Weekend Comedy Recap: Name in Lights, Show in a…

This weekend, the fifth working weekend for me in six weeks, making me feel almost as successful a comedian as Ted Cruz is a presidential candidate, found me in Glens Falls, NY. Interesting thing about Glens Falls, NY – it is where the Class ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ high school basketball championships are held each year. Had my high school basketball team won 1 or  2 more games post season of my senior year we would have played there. Alas, my team sort of sucked (we set a then NYC private school record with 2.5 black players on our team, but unless you are in the 1940s, having half a dozen Jewish kids on your hoops team, especially in the 1990s, is a recipe for mediocrity (insert angry Anti-Defamation league comment about how good the Israeli national team is)), so my trip to Glens Falls would have to wait 19 years.  But if this blog post teaches you anything it is that if you work hard, pursue your dream at the expense of social, emotional and financial well-being, you too can complete your high school dream of performing at the Glens Falls Civic Center in upstate NY. #Blessed #Grinding

The trip began with me taking the PATH train to Hoboken, NJ to meet my ride to Glens Falls. Unfortunately I learned upon arrival that it was Hoboken St Patrick’s Day – a day when Hoboken honors the legacy of Saint Patrick, who was apparently an Irish-American date rapist from Hoboken.  This is always a mess and at 1pm there were lines 60 deep at all three bars within view of the PATH train.  Everyone was wearing green and it looked like a Donald Trump rally – 99.9% white with a few black dudes I felt sorry for.  After observing this for about 25 minutes Dan, the booker and emcee for the show picked me up and we headed to Glens Falls.

The drive was a solid 3:45 with a couple of breaks for snacks and bathrooms.  When we got to Glens Falls I saw my name on the electronic billboard outside, which was a thrill.  As we walked into the Civic Center I saw the hockey arena, where teams play and large acts (like the country singer I had never heard of on the billboard after me) play and then we walked down a stairwell to the banquet rooms where I saw where I would be performing.  With about 2.5 hours to spare I sat in the next banquet room and wrote my next sketch (debuting next week – Trump Penile Enlargement University) and then watched the Jazz game on my computer (Glens Falls Civic Center – A WIFI HOTSPOT – way to go upstate NY).

As I took the stage (I would have video clips but there was no spotlight so I appear shrouded in darkness in the video) I saw that there were three black people and about forty-seven white people. At least 5 men were wearing camouflage.  I was heckled a few times, mostly in the happy/supportive way, but disruptive nonetheless.  But overall, the show went well and I even sold two CDs, to one guy who appeared like he got lost on his way to a Brooklyn vinyl record coffee shop, but decided to stay in town and be their link to what is popular this decade.  He bought two (different albums). The rest of the people told me I had talent and asked me repeatedly if my father was black. Pretty much par for the course for my comedy career.

The drive back was pretty uneventful though I did arrive at the PATH station to literally see the train pull away (half hour wait at that time of night).  I was reassured upon arrival in Hoboken to pass several cop cars at different times going to different locations and then saw an ambulance outside another bar near the PATH.  St Patrick would be proud.  But not as proud as he would be of me for finally making it to Glens Falls, NY.

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!


Weekend Comedy Recap: Wine, Comedy and a New Jersey…

I was a last minute addition to a gig on Saturday and just the way I got it was illuminating in terms of how different generations and experience levels of comics can perceive road work. The gig was a paying gig, with transportation and a hotel room. This is what is known in road comedy as, “The Holy Trinity” or more accurately, “Whoa, did I get a time machine back to 1990?”  I was asked a week before the gig, which was to take place at Willow Creek Winery, in Cape May, NJ, by the young comic booking it who seemed apologetic for the relatively last minute notice.  See, he is approaching comedy like Bernie Sanders approaching a 19 year old black college student at Berkeley, who has a different world view on The Struggle. What he didn’t realize is that my career has felt much more like the experience of John Lewis (not just because of our similar names), except my comedy career has endured more pain and struggle than his work during the Civil Rights Movement. So in my mind, when I hear money… and a ride… and a hotel room, I don’t need to concern myself with anything else about the gig. Hell, I might have ditched a gig for this gig. But fortunately he caught me on one of my 361 nights a year when I am not booked. #Blessed

We all (Sam (the young comic/booker), his girlfriend (not a comedian) and Anthony DeVito (funny comedian) met in Hoboken around 1:30 on Saturday and made our way to Cape May in Sam’s car.  The drive was very fun and pleasant, though I realized I have the tendency like a dog that has been crate trained (my studio apartment being my human crate) to thoroughly/overly enjoy interaction with comedians when no longer solitary. I think if you asked comedians their opinion of me it would be “asshole” from (mostly) people who have never met me and “pretty cool, but holy sh*t does he talk” from people who have worked with me.  So at least I enjoyed the ride down to Cape May and then we arrived at the Southern Mansion.

