The Worst Day of My Life

(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

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.

The Countdown

“Bringers” bring the tension

Well, I sit here at my desk on my lunch hour preparing for a busy Thursday, but also a busy Wednesday evening. That is because as I stand now (to my knowledge) I am 2-4 people short for a bringer at Gotham Comedy Club.

For those of you that don’t know, a “bringer” is a show that allows amateur and semi-pro comics to strut their stuff in front of large audiences and perform along seasoned professionals. The idea is that you get seen by club people and make a good tape at a name club (at which point you mail it out to other clubs and said tape ends up holding up books or being reused for celebrity sex tapes).

[On a related side note I mailed a club my CD in California and they replied that they found some sharp material on my CD/DVD. Unless I got a bonus, I am pretty sure my CD has no DVD qualities. At least form letters in business and work-life don’t make your dreams feel obsolete as well.]

I have done these bringers at many clubs in NYC and tonight is at Gotham. I remember a few years ago I reeled in 16 people for one bringer and within 2 weeks rattled of 20 more. My comedy was exciting and intriguing, and my friends could not see flaws in my comedy. They were like a new girlfriend – everything I said was right and charming. But then as the relationship lengthened bringers seemed the only way to get on the big stages in the city, friends began to grow restless. Suddenly comparing my looks to the Rock and Adam Sandler did not appear funny; it appeared annoying. “You always do that joke and I hate it.” or “You never tell the jokes I want to hear.”

So I began writing at a much more rapid pace to give my friends and fan something to laugh at each time they saw me. But then the clubs were not as impressed because some of the newer stuff was a little rougher. And then you find out that your friends, who are not made of money, begin to realize that supporting comedy careers is an expensive line of work. So as a young comic one is caught in a tough spot.

The big questions are what to do and how to do it. The goal is simple – working comic. But sometimes it seems like an unreachable goal. Like right now – as I struggle to get the 10 people required for the show. All I can promise those that do show up a good ten minutes.

Maybe this is a more somber, reflective blog because I have reached a point in comedy where I want to make a shift in my career trajectory. Or maybe because I have been listening to Johnny Cash’s rendition of NIN’s “Hurt” on repeat. Either way, comedy is fun on stage. That has been true from day 1 and will be true tonight. But the stress that goes with it for the other 23:50 a day sucks.

That said, I can’t wait for tonight’s show.

Only 2 Movies Can Save This Summer

Well, I feel like it has been a little while since I discussed movies in depth, so here is my Summer mid-term report card for movies:

(note: I have not yet seen Pirates of the Caribbean)

The best movie of the summer has been Cars. Larry the Cable Guy is very funny (talk about being cast against type). Another example of Pixar doing its thing. Note on this film however, if you go see it by yourself and you are a grown ass man, families will look at you hesitantly for a minute before enjoying the family humor.

Click with Adam Sandler – possibly the worst Adam Sandler comedy. Like Bruce Almighty with many fewer laughs. And can Christopher Walken stop playing Christopher Walken? His impression of himself is starting to border on Woody Allen. That said, as Adam Sandler gets older he tends to get better looking, i.e. looking more like yours truly.

Superman – eh. Decent film, but too long. normally when I see, what appears to be a cool movie, is 2 1/2 hours I get excited because I enjoy action/adventure epics. In the case of this film – awful overkill. Great Spider Man 3 preview however. Alternate title for Superman: Deadbeat Dad That Can Fly.

An Inconvenient Truth – Scariest Movie Ever (see blog archive)

Nacho Libre – Jack Black is hysterical, but this movie is no School of Rock. But what is.

Poseidon – induces suicidal thoughts (blog archive)

X-Men 3 – worst X Men, but one of the better films in this awful summer

So – as the title suggests only 2 movies can save the summer. And they are not Little Man and the Ant Bully. Nor is M Night Shamalamadingdong’s new film (for the record he makes cool movies, but Unbreakable is the only one I thought was truly awesome and that includes The Sixth Sense.

