merlin, the two face, the rusty trombone. Ok, only three of those are on the Mr Softee menu, but I have no idea what a red merlin is.
Sidenote – the Good Humor truck lacks the artistry and craftsmanship of Mr. Softee.
But something dawned on me my senior year of high school, when I officially became 6’7″. Mr. Softee, who often loomed so tall, often about 7’0″ when standing in his vehicular/dairy majesty, had stepped out of his ice cream trailor to reveal a man who was no more than 5’3″. Several things dawned on me from that point on:
1) I could never be a Mr. Softee, unless it came with a sun roof.
2) Ice cream truck people are a small breed.
3) There is not one Mr. Softee, but a legion of small men working for Mr. Softee.
4) Mr. Softee trucks are like small mobile homes that only come with a kitchen and ice cream.
But I have discovered a new wrinkle with Mr. Softee. There is a Mrs. Softee. At my job, the truck, which can barely fit an oompa loompa, not only has a small man, but also his small significant other, which is a nice sight because it means that someone answered the man’s personal ad that said: “Small man seeking even smaller woman who likes ice cream and being cooped up in a truck. Blenders and riding shotgun a must.”
That is why I really like Mr. Softee because he reminds us that there is always someone out there for you, even if you are 5’1″, have an obsession with ice cream, live in a car and only know one song.
I will keep this short
Well, the show was a success on Saturday. It was a sell out and I am looking forward to hearing the recording at the end of this week. I am hoping to release the CD by early June.
Nothing too funny here, so I just wanted to say thanks to all my friends and family who came to the show and to everyone who helped me put it together.
Funny stuff later in the week. For now – I need some rest.
Welcome to the Comedic Jungle.
With only a few open mics and 1 hosting gig tonight at New York Comedy Club (24th and 2nd in NYC @ 9pm) left I am closing in on a milestone in my career – my first comedy cd. I want it to be the Appetite for Destruction of comedy cds. In other words I want to debut with some of the best comedy ever recorded, then produce a second album that is strong, different, homophobic and racist and then return with a double cd of awesome jokes, only to finsih with a cd of old jokes that suck from the 70s. Then I will get fat(ter), talk about producing an album called Iraqi Democracy and watch my other comedian friends put together an album called Chartreuse Shotgun, which will suck but will be bought because it will at least vaguely remind people of how great The Height Of Comedy was. (if you are not familiar with Guns N Roses then stop reading this and get the hell off of my site (but stil come to my show)).
I would analogize my cd to a reggaeton cd, but it will be neither loud, nor annoying (see Reggatone sounds like ring tones – the most commented on blog with 3 comments, including one by me, so really 2).
Friends of mine have issued me lots of well wishing, most popular of which has been, “Don’t suck.” Thank you for that vote of confidence.
I will be offering an unbiased review of the performance on Sunday/Monday along with pics from the show and after party (which is also a birthday party for me). 1st rule of comedy cd recording: make it on a weekend when people who don’t like your jokes still feel the need to come because it’s a special occasion. I think I may record my second cd at my wedding in 2021.
I am keeping this one short and uninteresting because 95% of the people that read this will probably be at the show.
To close with a joke, a few people have done a most hilarious thing to me. They have told me that they are sorry they missed my recording, but they had something to do. I happily told them, “Oh, you actually didn’t miss it – it is on the 22nd,” to which the response has been, “oh, OH, ohhhh-kay, ohhhhhh, you know I can’t make it then either, but good luck, I wish I could be there.” Well I will be there, in 2 days. See you then.
It was Easter Sunday and it seemed like a normal trip
on the train down to the gym after Church. As the 4 avid readers of my blog may know from my March 27th posting (Inside Man…) crazy things can go down on the 1 train on the weekend and this Sunday was no exception.
I was sitting and reading when a Latino couple in their 30s got on the train and proceeded to have an extremely loud and annoying argument for approximately twenty minutes about how to use a metrocard and who had the metrocards, etc. People in my car definitely found it extremely annoying by a lot of eye rolling and sighing. But nothing can make a young Latino couple make up faster than a homophobic, racist white guy in army gear.
As the couple continues to fight in walks a man in his early 30s dressed in full army camoflouge, in case the train turned into a jungle, with dog tags and a backpack. I do not think he was a veteran of any war, unless it was the War on Drugs, which he definitely lost.
This was no big deal, but when an apparently harmless man in his 40s walked into the car, army fantasy camp guy turned into Bill Paxton from Aliens. What follows is a severely edited (this would be like playing Scarface on network tv) transcript of the train ride:
Army of None: STOP FOLLOWING ME
40 yr old: I am not following you.
Army: YES YOU ARE. YOU ARE AN F—ING FA—OT WITH AIDS AND YOU ARE ATTACKING ME WITH YOUR FINGER
40 yr old: Just let me pass.
(exit 40 yr old)
Latino Male (LM): What is your problem (no longer fighting with Latino woman)?
Army: MY PROBLEM IS THAT HE IS A F—ING F—OT WITH AIDS WHO ATACKED ME WITH HIS FINGER AND WANTED TO MAKE HIS SPEECH, SO I EXERCISED MY RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN TO LEAVE AND NOT BE ATTACKED BY A FA—-OT WITH AIDS.
Latina Woman (LW): You can only get AIDS through sexual transmission.
J-L inner monologue: (in that case can I have your used heroin needle please)
LM: Yeah and watch your language.