Southern Mansion is the hotel where Anthony and I would be staying. Below is a picture of the bed situation, with Anthony doing some pre-show reading.  The Southern mansion looks and feels like somewhere Leonardo Dicaprio would have lived in Django Unchained and the living situation illustrated that. I had wished the bed situation was a little more equitable, but since I could not physically lie down on the small bed/lounge I got the humungous, gay Asian bed.

When we got to the show it was a beautiful event space full of elderly white people.  We got fed a nice dinner and drank free wine at which point I wondered if we were just being feted before we were ritualistically sacrificed. That is how un-road comedy this gig felt.  But then the show started and the crowd was great. Chrissie, the 4th comedian on the show, who drove up separately with her boyfriend, went up after Sam emceed. She did very well and set a dirty tone for the show. Like a comedian canary in an old, white people coal mine she let Anthony and I see that we would not have to operate on a perfectly clean level.  Anthony then went up and did well, especially when the microphone broke for 10 minutes (NOW it is feeling like a road gig!) and then it was time for me.

Before I went up Sam mentioned that Willow Creek Winery is the best winery in all of New Jersey. So in an effort to dig myself a hole, I announced that this gig was a perfect compliment for my bucket list because I had just performed at the best Olive Garden in Paris.  But it got some polite chuckles and the set went well. It was a weird feeling when I did my Election year run through of Trump-Sanders-Obama impressions realizing that this crowd of old white people did not seem to like Trump, Chris Christie, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton (maybe a Jeb Bush crowd?). And in the middle of one bit about Spirit Airlines one woman yelled at me “They don’t support the troops!” which I thought an odd policy for an airline.  But they were a nice crowd and laughed a lot despite being drunk and understandably tired (hour long dinner before a 110 minute comedy show).  We then went to a bar nearby that had possible the best chicken fingers and fries I had ever had.

The next morning Anthony and I went to brunch looking like a closeted couple of gay men on a secret getaway from our heteronormative fake lives in NYC. There was a nice continental spread, as well as on the house a la carte service to choose from (omelets, pancakes or French toast). After eating, but before departing, we got a nice compliment from a woman who was at the show and then some guy asked me to “do Bernie Sanders at brunch”… before telling me “last night was pretty good.” As I have said, pretty is the ugliest word in comedy, but when a gruff white dude with a mustache tells you any kind of compliment you have to realize that anything more than “pretty good” and his VFW buddies might accuse him of being queer, so I will take the compliment in the spirit in which it was intended.

We had an uneventful drive back to NJ and then caught a PATH and a Subway train right away, which is pretty crazy on a Sunday. So, without being hyperbolic, this might have been one of the best gigs I have ever had in my entire career when taking into account free perks, crowd, pay and overall comfort from start to finish.  And it might even still make the top 10 if I had a comedy career that wasn’t on life support!

 TWO NEW EPISODES OF MY PODCAST THIS WEEK OSCAR RECAP (TUESDAY) & SUPER TUESDAY RECAP (THURSDAY)- Check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. Subscribe for free!


10 Free Things You Can Do To Improve Your…

There has been a heated debate within stand up comedy regarding comedy festival submission fees recently and I think it is important that young comics or would be comics learn that there are a lot of things outside of festivals and bringer shows they can do to improve their comedy career. Granted, none of these things necessarily involve writing or performing, except for one, but in a day where it is less cost effective to work the road and more difficult to crack into rotation at hometown clubs due to growing numbers of performers, social media and other uses of the Internet are the best ways to reverse engineer a comedy career. Build a fan base first, then get them to buy tickets to your stand up that you have not had time to work on and perfect – it is that simple.  So here is the way to do that, instead of complaining about festival fees:

1) Take a picture with a child of a different race than you and post it to social media with something about how racism is taught. Works best if you are under the age of 8. Watch your Facebook shares skyrocket and your Instagram followers grow.

2) Take a disabled person to the prom – Someone will cover this and you will become a hero.

3) Take a soldier to the prom – Someone may cover this and you will become a hero.

4) Take a disabled soldier to the prom – Someone will definitely cover this and you will go viral.

5) Post a video or blog where you “School Someone” in a specific number of seconds – Pick an easy target, like the KKK or Justin Bieber or Donald Trump. Wait for them to say something dumb on an issue of societal importance and then either in a video (at which point you have to mention how many seconds it is in the title, but can be no more than 90 seconds) or a blog post “school them” on why they are dead wrong.  But you cannot claim to school them yourself. This is the risk in this method. You just have to be heavy handed about things that are pretty much consensus to thinking people and then let it get picked up by a click bait site (all sites) and they will let the world know how badly you schooled them.

6) Destroy a Heckler – This is almost a classic move at this point, but it does require you to get on stage. When you get heckled, just respond with some dismissive snarky comment and then title the video “Comedian destroys,” even if you did not do anything of the sort. People will be primed to think you did destroy.

7) Write as many Open Letters as you can – This does not cost anything and should be done daily. Each day pick someone who has said something horribly offensive, mildly offensive or not offensive at all and write them an open letter.

8 ) Be Under 30 – This is an important tip. Don’t ignore it.