No, the two films are Miami Vice and Talladega Nights. Miami Vice is simple – Michael Mann. I do not like Colin Farrell and Jaime Foxx (although Ray and In Living Color are quality works). But Miachel Mann, with the exception of Ali is great. Heat, The Insider, The Last of the Mohicans, Collateral. This movie needs to be great because nothing else this summer with real people has been.

The second movie is Will Ferrell’s Talladega Nights. Mocking NASCAR is always welcome. And I have the feeling that it will not require repeated viewings, like Anchorman, to appreciate it. It looks like instant hilarity. If either of these films is less than an A, this will be the worst summer of films in my life.

However, tv has been alright thanks to Deadwood. If anyone saw this week’s episode a gruesome scene on par with Captain Aceveda’s humbling experience on Season 3 of The Shield occurred. I am still having nightmares of Dan Doherty.

Tonight I am hosting at the NY Comedy Club at 8:30. (24th and 2nd). Should be fun times.

Minor League Baseball & Minor League Comedy

So yesterday, on a beautiful July afternoon I went to a Staten Island Yankees game. Funny enough premise. I wish I had had my camera for many hilarious photos, but alas you will just have to take my word for it. Quick question: What do the film Goodfellas and Staten Island have in common? As Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco) put it, “I felt like everyone was name Petie or Paulie and every woman was named Marie.”

So as it turns out my party and I were sitting next to the extended family of the visiting pitcher named “CARL,” or at least that is what they kept shouting at him.

At a minor league baseball game everything is sponsored. The outfield wall is a series of advertisements, there are ads on the field and every time any sort of play happens it is sponsored by someone (for the record, for every stolen base by the SI Yankees, Verizon will donate $15 (not a misprint) to some unknown, unheard of fund. That is the equivalent of me donating a ball of lint for every reader of my blog. At last check, Verizon was shelling out a cool $30 for yesterday’s game. Slow Down Yanks – you’re going to bankrupt Verizon. And if you are ever in Staten Island do not get your car fixed at Fix-A-Dent because they have the worst advertisement I have ever heard.

And yesterday was Japanese day at the park (yes it was still Italian day, but there were some Japanese themed things). Minor League teams need to have theme days to continue to attract fans – nothing wrong with that, but with stadium announcing for three innings done in Japanese – it tends to annoy the Lou Dobbs in me. Oh, and the Yanks were playing the Vermont Lake Monsters – because everyone knows that there are a sh–load of Lake Monsters in Vermont.

Then I had a discussion with my uncle about where the team groupies hung out. I said that I wasn’t sure, but I heard Applebee’s got pretty crazy after games. But there were some groupie looking chicks scattered throughout the stadium. I hate to be a jerk, but ladies I think you have a better chance of winning the actual lottery, then landing this metaphorical lottery of bedding the next Derek Jeter. I have actually been told by a friend who played minor league baseball that stuff got much cooler at the AA level, whereas A was not that cool. I can see that.

Then we get to the contests. Every half inning included fan friendly entertainment, including a baby race between Anthony and Anthony (the announcer had to be corrected because the names are actually pronounced Ant-ny). I left the game after 7 innings because I had been there 2 1/2 hours and the game was moving slower than Stephen Hawking in a potato sack race.

And besides I had to leave to perform in a comedy show at a bar in Manhattan. Well, I realized that for all my criticisms of The SI yanks; I was their comedic equivalent. Here are some examples:

1) Although I have the same title as Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock – they are like the NY Comedians, whereas I am a Staten Island comedian (although from the Bronx).

2) The show was cancelled and I waited 40 minutes at the venue before finding this out. And I knew somewhere in Staten Island an Applebee’s after party was cancelled as well.

3) Very few people give a flying f–k unless you make the big show. Carl’s family was nice to show up, the same way I have a select group of loyalists that come to shows and I say thank you. But for the most part, who gives? Carl has an 89 mph fastball – I have a good Owen Wilson impression. Same thing basically.

4) I think that I may be violating Omerta just by talking about what happened at a Staten Island Yankees game.

