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Height Shaming: One Man’s Personal Struggle In America’s Next…

Our society continues to make progress on various forms of discrimination, but the more minorities, women and gays make progress towards full equality in our society the more we expose the real core of America’s discrimination: shaming.    Whether it’s using new slurs like “tranny” or “midget” or shaming sluts or bullying people we are seeing the real problem with America.  Sure gays are still being deprived civil rights in a majority of the country, women  on college campuses are being sexually assaulted in alarming numbers and the voting and civil rights of minorities are under attack and it is good we are working towards fixing these things, but these are just the tip of the iceberg.   How can we worry about rape of young women when we live in a rape culture where filth like Maleficent can be made in Hollywood??!!   Well after discussing with my family and doing some soul searching I have decided to go public with my experiences dealing with the scourge of height shaming.

Being asked on a daily basis by strangers “How tall are you?” and “Do you play basketball”  has made me afraid to go in public, to say nothing of the disappointed and hostile looks I receive when I reveal to these same strangers that I am not a professional basketball player.  It is as if I have been tattooed with a scarlet N (for Not a basketball player).  Shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm have made me feel ashamed to feel comfortable on the taller handicapped toilets.  Extra space on public transit seats labeled “handicapped” have provided me with needed comfort, but also a shameful feeling when I refuse to give up the seat to a person in a “wheelchair.”  I am now so not handicapped that I am closer to the handicapped community than the “regular” community as they call themselves.  And this is to say nothing of the shameful display I saw at the Guinness’Book of World Records Museum in San Antonio that I had to endure in Summer of 2013.  Greeting visitors at the entrance of the museum is a mechanical representation of the Rosa Parks of the anti-height shaming struggle, Robert Waldlow, the tallest man ever to live.  He grew to 8’11 1/2″ (he died at 24 due to a pituitary condition, denying the heighted community of its first 9 foot leader since Goliath).  And do we honor this man’s struggle and fight? No we have tourists take pictures with his likeness.  This is like if the Washington Redskins not only kept their name, but had fans take pictures with dead Native Americans during the game.

I have been soldiering on in this height-shaming society (remember when we used to brag about how tall people made more money and how the tallest candidate always won the presidency?  Now we choose to ignore the height community’s contributions to society and talk instead about how other people make less and how we need a short woman to be president, not to mention the harsh criticism our society has given Lebron James ever since he said he was taking his height to South Beach), but yesterday it became clear that shutting our collective mouth is not working.  In order to fit on to my Jet Blue flight to Los Angeles yesterday I had to purchase their “even more leg room” seats, which might as well be labeled “Freak Assigned Seating.”  It was an additional $80!!!  Now it did allow me to skip a large part of the security line and board the plane first, but everyone knew this was just a way for all the “regulars” to more easily target us.

Now if I was fat(ter) I might have to buy two seats because my girth would be a personal choice and the media would rally behind me with a series of posts about how I was being fat-shamed.  But no one is speaking up for my legs, whose length is solely based on genetics, needing to buy extra space just to feel normal like everyone else’s legs.  How many times can I limp off planes for being cramped in a “regular” seat or endure dirty looks from people sitting in front of me feeling my knees digging into their back?  So, perhaps as payback for our earning power over comparable “regulars” we are now being forced to pay additional fees just to feel normal.

Today I ask that you join me in stopping this.  The height community deserves to use handicapped seats and bathrooms without stigma and we deserve to get extra leg room at no extra cost.   Most importantly we should be allowed to live in peace without being asked our height and career with scornful looks by complete strangers on a daily basis.  They are coming for the tall and if we do nothing well then you know how that slippery slope goes. So please help change happen by tweeting #WeStandWithTheTall

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic, iTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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Donald Sterling to Accept Position as 10 pm Anchor…

The NBA dropped the hammer on Donald Sterling, punishing him for saying racist comments to his girlfriend (cannot wait for her VH1 show Senior Citizen Dumpster) and for basically embarrassing the league and making the LA Clippers a non-viable business.  Of course, the NBA and many people have known him to be a vile, almost cartoonist racist villain, fulfilling every negative stereotype he could get his fingerprints on for decades, but in this day and age, one viral strike was all it took.  And of course, good riddance, but it begs the question, where does a racist billionaire go after running and ruining an NBA franchise for so long?  Well it did not take long for one media empire to scoop up this newly available talent full of fresh ideas on business, race and paternalism.  That is right, Donald Sterling is going to Fox News!  The decision was actually announced at 1:30pm when Fox News learned that Sterling would be given a lifetime ban.  “We could not be more thrilled to have acquired the talents of Donald Sterling today,” said Fox news President Roger Ailes, “He is a proven business leader in real estate and sports, a creator, not a taker, a man not afraid to say unpopular things and younger than our core demographic. so he should really help us reel in the next generation of racist centenarians!”

