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Yankee To Philly

Last night was a perfect storm of comedy, sports and the the thing that those two forms of entertainment have served me steadily over the years, disappointment.

At 7 pm I was on stage at Comix as the warm up comedian for 12 Angry Mascots, a fun show that features stand up, sketch comedy and interviews with comedians and local pro athletes.  Last night featured the New York Jets’ Darrelle Revis and the Duke Alum/NY Knicks’ Chris Duhon.  Of course my Jets fan friends (including one who wears a Revis jersey every Sunday), my Duke alum friends and NY Knicks fan friends did not make the show, which moves them ever  closer to my prognostication  that my friends will one day accept an invitation to be gang raped if the only other option left to them is to attend one of my shows (noted for my Michael Jordan-esque Emmy acceptance speech sometime in the next decade).  Sh*theads.

Possibly the only way left for me to get certain friends to a show.

Possibly the only way left for me to get certain friends to a show.

When I went backstage before the show I saw something that was bizarre at the backstage of a  comedy show, attractive women.  Like attractive flies to athletic sh*t, nice looking women just find out where athletes are, even if it takes them to, yikes, comedy clubs.  It dawned on me that for pro athletes like Revis and Duhon, they probably have to actively decide NOT to get laid when they go out for a night.  You know, the way a comic has to decide whether to buy a chocolate milk and walk home from an open mic or save the money for Metro card money and have a pleasant bus ride home.  Same sort of thing.

So I did my set to warm up the crowd.  I have not emceed a real show in a while and I had forgotten how cold a crowd can be when you get out there.  Material went over well – my targets were LeBron James’ oldness (Morgan Freeman going to play him as a high school senior in a biopic), racism in baseball and President Obama (per usual).  I was pretty happy with it, but there was no time to gloat or see if I could hang with Revis because it was off to Philadelphia for a show at the world famous comedy venue, JD McGillicuddys.

If he's not busy playing my dad in my biopic he could probably play LeBron James as a high school senior.

If he's not busy playing my dad in my biopic he could probably play LeBron James as a high school senior.

As I got on my Amtrak I saw that AJ Burnett had staked a 4-0 lead to the Angels.  I furiously munched peanut M&Ms and listen to the angriest Jordin Sparks song I could find on my iPod in response. 

I arrived at JD McGillicuddys in plenty of time before my set so I enjoyed some ice waters and watched the Yankees make an awesome 7th inning comeback.  Fortunately, before I lost my semi-depressed delivery the Yanks gave the lead back to the Angels.  Showtime.

Did about 25 minutes where almost everything worked (including some new bits about yelling at people in elevators and the first prison rapist), but I have never blindsided a crowd more than with a new bit that is simply called “The Terminator.”  Might need some tweaking, but it sort of veers from Greg Giraldo (my favorite comedian and the type I hope to be some day, minus the stint in rehab) into more Jim Norton (comic I really like, but who is a little to the dirty/blue side of me, but who sort of inspired me to take some darker chances with my material).   Then after the set I watched Nick Swisher pop out with the bases loaded I binge drank two beers.

The night ended with the comics crashing at Luke Cunningham’s mother’s house (because comedy, once again, is not rock and roll or professional athletics, which did not stop me from trashing the guest room).  I thought about sleeping in the train station for the night, just so I could truthfully include a The Pursuit of Happyness moment in my biopic, but opted against it.  We all got a solid 4 hours sleep before catching the 7:07 am SEPTA/NJ Transit train from Philly to NY, also known as the “My fu-king spouse insists we live in Philly, even though I work in New York” express.

All in all a very fun trip.  And it was a reminder that I could turn more of a profit if I were a homeless man who alowed frat guys to kick him in the nuts for $20 a pop.

Finally things are looking up for me - I used to be a comedian.

Finally things are looking up for me - I used to be a comedian.

Next week I will have a big show in NYC Tuesday or Wednesday (unknown yet) and then I am in Boston October 30-31st headlining Tommy’s Comedy Lounge – hope you can make it.

