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March Madness

This Saturday, while filming The Blind Side 2 trailer, comedian Nick Cobb paid me a rather odd compliment: “When are you going to update your blog? I have been checking every day and no update.  Your blog gives me comfort, knowing that no matter how angry I am about comedy, there’s always at least one person who is angrier.”

It’s true I sort of slacked off on the blog posts in February, primarily because I try to write only when I have either a funny idea or something I want to express and February just did not inspire much.  Another reason was I was playing far too much God of War.  Well, March should be quite different.

The video game character that kept me from writing also has the same expression that I get from comedy.

First off I will be competing in Comix’ March Comedy Madness, which gives me a 63/64 chance of being disappointed.  This tournament used to be held at Caroline’s, but Caroline’s decided to host a different tournament called “Final Four,” which I think will be a similar format.  I opted to do only the Comix tournament for two reasons. One is that I did not have to audition since I made the Final Four last year.  And second, the last time I showed up for an open call at Caroline’s I waited 5 hours, was then told I did not have to audition and then was never given a spot I was told I was getting (that’s known as the worst of all worlds).  And I still have not gotten an email response to a politely worded email requesting an explanation.  So in other words, Comix was the default winner for not having treated me like a part time Wal-Mart employee (like battered spouses, comedians set very low thresholds for appreciation by comedy clubs).

It will be an uphill battle at Comix (starting March 10th) mainly because it is almost impossible for me to get people to come see a show of min anymore (crowd determines winner) and because lacking a beard, a disheveled wardrobe, jokes thick with non sequiturs and inside references, as well as an accent or universal circle-jerk approval from sycophantic comedy websites and Time Out NY, I realize that I may not have the success I have had in previous years. 

March will also provide an opportunity for me to audition for Last Comic Standing.  Sadly, this one I actually have more hope for simply because the potential reward is too big to ignore (it’s like the lotto).  So I will audition for that and most likely write a recap on the website.  All in all March promises to give me more than enough vitriol to provide you with a good read.

How’s that Nick?

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Comedy: A Love Story

I’m Mad As hell… And Will Probably Take It Some More

In what is becoming a tiresome ritual for even my mother to read about, last week I suffered another mild indignity at a comedy club.  But this new one both angered me and perplexed me in equal measure and forced me to take a step back and look more globally at comedy.  I wish I could say I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, but I love comedy (the performance and writing aspects) and know that I will endure the accompanying bullsh*t long after it is sensible to (are we there yet?).

Comedians can be mad as hell, but they will take some more.
Comedians can be mad as hell, but they will take some more.

It was the line outside for New York Funniest Comedian, a fraudulent open call to all comics in New York.  Now most comics of any established reputation in NYC that wanted to compete called the club ahead of time and got a specific call time.  This is allowed for a couple of reasons: comics that the club likes or respects (or are affiliated or managed with people the club respects) should not have to waste their time and/or suffer the indignity of waiting on line for hours to do two minutes of material.  The other reason is that the club already knows who they want to put forward into the competition at least 99% of the time.

I chose not to call ahead because some self-righteous aspect of my personality wanted to be rejected from the line.  I know that subconsciously I enjoy enduring the hypocrisy and lies of this business in some sort of self-righteous self-indulgence, even if it just for me and a few loyal readers (if Hunter S Thompson was a gonzo journalist, so maybe I have a future career as a depresso-journalist).  So I waited on line for four and a half hours outside of Caroline’s on Broadway as I watched comic after comic that could be considered in my peer group in the business walk in for their “audition,” which, I learned later,  just amounted to saying hello to the booker and being put on the list of those that are actually being considered for a spot in the semi-finals (taking place tonight and tomorrow night).

Well after waiting all that time I was spotted at the front of the line by a Caroline’s employee and was told, “Oh, J-L, you can go down (to audition right away).” I felt a little guilty, but that guilt was assuaged by the rationalization that I had waited the exact same amount of time as the rest of the comedy proletariat.  When I got downstairs I went inside and was not required to do any stand up whatsoever.  I was just told that I would be on one of the semi-finals shows on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I left sort of relieved, but sort of disgusted.  I had friends (or at least friendly acquaintances) waiting on line upstairs, with literally no chance at making it, no matter how good their audition.  But we will get back to the story a bit later.