His future with Fox News is so bright... he has to wear shades

While this may seem like a controversial hire, some of Fox News’ highest profile people think it will be a slam dunk.  “Some of my best friends are black,” said Sean Hannity, “but let’s be honest they do smell and Donald Sterling still gave them food and shelter and cars.  That is a compassionate conservative I can believe in.”

“The pinheads on the left can whine all they want, we now own the 90-110 white demographic,” shouted a demonstrably pleased Bill O’ Reilly.

The show does not have a title yet, but rumors have it that some possibilities thrown around by Team Sterling are “Ivory and Ivory,” “Slumlord Billionaire,” and “Sharecrop Stories.”  A feature of the new show that seems to have a lot of traction in early meetings is tentatively called “Nigstagram” in which Sterling will showcase various women on Instagram with black men and then rate them on a scale from “Race Traitor” to “She Can Still Have Sex with Me for Money”

Sterling is said to be disappointed in the NBA’s decision, but eager to begin working on his new project.  It is slated to begin in September 2014.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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The Quick Guide for Comedians on St Patrick’s Day

Well, today is St. Patrick’s Day so it is the one day a year where I stop getting “You’re half black???” from people and get “Didn’t know you were half-Irish!”  But not only do I have the heritage to lecture all of you, but I also live in Turtle Bay, an area of Manhattan with a median age of 23, the most common ethnicity is Bro and there is a bar for every 6 residents, so I have actual field studies over the last 6 years to call upon.  And lastly I am a comedian, which means nothing really, but at least I know a few jokes that are overused.  So here is how comedians should act today (and some of these can apply to civilians as well):

1) Do Not Tell This Joke – I was guilty of this early in my career (first two years so I say this from a “don’t make the same mistakes that I did” perspective.  But let’s retire this joke (I knew when I did it and it got laughs, but a few shows later I heard a terrible comedian do roughly the same joke that I realized it was easy and lazy):

How crazy that we drink on St Patrick’s Day!  We don’t do that on other holidays. We don’t tip 5% on MLK’s birthday!  We don’t rape Native Americans on Thanksgiving!  We don’t fu*k donkeys and sever people’s heads on Cinqo de Mayo! (granted I updated these from what I actually said when I was doing this joke in 2005, but let’s just not do it.

2) Stay away from firefighters and cops.  This is generally good advice, but I have never been out for SPD and not seen these groups have either inter and/or intra squad fights.  This is for men (given the demographics of the FDNY and comedians this is like a day when heroes get amnesty to pop off on condescending, nerdy Jewish dudes in this city so watch your mouth).  For women who are into FDNY don’t let me stop you – this is like Fleet Week for angry, fit Irish guys (who might be even angrier this year due to all sorts of “diversity” efforts). Just don’t be mad when his wife knocks on the car window while you are blowing him in the middle of his description of his cross fit workout.  And if you are married to a cop – he is not working 16 hours of overtime tonight.

3) Get a Shamrock Shake – They are delicious and at under $3 well within a comedian’s budget of $7 on food per day.  Unless you are a comedian (or civilian) constantly posting about a great new diet you are on that is changing your life, in which case you should go talk a bunch of sh*t to some drunk firefighters.

4) Listen to this podcast episode – Comedian John Moses sat down with me last year to chat about St Patrick’s Day (my aversion to its American representation outside of the parades) and it became, in part, an excellent discussion of drunken escapades and bar fights he had been in.  You can only hear it HERE

5) Get Ready to Hear the Dropkick Murphys and House of Pain.  A lot. 

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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Comedy Road Recap: Killing Buffalo, Losing a Camera and…

This past weekend I was in Buffalo at the new Helium Comedy Club (an offshoot of the one in Philadelphia and a great club – best run chain in America – great staff, great crowds, great management – and I am not just saying that because I am having trouble getting booked for Improvs and Funny Bones – I mean it).  I was featuring (middle act) for Steve O, who rose to huge fame on the MTV show Jackass, and was the reason I was warned by my mother to “be careful” after she read his Wikipedia page.   The first step of the trip was getting on the 715am train to Buffalo.  A manageable 8 hour train ride is all the stood between me and the land of tatonka.  The ride actually took just over 9 hours because Amtrak’s motto with Buffalo is “do you really give a sh*t when you get there?”

