Road Weekend Comedy Recap: Highs and Buffalos
This weekend I was in Buffalo, NY at Helium Comedy Club featuring for Donnell Rawlings (best known as “Ashy Larry” on Chappelle’s Show). Like most of my road work the first step is always some needlessly arduous travel. Enter an 8.5 hour Amtrak trip to Buffalo. I rail against this (PUN) all the time, but what is with the bare foot phenomenon? It seems any time anyone in America is on any form of transportation for more than an hour off come the shoes. Other than walking and texting this has become my biggest social pet peeve. (Note to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders – first candidate to propose legislation banning both walking/texting and bare feet on public transportation gets my coveted endorsement). So after the long trip I arrived in Buffalo and made the mile long walk to my hotel (road gigs for me are as much as about doing whatever it takes to maximize profit as it is about doing comedy, so no unnecessary cabs). I arrived at my hotel and was pleasantly surprised that Hotwire.com had given me a swank ass hotel for only $83/night (I cannot publicize where I stay beforehand anymore because I have a mentally ill stalker who calls hotels where I am staying at). The Buffalo Hyatt Regency is probably the nicest hotel I have stayed on the road in some time and you could tell it was nice because it was right next to the Buffalo Convention Center and had a lot of gay employees.
The first night of shows was fun and I ended up selling 25 CDs the first night. To put that in perspective – a feature selling 25 CDs on a Thursday show is somewhere between Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in a single game and Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon. Little did I know I would only sell 5 the rest of the weekend.
The next day I was going to walk 4.5 miles to see and review Kung Fu Panda 3 (review here), but about .5 miles into the walk it began snowing pretty heavily so I hopped on a bus that just so happened to be going on a straight line to the theater. I sat down on the bus and like most public buses in America I cannot fit in the seats. So sitting on a 45 degree angle my knees jutted out , but left plenty of room to get by. Except for the mentally disturbed man who would get on at the next stop. He saw me from the front of the bus (I was 2/3 toward the back) and he started warning me “You better move them legs – I am coming back!” I said “I don’t fit in the seat,” And he said “you better find a way!” And then he stood at the front of the bus arguing with the bus driver. I sort of wanted a confrontation because walking around Buffalo had made me feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, but it never materialized.
The Friday shows were both strong, but I only sold 5 CDs after the first show and none after the second. The real highlight of the day was the vanilla bean cheesecake at TGIFridays that I had near my hotel that afternoon. I highly recommend it if you are near a TGIFridays. And they make a very solid bacon burger for a chain restaurant.
Saturday was mostly spent with me in my hotel watching Iowa news reports on CNN. Before my shows I went to Mass at a nearby Church, St Michael’s. I prayed for three things: my family, people I hate (“those who have trespassed against me”) and to sell some merch.
Well that night I sold zero CDs. I guess like people selling stuff at the Temple, Jesus metaphorically turned over my merch table for asking for sales in Church. After the first show ( I murdered both sold out shows on Saturday) my merch table was placed in possibly the worst place to sell, other than the green room bathroom. Zero foot traffic. Zero. I couldn’t even meet someone to awkwardly reject my CDs. You miss all the shots you don’t take type shit.
So I drowned my anger in a piece of delicious peanut butter swirl pie (if you are a comedian working any of the Helium clubs – highly recommend). I sold none on the second show because I left after my set to catch some sleep before my 7 am train back to NYC. But here is a quick bit from Saturday to show how hard I was killing it:
The next day it was off to Amtrak at 7 am (it began raining halfway through my walk to the station, at which point I raised my arms like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank. Another successful comedy trip. I just had to endure another 8.5 hours of bare feet on Amtrak. And then I got home and my dog Cookie pissed all over the kitchen. #Blessed