A Patriotic 4th of July

On the 4th of July I was taught that valuable American lesson: Don’t Trust Anyone.

I was working on the 4th, and to protect the identity of my employer let’s just say I was dealing with victims of crimes. I had hung my suit jacket on a chair because it was very warm, but I only did so for about 20 minutes because then the AC was very strong. 20 minutes surrounded by other lawyers helping victims of crimes, a few crime victims and a few police officers. That was who was in the vicinity of my jacket. These are important details. For the rest of the day my jacket was in my possession. On my back.

So fast forward about 10 hours. I am on my way to see Cars by myself on 84th and Broadway because that is what someone who hates fireworks and heat (not the movie) does. So I go to see Cars and I pull out my Visa credit card to pay for the movie ticket and I discover that my Amex card is missing.

I call my Mom and ask her to call Amex to cancel my card. She does so and before the Pixar magic starts she calls me back to tell me that Amex says there have been purchases made at Saks (or something phonetically like that) around 1 pm on the 4th of July.

In usual Suspects style – let’s piece this together. My jacket was off of my back from approx 8:30-9:00 am. Purchases were made around 1 pm that same day. That means that most likely a crime victim or someone working in law enforcement decided to steal my credit card on the 4th of July.

This ranks right up there with the asshole who would steal my newspaper in Washington DC from my front doorstep. In both cases I think it is beneficial to all parties that the culprits not be caught because in both cases my response would probably be disproportionate: like dropping a nuke on Ghana for beating the US in the World Cup.

But the real problem is that the workplace is often not a safe place for stuff – shit just seems to disappear. But when you work in law enforcement it is doubly disturbing to find out that your stuff is not safe.

On a lighter note – Cars was great. Pixar does it again. The last time I had something stolen from my wallet was the same day I went to see Munich, another great movie. So if you want to enjoy a movie but hate human beings – lose your wallet and go see a midnight show of Superman.

Crazy People at New York Sports Club

So as part of my “second half of New Year’s Resolution” I have been going to the gym more and doing more running. So after work yesterday (3 cheers for working on Saturdays) I went to New York Sports Club to work on my Ron Burgandy guns (“It’s boring, but it’s part of my life. Watch out, they’ll get ya.”). And like a NYC subway ride, the gym would be an interesting experience.

I was going to grab a 95 lb. dumbell to do a tricep exercise that involves a vein popping out in my forehead, but to get said dumbell I ha to cross in front of a 50-something year old man who was doing some shoulder presses. And as I passed in front of him (we were 2 of 3 people in the weight room at the time) he said quietly, but very clearly, “Get the f–k out of here.” I then stared at him the way a (fully) black man would stare at a crazy white guy who was dropping the N-word. “I am offended and want to fight, but also a little nervous because this guy must be out of his mind or looking for a fight to say something like that.” I acted like nothing had happened, but when I returned the weight he said it again! So this time in my most unconfrontational voice I asked, “Sorry, did you say something?” To which he replied, “ME? No.” And then 15 seconds later he muttered what sound like, “I need my gun (I don’t think he meant guns like mine). But then 2 minutes later, he asked me, “What question did you ask me?”

This blog entry is just basically a plea to NYSC to do some background checks on their members to make sure they are not out of their minds. Even the two trainers (some Eastern European power-lifting type dude and some southern Amazonian lady) agreed with me. I often wonder how the homeless guy on the street who talks to himself got started down that path. Evidently it begins with a passport membership to New York Sports Club.

Then on my train ride home I had the pleasure of sitting next to 3 girls who the only thing more offensive than their bellies hanging out of their shirts was the volume at which they were playing their reggaeton on their radio. I actually was able to envision myself taking their radio and smashing it to the ground like some bi-racial sequel to the Michael Douglas’ movie Falling Down. And then they sang along to it which was a pleasure – just think Rosie Perez with nails on a chalkboard and a bass line. And then I found myself muttering something to the effect of, “Get the F–k out of here with that.” And it was at that moment that I realized that we all have a little crazy New York Sports Club-guy in us.