9) Change all your social media avatars to a hot, but not unrealistically hot picture of a woman – their jokes are funnier, their pictures get more likes and they get booked on more shows and afternoon “writing sessions.” Doesn’t matter if you are a woman or not. Your social media profiles should identify as a hot, but accessibly hot, woman.

10) Don’t end your list posts with a conventional number.  Always end with an odd number so that it appears you put more thought into generating a list instead of a pre-determined hacky number like 10.

So that is it people. You can take the condescending advice of people who have already arrived at a good place in the business or are on their way. Or you could take the advice of newcomers who talk a big game of which they know very little. Or you can follow my steps and become a successful comedian that saves money in the process. The choice is yours.

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!


Road Comedy Recap: Philadelphia’s Joe DiMaggio of Comedy

Last week (Wednesday thru Saturday) I was performing at one of my two favorite clubs in America: Helium in Philadelphia (the other being the DC Improv, where I will be performing Feb 26th-28th).  The problem was I had to commute all week because I am working a day job and there is no hotel for features at Helium so it is more economically feasible for me to use Amtrak points to commute each day than to get a hotel.  I referred to myself as “the Joe Biden of comedy” on stage 4 times – it killed once, got some applause twice and bombed once (Biden famously, or not so famously according to 75% of crowds in Philly, commuted on Amtrak every day back to Delaware from DC to be with his family). What followed was the most successful merch haul of my comedy career and the most exhausting week of comedy of my life. For those not lucky enough to be in attendance here is the recap:


Run out of work at 4:25 – get on the A train to Penn Station to catch a 5:10 Amtrak to Philly. The single scariest experience of my life on the NYC subway occurred (even scarier than when a 400 lb black woman tries to squeeze into a seat space made for an anorexic dwarf and more scary than the time on my 7th birthday when I got on the 1 train without my mother and had to be comforted by a nice Latin lady, which may explain my life long affinity for Latin women). The train was fairly crowded and then at West 4th Street a man with no shirt on, with the build of Tommy Hearns who may have been high on bath salts (not kidding). I have never been on a subway so quiet because this guy was yelling at the top of his lungs (thankfully to no one in particular) the following (just examples, not a full transcript):

  • Don’t you fu*king look at me
  • You think I am a fu*king ni*ger?
  • If I had a knife I would fu*king slash you (especially scary because there has been a rash of slashings on the NYC subway in the last month)
  • Does this train stop at 59th street? (Ok, this one is a lie)

When I say yelling I mean Samuel L Jackson “I hope they burn in hell” times 10 yelling.  As I sat there I said to myself  “don’t look at him and only get physical if he attacks you or a hot chick sitting near you.” He moved to another car at 14th street, but that was the longest 80 seconds of my entire life.  And with that fun start to the week it was time for Philly comedy!

Nothing too interesting to say about the show other than the fact that I killed, sold CDs and avoided Shake Shack next door.  Also it was my second time opening for Bob Marley (New England comedian, not a hologram of the dead guy with one good song – I am a huge fan of Could You Be Loved), who is a funny guy, really nice and should absolutely be cast as Bill Burr’s nice older brother on a sitcom.

I got home around 12:30 am and fell asleep quickly after setting my alarm for 6 am.


I woke up Thursday at 6 and took Cookie (my dog) out for her morning piss. I then made it to work at 8 am, allowing me to get my 8 billable hours in before going to Amtrak again.

There were no homicidal maniacs on the train on my way to Penn Station or Philly (unless I have some inner demons that have not yet surfaced).  The show went great and I sold a lot of CDs.  It was at this time that all the comedy pundits began to realize something special might be happening in Philadelphia.

My personal record for merch in a week is $410 – 6 shows in Philly in 2013 I sold that amount of albums ($10 per album or all 3 that I bring for $20). Well after good sales Wednesday and Thursday the experts began to wonder if this could be the week I break my own modern day record for CD sales by a middle act (these are unofficial stats).  I just told myself to take it one show at a time and not to worry about the week.  Went home same way and when I walked in Cookie did not even greet me, presumably because she already thinks she has a deadbeat dad and because she likes my girlfriend more than me and that is who she was getting quality time with in my absence.


When I got to the club on Friday, both shows were sold out and I made a killing after the first show.  I also had a guy come up to me and tell me he liked my appearances on The Adam Carolla Show (now the key is to turn my media presence into people who intentionally come to see me perform, not just get pleasantly surprised).  The record looked to be in my sights. But like any no-hitter in baseball – you cannot talk or think about it or you can jinx it. Well, as it turns out the second show started 30 minutes late which meant I would have not be able to sell merch because I had to catch the last train to NYC at 12:10 am.  So I left the club and walked to 30th street station and found out that my train was 40 minutes delayed. So now I had missed my chance to sell and had to sit in majestic 30th Street Station with just a pack of peanut M & Ms and some docile homeless dudes until my train arrived.