DAY 1 – Jeremy Renner Jr. and the Loss of a Camera

The first show went great.  Had a great set, sold almost $100 worth of CDs after the show and was invited to get a beer with a couple.  He was a dead ringer for Jeremy Renner and promised to text me a picture of the three of us to prove it.  Well he didn’t.  After the show Renner Jr. and his lady bought me a couple of beers and then wanted me to join them at a cool bar that was “two blocks from my hotel.”  I said to myself, isn’t this what fan outreach is all about – and they are buying the drinks?  So I went with my video camera into Renner’s BMW.  Now BMW’s are commonly known as the car of douches and this young man not only drove one, but may have been a dealer of them (he worked at a car dealer, but I did not find out what make – but I assume your drive what you deal), but he was a nice guy and generous with the beer so I dismissed my pre-conceived notions.  However, we ended up driving 2 MILES (not blocks) from my hotel to go to Thirsty Buffalo, a local pub.

The atmosphere was nice enough, but being fatigued from my 5 am wake up I left Renner Jr and his lady with camera in hand thirty minutes later and got into the cab waiting outside the bar.  Enter Jerry, the cab driver.

Jerry drove me back to the hotel, and in the 8 minute ride he shared with me that a multiple shooting incident had occurred at my hotel years ago (“Now I’m not prejudiced, but the blacks fight with guns, not fists, so it’s always more violent” – Jerry) and that his wife has serious health issues and is a hot Hooters waitress 20 years his junior (I believe her waitress name is Daddy Issues). Now we arrived at my hotel, but Jerry had about 4 more minutes of personal tragedy to share with me. So I sat until he was done. I gave him a pat on the shoulder and wished him good luck.  And forgot my camera.  $300 camera.

About 10 seconds into the hotel lobby I said “shit!” and ran outside, but Jerry was already gone.  The hotel staff was nice enough to drive me back to the bar where I asked the bouncer to keep his eye out for van cab drivers, in case Jerry went back to pick up more fares.  The dispatch of the cab company (Liberty Cab) refused to contact drivers, because his pick up of me was an off the books ride, so clearly she wanted to avoid creating any sort of acknowledgment or agency that could create a legal liability.  So I made almost $200 for the night and then lost a $300 camera.   Just another sign from above that the comedy house always wins.  So Jerry, if you are out there, enjoy the camera and yes, that is my kick ass set from Helium you are watching/deleting.  And I also partly blame Jeremy Renner Jr. Damn you and your BMW-selling charm/lies and generosity with beer.

Day 2 –  8 Miles for a Movie & Get Your Fu*king Shinebox

On day two of my journey I walked 4.1 miles each way to see Ride Along – here is the review that I filmed on location:

The 8.2 miles round trip was just enough to burn off my anger for losing the camera, but night two would be enough to generate more heat.  After show 1 of 2, the headliner asked me to leave my merch and handshakes with fans to put on his background music for merchandise sales. I did. Then when it was the wrong CD he yelled at me that “I had to change it.”  Then I left again, with a look on my face that worried a few patrons, but when it was not changed fast enough he stormed past me.  Later, when his mood was settled, he asked me, nicely, to get another box of his merchandise from behind the bar.  This is sort of the equivalent of when Billy Bats told Joe Pesci in Goodfellas to go get his “fu*king shinebox.”   Oh well, it was all water under the bridge, similar to my business cards which were knocked off the table by one of the headliner’s fans.  But don’t worry there is a happy ending – I picked up all the cards later myself.   I don’t even think the headliner knew what he was asking was disrespectful.  When you enter the business as a celebrity headliner the show is about making your fans happy and facilitating revenue.  Other considerations are secondary concerns at best.  Having no less than a dozen potential fans give me awkward looks as I was being quasi-bossed around like I was an assistant and not a comedian myself was rather degrading.  Which then caused me to scream “IM THE BEST FEATURE IN THIS LEAGUE!” a full two days before Richard Sherman would rip off my style.

NOW GO AND GET MY FU*KIN' MERCH BOX!

Day 3 – 6 miles in the Snow, Great Shows & Waiting to Be Murdered at Amtrak

The next day, having pushed a lot of CDs after show 2 of 2 the night before (and after I got my shinebox), found me in a better mood.  However I was starving, it was snowing pretty well and I was 3 miles from Panera Bread.  So I put on my Timberland boots and slogged three miles each way for coffee, bagel and salad (and cookie).  Let me tell you, walking in snow for a total of 6 miles is great exercise.  All that tension trying to balance and trudge simultaneously really gives you a great workout.  However, it would have helped if hotel staff had told me there were a dozen places to eat a half a mile away.  However, in America, anything not across the street = “a drive away/not close.” So I ended up walking to Panera Bread three miles away in the snow, when a Starbucks, Subway, and Mexican restaurant were half a mile away in another direction.  Anger restored.

