Before I get into comedic related issues a quick statement on the death penalty (due to some Facebook chatter on my page). I am against the death penalty in all cases. The recent revelation in Texas that an innocent man was executed for arson and capital murder in 2004 for allegedly setting fire to his home, which killed his two young children should be huge news. Can you imagine the man’s anguish (he never pleaded guilty)? But I am against it even when the person is actually guilty (yes even if DNA and videotape corroborate it). I think it is barbaric. China, parts of the Middle East and the U.S. are the world’s executors. No one else I believe.
One argument for the death penalty I get is – what if it was your friend or family member they killed – you’d be for it then? Well, being human I would want vengeance. But the government is in place to elevate society (at least we hope) beyond Old Testament justice, not to enforce it. It has no deterrent effect and I don’t think satisfying some sort of blood lust should be our main justification for imposing a punishment. Isn’t that why people get to watch UFC and MMA fights? This is to say nothing of the racial disparity in the application of the death penalty. It is a flawed and barbaric system because it relies too much on passion and prejudice, which is exactly what the law is supposed to reign in. There is a reason that a police officer can shoot someone during a potentially dangerous or lethal situation, but not when the criminal has his hands behind his back handcuffed and is unarmed. Of course the person is not convictedof anything yet, but even after conviction does he/she pose any more threat to society locked away for the rest of his life than the unarmed person on the sidewalk with his hands cuffed?
Now with that happy start this has been a strange week in comedy.
Had a great set at the Boston Comedy Festival (the one and only sanctioned kill in this blog entry). Advanced to the semi-finals on Friday. Was feeling great about comedy. This was one of those days where I was saying, man comedy is great. It almost feels good to be alive. Oops spoke to soon – because here comes Tuesday.
Started the evening off with the World Series of Stand Up at Carolines. 14 audience members. Maybe 16. I delivered my jokes with more disdain than usual (partly fatigue from Boston), despite a renewed effort to be more smiley when I deliver my jokes (“what’s the matter boss, WE sick”). The crowd laughed as much as they could at someone they probably did not like (the line “wow – thanks you guys I always wondered when the first time that joke would not do well would be” is not very endearing) and I lost.
Then I was off to a bringer at Gotham Comedy Club. I learned an important lesson from my bringer. If I am ever in a foxhole the people I can depend on are: my parents, my girlfriend, a few ex-co-workers and my barber – because in a pinch that is who showed up to support me. The jokes were going fine until I risked a bit on interracial porn being racist. It went over well with about 8 people in the crowd. My joke, albeit still a little rough, focuses on the fact that a successful genre of porn is interracial. I mean the categories for porn are things like: anal, orgies, urine and feces fetishes and interracial. Shouldn’t one of these not be considered as much of a taboo? Exactly, urine and feces are pretty mainstream now. I will take the blame for that one not being ready Gotham, but deep down I think the 2.5 black people (my Dad, me and some dude) were not enough to make the 93 white people comfortable talking about race.
Then I went and auditioned at Comic Strip at 1115 pm. It went well since there were still 6 people who had not yet fallen into a comedy show induced coma. And of course I did not get passed. I was told that my HIV joke was good. I replied by saying it was not a joke and then stabbed him with a needle full of my blood. I was told my joke about my height was a little too obvious, which I kind of agreed with except then I realized I had not told a joke about my height per se. Maybe I just don’t know what words and sentences mean yet, but when I do I will be able to adjust my joke about Lane Bryant to not be so damn much about my height.
The Epilogue to this experience was that Time Out NY once again failed to list my show in their comedy listings page (for the next listing I am going to disguise my show and call it the ALTHOMOSUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC LOWEREASTSIDEOR POSSIBLY BROOKLNBUT ONLY COOL PARTSOF BROOKLYN EXTRAVAGANZA SHOW.
Hopefully that means the end of the bad comedy karma and I can get back to doing well Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned.