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Mad Man

Today I depart for Boston for the semi-finals of the Boston Comedy Festival.  Last night I had my own show that I produce and I was excited both for the great lineup we had, as well as the fact that I would be able to do a nice practice run of my set for tonight.  Unfortunately, that would not happen.  What would happen is that Medgar Evers College would finally be bumped down to #2 on the list of worst gigs I’ve ever performed.

Last night the bar was largely occupied by young members of an ad agency (think Mad Men, but all stupid, unable to handle their alcohol and unattractive) who had been there drinking and playing Wii since early afternoon, since they had a half day.  Even in my glass half empty approach to life I thought, hey maybe we could make fans of this group since they work nearby.   Instead what we got was a bunch of drunk as-holes.

Don Draper's expression says it all, but ad men are on the wrong side of this fight.
Don Draper's expression says it all, but ad men are on the wrong side of this fight.

I managed to get through about 4 minutes of material until I had to deal with the idiots (and they had already ruined 4 people’s sets).  There were two main offenders.  One was a drunk kid who looked like he was about 19.  He managed to make a spectacle during everyone’s set.  The other was a slightly older d-bag who would shout random things he thought was funny.  For example when I said the word Obama, he shouted “Obama your mama hahahahahaha.”  Even when they appreciated the jokes, they would then discuss and argue loudly why the joke was or was not funny.

I felt terrible and embarrassed for the great comics I had come to perform, but fortunately all of them know experiences like this.  I was very close to actually pulling the Chazz Palminteri scene from A Bronx Tale, which I ironically just filmed a spoof of, where he locks the bar door and tells them that they can’t leave the bar. 

Adding insult to injury, I was talking after the show outside with Nick Cobb when the 19 year old spectacle came outside and started talking to us.  So I said to him, “You just ruined our show, but now you are interrupting my life and a private conversation.”  Then when I was talking to Nick one of the worker’s from the ad agency, we will call him Token after the South Park character,  decided to flex his muscle by saying the following, “Don’t you hate comedians who aren’t funny and make fun of the audience.”  At this point he might as well have come into my apartment and taken a sh*t on my bed.  Despite actually trembling with rage (my only fear was that I might hospitalize the jerk – I am no fighter, but I am big and like most comics have very little to live for) I managed to utter out the most sensible thing I said all night – “you and your friends ruined the show in there, but now you’ve come outside and disrespected us out here.”  Hearing that, and probably seeing the crazed look in my eyes that only occurs during Utah Jazz losses and listening to Sean Hannity, he apologized. 

Token and his ad agency buddies made me very angry last night.
Token and his ad agency buddies made me very angry last night.

But there it is.  Bad audience, but not as bad as Medgar Evers College.  But the fact that it happened at my show and nearly resulted in misdemeanor assault charges makes it the worst.   All in all, since Monday, this has been the worst string of shows I’ve done (3 “eh” shows on Tuesday, an awful open mic on Wednesday, and a crime against humanity on Thursday).  Let’s hope Boston brings me back some good vibes.

There is a happy ending to the Always Be Funny show story though.  My friend who part owns the bar where my show takes place left me a voice mail last night.  He told me that the drunk 19 year old had torn down one of the bar’s signs in drunken stupidity and thrown it in the bushes outside, so my friend threw him in the bushes, at which point he began crying.  The only thing that would have made me happier is if Token had somehow had his jaw broken during this exchange, but even so, maybe it was a sign that my luck was changing at the right moment.

Hopefully his tears mean good things for my comedy fortunes.
Hopefully his tears mean good things for my comedy fortunes.

We’ll see – Boston Comedy Festival Semi-Finals tonight at 9 pm – Hard Rock Cafe.

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Wake Me Up When September Ends

A lot of big things in September that can potentially lead to incremental success as a comedian or months of bitter regret.  I have not done any new writing since returning from Denver in a hopes to avoid what is often the death-knell for me in any audition/competition in the past.  It goes something like this: I think of a funny premise, which will be funny in a month, a week before an important show.  I then say to myself – this is my best joke!  I then do it and it ruins part of a set that would have been good, but for the prematurely born joke.  I then punch inanimate objects and write about my frustration.  Not this year.  Here are my upcoming trials:

The Boston Comedy Festival – August 30th-September 6th.  This is aspirational.  If I am performing on September 6th it will have been a success.  If I am not angry on September 7th it will have been a huge success/possible miracle.

I have not made the finals in Boston in 5 years and Aaron Boone no longer comforts me.
I have not made the finals in Boston in 5 years and Aaron Boone no longer comforts me.

An Obamacare Tale– We just finished filming my latest spoof/video and not only do I think this will be the best, but also actually semi-relevant.  Imagine a health care town hall with all the worst elements of Obama haters, then imagine a guy who looks like Beck playing Joe Biden and the best Obama impression you’ve ever seen by a member of my family.  Then model it after the scene in A Bronx Tale where Chazz Palminteri beats up a group of bikers.  What do you have?  A video that should go viral and be on Olberman’s Countdown and launch my new career as SNL’s Obama.  What will it actually get – 14 Facebook comments and 500-600 hits.  But it should be up this week and will make me momentarily happy.

What happens when the town hall gets our of control for Obama?  An Obamacare Tale... coming soon.
What happens when the town hall gets our of control for Obama? An Obamacare Tale... coming soon.

San Francisco Comedy Competition September 9, 2009 – November 4, 2013– This is a prestigious comedy competition that lasts for a very long time if you are good/lucky.  I hope to go far (it actually ends October 3, 2009 – see Boston Comedy Festival above for similar description).   I have never been to San Francisco, but I hear it’s a nice city.  I am sure I will enjoy my friend’s couch and the nearest 24 Hour Fitness club and Starbucks.  But don’t worry, I will tell everyone that it is awesome when I return, the way people returning from Europe trips show how much they were changed by experiencing Europe by saying things like Barthelona.

Hope to have good news to report in September/October.  Probably will be more entertaining if I don’t.  Stay tuned.