It has been a while since I walked audience members, but like donating blood or having a cheat day during a diet, sometimes it is good to purge or shock the system to initiate a healthy replenishment. That is what happened Sunday night at a show at Beauty Bar in Brooklyn. First off the show had a huge batch of homemade butterscotch chocolate chip cookies, which were fantastic, but I only had 4, stopping short of my usual cookie limit known as stomach pain. I then went up after the host and could tell from the fedoras, glasses, beards and beauty salon theme to the bar that this was a hip place. So with a belly full of cookie confidence I decided to inflame the ironic passions of the room. Let me say this about the Brooklyn room – for about 30% of the patrons – they acted like I entered a different culture, ignorant of their customs, and should have read my Fodor’s Guide to Brooklyn, which would have informed me that Louis CK, and more importantly Lena Dunham, are holy figures. For example, a person could be stoned or beheaded if they drew a likeness of Lena Dunham in Brooklyn. So because my digital recorder audio cannot be transferred to my computer I will recap the short set in writing, which will be known as “Brooklyn’s 9/11”:
“I had a viral video get 250,000 hits, but don’t worry I am still humble and will not forget where I came from.”
What was the video of?
“I did a parody of Louis CK. My favorite comment was ‘I hope Louis CK takes a shit in your mouth’ which would probably be more original than the one note of his last 4 specials. WHAT??? I went there. Who wants some? (clearly kidding around/trolling – hence laughter from the side of the room not taking itself too seriously)”
(multiple grumblings) I like Louis CK!
a few minutes later…
“I enjoy the band Fun. with a period, not to be confused with the band Fun with no punctuation, but I am bothered that one of their band members is dating Lena Dunham. Who makes it big in music and then decides ‘hey now that I am rich and famous I want to bang that gross looking chick from Girls!?’ Dude, you could have fu*ked her if your band didn’t make it! Like if you were still working in a cool coffee shop and quit music you could pull that. But now, thanks to you, there are hot whores with nothing to do on a Friday night because the bass player for Fun. wants to bang a manatee.”
(Lots of grumbling). Girls is great! (the good news at this point is that the third of the room that was talking stopped, but only to angrily listen to their hero get made fun of)
“Girls sort of sucks. Every 4 or 5 episodes something interesting happens, but it is very overrated show.”
Girls is great! (about 7-10 people get up and start leaving)
“Oh I am sorry that I attacked your sacred cow! And I did not mean to call Lena Dunham a cow; it’s just a convenient coincidence in the analogy… and look at the woman with her hand over her mouth like she just witnessed the second tower falling. Oh my God 5/5 in Brooklyn never forget that time a mean man made some jokes about Lena Dunham. Never forget. I hate all Dunhams – Lena and Jeff!”
I then did a bit about hating cats and left the stage.
I am a left of center thinker, but I am not as conformist as many people might think. I am more socially conservative than many of my friends, but still believe in more liberal fiscal policies (known in America as “virtually unelectable.” I am all for free speech in comedy and I never criticize comedians for taking chances and attacking things I like as long as the take is an attempt at originality and funny. But it bothers me sometimes that the most liberal folks (check out the comments section on my Louis CK video for confirmation) can abandon their attitude when it comes to one of their heroes. Trash religion, religious figures or any notion of conservatism on stage and you are cool with these people, but get at one of their new high priests or priestesses of authenticity and all bets are off. Like their celebrities get a pass that others don’t. And in fact, I would argue what made the CK video successful and made me enjoy the Dunham quips is the very fact that many of their fans treat them like the higher beings so many of them have written off. So I am glad I pissed those folks off. I feel like liberals are the new conservatives when it comes to entertainment. And no this is not a defense for a bunch of d-bag comics to start dropping nig*er, cu*t and f*g on stage for the sake of saying it, while trying to cloak themselves in the overused defense of being just “too edgy” for liberals. Comedy can have dignity and that is a good thing, but I am not sure anything should be sacred. Especially celebrities that rose to fame challenging and defeating previously held assumptions and sacred cows.