• World Trade Center August 14, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    So it had been a few days since I had seen The Descent so I needed to see some quality filmmaking. Oliver Stone is a good movie guy and the reviews for World Trade Center were pretty good. So I ventured to the movies by myself (not a good movie to go, “Hey wanna go see World Trade Center?”

    I also brought a turkey sandwich and green tea with me because I did not feel like WTC was a “popcorn movie.”

    The first half of the film was very tough to watch, knowing what happens. It was pretty scary to see it collapse from the inside, but I thought the direction was pretty tasteful. The second half of the film is what bothered me. And once again, in a summer of DaVinci Code, the scariest person for me in this film was not a terrorist. It was a Catholic (so he appeared – though he may have just been Christian).

    There is a dude who goes to Ground Zero (apparently the guy who discovered Nicholas Cage and William Pena’s real-life counterparts) because he believed it was his God-driven mission. Now he may be right – and how can he be proven wrong, after all, he did discover 2 of the last 3 survivors of 9/11 at the World Trade Center. Sort of like telling John Brown, who believed himself to be an avenging angel from God, that he was wrong, even though he helped begin the end of slavery in America. But still the portrayal of my fellow Catholic was too spooky and here are some of the reasons:

    1) He looks like the lead singer of 3 Doors Down

    2) He dresses up in Marine gear.

    3) He doesn’t let anyone refer to him by his name, without his title, even though he is not in active duty.

    4) He never smiles, even when he finds survivors.

    5) He fought 2 tours of duty in Iraq after 9/11, even though they didn’t attack us on 9/11. Ooops.

    The most moving part of the movie I thought was seeing the hundreds of workers helping the two guys out of the rubble. Nicholas Cage gives his best performance since Kiss of Death (phenomenal from 1994) and the movie is pretty good overall (B+). I am just tired of every critic calling the movie great. It was not great.

    It is as if the movie critics have been taken over by politicians as well. Like if you criticize a film about 9/11, you criticize America and as a result you DON’T SUPPORT THE TROOPS. Well, go see it, but it is not great, it is just good.

    Besides the best picture of the year will be Babel (based on previews).

  • August the 11th August 11, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    A date that will live on in Haitian infamy

    In case you’re wondering, the title is poking fun at George W. Bush who insists on adding “the” in between September and 11th, when referring to 9/11. Well, August the 11th, 1931 is a lesser known day in history, but important to me.

    75 years ago in Haiti, a man named Louis Cauvin was born, the 45th of 77 children (no, just 10th of 11, I think). That man would grow up to come to the United States and marry my Mom, who would give birth to a 9 lb, 11 oz boy (9/11 again, my brother) and 6 1/2 years later give birth to a 10 lb, 7 oz boy (me, thus explaining why I am still a large human being).

    But as my father ages I realize, just like WWII veterans who are passing away in droves, my father represents a critical piece of history as far as I am concerned. He is some of the only proof that I am half black. Now granted, I have a healthy summer tan going (all natural, unlike some of the microwavable chicks I work with), but come winter I need the authenticity that only he can bring.

    Instead what seems to be happening is that, like a true Racial Chameleon, people perceive me to be the race of the person or persons accompanying me. When I am with my Puerto Rican lady, men on the #4 train will shake my hand in support of my Boricua-ness, as they go on tirades criticizing white people (true story). When I am with my friend Manny (6,7″ as well, from Zimbabwe, very NBA ballerish looking), I will not be able to get a cab and I will rely on my nameless 5’8″ Jewish friend to hail cab (true story). And if I am with my Arabic friends hijacking a train, people will assume I am Arabic or from Under Siege 2. All other times people will just call me white.

    So I say Happy Birthday to my father and please, be around when I am telling my racial suggestive material. However, if I am ever campaigning for national office and have to travel to any red states, especially ones that still waive Confederate flags, stay home.

