Today I depart for Boston for the semi-finals of the Boston Comedy Festival. Last night I had my own show that I produce and I was excited both for the great lineup we had, as well as the fact that I would be able to do a nice practice run of my set for tonight. Unfortunately, that would not happen. What would happen is that Medgar Evers College would finally be bumped down to #2 on the list of worst gigs I’ve ever performed.
Last night the bar was largely occupied by young members of an ad agency (think Mad Men, but all stupid, unable to handle their alcohol and unattractive) who had been there drinking and playing Wii since early afternoon, since they had a half day. Even in my glass half empty approach to life I thought, hey maybe we could make fans of this group since they work nearby. Instead what we got was a bunch of drunk as-holes.
I managed to get through about 4 minutes of material until I had to deal with the idiots (and they had already ruined 4 people’s sets). There were two main offenders. One was a drunk kid who looked like he was about 19. He managed to make a spectacle during everyone’s set. The other was a slightly older d-bag who would shout random things he thought was funny. For example when I said the word Obama, he shouted “Obama your mama hahahahahaha.” Even when they appreciated the jokes, they would then discuss and argue loudly why the joke was or was not funny.
I felt terrible and embarrassed for the great comics I had come to perform, but fortunately all of them know experiences like this. I was very close to actually pulling the Chazz Palminteri scene from A Bronx Tale, which I ironically just filmed a spoof of, where he locks the bar door and tells them that they can’t leave the bar.
Adding insult to injury, I was talking after the show outside with Nick Cobb when the 19 year old spectacle came outside and started talking to us. So I said to him, “You just ruined our show, but now you are interrupting my life and a private conversation.” Then when I was talking to Nick one of the worker’s from the ad agency, we will call him Token after the South Park character, decided to flex his muscle by saying the following, “Don’t you hate comedians who aren’t funny and make fun of the audience.” At this point he might as well have come into my apartment and taken a sh*t on my bed. Despite actually trembling with rage (my only fear was that I might hospitalize the jerk – I am no fighter, but I am big and like most comics have very little to live for) I managed to utter out the most sensible thing I said all night – “you and your friends ruined the show in there, but now you’ve come outside and disrespected us out here.” Hearing that, and probably seeing the crazed look in my eyes that only occurs during Utah Jazz losses and listening to Sean Hannity, he apologized.
But there it is. Bad audience, but not as bad as Medgar Evers College. But the fact that it happened at my show and nearly resulted in misdemeanor assault charges makes it the worst. All in all, since Monday, this has been the worst string of shows I’ve done (3 “eh” shows on Tuesday, an awful open mic on Wednesday, and a crime against humanity on Thursday). Let’s hope Boston brings me back some good vibes.
There is a happy ending to the Always Be Funny show story though. My friend who part owns the bar where my show takes place left me a voice mail last night. He told me that the drunk 19 year old had torn down one of the bar’s signs in drunken stupidity and thrown it in the bushes outside, so my friend threw him in the bushes, at which point he began crying. The only thing that would have made me happier is if Token had somehow had his jaw broken during this exchange, but even so, maybe it was a sign that my luck was changing at the right moment.
We’ll see – Boston Comedy Festival Semi-Finals tonight at 9 pm – Hard Rock Cafe.