Believe (Almost) No One

“______ is looking for new talent to bring into the club for paid work.  ________ will be watching these shows so definitely sign up.”

This was an excerpt from an e-mail I received about 6 months ago.  I did one of these shows, a bringer (aka the crack cocaine of the comedy world where you are required to bring friends, family, co-workers) as a warm up for a television audition.  I was well beyond the delusion that had plaguedme for years that anything career changing would happen from this bringer, but I wanted to do a show that would help me prepare for the audition.  Well after the show, unsolicited, I received a glowing review from “______”. 

So in a moment of temporary insanity I emailed that club’s booker and was told, “We like you, but right now we have too many comics for the spots open.” I accepted that as truthful words from people who had been nice to me for many years.  However, kind words can best be summarized by Al Capone from the film The Untouchables: “You can get a lot further with a kind word and a gun, than you can with just a kind word.” In other words young comics, the only nice words you should fully trust from a manager or booker are “here’s you money.”   This is not saying they are all liars or lie all the time, but to preserve your feelings in a business rife with disappointment, protect yourself first.

I'm cooperating with ya, just bring me ten friends and we'll talk. You bethca!
I'm cooperating with ya, just bring me ten friends and we'll talk. You bethca!

I looked on this club’s site a month after the “too many comics” e-mail and saw names on weekend shows (i.e. actually paid work, not the indentured servitude of unpaid “guest spots”) that I have never seen on those shows before.  I then checked the management/representation of those names and saw that it was the same two agencies representing a large majority of the comics booked at that club.  So while the nice answer may have eased my mind for a few weeks, the true answer, “we’re not booking you until you hook up with the right agency” or “we just don’t think you are good enough now” might have left me with a clearer plan and some dignity.  However, it also may have meant that the $10,000+ that my friends and family have given to that club over the years would have dried up.

But that is the basis of the bringer system, which feeds money to clubs and producers on a weekly basis in NYC.  You tell young comics how good they are when they suck because you know their friends are enthusiastic and will pay money to see their friend embark on a new and fun hobby.  So to get money you encourage lots of performances of shi**y comedy because you do not care about exploiting the overgrown dreams of a new comic.  I received just as many compliments from clubs when I was starting out as I do now.  I know I am good now, but I have watched early tapes and I make myself cringe.  But I could fill 3 bringers a month when I started doing comedy.  So I got filled with lots of false compliments from clubs.   Those compliments may have given me encouragement to continue and for that aspect I guess I should be thankful, but when my friend supply dried up no one came calling that “really good comic” named J-L anymore. 

But don’t think that this is a club only issue.  I have been told absolutely disgusting stories about bringers run out of lesser venues where comics who are lonely or friendless or just clueless are paying relatively exorbitant money just to get on shows based on promises that, even if true, do not warrant their expenses.  Much like the U.S. Congress, once the money begins flowing in the bringer system, it creates a corrupt and result-less process.

What’s The Matter With Comics?

I read the book “What’s The Matter With Kansas” several years back and it explored why so many working class Republicans worked in favor of a party that did not have their interests at heart (or at least in practice).  I think it is the same in comedy.  Every comedian believes that they can make it.  Last Comic Standing’s last two seasons had open casting calls in NYC.  Of the many, many hundreds that lined up up outside those two years, one made it to the next round, where he was eliminated and did not even get a clip of his comedy on television.  And I believe most people in line thought everyone else was wasting their time by showing up, except for themselves.   But all you are when you show up for an open casting call is an extra in the movie “The American Entertainment Dream.”  The stars are already cast and you are just there to make the stars look more heroic for standing out of the crowd. 

What do you call a breadline where there never was bread in the first place: Comedy Open Call.
What do you call a breadline where there never was bread in the first place: Comedy Open Call.

Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

Much like capitalism, the big villain in Michael Moore’s new film, comedy capitalism forces comics into being relatively selfish and dog eat dog.  Three years ago I had a pre-arranged audition for Last Comic Standing, meaning I was one of the many comics who bypassed the cattle call with a legit shot at getting on the show.  I did not get it, but I did not feel ashamed at the time for trying to “get mine.” And many comics would not begrudge me for doing so, but then I must begrudge myself, if one can do such a thing.  I do feel guilty about that.  At some point, like in America, I think that the “haves” of comedy must stand up for the “have nots.”  If I named the best comics in NYC in my opinion, I am sure there would be at least an 85-90% correlation with who the clubs and industry think are the best.  But to sustain the venues of those talented comedians, the comedy clubs, owners, bookers and industry place an unfair and unwarranted burden on the nobodies of comedy.  They have them line up outside of comedy clubs, not for a chance to achieve success themselves, but to artificially exalt those who are already having success.  They entice you with misleading promises and compliments so you will bring friends on a Tuesday, just so they can pay the electric bill and the rent for the “real comics” on a Saturday.  This is not about giving spots or work to lesser or newer comics; it is simply about respecting all comics as people.

People look at Goldman Sachs as emblematic of what is wrong with capitalism and how the rich get richer.  This is no less true of the comedy business.  Dreams are exploited (The American Dream of a house, car and good education versus your name in lights and artistic sacrifice paying off).  But comedy, like capitalism, has no end game except for the Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfelds of their respective arenas.   And because of that, no one speaks up because everyone is too buried in their own quest for success in the rat race to stand up and say, “Hey club or TV show – it is not okay to exploit my fellow comedians.  Even if they suck at comedy, their hope and dream is not something that you should be able to exploit.  Whether their comedy is good, great or terrible, their dream and desire is real.” No one says that. I did not say that three years ago and am not happy with myself.  I told myself last week, that no matter the result of the NY Funniest Comedian competition I would write this, because unlike a lot of my contemporaries I did stand on that line and the whole experience did not feel right.

New York’s Funniest Reject?

On Sunday I learned that I did not make the cut for the 30 semi finalists, which perplexed me and angered me.  I was fully prepared to go along with the charade and do two minutes of material, but was told not to.  Much like my status in the comedy world right now I was too qualified to audition, but not good enough to get the part.  So I had neither the satisfaction of performing, nor the gratification of advancing.  I have e-mailed politely requesting an explanation, but have not received it yet.

The names were a who’s who of up and coming comics in NYC.  Perhaps some of them were on line, but I do know that most walked right by.  I do not blame the comics for this because this is the system that dangles success carrots in front of them so that they have blinders to the exploitation of their less experienced or talented brethren. Or maybe some of them laugh and don’t care because some of those comics on line do in fact suck at comedy (possibly because they are new, possibly because they are not funny).  Who knows, but I think if asked to think about it manyestablished comics would acknowledge that it is not right, but would also shrug their shoulders and say, “what the fu-k can I do about it?”  

Because the plain truth is that from bringers to cattle call lines, the clubs know deep down that barring a comedy miracle, nothing is going to happen for these people that they entice to their clubs.   So I think if I ruled the comedy world this is the short wish list I’d have for comedians:

1) Boycott bringers in 2010 (unless you are doing it with a clear head to get a good tape AND THAT’S ALL)

2) Clubs would have no more open calls.  I would have no problem with the NY Funniest Comedian competition if it was submission or invitation only – this would be honest and that is all that I think comics are entitled to.  Honesty does not guarantee any success, but it does guarantee that the comedians get to keep more of their integrity.  There is one NYC club I would like to work at eventually if I ever attain the success I hope for, simply because they’ve never lied to me.  That is it.  I was never given excessive compliments, never given excuses or half-truths and that is really all any comic should want or feel entitled to. 

3) Comedy shows would book based on stand-up and not as if they were casting a cooky CBS sitcom. Otherwise I am just going to grow out a huge fro, wear glasses and not stop eating cupcakes until a heart attack or a development deal is mine. (This one is a little more selfish on my part).

Comedy Central had a show planned for Peter Jackson until he lost weight and glasses.
Comedy Central had a show planned for Peter Jackson until he lost weight and glasses.

I understand that comedy is a business, but I think comics need to stand up for the integrity of the business for their fellow comics.  In the 1970s comics went on strike to get paid.  That is a much more concrete demand than what I am writing about (PETC – People for The Ethical Treatment of Comics?), but integrity is still important.  I know this won’t change anything substantively (I am under no delusion that 30 comics will pull a Rudy tonight and hand in their microphones so that someone like Mick DiFlo, one of the most respected, but anonymous comics in NYC, can perform), but perhaps it will make some comics take a moment and think about what’s going on in comedy.