The shows that night were great (5 of 5) and after leaving home with 40 CDs I left the club with only 8 remaining.  The crowds were great, the staff was great, and the experience was an overall plus.  I only got 3 hours sleep the last night however because I had to catch an early train.  When I arrived at the station Sunday morning it turned out it is only open on weekdays.  That struck me as odd because, where are patrons supposed to stay while waiting for the train?  The answer, from fat America, is “in your car with the heat on dummy,” which is what every other person did  while I stood on the platform for 35 minutes in 17 degree weather.  All in all a great trip, but between the camera and the frozen platform experience just enough for me to question my further commitment to the humor business.   I have a gig at a law school this Thursday. Pays well.  Snowstorm headed towards the school the day before I arrive.  And the dance continues…

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STICHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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Two Pieces of Unconventional, but Obvious Comedy Advice

A few years ago my then-girlfriend called many comedy clubs on my behalf (never representing herself as an agent or manager, but simply “calling on behalf of J-L Cauvin” to create an impression that someone besides me cared about my comedy career) soliciting work on my behalf.  She got several good responses, several non-responses and one from a manager at a major club that was meant to be rude and sarcastic.  His advice was that “[J-L] should dump his girlfriend, get in a car, travel the road for 2 years going to every club and one-nighter, change his name to something Jewish and start sucking dick.”  Now I took every piece of advice this manager offered, except changing my name because my Catholic faith is too important to me, but I thought today, based on a couple of irritating e-mails I received yesterday that maybe I could offer readers and comedians a couple of pieces of unconventional comedy advice.

Advice #1 – If you are a new comedian or a “soon-to-be” comedian, don’t send this to an actual comedian:

Some aspiring comedian (a guy who says he plans to be a comedian) wrote this exchange with me after sending me a friend request

STBC – I’m a soon to be comedian

J-L – Ahh

STBC  – Me as a comedian I have the whole package (reminder he is a guy who is planning to do comedy)

J-L – Congrats. Why are you telling me?

STBC – some have the talent to it but not business material not knowing and preparing well you can be talented you don’t know the business very well as a superstar

This was the entire exchange.  I understand people like this exist, but my advice is if you are a swaggering tool who has never picked up a mic, don’t email comedians you do not know telling them how great you are.

Advice #2 – Do not join a group of comedians if you are the only one with chops and/or ethics.

Yesterday I spent the whole day e-mailing clubs and schools for gigs.  I received an e-mail back from a school that I performed at twice as part of a group and the e-mail said “Oh no – we had no idea you were not still in the group when we re-booked the group.”  Never, I repeat, never join a group with unfunny people, no matter how industrious or friendly they appear to be, because if they do not have the chops to do comedy then they are just playing a money grab game.  And they will grab your money when they get the chance.  I’d name them and detail all their transgressions, but that wouldn’t do anything unless you want to track down some unfunny content from insignificant, amoral people. And who needs that?

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic, iTunes and NOW on STICHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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Breaking Bad – The Greatest Show of All Time?

Well, ever since the end of season 4 of Breaking Bad I have been wondering if it could finish as well as it started, I enjoyed it more than any show I had ever seen, but only Six Feet Under had delivered the ending (and overall depth) that its greatness deserved.  And off the bat I would like to say that if you are thinking of your favorite all time show and it has the word Homeland or Lost or Dexter or “CBS drama” attached to the title then you may leave this discussion. This is not the kids’ table at a holiday meal.  There are, in my estimation, only five to six shows that can be in the greatest drama discussion – Six Feet Under, The Wire, The West Wing, The Sopranos, Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

The West Wing deserves special kudos for being what I believe to be the greatest network drama of all time.  Sure it was inconsistent once Sorkin left, but people make too much of this still.  How about some respect for how well the final season, which pitted Jimmy Smits vs Alan Alda for the presidency, basically predicted the Obama-McCain election?  And the first four seasons were sheer brilliance.  The West Wing was the last network drama to feel on par with the explosion of top tier, next level, cable dramas.

Mad Men I include because of the fact that it won 4 consecutive best drama awards (also accomplished by The West Wing and Hill Street Blues).  However, that is ridiculous.  The show has been an art house favorite, giving people born in the 1970s and later a feeling of nostalgia they could never actually have.  The show is solid, but also incredibly overrated (and even ardent fans of the show admit that it feels like it has jumped the shark).  Just because nothing happens does not mean you have to say it’s great.