Now with all attention firmly fixed on me as I entered the last day with a chance to pass $410 (at this point it was the comedy equivalent of DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak – and just so you know, t-shirts and other non-CD/DVD items are like the juiced ball era of merch sales. I am trying to be Hank Aaron, not Barry Bonds #Purist #Hero). I had some good and bad omens.  On the good side there was a third show added on Saturday at midnight. Not that I expected to stay to sell after that, but it meant I would have to stay for the  first two shows, both of which were sold out, since my only transportation option was a 2:20 am Greyhound.  But a bad omen occurred also. My train to Philly was at 5, but my Fresh Direct order, which was supposed to arrive between 1 and 3, was severely delayed due to computer error and would not arrive until 5 at the earliest. So I had to cancel my food order, meaning that Sunday I might not be able to eat, unless I walked two blocks to a local supermarket. But like any great athlete or performer, I blocked out this stress and just focused on having great shows.

I killed with the first crowd and sold a ton of albums and had several repeat fans come up to me saying that they had seen me before and were happy to see me opening (once again, 2016 is the year of the intentional fan support, instead of the accidental). In fact, my total stood at $340 going into the second show.  I went to Shake Shack next door to Helium to take my mind off the historic accomplishment awaiting me and order a burger.  A woman in the kitchen came up to me and said “You really killed it the other night at Helium.” I said thank you and she then told the cashier to punch in a code that gave me $3 off  of my burger.  I then headed back to Helium with the swagger of Steph Curry playing a WNBA team knowing that it was not a matter of if, but when I would break the $410 barrier.

The second show went great and I pushed the total to $450. Confetti came down from the ceiling and I got a call from President Obama.  I then had a good show on the third show despite being in a sleep deprived semi coma. I left the club and made a 1.2 mile walk to the Greyhound bus station, which, surprisingly was fairly clean and did not have the feeling of a Taliban or Crips meeting place like many bus stations around America.  When I boarded my bus at 2:15 am I realized I was on a bus that President Trump might actually drone strike.  It was a few black people, 377 Mexicans and 220 Asians.  I heard almost no English spoken and realized that this Greyhound bus was basically the 2016 Underground Railroad or a Latin/Asian re-boot of Mad Max: Fury Road.

The bus arrived ten minutes early in NYC and I made my way home for a restful night of sleep, probably already awash in the Zika virus from that bus ride, but also swimming in cash like Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal.  All in all a net gain.

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!


Training Cookie – The Finalists For Who Will Train…

It has been just over a month since I got Cookie, my dog, from a Tennessee rescue organization for golden retrievers. Cookie is just over a year old and very puppy-ish in her behavior.  Peeing at times out of both joy and anxiety is normal I am told, but she also has a crippling fear of cars and especially trucks and emergency vehicles.  This fear has become somewhat problematic as it looks half the time like I am dragging her to lethal injection when trying to get her to the park. At this point when she even sees the leash she runs to her bed. In the grand scheme of things she is a good dog and it could be a lot worse considering she was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park (an almost guaranteed path to doggy stripping), but the time has come to get serious about this her training and mental well being, despite the increased forearm strength I am gaining from pulling her around the East 50s. But instead of going with some amateur dog training entrepreneur who will simply try to give her treats to induce good behavior (she is so scared outside that she won’t even take a treat) I am going to elite trainers who have made heroes and champions over the last few decades. So here are the finalists to train Cookie and their pitch to win over Cookie – feel free to vote in the comments section below:

1) Tony “Duke” Evers – The man trained two heavyweight champions – Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa.  Proved to be a voice of reason when Apollo was not taking Rocky seriously and provided emotion and passion when Rocky needed it.  His advice to Cookie: “NOW THIS IS IT! I NEED YOU TO WALK TO THE PARK!! ALL YOUR LOVE, ALL YOUR PEE, ALL YOUR POOP! EVERYTHING YOU GOT!”


2) Mr. Miyagi – Turned a lanky wuss into a local Karate champion, so given Cookie’s fears this may be a good approach for her. Plus he works for bonsai trees, so he is in my income bracket.  His advice to Cookie: “Car-uh no-uh hit-uh you. Sniff-uh the pavement-uh. No look-uh at-uh truck.”


3) The Janitor in Rudy – A man who has seen hard times and has regrets may be a good trainer for her since he may see the possibility of redemption in Cookie. His motivation for Cookie: “You’re 3 foot nothing, 40 and nothing, you don’t have a spec of courage in you. But you are the dog of J-L Cauvin and in this life you don’t have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself (forceful, proud clap).”


4) Johnny from Dirty Dancing – A man with great physical abilities and a history of getting young girls to do what he wants may be the right combination for Cookie to respond to.  He was able to teach Baby to dance well despite a nose so large that it  threw off her balance so maybe he can give Cookie more physical confidence.  Johnny’s advice, however, was to fu*k Cookie, which I am pretty sure is not legal.

5) Coach Cuzo from Best of the Best – he is fat and it is hard to believe he ever competed in kickboxing, but his Darth Vader-esque voice was enough to coach and inspire the US kickboxing team. His advice to Cookie in a baritone of confidence: “Walk.”

