Donald Trump: America’s Participation Trophy

Today the electors vote, presumably, but disappointingly for Donald Trump.  And just over a month Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States.  And one of the running things I have heard and read from conservative pundits and Long Island comedians is that one of the driving forces behind Trump’s election (ahead of bigotry and stupidity, of course) is the safe spaces of liberals.  The idea that liberals are too easily offended and politically correct and require too much sensitivity. This is considered the progression from a participation trophy culture – if we give every 8 year old a trophy for their 5th place soccer team, then eventually those children will require safe spaces on their college campuses and rescind invitations from speakers with whom they don’t agree.  The election of Trump (in addition to being a potential disaster for women, people of color and immigrants) was really a comeuppance for those faggy liberals and their weakening of what makes America strong.  And yet, the group that abhors participation trophies (or at least wants to blame said trophies, metaphorical and literal, for America’s problems) has just elected the biggest participation trophy in American history.

Adam Carolla, the podcaster/entertainer, often says we need to work “big to small” when lambasting priorities of the left. Now I am a big fan of Carolla as a comedian and a person, but I disagree with a lot of his politics, especially because he, like many conservatives, often apply lessons and principles against their enemies with rigid discipline, but not to their own side.  Carolla’s show has featured some alt-righters like Milo Yogurtanapopolis (hey if I am too respectful to his foreign sounding name wouldn’t that make me a pussy liberal?), and one of their things about speech (as well as race, etc.) is that the left is playing games with identity and speech, while the conservatives are simply about solutions and not catering to useless things like feelings and identity.  As if conservatives treat life like math, while liberals treat it like poetry. Shitty poetry.  In fact Carolla has called the Democrats the party of feelings (to be fair he sort of characterizes most people today as to concerned with the self and their feelings, not just liberals all the time). It plays well and makes sense with the narrative that liberals are too sensitive and are into participation trophies.  And yet, I feel like people like Carolla have missed the forest for the trees.  No president, in my lifetime at least, has played and prayed upon a victim mentality and identity politics more than President-Elect Donald Trump.

“The economy is a disaster” – unemployment cut from almost 10% to under 5%

“Our military is a disaster” – the strongest in the world by a wide margin

“I will bring back coal” – not happening

These are a few examples of Donald Trump’s comments to appeal to men and women who, admittedly, may have fallen behind in an increasingly global, technologically advanced, eco-conscious world  and I do sympathize.  But wouldn’t the conservative approach be “don’t blame someone – get new training, more education, etc.” (even if unrealistic)?  After all, Hillary Clinton said she wanted to replace coal jobs with new training and jobs in those communities for a clean energy 21st Century.  Wouldn’t that be the conservative approach?  Not handouts and identity politics, but education and employment?  But instead, leaving aside the repudiation of President Obama’s legacy and skin color for now, the Trump voters opted for someone who demonized immigrants and promised jobs that cannot come back. Hillary Clinton promised help with pulling up their bootstraps, Trump blamed the boot maker and promised everyone a new pair of their favorite boots that the manufacturer stopped making.

So just as conservatives have hijacked patriotism, faith and other ideals that plenty on the left share as well, at least let them take ownership of being the participation trophy party as well. Trump voters have elected a man who has promised impossibilities and appointed a cabinet that will not only not “win” for their interests, but actually make you even bigger losers in the end.  So while libtard parents are giving their 8 year olds participation trophies for soccer, Trump voters have elected a participation trophy as president. And like Adam Carolla says, shouldn’t we be worrying big to small instead of the other way around?

Get J-L’s new stand up albums KEEP MY ENEMIES CLOSER &  ISRAELI TORTOISE on iTunes, Amazon & Google.


Road Comedy Recap: Impressions, Injuries and Deal Making in…

I have been in Los Angeles for the last five days and it was a trip befitting my social media hashtag #ComedyMogul.  I was making big media appearances, performing at stand up clubs and engineering deals with one of the biggest chain restaurants in the country.  It was one of my most productive trips to the west coast ever, even though every plural in the proceeding sentence should actually be a singular.  As I write this in an airport motel with plans soaring uncomfortably close every 10 minutes I am beaming with a sense of pride that I managed to crush it on the #1 podcast on iTunes, had a great set at a comedy club and filmed it and helped start a potential big deal between the Cheesecake Factory and a new craft beer, ALL while managing to earn exactly zero dollars while doing it all.  This is what Black Twitter would call “Peak J-L.” So here is the recap you have been waiting for.

