This weekend I was in DC to emcee some shows for Sebastian Maniscalco, which meant, per my usual DC arrangements, rooming with my 5 year old nephew for the weekend. He has been pretty cool about me cramping his bachelor lifestyle in the past and this weekend was no different. Of course arriving at home at 1am each night and then waking up to a fully alert nephew at 615am each morning to discuss soccer and/or dinosaurs (my nephew’s two favorite topics, though showing him highlights of Vince Carter on YouTube may have given my nephew a new interest to supplant his Carmelo Anthony/JR Smith fan club membership) is not ideal, but so be it. My younger nephew’s motto is “I do more before 9 am than my lazy, underachieving uncle does all day.” My older nephew, who is up even earlier on a consistent basis, which is why the two ‘phews don’t share a room, has been described as Mel Kiper Jr. as having a “great motor.” I feel like Shaq the Buick salesman trying to keep up with two Russell Westbrooks.
On Saturday I went to watch the younger nephew play soccer where he has been dominating (they instituted a rule, based on his dominance, that if you score two goals you then need to go to defense). However, I was meeting my brother at the game and I arrived before him, which was a real wake up call. Like most adult males I have a hard time coming to grips that I am a grown up. I am 33 years old, but it still feels like an insult when people call me “sir.” My brain keeps telling me that I am just out of college and still a young buck, but the fatigue under my eyes and expanded waist line tell me I am a man. But it is a true rude awakening when you arrive at a park by yourself and are watching a bunch of 5 year olds that you don’t know play soccer. That is when it hits you, through a series of curious stares from parents, that you are in fact an adult man. Thankfully my nephew arrived shortly thereafter and I stopped handing out Second Mile Charity fliers.
My nephew dropped a hat trick, including a coast-to-coast third goal after being placed on defense (I particularly liked it when he said “fu*k your rules losers” or that might have just been me yelling that). I am now searching for whoever the youth soccer equivalent of Bela Karolyi is so I can get this kid to maximize his potential. His initials are JLC and it is high time a JLC bring pride to our family, instead of shame.
But the main point of the visit to DC, other than to buy discounted cigarettes for my mother (I assume at some point Mayor Bloomberg is going to make me a poster child for a crackdown on people circumventing the NYC cigarette taxes), was to host shows at the DC Improv. I was opening for Sebastian Maniscalco. It was a really fun week. The crowds were great and I was really surprised by Sebastian. I had watched a couple of clips on line before working with him, but in a way that really underscored how important the live show is to stand-up comedy, even though the live show is starting to become just part of a comedian’s package instead of the major selling point, Sebastian’s live show was fantastic in a way YouTube clips cannot capture. One of my great aversions is when someone tells me that I need to develop my character. I always want to say, “my character is that I am a funny person with good, original material.” But watching Sebastian was cool because he has a definitive character on stage, but it works hand in hand with the material, rather than trumping it. With the help of a buddy who came by and watched one of the Friday shows we determined that Sebastian was a combo of Boardwalk Empire’s Gyp Rosetti and Brian Regan.
So the comedy was great this week. My sets went great, the feature, Francisco Ramos, did great, and Sebastian crushed each show. Both guys were cool to chat with and it was nice to see crowds appreciating different sensibilities all on one show (but DC always has some of the best crowds in the country). Made me feel happy to be doing live comedy.
Now the good news – my calendar is empty of road work until July 18th. So do the right thing and get tickets to my CD recording in NYC on May 18th HERE.