    Oh and a special message from George Bush (Fredo), Dick Cheney (Lukabrazzi) and Joe Lieberman (Hyman Roth): IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DISAGREE WITH THE WAR, FOR ANY REASON, AND NOT SUPPORT TERRORISTS AT THE SAME TIME (yes GWB would use double and triple negatives). I just thought that would eliminate the need for any nuanced discussion or sharing of ideas. Whether you think it was wrong from the start, mishandled once we got there, or just now unwinnable, you must support the war. And if you think we can’t win, you should still support the War, because nothing says Patriotism to the Family like the loss of young Americans in a futile cause.

    That last paragraph could be construed as a birthday present to my Dad, who is somewhere between Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind and Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory when it comes to the Bush administration. But even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Personally I think Oliver Stone did the whole thing in England to boost sales for World Trade Center.

  • R for Restricted August 9, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    So yesterday after work I went to see The Descent, a horror film. I usually don’t see many horror films because they are pretty crappy. The acting is almost always awful and they are just sort of becoming gore fests, with no emphasis on actually frightening people. However, the reviews from the NY Daily News and New York Times gave me feelings that this one was different and would actually be a scary experience. Going to this movie would be a scary experience, but the Descent would have very little to do with it.

    Upon entering the theater, the first thing I noticed (I was with AJ’s Mom – if you don’t know who that is – listen to my CD) was that there was a group of girls ages 11-14, with their mother, who was probably 30.Now most guys think girls are checking them out and are only right at about 15% of the time (my rate is actually 75%, but I don’t know what these other dudes are thinking). But most dudes without criminal records do not want that statistic to include 6th graders. So I ignored what seemed like glances of an adult nature from La Micky Mouse Club and began to watch the movie (this story continues).

    As for the movie, the first half was actually pretty scary, even thought the creatures looked like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. However, a horror film is only scary when the victims/heroes are vulnerable and have to escape. it loses something when the victims kick the sh-t out of the creatures and begin impaling their brains with bones and knives. Instead the second half of the film was just about how bloody and nasty the film could get, with no attention paid to actually scaring anyone. Well, that’s not true. Some of the 6 and 7 year olds I saw in the theater (literally 6 or 7) seemed pretty afraid. So was I… at the sight of parents taking their 1st graders to R-rated gore fests! Without going Tipper Gore on you, I really think because there are so many stupid/shi–y parents in the world today, R rated movies should have an age minimum. If you want to take your 11 or 12 year old to an R rated movie fine (still show some prudence), but if you’re like the jackass who took his 3 year old to Texas Chainsaw Massacre in DC and were sitting two rows from me a few years ago, the MPAA needs to help you in parenting. If you don’t know that a woman puling a gun from her vagina and blowing her brains out (opening scene in TCM) is inappropriate for your son or daughter, who cannot read or write or understand the difference between truth and a lie, go to the bathroom by themselves, etc. then you need to be sterilized and go to parenting classes ASAP.

    So when the movie ended my lady friend and I left. She had to go to the bathroom because she is a woman and I waited outside. And here comes Mom and her gaggle of horny 6th and 7th graders? I had made a joke to AJ’s Mom earlier about them and she laughed it off. However, as she saw them eyeing me as we left the theater area, and again as we left the shopping center, she said that she was offended and would want to say something to them… if they were in high school. And after all, their mother was scoping me too. My thoughts could be summed up in what I said to my lady friend: “In 5 years, they’d still be illegal.”

    Now granted I have been on a much more rigorous fitness routine (no not John Basedow’s Fitness Made Simple), I have a slick new haircut and a vacation tan, so I cannot blame their taste. And like compliments from a gay man which can sometimes boost the self esteem of a sad straight man, I am not one to reject extra attention. But this was too far.

    I went to a horror movie and discovered 2 scary things – theaters do not think twice about letting small children watch movies that are wholly inappropriate for them. When little Tim or DaeShawn is asked in his 2nd grade class, “What did you do this Summer?” His response should not be, “I saw some scary ni-ga get his brain ripped out by some mountain climbing bit-h.” Unless he really saw that happen, in which case he will need some counseling and a book deal.

