It has been a whirlwind of emotions over the last few days based on the shows I have had. Surprisingly the emotions were both bad and good, which differs from my normal emotional responses to comedy of bad and worse. I will start with the bad news, since that is how it happened chronologically.
Saturday night I was co-headlining a show at the Triad Theater in the west 70s of Manhattan. Comedy crowds come in different bunches. Sometimes you get hardened comedy fans. Those are great crowds – they want good comedy and understand the medium and are not easily offended. Then you have tourist-type crowds that generally want to hear the most basic comedy and are easily offended. But then there is a third, wild-card crowd, that one can see in Manhattan, which is a crowd consisting of other comics’ friends. Now if those friends are comedy savvy people then they tend to embrace all types of comedy. In other cases, they are groups of people who are prepared to laugh at their friend, because their friend is mostly their only exposure to stand up comedy and everyone else to them ranges from unamusing (because you are not their friend) to shockingly inappropriate (because they think stand up comedy is what CBS comedies do). Well guess which one I got Saturday night?
My initial material dealt with interracial porn and how we could never be a racism-free society as long as there were people in America that believe whites and blacks having sex together represents a taboo in keeping with some of the other more anatomically shameful porn genres. I got nothing (obviously this concept was presented in more joke form and not as a graduate thesis). The few laughs I got were from a few comics and a few people, but the mention of race and sex, even in a sanitized way, seemed to elicit a “We didn’t know a comedian was going to discuss race and sex! Well I never!” So in what is becoming an increasingly annoying flaw in my stand up I took the uptight comedy stupidity of the majority of the crowd and looked at them with disdain the rest of the show. I made sure to be harsher and more care free with my material, which actually won me about 12 of the 45 people in the crowd. However, the remaining 33 seemed to genuinely hate me. Which actually felt good. They were only ruining one evening with their response: mine. But I was ruining 33 evenings with my routine.
Confirming the depth of the hatred some members of the crowd had for me was a story told to me by the date of a friend of mine in attendance. After the show, she was in the bathroom and heard a woman say, “I liked the show, but I wanted to stab that last guy in the face.”
In case you are wondering, I was the “last guy.”
But redemption was only a few days away. I had a private show for Comcast at Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia last night. I kept my set clean (not one curse in 45 minutes is the longest I have spoken, let alone performed, curse free since I was 12 years old), I riffed about 20 minutes of political material that went over well and as of today no one has made an official complaint to my knowledge. So it was good to wash away the bad taste of Saturday with a strong showing last night. But the cherry on top was sharing a train ride home from Philadelphia with Samantha Jones a/k/a Kim Cattrall.
I am very well versed in Sex and the City. An odd admission perhaps, but the same way Malcolm X was knowledgeable of the Bible, I felt it necessary to understand the white devil in my own fashion. But let me tell you, my seething disdain for the culture that Sex and the City spawned (or at least greatly augmented) all but melted away when I saw Kim Cattrall. I actually did not think it was her because she looked much younger than what I assumed her age was (dead). But she had not one, but two personal assistants (gay man and hipster looking chick) with her so that settled it for me. In all honesty it is pretty intimidating when you see a woman from television that you never found THAT attractive relatively to other women on television, but then you see them in person and it opens your eyes. I felt the same way when I was in the same green room with Teri Polo (Greg Focker’s wife in Meet The Parents) several years ago. All I could think was “If Greg Focker’s wife looks this good in person, then Macy Gray must be a fu*king knockout!”
Kim and I rode in the same car (we agreed that I could be on a first name basis with her), so hopefully everyone else in that train car realized the star power they were surrounded by. And just in case I thought that Sex and the City was a horrible show for a generation of young women it was refreshing to see one of the show’s stars travelling the same way as the miserable King of Greyhound Comedy. Hello gorgeous.