I know some may dismiss this as the sour grapes of an increasingly bitter comic, but I really would like to see the culture change and not just for me.  The only way I can see this helping is maybe if you know a new comic with some potential, or at least some enthusiasm you can tell them to approach the business more practically and avoid some of the things that will hurt them so that they can look at the business honestly, even if it won’t be honest with them. 

I remember two very well established comedians saying to me about 4 years ago: don’t do bringers.  Just write and perform over and over again.  Like anyone young, either in life or career, I did not listen until I was knee deep in regrets.  Maybe more young comics will be wiser than me.  Maybe not. 

If this is my Jerry Maguire Mission Statement then I can expect my career to go further South, but I having already had a legal career and a girlfriend with a son during my comedy career (check my 2 CDs for details), so I am in uncharted territory for Jerry Maguire. Wish me luck.

Show me the money (or the door)!
Show me the money (or the door)!
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Killing, Dying & The Death Penalty

Death Penalty

Before I get into comedic related issues a quick statement on the death penalty (due to some Facebook chatter on my page).  I am against the death penalty in all cases.  The recent revelation in Texas that an innocent man was executed for arson and capital murder in 2004 for allegedly setting fire to his home, which killed his two young children should be huge news.  Can you imagine the man’s anguish (he never pleaded guilty)?  But I am against it even when the person is actually guilty (yes even if DNA and videotape corroborate it).  I think it is barbaric.  China, parts of the Middle East and the U.S. are the world’s executors.  No one else I believe.  

This doesn't say it all, but what it does say, it says nicely.
This doesn't say it all, but what it does say, it says nicely.

One argument for the death penalty I get is – what if it was your friend or family member they killed – you’d be for it then?  Well, being human I would want vengeance.  But the government is in place to elevate society (at least we hope) beyond Old Testament justice, not to enforce it.  It has no deterrent effect and I don’t think satisfying some sort of blood lust should be our main justification for imposing a punishment.  Isn’t that why people get to watch UFC and MMA fights?  This is to say nothing of the racial disparity in the application of the death penalty.  It is a flawed and barbaric system because it relies too much on passion and prejudice, which is exactly what the law is supposed to reign in.  There is a reason that a police officer can shoot someone during a potentially dangerous or lethal situation, but not when the criminal has his hands behind his back handcuffed and is unarmed.   Of course the person is not convictedof anything yet, but even after conviction does he/she pose any more threat to society locked away for the rest of his life than the unarmed person on the sidewalk with his hands cuffed?

Now with that happy start this has been a strange week in comedy.

Killing

Monday –

Had a great set at the Boston Comedy Festival (the one and only sanctioned kill in this blog entry).  Advanced to the semi-finals on Friday.  Was feeling great about comedy.  This was one of those days where I was saying, man comedy is great.  It almost feels good to be alive.  Oops spoke to soon – because here comes Tuesday.

Racially and metaphorically this was me on Monday.
Racially and metaphorically this was me on Monday.

Dying

Tuesday –

Started the evening off with the World Series of Stand Up at Carolines.  14 audience members.  Maybe 16.  I delivered my jokes with more disdain than usual (partly fatigue from Boston), despite a renewed effort to be more smiley when I deliver my jokes (“what’s  the matter boss, WE sick”).  The crowd laughed as much as they could at someone they probably did not like (the line “wow – thanks you guys I always wondered when the first time that joke would not do well would be” is not very endearing) and I lost.

Then I was off to a bringer at Gotham Comedy Club.  I learned an important lesson from my bringer.  If I am ever in a foxhole the people I can depend on are: my parents, my girlfriend, a few ex-co-workers and my barber – because in a pinch that is who showed up to support me.  The jokes were going fine until I risked a bit on interracial porn being racist.  It went over well with about 8 people in the crowd.  My joke, albeit still a little rough, focuses on the fact that a successful genre of porn is interracial.  I mean the categories for porn are things like: anal, orgies, urine and feces fetishes and interracial.  Shouldn’t one of these not be considered as much of a taboo?  Exactly, urine and feces are pretty mainstream now.  I will take the blame for that one not being ready Gotham, but deep down I think the 2.5 black people (my Dad, me and some dude) were not enough to make the 93 white people comfortable talking about race.