That leaves the Holy Trinity of HBO and Breaking Bad as the last shows standing.  At this point all the shows are great on just about every level.  Although Homicide: Life on the Street did many of the stylistic things that the Sopranos did, The Sopranos really is the founding father of the great cable drama.   It provided the anti-hero of Tony Soprano and both the exciting and mundane problems that could be expected and unexpected in the professional and personal lives of a mobster.  However, my problem with The Sopranos, besides the ending (which after having it explained really appears to be a great ending, but I prefer after one or two viewings to be able to discern the meaning of a show’s ending without scholarly interpretation) was that it was not perfect.  The first 10 episodes of Season 6 (the one fans waited 22 months for) was subpar to say the least. These were the episodes that focused on a closeted gay character who was at best a third-tier character on the show.  As if to say, as Jimmy Failla said to me recently, “I know they are murderers and awful people, but they ALSO hate gays!”  The shock value and the social value was nil and it felt like a wasted chunk of 10 episodes.  Just as network drama has a challenge of making 22 episodes a year that can compete with cable, so too do cable dramas have the challenge of removing all waste and The Sopranos has a 10 episode dump in the middle of its overall brilliance (had the show gone seasons 1-5 and ended I might have to have Sopranos sitting at #1).

The Wire – how good is it?  It became a cliché to say how good it is.  Seasons 1-4 of The Wire average out to an A.  Season 1 – A, Season 2 – A- (shut up already people who did not like season 2 – David Simon, the show’s creator, wanted to create a thorough picture of Baltimore and how do you leave off the ports?  But it was less compelling than the other seasons), season 3 – A+, season 4 – A+.  And David Simon, when thinking about a sixth season thought about centering it around the growing Latino community in Baltimore, but decided not to because he did not feel informed on the same level as other aspects of Baltimore to give it a proper authenticity.  This is a respectable artistic decision by someone concerned about maintaining quality (though Treme is hailed as authentic and the first season put me to sleep), but season 5 of The Wire, which I give a B+ to out of respect for its association with the other seasons, is a noticeable step down, partly, if not entirely because Simon had an obvious and well-documented bone to pick with the media, of which he had been a part.  This heavy-handed criticism, along with a weird, fake-serial killer plot that seemed out of place with the rest of the show, made the final season of The Wire its worst, even if the finale brilliantly showed that the cycle of poverty, crime, drugs and bad decisions remained in tact after the journey the viewers had taken.

So that leaves my two favorite, and in my opinion, best dramas I have ever seen: Six Feet Under and Breaking Bad.  First, Six Feet Under.  The show’s structure was brilliant – each episode brings you a death, sometimes comical, sometimes heartbreakingly tragic, which leads people to Fisher and Sons, the funeral home, run by the main characters.  The cast was perfect and the writing was as well.  There was a hiccup according to most fans in season 4 involving Lisa (I will give no more info for those who will decide to take up the show), but I found the show to be pretty much perfect.  I have never felt like I had learned to know people more in a show.  It addresses sex, sexuality, life and death – major concepts to say the least, with such a personal touch and such depth that you feel like neighbors and friends have been lost when the show ends.  Whereas shows like The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, which show how realistically great writers can portray things that might never come close to happening to you, Six Feet Under showed how monumental the events of normal life can be.  It also stands as a landmark show in the portrayal of same-sex couples.  People can hail Modern Family, Will and Grace, etc. but Six Feet Under gave a same sex couple more detail and heart than almost any relationship ever in popular entertainment.  The show was full of great comedic and dramatic devices, had character growth and development better than any show ever and the finale is nothing short of a masterpiece.  For every fan of the Sopranos, or Lost of Dexter or Seinfeld that has ever complained about a show’s ending, Six Feet Under feels like a reward for all that disappointment and confusion.  I have cried exactly once during a television finale. And that was Six Feet Under.

And in the other corner we have Breaking Bad.  To cover the finale, it is obvious that Vince Gilligan has paid attention to the failed or disappointing finales of the last decade and took notes.  The final last night delivered the goods.  It was satisfying, thorough and had heart, but never packaged the good feelings with a bow and gift wrapping.  Not everyone forgave Walter and the forgiveness that was given felt realistic.  His death was well-played and he was finally honest to his wife.  He brought death to those who were worse people than him and he freed those who were better than him.  Of course, for all the hype that Ozymandias received (the 14th episode of the 16 episode final season), my favorite episode of the final season was the second to last one.  This was the one where Walt appeared finished with his son telling him to die and having to pay his smuggler thousands of dollars just to keep him company for an hour.  But the final scene of that episode, where Walter seems to be given the (angry) strength to finish the job, both of his life and the show, after feeling disrespected and dismissed by his former business partners on a Charlie Rose interview, gave me chills. The full version of the show’s outstanding theme song building until you see Walt’s unfinished drink, indicating that he is going to give himself and fans of the show the ending they want.

Breaking Bad delivered a show, perhaps more than any other ever, that was perfect on every level. The cast was great, the writing – both dialogue and story – amazing.  And on a level where many shows don’t focus, the art direction and cinematography were on a level with great, epic cinema. Sometimes you felt as if you could watch the show silently and still marvel at it.  It delivered big moments, heart racing action, and more than a handful of OMGs each season.  In short, it is great. It never slipped (people who criticize early seasons should recognize that, in the totality this plays as a brilliant 62 episode movie where all parts are necessary and all add to the recipe of greatness.  There were no weak spots (other than the acting of the man who played Gomie, Hank Schroeder’s partner), no weak seasons and it delivered the goods at the end.

