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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!

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The Origin Story of Cookie Cauvin

It is the beginning of a new year so it is a time for people to claim that they will attack 2016 with a new fervor and sense of purpose (they won’t) or to self-aggrandize through reflections on all they learned and grew from in the previous year (they didn’t).  I have opted for a different approach.  Rather than focus on myself I opted to adopt a dog. #Hero.  Her name is Cookie and she, to the best guesses of dog people, is half golden retriever, half beagle (sort of like the canine equivalent of Kathy Moriarty and Robert DeNiro’s marriage in Raging Bull).  I began my adoption process in earnest in the Summer of 2015, when I realized doing legal work from home AND having a comedy arc with less promise than Stephen Hawking’s MMA career provided me with a lot of free time that I could give to a dog in need.  I expressed interest in some dogs (always small – my building has a weight limit on dogs, usually pure breed golden retrievers and cis female (they are usually calmer than cis male dogs and call me old fashioned, but I didn’t want a trans female dog) – the organization Adopt A Golden – Knoxville – specializes in golden retriever rescue), but never was matched up because of high demand (and most people had large yards, kids, hope, etc. so they got preference for a lot of the dogs).

Sidebar – I never even realized golden retrievers needed rescuing – I thought they were like the busty blonds of the dog world – when was the last time you saw a chick that looked like Anna Nicole Smith or Pamela Anderson homeless?  I thought it worked that way with dogs too.  Apparently not.  There are several golden retriever rescue operations, though because goldens are the best dogs in the world – there is a lot of demand from people who want to tell you they rescued a dog.  Let me be clear – I didn’t rescue sh*t. I adopted.  #HonestHero

OK – so after missing out on a couple of dogs I started to get discouraged.  Then in mid Fall the organization got a group of golden retrievers from Turkey (I wrote jokes about this and then a month later CNN actually ran a story about how in Turkey Goldens were a status symbol, but then when people found out that puppies don’t stay that way they began abandoning them,  So I saw some of those goldens, but also a small mixed golden named Olivia.  She was not a Turkey dog, but rather, she was found abandoned in a Kentucky trailer park starving and scavenging for food. She had mange, a bad skin condition, and also was working as a stripper at a full nude club… on the day shift.  In other words, Olivia was living a very rough life.  But clearly she had a resilient spirit because she survived. However, she was sent to a shelter in Kentucky with a high kill rate (Southern states love the death penalty for all species). Hearing about this, Olivia was sent to Adopt a Golden – Knoxville who took her in to avoid her going from the pole to the electric chair.  They got her healthy of her skin issues, fed her good food and then got her into a foster home where she became a very sweet dog that liked to play with toys.  I expressed interest in Olivia and I think because I am mixed race, the people in Knoxville said (in Southern sheriff voice from the 1950s): “Pure bred goldens are for the WHHHHHHHITE Man. Give this mixed bred pup to the product of an unhhhhholy miscegenation!!!”  Or they just thought I would be a nice pairing with her.

So in mid December I got the word that I would be given Olivia, but I declared in a Roots like statement – “Her name is Cookie!”  She was then spayed and had to spend another 11 days recovering in Tennessee (or just wanting word to get to NYC that she could now raw dog consequence free – come on – a cute trailer park Southern chick? You know she is DTF until I get her back to a normal life #FatherFigure).

Cookie needed to learn her name one way or another

So on January 1st I drove with my girlfriend to Spring Valley, NY to pick up Cookie in a strip mall where an organization, Pooches on the Move, shuttles adopted dogs up North to waiting families.  It is like if Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber ran the Underground Railroad. We arrived early, got some Burger King (“new me, new body” lasted 21 hours in 2016), and then waited in the parking lot (it felt more like I was waiting for a meeting with Waingro in Heat, than for a dog).  Then a large van approached at 10:20 pm and numerous people emerged from cars in this parking lot.  We all made our way over and, yes it was the van!  Now Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE!) was on the van for approximately 14 hours so when she came out she was excited, freaked out… and went to the wrong couple.  Yes, the woman in the van walked her over to the wrong people and they had a look like “we didn’t order this” so I asked one of the van women “Is that Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE – *whip*)?” And she said yes.  So already I missed that initial moment of joy of greeting Olivia (YOUR NAME IS COOKIE *whip* (tears)). Just proving she was a woman of ill repute from the south, thirsty for anyone to pet her.  Well, I took her leash anyway because I am a good man (like when Smith Jared hugged Samantha in Sex and the City, even after she had just gotten plowed by Richard the Gap-Toothed Hotel guy, while Smith was at the hotel waiting for her) and I jogged her around the strip mall before getting her into the back seat of the car.

