Baton Rouge Journal Part 3: The Fedora & The…

So Saturday night seemed like it would be a tough night, following a very strong Friday night of shows. LSU had their first home game of the season Saturday night, which I feared would mean that the only crowd we would get would be disgruntled LSU fans, sort of resembling.  It turned out that the 8pm crowd was fantastic.  The material killed and the incredibly high percentage of plus size women (they were so plus-sized I thought about referring to them as multiplication sized women) were very forgiving of me mocking them.

So after three shows, which I was very proud of under my belt, all I had to do was get through the 10pm show unscathed and I would have
a perfect weekend.  I think you know where this is heading.

The 10pm crowd rolled in and did not look any different from the other crowds.  Decent size and just one drunk big girl who was trying to make the emcee’s set about her.  So I got on stage and felt pretty sure it would go well.

First two jokes – barely a response (admittedly I forgot to try a new one, with local flavor, about how I cannot eat catfish because it feels weird eating something with a mustache that isn’t an Italian woman).  I think one woman laughed really hard at one of the jokes so I said, “Hey everybody, she’s right, just to let you know.  That joke is awesome.”  Then The Bitch In The Fedora started talking (sounds like a companion play to The Motherfu*ker With The Hat) and so did the table which seemed captained by the aforementioned drunk big girl.  At that point it became sort of a war.  The Bitch In The Fedora kept saying things and stepping on punchlines like I actually wanted her opinion.

You are not cool or a fashion icon. Stop it with the fedora.

I should note that women in fedoras are a particular pet peeve of mine.  All women who wear fedoras should be forced to marry all men who wear sunglasses indoors and they should be forced, with all of their offspring, to move to an island which will be called Douchebag Island where their collective delusional sense of cool cannot infect normal people.  When I worked at the Bronx DA’s office if I were receiving a domestic violence complaint I would ask the woman one question: “This is awful, but before we proceed I need to know one thing, were you wearing a fedora when your husband punched you?  Oh you weren’t?  Phew – great to hear!  We will nail that son of a bitch!”

So when you take a dumb and rude southern woman and place a fedora on her head it is as if you have just made me an awful sundae and it now has its cherry.  So the set went on and I won constant laughs from about three tables and stares like I was speaking Arabic to the rest of the crowd (actually if I was speaking Arabic I probably would have at least gotten booed which would have been a reaction of some kind).  I did get one boo from another woman when I mentioned Obama even though I specifically requested no one boo or cheer.

So after my set I went out to the bar connected to the club and watched the locals.  I have said this before, but there is a real degradation of our culture going on.  We are rotting at the core.  Hollywood exports so many ideas and cultural trends to the rest of the country, which now lacks any kind of identity.   The small towns and cities of America truly feel like testing grounds for reality show fashions and trends.  Like instead of testing makeup on monkeys, we now market test the power of The Real Housewives, the Kardashians and Jersey Shore on ignorant small town folk, who are all too eager to adopt someone else’s identity.  I was particularly disturbed by a woman who appeared to be grinding her daughter on the dance floor, apparently trying to entice her daughter’s friends to get with her.  She was very surgically enhanced and appeared physically fit so to me she was just another cougar a/k/a awful parent.  Then the emcee told me something remarkable.  This woman was not the mother.  She was a friend.  She was 31 and her younger friend was 26.  I honestly thought the woman was 50. So on one hand I was happy that she was
not the girl’s mother, but on the other hand I was looking at a 31 year old woman who had literally tanned, implanted and hair-dyed her way to looking like a mash-up of Pamela Anderson and Richard Harris.

33 year old southern party girl.

But just as I was deep in my analysis of the Benjamin Button of southern whores I was then approached by The Bitch In The Fedora.   She offered me the following gem (while still wearing her fedora):

“Hey, I thought you were good.  But you’re from New York right?  See that’s probably it.  People probably didn’t get you so that is why
no one was laughing.”

I said, “Oh, maybe, yeah ok, well thanks I am glad you liked it.”  That took all of my energy.  90% of my trip was fun and a success (I ate IHOP, I worked with a great headliner, Rahn Ramey, and had three excellent sets), but as comedy can do, the last note was a sour, fedora-wearing one.

I went back to the hotel after that because I had to be awake at 400 AM for my shuttle to the New Orleans train station to take The Crescent – the 30 hour train from New Orleans to New York City.  So after 2 ½ hours of great sleep I made my way to New Orleans for the longest continuous trip in my life.  But unlike my other long train rides, this one I prepared accordingly.  I reserved a roomette, which is basically a closet with two seats that convert to a small twin-width bed and a tiny toilet located in the space where a full size-width bed would end.  It may actually have been possible to take a shit and still be lying down on a majority of the bed.

