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The Top Ten Righteous Prick Episodes of 2015

Since it is the last week of the year it is time for me to remind old fans that there were actually some episodes of my podcast worth listening to, and to enlighten recent additions to the fan base that there were some great episodes of my podcast this year you may have missed – thus giving you reasons to stick with it in 2016 (and hopefully bring new fans into the fold because this linear growth over the last 4 years is not getting anyone paid – I NEED EXPONENTIAL!).  Podomatic links are included (all episodes are archived there, but going forward subscribing on iTunes is the best way to listen). So without further adieu, these are the ten episodes you should listen to if you have not already:

10) Episode 173 – All Things Comedy with Josh Homer – for loyal listeners of the podcast, Josh Homer is a comedian who has emerged as a sort of comedy life coach for me over the last several years.  As usual he offers sound advice and comedy insights that always make for some of the most listened to episodes of any year.  Listen to the episode here

9) Episode 196 – Comedy Fam – This was one of my best solo episodes for everything people either love or hate about the solo episodes – lots of manic impressions, honesty about hypocrisy in comedy and heartfelt praise for supporters of the podcast, in particular The Black Guy Who Tips podcast.  Listen to it here

8 ) Episode 206 – The 4 Rs of the Republican Party – Several topics are touched on in this episode, but the second half is my discussion of what I think Trump and Obama tell us about America in 2015 and I think you will at least find it interesting if nothing else. Listen to it here

7) Episode 190 – Bernie’s Life Matters with The Black Guy Who Tips – To discuss why the Black Lives Matter movement was going so hard after Bernie Sanders I brought in the man who started the trending hashtag #BernieSoBlack, Rod of The Black Guy Who Tips for a funny and then engaging discussion.  On a non-episode related note no one has done more to help build my fan base in the last few years then Rod.  So give a listen to this episode here

6) Episode 161 – Kendrick Lamar with Chris Lamberth – Normally we discuss movies, but this fun tour through 2015 rap as I try to figured out why Kendrick Lamar is the king of rap despite having music that largely sounds poetry slamming with non-catchy beats (my opinion) is probably the best stuff Chris and I have done on my podcast. Check it out here

5) Episode 193 – We Aren’t Going to Make It with Rob Maher – While on the road I recorded this episode with one of only two headliners to ever ask to have me work with them (the other being Patrice O’Neal – so this guy is either in good company or going to die soon) and it is a great and honest talk about doing comedy when it appears your break may never come.  The sound on this episode is not great, but it is still definitely worth a listen.  Check it out here

4) Episode 170 – Fast and Furious with Brandon Collins – On this episode I pledged to go on a one week marathon of all 7 Fast and Furious films.  This episode is one of the most purely fun episodes, if not the most fun, of the year.  Come for the movies, stay for my impression of F & F techno music.  Listen here

3) Episode 181 – Making the Bed and Cutting Your Losses – On this episode (which was part of a streak of well regarded solo episodes where I got very personal on many matters while discussing my comedy mortality) I make a comparison of my comedy career to Apollo Creed that I think makes the episode worth listening to by itself.  Take a listen here

2) Episode 183 – The Origin Story of J-L Cauvin – For anyone who has ever wondered why I talk about quitting comedy so much, but have yet to pull the trigger this is the episode that goes back into my basketball career and my family life to explain.  Listen here

1) Episode 200 – Politics, Religion and Comedy with Mike Payne – For the second year in a row (I think), Mike Payne is the guest from the #1 episode of the year. Perhaps it is our similar background religiously, our similar political beliefs (with Mike more well versed than me) or our similar bitterness towards stand up comedy, but these episodes are always fun and thought provoking and I knew after we recorded this one that it would probably be #1.  Listen to this one here or his other two appearances, which easily could have both been in the top 10 as well, Episode 188 – Rusty Trump or Episode 164 – 50 Shades of Feminism)

Thanks to all my guests (including the Mt Rushmore of guests: Rod, Josh, Chris and Mike) and all the listeners and subscribers who stuck with the show through some low episodes and low moments. Hopefully newer listeners will catch up on these episodes and follow through 2016. Happy New Year

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Top 10 Righteous Prick Podcast Episodes of 2013

As the another year wraps up it is time for another top ten list you did not ask for and do not want. However, if you find yourself on this blog then there is a slight chance you may be interested in this top ten.  As I did last year, I present to you the top ten Righteous Prick Podcast episodes of 2013, as based on a survey of me.  The episodes range from the skewering  of celebrities to comedy psychos to a more serious one-on-none podcast where I discussed the Trayvon Martin case.  The whole point of this post is if you do listen to the podcast, this is an easy post for you to share with people to convince them to give it a try and to subscribe on any of the platforms.  For people who have never listened it will offer you some of the better ones to entice you to come back and try it on a weekly basis in 2014.  It is available on PodomaticiTunes and STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free! So without further adieu here are 2013’s top podcast episodes:

10. The Justin Timberlake Episode – I debate the merits of Timberlake (even before his terrible 20/20 album came out). Listen HERE

9. The Gary Gulman Episode – Being in comedy you sometimes get to meet your comedic inspirations.  Well 1 out 5 of those people agreed to do my podcast. Listen HERE

8. The Lena Dunham Episode – One of the most listened to episodes of the year for me.  Listen HERE

7. The Dog Yoga Episode – There is a woman who runs a dog yoga program. I talked to her. Enough said.  Listen HERE

6. The Seth MacFarlane Episode – Family Guy, an OK movie and a bunch of crap – the breakdown of MacFarlane’s empire.  Listen HERE

5. The St Patrick’s Day Episode – Listen to comedian John Moses share his incredible tales of St Patrick’s Day vomit and violence. Listen HERE

4. The Samuel L. Jackson Episode – a debate over whether Sam Jackson is overrated and overexposed. Super fun episode. Listen HERE

3. The Comedy Merchandise Episode – A discussion of the salesman aspect of stand-up comedy careers. Listen HERE

2. The Nainan-tervention – A virtual round table discussion of the worst person in comedy (morally and comedically) you never heard of until he punched a reporter at a show in Washington D.C.  Listen HERE

1. The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Episode – not the most listened to episode of the year, but the most positive feedback by far.  Just me, solo, discussing the case and its aftermath. Listen HERE

Thanks guests, subscribers and listeners for helping the podcast grow in its second year. Hopefully the third year does even better.

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Joe Rogan, Jason Collins and No Money: My Huge…

So my name and Internet exposure continue to grow after the initial burst from the Louis CK parody video I did.  I got a spirit lifting message on Facebook last night as I shuffled from west village open mic to lightly attended Brooklyn bar show.   To paraphrase the message: “Hey Amy Schumer just mentioned your CK video on Joe Rogan’s podcast and they are loving it.”  This was refreshing in many ways.  One, it was good to know the video would get a little bit more exposure. Two, it was good to see Amy Schumer had not forgotten about the metaphorically little people who were doing bringers and open mics with her for a couple of years before she made an ever so slight move ahead of us in the comedy world (between the two of us we have grossed hundreds of thousands of dollars in comedy).  And three, I liked seeing Joe Rogan and Ari Shaffir laugh at the video, especially since Shaffir seemed to know more about me than Schumer remembered, despite the fact that I only was in the same room as Shaffir and Rogan once, when I got bumped off of a Father’s Day show in Atlanta at The Punchline because Rogan only does two person shows (but no hard feelings – I crushed some nearby IHOP during their show, so no harm no foul (or money).

Click Here for My “Appearance” on The Joe Rogan Experience

If that was not a good enough way to keep my name going strong, my podcast episode cleared 3300 downloads/listens this week, making it my most popular episode to date.  I was discussing Summer movies, but also riffing and discussing the Jason Collins story and apparently that triggered some hiccup or spasm on the Internet that led to a major uptick in downloads.  If you want to listen to it check it here.  Or maybe because it was episode 69 it just received a lot of lost porn fans.

But in case anyone was afraid this might have a happy ending it does not.  The Google loot has not started to roll in yet (220,000 views puts me only many months from the first Google penny being minted) and the podcast is free, which are two reasons why I write these  from an office in Manhattan, until that glorious day when Louis CK punches me in the face and I sue him for $1 million, which will lead to a wave of inspired lawsuits (when comedy websites and social media experts begin reporting me as a trailblazer in new ways to make money in comedy – “the old way of getting famous and rich without getting your ass kicked is a thing of the past!”).

But the good news is my new album recording is fast approaching (which will put some money in my pocket temporarily) and tickets can be bough HERE for the May 18th 9pm recording at NYC’s Triad Theater. Please buy the rest of the seats up now and get friends to join you or buy their own.

Lastly, in a hopeful epilogue the script for my new sketch for release in mid-to-late May will be done tonight.  So catch up on my YouTube channel and get ready for more fun.  If the May video is even close to the success of the CK video I will have to start a Kickstarter for my July video because it is going to be big (hence no June video), and actually much more daring and impressive than the CK one (by a lot), so it iwill require money that I don’t have.  Speaking of which, back to the spreadsheets.

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Top 13 Righteous Prick Blogs of 2012

As has been customary for the last few years I have made my (unpaid) bread and butter writing about the comedy business, my own career and the occasioanl rant about something else in our culture.  So for those of you that have not kept up or would like a convenient link to send to people to turn them on to the blog I present my Top 13 (I refuse to do a Top 10 because they are too popular) Blogs of 2012.  Also, if so inclined to show me support either become a fan of the Facebook Page and/or “like” my Huffington Post page where some of these appear. Thanks and enjoy:

1. The Death of Stand Up Comedy – My typical cheery, well-reasoned about the demise of stand up comedy.  I believe this was the most “liked” post on my website this year.

2. 10 Things in Stand Up Comedy that Should Be Retired – Let’s put it this way, Chris Rock shared it on his facebook page and Ralphie May argued against it. Not sure I need any more endorsements.

3. Adam Carolla’s Eddie Brill Moment – My defense (well-reasoned to those not highly emotional while reading) about why what Carolla said was a) not as bad as people thought and b) not what people claimed he said.

4. The Elephant in the Room at the Comedy Awards – During another coronation of Louis CK I make the case for the late, great Patrice O’Neal.

5. Dane Cook and Comedy’s New Politically Correct Police – My first beef with a celebrity began here with TJ Miller replying (quite respectfully to his credit) to my commentary about Dane Cook’s new vulgar voice on stage.

6. How to Get Along with a Struggling Comedian – Very popular on the Huffington Post with comedians and called “bitter and mean” by commenters who know nothing about comedy or comedians.

7. I Did Not Know That Memes Were The Future of Comedy – Suck it George Takei! (metaphorically)

8. Comedian Speaks at South Bronx High School Career Fair Despite Lacking a Career – I often write about road work, but this was a nice change of pace as I recapped speaking at a career day about my legal and comedy “careers.”

9. The Social Media Guide to Watching Breaking Bad – What year would be complete without some Walter White work?  Only read this one if you made it through Season 4 of BB.

10. Jeff Dunham Announces New Puppets for 2012 – My press release for one of comedy’s genius level talents.

11. To the Defense of “Girls” – It’s Not Its Fault – Premature hysteria over 4 white girls starring in a show demanded a response and even though many disagreed with me, they were mostly not right.  Like the Carolla blog – this was a thoroughly anaylitical breakdown of the show and only those with an emtoional stake in the show would see me as wrong.

12. Why I Am Rooting For Lebron James – Praise for the King and shame on the NY Knick fan base.

13. The Future of Comedy – A sarcastic look forward at the comedy and stand up comedy worlds.

So please share this whole post or individual posts you like and thanks for reading in 2012 and hopefully in 2013.

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Comedians At Law Recap – Penn Law

My big gig this weekend was performing for the alumni of University of Pennsylvania Law School on Friday.  I wrote the recap for Comedians At Law on their website so check it out:

http://comediansatlaw.com/2012/05/14/penn-law-alumni-have-greatest-reunion-ever/

New podcast tomorrow on The Avengers. That’s all for now.

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The Zero Barrier of Comedy

So I am approaching 9 years in the comedy “game.”  Since a new year is a great time for reflection I reflected on my relatively empty calendar, my even emptier bank account and my fully empty soul and realized that I am approaching the zero barrier of careers.  The term zero barrier, if I am remembering the term correctly, is from the film Armageddon (which failed to use Armageddon It by Def Leppard which is one of the great soundtrack omissions of all time) and it refers to the last possible moment they could blow up the asteroid to ensure it avoided Earth before it was too late.

"J-L, if you don't blow up in 2012 then we have to end your career!"

Well, I am not sure if I am at the zero barrier of my comedy career, but I am close.  Now I will always be fairly employable – a Georgetown Law Degree will always qualify me for bagging groceries, cleaning toilets and substitute art teaching, but those will just be jobs.  The possibility of a career is slipping away though.  I have been at comedy for almost 9 years and doing it as my full time job for 3 years.  It feels like I have been released into the wild to be free and pure instinct, but now mental health and financial health seem to be calling me back to the controlled zoo of a day job as well as career ambition that doesn’t depend on the reactions of strangers.

But that has not stopped me from pumping out a ton of new content in 2012.  My weekly podcast has launched, just filmed two new comedy short films, I am in the process of putting together my weekly movie review show and of course my new CD Too Big To Fail will be out in February (along with the honor of having my voice doing the intro on Patrice O’Neal’s posthumous CD).  I also just got picked for a NACA showcase where I can potentially (but of course not guaranteed to) make a decent chunk of change doing college gigs.  The point of this is not to brag.  This is all the shit I am doing to keep even!  Just to keep people interested (because bookings have been slow, which are the comedy business’ way of helping you maintain a sharecropper’s status – go to a club, make a couple hundred bucks profit if you are lucky as a feature, get some Twitter followers, some Facebook friends, some YouTube fans, and then don’t get called back to the club for 2 or more years so that half of your fans are dead and the other half has moved on to supporting their local def poetry scene).

So thanks to the people who read this blog, watch my videos, listen to my podcast through early problems and generally put up with my shit.  I say this in part out of gratitude, but mostly because this is probably the year I go full on crazy, like become the 2006 Ron Artest of stand up or the Montecore of stand up and I will need at least a few of you at a sentencing to speak to the pressures of comedy and the joy I brought to you when you read this blog and realized – wait, maybe life is not so bleak because I certainly don’t feel as bitter and riled up as this meteor falling to the Earth.  Happy New Year!!!

It's all fun and games until the giant thing realizes it hates entertainment.
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New Comedy Year, Old Comedy Results

Well, it is a new year, a time for weak people to declare useless things about their tiny lives (I almost made my resolution to be more positive).  I opted to not make any resolutions.  I figure I can find ways to fail at life and career without actually pre-setting the things I will fail at.  I have accomplished one minor achievement in my comedy career, but for every step forward I take two steps back because comedy’s like crack (please read that to the tune of Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attracts”).  I started my new weekly podcast, which is only two years late to be significant in comedy.

The logo for my podcast. It is rage in its cutest form.