Then I went and auditioned at Comic Strip at 1115 pm.  It went well since there were still 6 people who had not yet fallen into a comedy show induced coma.  And of course I did not get passed.  I was told that my HIV joke was good.  I replied by saying it was not a joke and then stabbed him with a needle full of my blood.  I was told my joke about my height was a little too obvious, which I kind of agreed with except then I realized I had not told a joke about my height per se.  Maybe I just don’t know what words and sentences mean yet, but when I do I will be able to adjust my joke about Lane Bryant to not be so damn much about my height.

Size wise and metaphorically this was me Tuesday.
Size wise and metaphorically this was me Tuesday.

Wednesday

The Epilogue to this experience was that Time Out NY once again failed to list my show in their comedy listings page (for the next listing I am going to disguise my show and call it the ALTHOMOSUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC LOWEREASTSIDEOR POSSIBLY BROOKLNBUT ONLY COOL PARTSOF BROOKLYN EXTRAVAGANZA SHOW.

Resurrection?

Hopefully that means the end of the bad comedy karma and I can get back to doing well Thursday and Friday.  Stay tuned.

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Sell Out

Bon Scott said “It’s A Long Way To The Top” – Then he died and his band made it to the top with another singer.

Last night I lost in the Final Four of Caroline’s March Madness to the incredibly sharp and very deserving champ Myq Kaplan.  I think what gave me trouble sleeping last night was not the fact that I lost, but the fact that I felt like a complete nervous fu-king hack in my performance.  I wish I could give a more upbeat recap (Rich Vos crushed some idiot woman in the front who started talking during my set and did not shut up until Vos verbally undressed her for 15 minutes, Ryan Reiss had strong sets and Myq Kaplan beat him with a very strong set in the finals), but I am preoccupied.

See the jokes I did last night are some of my tried and true and they always work.  But last night they did not work as well for several reasons.  One is that I was nervous.  Give me a mic and some strangers and I can do very well.  Give me a mic, some strangers and add the word competition or contest and I freeze.  

Probably for many comics, including myself, these competitions present the same opportunity that the lottery presents – an unrealistic hope that success will change, or accelerate a change in, one’s life, when all it amounts to is lost time and money for all but the winner.  I have been on television twice and it has yielded jack sh*t.  So when there is a chance to get paid work from a club and some modicum of exposure/respect it ramps up the importance, even if it is something you have done a thousand times.  But the desire to “make it” or “get a break”, no matter how small the break may be just adds a layer of nervousness for me – like how Tommy in the film Tommy Boy describes how he fu-ks up a potential deal. 

Sort of what I do when comedy becomes a competition.
Sort of what I do when comedy becomes a competition.

Competitions are like the good cop to the bringer show’s bad cop.  See clubs will tell you it’s a business, etc., but there are comics getting work and comics not getting work that could easily switch places.  The problem for these places is once you are in, you understandably won’t go back to being out – so bumping an established regular will only lose the club a comic.  However, if you string along young comics, without telling them that years of bringers will not yield anything that years in the backs or basements of pubs won’t (more a lie of omission than commission), they will keep coming back (case in point – me).  So if you make the mistake of bumping up too many of these comics all you get is more comics who will refuse to fund “new talent nights.”  So I now reconcile my lack of courage by saying that I need to do them because I need a good tape of some new jokes – which can be true, but does not really justify whoring myself out.

But worse than choking last night was the fact that my tougher, more personal jokes I saved for the finals (in the event that I made it) because I needed the crowd to like me first (gentler jokes in the first set) before I could get into that.    This is what I am most ashamed of from last night.  I tried to be Jay Leno and tell jokes that everyone would like instead of telling the jokes that mean the most to me and can evoke the best performance from me, for fear that I would not get everyone chuckling.  

