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Road Comedy Recap: Storming The States Near The Capitol

17 years ago I graduated from Georgetown Law and like the cicadas I just made a triumphant return to the DC area for 3 nights of shows.  It was a weekend of fancy Amtrak accommodations, reading on benches in shopping malls, heckles from plastic surgeons, hotel curtains that would not close, Cheesecake Factory, great comedy and a truly unique experience in my almost 18 year comedy saga: meeting fans. So without further adieu, here it is folks.

Thursday – Amtrak Luxury and a Fake News Summit in Arlington

Newark Penn Station is the closest Amtrak station to where I live, but it is also a disgusting place. So even though going to New York Penn would add time to my trip, I would also be able to luxuriate in the revamped Amtrak lounge in NY, one of the centerpieces of the new Moynihan Train Station.  As a Select Plus member of Amtrak (baller) I get access there for any Amtrak trip I take.  And it did not disappoint.  Unlike other Amtrak lounges on the east coast, rather than some Rold Gold pretzels and leftover Sara lee danishes, the new lounge has a full bar (well at least coffee bar), dozens of premium snacks and treats, beautiful, spacious seating and slaves fanning you. I ended up having a tea and two packs of Lorna Doones (I eat not for the job I have, but for the job that my great-grandfather wanted).

The NY Penn Amtrak lounge is a masterpiece. Seriously.

After I finished watching the complimentary gladiator matches in the lounge I made my way to my Accela to DC. I read 50 pages in Rick Perlstein’s Reaganland (leaving me with only 4200 pages left) on the way to DC and then took the Metro out to Tyson’s Corner, VA (which now looks like a whole new city) after arriving.  I checked into my Hilton hotel (as I told the crowds I like my hotels the way I like my sex tapes) and then made my way to O’Sullivan’s in Arlington for two shows.

Several fans showed up for both shows, but the true highlight (with no disrespect to my fans or the father of one of my college hoops teammates who showed up) was Jonathan Martin of the New York Times coming through for the first show.  Since most of our discussion was off the record I will not reveal all of the details of our hang out in between shows, but I will say this – everyone deserves to be loved the way Jonathan Martin loves my Mike Pence impression. Here is a brief transcript of a moment I will share.

J-Mart: You know Trump really did say to Pence “You can be a patriot or you can be a pussy.”

J-L (in Pence voice): Well Mr. President, I can assure you that the last thing I want to be anywhere near is a pussy.

*JM laughing hysterically*

J-L (in Pence voice): I won’t even go into seafood restaurants.

*JM almost falls out of chair laughing*

Friday – Mall Reading and Brewery Comedy

Crush on a show, get a mask

Friday was the type of day I had been missing for a year and a half. Walking around a new city, sitting around reading and just feeling relatively care free.  Of course the day began unexpectedly due to my hotel curtains.  There are two types of hotel curtains.  One type I call scissoring curtains – where you just try to bring together two separate sets of curtains to the middle and smush them together, in hopes of sealing them shut.  The other type are the “am I in there?” curtains – where you drag one curtain all the way across and try to seal it against the wall so no daylight seeps through. Well. at 7am, after 4 hours of sleep, I woke up thinking I had left a light on. In fact, the curtain had about 1/3 of an inch of daylight coming through, which was a sensation can only be described as “nuclear blast outside of my hotel window.”

Friday I ate at Shake Shack for lunch (their chicken sandwich is far superior to their overrated burgers) and read some more Reaganland (somehow I now have 4700 pages left – I think pages actually get added as you read it).  The mall Starbucks seating was closed so I had to drink my coffee and read my book just sitting outside of a random women’s clothing store, which after about 90 minutes, struck me as possibly creepy.  I then headed to Twinpanzee Brewery in Sterling, VA for the Friday show.  Unlike Thursdays shows, where I felt a tad rusty, the set Friday was great, which was good because my girlfriend’s friends all went to that show and there are only two things you don’t want your girlfriend’s friends to see you do on the road in this order: 2) making out with a sidepiece and 1) doing badly on stage.

Saturday – Coffee Shop Greatness (a J-L coffee is extra light with a dark roast if Java Nation wants to make a beverage named after me)

Saturday I had lunch with my buddy Ross at the Cheesecake Factory.  Even though I could feel Type II diabetes forming in real time it still felt like the right fuel for the last two shows of the week.  Then it was time for the shows at Java Nation in Rockville.  I think the best way to share with you what went on is through bullet points (because I am tired and need to do other stuff):

  • First show – a group of plastic surgeons who were drunk were disrupting my set.  At one point I told one “fu*k your mother” simply hoping he might attack me so he could be removed.  This was the only low light of the evening.
  • This was the clip 2 minutes after the f your Mom comment. This is now my gold standard for quickest turning a crowd around in my career:
  • Several fans told me after show how excited they were to see me in person, how I helped them get through 2020 and (most important for my future) how great a stand up I am.
  • Show Two was surgeon free and was incredible. My set was great, but I was blown away by the audience.
  • One fan told me that he had lost multiple family members during Covid and that my comedy had really helped him.
  • A fan who had seen me my last time in DC (2018?) came to the show with a friend who had independently discovered me through my videos (nice to have those two worlds collide).
  • Last, but not least – 5 members of a family flew from Ohio on Saturday to see me on the late show (and then flew back the next day). They were incredible fans, but as much as they enjoyed my comedy I must say seeing them all together having so much fun as a family really warmed my heart, or whatever part of my heart has not been destroyed by the comedy industry and the cheesecake factory.  After so many years, it felt truly incredible to have people showing such great and meaningful support to my comedy.
  • I also had a message on my phone after the 2nd show from a fan who had recently lost their father. I had done a cameo for the Dad a little while back and this person told me they were watching it and getting a good and needed laugh.  Needless to say that was powerful, especially on a night that already meant so much to me. It becomes a lot harder to gripe about industry slights when the people who actually buy your stuff are so connected and supportive (though I will double my efforts to still gripe if that is what it takes).

