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Comedy Recap of the Week: Heckled by 3 Women…

I did a show in Park Slope last night – a show that I usually have fun at and  always find interesting.  It is run by the very funny comedian/Twitter-philosopher Yannis Pappas and there was a sizeable crowd most of the night at the small bar.  I was scheduled to go last because they were kind enough to give me a little extra time as I prep for my CD recording.  I started the set so-so, but then got into my quick bit about Fun. and Lena Dunham.  It received good laughs from the crowd according to my recording of the show, but I lost three women in the crowd (separate women – they were not friends or sitting with each other).  When I compared Dunham’s body to a manatee, which I assumed would elicit anger from manatee fans, I was shocked to hear these three women express displeasure.  I moved on to a bit that did well (though I carried it for about 30 seconds too long) about subtle racism in pop music and then I made the mistake of asking the crowd,”Did I lose you guys after the Lena Dunham bit – is she the patron Saint of Brooklyn ( if you recall from one of last week’s posts – I got a similar reaction from some people at a different Brooklyn location)?”  And then the three women spoke up.  To introduce you to the cast of characters:

1) The unfunny woman trying comedy who bombed 20 minutes before I went on stage, a/k/a Ms. Unfunny.  This woman is trying to do comedy and apparently the first lesson she learned was to save her best quips for a comedian who follows her.  To put it this way, she was so bad the Huffington Post has put her on a list of women NOT to follow on Twitter.  Her set was bad, but her comment that I had the same physique as Dunham (considering I am in the worst shape of my life and a man I am not sure how that is defending Dunham, but so be it).  My response was to tell her “you are a suicide bomber comedian – you go into a room and not only destroy your own set, but ruin other comedians’ sets as well.  Congrats.”  I then told her she should quit and that her set would technically not count as a start in comedy anyway. 

Now for anyone who thinks this is me complaining about an unfunny woman, I am not.  A person trying comedy for what appears to be the first time should know enough not to heckle another performer – especially for the sole reason that he mocked the creator of an HBO show.

2) The woman who demanded napkins from me several times during the show without a thank you or a please because apparently I am her employee AND she had lengthy, unwanted conversations with multiple comics during their sets when she interrupted her nonstop texting sessions, a/k/a Princess.   Her claim to fame at this point was that during the Dunham discussion she said, without taking credit, “Where’s the guy Yannis told to ‘waaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaa’ after a bad joke?”  She did not take credit for it once I focused on her, but we eventually had a heart to heart at the end of my set (foreshadowing).

3) A woman with a very tough, big-chick-escorting-JamieLannister-on-Game-Of-Thrones haircut also chimed in – but she doesn’t get a nickname because after she voiced very brief disapproval of my joke about Dunham she said nothing else to my memory.  So I guess thanks for respecting or at least tolerating 99% of my set like a civilized audience member.

Now there is a reason I generally do not engage hecklers.  I have no moderation.  I go from ignoring them to wanting to curb stomp them like in American History X.  But during this first interruption I kept my cool and actually recovered nicely for another 7 minute stretch of material and laughter.  I did throw in an “unlike Sam Morril (the comedian who was mired in a big blogosphere discussion on rape jokes last week), I am advocating violence against women” but we moved on.  I actually did a new bit about how I put on too much weight, so in a move that would make feminist bloggers proud I took the insults from Ms. Unfunny and turned them into an empowering statement about how I often eat cookies out of my own garbage can.

For a while I was feeling really good because I felt like I had moved on from a very awkward phase and was getting laughs. And then with exactly 2 minutes left in my set I went Neil in Heat.  What I mean by that is not that I started humping legs like a dog named Neil.  I am referring to the concluding scene in Heat where Robert DeNiro’s character has narrowly escaped trouble and is on the way to the airport with his girlfriend about to live his life free and rich, but at the last second he makes a pitstop near the airport to kill the man who betrayed him in the beginning of the film.  That decision changes everything and leads to his (spoiler of a 1995 film) death.  And that is what I did in the last 2 minutes.  Here is a sample of what I said:

“Who cares about rape jokes… I am wishing death on two people in this audience.”

“That Cleveland case was horrific, wasn’t it.  The silver lining is that that 6 year old will grow up to either be horrible in bed… or fantastic.”

Now those lines were meant to horrify.  The second line is along the lines of a well worked out bit I have (though it is not part of the bit), but I blurted out this clearly insensitive line just to elicit horror and oh boy, did it ever.  I do not do this ever and do not advocate shocking comedy for shock’s sake, but I wanted to rile up the people I was pissed at in the audience.  Here is the transcript:

(Silence)

Princess: I can’t even… that is disgusting…

Me:  I know it is. So are you. Fu*k you.

Random Irish Guy: No man – fu*k you – everything else was fine, but fuck that.

Princess: That was disgusting.

Me: I know, but this is not my Comedy Central taping (random chuckles).  Thank you for the time though Yannis.

Princess: Have some grace for that girl.