One Response to Yankee To Philly

  • Howdy JL,
    Congrats on continuing to follow your passion and talent. I enjoy reading your blog from time to time to get a Cauvin update.
    I wanted to comment on your Stealers game blog. The Eric you knew in college would have advocated a clean clear right to Billy Bob’s face…a quick jab to stun the dick followed by a barrage of haymakers to render this idiot pummeled and defeated. Then you would have had to gotten aggressive with his mates (ie. “WHO”S FU*KING NEXT…I JUST KICKED THE SH*T OUT OF YOUR MAIN BOY HERE AND I DON”T STOP STOMPING FACES NOW! WHAT? WHAT?” right in their faces) so as to eliminate any notions of drunken heroics on their part…scare them sh*tless so you wouldn’t have to fight again.
    Now there are all sorts of ways your ego would justify these actions and really, you had nothing to lose except a few minutes of a football game and perhaps a few chicklets. But, you would have been standing up for morals and ethics that make our country great….so good on ya?
    That was the younger Eric… we haven’t interacted in years and I am no longer full of as much piss and vinegar as I once was. In fact, I can relate to those drunken as*holes because I spent many a day being a drunken as*hole…and not just in private…. I got tossed from a Sunday afternoon game at Fenway for heckling the other team in a drunken rage…nothing to be proud of; it’s just to say I’ve been there.
    Today I don’t drink. The solution to my rage and aggression has been one of prayer and meditation…just using those words usually scares the bag out of most but it’s my truth…I tried not drinking for a while and found no reprieve from the incessant demons in my dome…and god forbid I turn into one of those freaking’ over zealous religious nuts in a some whacked out cult…over time I’ve I’ve learned it’s possible to strike a healthy balance…you can be a goofy fun loving individual that believes in, and draws on, a power greater than himself to experience life and help you through the day. It’s not just all GOD, trying to make people believe your way with your God is the only way versus all ego and self sufficiency because I’m a competent man that needs to succeed…to each is own…whatever works…and for me, conjuring up a god of my understanding and then praying to him for guidance helps me out a bunch on a day to day basis. And the other component is meditation…my brain swirls non-stop with ideas of the future or playbacks from the past and in order to get some reprieve from that insanity, I sit. Not sure how it works but the analogy that make sense for me today is this. I liken my mind to a Nalgene bottle full of muddy water. It’s natural state is one in which I have been shaking the bottle non-stop so the water is quite muddy. Now, if I put that bottle down and let it rest, slowly the swirling debris and mud will start to settle and the water will become clear. When I sit, I find this is true with my thoughts. By concentrating (or trying to concentrate) only on my breath, slowly, the thoughts stop spinning and there are brief windows of clarity.
    Wow, so all that is to say, you did well by not reacting physically to this instigator. You can be thankful that you’re not him. You’re not trapped in fear and insecurity to which the only escape you know is drinking and degrading others for slight twinges of self-esteem but nothing lasting…thus he’ll repeat his patterns until one day he realizes this little game he’s worked out in his mind to feel better about himself doesn’t work very well and inevitably makes him feel worse about who he is as a human being and thus he needs to make a change…and hopefully he finds something that works well for him…it may not be as quick to fix his issues as say a drink or a put down, but perhaps by working a little harder on the problem, the solution will be somewhat longer lasting. On the other hand, this guy may never figure it out. And that’s just as well too…that’s his path. You or I don’t have much control over what path this dude goes down. What we can do to shed a positive light on the situation is say, “thank goodness I don’t have to be that guy.” I don’t have to go home and look in the mirror after embarrassing myself and my fellow man by acting like an as*hole in public and infesting the world with negativity because of my own personal problems with self. Not that he’ll be doing that anytime soon, but I believe that there is a place deep down inside all of us that knows if we’re doing right or wrong in our daily activities and even if we never face or admit to it, it erodes our sould on a deeper level than we can comprehend. And so we say thank you to this guy….thanks for showing me what I don’t want my life to look like…and lastly (this is the hard part) we pray for this guy…I would say (because I believe there is a great creator or some sort of larger than life force out there that doesn’t necessarily need to be fully comprehended or understood by my little brain in order to exist) “Higher power, I pray this guy finds the same peace and serenity I strive for. I pray for healing and guidance for this individual, for he is a sick man.” Now that last part may sound condescending but it’s more a point of clarity for my own brain. That is to say, if this guy was spiritually fit, comfortable with whom he was, in touch with a power greater than himself that connected all of us, he wouldn’t be acting the way he was acting. So, he’s sick and he needs help and I can be a better man by treating him as a sick fellow rather than a drunken as*hole. It’s up to me how I want interpret the situation…what kind of energy do I want bring…that’s my choice, That’s what I have control over. Is he a drunken as*hole that’s going to ruin my experience or is he a not so gentle reminder of who I don’t want to be and I can thank him for the time he took out of his life to be a teacher for me…yeah, I know, the last part is a bit of a stretch for me too but the concept is nice…
    In any case, I’ve babbled long enough…way too long I’m sure but those were my thoughts on the situation.
    Thanks for your hard work on and off the stage and keeping nerds like me updated via blogging.
    Take care.
    Eric

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