I was reminded after the show last night of a show that I did last Friday.  The crowd was about 150 and the median age was about 48.  A comic named Sean Patton got up last on the show.  He did a set that was very funny, but what I appreciated even more was that his set had a very subtle “this is what I do, so fu-k you if it’s not your cup of tea”  kind of vibe because his topics and style were surely not going to make everyone in the stuffy room happy.  But his performance had no change from what it was at Rodeo Bar two days earlier in front of younger, drunker people.   He was not trying to be a different product for different audiences.  He knows what kind of comic he is (at least he certainly appears to) and did not abandon it.

 My best stuff is the stuff that 75% of the room likes and 25% of the room is slightly offended by (those stats are provided by my imagination) – and I am not talking about some sort of Lisa Lampanelli parade of racial slurs – I am talking about the calling of people on their bullsh*t sort of humor or exposing horrible things from my past to get a laugh.  But instead of being me as a comic, something that has taken me a few years to figure out (and still am figuring out) I told my safe set.  So I lost and could not even leave with my pride.  It is as if the comedy gods tell me to develop my own style and be true to it, but all the opportunities that come up with a hint of potential success tempt me to go lite in the hopes of getting a leg up in the business.  Here is what I would have done differently last night if I could have it over again:

  • Told the woman in the front row to shut the fu-k up.  Not as clever as Vos’ stuff, but would have felt good.
  • Told my Kobe (“Great Comedic Timing”), Diamond Maker and My Private 9/11 jokes (first 2 available on iTunes, third available on rooftop comedy). 

Simple changes, but would have made a huge difference – not in the result, but in my pride in my performance.  But this is a moot point because I sh*t the bed in competition.  I’m surprised I didn’t revert back to calling myself the love child of The Rock and Adam Sandler while having a conversation between Robert DeNiro and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sorry if this seems too much like a mope fest.  The chance to perform comedy at a great venue and not be required to bring people is an opportunity I am thankful for.  And special thanks to my friends who showed up last night.  The comedy system as it is set up puts as much a strain on the friends of relatives of comics as it does the comics (the ones who show up regularly at least).  There is a balance between supporting your friends and risk hearing the same jokes over and over again versus the comic’s dilemma of trying to perfect the jokes they have while trying to perform new ones so your friends do not get bored and stop coming to the show.   One thing the bringers have shown me is who amongst my friends really supports my dream and comedy and who doesn’t.   As Batman said at the end of The Dark Knight – “sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.” Well, if there is a silver lining to taking comedy bait for all of these years it is that I can see and appreciate who amongst my people who have shown some faith in my comedy.

I think I just wish comedy was just about comedy.  Like some sort of warped John Lennon song imagine there was no YouTube, No Bringers, No Contests – just comedy.  Or maybe I just have to be more disciplined and principled with my comedy.   Checking my next few shows on my calendar are a bringer, another competition (serious reconsideration) and a couple of auditions – to quote Lloyd Bridges from Airplane, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to find principles.”

Looks like I picked the wrong week to find cajones.

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Headed to Motown

No, not San Francisco.  I’m going to Detroit.

Tomorrow I fly off to Detroit for a one night engagement at the Detroit International Comedy Festival – this is the second year they are having it, but they are not sure if they will have a third, not because the comedy is not popular, but because the city may not exist.  I have enough money in the bank to buy three averaged priced homes in Detroit and I am a severely underemployed comic.

I have already decided that I will get on stage in a black robe carrying a scythe (i.e. Grim Reaper ya dumbass), which is currently the second scariest image to the city after a free market Republican. 

I do enjoy the title of the Festival – “International Comedy Festival.”  Sort of like the way Subway declared their “$5 footlong promotion” “Famous” after about two days of commercials.  I guess it is “international” or “famous” if there is a banner saying it is.

My flight gets in about 5 hours before my show so I am tempted to go to 8 Mile and seek out a rap battle, except that I am only half-white (thus lowering my underdog status) and I went to a private school (thus eliminating any secret weapons I could drop in the finals of a rap battle).  If you have not seen 8 Mile ignore this paragraph.

I am figuring out what jokes to tell tomorrow and I am pretty sure I will spare them the sad tale of a law firm attorney who was laid off with lots of money in the bank and who is now pursuing his passion of stand up comedy.  Doesn’t really compare to “my great grandfather helped build this town, I’m 4th generation at General Motors and now my whole way of life is fu-ked.”  Compared to them, I might as well be getting a manicure and asking for a soy latte if I gripe about my employment story, which I will probably be doing, but do not need to rub it in their face.