This is how the Canine Harriet Tubman travels north

So far she has sh*t twice inside my apartment, but she is on a 2 sh*ts in a row outside streak, which I hope will continue until one of us dies (I have Cookie in my apartment death pool, which may explain why she keeps telling me to eat more cookies), although she has yet to piss outside.  And a quick note to the makers of wee wee pads – either they aren’t “super absorbent” or my dog urinates the same stuff that dripped from the Alien’s mouth in Alien.  As expected she has nothing but happiness for my girlfriend and mixed feelings for me (I told her, I don’t care how they got down in Kentucky trailer parks, but she can’t get on or in my bed).  She is also terrified of fire engines to the point that this morning (Sunday – Jan 3) she forced her way out of her leash and sprinted one full avenue faster than I could ever run, even in college when I was playing basketball (I have since adjusted her leash to”Almost Eric Garner” level). The good news is that she ran right to my door and waited for the doorman to let her in.  The bad news is that she is fu*king crazy.  Maybe in Kentucky fire departments shoot dogs of color and she doesn’t want to be about that life.  Silver lining she is the fastest and strongest 40 lbs dog I have ever met – so if Petco offers doggy cross fit classes please let me know. At least if she reforms her whorish ways with exercise she won’t turn into one of those enlightened “spiritual” chicks.

Oh well, here is to the birth of a new friendship, new levels of stress and happiness and me having to say no to the 1.8 road gigs I am on pace to get this year.  Here is a pictorial history of Cookie in case you are illiterate and don’t enjoy reading the best comedy writing since Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain.

Cookie when she was moved to AGK. Her coat was nasty as hell
Patchy and terrified is how she looked when arriving in Tennessee
After some eating and medical attention she started to look a little better and cuter
After weeks in foster care (and getting spayed) she was starting to look very healthy

 

This is Cookie in the car leaving with us. Hey - why the terrified look again??!!

 

And this is Cookie on her bed in her new home. God help us all.

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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Road Comedy Recap: Killing and Getting the Death Penalty…

This weekend was Labor Day weekend, but in one of the great ironies of my comedy career in 2015 it was one of the few weekends I found myself working in a comedy club, instead of at a computer doing legal work.  I was in Timonium, Maryland at Magooby’s Joke House featuring for Rob Maher (he is the guest on this week’s podcast).  So, continuing one of the most revered traditions in all of stand up comedy, here is another road recap for you to enjoy:

Thursday – Small Crowd, Smaller Laughs: I arrived in Baltimore with The Wire theme song repeating in my brain and got on the light rail to Timonium. From there it was a .6 mile walk to the Red Roof Inn Plus, where I was staying. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at the RRIP for a few reasons: one – I have stayed at some very pleasant, well-attended Red Roof Inns; two – this was a Red Roof Inn PLUS so it was probably better than that and three – I paid $159 (including taxes and fees) for three nights. So those are two reasons it could be good and one that could mean I would get raped and murdered by Waingro from Heat (an analogy I have made too many times to the various lodgings in my comedy career).

That night there was only one show. The crowd was light and for me, the laughs were lighter.  It was one of those crowds where way more people came up to me after to tell me variations of “really funny,” and I always want to reply, “Yeah, I know, but it would have been cool to laugh out loud during my set so that I didn’t get the universal sign for “not funny at all.”

After the show Rob (the headliner) and I were caught in a conversation with a 5’7″ busty blonde from Bel Air, MD who taught special ed kids (what’s not to like?).  Now on a quick biographical note, I dated a 5’7″ busty blonde from Bel Air, MD for three years so perhaps engaging in any conversation with her was an attempt to re-capture a pleasant moment from my past.  However, that lasted about 20 seconds. Why?  Because the woman at the club was kind of racist and might have been looking to cheat (two of my three rules with hooking up are 1) must not be racist and 2) must not be in a relationship – the third, which does not apply here is 3) must not be someone a friend dated). Well this woman was regaling Rob and I with stories of how she has relationships with women, that her husband was away for the weekend and how she gave her 1st BJ in 7th grade.  She had an accurate count of how many black men she had made out with in her life (“three”) and many other odd statements that might have made her super progressive during the Civil War, but felt uncomfortable in 2015.

After leaving the club and bisexual, racist version of my ex, I stopped by the gas station across from the RRIP, bought a pack of Soft Batch cookies and a 1% milk (an old road tradition of mine) and went to cross the street when I saw a young 20-something woman in a low cut tank top and shorts holding a sign that indicated that she was hitchhiking.  Needless to say that this empowered woman was just another in the quietly dignified group of “sex workers” in America who, despite a 99.9% correlation of being victims of sexual trauma and/or parental neglect, she seemed like the exception to the rule and just making sound life choices to augment her entrepreneurial life.  But since my room had two beds and I felt bad I asked the woman three quick questions…

Washington had Mt Vernon. Jefferson had Monticello. J-L Cauvin has the Red Roof Inn Plus

Friday – J-L is Back! (but still not selling much merchandise): Friday I spend about 5 hours in a Panera Bread reading (FYI – the best chocolate chip cookies available from a chain are Panera Bread’s. They are awesome).  Message to any men over the age of 60 in Timonium, MD – there is an oasis of senior citizen vagina in the Panera Bread.   I also tried to watch a movie through Amazon Prime in my room, but Red Roof Inn Plus has the WiFi equivalent of 1997 dial up.  I also noticed that there were a lot of ants in  my bathroom area so I did buy a can of Raid-Ant Killer and proceed to become the Bashar-Al Assad of the Timonium ant community.