Sunday – Back to NJ

The next day as I waited for my train back home I gave two homeless people $10 each (one did a double take and the other one tried to hug me (I kissed her with tongue since the CDC said I was safe). I was only going to give them $1 each but then I opened my wallet and $10s were the lowest denomination I had (baller) and once you open up the wallet it would take a real piece of shit to say “just kidding!” to some desperate folks.

So my first real road comedy trip in a year and a half was an incredibly satisfying experience. Thanks to everyone who came out and who helped organize the shows (Jon and Gil).  If you want to know where I will be each month, sign up for my monthly newsletter (bottom of my home page) and if you like me talking and joking about comedy life – be sure to follow Righteous Pk podcast (just click on podcast above).

And if you were wondering, Cookie was hanging out with her human cousins over the weekend loving life:

Cookie Cauvin on watch
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Baltimore is Bush League – a Concert Road Recap…

This weekend I took my girlfriend to Baltimore.  If you are part of the racist cult known as MAGA, you might consider this a capital offense, but it was actually a nice weekend that I planned as part of her birthday before Donald Trump lashed out at the city and John Lewis (not to be confused with Jean-Louis, a half black civil rights icon). But I am willing to take coincidental progressive points for pumping tourist dollars into Charm City after Trump’s attack.  Having just shelled out a lot of money for a move (and related expenses) next month to New Jersey I was tempted to tell my girlfriend that my birthday present to her was my freedom and the bulk of my checking account, but that might have come off a tad dickish, so when she saw a commercial for a Live/Bush concert and said “Oh I like Live!” (my response of “And I like Bush!” was not met well) I figured that might make for a good present.  Problem was the most convenient concert was in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, so I said to myself “Hey – a two day getaway near the harbor to see the concert, throw in an Orioles game, nice accommodations and the non-poor Amtrak (Accela) and you’ve got yourself a decent birthday present!” What would follow would be one of the most entertaining trip of my adult life. The sad news I have to report is that Trump may have been partly right about Baltimore… but for completely different reasons than he undoubtedly meant.

Friday – KKKountry Music Knight at Camden Yards and Possibly the Worst Cheesecake Factory in America

We took the noon Accela out of Penn Station and arrived at Baltimore Penn at about 2:30.  There was a line of cabs outside and as someone who appreciates organized labor and detests the libertarian driven gig-economy I hopped in to a yellow cab.  Interestingly enough a millenielle (female millennial (TM)) was telling a cab driver that she was ordering an Uber. This struck me as a decisive victory for apps, cell phone addiction and stupidity. The yellow cab was actually cheaper than an app and though clicking an app may be convenient – how is waiting 4 minutes for a more expensive ride more “convenient” than getting in the cab that is in front of you?

We arrived at our hotel – The Kimpton Monaco, which was a beautiful piece of shit (also how I have described multiple exes). It sounds like a hotel where James Bond would be meeting someone to exchange data files, but beneath the service it was a stunning mediocrity (how some of my exes probably describe me). I wanted to name the blog Kimpton Ain’t Easy, but did not after it got two eye rolls from my girlfriend. However, when we arrived we had not yet discovered any of the hotels flaws (it was listed as a 4.5/5 star property on Hotwire – the website for people who are willing to play Russian Roulette with their lives to save significantly on hotel rooms).

As the old saying goes, “Don’t judge a hotel by its elegant lobby”

After we checked in we headed out to a local restaurant I found through exhaustive research – The Cheesecake Factory.  The exterior of the Factory looked more like what a Cheesecake Factory would look like if described in a Bruce Springsteen song – the exterior looked like shit and the hostesses had the enthusiasm of women whose men folk had been laid off from the Cheesecake Textile Mill.  They said we had to wait 15 minutes and gave me a buzzer. Five minutes later the buzzer buzzed.  So like Pavlov’s dessert dog I headed to the hostess who then started to show a trio of people who just walked in (no buzzer) to a table after taking my buzzer. I followed, assuming she was taking us to our table (since we were first by 5 minutes and had a buzzer) and the other hostess, who had just seen me, a 6’7″, 290 lb dude in a purple shirt 5 minutes ago, said “Can I help you?” I then said, in my most Wahlbergian-Departed voice “Yeah, I’m the guy looking for cheesecake – you must be the other guy!”

When we sat down we waited for a while until our waiter, who I would describe as a gay man so stressed I assumed Barbara Streisand and Britney Spears had just died in a murder-suicide.  We never got the Brown Bread before the meal, our order was taken late and he genuinely made us anxious (not for us, but for him).  He also seemed unhappy I did not order the cheesecake he recommended.  Hopefully all is good with him now.

