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Road Comedy Recap: The King of Martin Luther Comedy

This week’s comedy destination was Washington, D.C. for 6 shows at the DC Improv.  Because I had to put myself up in a hotel I did what I do with all comedy trips that won’t make me much profit… I asked my girlfriend to join me for a weekend getaway (this is the way that I rationalize my comedy career – rather than being a struggling feature, trying to make a profit I instantly become a guy who gets paid a few bucks to take his girlfriend on vacation). #CheapVacationMogul.  I arrived Thursday solo at the Westin City Center. It was a very nice hotel that I was able to swing a good deal on through Hotwire.com. I knew it was a nice hotel because nothing was included. Internet, breakfast and prostitutes were all additional fees. Normally when I go to a hotel it’s a Hampton Inn where they give you Internet, a waffle iron and a townie 7 to warm your bed, all for $62 a night. No such luck with the DC Westin.  My favorite thing about hotels like this are the breakfast options.  “You can have a thimble of coffee and one scrambled egg for $25.50… or our buffet which features, eggs, pancakes, french toast, pastries, cereal, an omelette station and a therapy dog for $26.00.”  Hmmmmmmmm, can you come back and let me consult with Jared Kushner on the pros and cons of both options?  So as I write this in a coffee shop (I had to check out of the Westin at noon, which leaves me as a nomad in DC for 5 hours before Mass and comedy tonight before hopping the 1010pm train back to NYC) here is a recap of the week in quips and photos:

Thidepiece Thursday

With my lady not arriving until Friday morning, Thursday became “Thidepiece Thursday.”  Only one fan showed up (thank you The Black Guy Who Tips for having the most engaged and loyal fans anywhere) and she was attractive, but unfortunately she did not get the memo about Thidepiece Thursday because she rolled in with her man. Maybe because he felt guilty about violating Thidepiece Thursday etiquette by showing up or because no one had bought any of my merchandise after the show, but he bought all three albums I had for sale as he and his lady were happy with the show.  So I guess I will let it slide.

But after the 1 pity purchase I texted my girlfriend at 12:01 am (First Lady Fridays) and said, “Bring a bag with room; you are going to have to bring some of these CDs back home.”  And not to be too down, my buddy Ross and a friend of his also came to the show so obviously I am being modest about my ability to draw audiences nationwide. We sat in Shake Shack in between shows and talked about deceased relatives, just to keep it light.  Here is a fun clip from the show:

Food Court Friday

The girlfriend arrived Friday and we promptly went looking for food.  Fridays during Lent mean no meat for Catholics so she got some free-trade, goat cheese-quinoa-avocado wrap that was smuggled out of Brooklyn and I got two slices of pizza.  I actually walked from my hotel to Union Station to get her and then we walked all over DC. By the count of my new invention FatBit (which keeps track of all your steps and the fact that you are still horrible out of shape) I had done at least 25,000 steps before getting back to the hotel to prep for the evenings shows.

Before the evening entertainment we tried to go to the African-American History Museum (see my instagram – @jlcomedy – for Trump’s opinions on it) and there was a huge line. I ended up talking Utah Jazz basketball with the guy standing behind me, which is actually the least African-American way to have an NBA discussion. We then got about 30 people from the front when they said no more tickets were available #Blessed. We then went to an art museum where some Japanese lady who looks like a Pixar character had a big exhibition. We also failed to get limited tickets for that so we looked at other stuff, including a sculpture of a bald, fat girthy-cocked dude (the pic omits the girthy phallus for any young readers of bitter, anonymous comedian blogs #TargetMarket):

I left this couple (unknown to them) in the pic for scale

My girlfriend was meeting her high school friend and her husband at the show (THAT’S 6 FANS ALREADY FROM THE FEATURE ACT – #DRAW) and I had a very strong set. The audience was not full so I set my camera up in the back to capture the action. Unfortunately some folks sat near my camera (for no discernible reason) and bumped my camera so I learned quickly after the set that I had a great 18 minutes of the bathroom door killing.