Weapon of Ant Destruction

That night I had two strong shows, but sold almost no merchandise.  So instead I bought two packs of Soft Batch, one for each CD I sold. I would have given the local prostitute a pack, but she was not out on Friday night.  I then got home in time to catch an amazing fifth set between Rafael Nadal and an Italian dude named Fabio Fognini. In addition to upsetting Nadal, he also led to the greatest tweet in US Open history when I wrote “Fognini looks like the hot member of an ISIS boy band.”

Breaking hearts and bones as a member of ISIS' #1 boy band

Saturday – Kill on Show 1, Get the Death Penalty on Show 2: One of the things I have learned recently is that even as I get better at writing and performing my comedy I will still alienate some crowds, even when I am on my game. Generally it will be a combination of easily offended and mentally dumb that don’t get or like me.  Well Show 1 Saturday was NOT that crowd. I murdered as hard as I ever have with that crowd (video clips coming to the YouTube channel soon).  I really had a terrific set and felt great.  I had earlier watched Northwestern upset Stanford on TV (my brother went to NU so they are the college program I root for/follow) and had had another Panera chocolate chip cookie that day so with a great first show the day had the makings of perfection.  Then Show 2 occurred…

I felt good going into show 2. My friend Marie, from law school, showed up with her husband so I thought – “I am killing with strangers – now the crowd has people I know – THIS IS GONNA ROCK.”  What followed for the final show of the weekend was nothing short then capital punishment.  Awkward silences to the early litmus test jokes I have (early set jokes I use on the road that always kill so I can gauge the crowd) and then when discussing Latin women and working in the Bronx an audible “Wow… wow” from an unhappy women. That wouldn’t be so bad, except that was the only sound.  In 3 of the 4 shows before the laughter may have drowned the feigned shock of this woman, but the late Saturday crowd’s silence provided her with an audible spotlight.

The best thing about doing comedy long enough is that you really don’t feel badly after a tough set (they did lose it to a 5 minute bit about being blamed for other people’s shits in public bathrooms – not surprising).  I think they could tell I felt mentally superior to them, which may have hurt my chances of regaining their affection (which I never actually had).  Oh well, 3 of the 5 shows went great, one went so so and one was a bloodbath (with me as the sole victim).  But it is weird that in the same town, on the same night one crowd of residents can think you are the greatest thing ever and then the very next crowd hates your guts within ten minutes.  But that is how real life has been for me so at least my comedy appears to be true to myself. #Blessed

Off to Los Angeles next week. Stay tuned.

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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Man, I Feel Like A Woman: Watching My First…

No, this blog is not about any pending transitions in my gender identity or the coming out culmination of my last few weeks’ podcast episodes where I have awkwardly commented on the startling good looks of Henry Cavill – oops doing it again. No today I am writing about watching an MMA pay-per-view event for the first time (#UFC190 for those of you archiving this).  I was supposed to go to a bar that plays 80s music Saturday night, in keeping with a tradition with my best friend. Each birthday, or around, we go to a bar, often labeled the douchiest in NYC, to get drunk and listen to 80s music to the wee hours of the morning surrounded by horrible twenty somethings from Murray Hill and New Jersey that we judge like 36 year old Statler and Waldorfs.  But on August 1st my friend broke with a time honored tradition and asked if I wanted to go to the apartment of a friend of his to watch the aforementioned MMA event. I said yes, even though I really wanted to sit and get drunk to Toto or Kim Carnes.

When the event began I finally understood every complaint and dumb question that a woman had ever asked me during a sporting event. An ex girlfriend of mine used to always say during football games that she alternatively “didn’t get” or “hated” when teams handed the ball off for an up the middle run, which more often than not leads to a 2 yard gain. Then begins the explanation of how it is making the defense respect the run and keep everyone on their toes to open up other big plays chances (not to mention the occasional big run up the middle).  Well, in the case of MMA I felt like a dumb chick and that tiny boulder of bro masculinity/marijuana spiritual conversion Joe Rogan playing the alpha male boyfriend explaining all the things that looked like nonsense to actually be technical savvy.  Here is the breakdown of the event from my perspective:

1st Match I Recall: Women Be Punching!

It was between two women. One woman beat the ever loving shit out of the other woman.  And I felt like a racist who claims that he likes women’s hoops more than men’s hoops because there are more fundamentals (code for – I don’t like seeing black men kicking ass), except as the matches continued that night I realized that the women’s match featured a lot more punches than most of the men’s matches.  So thanks to their inferior strength and soft faces, women’s MMA ends up being more exciting.