Then it was time for the Baltimore Orioles-Tampa Rays game at beautiful Camden Yards.  I was there in the mid-late 90s with my brother, but this was my first trip back since then.  It really is one of the great stadiums in all of sports.  The Orioles are an abomination though and the stadium was about 85% empty, making my isolated seats (which I eventually moved up from) all the more absurd:

Camden Yards features personalized sections for Oriole games

However, it was Country Music Night at Camden, so at least people who love country music and awful baseball would be in attendance. Now there were some black people at the stadium, but I did not realize until the 6th inning that it was White Culture night at the stadium. Players were still coming up to their walk up music, which included MAGA-approved blacks like Kanye, but all the stadium music was country and I kept thinking, “How far South is Baltimore?” But I really let out a laugh when during one inning break they played some country song that featured flat out rap, including the lyric “I’m a shot gun toter, Republican voter…” and I thought – that is classic new Republican – abuse an art form begun and dominated by black people and use it to praise anti-Black-adjacent politics (unless of course I missed the next lyric “With Grant and Lincoln I’m Three’s Company like Mr. Roper” and then have the audacity after each rap verse go back to pure country.  Truth be told I am all for a good mash-up, but hearing hip hop hijacked by guys who don’t seem like allies feels icky, to say the least.  I probably had the look like Will Ferrell in Old School when he realizes his wedding band is cursing as I listened to this song.

We then went back to the hotel after seeing the Orioles get worked (these kids sitting behind us were really into the game and left an inning before the Orioles hit a home run for their sole run of the game.  I guess he should have listen to Colt Ford’s hip hop country masterpiece above, in which he says “Quitters never win” (25% chance quitters is code for the N word).

Saturday – Aquarium, Bush v Live, White Trash and McCormick & Schmucks

Saturday was a packed day. Since it was a birthday trip I decided to spring for an overpriced hotel breakfast, figuring that anyone will the temerity to charge $20 for pancakes and bacon will make a decent set of pancakes. Nope!  Pancakes sucked!  It was like they were missing an ingredient.  After that we headed to the National Aquarium, which felt overpriced and was full of rude kids. Maybe it was because my parents instilled a healthy fear of adults in me as a child I was never one to challenge or be rude to adult strangers. But as my girlfriend and I were waiting in lines, parents would routinely tell their kids to hit whatever hole opened up in viewing spaces of various exhibits, as if we were just offensive linemen opening holes for their shitty kids.  I know it’s a small sample size, but on top of climate change, Trump and the Kardashians, parents who want to be cool will be the 4th horseman of the apocalypse.  Teaching your kids to say please, thank you and exhibit some amount of manners doesn’t make you a bad parent. It makes you a good one.  I’m this close to pretending that I am a bulked up, just-out-of-prison Jared Fogle just to put some fearful respect into the hearts of these families!

After escaping the Aquarium we went to Pizzeria Uno for lunch (all the Baltimore hot spots) and it was the only meal we had all trip that featured good food and good service. Then it was time for some rest before the main purpose of the trip – Bush and Live.

When we left the hotel that evening we headed to McCormick and Schmicks – a good restaurant with abhorrent service.  The restaurant was about 80% full, but from the servers you would think they were feeding thousands.  The food was good for sure, but I think our waitress was actually a bar tender pressed into service.  Baltimore may be Charm City, but the service industry there appears to be second to all.

After McCormick’s we walked to the concert venue, which if Heaven has a trailer park I believe I saw it this weekend.  Let’s start with the Baltimore accent (not The Wire version, but the whiter version – which seems to sound like Philadelphia (already one of the worst accents out there) had a one night stand with a trailer park and had a baby). Then the tattoos – as I said on my 2012 album Too Big To Fail – it appears that once American manufacturing dried up and coincided with the rise of reality TV and MMA – America traded in identity and creativity for “expressing themselves” through permanent ink.  And I would guess that that at least 31% of the audience at the show had uploaded a video to YouPorn, which is the same percentage of the women present that I believed had had sex with non-front-men members of the two bands we were there to see.  And as two bonuses, the man in front of us during Bush had body odor so strong that the lady and I had to move elsewhere for Live. And during Live, we were standing behind what appeared to be a Throuple (that’s a term that means when a married couple has a third partner who has low self-esteem… unless they live in a wealthier zip code and they suddenly become “enlightened sexual beings”). The man looked like he just missed out on playing the husband on Escape at Dannemora and to be fair his wife was pretty good looking except for a paunch that signified “I am no longer the hot stuff I was in high school and as long as this ‘Associates 15’ I put on 20 years ago is still here there is enough insecurity to allow a goofy chick in to do the dirty work.”  But let’s talk about the music, shall we?

Bush was outstanding and even though Live is the billed headliner on this tour, it was clear that Bush was the more dynamic band with the

Gavin during Glycerine. He may have slept with all the wives of Live after his set

better hour and the better front man (despite not playing his single from the Richard Gere-Diane Lane romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe).  Gavin Rossdale was an A and so was Bush.  And I am pretty sure 4 women in their late 40s left pregnant after Bush’s set.  The bar was set high for Live and boy did they not meet it. That is not to say they were bad. They were very good and I would argue that the night’s closing song, Lightning Crashes, was the best song by either band, but the overall catalogue and energy of Bush and the presence of Rossdale (versus the “what if your uncle were a less cool version of Andre Aggasi of Live’s Ed Kowalczyk) made it a decisive victory. Plus, in their hour, Live did not one, but two covers. That’s a forfeit in my book.  I did plenty of people watching during this and noticed that almost every white man in Baltimore (or at least the white men who come into Maryland for Bush/Live concerts) walks with a mixed look of anger and insecurity (I guess that is the official look of MAGA). It’s a look like they just found out that their girlfriend is talking to her ex from high school by the porta-potty.