Saturday – The Gentlemen’s Lodge

My flight out was pretty uneventful.  My legs felt good because I was in the Extra leg room seats (still unfair that in this day of trans bathrooms a tall man must pay extra to be in seats that fit) and I watched Daddy’s Home, a perfect airplane movie starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (very funny throughout, not really sure why critics crushed it, but perfect way to pass 100 minutes on a cross country flight).  I also had a 2 hour conversation with the woman sitting next to me, who happened to work for digital advertising for YouTube. We had a fun chat about politics, millennials, digital ads (I told her the kinds that I am most likely to watch – so now she has a good sample study of comedy moguls’preferences) and how I can help my content get more views. She said I should aim to get to 5000 subscribers because then I have access to YouTube studios.  With just over 1500 subscribers at my current pace I asked her to reserve me some space in 2032 for me to record some killer content.

When we landed in LA I was greeted by my buddy Nick D. in his Mercedes and he drove me to my hotel in Studio City.  Thanks to Hotwire.com I got a great deal at a place named The Gentlemen’s Lodge.  I figured the great deal I got was based on the fact that in Los Angeles, a place called The Gentlemen’s Lodge would either be a far right enclave where conservatives hunted teenage boy and girl runaways for sexual sport or it would simply be an ironically named place where gay orgies were taking place.  Well, it turns out it was just a normal hotel, despite the presence of kids named Harper and Brooklyn roaming the hallways.  The rest of the day was uneventful as I prepared for a big next couple of days.

The Gentlemen's Lodge 4th floor (my floor) featured a quote from Bruce Springsteen's worst album for some reason

Sunday – Comedy Mogul Down!

I woke up at 4:45 am on Sunday because I never adjust well to the time zone change. But I felt energized and decided to get up and go for a run like I was the Rock sharing annoying Instagram workout pics.  Around 5:45 I started jogging on a quiet and empty road. Feeling good, like I might be able to churn out a couple of extra miles I made the mistake of relaxing and feeling a moment of happiness.  Just when those feelings infected me I tripped.  I rarely trip. It’s sort of weird. I will sometimes have my foot catch on something and not trip either because of balance or gait or weight distribution but I rarely trip.  Well, about ten years of never trips caught up in one epic fall.  When I hit the ground I scraped my palms, busted open one of my knuckles, busted my knee wide open (it still has not scabbed yet 4 days later) and bruised (or worse) my ribs.  I don’t even understand how I could have fallen only once and done that much damage to so many different body parts, but at my height maybe it’s like falling from a 2nd story window.  Whatever the case I was basically a gimpy invalid the rest of the trip. But that didn’t stop me from heading to Flappers in Burbank that night.

My name in lights
Later in the month, Flappers will be headlining a comedian eve more relevant than me: Jake The Snake Roberts, a 1980s wrestler

Despite performing at 1:20 am east coast time I had a great set closing the side room at the club.  Here is a quick clip of my new material about my dog Cookie. Enjoy:

Monday –  Cage, Crushing Carolla & Cheesecake 

Monday was celebrity day for me.  When I limped to the Starbucks across the street from TGL I was on line next to the actor who plays Luke Cage (co-star of Netflix’ Jessica Jones and the start of his own Netflix series this Fall).  We both played it cool, which was refreshing – just getting treated like a regular Starbucks customer and not a Comedy Mogul.

That afternoon I headed to Carolla Studios and had a great appearance (best one of the 6 I have made).  You can listen to the episode here and also watch my new Carolla sketch video I made for the show:

But the biggest thing I did had nothing to do with comedy.  Ryan is the manager at the Pasadena Cheesecake Factory and a big fan of The Adam Carolla Show.  My friend’s girlfriend is a waitress there and when Ryan found out last year that I was the guy that did the impressions on Carolla I began to see my bills shrink exponentially at the Cheesecake Factory.  As the second biggest regular celebrity at the Pasadena Factory (Terry Crews currently holds the #1 spot) I wanted to give back and show my appreciation for being treated so well.  And it turns out that a few hours before I went on the air I learned that Ryan was hoping to get Adam Carolla’s new craft beer into the Pasadena Factory (yes I am aware that calling The Cheesecake Factory, “The Factory,” is hugely douchey).  So on air I brought up the idea of Adam getting his Endless Rant IPA into the PCF and the idea was a hit with him and later his producers when I connected them to Ryan.  So now in addition to #ComedyMogul I am also a budding #CheesecakeMogul.  I have never read Trump’s The Art of the Deal, but I am pretty sure I just wrote the sequel in Pasadena.