Roomette toilet say hello to roomette bed/chair. You two will be very close for the remainder of your careers.

Just as I thought I would be the world’s most comfortably buried alive person fate intervened.  The door to my roomette was missing a large pane of glass, which means that even with the curtain pulled over people would be able to hear me speaking to myself in different celebrity voices as well as the sound of my sh*t hitting a steel toilet.  Naturally, this was unacceptable so I asked for a different roomette.  None were available, but fortunately a room (no ette) was available.  The rooms are literally double the size and include a separate bathroom as well.  I felt like such a lucky baller that once all my stuff was in my room I immediately went to the peasants in coach and began offering women the other bed in my room (“that’s right I got a bed to spare motherfu*kers” was what I was yelling in the snack car) in exchange for favors of the flesh.  It did not pan out, but I think they at least respected me even if they didn’t outright love me.

Part of the baller suite on Amtrak.
My private bathroom, fully stocked with a toilet that fits 1.25 cheeks comfortably.

For some of you the idea of being in a small room on a train for 30 straight hours may sound like torture, but to a comedian living in a studio apartment it just sounds like another 1.25 days.  So perhaps if comedy doesn’t work out (it’s getting there) I could have a future as a CIA operative in withstanding torture tactics.

Part of my survival techniques are that I can live on water, goobers and newspapers for days.

So thank you very much to Rahn Ramey, the Baton Rouge Funny Bone, the first three crowds and small pockets of the fourth crowd, and the
people of Amtrak.  And everyone else I spoke of well in the first two parts of this Baton Rouge Journal.  God help the rest of you.


Baton Rouge Journal Part 2: A Night of 3…

The Comedy Club

Last night were the first two of four Baton Rouge shows and to my surprise they were both great.  I felt like the crowds, which were not much bigger than the small crowds last year, were so much better.  And perhaps I am a slightly better comedian as well.  Either way, fun times on stage.  I received some kind words after the show, but my favorite compliment was after my second set (which was an A- versus an A+ for the first set):

“Hey man – this is the second time I’ve seen you here. They may not have been laughing a lot, but that is cause your wit is so dry.  But I was dying.”  Of course I then drank three gin and tonics and briefly pondered whether I was imagining laughter, like some comedic version of A Beautiful Mind.

Another exchange I enjoyed:

“Oh man – that was hilarious, but I was holding in some of my laughs, you know, cause I’m white.”  Apparently my half blackness is not enough of a validation for my racial jokes about my Dad.  Oh well – nothing like insecure, silent laughter to make a comedian feel good.

So after the show I had a pass to the strip club across the street because I have decided to pursue a WWPSD philosophy for my comedy career: What Would Pauly Shore Do?  So I went to the strip club and gave limp handshakes to people.

Worst handshake in the biz.

The Strip Club

The name of the club is the Gold Club, but apparently they are not affiliated with the closed and indicted club in Atlanta because no one seemed to know what I meant when I kept asking for “the Patrick Ewing treatment.”

Strippers, A "Gold Club Patrick Ewing" is where I walk into the club like this, two chicks polish my knob and then we all get in legal trouble. Now let's do this!

I sat at the bar drinking beers watching the women dance.  One of the amazing things about drinking at a strip club in a small city or town is that the drinks are still cheaper than a regular NYC bar or lounge on a Saturday night.  But let’s discuss the main event:

  • These were the least aggressive strippers I have seen.  Granted I have only been to a strip club now three times, but in NYC and especially in Atlantic City you get bum rushed by women.  These women seemed very indifferent.  Then again it may have been my New Balance sneakers that were acting like garlic to bare-breasted vampires.
  • I had the third biggest chest in the club.  There was one stripper on stage whose breasts were so small I think they could have been shown on network television without black bars.  Perhaps the Gold Club could have been called “Great Personalities” – what a great idea for a 377-view J-L Cauvin YouTube sketch!
  • The club played “How You Like Me Now,” officially making that song inescapable –  movie trailers, video games, my iPod and strip clubs.
  • I had one conversation with a stripper (Russian ancestry, of course) who told me she was in grad school for biochemistry.  And I actually believed her (I mean she has to know that education is a turn off for men in her club, though she might have thought I was gay when I quoted and impersonated the views on education of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast to her), probably because I like the idea of being a lawyer and a comedian and still inferior to a woman who shakes her tits for a living.  And like any conversation in a strip club I then walked away and asked “What’s open for eats right now?”  She said “IHOP should be open.”  And that was the first erection I got all night.