Army: Why don’t you shut up bitch? (rhetorical question) I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO YOU ABOUT PROTECTING MY SELF FROM (guess what) A FA—T WITH AIDS.
LW: Do you have issues with your sexuality?
Army: No I do not, but I do have a problem with you explaining myself to you N–GG-R.
J-L inner monologue: Well this just got interesting… and what about that guy’s finger attacking you?
LW & LM: N-GG-R? What?? And you’re a piece of white, trailer park sh-t?
Army: That’s right I’m a white trash N-GGA – with an A.
J-L inner monologue: good distinction sir.
LW: Do you know the meaning of the word N-GG-R? it means ignorant and right now you look like the only N-GGa/er in this train.
J-L inner monologue: You make a good point LW, but niggardly actually means cheap, but I get your point.
LM: What if I was to get up and kick your ass?
J-L inner monologue: Good question. What Would Jesus Do (even though it is Easter I do not mean JC, I mean Jesus, LM’s cousin)?
Army: take your best shot (arms open)
LM: Call me something and we’ll see. call me a Sp-c or a N-gg-R or bitch.
Army: Looks like you’re doing a pretty good job yourself.
J-L inner monologue: that’s true, but you were even better Army.
Train announcer: next stop 66th street
J-L inner monologue: Damn – my stop.
LW: (yells at Army)
Army: Well that’s cause you’re a Sp-c N-GG-R Bitch!
J-L inner monologue: Hey now that is too far. Unless me and my Latina lady have a daughter I do not see any SNBs. But good effort at unbelievably super racist comments – not accurate but the whole train feels your anger.
And then I exited the train, yelling to the conductor that there is a problem in Car #3, but he did not seem to care.
If you go back to the Inside Man blog (3-27-06) you will see that this is not the first time someone has added a race to the slur N-GG-R bitch. My uncle was once called a WNB by a student, so with that I give my final grades to the performers.
Army: A for effort – and shock. I mean most people only think that kind of racism and homophobia exist in movies and the Ali G show. However, your overall grade is an F for being a total waste of a human being and army fatigues.
LM: Overall grade C-. He loses early for yelling at his woman about a metrocard, but gets some quality points late for stepping to Army. However, when called to take his best shot he did not.
LW: A-. If she had been hotter she would have gotten an A+, but she made some valid points and unlike LM did not start a fight over a metrocard.
Subway Conductor: D- for not paying attention to me, but could be as high as an A if he called the police – who knows?
Guy with AIDS; Although he allegedly already has 4 letters I will give him another A, because he took a very harsh and unjustified attack quietly and without causing a scene. Of course if he was lying about having AIDS I guess it is much better for him, but he would get an F for lying to the riders of the 1 train.
All I can say is thank God it was Easter and people were acting civilized. I will be taking the 1 train on Saturday and Sunday (22nd and 23rd) if anyone wats to accompany me for the next adventure.
The Height of Comedy – 6 days and counting.
Is Brooklyn in the house?
I saw on the news last night, and read in the paper this morning, a story about some students that were arrested during large student protests at a Brooklyn high school for causing a disturbance. It occurred when the students refused to give up their cell phones as per NYC public school rules (the rule has been in place for sometime, but I believe based on my expose on reggaeton and ringtones (4/5/06), Mayor Bloomberg has finally decided to act).
One teacher said he was happy the students were protesting because it was a nice civics lesson, but he hoped they could apply their enthusiasm to things like political elections or war protest. Sorry Mr. Kotter – but I think if students place that big a priority on their Nextel, they could give two sh**s about the president or the war in Iraq (which acording to the students polled are George Washington and Vietnam).
Some of the kids on the news were saying if there is an emergency and their parents need to reach they need their cell phones. Hmmmm, I don’t know, but hopefully a parent knows the following:
1)where their child goes to school
2) when their child is at said school
3) a phone number for said school
4) their child’s name
Now I know that in many cases the parent does not know their child’s name (Shawn Kemp, Larry Johnson – this means you), but if that is the case parents like that are far too busy trying to have more kids to care about their existing child’s/children’s emergencies.
Furthermore, if the child has an emergency (ipod battery not charged, sex with the teacher is not as good as it used to be) they can always use one of those primative devices known as a pay phone to call home.
Somehow I feel that these kids do not get nearly as upset when they get a D on their history test or when they leave their backpack at home (on the subway I am often amazed at how many future Fortune 500 CEOs go to school routinely without backpacks, books or condoms).
I think the reason the city gave for the ban makes no sense though – “cell phones are disturbing the learning process.” That is what it should do – kids that want to play with their ringtones, send pictures and talk all day should not be stopped from doing so. What will happen to industries like telemarketing, soft core porn and loitering if all the kids pay attention in class? To sum up my point – I would like to give a summary of a joke comedian Anton Shuford (Philly comic) has told:
“I was a teacher, 4th grade, and I had a student named _____.” The kid was 13 in the 4th grade. So I asked _____ one time, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ and he said real tough, ‘I don’t want to be nothing.’ So I looked at him and said, ‘Well, young man you are on your way.’ I stopped assigning him homework halfway through the year. I mean who am I to mess up a kid’s dream.”
So I say to the high school students of NYC who want to keep their cell phones, ipods, PSPs, and vibrators in school – this is one comic who will not stand in the way of your dreams.
9 days until The Height of Comedy