Salted caramel cheesecake - one of my 2 free pieces of cheesecake during the week

Tuesday & Wednesday – Sun, More Cheesecake & 2 Nicks

Tuesday was the only full day I had to soak up some Sun because, like The Nothing in The Neverending Story, dark cluds metaphorically and literally follow me.  After getting a little darker I then headed back to the Cheesecake Factory to get more free food and to soak up Ryan’s praise since he had now heard the deal get sealed on air, along with his name said on the air.  I then ended the evening watching CNN in bed because I was too sleep to check out some LA shows. I fell asleep at 9:45pm local #RockStarLife

Wednesday was uneventful – met up with my buddy Nick Cobb and met his infant daughter (I asked her if she could put in a good word with me at MTV2) and completed my trip goal of hanging with only two different friends in LA and having them both be named Nick. Now I am about to go to sleep in my Super 8 Motel with jets lodly flying overhead.  Can’t wait to get back to NYC and earn some money doing legal work, but to be fair this was as good an unpaid trip as I could hope to have.  Hoping some good things materialize in the next few weeks, but hopefully they don’t pay.  #KingOfAllUnpaidMedia

The view from my airport motel. #Blessed #HumbleBrag #WaingroFromHeatStayedHere

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!


Clouds, Carolla and Cauvin – The West Coast Travel…

This week I took a break from staring at emails and contracts on a computer for 10 hours a day for a much needed working vacation.  I have not been on a vacation since 2010, though travelling for comedy can sometimes feel like a half a vacation… until you get your paycheck and realize it is not half a vacation, but half a job and you need something else to pay your bills.  But I digress.  I was excited to come out west.  It had been cloudy and cool in NYC and I was pale from a winter and early spring spent inside of law firm offices, so heading out to Los Angeles, a place so Sunny and warm that the state has a historic drought, was sure to change both my mood and my skin tone, right? Wrong.

The day I left for LA (Monday) New York was experiencing 80 degree sunny weather.  LA? 60 and cloudy the whole day.  I failed to pack anything with long sleeves, which was a big mistake since my first show Monday night was at a bar on Venice Beach right next to the Pacific Ocean.  The only things making a bigger statement on stage than my comedy set were my protruding frozen nipples.  It was then that I realized that I may very well be The Nothing from the 80s movie The Neverending Story.  Gloom and clouds follow me everywhere while I leave a warm sunny paradise in my wake (the rest of the week is supposed to be cloudy in LA followed by 80s and Sun next week). (for more funny details of my trip to LA and a quick review of Ex Machina check out this week’s short episode of my podcast here)

Tuesday was cloudier than Tuesday but it was the big day of the trip – another appearance on The Adam Carolla Show where in addition to getting to work with the great staff there and the Podfather, they also have a free vending machine (it makes you feel like a civilized looter).  Normally I only take one item, but on Tuesday I went all out and took TWO packs of Lorna Doone cookies (as I have been listing many ways I am getting older in my stand up I think my growing love of Lorna Doone cookies can be added).  The episode went well and they played a bit of my new Carolla-themed sketch video. Enjoy it here:

I then celebrated after Carolla the way I have celebrated every Carolla appearance… with a coma inducing meal at The Cheesecake Factory (some happy hour drinks, sliders, salmon, mashed potatoes, broccoli and a large piece of Oreo Diabetes Never See Your Penis Again If You Eat This Too Often Cheesecake),  My friend Nick and I then drove around Hollywood for a while counting the number of Chris D’Elia billboards (5,988 at last count).

So now I sit here in my boxer briefs writing this, staring out my window at a third day of cloudy LA. I headline Flappers tonight in Burbank (check my Twitter for link to free tickets) and will be writing sketches and material inside… things I could have done in NYC… but with more Sun #Blessed

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!