After the show, which was very enjoyable (and based on the hey day of both bands reminded me of my first workout mix tape), we went back to the hotel, arriving at 11:05pm. I asked the front desk if room service still delivered and he said no.  We then asked if they had vending machines. He said no, but offered the 7-11 three blocks away that we passed on because I believe it is a hotel’s responsibility to offer me overpriced snacks and food when it is 11pm on a Saturday.  So we went to bed having had as great a weekend as you can have when coupled with MAGA throuples and terrible overall service almost everywhere you go.

Our hotel room did come with a $9 bottle of “Fred” water

I am not saying Trump was right about Baltimore, but if by calling the city “filthy” he was referencing all the white trash and the menus at McCormick & Schmick’s I would be unable to refute him.  But you have to be an asshole to look at this and call it “disgusting”:

pre show, post dinner Baltimore inner harbor
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Road Comedy Recap: Guns and Tater Thots in Dayton

It is Sunday morning in the Beaver Creek, Ohio Panera Bread as I write this.  Because I will be on a 16 hour Greyhound bus ride tomorrow I will not have access to Internet (or personal space and drinkable water) all day tomorrow so the road recap goes up this morning.  Besides, with most of Ohio presumably staying home tonight to watch the GOAT Lebron James, I assume tonight’s show will not warrant much consideration anyway. This was my first time to Dayton giving me all the Ohio comedy merit badges (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Columbus were already completed) so this will be chock full as I recall the loss of my Dayton virginity.  And like so many of these recaps it begins with a travel story full of pain.

Greyhound to Dayton

I do not like flying.  I don’t have a crippling fear, but I do not like it. And I have not been on a small plane (smaller than a MD-88 and usually not smaller than a 737) since 2009 when I did a gig in Destin, Florida.  We transferred in Atlanta for a 50 seater to go to Fort Walton Beach, FL. It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was one of the bumpiest flights of my life (raising the question – WHAT THE FU*K ARE THESE PLANES LIKE IN BAD WEATHER?).  Additionally, the size of seats on those planes are slightly less roomy than overhead baggage space.  So I just decided that when I can’t travel on a normal sized plane (737 or bigger) I would go via other means, which means my beloved Amtrak (I am known as “The Joe Biden of Amtrak riders you don’t give a shit about” in rail transit circles) or Greyhound. Well, at $120 round trip and 16 hours Greyhound beat Amtrak in both price and time so that is how I travelled.

My bus left Port Authority bus terminal at 9:15pm on Wednesday night.  I was loaded up with healthy snacks, podcasts and a hazmat suit for the 15.5 hour journey.  I probably slept a total of 90 minutes during the journey, but I had my own seat for most of the trip, which was the best case scenario.  And I smelled only 2 farts throughout the journey. Neither were mine.

When I arrived at Dayton I ordered a Lyft. This is what transpired next:

My Lyft driver was a 67 year old black man that gave me his Motown cover band’s card when I told him I was a comedian. Turns out his group, Touch, finished 3rd on an NBC show hosted by Nick Lachey, so you know a trip is off to a bad start when your Lyft driver in Dayton, Ohio has more entertainment juice than you do.  I arrived at the club around 1:45 and got walked over to the comedy condo.

Condo Glory

In stand up comedy there is only one C word that offends comedians and that is “Condo.”  If you, as the middle act, get a hotel you have won. There is usually a minimum standard of care delivered by even the crappiest of hotels, but a comedy condo can range from “Hey this is solid!” to “Hey, this comforter is solid frozen with other comedians’ semen!”  Well, the new standard for comedy condo excellence has been set by the Dayton Funny Bone (suck on it Rivercenter Comedy Club in San Antonio – the awful condo since abandoned that resembled the bug room in Temple of Doom – and the subject of a blog that got me banned from there).  The apartment, which is located in a new building in the mall where the club is (literally a stone’s throw from the club) is basically a slick 1 bedroom loft type apartment with a full cable package (all the HBOs, etc). It is pretty much a better set up than 95% of hotels, so good job Dayton FB!  It allows me to creepily spy on patrons of the club:

Alfred Hitchcock style!

For dinner I went to The Cheesecake Factory, located a dangerous 400 feet from the condo (it is the preferred restaurant for NBA players and NBA-sized middle acts) and then I went to the club.  Thursday’s show went well, sold a few albums, watched the first half of Game 1 of the NBA FInals (I could not stay up for the JR Smith debacle because even my love for Lebron must succumb to 90 minutes of Greyhound sleep.

Greyhound is worse for you than crack and meth combined. This was me at 1030pm Thursday night

Friday: One Good Crowd

Friday I went to LA Fitness and got swole AF. I also went to the Cheesecake Factory again (I went with a sensible dessert of Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, which is one of the lower calorie cheesecakes they offer at only 13,880 calories per slice). I watched the outstanding season finale of The Americans (thanks for not spoiling (*watching) it Black Twitter!) in Panera Bread and then, just like that, it was time for two shows at the Funny Bone.

The first audience was so so.  I know that because when I was selling albums after the first show (right outside the bathrooms like some African bathroom attendant offering you CDs instead of cologne and breath mints) two young guys came up to me, bought the albums and said “We want to be comedians and I don’t know what was wrong with that crowd. You were awesome.”  This proves that I perform to the back of the room, even if they are just in comedian fetus form.   The second audience was awesome – they were a smaller crowd, but they bought a lot of my albums, which after 15 years (June 2nd was 15 years since I picked up a mic at the Takoma Station Tavern in D.C.) is the cynical way I judged the quality of a crowd – you can boo me, but if you buy my albums you are a good crowd.

