Road Comedy Recap: Lofty Heights in a DC Basement

This weekend, 21 years after the first month I went to my first open mic in Washington, DC to begin one of the most frustrating experiences of my life, I returned to the nation’s capital for four shows at the DC Comedy Loft (ironically enough across the street from one of the first places I ever performed at).  There was classy Amtrak travel, podcasting that aged horribly 8 hours later when President Biden took the debate stage, 4 great shows in front of 3 great crowds and an 11 person meeting, 2 meals at the Cheesecake Factory, a reunion from my days as a prosecutor in the Bronx and a tremendous amount of sweat.  So let’s get into this epic!

Thursday Tired Thursday

I woke up at 5am for no reason Thursday so I went and worked out in my building, making it one consecutive days of exercise before I caught the 9:15am Acela from Newark to DC. The shows were Friday & Saturday, but a fan turned friend has a podcast called Political Shadings that he wanted me to be an in studio guest for.  And when he said, “we can get you a hotel for the night” I thought, perfect! One of my pet peeves about road comedy is arriving in a city after a day of travel and having to perform that night.  This would allow me to settle in, have dinner with a buddy and relax.  Except after the podcast (which was recorded less than a day before the Biden-Trump debate (my take is hilariously bad in hindsight) and the overruling of Chevron by the Supreme Court (solid work by me) I agreed to co-host a live zoom event with Pete Dominick, which would leave me depressed (because of President Biden) and exhausted (I went to bed at 1am). So much for a relaxing day before showtime.

Friday: Moving Day

On Friday I first woke up at 3:30am. That sucked, but since 2020 my brain has been permanently wired it seems so good sleep only really comes with complete exhaustion. I fell back asleep and went downstairs for the Residence Inn complimentary breakfast.  Shout out to Political Shadings (the episode should be available Monday – definitely listen) for the great hotel room and breakfast.  And, just to let you know why I am a Hampton Inn type hotel guy.  I am usually not a fan of the super upscale places. It’s like, “for the privilege of paying triple what you need to for a hotel room, we will also charge you for meals, internet, the gym and eye contact.” I like the “clean room, free Internet, free breakfast” places.  I will highlight that as part of my “man of the people” marketing for my Senate campaign.

I checked out of my hotel and headed to the comedy club provided hotel, which was about a mile away (in a J-L Jinx type irony, the Residence Inn was across the street from the club). I checked into that hotel, which had a “is this a niche, boutique hotel or part of the Bates Motel family of hotels?” vibe. My hotel appeared safe and well air-conditioned so I settled in to watch some CNN and continue mapping my set for Fridays shows, but the hotel did not have CNN. It had CNN Headline News. So for the next two days I was forced to read the news like my ancestors did before me.

I had an early dinner at the nearby Cheesecake Factory (as I said on stage, “when in DC I like to go where the power players dine”) where I had the salmon and skipped dessert because my girlfriend texted me and said no cheesecake. I said truthfully that I had not had cheesecake… that meal.

That night I headed out for the DC Comedy Loft. It was warm, but not as warm as I expected so I walked the mile and, of course, arrived at the club sweating like a fat fu*k. I had a half hour to cool off, which I did and then it was time for the show. Openers did a great job and then I killed it, which was a relief because the whole set, sans two jokes, is all new material from the last 6 months.  And there was extra pressure because friends and colleagues of my brother and sister-in-law showed up and even 21 years into this I am nervous to embarrass myself and have it get back to my family.  Sold a lot of merch and walked back to my hotel (only saw one giant water bug).

Me, judging something or someone from the stage

I arrived back in my hotel room and turned down my sheets and saw what can only be described as ,which I learned is owned by the club owners and had a wonderful night of sleep.

Saturday: Faith and Funny Conference

I woke up and headed to the nearby Starbucks to read and have some disgusting coffee (seriously, Starbucks made the right move making drinks for children and immature adults because their coffee tastes like burned motor oil). I then went to the Cheesecake Factory again, this time for lunch and had the Factory Meatloaf. The stacked Latin woman who brought it to me said “I always tell people this is my favorite” and then I said I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that” and she said “huh?” and the moment was lost.  But obviously if you know me or have followed any thing I’ve done you know that a hot Latin woman bringing me Cheesecake Factory food is pretty much the only porn category that I would subscribe to.  I went for a long walk after my meal, which I had finished off with a coconut cream pie cheesecake (low key might be a top 3 on the menu), all the way to Georgetown University Law Center to see how the institution that drove me into comedy was doing. It looked nice and I then went back to my hotel.

At 515pm I made my way to the Cathedral of St Michael the Apostle. I love this Church. It is so beautiful and it is always a safe bet for the paparazzi to catch shots of me on my trips to DC.  After the service I walked up to the Sweetgreen at Dupont Circle and ate a Kale Caesar salad while a table of young people (mid 20s?) discussed how they were going to see Taylor Tomlinson at the DC Improv. I said, “you could see me!” And they said who are you? And I said, “Ask your grandparents, they probably love my sh*t on YouTube!”

There is a gay bar next to the club so either the glass needed to be cleaned before I got there or the fellas were really excited to see me

Saturday early show was my best set of the weekend.  Clips will go up on my Patreon and maybe even one or two publicly, but not too much as I obviously want to keep developing this new hour or so of material.  The second show was not quite as good, but I think that was just my energy dipping a little. A bit I’ve been struggling with working on about the history of DJs finally hit big with that late crowd, probably saving it from the trash heap of the (extremely rare) jokes I write that don’t crush.  Met up with various people from my life after Saturday shows, including a former colleague from my days as a prosecutor who is now in DC after a multi decade career working for the [Redacted].

In a reversal of the J-L Jinx, the DC Comedy Loft lost most of its air conditioning, except in the room I was performing in.  When I left at 1245am after talking to my girlfriend’s friends (she grew up in northern VA) and it was finally clear to call the escort service, I bought a vanilla milkshake and walked back to the hotel in maybe the most humidity I have ever experienced.  I saw one rat and fell asleep at about 2am.

Sunday – Time to Leave

I woke up at 8am, took a shower (was too tired to take my 2nd shower in 10 hours when I got back the night before) and eventually made my way to Union Station to take my First Class Acela trip home.  I had a 4 seater to myself and dined and read my book like the wealthy scholar that I am not.

The trip to DC was great. The shows were great. The support from fans, friends and the club was great (though I have noticed that a lot of the fair weather folk from 2021-22 have disappeared so in my delusional, Michael Jordan-bulletin board for slights-type attitude, if you are not coming to see me drop majestic new material in DC now (but seeing awful hacks with more heat) I will not acknowledge you when that heat swings back on me. Just wanted to end the fun blog on an absolutely true and menacing note!

Finishing the trip with some crepes for the guy with the French name
  • Hilary

    So pleased it went well, you sound almost upbeat

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