The Pancake Club

IHOP was bumping when I walked in.  Packed with fat people of all colors and levels of sobriety.  It felt like a Millionaire Matchmaker mixer for men and women who shop at large size clothing stores.  I sat down and ordered pancakes, bacon and a milkshake.  Apparently my waitress (Michele if I recall correctly) thought I also ordered bottle service for two in a private room because her tone was the most flirtatious I had encountered all night.  She wasn’t a bad looking woman, but there is something wrong when the level of flirtation from your waitress at IHOP is much stronger than that of the women across the street who get paid to get you to put your face between their breasts.  I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!!!  A place I used to love, where your IHOP waitress was a kindly old lady, like a nice nun in a Church of pancakes, and strippers were aggressive, STD-riddled whores with C section scars and drug addictions.  I blame Obama’s policies which are ruining and confusing these wonderful small business entrepreneurs.

THIS is an IHOP waitress, not a woman who asks me if I am enjoying my milkshake like I am on a phone sex hotline. I WANT MY IHOP BACK.

I then went back to my room at the Hampton Inn and fell asleep smelling like pancakes and comedy.  Disgusting.

The third part of my journey will not be posted until September 12th because I will be on a 30 hour train ride from New Orleans to NYC with no wifi.  Yes I let the terrorists win.  And the train was cheaper because it was free with my Amtrak points.  So I guess me and the terrorists win.


Baton Rouge Journal Part 1: Making Friends Despite Fitting…

Yesterday I arrived in Baton Rouge for a second tour of duty at the Baton Rouge Funny Bone – if you missed my first visit last year here is the link to a song inspired by my visit:

Naturally, because they agreed to have me back and pay me money I decided to come back down here.  And I am excited to report that I left an impression on a few people, which is pretty cool considering I fit 80% of the profile of a lone wolf terrorist.

If this guy killed fewer people, but more crowds we'd be pretty similar I guess.

Yesterday after I watched Barack Obama channel some of the great speakers of our time (I kept thinking of Denzel Washington in Malcolm X and The Rock c.1999 to name two) I was disturbed to see a breaking news announcement on CNN that there is a credible, but unconfirmed plot for September 11th attacks on Washington DC and NYC.  First Mayor Bloomberg told everyone to go about their business, which felt awkward because I, knowing that I would be travelling on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, opted for a roomette on a 30 hour Amtrak trip from New Orleans to NYC, rather than a 2.5 hour flight back.  I am willing to concede one to the terrorists,  So with a few months of obsessive usage of bottled water immediately after 9/11 and this trip my career record post 9/11 versus the terrorists is approximately 3,565-100.  So sure, I have let them win a little, despite the fact that well-guarded presidents and mayors have explicitly told me not to do that, but all in all, not a bad record. (side note: all other long train rides that I have taken and will take because I have fear and discomfort in tiny 50 seat planes do not count towards Al Qaeda’s total, but rather towards my general lack of courage).

But one of the things they were specifically warning against was the threat of a lone-wolf terrorist, which made me nervous.  Mainly because I think I fit the profile of a lone wolf terrorist.

  • Beige
  • Foreign name
  • Distrust of women – though unlike terrorists this does not come from some lack of contact with them or some religious doctrine.  However, if you listen to my 2nd CD you will see that alot of it stems from relations with a Jew.  So sort of a wash here.
  • Underemployed in my field of choice
  • Relatively young male
  • Just a handful of friends
  • Sitting alone in a Hampton Inn in a small town in America planning on travelling on 9-11
  • Thick, angry eyebrows

I think you get the picture.  However, separating me (and as Comedian Jimmy Shubert indicated should be part of the screening process for TSA) I am funny.  At this point if someone reads a file on me – my comedy reels would be what save me from suspicion (even though I drop videos like Bin Laden did, but with far fewer hits).  I do always have this fear on the road that I will get caught like Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile.  I’ll be holding some dead body after having tried to provide assistance when I came upon it during a journey in the middle of nowhere looking for a movie theater. However, I will be suspected of foul play immediately when they see the size of me and realize that my claim to be a comedian cannot be substantiated because no one has heard of me.  In other words I will be in deep sh*t unless I can heal urinary infections with my bare hands.