    Secondly, with teen pregnancy, disease, low self esteem, depression and a host of other problems plaguing young Latinas (read the NY times editorials from a few weeks ago) it is really, truly frightening to see a group of girls ranging from 6th-8th grades “checking out” a man with Mom joining in on the fun. I believe the saddest part is that the damage is already done with these girls. Their formative years have probably exposed them to a world where 6th graders can shake there ass in front of a grown man and it is to be encouraged. So The Descent was scary, but not because of the film – it was pretty weak. I won’t get too preachy because this is a comedy website, but something needs to start changing socially and culturally and politically if things are going to change in my home county (Da Bronx).

    That moral lesson out of the way I have to prep a set for tonight. I am working a show at a 13th birthday party.

  • Joe-Mentum August 7, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    if only Mel Gibson were running for the Senate in Connecticut

    I am not a Joe Lieberman fan. For one he made Al Gore more boring in 2000, even during a career high in boringness for Al Gore (from 1991-2000 Al Gore was in a freefall from young energetic campaigner to stiff, chubby politician (and Lieberman still made the ticket more boring or am I the only one who remembers his make out session with Dick Cheney during the VP debate?). Two, he looks like Howdy Doody, an old boring one. Third, he ran for president in 2004 and had the audacity at one point to exclaim enthusiastically that he was in a “three way dead heat for third place” in a primary. And lastly, he coined the term Joe-Mentum, which is a combination of Joe and Momentum. Much like a moral victory, Joe-Mentum requires an actual loss.

    But Lieberman’s biggest problem has been his support of the War in Iraq. He has been like Hyman Roth to The Bush family’s Corleones (as I said in my routine in April and Stephen Colbert referenced last week [coincidence?] George W. is Fredo. Now that he is backtracking on his support for the Bush family I expect a Joe Lieberman shooting in a Florida airport sometime before the November election. But if George W. was actually Michael I could see Condoleezza Hagen saying to him, “You’ve won. Do you have to kill everyone?” And George Corleone would reply, “Not everyone. Just my enemies. And by enemies I mean Muslims and Jews.”

    But my problem in Connecticut is that the race is exciting, but it could be more exciting. Ned Lamont is a rich guy who is anti-war. Good enough for me to root for him over Joe, but why couldn’t Mel Gibson have been a Greenwich resident and run for Senate. That would be awesome. Rather than blame the war on Bush, Mel would probably blame Joe for it. At which point Joe would give up saying “RIGGS, I’m getting too old for this sh-t.”

    But I really don’t care about Connecticut. I care about the Nation and Al Gore needs to run for president in 2008. He is an experienced political animal, but far enough removed that he has been reminded of what he really cares about. And he won’t be burdened by Joe-Mentum.

  • My Last Day of Vacation August 4, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    It is fitting that I would be in my office on my last day of vacation, using this time to prep for my first day of work. That is what life sometimes comes to – you are just happy to come into your office not wearing a suit, unaware that the Man wins by me just showing up on your vacation.

    But over vacation I have pondered several things. Here’s a sampling:

    1) MEL GIBSON IS A GENIUS. By allegedly making ant-semitic comments, mel has put Hollywood in an awkward position. Agent Ari Emmanuel (the basis for Entourage’s Ari Gold) has called for a boycott of Mel’s new film Apocalypto. Now Apocolypto looks like a bag of crap (not Braveheart or Passion quality). But now, if it makes no money, it can be attributed to a boycott ordered by a jewish agent. Result: instead of saying Mel’s new movie sucks and no one saw it, Mel can say, “It would have made money, but Ari’s boycott ruined it. I guess Jews really do run Hollywood.” And if the boycott doesn’t work – potential cash money. Brilliant work Mr. Gibson.