The only blemish after the first audience was a black who came up to me and said “That ain’t your race. (proceeded to touch my hair) Nah – show me your stomach hair. Niggas got nappy stomach hair.”  Now, as I have said, if I wanted to use the N word (which I don’t – there goes my shot at a Trump cabinet position) I could make a legal case in N Word Court (my new show I am pitching) presenting DNA evidence, a picture of my father and my Sprint Mobile bill as compelling proof of my half-blackness. However, I have lived my life as an HGH infused Adam Sandler with a tan so even if the N Word Constitution accords me a right to say it, in the real world I do not have license to use it. My point is writing this is that I tell my story not to take liberties with language or to “get away with” saying things. I tell my story because it is my story.  But increasingly (and I have noticed a lot more skepticism in the age of Trump from black people, just like many more white people commented and asked about my race after shows during Obama’s presidency) I am having these uncomfortable interactions. My theory is that under Obama, white people were wondering if I was cashing in on the cache of being bi-racial (if they can’t be cool then why should this Italian looking guy get to be), whereas black people have been saying a lot more things to me since Trump’s election – perhaps wary of whether I am a racial and political ally or just someone trafficking in race.  But whatever the case, don’t touch my hair! #BlackGirlMagic

Missed References, Guns, Thots and Prayers: Saturday

Saturday I went to LA Fitness again and got even more swole AF. I emailed the cast and crew of Comedian Combine the final script (filming June 16th – this will be one of my best sketches) and then walked 2.5 miles to the closest Catholic Church for vigil Mass.  Now the weather was beautiful, but it was also 80+ degrees and after a while 2.5 miles starts to get super hot.  I arrived at Church looking, as I often do in summer months, like an ISIS operative having a panic attack.  Another weird thing about the Church, was the demographics of the attendees.  Not an exaggeration – there was one beige dude (me), 4 Asians and about 800 extremely white people.  I have noticed this more and more on the road and after reading Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law (which made my last blog – my recommended U.S. History reading list) I can’t help but think of the historical shame of how segregated our cities are (and how the book thoroughly explains was done by design at the highest levels of federal and state government, in addition to local and personal prejudices that created, and sustain, a world of white middle class wealth).  I wanted to ask the people around me “Don’t YOU think it is weird that EVERYONE looks the same in here?”

The Passion of Christ… was FREEDOM!

 

As I walked back from Mass I stopped in a Wendy’s for a chicken sandwich.  It was just me and these two people:

I will have a #6 meal and ONE REASON – I DARE YOU TO GIVE ME ONE REASON!

Coupled with my Mass experience I almost want to ask “If you moved to a town without scary minorities to feel safe, why the need for the gun you paranoid, fat Nick Offerman-looking cuck!? Al Qaeda is not coming for you, no matter what your Greyhound Bus Depot security thinks (see video above). And you probably have zoning laws that would bar people that have the same skin color as people in MS13 or the Crips from moving here. Besides I could take that from you if I wanted to – I AM THE CAPTAIN NOW!”  During my meal two girls came in and ordered food and then one proceeded to sit with her bare feet on the seat and I thought, “Excuse me Donald Glover, but THIS IS AMERICA – an old, scared white dude with a glock on his side and a millennial putting her bare feet up in a restaurant.”

The first show went OK that night, but in the same set I made an Alex Jones reference (and then polled the crowd and only 1/3 had even heard of him) and a Nino Brown reference (and only about 7 people knew what I was talking about) in the same set and thought America’s ability to get references has to be somewhere between those two, but alas it was an epic fail.  I also made a Rocky IV reference on the late show and almost no one had seen it.  And they call themselves patriots?

I went back to the condo after the first show to upload the video to my computer and by the time I got back to the club everyone had left (the headliner did a shorter set than he had been doing) so I sold nothing after the first show. Fortunately the late show would be the best crowd (only heckling I got was on the late crowd, so they sucked under normal definitions of crowd quality, but as I wrote earlier, albums sales are the sole factor determining a crowd’s quality form here on out).  I did get a good new bit, as well as a pop culture phrase I have invented. Enjoy “”Tater Thots”:

As my set was winding down I started going into my bit about how it is tough to ask a guy to settle down in 2018. A bit that has been doing well for me and was 4/4 in Dayton, but then some dumb, attractive woman and her tatted up, sleeveless shirt, dip swallowing boyfriend/man/friend decided to chime in (I think she was also a Trump supporter, so let’s just use another one of my linguistic inventions – she was a Trunt). I do not hate stupid people. They were stupid based on their support of Trump and their inability to understand the premise of a joke. But they were confident stupid people and I hate those mfers.  So I aborted the joke, but I think it helped propel album sales because when I made my self-deprecating album pitch a black man yelled out “We Got You!” and I thought “I don’t believe in Wakanda Forever, but perhaps today we are all Wakandans!”  I sold well after the show and even gave two black men (I believe one of them was the man who shouted his support) and their dates a breakdown of their relationships as Trump (I gave my endorsement to the black man dating a black woman, but told the black man dating a white woman that I did not approve, which had them all laughing).  I then went back to the condo to find The Dark Knight was on. I stayed up til 2am watching it because it was only Wakanda for a day – it is The Dark Knight forever. And here is a beautiful shot of Beaver Creek I took on my way to Church:

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Road Comedy Recap: An Assault on Liberty Township

