Magooby’s Joke House
This weekend I featured at Magooby’s Joke House in Timonium, Maryland. I was opening for Dan Soder. who five years ago was a waiter at a restaurant near my apartment and was on my podcast (Episode #6 – Walking Dead episode). Since then he has had a Comedy Central special, a Netflix half hour, a radio show on Sirius XM called The Bonfire and a recurring role on the Showtime show Billions. So needless to say my podcast is a real launching pad for stardom for guests, but not so much the host. The trip included fun shows, another visit to a Catholic Church trying to be an evangelical rock concert, poor merchandise sales and a late night trip home on Greyhound. So here we go!
I have been to Magooby’s enough times to have memorized the path to the Red Roof Inn Plus – Amtrak to Baltimore Penn Station, the Light Rail from Baltimore Penn to Timonium Business Park (no one in 4 years has ever taken the ticket from me, but it is only $1.80 so I get it just in case) and then a one mile walk to the Red Roof Inn Plus, which is one mile from Magooby’s.
2 years when I stayed at the Red Roof Inn Plus I was on the first floor, which is basically a motel telling you they hope you get raped and murdered. A year ago I was on the second floor, but this year, in the ultimate sign of discount motel respect, I was on the top floor (the third). People don’t know this, but two flights of stairs is usually enough to discourage most motel rapists and murderers.
The room was nice enough, though I learned that the “plus” apparently stands for the white stain on my black desk chair. I have no idea what the white stain was, but it tasted salty (most of this section are jokes I opened my set with, but also true).
The crowds were solid for the 5 shows at Magoobys. Other than the two clips I have posted below, my favorite joke from the week was comparing Maggie Gyllenhaal to Kevin McHale with breasts – not sure I want to have sex with her, but I definitely want her on the low blocks if I need two points. I then explained to two different audiences who Kevin McHale is, what The Deuce is (Gyllenhaal’s great show on HBO) and who Waingro was (the character in Heat that I expected to run into at the Red Roof Inn Plus) because it is not a J-L Cauvin set unless various historical and pop culture references need to be explained. So here are two new clips (please give them a like on YouTube):
The Rock Church
Now on Saturday I had to check out of my Red Roof Inn Plus (to save money I opted out of a third night #ComedyMogul), which meant roaming Timonium, Maryland for 8 hours with my luggage like a Samsonite-sponsored vagabond. That meant 2 hours at Starbucks, 3 hours at Panera Bread and then a one mile walk to The Church of the Nativity, the closest Catholic Church to the club area, for 5pm Mass. By way of background please enjoy this bit from St Paul, Minnesota this past Summer about when I found myself at a very modern, hip Mass:
Here is the thing – when I go to Mass I expect the simple things: anti-gay, anti-abortion, organ music and/or Gregorian chants and preparation to fight to the death on the side of the righteous in the War on Christmas. What I don’t need is some Joel Osteen-meets-One Direction experience. As I approached the Church of the Nativity I noticed the entrance which felt more like a liberal arts college than a Catholic Church. Big driveway, a huge 3 story floor to ceiling glass wall showing a huge coffee bar and lounge. I then entered the Church part of the structure and when inside here are some of the things I saw:
- A band with 4 guitarists (lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass), a keyboard player, a drummer and 3 vocalists
- 2 large screens for showing the band, the song lyrics and the readers/speakers
- 3 different cameras and a switchboard (they were filming for the website and live streaming)
- A CNN-electoral map-esque 46 inch flat screen TV where the priest touched and swiped to highlight different parts of his homily and Bible verses
- Ushers with security headsets
This was insane to me. If you are Catholic, one of the things you enjoy or like about it is some of the old school-ness of it (and in all seriousness I am not talking about some of the antiquated values). But it is as if this and other Catholic Churches are saying “The Evangelicals are killing us! We need more bells and whistles. More pop music! More cell phone apps! More hypocrisy!” WELL I DON’T LIKE IT! The Catholic Church is not going to win more fans or loyalty by turning into a Mumford and Sons concert. But it will feel like an annoying experience to people who do want the ritual and tradition of Mass. And most of all I was disappointed in the folks in attendance. If you cannot depend on old, conservative white people to maintain old traditions – who can you depend on for that?! #MMGA
So after Mass it was time for the last two shows at Magoobys and then a Lyft (#NeverUber) to the Baltimore Greyhound station. My last three 11pm or later Greyhound trips I have had to sit next to someone because they were packed (Greyhound is like the Underground Railroad at night – immigrants, minorities and felons seeking to avoid the daylight), including my last trip from Albany where I sat next to a man so full of non-James Brown funk that my eyes teared up. Well, just like the Red Roof Inn finally show me 3rd floor respect on this trip, I was rewarded on Greyhound with a full 2 seats to myself.
When I got to Port Authority Bus Terminal at 4am (I called it The David Simon Bus Tour from the home of The Wire to the home of The Deuce – almost no one got that joke the two times I said it on shows) I hopped in a cab and went home.
This week see me at Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia Nov 2-November 5.
Be sure to check out Keep My Enemies Closer, Israeli Tortoise and Fireside Craps on iTunes.
This weekend I featured at Magooby’s Joke House in Baltimore. Some of the highlights:
- “My Private 9/11” is now 20/20 for killing (most in New York, but also in Detroit and Baltimore)- I keep expecting it to offend some crowd, but it keeps working.
- Only 2/3 of the crowd knows what pulling “a Kobe” is, when referring to sexual proclivities.
- I got offered a spot this Saturday on a Baltimore radio station to discuss sports as President Obama (details forthcoming).
- I robbed four drug dealers.
But this trip could have been a massive failure if I had not built up tremendous mental strength in my 6 years doing comedy. Because on Friday a friend of mine for 16 years, in an effort to possibly get me some stage time asked me a devastating question shortly before my first show of the weekend. That question: “what’s your website so I can give the guy your info.”
This question has so many layers of disappointment in it. The first being – here’s a hint – it’s my name, it’s on the bottom of my e-mails, on my myspace and facebook pages. But beyond the “are you kidding me Derek?” Zoolander aspect of the question, there is a deeper, more troubling aspect to it. That is the, if I am not marginally relevant to any of my friends, how can I expect to have any relevance to an actual comedy fan, question. Because this scenario means that my friend either never visits my website or that my website is so banal to my friend that googling me to tell his friend my website is not worth his time or the time of his pentium processor.
I guess in comedy it’s sort of like Michael Corleone said. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Because at least your enemies know your website.
It’s been a slow week for me writing, but I have some recommendations for you this weekend:
Read A-Rod. It’s a 2 day read and very entertaining. Tall, tan, attention-craving, insecure, talented and an attraction to older women. Replace strippers with movies, steroids with donuts and baseball with comedy and you have as close to an unauthorized biography of my life as may ever be printed. Sports and gossip fans will enjoy the book and hopefully feel bad for the both of us after reading it. But probably not.
Watch Star Trek. This is not a great movie, but it is a really good Summer movie (fun, sexual suggestiveness, explosions). It updates the franchise and makes it fun while not being disrespectful or spoofing the original. Furthermore it features Tyler Perry, which for racists and/or people with a modicum of artistic sense will mark their first experience seeing a Tyler Perry movie. So let me be the first to re-name the movie Tyler Perry’s Star Trek.
Magooby’s. If you are in Baltimore or nearby come see me feature this weekend at Magooby’s Joke House. 9 pm tonight, 8 and 1015 tomorrow night. The Yankees are also in Baltimore this weekend for A-rod’s first game of the season. Coincidence? Well, if we end up at the same swingers club tonight I will be pissed.
You are welcome for a fun weekend in advance.