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My Personal Episode of 24

Previously on J-L Cauvin’s 24:

  • I wrote a joke, archived on my blog on March 12, 2009, which I also posted to Twitter and Facebook several weeks before the March 12th blog.  The joke went: “I like Michelle Obama, but she’s pretty big.  I am not saying she’s too big, but Tyler Perry is rumored to be playing her in the biopic.”  Joke was received tepidly by liberal New york audiences, especially in the afterglow of President Obama’s inauguration.  Joke was praised with “LOL!!!!!!!” from a New Jersey based comic.
  • I got booked to emcee for two weeks at the Cleveland Improv.  In an effort to save money I booked my trip to Cleveland on Greyhound – a 12 hour bus trip departing at 5:00 am on January 28th.

The following took place between 9:00 pm January 27th and 9:00 pm January 28th (wooshy sound effects):

On my way home from a show on Wednesday I begin checking Facebook on my blackberry because I left a book at home and was bored on the M15 bus.  I read an update from one comedian, an in your face, Jim Norton-without-the-humor New Jersey comic, who made the above “LOL!!!” comment on my Michelle Obama joke almost a year ago.  His comment was roughly, “American Idol is over, now get ready for Obama and his wife Tyler Perry in ‘Madea Goes to the White House.'” 

I commented back, “I take comedic credit, but not political credit for this joke.”  He replied, “I did not know you used this.  I guess great minds think alike.” I then became very angry. I emailed a friend of mine who then told me that he has recently worked with this comedian and that he told this joke on stage and that it seemed above his paygrade (my words).  The reason I am choosing not to name this comedian is because there are three possibilities as to why he has been using the joke:

  1. He outright stole it the day he saw me post it.
  2. He actually thought of it on his own (unlikely because wouldn’t he have said that when he posted his “LOL!!!!”
  3. He forgot where he heard it and months later thought that he thought of it.  This has happened to many honest comedians and because of this, I believe, remote possibility I do not want to tarnish his reputation beyond this blog.  However, if I ever hear of this individual using someone else’s joke the I will name names.  I hate joke stealing and I look at joke thieves the way porn stars look at sonograms: “This thing has to die.” (he may steal this joke because it’s in his wheel house – this is practically entrapment, but for his propensity for it – see above paragraphs)

So I had trouble sleeping that night because I was so angry, but I was able to follow the Utah Jazz win against Portland on my blackberry.

J-L Cauvin will do whatever it takes to protect his jokes. No more tweeting his material!!

4:08

I wake up, drink a Muscle Milk (nutrients and meatheadedness), pack my third and final bag for Cleveland (I am not a prop comic, but I pack like I am) and head for Port Authority, which is the saddest place on Earth at 5 am.  Every sign in Port Authority indicating the Greyhound buses to Buffalo (where I would connect to the Cleveland bus) say “Gate 24.” So like any normal person I went to Gate 24 and waited. And waited. And waited.  I waited there with only one other person, which did not raise any red flags because IT’S 5 AM TO BUFFALO! Who else would be going besides a self-doubting comedian looking to save money and a chubby black man (the other guy). 

The evidence is damning against Greyhound. Motherfu-kers!

At 541 am we went upstairs to find the only Greyhound clerk working and were told (as i we were stupid), “No that bus leaves at Gate 61 – it is gone.” Of course it’s gone – I should have ignored all the signs and simply guessed Gate 61!  I asked, since it was only a few minutes since the bus left, if she could call it back (after all what’s 5 minutes lost on a 12 hour bus ride) and her response was, “SIR, that bus has left.” I then contemplated going Book of Eli on this woman, but opted instead to murder my blackberry.  I only cracked the face of it, but it still works and has told all the other blackberries that it fell down the stairs at home.

8:48 AM

I book a train to BWI and a Southwest flight from BWI to Cleveland.  It only cost me a shade over $300, so there went my savings and half of my paycheck.  However, I plan on dusting off my diploma from law school and crafting a letter to Greyhound that will demand AT LEAST $300 dollars, probably in Greyhound vouchers, which will ensure more Greyhound trips and battered blackberry syndrome. What’s the colloquial definition of insanity again.

8:35 pm

At the Cleveland Improv I am working on terrible sleep, but a calmer frame of mind as I bring up the headliner.  Unfortunately the Improv had given me a large amount of announcements and the headliner then gave me several more giveaway/contest announcements at the last minute.  And like Married With Children’s Kelly Bundy I apparently could only keep 10 facts in my head, so once a new one went it, one went out.  This time the fact that went out was not an insignificant one: the headliner’s name. 

I shamed dumb blondes with my intro Thursday night. Wait for it....

His name is Alex Reymundo, or Redddddddddddymundo if you roll the r’s.  After delivering the announcements pretty flawlessly I then paused with what Lee, the booker called, “the greatest deer-in- the-headlights-look I’ve ever seen,” and after about 2.5 seconds said “ANDY RONALDO!”  Lee has already instructed most of the staff at the Improv to refer to Alex and Andy Ronaldo for the rest of the week.  Alex was very gracious about it, but let’s just say a repeat of this would be a disaster (like the last 5 seasons of 24).

If Fox were to market this day they would say, “This is going to be the longest day of J- Cauvin’s life.”

I know how you feel Jack, we each had promising shows that went shi*ty.
Blog

Yankee To Philly

Last night was a perfect storm of comedy, sports and the the thing that those two forms of entertainment have served me steadily over the years, disappointment.

At 7 pm I was on stage at Comix as the warm up comedian for 12 Angry Mascots, a fun show that features stand up, sketch comedy and interviews with comedians and local pro athletes.  Last night featured the New York Jets’ Darrelle Revis and the Duke Alum/NY Knicks’ Chris Duhon.  Of course my Jets fan friends (including one who wears a Revis jersey every Sunday), my Duke alum friends and NY Knicks fan friends did not make the show, which moves them ever  closer to my prognostication  that my friends will one day accept an invitation to be gang raped if the only other option left to them is to attend one of my shows (noted for my Michael Jordan-esque Emmy acceptance speech sometime in the next decade).  Sh*theads.

Possibly the only way left for me to get certain friends to a show.
Possibly the only way left for me to get certain friends to a show.

When I went backstage before the show I saw something that was bizarre at the backstage of a  comedy show, attractive women.  Like attractive flies to athletic sh*t, nice looking women just find out where athletes are, even if it takes them to, yikes, comedy clubs.  It dawned on me that for pro athletes like Revis and Duhon, they probably have to actively decide NOT to get laid when they go out for a night.  You know, the way a comic has to decide whether to buy a chocolate milk and walk home from an open mic or save the money for Metro card money and have a pleasant bus ride home.  Same sort of thing.

So I did my set to warm up the crowd.  I have not emceed a real show in a while and I had forgotten how cold a crowd can be when you get out there.  Material went over well – my targets were LeBron James’ oldness (Morgan Freeman going to play him as a high school senior in a biopic), racism in baseball and President Obama (per usual).  I was pretty happy with it, but there was no time to gloat or see if I could hang with Revis because it was off to Philadelphia for a show at the world famous comedy venue, JD McGillicuddys.

If he's not busy playing my dad in my biopic he could probably play LeBron James as a high school senior.
If he's not busy playing my dad in my biopic he could probably play LeBron James as a high school senior.

As I got on my Amtrak I saw that AJ Burnett had staked a 4-0 lead to the Angels.  I furiously munched peanut M&Ms and listen to the angriest Jordin Sparks song I could find on my iPod in response. 

I arrived at JD McGillicuddys in plenty of time before my set so I enjoyed some ice waters and watched the Yankees make an awesome 7th inning comeback.  Fortunately, before I lost my semi-depressed delivery the Yanks gave the lead back to the Angels.  Showtime.

Did about 25 minutes where almost everything worked (including some new bits about yelling at people in elevators and the first prison rapist), but I have never blindsided a crowd more than with a new bit that is simply called “The Terminator.”  Might need some tweaking, but it sort of veers from Greg Giraldo (my favorite comedian and the type I hope to be some day, minus the stint in rehab) into more Jim Norton (comic I really like, but who is a little to the dirty/blue side of me, but who sort of inspired me to take some darker chances with my material).   Then after the set I watched Nick Swisher pop out with the bases loaded I binge drank two beers.