LA Comedy Recap Pt 2: Carolla and Cheesecake

Well I am back in NYC after a great and productive week in Los Angeles.  Last blog I gave a thorough recap of Comics Unleashed (hoping the check arrives in the mail this week) but that was only part of the trip.  The next day I was on The Adam Carolla Show for the third time in 2014, which is coincidentally how many times I ate dinner at the cheesecake factory in the three nights I was in LA (a friend is a waitress there, which mean discounts, #blessed).   The appearance went really well (you can listen here) and only one person on the Facebook post wrote “I hate jl” in the comments section.  Now the Carolla producer is in talks with my management (meaning my hotmail account) to have me on as a call in segment, rebooting an old Adam Carolla segment from his television show.  Normally I would not jinx an opportunity like this but a) it is unpaid and b) it is unpaid so what am I really jinxing by telling you before it airs?  So, hopefully this happens and allows me to continue to grow my fan base through the ACS.  Now I am back to submitting for contract legal work to fill in the large gaps in my comedy calendar.  So while that happens here is a pic of better times of myself, Adam and Matt Achity of Rotten Tomatoes:

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!


Lebron, Nipples and Shows: LA Comedy Journal

This week I have been in Los Angeles, with the main purpose of my visit being my second appearance on The Adam Carolla Show, which you can listen to here.  The recording went great and I think ensured me a third appearance (at which point I will refer to myself as a show “regular,” which although a stretch, will certainly be more true than the 1.5 million people walking around LA with either “activist” and/or “producer” on their business cards.  Among the perks of the show were the new vending machine that is completely free sitting in the studio.  Leaving the studio I did the classy thing and only took one bag of Famous Amos Cookies, instead of taking 9 bags of cookies, 14 bags of various candies and some gum, like I wanted to.  But there has been so much more to this LA trip than just crushing another appearance on the Carolla Show (#grinding #blessed #thankful).  So here are some of the highlights:

Los Angeles’ Confused Relationship with Lebron James

On Sunday evening I watch Game 2 of the NBA Finals at a sports bar.  My friend Nick and I were rooting for Lebron, which earned us numerous scornful stares, which I found odd given the fact that half of this town are people who left their hometowns behind to pursue the noble professions of acting and fellatio.  But fast forward to Tuesday night for Game 3 at a different sports bar that was dominated by Miami Heat fans (they even had jerseys to prove that they have been die hard fans for at least 4 years) and the reaction was completely different.  Being that this town feels like it is full of front running ass-kissers (imagine if the NYC comedy community ran an entire city) this felt more appropriate than the hostile reaction Lebron support got on Sunday.  Of course I eventually felt uncomfortable supporting the Heat when with 4 minutes left and the Heat  down 18, Rashard Lewis hit a 3 pointer, cutting the Spurs insurmountable lead to 15 points.  And then I saw a 13 year old Latin kid (I would guess Puerto Rican) ,who did not weigh on the triple digit side of 100 pounds pump his fist, mean mug a table of chubby Mexican dudes who were rooting respectfully for the Spurs, and say “what the fu*k you gotta say now you fu*king fa*gots!?”  Now they did not hear him, but I did… and so did this kid’s proud family members.  The response?  Nothing.  Obviously there was an undertone of Latin-on-Latin hate (Puerto Ricans rank 2nd on the Latino on Latino rankings, trailing only Cubans, but far outranking Mexicans), but I thought to myself “What would have happened if I called a group of strangers “fu*king fa*gots” at 13 in front of my family.  My guess is my parents would have stabbed me to death in shame before the table of Mexicans could do it.  But I wish this young man in his future as a low ranking member of the Latin Kings or as a high ranking member of a fast food management team in a decade.

Epidemic of Male Nipples at LA Gyms

So after a few days of eating terribly (the unlimited chips and cookies on a six hour flight are a gateway drug) I went to the gym today, a nearby 24 Hour Fitness.  And boy did it deliver.  Over 50% of the people had tattoos, including several guys that look like Harry Potter.  A majority of the women had ink, but the thing I noticed most of all, besides the worst pec size-to leg size ration I have seen in a good while, was the proliferation of male nipples.  Now I am not one of these tools that thinks women should be allowed to walk around topless (my apologies to Bruce Willis’ oddly big-breasted son who has been campaigning hard for this), but it makes me think that maybe men should do some covering up.  I would actually find it less weird for a dude to be working out shirtless than with a tank top that only seems to be beating the gym rule of “must wear shirt” on a technicality. Congrats sirs, 4 millimeters of each shoulder and your lowest 2 abs are covered by your “shirt.”  Other than seeing two women walking around with gallon jugs of water (is this a new cause? to prove that women can be as douchey as men in a gym?), the proliferation of male nipple was the weirdest trend I saw in the LA gym.