    2) YANKEES are good again. And like our sciene and engineering jobs, the Yanks have relied heavily on outsourcing their pitching to Asians. Thank you Chien-Ming Wang. And he is doing it at a fraction of the price of that lazy American Randy Johnson.

    3) Speaking of outsourcing, according to Thomas Friedman’s THE WORLD IS FLAT, America is f–ked (at least by page 300). That has been my vacation reading (that and Flags of Our Fathers – a book about WWII).

    4) The LA IMPROV has expressed interest in potentially booking me in the “near future” (see 2009) based on my CD Racial Chameleon. It may have to do with the fact that it just went platinum in Congo (40 copies sold). I’d tell you to go buy it, but if you are reading this you either have already or you’re a cheap f–k. Maybe a page out of Mel Gibson’s book could improve publicity for my CD or explain why it is not selling. Comedy, after all, is my Passion.

  • Vacation is wonderful August 1, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    so I am not writing much.

    Well, week 2 of my vacation is going nicely (for all those who asked). I am not doing anything other than getting to the gym and working on some new writing at open mics. But the main reason why it is going well is because it is 100 degrees and I do not have to wear a suit for another week.

    Ok – time to go to the pool. Bye

  • Miami Vice July 29, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    Michael Mann can put this one next to Ali

    Last night I went to see Miami Vice. Not good. Michael Mann, an awesome writer/director botched this one. My grade for this film is a C, but considering the weight it bore in my expectations trying to save an awful summer of movies, it really gets a D for not even trying. Instead it just buried this summer deeper.

    Problem 1 – Colin Farell looks like a cheesy pron star. he may be a ladies’ man, but as a Miami cop, why does he look like a member of the Boogie Nights cast? Did he say to the director, “I know my character is cool, but you know what would be super cool? A Village People mustache, or a Wild Bill Hickcock mustache – oh hell, let’s just grow something in between.” And his accent is some sort of Texas-type twang, mixed with 500 cigarettes a day. But he did try and where he tried to act well, the dialogue failed him. “Do you think I am in too deep that I don’t know which way is up?” (This was after approximately one week on an undercover operation – real deep under cover buddy).

    Problem 2 – Jaime Foxx. Wanda on In Living Color – great. Ray Charles – great. Everything else you do – excrement. If not for Colin Farrel’s mustache, I think Foxx gave the worst performance in the film.

    Probelm 3 – DC filmgoers who were laughing throughout at the film (rightfully so), but then cheering wildly at the “badass” stuff that happens later in the movie, as if they hadn’t been jerked around for 90 minutes.

    Problem 4 – bad guy bullets. They seem to avoid every good guy they way the guy in Pulp Fiction misses John Travolta and Sam Jackson. Miracle? No, just shitty movie making. For shame Mr. Mann.

    The film is nonsense and unless Talladega Nights is the greatest film ever, this is officially the worst summer of movies in my life as a movie watcher.

  • CASE CLOSED July 26, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    Police solve the case of my stolen Ipod!

    Well, my hats off to the 17th Precinct. After minutes of investigation they closed my case because they had “nothing to go on.”

    I couldn’t agree more. They only arrested a guy matching the Ipod thief’s general description within 2 hours at the same location where my stuff was stolen. I mean, even Columbo couldn’t put that one together. But he didn’t have any stuff on him, so he couldn’t have possibly put the stuff elsewhere or gotten rid of it. But more importantly why find out? We only had names and phone numbers of the women who witnessed it, but why ask them?

    I guess now begins the George W. Bush portion of my life, so friends and strangers beware. Without facts and before any theft has actually occurred I will be taking preemptive force against anyone whom I suspect of thinking about possibly stealing my stuff. I will fight the thieves out there, so I don’t have to argue with my Mom at home.

  • The Worst Day of My Life July 23, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    (that said my life is not so bad, but…)

    So if my life were made into a 24 episode – yesterday would have been the day (if 24 episodes require lots of anger, sweat, disappointment, crime and thoughts of homicide).

