New Year’s Eve is probably my least favorite holiday. I have had a relatively good track record on other trite and annoying holidays in terms of enjoying myself and/or not screwing things up. However, I have managed to have about eight bad New Year’s Eves in the last decade, from sleeping on an assistant coach’s couch in college because I had basketball practice the next day and the dorms were not open yet, to ruining a date a few years later because I passed out from overeating at a steak house, to getting dumped by a fiancee (actually a good New Year’s in hindsight, but you get the idea). In other words, the holiday has been bad luck for me. But thanks to my friend and fellow comic Nick Cobb I was getting a paid gig in New Jersey to perform at a New Year’s Eve show in Sommerset, New Jersey. If anything could break the curse of New Year’s Eve it would be comedy. And along similar lines of thinking, if anything can turn the country around it’s a Sara Palin presidency.
There is no need for a long post here. I got on stage and of the 200+ people I’d say I had the attention of 130 and the approval of about 95. The set was a B- performance and I got a D+ reaction from the crowd. But the Joe Wilson moment of the night came when Danny Rouhier, the emcee for the night asked the crowd after me if they were ready for their headliner, a woman in her mid or late fifties yelled, “Well, is he going to be better than the other guy (me) hahaha?” In other words an old, New Jersey, woman, three things that would generally disqualify her from judging my or most people’s comedy, had just delivered the final word on my 2009.
I have had some humbling moments in comedy, but this may have been the most humbling. So I watched the ball drop and said to myself, “Fu-k this year and fu-k this decade. I’m going to turn my fortunes around starting this New Year’s.” And then the first thing I heard after the ball drop was the DJ cue up “I Gotta Feelin” by the Black Eyed Peas and I had an inauspicious first thought for the decade: “Not this fu-king song again.”