So the question is, what is the Righteous Prick’s greatest show of all time?

Tie.

Six Feet Under has the greatest ending of all time (imagine a guy hit a walkoff grand slam in Game 7 of the World Series down 3 runs – sort of impossible to ever beat) and showed life so realistically and so epically, while still just being about every day life.  But Breaking Bad, did the opposite in equally brilliant fashion – it showed how using great writing and acting could bring cinematic brilliance and epic storytelling into our mundane homes each week.  Both shows lasted five seasons, which also showed the perfect sense that both Alan Ball and Vince Gilligan had to prioritize art and story over money (Hi Dexter – how did those last 4 seasons work out for you?).  So I declare it a tie.  But since today is about Breaking Bad here is how bad my life immediately turned after Breaking Bad ended:

My door lock broke and I was locked inside my apartment for 3 hours, like Jesse Pinkman with the white supremacists, minus the torture and ice cream.  Then a locksmith showed up at 1:30 am, charging a king’s ransom, all while wearing a “Party With Sluts” t-shirt (true story). Then I read that Mad Men will be splitting up their final season into two parts the way Breaking Bad did.  To show you what is at sake among the actual and merely perceived shows – for Breaking Bad (and Six Feet Under to an extent) the question was of mortality – who and how will characters die?  For Mad Men, I assume the question will be “Will Don Draper cry in the final episode?”  To be great something has to be at stake.  Six Feet Under and Breaking Bad, the two greatest dramas of all time – put it all on the line in their own way and our reward was the best entertainment.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic, iTunes and NOW on STICHER. New Every Tuesday!

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September JLComedy News

It is September and there is already bad news on my distraction front; the Yankees are tanking down the stretch (I don’t know how a horrible bullpen can be blamed on Alex Rodriguez, but I am sure the front-running masses of Yankee nation are trying to develop a theory); the Pittsburgh Steelers scored only 2 more points than me this Sunday to kick off what will probably be their worst season since the 1980s; and I finished Orange is the New Black on Netflix, a surprisingly enjoyable series that I found much more watchable than House of Cards, probably because of the lack of a syrupy Kevin Spacey southern accent (though I am going to give it another shot).  However, the 2013 plan of mine that started in April with the launch of my Louis CK parody video is now reaching its crescendo.  Here are some things I hope you will support, stay tuned for, etc. in the next couple of weeks:

  • Keep My Enemies Closer – my new album, officially coming out September 24th, but it may be out as early as 9-11 (Never Forget).  I have already been booked for interviews and reviews with some major comedy outlets and am hoping bigger things are still in the works.  Also will be appearing on various Sirius XM shows and Comedy 24-7 to promote it as well.
  • Dumb in the First Degree – My Discovery web series will finally go up this month.  The check already cleared so my mind is at ease, but this should be a nice boost for me as well (it is a 6 episode web series with me providing humorous legal analysis of criminals caught on camera).  Unlike a lot of hidden camera shows I actually drop some legal knowledge with my humor, rather than just wit.
  • 2 New Sketches – My two sketches (filming this week) are Heckler Seminar – an infomercial offering a class on helping stand up comedy audience members become better hecklers and Tim and Aaron – a mock-pilot of a CBS series about Tim Tebow and Aaron Hernandez.  I am confident Heckler will get several thousand views, but I have hopes that T & A could get into 6 or 7 digits of views.  Fingers crossed.
  • Weekly podcast and movie reviews and blogs will continue as usual.
  • Headlining the Joke Joint in St Paul, MN next week. Consult my calendar and tell any friends in the Twin Cities to go see me.

Let’s hope October is a celebration of a good September.

 

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Comedian Trojan Horses: The People Who Trick Us on…

As a comedian (or as I prefer to downgrade myself – unpaid intern at comedy A/K/A The King of All Unpaid Media) I am pretty liberal with my Facebook friend add policy.  I rarely seek anyone out, but when added I usually say yes.  However, I have a few tests to not approve of you.  The first is if I check out your page and all it contains are comments from other people – either posting on your page or thanking you for the friend request. That means you are not real.  The second is if you are an attractive woman I have never met and are located in a place I have never been and if all your friends are men.  The third is if there are only symbols in your name.  One of the good ways to get me to click approve is if we have mutual friends and none of them are comedians (then you rate very high on the authentic human scale).  Another good way is if we have a lot of friends in common (meaning comedian) then have a picture doing something funny or have some statuses that indicate a human being is operating the account.  And of course proceeding a friend request with a “I think you are awesome” direct message leads to 100% of friend request acceptances.  However, these simple guidelines do not create a perfect Facebook experience.  This is because some people seemingly come in peace in “comedian” trojan horses; they offer an outward appearance of humor – either offering or appreciating – but then end up bomarding you with their real agenda that consistently affects your wall in an adverse manner.  Some might say I should block them from my newsfeed, but I say a) I will just unfriend – NO HALF MEASURES – IT IS BREAKING BAD WEEK; and b) it gives me the daily dose of hostility I need – like a multivitamin for my comedy.  So here are some of the people who use false pretenses to sneak into the comedy world on Facebook:

The Comedian Who Is Too Quick to the Fan Page Invite – Dude, I don’t know you.  You requested me as a friend and now you are inviting me to like your fan page?  And now I am seriously believing that your “friend” request was really just a plot to put me in the fan zone – like telling a chick you want to date, when all you really want to do is hook up.  I am not that kind of a Facebook user!

The Issue Person – Sure I have seen you at some mics or  yes there are a couple of photos of you on stage somewhere, but deep down you just really used a keycard into the comedy community to gain an audience for your single issue focus, that had I known about before accepting a friend request I would have clicked ignore.  If your posts are not 75% or more humorous (or at least attempts at humor) then you are lying to the Facebook community. #Feminsim #LoveReligion #HateReligion #Etc.

YouTube Person: The Guy/Girl Who Never Stops Posting Article, News Stories, Videos, Etc. – I have the Internet too.  Please stop throwing it all on my news feed. 

Comedian Who Goes From Comedy Posts to Perspective Posts – One of the great things to see is when a comedian makes a jump from obscurity to some level above obscurity and shifts to a mentorship role (much like Walter White – they always had the desire to pontificate, but now they have worked hard and have the perceived stature to do so) in their statuses that no ones asked them to take on.  Just because a manager or agent bullied clubs to take you on, or risk losing bigger names on the agent’s client roster does not mean that you now possess pearls of wisdom or magical insights into success.  Just stick to the funny.  If I wanted that bullsh*t I would send friend requests to Tony Robbins and Joel Osteen.  For the record – I have been doing this consistently as a failure so no one can accuse me of flipping the script and turning into a know-it-all when I make it big.

Flavor Flavs – Do, say, or post something funny if you are a comedian. Do not just be hypemen/women for other comedians.  Or else change that name or place of employment from comedian to something else.  And then send me a fan page request for Dan Jones – middle school teacher.  That I would definitely click “like” on.

If you read this and see any ressemblance to yourself it is not a coincidence.  It probably just means I still think well of you in real life, but real life is irrelevant to the more important life on Facebook.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes. New Every Tuesday!  This week’s episode is all BREAKING BAD so subscribe or follow today.

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Biggest Winners and Losers from Marriage Equality Day

With today’s historic decisions in the Supreme Court, one striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and the other, on procedural grounds, paving the way for Same Sex marriage in California, the Supreme Court has made today the most recent, and probably to be the most festive, celebration of the expansion of Civil Rights.  So before you start selling your stock in Grindr, double down on your in vitro medical practice or become a lawyer with a specialty in foreign adoptions I think it is worth looking beyond the obvious victories today and see who the real winners and losers are on this monumental day for gay rights, civil rights and lubricants.

1. Jason Collins. Loser.  Sorry Jason, but just a few weeks ago you were a pioneer, as the first “active” (unsigned) major sports athlete.  Now, with the avalanche of nationwide good news for the gay community, people will start to just look at you as a pleasant person who is terrible at basketball.  Get starting on that memoir now because I am pretty sure you will have all winter to finish it.

2. Marcus Bachmann. Winner.  Sure he is still married to Michele Bachmann, but this may give him the strength he needs to get rid of the Wicked Witch of the Midwest and finally be the Chicago Bear he was meant to be (this is the gayest sentence I have ever written)!

3. Heterosexual White Chicks. Losers.  Uh oh.  Your usage of gay men as mascots and sounding boards at brunch may be at an end.  it may not be as fun anymore having to listen to Thom and Brint’s wedding plans over mimosas while you struggle with yoru 19th failed relationship with a guy who is just not motivated or successful enough.  Start your own brunch Thom and Brint!

4. The WNBA. Losers.  Just thought I would reiterate this point.

5. Marijuana Smokers. Winners. Now as we move on down the line of freedom issues, the next will be weed smokers.  And as Adam Carolla once or twice said about gay marriage and marijuana – “Reason 1 I want them legal is because it is a matter of having equality and freedom as citizens and tax payers.  Reasons 2-10 is because I want them to shut the fu*k up.”