Attention Boston:

I am back for more 9/10/06

I got some good news yesterday. I have been invited back for the Boston Comedy Festival in September. Last year I had a strong showing and am looking to improve this year. Sort of like how in Major League II, they advacnce further in the Playoffs than in the first film.

I wish I had more funny stuff to write today, but work is very busy. After all I am very big and it takes a lot to suck the life out of me.

And don’t wish me a Happy 4th. I am working the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Independence Day indeed.

Comedy is a Tough Business

“I haven’t read your blog in two weeks.” – J-L Cauvin’s mother

I think my intro line says it all. That said, I will just provide some random observations I have made over the last week:

-Nickleback is this decade’s answer to Collective Soul. A corny rock group who will have a good greatest hits album because they will come out with 8 albums each with one good song and a bunch of crap.

-Cornell alumni are not welcome at my shows unless they shut the f–k up. Last night at the Village Lantern (a great show put on by Colin Kane in the West Village area on Saturdays), a group of female Class of 2006 Cornell grads were there and did not shut up during the show. I said that I would get through my material, but finally I said to them:

“You know ladies. I wish this club was Deadwood. You know why? Because then you would be whores and I could be Al Swearenjen. I guess that would make Colin Kane Cy Tolliver.” I do not think they got my reference.

So if you go to a show it is cool to talk to the comic once or twice, but talking for 90 minutes straight through every comic is not cool.

But the worst part is when I heard my own Mother was not reading my blog. That is what is known as “rock bottom” in the entertainment industry.

So entering the second half of 2006 I will double up my efforts to deliver great comedy product to all 0 of my fans. Let’s do it!

Oh, and with 30+ sales, my album officially went platinum in Haiti.

Faking Celebrity

So last night I went out with a few friends of mine to a new spot on 29th and 3rd call Tonic East. We were out to watch Game 6 of the NBA Finals, but we were in store for much more. Present in my party were a college teammate of mine (also 6’7″), known hereafter as “Zimbabwe,” a friend of ours from college who works for G-Unit records (“G-Unit”), an aspiring singer who accompanied him who bore a shocking resemblance to Beyonce (so much so that I was told that some people on the subway to the bar asked) (“Lil’ Beyonce”) and my nameless high school friend (“____”).

As the game entered the second quarter Michael Strahan from the NY Giants entered the bar. He entered to lots of stares with a small entourage and a nice looking lady friend. He was standing for quite some time right next to me and my college teammate and I witnessed a few strange things.

For one I am bigger than Michael Strahan. This was disturbing for “______” because Strahan appears larger than life on tv and is a sick athlete, but to see me on a diet of height, donuts and weights appear bigger was quite sad for him.

Secondly, women kept scoping out me and Zimbabwe. This may seem like arrogance on my part, but alas it is not because it had nothing to do with me. Women really do like money and fame. And we were close enough to Strahan, while resembling like we might actually be football or basketball players that I could actually see one or two women calculating potential paternity payments into their financial plans for 2007.

The third thing I noticed is that Dwayne Wade pisses me off. I hated Michael Jordan because he got all the calls but he had earned them from years of spectacular dominance. DW is in his 3rd year and the call that they made with about 20 seconds left on Dirk Nowitzki was atrocious. Sorry to break story, but Dwayne Wade should not be getting calls like that so early in his career (or ever).

After leaving the bar I was offered a job to bounce at the bar on weekends, but it will probably not be possible due to my incredibly sensitive, top secret day job.

I was then convinced by my friends to go to a bar where there were some college friends of ours and a karaoke thing. Zimbabwe got up and gave perhaps the worst performance of What’s Going On in recorded time (which served him right for trying to sign me up to make it a duet).

When I woke up this morning I saw on page 3 of the NY Daily News that Strahan’s wife is saying that he had an affair with another man. I was appalled at that allegation. I mean, he didn’t even offer to buy me a drink. Well I guess it is hard to impress a real celebrity with fake celebrity.