Yesterday seemed promising. Had probably the best lineup yet at Always Be Funny (two of America’s best up and coming comics – Amy Schumer & Julian McCullough, along with some of NYC’s best unheralded talents Brett Anderson, Mick DiFlo and Pat Breslin). The lastshow had poor attendance except for a group of sh*theads who just kept talking loudly and drunkenly during the show. Despite the negativity that permeates comedy and stand up comedians, the eternal optimist in us makes up excuses for bad shows (footnote Harris Bloom). Mine was that it was the Thursday before Labor Day weekend. But last night I hoped would be different.
I got to the bar around 8 for an 830 pm show and was happy to see that no one was there except the bartender. No people at least means no hecklers. A few people arrived, some to watch the show, some by accident and some to stand outside and talk for an hour before leaving. All in all the audience of non-comics (though some comics did come by to show support – thank you) was 5. We actually had more television credits (Amy Schumer carrying the bulk of them)than audience members! That is a ratio that should never happen in comedy, especially for a free show. The failure has to be mine as the promoter of the show, but it baffled me. Is Thursday night the new Monday morning?
Meanwhile, as the show was starting I got a phone call from my girlfriend who was in my apartment taking advantage of my premium HD cable, telling me that the largest cockroach she has ever seen is scampering around my apartment. Because one large bug generally makes me feel like I am in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, at that moment, my home did not even feel like a sanctuary from the comedy hell that was occurring.
Every comic was delivering good stuff and was getting as good as could be expected from 5 audience members. Then I got on stage and delivered a rant that was worthy of an absent-minded dictator at the UN (footnote Jason Good). Fortunately a documentary team was there filming so a whimsical look at abortion, racism and the friendless existence of comedians should be coming to an independent cinema near you in the future. My personal favorite remark last night was: “This show, as a metaphor for life, is the point in a man’s life when he is in an alleyway sucking di-k for drugs. You may see jokes and sarcasm, but this is the low point in my comedy career right now – a metaphorical back alley blow job.” My second favorite was calling myself Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood), but without the mansion and a bowling alley to kill someone on.
6+ years in and this is the difficulty with comedy. I am a nobody in the business, so I only have few fans based on some road work. But I am not new at this so all my friends have moved onto more important things, like fantasy football and masturbation. And obviously I am not alone in these feelings since Brett Anderson did a great new bit on purging friends. I guess the lifestyle I have to embrace is hitting me hard, but I will just have to do to it what I do to a woman who bumps into me on the subway: hit back harder.
So I got home and basically napalmed my entire apartment with extra strength roach killer, while I bitched about my show. I slept poorly, but woke up and saw a giant dead water bug by my desk. And that is when I knew today would be a good day.