The night ended with the comics crashing at Luke Cunningham’s mother’s house (because comedy, once again, is not rock and roll or professional athletics, which did not stop me from trashing the guest room).  I thought about sleeping in the train station for the night, just so I could truthfully include a The Pursuit of Happyness moment in my biopic, but opted against it.  We all got a solid 4 hours sleep before catching the 7:07 am SEPTA/NJ Transit train from Philly to NY, also known as the “My fu-king spouse insists we live in Philly, even though I work in New York” express.

All in all a very fun trip.  And it was a reminder that I could turn more of a profit if I were a homeless man who alowed frat guys to kick him in the nuts for $20 a pop.

Finally things are looking up for me - I used to be a comedian.
Finally things are looking up for me - I used to be a comedian.

Next week I will have a big show in NYC Tuesday or Wednesday (unknown yet) and then I am in Boston October 30-31st headlining Tommy’s Comedy Lounge – hope you can make it.

Blog

Stuff I’ve Been Watching

In keeping with today’s cultural trend I will provide some random and short quips today on television (I have been watching more because the book I am reading on Robert Oppenheimer is sort of heavy – side note – is it possible that if Mel Gibson were sober he might have meant to say “Jews End All The Wars” – based on how many were involved with creating the Atomic Bomb?):

I have seen documentaries on Rwandan genocide that made me laugh more than the debut of Saturday Night Live.  Lorne Michaels needs more black friends because maybe he is looking for their permission to fire Keenan Thompson.  That guy has taken more jobs from deserving black people than segregation and Jim Crow.

Fred Armisen does such a bad Obama impression that Secret Service should arrest him.

Did Lorne Michaels know that these men were ruining comedy and if so, when did he know it?
Did Lorne Michaels know that these men were ruining comedy and if so, when did he know it?

Bill Hader of SNL is extremely funny.  His Kieth Morrison alone almost makes watching SNL worth it.

Friday Night Lights is a great show (re-joined Netflix to catch up on some shows that I have heard are great – Breaking Bad is on the list).  So of course it has terrible ratings.   it is odd to me that a show featuring good looking young people and football could not be a success.  It is as if America is collectively saying – give us shallow things, but don’t you dare deliver them to us in anything that could be called high quality.

If Modern Family can keep up the pace from its pilot then it will be the best comedy on television not named Eastbound & Down.

I watched a 5 part mini series on Sundance called Brick City, on Corey Booker and his attempt to change Newark, NJ.  I am now working on a Corey Booker impression and once I have perfected it one of two things will happen: Corey Booker will not get re-elected and will fade into obscurity, or he will gain an even higher national profile and then Fred Armisen will do an impression of Corey Booker that is so bad, it will make his Obama look good.

Part 2 of my comedy tour entitled: Impersonating Light Skinned and/or Half Black Politicians. that's right Harold Ford Jr - you're next!
Part 2 of my comedy tour entitled: Impersonating Light Skinned and/or Half Black Politicians. that's right Harold Ford Jr - you're next!

The Cleveland Show was not good.

Family Guy premier was great.

Glee started strong, but I think it will fade, only bolstered by religious-like support from women and gays.

Cougar Town – see Glee, but eliminate the started strong part.  And the term Cougar is really just a brilliant re-branding of “she’s kind of old, but yeah, I’d probably fu-k her?”

I have only seen 4 episodes of Jay Leno’s show, but only Jim Norton stood out to me as exceptional.

Bored To Death, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm provide a nice HBO Sunday night.

At 4 pm, if not at the gym or sitting at my desk staring at the wall, I prefer Ellen to Oprah.

On Saturday will be the 2 year anniversary of my appearance on Craig Ferguson (my national television debut).  Since then, based on travel expenses, web expenses and gigs I have made about -$450 dollars from comedy.   My comedy career feels like the final third of a Behind The Music special; the downfall part, but without the awesome rise and hedonism that precedes it.

Voice of Behind The Music narrator: October 3, 2007 seemed like comedy was working out, but little did J-L know that was all about to change.  Next after commercial.
Voice of Behind The Music narrator: October 3, 2007 seemed like comedy was working out, but little did J-L know that was all about to change. Next after commercial.