So wish me luck and then I fly back into NYC for the 2nd Round of March Comedy Madness.  9:30 pm Wednesday at Caroline’s.

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Comedy Scouting Report

Tonight begins the 3rd Annual March Comedy Madness at Caroline’s.  If it were a one-on-one hoops tournament, based on the comedians in it, I would be as much the favorite as the Connecticut women’s team is in the upcoming women’s tournament (yes colleges are still letting women play basketball).  However, it is a comedy tournament where you get 1 minute in the 1st round, 2 in the second, 3 in the 3rd round, 4 in the 4th round, 7 in the 5th round and 10 in the finals.  The winner gets a paid weekend hosting at the club and an appearance on an on-line show.  The 63 losers get to bitch about clubs not passing them.

Two years ago I lost to the eventual champion Julian McCullough in the Sweet 16 and last year I lost to the girlfriend of the eventual winner in the Elite 8.  So this year I am hoping to make it to the Final Four and lose to the college roommate of the eventual winner.

Show is at 9:30 pm at Caroline’s tonight.  Critics are already calling me the Blake Griffin of the tournament (big, scary and willing to dive into the stands to win).  Stay out of the front row people.  Here is a scouting report that ESPN released about me for the tournament:

J-L is smart, but can tend to let anger and bitterness cloud his humor, but when they mix well together he can defeat anyone in the tournament.  Right now his go to move is the Obama impression which is pretty much unstoppable in a close game.  He has steady play from jokes about the legal profession and his racial background, but if he wants to get deep into the Tournament he is going to have to be willing to take big shots at his past relationships.  His comparison of his engagement to 9/11 has yet to fail (10-0 record going into March Comedy Madness), but the day it misses it will probably miss big.  Overall, a funny guy who can win, but at the end of the day is still a loser who writes about himself in third- person sports analogies.”

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The Good, the Bad and Watchmen

Some lists for the week.

The Good

  1. American Idol – A few weeks ago when they announced the Top 36 contestants I picked my Top 5. All 5 of my picks are in the Top 13.  https://jlcauvin.com/?p=622 So I guess I am actually on my list of good.  This show is good.  I constantly hate myself for feeling this way, but it is.
  2. March Comedy Madness at Caroline’s – 2 years ago I made the Sweet 16.  Last year I made the Elite 8.  After going through a broken up engagement and gaining a sick Obama impression I have done the equivalent of comedy performance enhancing drugs to try and win the thing.  1st round this Wednesday – check the calendar for info.  Note: this could be bumped to the bad list immediately upon me getting bounced from the tournament.
  3. HBO Sunday nights.  – Eastbound and Down is an absolutely great comedy. Flight of the Conchords has been hit and miss, but the last two episodes have been amazing.  And Big Love – a show whose first two seasons I watched on demand simply because there was nothing on television  last summer – is off the charts great this season.
  4. My Best Friend’s Girl – I ordered this movie on demand, making it the first time I had paid for anything featuring Dane Cook since a 2004 performance at Caroline’s.  It started out shaky, but I really enjoyed the movie.  Perhaps it was because my expectations were lower than Paul Blart: Mall Cop ( and even given those expectations, quite possibly the worst movie ever made), but if this had been his first movie instead of his 6th or 7th his film career might have a different trajectory. 
  5. The Utah Jazz – 11 wins in a row.  My favorite thing on Earth other than my own jokes is the Utah Jazz.

 

The Bad

  1. Rihanna and Chris Brown – I have harped on them enough, but this couple – the young black version of Michael and Kay Corleone in Godfather II – should both have their careers go up in flames.
  2. The Heartland Institute – their Conference on Climate Change in NYC over the next few days is and effort to show that global warming is either hoax or greatly exaggerated.  I wish there was a way to ensure that only them and like minded skeptics/non-believers of fact would die in the event of environmental catastrophe.  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/science/earth/09climate.html?_r=1&ref=us
  3. 24 – The President is being held hostage.  Even for a far fetched show – this season sucks.  The only thing good related to this show will be my forthcoming spoof.

Watchmen

I saw this movie this weekend.  It was ok if you like movies. It was great if you like neon blue penis shots.