6) Rocky Balboa – a champion and a trainer to up and coming fighter Adonis Creed (who for some dumb reason goes by “Donnie” instead of Adonis), but his greatest work was turning an HIV positive hillbilly with a mullet into a heavyweight champion. His advice for Cookie was: “You know, like, you think that these like trucks are your enemy, but you maybe have, like a different enemy, like maybe, it’s you that’s your biggest enemy – ALRIGGHT COOOOKAY!”

7) Full Metal Jacket Drill Sergeant – my preferred choice because other than Cookie’s adorable face she really could use the Private Pyle treatment. And since Cookie cannot fire a rifle this would be a much safer training environment for the drill sergeant. His technique for Cookie is as follows: “Holy sh*t Corporal Cookie – you look like every mutt had its way with you in Kentucky. You are scared of trucks you fu*king moron, but you should have been worried about that train that every mangy mutt ran on you in your hometown. You disgust me – DID I SAY YOU COULD LICK YOUR ASS?!”

So those are your finalists to train Cookie.  Leave your vote in the comments if you feel so inspired.  Here is a picture of Cookie in her usual state of anxiety outside:

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!


Road Weekend Comedy Recap: Highs and Buffalos

This weekend I was in Buffalo, NY at Helium Comedy Club featuring for Donnell Rawlings (best known as “Ashy Larry” on Chappelle’s Show).  Like most of my road work the first step is always some needlessly arduous travel.  Enter an 8.5 hour Amtrak trip to Buffalo.  I rail against this (PUN) all the time, but what is with the bare foot phenomenon?  It seems any time anyone in America is on any form of transportation for more than an hour off come the shoes.  Other than walking and texting this has become my biggest social pet peeve.  (Note to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders – first candidate to propose legislation banning both walking/texting and bare feet on public transportation gets my coveted endorsement).  So after the long trip I arrived in Buffalo and made the mile long walk to my hotel (road gigs for me are as much as about doing whatever it takes to maximize profit as it is about doing comedy, so no unnecessary cabs).  I arrived at my hotel and was pleasantly surprised that had given me a swank ass hotel for only $83/night (I cannot publicize where I stay beforehand anymore because I have a mentally ill stalker who calls hotels where I am staying at).  The Buffalo Hyatt Regency is probably the nicest hotel I have stayed on the road in some time and you could tell it was nice because it was right next to the Buffalo Convention Center and had a lot of gay employees.

Digital Elevator Panel! #ComedyMogul

The first night of shows was fun and I ended up selling 25 CDs the first night. To put that in perspective – a feature selling 25 CDs on a Thursday show is somewhere between Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in a single game and Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon.  Little did I know I would only sell 5 the rest of the weekend.

The next day I was going to walk 4.5 miles to see and review Kung Fu Panda 3 (review here), but about .5 miles into the walk it began snowing pretty heavily so I hopped on a bus that just so happened to be going on a straight line to the theater.  I sat down on the bus and like most public buses in America I cannot fit in the seats. So sitting on a 45 degree angle my knees jutted out , but left plenty of room to get by.  Except for the mentally disturbed man who would get on at the next stop.  He saw me from the front of the bus (I was 2/3 toward the back) and he started warning me “You better move them legs – I am coming back!”  I said “I don’t fit in the seat,”  And he said “you better find a way!”  And then he stood at the front of the bus arguing with the bus driver. I sort of wanted a confrontation because walking around Buffalo had made me feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, but it never materialized.

The Friday shows were both strong, but I only sold 5 CDs after the first show and none after the second.  The real highlight of the day was the vanilla bean cheesecake at TGIFridays that I had near my hotel that afternoon. I highly recommend it if you are near a TGIFridays.  And they make a very solid bacon burger for a chain restaurant.

Saturday was mostly spent with me in my hotel watching Iowa news reports on CNN.  Before my shows I went to Mass at a nearby Church, St Michael’s.  I prayed for three things: my family, people I hate (“those who have trespassed against me”) and to sell some merch.

St Michael’s in Buffalo

Well that night I sold zero CDs.  I guess like people selling stuff at the Temple, Jesus metaphorically turned over my merch table for asking for sales in Church.  After the first show ( I murdered both sold out shows on Saturday) my merch table was placed in possibly the worst place to sell, other than the green room bathroom. Zero foot traffic. Zero. I couldn’t even meet someone to awkwardly reject my CDs.  You miss all the shots you don’t take type shit.

Someone get me an uber to where the people leaving the club actually are so I can sell some shit!

So I drowned my anger in a piece of delicious peanut butter swirl pie (if you are a comedian working any of the Helium clubs – highly recommend).  I sold none on the second show because I left after my set to catch some sleep before my 7 am train back to NYC.  But here is a quick bit from Saturday to show how hard I was killing it:

The next day it was off to Amtrak at 7 am (it began raining halfway through my walk to the station, at which point I raised my arms like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank. Another successful comedy trip. I just had to endure another 8.5 hours of bare feet on Amtrak. And then I got home and my dog Cookie pissed all over the kitchen. #Blessed

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!