2nd Match I Recall: A Guy Who Looks Like Shane Battier with a Pituitary Issue Fighting Another Large Guy

This was a match up of Large Dad Bods.  And featured a decent amount of dry humping and spooning, which my MMA announcer boyfriend Joe Rogan repeatedly insisted throughout matches that this was actually really great technique.  I then realized that at 6’7″, 275 lbs I was bigger than both guys fighting and had basically the same 3 pack abs that they did.  So if comedy doesn’t work out (wait, the verdict is already in) then I may just take the emotional beating of the comedy industry and get my mug busted for meager profits.

Bigfoot Silva aka Shane Battier with Potent Glands - every 3rd MMA fighter has the last name Silva
For comparison - a picture of retired NBA player Shane Battier

 

3rd Match I Recall: Skyscraper vs. a Guy They Insisted was an MMA Legend

Skyscraper was 6’11” and beat the old legend guy who looked like a grizzled owner of a bodega.  All I kept thinking was, why doesn’t a guy with great coordination who is 6’11” play basketball. Then I realized, he was white and maybe he is a racist so rather then playing with men of color he gets paid to beat up men of color. It’s a theory.

4th and 5th Matches I Recall: Reality Show Competitions

I was disappointed that these were not the Finalists for America’s Got Marginal Talent fighting each other (how funny would it be to see a country singer and a ventriloquist have to fight MMA to win AGT). Instead they were finalists in two different weight classes from an MMA show.  These matches actually had some solid fighting (what do I know – I just didn’t need Joe Rogan to explain forceful spooning as “great technique” since there were a ton of punches.  And one guy kept trying a move called a “Guillotine” which I never quite figured out because he attempted it and could not hold it on 5 separate occasions.

6th Match I recall: Pretty Blonde Lady Wins as I Fall Asleep

There were seven total matches and it was way past my non-drinking, listening to 80s music bed time when Ronda Rousey came out to fight a Brazilian chick who had been talking a lot of trash about Rousey.  While watching this (and like most women watching a major sporting event I was busy watching a main event with an opposite sex star) I realized that MMA is really just porn for unattractive women (Bad Dads yield porn stars or MMA fighters, depending on looks).  That is what makes Rousey so compelling. She is talented and attractive (though her mug looked a tad South Parky in Furious 7 next to her anorexic Hollywood co-stars, but that is a small issue). Perhaps she tried porn first, but after the third male co-star complained of having their penis severed mid thrust she opted for the Octagon (quick side note – I love the movie Warrior, a very strong film about MMA fighting brothers starring Tom Hardy).  Well as I was almost ready to tap out from fatigue, Rousey punched the Brazilian woman and won in 34 seconds.

i
I find her very attractive. And she is dangerous, but not in a sleep with a hooker without a condom sort of way, so that is exciting too
No woman is going to beat Ronda Rousey.  Like our women’s soccer team, she is aided by living in America.  Women are mostly relegated to second class status or sex objects in most of the world. so she basically has to compete with either homely trailer park messes from America or the 8 Brazilian women not hot enough to be in the sex houses of one-named soccer stars.  So congrats to Ronda Rousey. Between my ignorance of the sport, my man crush on Henry Cavill and feeling impotent watching your physical powers I now know what it is like to be a woman. #SorryNotSorry #LeanIn #YesAllWomen #CallMeCait #Hashtags

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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What Could or Will Happen if the NBA Hires…

Becky Hammon who was an all star in the WNBA (for those who are not familiar with the WNBA, imagine a really solid male high school player), has recently coached the San Antonio Spurs Summer League team to a championship, which of course would be less meaningful than season two of True Detective if the coach were not a woman.  But it is still a cool, or at least interesting moment in sports.  After all, coaching men, rather than playing with men, does not require anything that a woman doesn’t possess.  And the Spurs are the right organization to test this out – a team without major egos, with an ingrained culture of discipline and selflessness is a much better place to test this out than say, a team with JR Smith or Dwight Howard (asking your coach if she “wants the pipe” or having your 9th child out of wedlock with your coach would be bad PR to say the least).  But while we are on a historic wave of eliminating any distinctions or differences that come with gender, there are some things we should definitely pause to reflect on before an NBA team hires a female head coach:

1) Tony Parker will try to have sex with Becky Hammon if she has a husband who can be cuckolded.  Parker is a great player and slept with his teammate’s wife to prove it.  Don’t think as his career nears its end and playing time dwindles that he won’t try and bang his way to more minutes.

Hide your wife, hide your girlfriend Tony Parker is coming

2) Is the NBA prepared to have a Kardashian as a coach?  If the Kardashian women have to pool all their earnings just to buy a team so they can install one of them as a coach (why ruin the lives of black men one at a time when you can do it twelve at a time) they will.   Though I am pretty sure three Kardashians would find interesting ways to get high profile free agents to sign with the team.

