This weekend, in the spirit of patriotism and comedy, I travelled to Albany, the capital of New York, to perform at the Albany Funny Bone. For anyone concerned for my safety, do not worry – Albanians do not come from Albany. The club is located in a mall with an 18 screen theater, a Pizzeria Uno and a Dunkin Donuts (along with dozens of other stores with no relevance to my life) so you can anticipate that this recap will be full of humor, movies and gluttony. But it will also feature a horrible heckler, a terror threat in the Mall and Donald Trump watching fireworks. So here we go…
Travel and Accomodations
I left for Albany on Thursday morning on a packed train (and 90% of the people were headed to Albany – who knew it was such a big destination – perhaps it was just a bunch of corrupt business people and escorts headed to the capital to celebrate another “hey at least WE weren’t federally indicted” end of the political year for the State Senate and Assembly. Anyway, when I arrived in Albany I was greeted by Travis, the club manager who drove me to the Hampton Inn (I have always liked Hampton Inn and this one from the staff to the accommodations was the best one I’ve ever been in). The only thing I found disturbing was one of the guests who each morning during breakfast basically gave herself DVD commentary on her whole breakfast (while verbally smothering her son – I thought he might have had some special needs, but then I realized it may have been the Mom with a social and/or personality disorder (“Ok so we are going to have some oatmeal and then – where is the milk? Oh here’s the milk – do you want cereal or waffles – you have to have one, cereal or waffles – and they have bagels, what kind of bagels do they have – need some kind of juice…”) But some kid’s awkward upbringing is hardly a concern when you are crushing delicious waffle iron waffles (the three historically great equalizers in society – the printing press, the Internet and the budget hotel waffle iron).
J-L’s Movie Life
I ended up seeing three movies that weekend. The first and worse by far was The BFG. I will post my review here for your perusal, but it was weak on effects and boring – perfect combination. I then did a Purge marathon on Friday – watched the first two on my computer and then went to see the third in the theater before the Friday shows. Unlike many thriller/horror franchises that just become shameless money grabs, The Purge started with an interesting and provocative concept and has actually improved with each installment, especially as mild social commentary. I couldn’t help but think that the man with his two kids under 10 years old had made a poor choice bringing his kids to it, but no judgment. The third movie I saw was The Shallows with Blake Lively and other than a goofy climax (and no I am not referencing my reaction to the first 15 minutes of the film that feature Lively in slow motion putting on and taking off her surfing wet suit) was a very well done thriller. So who would think that a shark movie starring the wife of Blond-Dane Cook-with-creatine and a third installment of a low budget horror franchise would beat Spielberg, but they both did.
Terror Watch List
I realized a harsh lesson walking through the mall on Friday. As a comedian on the road I spend a lot of time walking on the side of highways and milling around shopping malls – plenty of time to kill, but not a lot of money to spend. And I like to take cell phone pics I think are funny. Well in today’s environment, looking like an HGH infused angry Egyptian walking around a shopping mall taking pictures can rightfully raise suspicions. And that is what happened, because as I was walking around a security guard approached me and said “Hey sir, can I help you find something?” to which I responded, “which way is Mecca – I need to pray ASAP.”
Shows: 5 Great Shows, 1 Incredible Heckler Lady
So I had a great weekend in terms of crowd response (but so-so in CD sales). Guy Torre (headliner) and Frank Gentile (emcee) were both very fun to hang out with and there was only one blemish on the weekend – a drunk lady (of course) at the Friday early show (the only thing stopping me from a perfect 6 for 6 weekend). She was loud, drunk and never shut up for 18 of m 20 minutes (she was escorted out at the 18 minute mark). I got good marks from the crowd for my increasingly hostile response to her, culminating with calling her “DJ cu*t” because she kept scratching every one of my bits before they were done. Below are a couple of clips I threw up on YouTube.
Epilogue – 4th of July
I arrived home on the 4th of July to be greeted by Cookie, who was so happy to see me she peed not once, but twice in my apartment upon my arrival. That night I made my way over to my girlfriend’s apartment which has an east river view so good for fireworks it was as if they were right outside her window (because they were). And here is the comedy gold I produced while watching the firworks (enjoy and tweet this one today!):
For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free! And look for J-L’s new stand up album ISRAELI TORTOISE in August 2016.