The Top Ten Righteous Prick Episodes of 2015

Since it is the last week of the year it is time for me to remind old fans that there were actually some episodes of my podcast worth listening to, and to enlighten recent additions to the fan base that there were some great episodes of my podcast this year you may have missed – thus giving you reasons to stick with it in 2016 (and hopefully bring new fans into the fold because this linear growth over the last 4 years is not getting anyone paid – I NEED EXPONENTIAL!).  Podomatic links are included (all episodes are archived there, but going forward subscribing on iTunes is the best way to listen). So without further adieu, these are the ten episodes you should listen to if you have not already:

10) Episode 173 – All Things Comedy with Josh Homer – for loyal listeners of the podcast, Josh Homer is a comedian who has emerged as a sort of comedy life coach for me over the last several years.  As usual he offers sound advice and comedy insights that always make for some of the most listened to episodes of any year.  Listen to the episode here

9) Episode 196 – Comedy Fam – This was one of my best solo episodes for everything people either love or hate about the solo episodes – lots of manic impressions, honesty about hypocrisy in comedy and heartfelt praise for supporters of the podcast, in particular The Black Guy Who Tips podcast.  Listen to it here

8 ) Episode 206 – The 4 Rs of the Republican Party – Several topics are touched on in this episode, but the second half is my discussion of what I think Trump and Obama tell us about America in 2015 and I think you will at least find it interesting if nothing else. Listen to it here

7) Episode 190 – Bernie’s Life Matters with The Black Guy Who Tips – To discuss why the Black Lives Matter movement was going so hard after Bernie Sanders I brought in the man who started the trending hashtag #BernieSoBlack, Rod of The Black Guy Who Tips for a funny and then engaging discussion.  On a non-episode related note no one has done more to help build my fan base in the last few years then Rod.  So give a listen to this episode here

6) Episode 161 – Kendrick Lamar with Chris Lamberth – Normally we discuss movies, but this fun tour through 2015 rap as I try to figured out why Kendrick Lamar is the king of rap despite having music that largely sounds poetry slamming with non-catchy beats (my opinion) is probably the best stuff Chris and I have done on my podcast. Check it out here

5) Episode 193 – We Aren’t Going to Make It with Rob Maher – While on the road I recorded this episode with one of only two headliners to ever ask to have me work with them (the other being Patrice O’Neal – so this guy is either in good company or going to die soon) and it is a great and honest talk about doing comedy when it appears your break may never come.  The sound on this episode is not great, but it is still definitely worth a listen.  Check it out here

4) Episode 170 – Fast and Furious with Brandon Collins – On this episode I pledged to go on a one week marathon of all 7 Fast and Furious films.  This episode is one of the most purely fun episodes, if not the most fun, of the year.  Come for the movies, stay for my impression of F & F techno music.  Listen here

3) Episode 181 – Making the Bed and Cutting Your Losses – On this episode (which was part of a streak of well regarded solo episodes where I got very personal on many matters while discussing my comedy mortality) I make a comparison of my comedy career to Apollo Creed that I think makes the episode worth listening to by itself.  Take a listen here

2) Episode 183 – The Origin Story of J-L Cauvin – For anyone who has ever wondered why I talk about quitting comedy so much, but have yet to pull the trigger this is the episode that goes back into my basketball career and my family life to explain.  Listen here

1) Episode 200 – Politics, Religion and Comedy with Mike Payne – For the second year in a row (I think), Mike Payne is the guest from the #1 episode of the year. Perhaps it is our similar background religiously, our similar political beliefs (with Mike more well versed than me) or our similar bitterness towards stand up comedy, but these episodes are always fun and thought provoking and I knew after we recorded this one that it would probably be #1.  Listen to this one here or his other two appearances, which easily could have both been in the top 10 as well, Episode 188 – Rusty Trump or Episode 164 – 50 Shades of Feminism)

Thanks to all my guests (including the Mt Rushmore of guests: Rod, Josh, Chris and Mike) and all the listeners and subscribers who stuck with the show through some low episodes and low moments. Hopefully newer listeners will catch up on these episodes and follow through 2016. Happy New Year


Weekend Comedy Recap: FInally, J-L Has Come Back to…

This weekend took me to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – birthplace of Jesus Christ and high school football location of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  Well, major events happen in threes, so you can officially add my stand up performance to that historic duo.   I was scheduled to headline a 7pm show at Broadway Social and because of my extensive fan base (consisting almost exclusively of friends from college and law school) I knew I would have 2-10 “fans” in the crowd.  To get to Bethlehem I had to take Transbridge bus line (“I took Transbridge bus to get here, so I guess now buses can identify as whatever they want in this post Kaitlyn Jenner world” was my first joke on stage and it bombed), which is all part of my “Not Even Good Enough For a Greyhound Depot” Comedy Tour of America.  At only 3 hours, the bus ride was not quite long enough to cripple my bum knees, but I still had a limp for about a half hour after arriving in Bethlehem.