Fun Shows ad Reunions with NYC Comedians

It is amazing the mental change that can occur when doing unpaid bar shows 3,000 miles from home.  Other than been paid in a substance that I have no desire to use my four shows this week are all unpaid (#Grateful #blessed #Grinding #thankful).  Normally I would just watch TV or hang out with buddies in town, but being in a different city in front of different people, has a natural rejuvenating effect that motivates one to get on stage and, at least in my case, work on newer material.  I have also seen enough familiar faces to add a touch of comfort to the experience.  So I guess what I am saying  is when I get back to NYC… I will return to my normal level of unmotivated.  #Grinding

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!


President Me by Adam Carolla

This past weekend I finished an advance copy (it’s out now anyway) of Adam Carolla’s new book President Me (this not a brag that I somehow receive advance access to popular media – I got it from someone who had access to advance copies of books and I will leave it at that).  It is no secret that I am a fan of Carolla.  I thought his first book, In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks, was non-stop hilarity.  His follow-up, Not Taco Bell Material, had moments of excellence but was not as much of a laugh riot as Chicks.  Well, President Me gets Carolla back to the Chicks approach: less memoir, more observations of the world around him. The result is just about as excellent as Chicks.

Now when it comes to my differences with Carolla, they grow the bigger the issue – i.e. the more macro an issue – taxes, government policy, race relations I tend to deviate from him.  However, when it comes to everyday things, which are the funnier of his observations and the overwhelming majority of the book, I rarely disagree with him.

The difference is in President Me is when I disagree with Carolla there was more of an attempt on his part to address the arguments against his viewpoint (before steamrolling ahead with his view anyway). The best example of this is his support of voter ID laws.  He readily acknowledges the subversive motives of the Republican Party, but then says he just thinks we should have them anyway.  Of course his near-endorsement of a poll tax (requiring everyone to bring a pay stub to the ballot) is a step way too far (but done half for comedic value), but I sort of appreciated that unlike folks from places like Fox News, at least he can say that he thinks something makes sense, even if he acknowledges that the people endorsing it are far from infallible heroes.

The main parts of the book are just laugh out loud funny.  I think his few pages on the proliferation of exposed feet in our society are the funniest things I have read in a while.  I think the main reason I like Carolla so much, despite our political differences, is that his view is “can we have an expansion of rights for everyone, but not a destruction of decorum and decency?” “Can’t things stay old school if old school had it right” sort of approach.  I have said it on a recent album that I feel in many ways I have more in common with my parents’ generation than I do with people in their early 20s.  Carolla may oversimplify some of the big things in our society and government, but on the specifics of every day life he is pretty spot on. And hilarious.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic, iTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!


Los Angeles Journal Part 2: The Carolla Show Recap

There are multiple ways to view most events, where from one perspective something plays out one way, but from a different perspective (either visually, mentally, or emotionally) it can seem to be a completely different result.  My appearance on The Adam Carolla Show last Wednesday (aired on Thursday) could be one of those situations.  As I discussed with Nick Dopuch (my friend and chauffeur for my three days in LA) here is the neutral way to describe what led me on to that show: Step 1: I wrote a web series, which required both a fund raising campaign and out of pocket costs to get made, with the intention of showcasing my impressions and my voice within comedy.  Step two was to find a way to get the series publicity because 100% of the comedy media sources were unwilling to promote the series because the only thing more important to these sites and their creators than web clicks (which my videos are reliable for) is access to celebrities, several of whom are targets in the series.  Step three was a well timed tweet to Adam Carolla who actually watched and enjoyed the video and had his producer play it on the air. Step 4 was a dialogue with the show producer about making a new video specifically for the show. Step 5 was to write, cast and make the new video on my own dime within a week.  Step 6 was to be offered a guest spot on the show to release the video and fly myself out to Los Angeles. Step 7 was to do the best I could on the show.  And then step 8 was hopefully pick up lots of new traffic and fans and (long shot) begin a relationship with the show.  Right now, the plan was executed perfectly and led to exactly zero dollars (at least in the short term).   As Nick and I said in his car after my appearance, what I had just pulled off was BEST CASE SCENARIO for a comedian with no management and no industry connections.  To paraphrase Scarface, all I have in this world is my comedy and my balls and I don’t break them for no one.  (for the record, the other way to look at this scenario is like my Mother or millions of other rational human beings and ask “So wait, you are not getting paid?”)