The vaginal and morally bankrupt power to destroy several NBA franchises

3) Expect a lot of Dirk Diggler-esque “You’re not my mom; you’re not my fu*king mom!” arguments between players and coach.  Fame, strained parental relationships, large penises – NBA players have plenty in common with Dirk Diggler of Boogie Nights and at some point there will be some rebelling against a mother-like figure in the locker room or on the court.  Granted, this is preferable to a Latrell Spreewell coach choking incident, but it may be very uncomfortable nonetheless.

"I'm ready to take the shot Becky, You're not my mom!"

4) The Internet will break from think pieces.  Seeing how many blogs and think pieces have been written about Amy Schumer in the last month (even one complaining about her film’s “hetero-normative” vision of life success (monogamy and not being an emotionally crippled woman who uses sex to avoid deep relationships and cover over trauma is apparently offensive to the liberal heroes willing to go over a cliff to pretend that all life choices and conduct are equally healthy and none can ever be judged as better) I can only imagine how a female coach story would explode. Every quote, every tweet, every reaction, etc. would be subject to thousands of outraged words.  Sounds fun.

5) There will be a player’s wife who attacks the coach.  Just google “Doug Christie’s wife” and you should see that if a player’s wife will attack a player, then watching a woman talk down the love of her life and/or meal ticket on TV expect hell to break loose.

6) There will be a shitty inspirational Disney sports movie.

7) What if Becky Hammon begins identifying as a man? Does it still count as hiring a female coach or will it not count at all or will it count as double?

Someone has to ask these important questions.

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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Ken Burns’ New Documentary on Comedy Is Astonishing

He has captured The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz and Prohibition with a unique and exhaustively entertaining skill set over the last 25 years.  But after looking at all those unique American experiences, Ken Burns has finally turned his lens to another great American art form with his new documentary series COMEDY.  Episode 1 was leaked on line today and it explores an unsung hero of American stand up comedy, Tommie Jones.  If it is any hint of what is to come from this series in August, then we are in store for another Ken Burns masterpiece. Enjoy episode 1 below:

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Weekend Recap: Crushed It in Philly and Brooklyn! (watching…

This weekend I was out on the road, which was a nice change of pace from sitting in sweatpants for 11 hours a day “on my way to the gym” while trying to finish Netflix (you read that correctly).  However, as my comedy booking e-mails continue to go into spam folders (perhaps using the subject heading “Enlarge your penis by booking me at your club” is a bad way to get through web filters this weekend’s road tripping was to support my favorite sports team, the Utah Jazz.  Perhaps other than “J-L is not booked to do comedy this weekend” no phrase makes less sense in the American pop culture landscape than “Utah Jazz.” As a quick primer they used to be the New Orleans Jazz, but then the team moved to Utah with all those swinging Mormon cats and decided that they should keep the name Jazz. especially if 30+ years later a team would come back to New Orleans and would prefer to be known as Pelicans anyway.  I became a Jazz fan because as a young hoopster I liked Karl Malone’s gigantic arms (no homo), their purple uniforms (no homo) and John Stockton’s short shorts (OK, possibly homo at this point).  And even at a young age the Jazz gave me a sense of identity as a sports fan away from my friends and family’s uniform admiration for the New York Knicks.  Stockton and Malone gave me the added benefit as a mixed race child of seeing a black person and a white person work together in harmony, as opposed to my parents who had more of a Robert Parish-Bill Laimbeer relationship.

Robert Parrish and Bill Laimbeer - less passively aggressive than my parents

So with that backdrop I have been a die hard Utah Jazz fan for 28 years I went to see them against the 76ers in Philadelphia Friday with two friends (Pat and Jim) first and then against the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday.  Normally I also go to watch them play the Knicks, but when I looked up ticket prices for Knicks games, even the cheap seats had “anal rape” listed as the cost on Ticketmaster so I had to pass, which was disappointing since the Jazz won on a last second shot.  Last year I went because I received Lorne Michaels (yes that Lorne Michaels) seats 3rd or 4th hand (#ComedyMogul), but the Jazz came as close to winning that game as I did to becoming a cast member on SNL.  So on to this weekend’s festivities.

Philadelphia

The first part of Jazz Weekend was Philly.  That meant the PATH train from Manhattan to Hoboken, get picked up by Jim in his borrowed car and Daryl Dawkins’ game jersey, stop at Pat’s house where he was with his adorable two sons, reminding Jim and I that perhaps being struggling, unsuccessful comedians with no families of our own is actually a plan B for life, switch to Pat’s larger car for the Cranford to Philly leg of the trip and then watch a match up that NBA TV called “what the fu*k else is on tonight.”

The drive from Cranford to Philly was uneventful, because Pat (the Dad) did something I have never seen before – he kept perfect 62 mph pace with the GPS. We had a 90 minute trip according to the GPS and he arrived in 90 minutes.  Not 89 or 83… 90.  Being a Dad really changes people.  I might just be mythologizing Pat, but I feel like if we took this trip 10 years ago he might have tried to lap the GPS in a race.

So we arrived at the Wells Fargo Arena just in time for the game and as a Wells Fargo customer (#ComedyMogul) I knew that I wouldn’t have to pay ATM fees (#Blessed).  The game was great if you like terrible shooting and way too many t-shirt gun promotions.  A thing I noticed about the T-shirt gun – it turns people into the rich seats into proletariat animals.  Your seats cost $200 bucks – why are you screaming like a refuge who sees a UN Peacekeeper at a child’s medium piece of sh*t t-shirt?  Our seats were much cheaper but we were closer to the haves than the have-nots, though if you are at a 76er game you are sort of a have-not by definition.

During the game there was a very cool video montage of Allen Iverson and when the crowd saw him in attendance on the jumbo tron it was the loudest the arena got until the very end.

A shot of Allen Iverson on the jumbotron waving to me during the game

As the game got to the end, with the Jazz possessing a very comfortable lead, the game within the game took shape.  See Jim enjoys a bit of gambling now and then (now is every morning and then is every evening) and he placed a small wager that his 76ers would beat the 7.5 point spread.  Well the Jazz had around a 13 point lead with just over a minute left.  It looked like a lost cause for Jim until someone on the 76ers (I forget who) decided he would pad his stats with a barrage of useless 3 pointers.  With 30 seconds left it was Jazz ball up 9. At this point Jim is losing his bet, but because of the 24 second shot clock the 76ers are guaranteed one more possession if the Jazz miss and the 76ers secure the rebound. Well with about 7 seconds left the Jazz missed, got their rebound and missed again!  The 76er player trying to set the record for most 3 pointers made with no chance of winning took the ball, dribbled down court and raised up for a buzzer beater. SWISH!!!  And the crowd went bezerk (Jim, Pat and I were the only people left and you would have thought they just showed Iverson again on the jumbotron putting on a 76ers jersey to play the next night).

All in all a great trip and a great win for the Jazz.

Brooklyn

After a day off to almost go to the gym and declare that I would start eating healthy the next day I ventured to Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the Jazz-Nets game.  I was picked up in a nice Uber car with my friend John in it (#ComedyMogul) and it dropped us off at the arena with a few minutes to spare, which was good since we had to go through a metal detector when we got there.  I have been to about 10 NBA arenas and I think Barclays is the only one I have entered with metal detectors.  Is that the NBA’s way of not so subtly saying that Morgan Freeman should take over ownership of the team until it is a better place to play (“You Shoot bricks don’t ya D-Will. Well,do ya?? You know what that does – it kills our fan base son, so if you want to kill our fan base stop fuc*king around and do it expeditiously!”)?

Barclays looks like a nice NBA arena with a touch of inner city high school

When we finally got in the arena I settled in with a hot dog and pretzel (couldn’t eat a hot dog at Friday’s game because of Lent (#CatholicMogul)) and our seats were fantastic.  Sadly, once the Nets become even decent the prices will skyrocket, but it is nice to see a 6pm Game on a Sunday with a great view of the court, without having to bring crimes against humanity charges like at Madison Square Garden.  The game was competitive, I ate cheesecake (When in Rome with a Junior’s cheesecake concession stand) and the Jazz earned a quality victory, with Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert solidifying my decision to make them the next two Jazz jersey purchases in the off season, continuing the black and white Jazz tradition.

After the game I asked the Jazz for free tickets next year because the Jazz are 2-0 in 2015 when I am in attendance (#Blessed).  No response so far.

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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Binge Watching Shows Is Destroying America

This weekend the third season of House of Cards went up on Netflix (subscribe to my podcast here for tomorrow’s debate/discussion over the show) and like many Americans I went to extreme lengths to finish the series before work on Monday.  Positioned in my favorite chair (dubbed by former podcast guest Brian McGuinness as the “Throne of Hate”), wearing XXL Depends to limit bathroom breaks, armed with various snacks and with numbers for diners and my Seamless account logged in for quick orders of food I was prepared to marinate in Kevin Spacey’s atrocious accent, as well as my own filth.  But feasting on multiple rounds of diner food and burgers over two days could not match the emotional disgust I felt after watching 13 hours of one television show in two days.  By early afternoon on Sunday when I was done I felt like I needed to introduce myself to my neighbors like a convicted sex offender I felt so morally bankrupt.

Just like CNN reporting on Lindsey Lohan or Kim Kardashian, binge watching is another example of society and media giving us what we seemingly want, while having no regard for what is in our best interests.   And perhaps with no addiction to anything conventional like alcohol or drugs, services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have tapped into the most destructive of all addictions that plague many Americans: sitting on your ass doing nothing.  And just like the gun control debate, only more important, something needs to be done about the easy access to entire seasons of shows before we destroy our nation.

