This past Saturday I recorded my 4th album at the Triad Theater in Manhattan. I will be reviewing the recording this week and deciding what stays and what goes. I do not know what the album title will be, but I do know that the three best tracks were “Why White Women Disappear,” “Cheating Cops,” and “The Main Goal of a Father” are three of the best bits I have on any of my albums (“cheating cops” was almost entirely off the cuff, which feels good). And comedian Chris Lamberth did a masterful job opening up the show for me. And then sharing cookies with me in my post-job well done show ritual.
The night was not without disappointment. Despite having sold out my first two album recordings at the same venue and drawing over 130 people to Philadelphia for my third album, Too Big To Fail, I drew lightly, by comparison, for this show. First I must say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who showed up – the bonus for you is that you may be able to hear your individual laugh, which is one of the consistent bonus to people who come to my shows. But it did feel bittersweet that I was able to draw a lot more people to a show on a Wednesday in Philadelphia than to a venue in my hometown on a Saturday. But as I tweeted last week, stand up comedy life is basically a race to replace the friends you lose with fans before you go broke. I feel like the perception in your hometown (if your hometown is NYC) until you get famous is “oh my friend is doing a thing,” but the novelty is gone from when you started, no matter how much better and accomplished you are. However, doing something in another city than your hometown makes you look more significant because they only know you on the merit of your stand up. But the lowest points were definitely a few hours before the show. Here are my top (bottom) four moments:
- 6 Hours before the show I get a text from a fellow comedian, who replied “maybe” to my Facebook invite, telling me where he and several comedians were meeting to watch the 8pm Knicks-Pacers game (I predicted Pacers in 6 three weeks ago so I could have saved a lot of time for people). This was the first “uh oh” moment leading to the recording. I look forward to the day I get married because I assume I will get an invite to a bar crawl from this person while I put on my tux.
- 5 hours before the show I get a message on Facebook from a former work colleague that I invited to the show asking me “what is a good comedy club to go to tonight?” This was the one that sort of threw my mindset off a little bit. My philosophy is support me or ignore me, but don’t be oblivious to the point of interrupting my life with stupidity. I replied with “Well I am recording my album tonight, but I suppose that does not count.” He replied with some semi-non sequitur and I told him to use google.
- When I saw my buddy log on to the Play Station network before leaving for the theater I said to myself “I guess you are moving yourself from the ‘maybe attending’ to the ‘not attending’ list.”
- One hour before the show I ran into a friend who lives on the same block as the theater who was leaving said block to go to a meeting and could not make the show.
So the set went well, the crowd was smaller than wanted, but great in enthusiasm. The album will be damn good. The last month of my comedy career has had more good things happen (got a gig co-hosting a web series with Discovery on dumb criminals/legal proceedings, got lots of buzz from the Louis CK video – we will see how far that buzz goes – and wrote and produced another surefire video hit, Alt Wolf coming out this week) than the last several years combined. I was hoping that the show, which had some of the best bits I have ever written, would be the cherry on top of this month, but instead it was the crushed walnuts on the comedy sundae – useful, not bad, but not the perfect ending I hoped for. But now I am more motivated than ever to continue this good run I have been having. Look for the album this Summer.