But let’s break down the appearance, which meant more to me and has done more for me than my appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson six years ago (landmarks in my comedy career are like Senate elections):

I was starting to feel sick the day of the show (it is now full blown bronchitis), which was probably a combo of a 1 am Greyhound trip from Syracuse to NYC on Sunday morning, followed by a six hour early morning flight to LA two days later and the stress of what I knew was an important opportunity for me.  About three hours before the show I almost puked (from nerves, not sickness).  The fact is when you are not in the chosen class of comedians where industry is fawning for whatever myriad of criteria they use, chances to expand your fan base in a big way are few.  So even though I did not know what I could gain from a successful appearance I also knew that opportunities like this are not frequent so I had to make the most of it.

When I arrived at the studio about 15 minutes before they told me to be there I was greeted by a small woman who had never heard of Adam Carolla.  The address number I wanted was 629, but I had a mental slip and went to 621. Now that my ride had left the neighborhood I panicked and thought what if I had the whole address wrong?  I have 15 minutes to get where I needed to be and had no idea how far I was.  Then an older gentleman popped his head out of another room and said “Carolla? Two buildings down.”  Crisis averted.

When I walked in to the Adam Carolla Studio building I was blown away. First I was meeting all these behind the scenes characters from the show and putting faces to names and jokes.  I have been listening to the show for 4 years, 5 days a week so at least to me it was very cool.  And then there was the studio itself.  It was like a shrine/fan room/man cave of the show.  Not so much a tribute to Adam, but rather a collection of things (probably made by fans who like the show) and tons of stuff Carolla likes.  And, although not politically in tune with Carolla, his humor and his “fu*k the industry – I will run my comedy business how I see fit” are things I appreciate and respect (and foolishly emulate since I do not have hundreds of thousands of fans).

I proceeded to get buzzed off of Carolla’s signature drink, Mangria, before the show to calm my nerves and then it was showtime.  I threw in a few quips, got to do impressions of President Obama, Louis CK, Biggie, Dane Cook and JB Smoove.  I got Adam to laugh a few times, which was a real accomplishment, and got compliments from the show’s staff (maybe they do that for everyone but I think they meant it).  They also played my new video Adam Carolla vs The Patent Troll in its entirety on the air.  In other words I really felt like I stuck the landing.  Afterwards, while waiting by myself in front of a Del Taco by myself waiting for Nick to pick me up I almost started turning into Tom Hanks at the end of Captain Phillips, but I kept my composure.

More than anything I have done in comedy this was the most satisfying thing I have accomplished in 11 years.  Because it was all me.  It offered me a day or two of validation for the way I have approached comedy and it is all attributable to me. This may sound conceited or selfish, but for all the effort and sacrifice I have made to build my own life raft (Carolla calls his a pirate ship, but given the relative size of my operation, as well as my Haitian father, I feel life raft is a more apt analogy), I earned a chance to say for a night, like Cerano in Major League, “fu*k you comedy business… I do it myself.”

But like anything in comedy, there always seems a price to pay.  And not only did my bronchitis get worse, but randomly checking my bank balance the next day I saw that my bank account was short what it should have been because a check from a previous gig had just bounced.  If anyone has read the book 11/22/1963 by Stephen King, it is about someone changing the course of history, but the bigger the event, the more impediments pop up to prevent change to that event.  It felt sort of like that “Congrats on working your way into an opportunity not usually provided to people in your position. Hope you don’t mind us taxing you for the chance.”

But not even that could make the trip any less than a big success.  I picked up 100 YouTube subscribers, 50 Twitter followers and a ton of new podcast subscribers.  And sadly, in comedy this counts as currency.  It also validated my work to a large pool of people that I think will also appreciate my work.  Now all I need to do is figure out how to appear on The Adam Carolla Show 225 times a year and I will be a star by this time next year. Check the episode HERE (or on iTunes)

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!