This week I was in Liberty Township, Ohio (a suburb near Cincinnati made for the wealthy people of southern Ohio who love Trump, but don’t like sharing a zip code with the people from The Hills Have Eyes in southern Ohio that also like Trump) to perform at the Liberty Funny Bone (as part of my upcoming tour I will also be performing in Freedom, Illinois; These Colors Don’t Run, Missouri; and Colin Kaepernick is an Ungrateful Nigra, Alabama in September).  The trip was one that did not involve Amtrak or Greyhound. Instead I used points on Southwest (which is the phrase you use when you want a woman’s vagina to dry up and collapse on itself like a black hole) to get to Cincinnati (the closest airport to the Township). The trip involved multiple Cheesecake Factory meals, a futuristic and stylish hotel, several killer sets and the usual absence of sidewalks for walking around in fat America.  So without further adieu here is the recap:

Thursday – Inauspicious Start

When I got to LaGuardia Airport on Thursday I made my way to the Southwest area to check my suitcase. As I was winding through the roping (there was not much of a line) I saw some balding bro douche just duck under the rope and walk in front of me.  I am still at a loss for what to do in these situations. I don’t have a calm, middle ground. I chose to stare at him like I wanted to beat him to death because I felt like my only other option was to actually beat him to death.  I genuinely believe that murderers don’t do as much damage to society as people like this douche bag.  Murder is an outlier in society. But people who show a lack of courtesy or respect are legion and they eat away at your spirit like termites in the walls of a house.  He clearly saw me winding through the ropes and made the calculation that he could cut with no repercussion.  And then, restraining myself from calling him a piece of fu*king sh*t and putting him in a choke hold, I start to feel the anger reinforcing itself because my restraint is become a self-fulfilling prophecy for him to get away consequence free.  In other words I was ready to make the people of Ohio laugh!

But first was a stop in Chicago. Southwest Airlines basically requires every flight going west to stop in Midway for 4 hours… even if your stop is halfway back in the direction you just came from.  So I read for a couple of hours in Midway Airport, but was very disappointed to see that both Potbelly and Ben and Jerry’s had both closed.  In their places were a terrible pizza place and a Dunkin Donuts. So I got a Chocolate Long John from DD, which made me realize my 4 favorite donuts from Dunkin Donuts all have overtly homoerotic names:

  1. Chocolate Long John
  2. Boston Creme
  3. Glazed Stick
  4. Jizz Filled Phallus Surprise

When I landed in Cincinnati just before 4 pm I was picked up by Chris, an employee of the club. We had a pleasant 90 minute drive to the club (horrible traffic). I checked into my hotel, which was super stylish, meaning it looked nice, but had several features that were useless (see my Instagram video from Sunday to see a list).

The 1st show of the week was a good one, though it would end up being the least receptive crowd of the week for me.  After selling 1 CD (cheesecake money!) I went back to the hotel to watch the Elian Gonzalez documentary on CNN.  I had the volume on my TV at 13 out of a possible 100 and it was 10 pm.  Then, at 1025 pm I heard a knock at the door.  My mind first went “was that my door?” and with a second knock a minute later I wondered “is there a Liberty Town Whore at my room?” so I got up, put some pants and a shirt (I was in boxer briefs because I was settling in for sleep) and went to the door. I was greeted by a short Latino man wearing hotel gear who informed me that he had received noise complaints about how loud my television was.  He then immediately said he would inform the people that they were wrong because he could not even hear my TV from the hallway when my door was closed.  When he left I just turned off the TV. With the Gestapo atmosphere I was not longer inspired to watch a documentary about a 6 year old boy’s quest for freedom.  If I cannot be free in a place called Liberty, is anyone really free?

Friday and Saturday – Cheesecake, Comedy and Sidewalks to Nowhere

On Friday I tried to walk to an LA Fitness 1.9 miles from the hotel. On Saturday I tried to walk to a Catholic Church (St Maximilian “Catholic Mamba” Kolbe Church to be exact).  Both missions to better myself physically and spiritually failed. Why? Because America is a series of fat, car-addicted, sidewalk-less places.  Making it to either place would have involved risking my life along highways and roads so I opted to live, though perhaps being a martyr would have been interesting:

Saint Jean-Louis Cauvin, died battling America’s obesity when he was hit by a Ford truck on an Ohio highway.  His two miracles are turning a profit on a feature gig in Detroit that paid $300 for 5 shows, with no hotel provided and for taking an Amtrak for 30 hours without contracting any foot-borne illnesses.

A rich metaphor for America, my career, etc.

I also made trips to the Cheesecake Factory on both days (they are donating 25 cents of every piece of cheesecake sold to charity this month, so call me the American Red Velvet Cross).  On the second day my waitress was a pleasant young lady with an ample bosom and derriere.  To me this felt like overkill by The Cheesecake Factory.  You had me at “Cheesecake and 835 page menu.”  There is no need to complicate this and turn it into a soft core porn where I cannot decide what I want more, the Hazelnut cheesecake or the waitress.  I am thinking of making a Cheesecake Factory-themed porn where it starts with a busty woman delivering food, but then she leaves and I end up moaning in delight as I eat cheesecake and unbutton my pants, but only to make room for my expanding stomach, filled with cheesecake. #CheesecakeBae

The 4 shows were great between Friday and Saturday. Made some sales, made a few fans, blah blah blah. Here’s a highlight reel of various jokes and interactions with the crowds from the Saturday shows:

Sunday – Noneday

Nothing much to report (mainly because I am writing this at lunch in a Starbucks and all I plan on doing to day is sketch writing and making one more trip to the brothel known as The Cheesecake Factory.

