Mick Diflo: Comedy Unicorn & Comedy Inspiration

Last night I was on a bringer at Gotham Comedy Club, trying to make a tape for some college showcases (see my epic mission statement that this is the only reason to do them).  My routine had video games, masturbation and a couple of decent bits and I would rate my performance as a B.  That basically means it was an F.  I was trying to polish some newer bits and get a tape together and it was basically a failure on that level. 

So after my spot I went outside briefly and had a tirade that would make David Mamet blush.  But my night was about to take a turn for the better.

I am not going to bullsh*t the loyal readers of this blog.  I find it hard to be completely happy for other comics (I could have Daniel Plainview’s monologue tattooed on my back).  Stand Up Comedy is not a zero sum game, but comedy work is – when one guy or girl gets an audition or work, that means I didn’t.  Even for good friends I can be happy, but being 100% happy is almost always impossible.  But one of the few friends that is the exception to that rule is Mick Diflo.

Mick Diflo - comedian

Mick Diflo is well known in NYC comedy because he is a constant presence at open mics working on his distinct brand of clever and dark humor.  But he is also a presence at other people’s bringer shows, supporting other comics trying to make it.  Sure he, like anyone else, can gripe about what one has to do to “make it,” but unlike someone like me, he never has let that interfere with doing a good show or being supportive of other people’s success.

Well last night at Gotham after I performed I went outside and delivered a rant that would make David Mamet blush, but there was something to make it better.  Mick Diflo delivered a flawless set and got passed at Gotham.

I have seen Mick perform probably 100 times and last night was the best I’ve ever seen.  It was like seeing a gymnast do a perfect routine, stick the landing and not get raped by her Romanian gym coach.  And then after the show, the owner of Gotham gave Mick the word that he was passed (meaning approved by the owner to get paid work from the club).  For those who are not comedians – this is a very important step. 

What Mick did was basically shatter, albeit with tireless work and a relentless optimism masked by his macabre humor, the idea that bringers cannot work (or if you are still cynical, then he is the exception that proves the rule).  As Jim Dodge said to me yesterday while looking at Mick – “Mick has no backing, no management, just merit and talent and he got passed from a bringer. I feel like I’m looking at a unicorn.”  Mick Diflo – mythological creature.  And don’t think that I am confusing this with some sort of floodgate being opened – I do not expect to hear great news from a lot of comics, but this is good enough for right now.  And by right now I mean for a few days.

Have you seen a unicorn? Then you know what it's like to see a bringer comic get passed at a (good) club.

When Mick told me that he got passed something weird happened to me – I felt 100% happy for him.  Usually I would instinctively think, “why the fu*k not me! fu*k this!”  But last night I felt nothing but happiness for Mick.  I am sure comedians around the city are happy for him to in the same way I am.  So today, for all those who read this blog to read complaints or funny stories about the comedy world or the world in general – sorry.  Today should be for struggling or up and coming comics what Barack Obama’s election was for black people: we never thought this day would come, but it has.  Yes Mick Can.

Congratulations Mick – thanks for restoring some optimism in this business for up and coming comics.  And if you are a friend or fan of mine – look up Mick on YouTube – you will enjoy him.

Of course if a year from now he has not gotten any paid spots at Gotham then I may be just a tad more cynical again.

6 COMMENTS
  • michael cohen

    congrats mick!

  • Mick Diflo

    JL –
    Thanks a lot – I really appreciate all of that and your friendship the past few years. I was actually choked up reading it. (has anyone seen my academy award?…)
    Maybe it’s a coincidence, but the best advice I ever got – “just keep getin up” – I heard from Chris Mazzilli a few years ago.
    Anyway, long story short – I quit. Goin out on a high note.

    1. J-L Cauvin

      Absolutely – I almost meant half of what I wrote 🙂

      I remember Mazzilli said to me last night, “I’ve seen you be much better than this,” and I should have said, well can you pass that guy then?

  • Kevin J Williams

    wow this is a great post. made my day. good job on writing it J-L. And Mick, congrats “quickness” (I don’t know why i like calling you that).

  • Paul Herzich

    I’ve been a DiFlovian for almost a year now, and I compliment you J-L, for eloquently describing a Stand-Up Comedian that, along with you, is a uniquely talented writer and performer. I was in the audience that night and could tell that you were “off your feed”, and that Mick was in a flawless zone. I didn’t have enough confidence in my opinion to declare that he was exceptional that evening to anyone other than Mick, but you did, and I applaud you for that.
    Although I ran “Comedy U” in the 80’s and have heard about Chris Mazilla from various sources, I’ve never met him. My respect for him soared, however, when Mick told me that not only did he pass Mick, but that he took the time to critique Mick’s act in detail.
    As for you J-L, I think I may become a Cauvinian because you seem to be not only a talented writer and performer, but like Mick, you’re a humanitarian mensch – at least to your comic family. If you think about it, “Menschdom” is prevalent in all great Comedians.

  • Abbi Crutchfield

    Great job Mick! Get ’em next time, J-L. I like the part where the Winter Warlock melts.

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