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Will Forte is the James Harden of Comedy (and…

The NBA playoffs have started, my DVR is full and my blog is in need of words so this week’s episode is a useless, but incredibly insightful comparison of NBA stars and people in comedy.  This hit me while watching The Last Man on Earth on Fox a few weeks ago.  It is a very good show starring Will Forte, formerly of SNL fame.  The show is the latest strong Forte product post SNL.  He did MacGruber (you must ignore all signs on-line that it was bad – the movie is hysterical), then he got nominated for an Oscar for Nebraska and now he has created a critically acclaimed show on Fox.  If Bill Hader had produced this streak of post SNL content it would not have surprised me, but Forte had never really made me laugh much on SNL during his tenure. But now, it is clear that SNL was holding him back.  Hence the James Harden example, though even Harden had showed more flashes of stardom on the Oklahoma City Thunder than Forte did on SNL.  For you NBA ignorant folk James Harden was the third wheel on a very talented Oklahoma City Thunder team and was undervalued by OKC so they traded him to the Houston Rockets. A few years later Harden is a top 3 MVP candidate and the Oklahoma City Thunder is out of the playoffs (I hate how singular named teams are referred to in the singular e.g. the Knicks ARE but the Heat IS).

Similarly Forte has been killing it since leaving SNL and SNL is out of the playoffs.  Perhaps just as good an analogy might be Tracy McGrady leaving Toronto before reaching superstar level and then winning two scoring titles with the Orlando Magic (BUT JAMES HARDEN IS BETTER FOR CLICKS ON THE INTERNET SO I WILL STICK WITH THAT COMPARISON FOR THE TITLE).  So in that spirit here are some other useless NBA-comedy analogies to honor the kick off of the NBA playoffs:

Bill Burr is Russell Westbrook – One of the dominant talents of his or any generation and a study in barely controllable rage within his respective field, Burr is clearly the Westbrook of comedy.  The same way Kevin Durant overshadowed (perhaps unfairly, perhaps not) Westbrook, Louis CK overshadowed his fellow ginger until very recently.  But no more.

Stephen Colbert is Steph Curry – unquestionable talents who never cease to exceed expectations, partly because of being undervalued early in their careers. But with Golden State primed for a finals run and Colbert primed to take over The Late Show these two are now at the top of their fields.

Kevin Hart is Kobe Bryant (last 2 seasons only) – Both take tons of shots and don’t make many hits.  Here is a fun game for 2016 – what will be higher: number of movies Kevin Hart makes or number of 30+ shot games 37 year old Kobe Bryant has?  Both should be retired by 2017.

Mark Wahlberg’s manager is Greg Popovich – Wahlberg not a comedy star, but I think it bears comparison if only to highlight Popovich’s greatness.  Wahlberg’s manager took a criminal from Boston with a goofy wigger persona and turned him into an A-list, Oscar nominated star.  Popovich has turned a bunch of overlooked foreign players and a bunch of NBA refuse into an inexplicably high performing team for 15 years.

Eric Andre is Giannis Antetokounpo – Giannis is simply known as “The Greek Freak,” an exciting, how-high-is-his-potential type player who seems to be one of the most physically gifted people in a league full of physically gifted people.  Please see the picture below for why Eric Andre gets him as the comparison.  Showing up in more and more TV shows and movies every year, the ceiling is high for Andre, but like The Greek Freak, only time will tell how far his physical antics take him.

John Oliver is Rudy Gobert – Foreigner who emerged very recently as a potential game changer.

Amy Schumer is Chris Paul – a star in her own right, she is well known for helping out many comedy friends.  I guess I could have called Mark Normand, Schumer’s opening act, the DeAndre Jordan of comedy since they have become rising stars thanks in part to assists from their point guards.

Louis CK is Lebron James – Though their reigns are in the down turn phase there can be no denying that they still sit atop everyone’s current list in their respective fields.  And they are both bald when unaided by hair treatments.

J-L Cauvin is Anthony Davis – Who else could I be, but the next great star of the NBA with versatility and still relative obscurity?  Height, versatility and many years from a title – perfect fit. #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!

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Joe Rogan, Jason Collins and No Money: My Huge…

So my name and Internet exposure continue to grow after the initial burst from the Louis CK parody video I did.  I got a spirit lifting message on Facebook last night as I shuffled from west village open mic to lightly attended Brooklyn bar show.   To paraphrase the message: “Hey Amy Schumer just mentioned your CK video on Joe Rogan’s podcast and they are loving it.”  This was refreshing in many ways.  One, it was good to know the video would get a little bit more exposure. Two, it was good to see Amy Schumer had not forgotten about the metaphorically little people who were doing bringers and open mics with her for a couple of years before she made an ever so slight move ahead of us in the comedy world (between the two of us we have grossed hundreds of thousands of dollars in comedy).  And three, I liked seeing Joe Rogan and Ari Shaffir laugh at the video, especially since Shaffir seemed to know more about me than Schumer remembered, despite the fact that I only was in the same room as Shaffir and Rogan once, when I got bumped off of a Father’s Day show in Atlanta at The Punchline because Rogan only does two person shows (but no hard feelings – I crushed some nearby IHOP during their show, so no harm no foul (or money).