Meanwhile in NYC, Cookie is with her new best friend #PoopEmojiBae
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Road Comedy Recap: Impressions, Injuries and Deal Making in…

I have been in Los Angeles for the last five days and it was a trip befitting my social media hashtag #ComedyMogul.  I was making big media appearances, performing at stand up clubs and engineering deals with one of the biggest chain restaurants in the country.  It was one of my most productive trips to the west coast ever, even though every plural in the proceeding sentence should actually be a singular.  As I write this in an airport motel with plans soaring uncomfortably close every 10 minutes I am beaming with a sense of pride that I managed to crush it on the #1 podcast on iTunes, had a great set at a comedy club and filmed it and helped start a potential big deal between the Cheesecake Factory and a new craft beer, ALL while managing to earn exactly zero dollars while doing it all.  This is what Black Twitter would call “Peak J-L.” So here is the recap you have been waiting for.

Saturday – The Gentlemen’s Lodge

My flight out was pretty uneventful.  My legs felt good because I was in the Extra leg room seats (still unfair that in this day of trans bathrooms a tall man must pay extra to be in seats that fit) and I watched Daddy’s Home, a perfect airplane movie starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (very funny throughout, not really sure why critics crushed it, but perfect way to pass 100 minutes on a cross country flight).  I also had a 2 hour conversation with the woman sitting next to me, who happened to work for digital advertising for YouTube. We had a fun chat about politics, millennials, digital ads (I told her the kinds that I am most likely to watch – so now she has a good sample study of comedy moguls’preferences) and how I can help my content get more views. She said I should aim to get to 5000 subscribers because then I have access to YouTube studios.  With just over 1500 subscribers at my current pace I asked her to reserve me some space in 2032 for me to record some killer content.

When we landed in LA I was greeted by my buddy Nick D. in his Mercedes and he drove me to my hotel in Studio City.  Thanks to Hotwire.com I got a great deal at a place named The Gentlemen’s Lodge.  I figured the great deal I got was based on the fact that in Los Angeles, a place called The Gentlemen’s Lodge would either be a far right enclave where conservatives hunted teenage boy and girl runaways for sexual sport or it would simply be an ironically named place where gay orgies were taking place.  Well, it turns out it was just a normal hotel, despite the presence of kids named Harper and Brooklyn roaming the hallways.  The rest of the day was uneventful as I prepared for a big next couple of days.

The Gentlemen's Lodge 4th floor (my floor) featured a quote from Bruce Springsteen's worst album for some reason

Sunday – Comedy Mogul Down!

I woke up at 4:45 am on Sunday because I never adjust well to the time zone change. But I felt energized and decided to get up and go for a run like I was the Rock sharing annoying Instagram workout pics.  Around 5:45 I started jogging on a quiet and empty road. Feeling good, like I might be able to churn out a couple of extra miles I made the mistake of relaxing and feeling a moment of happiness.  Just when those feelings infected me I tripped.  I rarely trip. It’s sort of weird. I will sometimes have my foot catch on something and not trip either because of balance or gait or weight distribution but I rarely trip.  Well, about ten years of never trips caught up in one epic fall.  When I hit the ground I scraped my palms, busted open one of my knuckles, busted my knee wide open (it still has not scabbed yet 4 days later) and bruised (or worse) my ribs.  I don’t even understand how I could have fallen only once and done that much damage to so many different body parts, but at my height maybe it’s like falling from a 2nd story window.  Whatever the case I was basically a gimpy invalid the rest of the trip. But that didn’t stop me from heading to Flappers in Burbank that night.

My name in lights
Later in the month, Flappers will be headlining a comedian eve more relevant than me: Jake The Snake Roberts, a 1980s wrestler

Despite performing at 1:20 am east coast time I had a great set closing the side room at the club.  Here is a quick clip of my new material about my dog Cookie. Enjoy:

Monday –  Cage, Crushing Carolla & Cheesecake 

Monday was celebrity day for me.  When I limped to the Starbucks across the street from TGL I was on line next to the actor who plays Luke Cage (co-star of Netflix’ Jessica Jones and the start of his own Netflix series this Fall).  We both played it cool, which was refreshing – just getting treated like a regular Starbucks customer and not a Comedy Mogul.

That afternoon I headed to Carolla Studios and had a great appearance (best one of the 6 I have made).  You can listen to the episode here and also watch my new Carolla sketch video I made for the show:

But the biggest thing I did had nothing to do with comedy.  Ryan is the manager at the Pasadena Cheesecake Factory and a big fan of The Adam Carolla Show.  My friend’s girlfriend is a waitress there and when Ryan found out last year that I was the guy that did the impressions on Carolla I began to see my bills shrink exponentially at the Cheesecake Factory.  As the second biggest regular celebrity at the Pasadena Factory (Terry Crews currently holds the #1 spot) I wanted to give back and show my appreciation for being treated so well.  And it turns out that a few hours before I went on the air I learned that Ryan was hoping to get Adam Carolla’s new craft beer into the Pasadena Factory (yes I am aware that calling The Cheesecake Factory, “The Factory,” is hugely douchey).  So on air I brought up the idea of Adam getting his Endless Rant IPA into the PCF and the idea was a hit with him and later his producers when I connected them to Ryan.  So now in addition to #ComedyMogul I am also a budding #CheesecakeMogul.  I have never read Trump’s The Art of the Deal, but I am pretty sure I just wrote the sequel in Pasadena.