Me: Grace? You have been a rude cu*t this whole show.  You demand napkins at the bar like I’m an employee.  You’re cute and you have an iPhone that you have not stopped looking at the whole show, except to interrupt, but you are a piece of shit as a person so fu*k your grace comments…. Frank Gallo and Yannis Pappas than you for the time. Not sure if I picked up any Twitter followers tonight.

I then exited the stage and gave Princess a huge smile.  The Irish guy tapped me on the shoulder and said “You were hilarious but that one line was too much.” And he was right. 

So after reviewing this I apologize for last night to the audience at Bar 4, even though I am really sad only because I reflected poorly on myself.  And I used valuable stage time to get into personal attacks instead of using it for working on other bits.  So my advice to comics is use stage time wisely, try not to be too mean if it is not necessary, don’t heckle other comics if you are a comedian (or atempting to be one), and if you see the woman known as Princess in this blog, don’t let her in to your show.

Don’t forget tickets to my new CD recording May 18th in NYC can be bought HERE – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/367876

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

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Comedy Recap: Sacred Cow # 2

It has been a while since I walked audience members, but like donating blood or having a cheat day during a diet, sometimes it is good to purge or shock the system to initiate a healthy replenishment.  That is what happened Sunday night at a show at Beauty Bar in Brooklyn.  First off the show had a huge batch of homemade butterscotch chocolate chip cookies, which were fantastic, but I only had 4, stopping short of my usual cookie limit known as stomach pain.  I then went up after the host and could tell from the fedoras, glasses, beards and beauty salon theme to the bar that this was a hip place.  So with a belly full of cookie confidence I decided to inflame the ironic passions of the room.   Let me say this about the Brooklyn room – for about 30% of the patrons – they acted like I entered a different culture, ignorant of their customs, and should have read my Fodor’s Guide to Brooklyn, which would have informed me that Louis CK, and more importantly Lena Dunham, are holy figures.  For example, a person could be stoned or beheaded  if they drew a likeness of Lena Dunham in Brooklyn.  So because my digital recorder audio cannot be transferred to my computer I will recap the short set in writing, which will be known as “Brooklyn’s 9/11”:

“I had a viral video get 250,000 hits, but don’t worry I am still humble and will not forget where I came from.”

What was the video of?

“I did a parody of Louis CK.  My favorite comment was ‘I hope Louis CK takes a shit in your mouth’ which would probably be more original than the one note of his last 4 specials.  WHAT??? I went there. Who wants some? (clearly kidding around/trolling – hence laughter from the side of the room not taking itself too seriously)”

(multiple grumblings) I like Louis CK!

a few minutes later…

“I enjoy the band Fun. with a period, not to be confused with the band Fun with no punctuation, but I am bothered that one of their band members is dating Lena Dunham.  Who makes it big in music and then decides ‘hey now that I am rich and famous I want to bang that gross looking chick from Girls!?’  Dude, you could have fu*ked her if your band didn’t make it!  Like if you were still working in a cool coffee shop and quit music you could pull that.  But now, thanks to you, there are hot whores with nothing to do on a Friday night because the bass player for Fun. wants to bang a manatee.”

(Lots of grumbling).  Girls is great! (the good news at this point is that the third of the room that was talking stopped, but only to angrily listen to their hero get made fun of)

“Girls sort of sucks.  Every 4 or 5 episodes something interesting happens, but it is very overrated show.”

Girls is great! (about 7-10 people get up and start leaving)

“Oh I am sorry that I attacked your sacred cow!  And I did not mean to call Lena Dunham a cow; it’s just a convenient coincidence in the analogy… and look at the woman with her hand over her mouth like she just witnessed the second tower falling.  Oh my God  5/5 in Brooklyn never forget that time a mean man made some jokes about Lena Dunham.  Never forget. I hate all Dunhams – Lena and Jeff!”

I then did a bit about hating cats and left the stage.

I am a left of center thinker, but I am not as conformist as many people might think.  I am more socially conservative than many of my friends, but still believe in more liberal fiscal policies (known in America as “virtually unelectable.”  I am all for free speech in comedy and I never criticize comedians for taking chances and attacking things I like as long as the take is an attempt at originality and funny.  But it bothers me sometimes that the most liberal folks (check out the comments section on my Louis CK video for confirmation) can abandon their attitude when it comes to one of their heroes.  Trash religion, religious figures or any notion of conservatism on stage and you are cool with these people, but get at one of their new high priests or priestesses of authenticity and all bets are off.  Like their celebrities get a pass that others don’t.  And in fact, I would argue what made the CK video successful and made me enjoy the Dunham quips is the very fact that many of their fans treat them like the higher beings so many of them have written off.  So I am glad I pissed those folks off.  I feel like liberals are the new conservatives when it comes to entertainment.  And no this is not a defense for a bunch of d-bag comics to start dropping nig*er, cu*t and f*g on stage for the sake of saying it, while trying to cloak themselves in the overused defense of being just “too edgy” for liberals.  Comedy can have dignity and that is a good thing, but I am not sure anything should be sacred.  Especially celebrities that rose to fame challenging and defeating previously held assumptions and sacred cows.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes