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Weekend Comedy Recap: Moroccan Restaurant Domination

Last night I was booked on a show at a Moroccan restaurant (little known comedy fact – Kevin Hart, Louis CK and Amy Schumer all got their big breaks at Sunday evening shows at basement Moroccan restaurant shows) and it did not disappoint. I arrived around 7:45pm for the 8pm show and was greeted by an Eastern European 9.7/10 who, surprisingly had never heard of me (she offered me a table, when I was obviously there for comedy, she must not be a fan of Comics Unleashed) or the comedy show (an older woman informed her that the comedy show was inside).  On a side note I was not sure what was sadder, me at this stage of my career or this super attractive young woman working at this restaurant, probably via shipping crate, when she could be attached to a millionaire within 6 months with a little bit of hustle and missed birth control.  The bottom line is we are both way too talented in our respective areas of strength for that Moroccan restaurant.

Well the ambiance was very relaxing, dim lighting, friendly staff and music that sounded alternatively like the the call to prayer in a Muslim country and the ominous music before something bad happens on Tyrant on FX.  I sat in a table in the back waiting for people to show up sitting next to a guy with a huge beard (devout messy, not hipster messy), wearing sunglasses, smoking a hookah and eating a large meal by himself (#LoneWolf).

The booker for the show showed up next and we had a nice laugh at the zero audience members, and I requested that “Although I am a professional failure, please let it be known that I am professional,” given my early arrival.  The last time they had the show it was well attended, which just confirmed my status as Comedy’s version of The Nothing in The Neverending Story.  A couple more comics showed up shortly after 8 and we say and chatted til about 8:40. It was like how comedians sit around at the Comedy Cellar, except none of us had professional opportunities or advice to offer each other, but we also were not in denial about our comedy industry 1% status.

The show was officially cancelled at around 8:40 pm, but that was OK by me, because you can never bomb the sets you don’t do.  Let that be a lesson to any young comedians reading this blog.  Then I walked across Manhattan with comedian Sergio Chicon, discussing all the great things that come with a career in stand up comedy, departing on 2nd avenue for him to catch the bus home and me to drown my comedy sorrows in a chocolate milkshake at Baskin Robbins.  So I finished the night with a non-show only costing me $4.67.  Based on my 12+ years in this business that is definitely one of my more lucrative nights. #Blessed #ComedyMogul

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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Weekend Comedy Recap: The Magnificent Seven

This weekend was a busy weekend in comedy for me.  On Friday night I opened for Bill Maher (this is what I call eating a sandwich and tweeting a couple of funny jokes before sitting down to watch Bill Maher on HBO) and Saturday I was having an important industry meeting (this is what I call having a couple of beers with my friend John while telling him an Adam Carolla joke about microbrews, “are there any more ‘brews’ or is everything now a microbrew?” while he suggested to me having a podcast on craft beer – not a bad suggestion, based solely on the irritating trendiness potential of the topic).  So after that whirlwind of comedy (I was also asked to review a contract of a comedian friend on Saturday evening, giving my unpaid legal work gigs an early 1-0 advantage over unpaid comedy gigs in 2015) I moved on to Sunday where I actually had that lesser valued part of a growing stand up comedy career (after Twitter followers, Google analytics, numbers among millennials, etc.): a stand up comedy gig (and just like that unpaid comedy gigs pulled even with unpaid legal consultations for comedians at 1 a piece).

On Sunday night I was on a show at the Laughing Devil in Long Island City, the club where I recorded my Louis CK video and my best album, Keep My Enemies Closer. In other words I am only a Hells Angels’ stabbing a random black dude away from making that place world famous.  Well, to confess, this was my first gig of 2015 so I decided to try a batch of mew material for my 10 minutes set.  When I entered the showroom a minute before my set I noticed that there were 6 audience members.  I felt like Rain Man counting toothpicks I calculated the number so fast, but upon slowly fact checking my brilliant first impression it was indeed only 6 people.  But as much as it is a cliche for comedians to say, I had a great time with those six people (if you are not as good at math as I am, the title of this blog alludes to the fact that me performing would be added to the six audience to make it a “Magnificent Seven.”) and at least 5 of them seemed to enjoy my set.  about 8 of the 10.5 minutes I did was 2015 new and the biggest chunk, based off a blog I wrote, really killed (you would have thought there were 11-13 people laughing) so that was encouraging.  I can confidently say that two of the bits from last night will almost certainly make the cut for my next album recording this Spring/Summer (it will be album #5 and so far the two titles I am considering are Chinese Democracy or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, assuming that neither is taken)

So that is it folks – the first comedy recap blog of 2015.  Now here’s hoping the hostel gig I have booked for February 1st is the gig that finally takes me to the next level. #Blessed #ComedyMogul

Epilogue: It was raining when I went to the gig so I brought an umbrella.  The rain had stopped by the time my set was done so I left my umbrella at the club. Assuming it is gone now the gig actually cost me $15 in a lost umbrella. #ComedyMogul

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!

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Alt Wolf: The Best Comedy Video I’ve Ever Made

A little less than a month removed from the viral success of the Louis C.K. parody video I have done it again (I think)!  Alt Wolf is my new video and though it will not have the same reach as the CK video it is actually much better.  A lot of people worked hard on this so be sure to watch the credits if you need music, make-up or video editing work.   If you are a fan of comedy, alternative comedy, Bill Burr, or just want to see hipster culture brutally mocked then please enjoy this video.  Like the CK video, which got 82 shares on Facebook in 36 hours, the power to spread the video is with you.  Only you can prevent forest fires and J-L Cauvin obscurity.  So watch it, tweet it, like it and share it if you do enjoy it.  Thanks.  I will now begin the process of annoying everyone who liked the CK video to give this one a chance.  Now without further adieu here is… ALT WOLF!

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

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Good News Report

Nothing to expound on for today’s final blog of the week (Great Gatsby review tomorrow around lunchtime), so I thought I would update folks (who actively check the site and not just when I blast it on Twitter and Facebook) on some good happenings in my comedy world:1

1) I got called “brilliant” by well known comedian Jim Gaffigan on his recent recording of the You Made It Weird Podcast with Pete Holmes.  He was referring to my Louis CK impression and this blog that you are reading (not this specific entry, but the thing in general).  Now I have skills and am gaining respect.  All I need now is money.

2) I got picked to co-host a web show (6 episode commitment)  for Investigations Discovery, a division of Discovery (Shark Week people) about dumb crimes/criminals/etc.  Given my experience as a former Assistant DA and a comedian it was a natural fit.  Hopefully it does well, but if not I will at least get to pay a credit card bill off.

3)Filming what I hope will be next viral video, ALT WOLF, on Thursday May 16th in NYC.  It is the story of a struggling comedian (played by me) who becomes a success when he becomes a bearded hipster (also played by me) during a full moon.  A rivalry ensues with anti-nerd and brilliant comedian Bill Burr (played by me).  Should be up right before or right after Memorial Day weekend.

4) Last, but certainly not least – my new album is being recorded in NYC on May 18th at 9pm at Stage 72 (Triad Theater).  Tickets are only $10 and the cost of the ticket just goes to pay my audio and tech people.  See – I won’t even make money off of the recording so get tickets HERE and get your friends to buy as well.

This flood of decent news reminds me that I had told Josh Homer on an episode of my podcast last summer that I would extend my retirement date from comedy from my 34th birthday (which just passed) to the end of July.  As it turns out, these final months may be exactly what my career needed (or not).  It reminds me of my college basketball “career.”  It was 4 seasons of disappointment and frustration, bereft of highlights until the last minute of my career (literally) when I dunked on a dude and got an and 1 call.  Maybe these next few months just represent comedy’s version of that dunk, but hopefully the good stuff keeps coming and I can postpone the end of my comedy career.  Have a nice weekend.  And come see me next weekend.

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

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The NYC-MTA Subway Combine

With the NFL Draft arriving soon, some inspiration from this week’s great NYC-NY Yankees themed Righteous Prick Podcast episode, and my ever increasing admiration for the lack of civility and manners on the NYC subway I have decided to reveal another combine that is testing a unique and incredible set of skills: the NYC-MTA Subway Combine.  You may be saying, “the NYC Subway has never had a great reputation,” and that is true, but it used to have character, much like its home city.  Stabbings, muggings, graffiti, etc. were horrible, but at least you knew when danger was coming.  Now, in the NYC with way too many 7-11s, where gelato crazes were replaced by cupcake crazes, which are now being replaced by burger crazes, the danger has been replaced by a three-headed monster of rudeness, nuisance and lack of self-awareness.  So, with that cheerful preamble I now present to you the talented, diverse and awful competitors showcasing their skills at making your commute and travel irritating.

 1. The 11 Foot Dash.  This is probably the single most scrutinized event of the combine.  It values several things:

  • how quickly can you get to an open seat
  • how quickly you can get to an open seat when you are waiting for the train and you have to penetrate a wall of rush hour customers trying to get off of the train (scouts really like to see that special athlete-asshole who can get to the open seat before even two people have exited the train)
  • in a part people often forget, how quickly you exit the train, making sure you are first out, even if you have nowhere to go

Asian women tend to dominate this category because of their slight and quick statute, as well as a willingness to head quickly into danger and crowds because their cultures do not value the individual.  The best time ever in this even is 0.7 seconds from train door opening to sitting by 91 year old Chinese woman Li (an athlete of her stature only goes by one name).

2. The Create a Seat Event.  This is an event that measures strength and lack of awareness of one’s own size.  Most of the new subways fit 3-4 people in between poles, depending on which side of the pole you sit.  This event tests how well an athlete/moron fits themselves into a seat space that clearly cannot accommodate them.   This event measures hip strength and mental toughness – two things crucial to being an effective NYC Subway rider.  This event tends to have strong showings from larger black women, including Miss Stevens, a woman from the Bronx who once squeezed her 277 pounds into a seat space that officials at the MTA claimed could only have fit a malnourished 6 year old. 

3. The Rush Hour Text Exit.  This event tests dexterity of hands and rudeness of behavior.  The event usually takes place at 515 pm at either Times Square or Grand Central Station and as the train starts pulling into a station the athlete/rude tool begins to text messages (despite not having a signal) and does not look up as the train doors open to a sea of people 8 rows deep. The official measurement is how many characters without mistake can be typed before reaching the street level. This involves quick hands and fingers, ability to walk on even ground and stairs without looking up and a willful ignorance that you are making dozens if not hundreds of other commutes slower.  Manhattan’s Upper East Side is often producing athletes that crush this event, with  Alyssa Lara Gold typing over 657 characters last year to set the combine record.

4. The Backpack Swing. This event tests lower back strength and ability to inflict damage on other Subway riders.  This competition is often dominated by men, usually Caucasian men who are mysteriously in camping garb in Manhattan or by Mexican laborers who need to pack for 3 jobs each day.  A solid athlete/moron in this event simply leaves his backpack on, no matter how crowded the train and occasionally nudges and bumps other passengers.  What the scouts from the MTA look for here is the next level – the guy who swings around crushing other passengers and then gives looks in their direction like they need to watch where they are going. 

5. Ear Tolerance.  This is the event that measures how loud someone can listen to music in their headphones.  This event is often dominated by teenagers from the South Bronx and Washington Heights.  Too often their ears peak at 16 and never reach the same capacity for eardrum destruction again.  There are four different levels MTA scouts assign, with the first being least enticing and the last being most enticing:

  • Can vaguely hear music if you are sitting near the person
  • Can clearly distinguish the beat
  • Can clearly distinguish the lyrics
  • Can clearly understand the beat and lyrics even though you have never heard the song they are listening to

16 year old Debbie Sanchez is rumored to have had the entire 4 train singing along to Mumford and Sons at Mt Eden Avenue in the Bronx, despite the fact that no one had ever heard of them before she started playing her iPod that legendary day back in 2012.

6. Full Body Pole Lean.  This event is for the person who does not care if you have no where to hold on to during the ride and does not mind the feel of cold steel running up the crack of their ass.  Men of all races tend to dominate this field because their height tends to allow for near complete pole coverage.  One competitor/asshole named Michael Murphy from Park Slope once spent an entire day off from work reading a Proust collection while leaning on the F train pole for 11 hours.

7. The Loud Talk – This is a tricky event that is very unpredictable.  Past winners have ranged from intimidating black thug who is daring you to shush him, to NYU theater geek who cannot stop gushing over how funny and brilliant his Drama professor/secret coercive lover is,  to the Latin woman who is just having a normal conversation with her friend.  This requires vocal strength and a willingness to ruin everyone’s train ride.

8. Littering.  The second to last event of the combine is really almost the equivalent of the NFL’s Wonderlich Test.  The littering event tests how morally bankrupt your mind is. Athletes/sociopaths are given candy and or/cigarettes and have garbage baskets placed near them.  The person who insists on throwing garbage/wrappers on the subway tracks from the closest distance to an actual garbage can is the one who skyrockets up the MTA draft board.  In an epic performance that is combine legend, Malcolm Johnson, a 33 year old crazy person, once took a can of beer out of a garbage can and threw it on the tracks of the 1 train. He went #3 that year in the MTA draft.

9. The Box Out.  A move by heroes like the author of this piece, where you try to do the good deed and exit the train to let people off, but have to do a reverse pivot spin move to prevent people from getting on the train before you re-enter the train.  This event favors the good hearted, but fair-minded citizens of this city.  All 19 of us.  We may not put up the big numbers as others at the combine, but we are good people to have on the MTA team.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes

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Midtown’s Weirdest & Brooklyn’s Finest

Last night was another installment of my bi-monthly comedy show “Always Be Funny.”  The West Village Edition on one Saturday a month has been consistently strong, even though it costs money, but the Free show on River Bar (located at 42nd and 10th in midtown) has been struggling for audience.  It started out strongly, but with winter months and just general disdain fewer people have made the trek over to 10th Avenue (it might as well be west of the Mississippi).  So last night was a pleasant surprise when I saw a decent group of people in the cozy Hells Kitchen bar.  But looks can be deceiving.

When I tell friends about my show on 10th Avenue I think this is how far they think they have to travel.

When emcee Pat Breslin got on stage he may have felt like Bruce Willis in the 6th Sense because of the 12 non-comedian patrons, 10 continued their three respective conversations as loudly as possible.  To be fair, they may felt like Malcolm X, i.e., “We didn’t land on Always Be Funny; Always Be Funny landed on us!”

But the show continued with Helen Hong doing strong crowd work to get them involved, included two condescending “stage manager,” who I think were just two lesbians who thought this tiny 10th Avenue bar was secluded enough to just have a quiet conversation about stage lighting and organic produce without being bothered by annoying mainstream heterosexuals.

Mick Diflo took the stage next and absolutely killed it. By killed I mean had all the comics laughing and people still largely ignoring the show.  However, I think he did get the crowd’s attention when he began describing his bloody penile discharge.  By this time the crowd was down to about 8, but a few patrons had come in and actually watched and started to appreciate the free entertainment, especially this older black couple who were enjoying the show so much and sitting at attention you’d think they were at a fancy bringer show at a soul sucking comedy club!

Jon Fisch took the stage next and started with a seemingly innocuous line.  There was a small poster on stage for an upcoming Cancer benefit at River Bar and Jon Fisch said (paraphrasing), “Perhaps Cancer is not the best stage prop for a show.” To which a drunk woman (who is actually becoming our show’s first consistent patron) said, “Cancer is not funny!” and continued to berate Jon for most of his set. 

After that I took the stage and did about 25 minutes of work on only 3 topics: the WNBA (16 minutes), relationships (5 minutes) and Obama (5 minutes).  Women’s professional sports just baffle me in general, but i have devised a new video game – it’s called Conquer The Bad Sports.  The first level will be men’s and women’s curling, but as you move up levels it just becomes women’s pro sports. First golf, then soccer and then the last level is the entire WNBA in one arena and you have to destroy them all to save the integrity of sports.  Then, when you think the game is over, you have to face off against the game’s bosses – Serena and Venus Williams.  And just when it looks like they are beating you – it is revealed that Venus is actually a man and she helps you defeat Serena.  Next Play Station franchise – you are welcome.

The WNBA's new slogan: We're like the NBA, but slower, less fun and with slightly smaller cocks.

So after my diatribe/set the show concluded with a solid set from Calvin Cato for the 3 people I had not exhausted with my comedic and legal destruction of the WNBA.  I then went home to chug bleach.  Hopefully our April Fools show does better at River or else I feel like it will be time to pull the plug on that location.  At this point it basically feels like Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby.

Like my show - she looks charming and talented, but will end up dying a slow and painful death.

But as if one bad crowd was not enough – this morning I attended a showing of Brooklyn’s Finest at the world famous Times Square AMC – with 25 screens and dozens of arrests each weekend.  The movie was actually quite entertaining (think Training Day), but here were the real highlights:

  • The movie started 25 minutes late for no reason.
  • The amount of pre-show talk was at a level I have never heard before in my life. 
  • The talk during the actual movie was surprisingly low, except for when there were breasts on screen (which is when I and twenty other gentlemen of color stood up and ran up and down the aisle screaming “Damn them titties look GOOD!”) and the young Latina sitting next to me who took a 6 minute phone call during the movie for what actually appeared to be a job interview or set up for a job interview.
  • The old white guy sitting behind me who just before the movie started said to himself, “I’m just glad this is not a midnight movie.  This is not one I’d see then.” Racist? Maybe, maybe not. But 100% right.
  • Per information I have been told by someone who used to manage at that location, there was definitely at least one plain clothes police officer at the movie.  That is a job I would love to have.  Carry a gun, shoot people who start sh*t at movies, watch movies while working, get a sick pension and cheat on your spouse a ton (I worked at the DA’s office so I have worked with cops).  Maybe it is time I pursued that.
  • The new trailer for Wall Street 2 is damn good.
Worth seeing if you like tension, violence and latina breasts.

The bottom line is if you find yourself on 42nd street on the west side of Manhattan there will be funny stuff happening. So catch a movie and come see us on April Fools’ Day at 830.