6. Scalia and Thomas. Winners.  They get to erode the fabric of the progressive movement each year playing the Wade and Bosh to Chief Justice Roberts’ Lebron, but also they will now be able to have their man crush legally recognized.  Huge week for these two love birds.

7. Frustrated Fathers of Gay Sons. Winners. OK, so as a father we know that your goal is to keep your kids away from dick, regardless of gender or orientation and you were dealt a tough play with a gay son.  But look on the bright side – if your son gets married, there is a strong (though I must stress, not certain) chance that that marriage will cut down his dick quantity but at least 40%.  It may not be the win you want, but it is mitigating your frustration (yes this is part of a bit from my upcoming album Keep My Enemies Closer)

8. Hollywood.  Draw. The Court loves business. And now it loves gays.  You guys are like the Vatican to the Supreme Court.  The world is yours, though remember Hollywood execs, when you bugger that young stud actor just looking for a role in your next pilot it might not just be business as usual – it might also be adultery.

9. Justice Anthony Kennedy. Winner.  Expect Time or Newsweek to declare Justice Kennedy “The Gay Justice” or to drop the “The” and just refer to him as Gay Justice – which either sounds like a Hollywood producer or a superhero who spent too much time learning punishment tactics on HBO’s Oz.  Kennedy has his digits on the two most significant victories for the gay community with his decision in Lawrence v Texas, which overturned sodomy laws and today’s DOMA decision.  He will never have to pay for another drink or pill of ecstacy for the rest of his life.

10. Crystal Meth. WinnerIf you thought the gay community was into Breaking Bad’s candy of choice before, just wait til that market explodes when they realize that marriage sucks!

 

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes. New Every Tuesday!

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James Gandolfini and the 7 Ways Comedians React To…

James Gandolfini passed away shockingly yesterday at the age of 51.  He was known primarily for his iconic performance/character of Tony Soprano and for being the face of one television’s greatest, if not the greatest, shows (my pre-Game of Thrones list has it at #6 on my favorite shows of all time).  But with an untimely death comes the ritual of comedians taking to social media immediately to offer RIPs, jokes and other comments.  I was particularly disturbed after Whitney Houston’s death only because I thought her talent was so singularly spectacular that it would have been nice for people to reflect and appreciate it for a minute or too before offering half-baked jokes.  Plus, it is worth noting that I saw a lot of trashing of Whitney Houston (black) for her drug problem – sometimes in the form of “Why do we care about this crackhead whore who did this to herself when we have troops and other real heroes dying,” and yet interestingly enough I have seen no calls for similar reflection from America’s social media heroes in the wake of grieving and reflection for the obese Gandolfini (white).  But rather than make this my usual tone of judgment I thought I would just offer the casual comedy observer the different types of responses that now come from comedians in the wake of a tragedy.  Enjoy!

1) Standard RIP message – this is made to either show appreciation for the man or woman’s work, but just as likely to let everyone know that you have heard the news and are hopefully either informing them, which makes you cool, or that you are feeling something profound, which makes you look warm.

2) Hack Joke – for example if you mentioned the ending of The Sopranos or Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ you need your comedy license revoked.  These always seem to happen so quickly to the point that you see 8 comedians with the same joke, and they are all Facebook friends sharing the same wall, but they still failed to realize that the joke was dead on arrival.

3) Video Clip and/or Photo RIP – I like these actually. The person is known for something so it makes sense to share.  Which is why I will share Kim and Ray J’s tape when Ray J dies.

4) Actually Funny Joke – after a day or more of respectful time usually, you can just go to www.Facebook.com/JLCauvin for these 🙂 but seriously folks… every so often someone posts something that manages to be a little gallows humor, but not too disrespectful and actually funny (or disrespectful, but really funny).  But if they do that and then spend the next 2 minutes telling you how good that joke was you are watching Anthony Jeselnick.  This is a great blog post people…

5) Unbelievable Emotional Post – This is the horsesh*t extension of #1 where someone with no emotional connection has a heartbreaking message.  99 out of 100 I don’t buy it, but just know that if Bryan Cranston meets an untimely death, my tears will be real.

6) We were friends post – You met the celebrity twice, but you refer to them as your friend, your spirit, your buddy, your dear friend or any other such nonsense. 

7) Fake Moral Outrage post – These are the folk who either take a celebrity’s death as a time to remind us about the troops or breast cancer or any other important thing, but they only do it on that day.  There were no posts about honor or important causes the day before.  They are like the Westboro Baptist Church – they show up to a social media mourning and then try to shame you with stuff they don’t care about most days, but become morally indignant just to fu*k with your appreciation.  Or they point out that the death was not a surprise or that they deserved it.  Hey – if the celebrity did not harm to others and they were talented it is OK to reflect on their skills and gifts without being told about the causes you rarely discuss during non celebrity mourning social media time.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes. New Every Tuesday!