I was just trying to help -I'm a comedian!! Check my website!!1 What NYC clubs am I passed in? Ummm, none, but look, I will be at a bar on Wednesday!!!

So of course when I visit a place like Baton Rouge I always have mixed feelings.  They have a governor of color, but who is radically conservative.  They know how to pronounce my last name, but do not understand half of my jokes.  Its a complicated place.  But I made some friends already so I, as well as the city, can’t be all that bad.

The Old Lady on The Plane

On my Southwest flight down to New Orleans yesterday I got a middle seat, which, given my bulk, is really a scenario where all three of us lose.  I was in Boarding Group C, which in historical terms is like being the guy sitting at the back of the bus that has to get off so that pre-protest Rosa Parks can have a seat.  It’s that bad.

Fortunately I was sitting next to a very nice older lady from Baton Rouge.  Of course I mentioned that my father was Haitian in the first ten minutes of conversation just to avoid any possibility of racial slurs being slipped into casual conversation.  Fortunately she kept speaking to me so I think she was down with the brown (ish).  We had a pleasant conversation and it sort of eased my general terror of flying (if I use the words fear, terror, flying and 9/11 enough in this post I am hoping the government tags my website and boosts hits – even if for a possible investigation. At least my google analytics numbers will go up).

Nice old ladies with no fear make great flying companions (and no she did not look like a female version of Joe Bruno like this woman).

One of her lessons for me, since she recently lost her youngest brother to random cartel violence in Mexico and she and her husband were having medical issues was to live life and not pass up any opportunities.  I then explained to her that I am taking a 30 hour train ride on Sunday out of abject fear, so don’t expect me to go sky diving or sharing needles with Magic Johnson any time soon.

Brad The Van Driver

The next leg of my trip was a 75 minute van ride from New Orleans to my hotel in Baton Rouge.  Trust me – the shuttle cost and Southwest flight to New Orleans is far cheaper than direct flights to Baton Rouge.  It turns out it was my driver from a year ago and he remembered me.  We had a great conversation on football and tennis (which in the macho south is a rare combo I suppose since tennis is mostly for queers and Europeans – hey ain’t they the same thang!!! haahahahahah).  So after that he decided to open up to me on his interracial dating problems (I also mentioned my black Dad in the first ten minutes of conversation).  He is white and the woman he is pursuing is black.  He told me a great story of how they met (at IHOP – the Interracial House of Pancakes) and how he wants to be with her, but she seems uncomfortable with being in a relationship with a white guy (it seemed to be a cultural gap, not a penis issue).  I told him he needs to lay down the law and let her know what he feels and that he cannot be shoved into that friend role that women love to have (because many women are parasitic scumbags) – the guy that gives a woman his love, which validates them, but they return vague, line-crossing friendship and pretend to not be quite sure how the guy feels about her.  I told him he needs to go for broke with her. If it works he has the woman he cares about.  If not, he has his dignity.  And if all this goes horribly wrong and violent I don’t want to say anything further without my lawyer present.

The Mentalist living my driver's dream.

I then met up with Brad and a couple of his buddies to watch the Saints game last night at Chilis.  It really is easy to make friends in this world as long as you get out of the comedy world, which is full of ass-kissing former losers looking to socially ostracize the closest thing to a normal person they can find.  And then of course, getting involved in comedy is a great way to lose your normal friends.  What a business!

My IHOP Waiter

Even though many American towns are starting to blur into the same image for me (strip mall, gas station, fat people, teenage girls looking like strippers, rinse, repeat), I did remember correctly that there was an IHOP across the street from the Hampton Inn in Baton Rouge.  I went once, a year ago, to this establishment, but when I walked in I recognized one of the waiters.  He then recognized me while I was sitting and said, “You’ve been here, right?” “I replied “yep,” to which he replied, “You were reading, right?”  And I had been reading a book last time I was there.  So I was impressed with his memory, but also the fact that in the last year there realistically may not have been one other customer with reading material in their possession.  Amurrrrrica!!!!

I know you! Tall? No, that's not it. Comedian? No, I don't think so - wait I know - you had a book in here!!!

But it felt good to be remembered.  So to my two friends and one person who remembered me in Baton Rouge – I dedicate the four shows this weekend to your kindness and friendliness.  Of course I don’t expect the shows to go that well (especially since Saturdays shows directly conflict with LSU’s home opener).  But at least you will be able to tell the authorities that there is no way I could be a terrorist.