    But it started out well (look for phenomenal irony later). I found out my CD was now available on itunes – a personal goal of mine. All was good and my friend in Argentina e-mailed me to say he was downloading it, becoming the first person on record to have Racial Chameleon on itunes. Then the s–t began getting splattered all over numerous fans.

    3:30 p.m. I go to the A train at 207th street on my way to Fulton to get the J train to Gates Avenue for a baby party for a friend of mine from college (roughly a 75 minute trip). So 2 hours and 25 minutes later (note to subway travelers – Broadway-Nassau is Fulton Street undercover. if you don’t know this fact you end up in a part of Brooklyn that you don’t want) I end up in the middle of hurricane Katrina pt 2. As the rains subsided, my friend picked me up and drove me to his house.

    6:10 p.m. I sit in my friend’s house waiting for party to begin. Many friends from college showed up and we talked. Unfortunately I had an 8 p.m. show to get to. That said I stayed until 8 p.m. to be hospitable, but I could not have dinner because it was just about to be served. But comedy called.

    8:10 p.m. I arrive at the J-train and hopped on.

    8:45 – I get off the J train to get the A train to 42nd Street.

    8:55 p.m. The A train is not working. I know must take the 2 train.

    9:03 p.m. 2 train arrives.

    9:27 p.m. I arrive at comedy venue.

    9:27:30 p.m. I am told that comedy show is cancelled due to some no-show comics and no-show audience.

    9:45 p.m. I call my friend to see if he wants to get some dinner and beers to discuss the worst day of comedy. He says yes.

    9:47-10:14 p.m. I walk from 42nd and 8th to 34th and 3rd contemplating why I didn’t just sleep until Sunday listening to Green Day’s “Boulevard of broken Dreams” on my Ipod repeatedly for dramatic effect.

    10:15 p.m. I sit down at Joshua Tree and wait for my friend.

    10:25 p.m. My friend arrives. We have beers and I have a burger. We played a game where we tried to predict what 80s song was next. I was starting to forget that I had a bad day.

    10:45 p.m. A bachelorette party arrives and sits in 2 tables right next to my table.

    11:25 p.m. I ask for the bill because my friend and I want to stand up and drink near the bar (approximately 15 feet from our table).

    11:30 p.m. We are standing doing a shot and drinking some Bud.

    12:15 a.m. I go back to the table and see my bag missing.

    12:25 a.m. I discover my bag under the table, opened and violated like a victims of a sex crime. A book, a few of my cds are strewn about. Missing from my bag are: my 40GB ipod (IRONY), my Tungsten Palm Pilot and 4 of my CDs. I then proclaim that I will f–king kill someone.

    12:30 a.m. bachelorette party members inform me that they saw a “fat guy in a black polo shirt” looking through their purses. Apparently they gave him bitchy sneers, but notified no one in the bar. They just let him move on to other bags – namely mine.

    12:35 a.m. – I ask the bouncer outside if he saw a really fat guy with a black shirt leave and if not could he keep an eye out. His answer was an apathetic, “No, it’s really busy here.” Thanks for the help.

    12:40 a.m. I call the police.

    12:50 a.m. person standing near us in the bar tells me and my friend that he saw a guy near my bag. When I ask him to wait for the police with me to give a description his memory gets fuzzy when he realizes his night might involve helping someone.

    1:09 a.m. still no police. We leave.

    1:40 a.m. police call me to see if I still need assistance.

    2:30 a.m. I decided to go to the police station house. I inform them of several things:

    1) The penal Law codes for criminal impersonation (the secret’s out – I am an ADA)

    2) That they could track down witnesses easily because the negligent Samaritans in the bachelorette party were the only ones to see the event and could describe fat guy in black shirt.

    3) Cops tell me that a fat guy in a black polo shirt has been arrested at Joshua Tree for criminal impersonation (hence my legal knowledge), but that he had nothing on him (ipod, cds or palm) so it probably wasn’t him. Hmmmm, maybe if you called the chicks and asked them if he is the guy (in some discrete constitutional way) we could figure out if this is the guy that stole my sh-t. But I am probably just crazy.

