Comedy Recap: Stalker, San Antonio and Montreal
I am writing this as quickly as I can from the San Antonio airport (which has fantastic free Wi-Fi) before I board my flight bound for JFK. I have a busy three days until Thursday when I depart for the Cleveland Improv (hey 9-13 fans in the Cleveland area come to Thursday’s show to see me do a longer set!) so I am taking advantage of these final few minutes in Texas. The second week in San Antonio got off to an inauspicious start, especially when “someone” called the club to complain about the blog. According to a club employee, a “customer” called the club to say “I was going to come to the club, but then I read the blog by J-L Cauvin and will not be coming to your club. I cannot believe you let him write things like that about your club.” Now, on first glance this looks terrible – a customer complaining to a club about you is one of the worst things that can happen, especially if it is related to your behavior or actions and NOT your comedy. However, with just a minimal amount of analysis I was able to break the code.
The caller was Bob Hellener (google the name, my blogs and a very unattractive picture should appear). First it had to be someone who read my blog (it had around 150 hits according to Google analytics by the time the call was made). It had less than 10 hits in Texas. So what are the odds that one of these less than 10 people, PLANNING on attending the show, would go and read the blog of the FEATURE act, be offended by the description of the comedian apartment (nothing but compliments for the club in the blog) and refuse to attend the show because of that. It would require a mentally ill human being if this were true… or a mentally ill comedian who secretly masturbates to my photos and blogs and listens to my podcast each week. And that man’s name is Bob Hellener (an alias he chose because he is a universally hated and disrespected comedian). But if you are a Bob Hellener fan, you can check out his recent Craig’s List ad where he asks for help to find a manager and/or agent (this is true and also a surefire sign of his self-proclaimed success in comedy). So I guess with me blocking his e-mails and ignoring his pathetic trolling he has resorted to calling clubs to claim harm to try and hurt my career (you see Bob cannot work any clubs so he would never call them asking for work – just trying to harm the work of others).
The resolution of this story is that I had great sets all week and the club has made a decision to transition to a hotel (so I was told) from the condo in the future. But if I never work these clubs again (which is in their prerogative, but I hope that is not the case) the silver lining is that I have officially committed my first act of comedy martyrdom (that I know about).
As I said, the shows went well, but I was more struck by San Antonio. On the plus side – the heat really is dry. A 95 in San Antonio really is preferable to a humid NYC 81. The city is diverse and the Emily Morgan hotel where I stayed was outstanding. On the negative side, the city is covered in cellulite and tattoos. Seriously 109% of the people under 45 have tattoos. And there are even more tear tattoos than recorded homicides in Texas so some of those guys have to be liars (this is my plan if ever wrongly convicted for a crime – give me like 9 tattoo tears so I look badass in jail). And people are fat and fatter. I actually went late night to Whattaburger, which was quite tasty and said, “I need a plain hamburger, small fries and a small shake.” The cashier said, “That’s $8.08, but if you order the medium fries and medium shake it is $8.00.” Now because I hate loose change (especially pennies) I said yes, but is it any wonder this city is so fat!? I lose money if I eat less? By the way, here is a bit I did at the club following a trip to the Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chao:
But other things occurred in comedy this week besides me. Colin Quinn delivered a widely hailed Keynote Address that I found great as well. But it also irked me a little bit seeing everyone hail it, like no one has ever said this or that because now a guy who has fame says it is a breathtaking, refreshing and groundbreaking statement of what ails the comedy industry from all angles. In fact someone eloquently pointed out almost all the things Quinn spoke of over a year ago here.
And Montreal was not all good news. Andy Kindler, who was nice enough to praise my Louis CK parody video, had some harsh words for Adam Carolla in his annual State of the Industry speech (seriously – can I get lined up for this gig when Kindler retires – you basically roast the trends and previous year in comedy). I thought it was an easy target because Carolla invites controversy with an outspoken style and also bucks the industry by running his own, hugely successful empire outside of the mainstream industry powers. However, the article on Laughspin was so out of control with its biased editorializing against Carolla. But this is what comedy is – a giant ass-kissing conformist industry pretending to be rebellious and trend-setting. Carolla made the podcast format famous, which most comedians now employ as part of their media approach. I don’t agree with a lot of his politics, but he is a strong and definitive comedic voice, which used to be a positive in comedy.
The lesson here is – if you are going to write harsh things about the comedy business it is better to be a headliner, a revered figure or a millionaire podcaster. Otherwise you just end up as me – a guy with the same skills, same amount of stalkers and 1/1000th the money.