When I arrived I was greeted by my buddy Scott, Scott’s brother and a friend of theirs.  It was also confirmed that many years ago I coined a term called “Weinberg” that has become very popular in their circles in Bethlehem.  Like many funny things I have forgotten I told Scott that whenever someone tries to shift blame on someone out of nowhere it is like when Col. Nathan R Jessup in A Few Good Men asks Daniel Caffey who’s going to protect the country, “You (Caffey?)” *turning unexpectedly to Kevin Pollack’s character with a hint of Antisemitism “YOU Lt Weinberrrggg?”  So at some point in my storied career of unpaid humor I referred to someone as totally “Weinberging” someone. And for many years that has become a thing in Bethlehem, PA. #Legend

When we arrived at Broadway Social I saw that it was a pretty nice bar/lounge so I took in the surroundings, went over my notes for what I wanted to do on stage and set up my camera that I lugged from NYC.  After several local comedians went up I went up and had a very strong set.  The lounge had a clear VIP lounge area for private parties or something so it got a huge laugh when I said after a sort of dirty bit got less laughs than others “Oh please we are in a club with a VIP rape room right over there!  So don’t act too uptight when you know that visiting stripper porn stars probably come here to fu*k who ever is the important business man in Bethlehem.”  I was extremely happy with the set and knew that I had at least 2-3 quality YouTube clips ready from the set.  On top of that I also was paid $5 more than the agreed upon payment.  So let that be a lesson to you young comics – if you do things right, work hard and professionally you will reap tremendous, unexpected benefits.

Sometimes your talent and height are too big for a normal spotlight.

After the show I went back with Scott to his house, but his three kids and wife were at the in-laws, which led to two benefits: a late night viewing of John Wick on HBO and a free child’s twin bed for me to sleep in (I think I secretly hoped that Scott’s family would arrive before I woke up just for the potential Goldilocks/Home Alone level humor of a 4 year old finding a giant in his bed.  Of course it probably ends with the child standing his ground and killing me in a perfectly legal shoot (especially considering my black father/ISIS eyebrows), but still pretty funny.

The next morning, before catching the transbus (Its momma named it bus, I’ma call it bus!), I was asked to stand as Godfather to Scott’s youngest child (After Mel Gibson and Stephen Colbert I might be the third most famous Catholic in entertainment).  I then slapped him and told him he should act like a man!  So, just another typical road comedy gig for me – bus travel, lucrative cash bonuses and providing spiritual guidance.  And then I got home and accidentally deleted the set from Friday night. #Blessed

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!


Why We Should Treat the Girl Scouts Like Old…

Yesterday I went to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and it was every bit as awesome as I hoped.  As if blessed by the comedy gods I ended up lining up in an aisle seat (about a 1 in 20 chance) so I could stretch my Wounded Knees (my Native American name and condition) and had a great time.  The band was great (though seeing the tambourine player break his tambourine because he was “feeling the pretentious musical spirit” too much was pretty fun and Colbert was tremendous.  Missed Bryan Cranston as guest by a day, but Daniel Craig the week of a new James Bond film is not too shabby.  So, while I wish I could provide more details and emotions about the big day something much more pressing emerged in my life that I need to talk about.

The Food Emporium near my apartment (along with the whole Food Emporium franchise) is closing and it makes me sad.  In a city where neighborhoods don’t exist in the old sense (my old neighbors are nice, but then they die, and everyone under 40 appears to be buried in their phone and be uncomfortable with acknowledging another human being), the supermarket, along with pubs and diners are the only place to feel like familiar faces and smiles still exist in making Manhattan feel even slightly like a community.  Well the silver lining of the Food Emporium closing is that there are big sales on all items, including cookies.  However, all the Nabisco, Entenmann’s and Pepperidge Farm products were very quick to go.  By the time I went for my Cookie Looting Keebler was the only major brand still available in bulk.  Not only are Chips Deluxe incredible (flour, a stick of butter and chips per cookie), but there were tons of them left.  But then I noticed large stacks of cookies called Coconut Dreams.  My date to the Food Emporium (taking a chick for a Fage yogurt and ziploc bags is not so much my “Netflix and chill” as it is my “steak dinner and vacation” – times are lean with my comedy bookings/income) then said words that may echo the death knell to the cartel of cookies known as the Girl Scouts (ahem – cisgender girl scouts as they may later in life identify as something other than girls/women – WAKE UP CISGENDER GIRL SCOUTS – IT IS 2015!):

“Aren’t those Samoas?”


Much like the earthquake that sounded when Jesus Christ took his last breath, all sound stopped when I heard this question.  As you can see from the picture on the package, they are awfully similar to Samoas, so coupled with the discount being offered I bought a package of them.  25 minutes later the package of Samoas masquerading as Coconut Dreams was gone, vanquished to my belly, the same way the Girl Scouts’ monopoly was vanquished.