It is called Righteous Prick, the same name of this blog, because I wanted to create a real synergy with the 15 loyal readers.  This is my mediocre attempt at branding (in the Spring I will launch my first fragrance “Fu*k Off”).  The podcast is basically me picking a topic each week (a comedian, a food, a television show, etc.) that I think is overrated and then having a friendly to contentious debate with a fan of that week’s podcast subject.  It should be fun, but I am certain a majority of the weak, insecure deplorable people that make up the underbelly of NYC comedy will probably take it as confirmation of me as a brooding asshole, while they continue to literally and metaphorically deep throat any comedian with one degree of heat above room temperature.  Well it is just me trying to make an argument fun and getting people to re-think what society or corporate culture or dumb peers have convinced them is “awesome” and maybe just to think “maybe it is just OK” while having some laughs.

If you still are interested please go to iTunes, search “Righteous Prick with J-L Cauvin,” and click the subscribe button (it’s free). It will make me moderately happy.

But just as I was proud to become technically proficient enough to produce a technically insufficient weekly podcast the comedy business came back with a vengeance with a double barrelled shotgun shot to the ego.  Booking emails and a comedy contest brought me back to Earth like a Texas-sized meteor designed to render my hope extinct.

I sent out my booking emails Tuesday morning.  Mostly to clubs I have done well, really well or have been to multiple times (a good sign that I may not have sucked in their eyes), with a few new venues thrown in for good luck.  Well, the results are in and apparently I am as desired at comedy clubs as Jon Huntsman is in an Iowa caucus.  But that was OK, because I had a spot last night in the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival first round.  Hope springs eternal in comedy!

The Laughing Skull is is a popular comedy festival based out of Atlanta.  This year the competition had several satellite first round contests with a chance to go to Atlanta.  The New York satellite took place at the Laughing Devil comedy club in Long Island City.  It is a quaint little club. It seats 50 audience members comfortably and stands 12 comedians at the bar uncomfortably.  I drew the enviable position of 11th on the lineup of a 10pm show that started 40 minutes late on a Tuesday night (prime time baby!).  I ended up hanging with comedian Tony Deyo at the nearby Dunkin Donuts for 2/3 of the contest because he went on second and I was going on second to last.  I purchased a Nesquik Strawberry Banana milk by accident which turned out to be the most vile thing I have ever drank after the bottle of Lucozade i have in Ireland when I was 6.

I ended up going on after the eventual first place winner who delivered his jokes in a weird monotone voice (I have a pet peeve against stage voices – like losing to a guitar playing comedian), but the crowd enjoyed his jokes and I figured he would place.  I then went up and was probably seething contempt from my face.  The first reason is that I could see a gentlman in his late 40s nodding off when I got on stage.  But of course, because comedy has become more clowning than art form I could not throw the mic at him and tell him to get the fu*k out of the club and go to bed.  As I went through my routine I got big laughs for all of my big punchlines, but the quick, subtle jabs I have throughout my bits were falling on near silence because when people are falling asleep and uncomfortable at night the first thing to go is subtlety (or they were stupid).  So I left to a good laugh, knew immediately that it was over for me and ended up not placing.  That means I most likely save myself money by not spending hotel and airfare to Atlanta in March.  Of course I have been told that the festival is fun so I bummed to miss out on that, but let’s be honest – I am 32 years old – “fun” should have stopped being part of my vocabulary 5 years ago (the same way I detest adults that refer to things as “cool”).  And I have noticed that as I have become more experienced and a flat out better writer of jokes and bits over the years I have actually performed worse at comedy contests.  Maybe I will just pledge a comedy clique like some fraternity for wayward losers who found their first friends in comedy. Seems to be a more successful path than writing, travelling and performing.

Perhaps this sounds like sour grapes, but it is not.  The only thing I regretted last night was the late time at which I was going to bed.  It is just frustrating because contest provide an elusive lottery-type opportunity for work and exposure that usually only benefit a few participants, but is still enticing enough to do because the alternative is to sit and fight the noble fight at your computer with unreplied-to booking e-mails.   At least now I have a solid two year track record of under-performing at these things so I can now just focus on my act, my podcast and my search for a day job.

It’s going to be an interesting year.