Now there are times when a Netflix or Prime binge can feel less dirty, even at times like a noble endeavor.  People catching up on Breaking Bad, which was exceptional and one of the driving forces in linking binge watching and popularizing shows, was like our generation’s Neil Armstrong on the Moon moment.  No longer did missing a show leave you out of the cool kids’ table.  Netflix allowed people to catch up on the show in anticipation of upcoming seasons and then, in many cases, provide the late comers with the confidence to act like they were the first to discover the show.  These Christopher Columbus-like frauds should have been the first warning sign that binge watching might have an ugly side.  But I, like many, ignored it.  I mean during two weeks off from work in February I managed to devour 9 seasons of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and then began proselytizing about it like a born again Christian.   Granted each season was only, on average 3.5 hours of actual viewing, but I managed to catch up to the current season and had a strange and pathetic sense of accomplishment.  But this is just another step on the slippery road of binge watching hell.

The binge watching phenomenon to catch up to shows would have been bad enough, but once Netflix, and shortly thereafter Amazon discovered that people liked binge watching old shows/seasons a new depth of depravity was formed.  Because what is better than binge watching old shows?  Introducing new shows that could be binged of course.  The feeding of America’s television gluttony became a step too far.  It was like a restaurant saying – hey all of our customers enjoy our chocolate frosting cake, so now, for dessert we will offer them a 4 pound bowl of frosting for them to eat with their hands.  Sure that sounds amazing as I sip a soy protein smoothie this morning trying to purge the House of Cards weekend of trans fat from my system, but it is too much.  In addition to augmenting the grossness of an already sedentary and obese nation, it is not even a good way to watch television.  I love the show Alpha House on Amazon Prime.  Ten 30 minute episodes per season it goes by in a breeze (and is a far superior show to House of Cards for any political junkies reading this).  It is a good comedy and I barely remember any of it.  That is because each time the seasons went up (there have been two) I have been able to crush them in a single weekend (and still make it outside to breathe fresh air and have unhealthy food picked up by me instead of delivered).  But that then leaves 50-60 weeks in between viewings during which time the show’s details both humorous and plot related are squeezed from memory.  Most likely to make room for 6-12 other shows that have been binge watched.

Frank Underwood is helping destroy fictional and real Americans.

House of Cards suffers the same sort of fate as do many of these shows.  Instead of racing to catch up and join a discussion – at least an idea tangentially related to joining a community, it becomes a race to finish the season as if it were a contest and not entertainment (I am fully hiding behind “I needed to be done for my podcast” as my excuse).  The irony of racing through streaming television diminishing our actual ability to run a race is not lost on me.  So in an effort to make myself a healthier individual and more appreciative of entertainment I have already cancelled my Netflix account (at least for a couple of months).  So I have it through March 5th. Which is just enough time to finish the remaining 8 episodes of the Starz’ violent video game/gay porn-posing-as-a-television series Spartacus.

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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Super Bowl Preview: Battle of the (Potential) Inspirational Sports…

I generally save this blog for stories of comedy struggles, comedy complaints and the occasional defense of President Obama or Lebron James.  But, as a huge fan of movies and sports, I cannot help but see the amazing potential for inspirational sports movies out of this coming Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX (that is 49 in letters apparently).  If just one of the teams in the Super Bowl had made the game it would be enough to inspire a Disney movie 20 years from now, but both the Seattle Seahawks AND the New England Patriots provide blueprints for at least  half a dozen new sports movies.  So here are a few I thought some screenwriters should get working on ASAP:

The Man Behind The Sweatshirt – Bill Bellichek is one of the greatest coaches in NFL History. And he has a secret that could ruin his career.  He has a thing for extremely handsome quarterbacks (this was inspired by a bit on Adam Carolla’s show last week).  Everyone knows Tom Brady.  But how about his back up quarterback Jimmy Garappolo?  Matt Damon and a beefed up Zac Efron to co-star? But imagine the Oscar worthy performance of coaching brilliance and unrequited love that someone like Brendan Gleeson could turn in as Bill Bellichek.

My #1 casting choice to play Bill Bellichek

 

Mat Damon and Zac Efron would co-star.

Alien and Predator – This movie would focus on the Christian robot of quarterback humility and cliches Russell Wilson and his relationship with Richard Sherman, Stanford grad and wearer of hairstyle from 1987’s Predator.  Tag line for the movie: “One plays offense… the other is offensive. But together they might just win it all!”

The Rejects – This movie would be a traditional sports movie, focusing on all of the Seattle Seahawks, many of whom were low round draft picks and the goofy white savior coach who believed in them (and basically let them do whatever they want), Pete Carroll.

The Unnatural – This would be a movie focused on 5th Round pick Kam Chancellor who thanks to supplements would become a safety the size of a linebacker leading the terrific secondary.  This movie would almost follow a Stand and Deliver (inspiration, but not a sports movie) where about 2/3 of the way through the movie he would fail a drug test… but then eat the drug tester so he could continue playing.

Crotch and Gronk – In the spirit of movies like Radio, not only do crowds like inspirational movies about special needs people, but so do the Oscars.  And in this Super Bowl we have not one, but two people with prodigious talent and prodigious special neediness. Marshawn Lynch can run through a brick wall, but enjoys touching himself in public and has difficulty speaking to reporters.  Rob Gronkowski, statistically the greatest tight end in NFL History is possibly the dumbest happy go-lucky man in the NFL. Just imagine the comedic possibilities when his coach asked how many concussions he had after failing the concussion protocol and Gronk answers “None. I am just not very good at tests.”