Click Here for My “Appearance” on The Joe Rogan Experience

If that was not a good enough way to keep my name going strong, my podcast episode cleared 3300 downloads/listens this week, making it my most popular episode to date.  I was discussing Summer movies, but also riffing and discussing the Jason Collins story and apparently that triggered some hiccup or spasm on the Internet that led to a major uptick in downloads.  If you want to listen to it check it here.  Or maybe because it was episode 69 it just received a lot of lost porn fans.

But in case anyone was afraid this might have a happy ending it does not.  The Google loot has not started to roll in yet (220,000 views puts me only many months from the first Google penny being minted) and the podcast is free, which are two reasons why I write these  from an office in Manhattan, until that glorious day when Louis CK punches me in the face and I sue him for $1 million, which will lead to a wave of inspired lawsuits (when comedy websites and social media experts begin reporting me as a trailblazer in new ways to make money in comedy – “the old way of getting famous and rich without getting your ass kicked is a thing of the past!”).

But the good news is my new album recording is fast approaching (which will put some money in my pocket temporarily) and tickets can be bough HERE for the May 18th 9pm recording at NYC’s Triad Theater. Please buy the rest of the seats up now and get friends to join you or buy their own.

Lastly, in a hopeful epilogue the script for my new sketch for release in mid-to-late May will be done tonight.  So catch up on my YouTube channel and get ready for more fun.  If the May video is even close to the success of the CK video I will have to start a Kickstarter for my July video because it is going to be big (hence no June video), and actually much more daring and impressive than the CK one (by a lot), so it iwill require money that I don’t have.  Speaking of which, back to the spreadsheets.

Blog

The Best Show No One Saw

Yesterday seemed promising.  Had probably the best lineup yet at Always Be Funny (two of America’s best up and coming comics – Amy Schumer & Julian McCullough, along with some of NYC’s best unheralded talents Brett Anderson, Mick DiFlo and Pat Breslin).   The lastshow had poor attendance except for a group of sh*theads who just kept talking loudly and drunkenly during the show.  Despite the negativity that permeates comedy and stand up comedians, the eternal optimist in us makes up excuses for bad shows (footnote Harris Bloom).  Mine was that it was the Thursday before Labor Day weekend.  But last night I hoped would be different.

I got to the bar around 8 for an 830 pm show and was happy to see that no one was there except the bartender.  No people at least means no hecklers.  A few people arrived, some to watch the show, some by accident and some to stand outside and talk for an hour before leaving.  All in all the audience of non-comics (though some comics did come by to show support – thank you) was 5.  We actually had more television credits (Amy Schumer carrying the bulk of them)than audience members!  That is a ratio that should never happen in comedy, especially for a free show.  The failure has to be mine as the promoter of the show, but it baffled me.  Is Thursday night the new Monday morning?

Meanwhile, as the show was starting I got a phone call from my girlfriend who was in my apartment taking advantage of my premium HD cable, telling me that the largest cockroach she has ever seen is scampering around my apartment.  Because one large bug generally makes me feel like I am in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, at that moment, my home did not even feel like a sanctuary from the comedy hell that was occurring.

Basically me around large bugs.
Basically me around large bugs.

Every comic was delivering good stuff and was getting as good as could be expected from 5 audience members.  Then I got on stage and delivered a rant that was worthy of an absent-minded dictator at the UN (footnote Jason Good).  Fortunately a documentary team was there filming so a whimsical look at abortion, racism and the friendless existence of comedians should be coming to an independent cinema near you in the future.   My personal favorite remark last night was: “This show, as a metaphor for life, is the point in a man’s life when he is in an alleyway sucking di-k for drugs.  You may see jokes and sarcasm, but this is the low point in my comedy career right now – a metaphorical back alley blow job.” My second favorite was calling myself Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood), but without the mansion and a bowling alley to kill someone on.

Some cite Seinfeld or Pryor as influences.  Here's mine apparently.
Some cite Seinfeld or Pryor as influences. Here's mine apparently.

6+ years in and this is the difficulty with comedy.  I am a nobody in the business, so I only have few fans based on some road work.  But I am not new at this so all my friends have moved onto more important things, like fantasy football and masturbation.  And obviously I am not alone in these feelings since Brett Anderson did a great new bit on purging friends.  I guess the lifestyle I have to embrace is hitting me hard, but I will just have to do to it what I do to a woman who bumps into me on the subway: hit back harder.

So I got home and basically napalmed my entire apartment with extra strength roach killer, while I bitched about my show.  I slept poorly, but woke up and saw a giant dead water bug by my desk.  And that is when I knew today would be a good day.