Salted caramel cheesecake - one of my 2 free pieces of cheesecake during the week

Tuesday & Wednesday – Sun, More Cheesecake & 2 Nicks

Tuesday was the only full day I had to soak up some Sun because, like The Nothing in The Neverending Story, dark cluds metaphorically and literally follow me.  After getting a little darker I then headed back to the Cheesecake Factory to get more free food and to soak up Ryan’s praise since he had now heard the deal get sealed on air, along with his name said on the air.  I then ended the evening watching CNN in bed because I was too sleep to check out some LA shows. I fell asleep at 9:45pm local #RockStarLife

Wednesday was uneventful – met up with my buddy Nick Cobb and met his infant daughter (I asked her if she could put in a good word with me at MTV2) and completed my trip goal of hanging with only two different friends in LA and having them both be named Nick. Now I am about to go to sleep in my Super 8 Motel with jets lodly flying overhead.  Can’t wait to get back to NYC and earn some money doing legal work, but to be fair this was as good an unpaid trip as I could hope to have.  Hoping some good things materialize in the next few weeks, but hopefully they don’t pay.  #KingOfAllUnpaidMedia

The view from my airport motel. #Blessed #HumbleBrag #WaingroFromHeatStayedHere

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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LA Comedy Recap Pt 2: Carolla and Cheesecake

Well I am back in NYC after a great and productive week in Los Angeles.  Last blog I gave a thorough recap of Comics Unleashed (hoping the check arrives in the mail this week) but that was only part of the trip.  The next day I was on The Adam Carolla Show for the third time in 2014, which is coincidentally how many times I ate dinner at the cheesecake factory in the three nights I was in LA (a friend is a waitress there, which mean discounts, #blessed).   The appearance went really well (you can listen here) and only one person on the Facebook post wrote “I hate jl” in the comments section.  Now the Carolla producer is in talks with my management (meaning my hotmail account) to have me on as a call in segment, rebooting an old Adam Carolla segment from his television show.  Normally I would not jinx an opportunity like this but a) it is unpaid and b) it is unpaid so what am I really jinxing by telling you before it airs?  So, hopefully this happens and allows me to continue to grow my fan base through the ACS.  Now I am back to submitting for contract legal work to fill in the large gaps in my comedy calendar.  So while that happens here is a pic of better times of myself, Adam and Matt Achity of Rotten Tomatoes:

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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On The First Day of San Antonio, Comedy Gave…

With 12 days in San Antonio I thought I would model the blogs while I am here (assuming there are no pressing issues or injustices to discuss) on the 12 Days of Christmas (except I will probably only write 4-6 times while here, so it’s nothing like it really).  I had a jam packed day yesterday full of laughs and disappointment, but first a quick comment about the Boston Bomber on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine:

I don’t care.  I am not offended, nor am I wildly supportive of it.  Magazines do it all the time.

OK, enough of that.  I woke up at 4am for my 7 am Delta flight (NYC-ATL-SAT) because I take flights in the “comedian budget” price range, which usually means either something before farmers wake up or something with more connections than Kevin Bacon.  Now when I left my apartment at 445 am it was 82 and muggy. When I stepped out of the airport in San Antonio it was 80 and not humid.  I then allowed myself to feel positive about comedy for a second. Uh oh.

To kill time in the afternoon I ate Chick Fil-A (as a man trying to lose weight sticking me in a hotel surrounded by a Chick Fil-A and a Cheesecake Factory is cruel and unusual).  And yes I ate at Chick Fil-A.  They do not bar gays from eating there so they aren’t a Southern Woolworth’s counter from the 1960s and they are not state sponsored like Apartheid, so even though I don’t agree with the owner (is the next step to boycott any company whose CEO votes Republican?), I think almost all big business owners in America are scumbags in some way or another (I don’t believe there’s such a a thing as an honest billion dollars).  The employees are nice and the food is tasty.  But for my heart’s sake I won’t be going back this week.

I then went to (what should be the headline of this blog) the best movie theater in America to see Pacific Rim.  Here is why the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the best:

  • When I asked for my ticket to Pacific Rim (FREE for comedians) the woman asked me “It’s 3-D… is that OK?” EXACTLY – I appreciate her asking if 3- is ok, because too many people treat paying extra and wearing glasses as some privilege of cinema.  I like her stance that 3-D may not be everyone’s firs choice.
  • The theater kicks you out if you talk or text during the movie.
  • There is a FULL menu.  I am talking like a Cheesecake Factory-lite level menu.  Delicious food, milkshakes and movie snacks are available.  I got a popcorn, which was some of the best popcorn AND the largest popcorn I’ve ever had for $6.
  • The theater has a lounge (where I mapped out my set for the show) and a bar.

In other words – this theater is Heaven on Earth for me.  Seriously – my low key career goal is to own an golden retriever.  My high end goal is to make a ton of money and then retire and own/manage one of these theaters somewhere.

In less important news, Pacific Rim was not good.  The effects are absolutely tremendous, but the acting and writing ranges from high school play to porn.  But I ate like a king and my ticket was free so no big deal.  I have 4 more days and will be reviewing The Conjuring tomorrow (and possible RIPD also this weekend).  The only thing I won’t see there is Grown Ups 2.  No amount of pleasure can mask that pain.

So then it was show time (after a Subway dinner – BALLER!) I headlined the Wednesday show for about 30 people.  It went great, though one woman kept interrupting me.  After the show I sold one CD, and lost two sales because I do not have a credit card thingamajig on my cell phone.  I then took the $10 from the sale and bought myself a piece of $8 cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory on the way home as I warned the crowd I would during an epic 10 minute bit about my struggles with weight loss.  Here’s a clip from the show:

So that was all day 1!! What does the rest of this week have in store?  Check in Monday morning for the next update.

If you are bored for me check out my podcast this week – been getting rave reviews and a lot of listens – the bi-racial lawyer’s thoughts on George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.  Enjoy – http://righteouspk.podomatic.com/entry/2013-07-15T19_37_08-07_00