    I arrive home at 3:30 a.m. I go to sleep realizing that seeing psychologists as a kid can make you sublimate anger into telling jokes, but a fat guy stealing your shit, and legions of apathetic, Murray Hill douche bags can really bring that anger to the surface. However, it is probably a good thing that I did not find that fat sh-thead because it would have been like paraphrasing Elrond in Return of the King:

    “Put aside the comedian and become the Psycho you were born to be.”

    At last count the bouncer, the 12 bachelorettes, the guy who couldn’t be bothered and the officers all seemed to not care too much. (Cue: “Ain’t that America” by John Melloncamp blaring in the background). I want to say thank you to all of you for contributing to my version of 24.

    That said, I wonder if the guy likes my CD. I mean if there is a silver lining he did steal 4 copies so he must have been very interested.

  • A Streak is Broken July 20, 2006 by J-L Cauvin

    Streaks almost always come to an end. Cal Ripken Jr. could not play forever, Joe DiMaggio could not hit in 57 straight games and Condoleezza Rice’s teeth could not chuck more wood than a woodchuck, although they looked like they could for a while. Well an unnoticed, but significant streak was broken as well.

    On Wednesday July 19, 2006 I failed to meet my person requirement for a bringer show. Perhaps by openly admitting that I do bringers unveils my amateur status and if you are thinking that, f–k off. That’s not the point. In approximately 25 bringers I have never brought under the requirement, ranging from 6 to 20 people. Last night I got 4. That would be like Joe DiMaggio not only failing to get a hit, but also committing 2 errors and finding Yogi Berra banging Marilyn Monroe – a bad showing indeed (but thank you to the 4 that did show).

    So as is normal and fair I went up towards the end of the show and had a reduced spot (5 minutes instead of 10). That was ok, but the problem was, they guy who went up before me told approximately 7 minutes of set up, without one punch line. However, he was wearing a Richard Pryor t-shirt so when I took the stage I retorted, “Man, the guy on that guy’s t-shirt was hilarious. Give it up.” I think 4 people got it.

    So I did my abbreviated set, which felt good because a crowd that had gone Teri Schaivo (or Lazarus as I referred to them because I like Bible) awoke to give me some nice chuckles. In fact one guy who was laughing so hard at my jokes that I promised him a free CD. And I delivered.

    After the show I decided that crack dealers are on to something. Give out the stuff for free and then their friends will follow. Soon everyone will be toothless. But by then i will be rich off of CD proceeds. Well, long story short I gave out approx 10 or 12 free CDs last night to various patrons (the password for a free CD last night was “Nice job.”). I hope they enjoy them. A lot of hard work into them.

    My next bringer is August 22 at Gotham. That will be a warm up for the Boston Comedy Festival. Let’s see if I can get people to that show, or at least get people to steal car radios to pay for my CD.

    With the CD sales at rough 4-5 times that of free giveaways I have been trying to think of new ways to market my brand of humor. Here are some ideas:

    1) Start a show on Public Access called Tallgasm, where 4 tall comics tour open mics and sign the breasts of female comedy viewers. I just need 3 more tall comics.

    2) Go old school on comedy clubs. At 6’7″, 268 lbs. I can basically be my own mob enforcer. Speaking in the 3rd person I can probably intimidate and confuse comedy club owners into putting me on stage.

    3) Write a joke about how hard it is to be famous and let it be a self-fulfilling prophecy, sort of like Kid Rock’s “Only God Knows Why,” which he wrote about how hard celebrity was… before his debut album was released. Genius.

    4) Leave my CD inside the car of a celebrity like the rapper on Entourage.

    5) Commit a crime (or get shot 9 times).

    If anyone has any suggestions or wants to join Tallgasm – please let me know. In the meantime please enjoy the clips on my site and start counting to 10 for August 22nd.