Los Angeles Journal Part I

Well I am writing this post from LA and as expected the weather is beautiful.  Not that 80 and Sunny that would have Cross Fit Brosephs walking around shirtless with Oakley shades and 5 o’clock shadow kind of weather, but that 60 with a slight breeze that accommodates my relative lack of fitness and makes me feel good (60 and a breeze is the out of shape man’s 80 & sunny).  Tonight is a huge opportunity for me as I will be a guest on the Adam Carolla Show.  It feels particularly good because it is an opportunity I created 100% on my own.  No manager, no PR, no agent, no connection – just a good web series and a timely tweet led to this.  I don’t know if it will be the launching pad for anything beyond a bump in traffic for my various media, but it sure beats watching Amazon Prime (Netflix is for successful comedians) in my apartment this week. So here’s your recap up to this point:

On my flight yesterday I watched The Croods (it was free because we were 90 minutes delayed) and it sucked.  Don’t know how the Academy missed nominated Monsters University this year, clearly the best animated movie of the year, but nominated The Croods, which had a few moments of quality, but was generally a boring flick.  Other highlights from the flight were the matching bruises on my knees from being buried into the seat in front of me.

Aside – why as a tall person (#blessed) do I need to pay extra money for extra leg room?  I understand fat people (#unblessed) having to pay for two seats because there is some element of personal blame with that, but why do I, bearing Evolution-favored traits, have to suffer in seats made for Asian infants?  I am thinking of challenging it under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  My slogan: I’m so abled, it is like I am disabled.

Other highlights on the flight were a teenager, who I believe may have really been autistic had a therapy dog with him. Walking around. The thing was only slightly smaller than a Labrador.  I don’t mean to be uncaring, but if you need a big ass dog to fly maybe you shouldn’t fly?  Though the dog was well behaved (the dog never pooped on the plane, but someone near me dropped a tremendous fart halfway through the flight).

When I arrived in LA my friend Nick D. picked me up and I will present the rest of my first day in LA in a series of bullet points (#Lazy):

  • We ate at In n Out Burger.  It is cheap and solid, but still wildly overrated.  Half a step above Wendy’s.
  • I noticed that Carolla’s criticism of traffic cops in LA is not exaggerated.  Nick and his friend Melody had fear of tickets’/towing (even when the signs clearly indicate that they are parked in a correct spot) the way a field slave feared the master in antebellum south.  I am like their northern cousin going “you can park there – look at the sign,” to which they reply “SHUSH Traffic cop master gonna hear you – Master don’t care – he will tow your car away without thinking and he’ll arrest your ass just for talking back. I didn’t want to see this movie anyways.”
  • Did a show at a hostel (see – I traveled 3000 miles to bang out another hostel show #blessed) – it was fun and I like that people I have never met know me from my work.  I am changing my intro on stage from “You’ve seen him on Craig Ferguson…” to “This motherfu*ker’s name rings out in the comedy street, ya heard? J-L Cauvin!”  Granted the audience was tiny, but still felt good. And the hostels in Santa Monica are much less roachy/burglary-y/dirty than NYC.
  • Did some shopping this morning at a local grocery store.  LA is a major city, but because of its sprawl they have suburban size grocery stores!  I don’t have to bang my shoulders on hanging items like I am Dwight Howard in the NYC thin-aisled supermarkets.  I can feel like I am in a city, but get the jumbo-sized aisles to accommodate my defensive lineman frame (retired).

Well, off to see a movie, vomit and then hopefully kill it on Carolla’s show.  Either way I will be at the Cheesecake Factory after. Salmon and 1 piece of cheesecake if it goes well.  4 pieces of cheesecake and 4 gin and tonics if it goes poorly.  Stay tuned.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!


My New Carolla Video and a Great Opportunity

Well, the video that Adam Carolla’s producer asked me to make is up and ready thanks to some great and expeditious work from my usual crew.  The better news is that Carolla’s producer loved the video and will have me on the show next week I think.  It is a great chance to reach his hundreds of thousands of listeners and meet one of my biggest role models in the comedy game (naturally his self-made, outsider role is what I have been trying to emulate on a much, much smaller and more financially precarious level for the last couple of years).  I hope this is the start of something really big for me (maybe not, but breaks don’t come along too often and I am glad I made this one without industry, PR, management or any other typical gate keeper for any decent opportunity for a comedian).  So I will keep you posted, but for now please enjoy the new video (admittedly it is mainly for Carolla fans to enjoy”):

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!