The Anti Sports Movie – Yes this would be the hipster, alt title to the movie and it would focus on the New England Patriots (based on a brilliant comedic bit by a comedian named J-L Cauvin).  Sports movies always provide us certain templates – e.g. white guy saves a bunch of black guys who work hard and don’t have a chance because of racism and/or lack of resources.  But how about a movie about an angry white coach who makes heroes out of small white guys in a league full of formerly poor black guys?  And they are led by the least likely (and least likable) sports movie hero of all time – a pretty man named Tom who wears Uggs, hair plugs and is married to a super model.   Possible break out comedy hit of 2020.

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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Salad Guys: The Celibate Bartenders of NYC

Bartenders have been doing well for themselves for decades.  You don’t have to look like Tom Cruise or flip bottles like he did in Cocktail to collect numbers, though depending on the establishment they usually stack the deck in favor of the bartender.  You hire good looking bartenders and women arrive, get intoxicated and look to bang the bartender.  It’s like a legal way of banging your Saturday night therapist. If you build it, they will cum. You get the vulgar point I am making. Whether it is the classy dude at the swank location, or the bro wearing sweatbands talking about how cross fit has changed his life, bartendinng is like being a firefighter in the vagina obtaining game, except unlike firefighters, bartenders put their clients in more danger, instead of saving them from it.  You may be asking, why is J-L talking about bartenders? Shouldn’t he exposing and overinflating an injustice in the comedy business?  Well, as my comedy career possibly winds down it is time for me to be exploring bigger injustices in the world, not just in the navel gazing comedy community.  And there is an injustice going on of epic proportions to the salad making community in NYC.  They are the bartenders of daylight, but getting none of the vaginal benefits of bartending. And this needs to change.

Every day for the last few months I have been going to Chop’t, a very popular salad chain (co-founded by a class of ’93 alumnus of my high school – just another way for me to feel unaccomplished on a daily basis while eating lunch) in NYC.  I have dropped a good amount of weight and have been very impressed with the workers at my local Chop’t.  They work with sharp blades and never get injured, they work at breakneck speed and they have to remember more salads than a Starbucks barista has to memorize coffee drinks.  But I have yet to see a phone number handed over by one of these demanding “tofu, hearts of palm, avocado, kale salad” ordering chicks (or guys – no judgment).  So let’s break it down.

Health

In this day and age of obsessively healthy eating who is doing your more good?  The guy who makes you a $10 salad full of nutrients or the guy who “makes” you a $7 fireball shot?

Equality and Efficiency

At a crowded bar you can wait 5-10 minutes for a drink… and that is if you are a hot 24 year old chick.  Well at Chop’t it doesn’t matter if you have tits spilling out of your work inappropriate  outfit or if you are a grandmother with varicose veined cankles, the staff at Chop’t will deliver your product fast.  And there is no room for error.  At lunchtime during the work week people treat their break as sacred and will snap if things don’t move quickly enough. At a bar on the weekend, take your time Broseph – give me a watered down drink for too much whenever is conveninet for YOU!

 

Fast, good with a blade and making your life healthier - what's not to love?

 

Meat Market

At my Chop’t the ratio of male to female salad makers is about 11:1. And they are all Latin, a people generally known for their passionate love making.  So let me get this straight – you would rather go for the bro riddled with HPV who has his pick of the litter every weekend or Miguel, the guy working his ass off, starved for vagina because he is surrounded by dick all day, just looking for a woman to have his 8 babies?  For every woman that walks into a Chop’t saying they can’t find a man or are running our of time to have kids, Angel should cut off one of their fingers with the blade they cut salads with. (On a side note – having a woman chop your salad is fine – but try to avoid them picking the ingredients for you – they have small hands and cannot scoop as much chicken in your chicken salad as a dude. In fact, Chop’t should hire a 6’8″ inner city black teen basketball player as an intern and his job is simply to scoop chicken with his Kawhi Leonard hands – Chop’t gets associated with a potential NBA player while doing good for the community and I get 3 lbs of chicken in my salad. Everybody wins).

Latinos Are The Future

I have met very few Latino batenders in NYC.  However, Chop’t looks like a South American soccer team.  When Chad or Brint from the nighclub “Blessed” (doesn’t exist yet) turns 50 (if you make a go of it) and the magic is gone what are you left with?  A bunch of dumb kids that are good looking enough to pull some high school tail and then be underachieving, aspiring actors until you die.  You hook up with Carlos from Chop’t? You have a kid that speaks the language of the future (Spanglish) and looks like the future.

So basically it boils down to this: if you like a hardworking person who makes your life better, has the skills of a bartender and the hardware and tattoos of Machete, do the right thing and throw a bang in the direction of your local salad chopper. Either that or you are a dumb racist.

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!