They are identical to Samoas, the cost less per package and there is no office guilt to support your co-worker’s daughter, who cannot even be bothered to make the sale attempt herself, and no wait time (if you are going to make the argument that I can order them on-line).  Samoas are the best cookie, possibly ever, and now, like Palm Pilot and Blockbuster video the antiquated and lazy monopoly of the Girl Scouts is over.  However, there is a problem:

The Girls Scouts are not old black men.

Yes, you read that correctly.  In our culture black people are stolen from constantly, from their bodies to their physical attributes to their artistic contributions. But stealing the inventions of black people, men especially, is part of American tradition.  But stealing from little girls, especially white girls, is pretty much the exact opposite – it is never done and almost certainly Keebler would be treated like Elvish Hitler if these cookies become more widely known.  That is why, in a Matthew McConnaughey-esque, A Time to Kill moment, we must imagine that the Girl Scouts are old black musicians.  Now, instead of thinking of the Girl Scouts as chaste angels worth our protection, think of them as old black blues singers that are road bumps on the way to our favorite white musical heroes!  No one wants to buy cookies from Muddy Waters, especially when the white Keebler Led Zeppelins rock so much better!

So go to a supermarket and buy yourself some Samoas – I mean some Coconut Dreams – the tasty white shreds from the old brown casing – HOW SYMBOLIC! They are delicious.  And someone informed me on Facebook that I was years behind in this discovery, but sometimes it takes a blogger/comedian of huge relevance to make it known to the wider public. You are welcome world.

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!


When Empowerment and Awareness Go Wrong

One need only turn on the debate of one of America’s two major political parties to know what women do not get a fair shake in our society, STILL, in 2015. I mean if a rich, arrogant man speaks to a beautiful, intelligent woman like Megyn Kelly with contempt and disrespect, what hope is there for a 7 or… gulp… a 5 or below in our culture?  Watching Trump rise in the polls for his brash and insensitive talk about women is almost as disturbing as the other more mainstream GOP candidates talk about women’s issues with 19th century paternalism.  So for all my jokes about women needing empowerment, and all the assorted hashtags that have accompanied it in recent years, it is clear that women’s rights and awareness for their issues is still in a critical phase.  That is why I am using my blog to highlight some of the bored and weird women raising awareness for issues that should be considered 10th tier issues for women who are not bored with their lives and lack of purpose.  Inspired by Dave Chappelle’s “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong” here is “When Empowerment and Awareness Go Wrong:”

The Woman Who Ran a Marathon Without A Tampon

Kiran Gandhi, a 26 year old Harvard Business School grad ran the London Marathon on her Megyn Kelly to raise awareness for women without access to feminine products and to encourage women not to be embarrassed about their periods.  Huh? I get that lack of access to important hygienic products can be important (I would hope she helped raise money for this as well), but period-shaming/empowerment is now a thing requiring an awareness campaign? As Gandhi (not the one who helped free a nation, but the real hero without a tampon) said, “I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don’t have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist.”  I might be part of the primitive part of the culture that thinks a woman with blood seeping from her vagina through her pants is kind of gross, but I have never dated a woman who had a problem telling me (or just demonstrating through poor attitude – AM I RIGHT FELLAS???!) when she was on her period, and frankly is it now “shaming” to not share your bodily excretions with co-workers, acquaintances and strangers?  Well in that case, please join me in your favorite pair of white underwear in NYC next Saturday for “Skidmark Awareness Saturday.”

Breast Feeding As a Constitutional Right

The other story that caught my attention was a breast feeding rally at City Hall and then a subway ride to raise awareness of breast feeding discrimination.  I am still getting used to people putting their bare feet on Metro north seats and now I am the new class of bigots that do a double take when a woman pops out a boob to feed her kid?  This is part of what I think should be called the “Bored Moms In Need of a Sense of Meaning” mafia.  There just are not enough selfies and yoga classes in the world to satisfy these ladies so now every thing they do has added weight.  Of course there are times where you must feed your child that are inconvenient, but why should it be the norm that you feed your kid wherever you please if you have a choice or alternative? Farting is natural, but if I do it in an elevator with other people I have the class to blame it on someone else because I was raised with a sense of decorum.  I might be OK with breastfeeding on subways if the woman about to breastfeed yelled out “SHOWTIME PEOPLE!” before doing so, like their break dancing counterparts.  My favorite line in the article is that Representative Carolyn Mahoney said that breastfeeding should be a “Constitutional Right.”  How did the Founding Fathers miss that one?! It is legal in NY, but the women say they still face discrimination and are fired for breast feeding in public.  I would be curious how exactly many firings require a rally – 2? – gay people cannot get an anti-discrimination law passed in Congress, but hopefully both parties can come together to ensure that women no longer get strange looks when they pop out a boob at Chipotle.

I feel like women protesting why their dry cleaning costs more than men’s clothing, for less fabric usually would be more sensible and practical. But I am probably mansplaining or something,

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!