Comedy Recap: Stalker, San Antonio and Montreal

San Antonio

I am writing this as quickly as I can from the San Antonio airport (which has fantastic free Wi-Fi) before I board my flight bound for JFK.  I have a busy three days until Thursday when I depart for the Cleveland Improv (hey 9-13 fans in the Cleveland area come to Thursday’s show to see me do a longer set!) so I am taking advantage of these final few minutes in Texas.  The second week in San Antonio got off to an inauspicious start, especially when “someone” called the club to complain about the blog.  According to a club employee, a “customer” called the club to say “I was going to come to the club, but then I read the blog by J-L Cauvin and will not be coming to your club.  I cannot believe you let him write things like that about your club.”  Now, on first glance this looks terrible – a customer complaining to a club about you is one of the worst things that can happen, especially if it is related to your behavior or actions and NOT your comedy.  However, with just a minimal amount of analysis I was able to break the code.

The caller was Bob Hellener (google the name, my blogs and a very unattractive picture should appear).  First it had to be someone who read my blog (it had around 150 hits according to Google analytics by the time the call was made).  It had less than 10 hits in Texas.  So what are the odds that one of these less than 10 people, PLANNING on attending the show, would go and read the blog of the FEATURE act, be offended by the description of the comedian apartment (nothing but compliments for the club in the blog) and refuse to attend the show because of that.  It would require a mentally ill human being if this were true… or a mentally ill comedian who secretly masturbates to my photos and blogs and listens to my podcast each week.  And that man’s name is Bob Hellener (an alias he chose because he is a universally hated and disrespected comedian).  But if you are a Bob Hellener fan, you can check out his recent Craig’s List ad where he asks for help to find a manager and/or agent (this is true and also a surefire sign of his self-proclaimed success in comedy).  So I guess with me blocking his e-mails and ignoring his pathetic trolling he has resorted to calling clubs to claim harm to try and hurt my career (you see Bob cannot work any clubs so he would never call them asking for work – just trying to harm the work of others).

The resolution of this story is that I had great sets all week and the club has made a decision to transition to a hotel (so I was told) from the condo in the future. But if I never work these clubs again (which is in their prerogative, but I hope that is not the case) the silver lining is that I have officially committed my first act of comedy martyrdom (that I know about).

As I said, the shows went well, but I was more struck by San Antonio.  On the plus side – the heat really is dry.  A 95 in San Antonio really is preferable to a humid NYC 81.  The city is diverse and the Emily Morgan hotel where I stayed was outstanding.  On the negative side, the city is covered in cellulite and tattoos.  Seriously 109% of the people under 45 have tattoos.  And there are even more tear tattoos than recorded homicides in Texas so some of those guys have to be liars (this is my plan if ever wrongly convicted for a crime – give me like 9 tattoo tears so I look badass in jail).  And people are fat and fatter.  I actually went late night to Whattaburger, which was quite tasty and said, “I need a plain hamburger, small fries and a small shake.”  The cashier said, “That’s $8.08, but if you order the medium fries and medium shake it is $8.00.” Now because I hate loose change (especially pennies) I said yes, but is it any wonder this city is so fat!?  I lose money if I eat less? By the way, here is a bit I did at the club following a trip to the Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chao:


But other things occurred in comedy this week besides me.  Colin Quinn delivered a widely hailed Keynote Address that I found great as well.  But it also irked me a little bit seeing everyone hail it, like no one has ever said this or that because now a guy who has fame says it is a breathtaking, refreshing and groundbreaking statement of what ails the comedy industry from all angles.  In fact someone eloquently pointed out almost all the things Quinn spoke of over a year ago here.

And Montreal was not all good news.  Andy Kindler, who was nice enough to praise my Louis CK parody video, had some harsh words for Adam Carolla in his annual State of the Industry speech (seriously – can I get lined up for this gig when Kindler retires – you basically roast the trends and previous year in comedy).  I thought it was an easy target because Carolla invites controversy with an outspoken style and also bucks the industry by running his own, hugely successful empire outside of the mainstream industry powers.  However, the article on Laughspin was so out of control with its biased editorializing against Carolla.  But this is what comedy is – a giant ass-kissing conformist industry pretending to be rebellious and trend-setting.  Carolla made the podcast format famous, which most comedians now employ as part of their media approach.  I don’t agree with a lot of his politics, but he is a strong and definitive comedic voice, which used to be a positive in comedy.

The lesson here is – if you are going to write harsh things about the comedy business it is better to be a headliner, a revered figure or a millionaire podcaster.  Otherwise you just end up as me – a guy with the same skills, same amount of stalkers and 1/1000th the money.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes. New Every Tuesday!