As I steamed after the first show, and sold nothing, I considered quitting that very moment.  However, I did something smarter. I decided to counter the JL Comedy Jinx with some self-hate.  I decided not to tape my second set.  And of course I crushed. So while I don’t have that set on tape, I did sell 12 CDs after the show (including 3 to ANOTHER member of The Black Guy Who Tips fanbase – 7 FANS MOTHERFU*KERS!). I then crawled into bed next to my girlfriend, who was in a wine-induced coma, at 1 am. #SpoonSaturdays

Sight-Seeing Saturday

On Saturday we woke up and made our way to her friend’s house in East Falls Church for some brunch (“When in White Women Rome…”), though before that I had the pleasure of running into NYC comedian Anthony DeVito on the street. We had a nice chat and I wished him luck on his Comedy Central taping (for blog readers, you may remember Anthony from my intimate Winery Show/Bed and Breakfast in early 2016). After brunch the gf and I went for a long walk around DC and went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the World War II Memorial, which I think is the best thing in all of DC (thank you for your (lobbying) service Tom Hanks.  Both are beautiful.  The weather was beautiful, but then it was time to bring the lady back to Union Station (you either get 3 days in a Hampton Inn, or 2 in a Westin on the Broke Comedian Getaway Vacation Package). We ate Pizzeria Uno, which obviously put me on a 24-esque timetable to get back to my Westin bathroom and I put her on the train back to NYC. Before getting to the shows that night here are some photos (more on my Instagram):

 

Two towers of DC culture and history
WWII memorial is an incredible sight – full view of Washington Monument on one side, Lincoln Memorial on the other and a beautiful design and tribute
GF captured a perfect angle of the MLK memorial
Let’s just hope the Marvel/Disney people get the rights to the MLK comic instead of DC Comics

That night I arrived at the DC Improv for three shows and was greeted by friend, former podcast guest and DMV comedy legend Rob Maher.  We chatted and then I went on stage and did the Lord’s work.  I then went into the DC Improv Lounge to follow another DMV legend and friend, Randolph Terrance and crushed even harder than in the main room (I feel like my new bit on the “Fluidity of Sexuality” would please most comedians and members of the Nixon White House). I then had my best post show sales of the week (I opted not to give CDs to the gf to bring back – either I would sell them (good) or be furious that I was dragging them back to NYC (justifying my rage at comedy) to the point that I had to run back to the Westin to get the remaining copies for the late show.  All joking aside, I do wish I had gotten a job in DC over NYC after law school because the DC comedy scene has always been my favorite.

I had a very good second set and sold a few copies more. Then I received news that Louis CK had started his SNL monologue with a “Why Did the Chicken Cross The Road” joke.  So as I kill some more time on this beautiful DC Sunday, enjoy my video from 2013 that proves that I am way ahead of Louis CK. #JLouisC

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Road Comedy Recap: Killing Sets, Cheesecake and Sewage Systems…

This weekend (well Thursday-Monday morning) was spent in Syracuse, NY – the city that the Sun forgot.  I was featuring at the Syracuse Funny Bone, located in the Destiny Mall – a mall so large that they have an entire store dedicated to Crocs, or as I call it, a recruiting tool for ISIS.  The comedy week really began last Wednesday night when I played Batman in the Roast of Batman at Broadway Comedy Club. I had a good performance and tried to emulate the Christian Bale Batman voice (video forthcoming), but in terms of attire I had to wear a tight Batman shirt and a hot rubber mask (and then went right to a Batman themed Eyes Wide Shut orgy) because the XXL Batman costume basically fit like Freddie Mercury in the pants and like Chris Farley wearing David Spade’s jacket in Tommy Boy up top.  But the jokes went well and then I went to sleep for an early trip to Syracuse the next morning. So without further adieu here is the recap of the trip:

Thursday – Amtrak Backtrack

As I write this from my return Amtrak Monday morning I am happy to report that we are on schedule.  The same could not be said for Thursday morning’s trip to Syracuse.  I have written a lot over the years of my affinity for, and frustrations with, rail travel in this country.  As part of the stimulus plan when Obama took office many dollars were earmarked for infrastructure improvements and additions to state and federal rail service.  Much of it was scrapped, especially in states like Florida and Ohio with Republican governors.  I have thought for many years that there should be a massive – like hundreds of billions – investment in making our nationwide rail service comparable to Europe and Asia.  Improvement to our infrastructure, thousands upon thousands of jobs, upgrading our transportation system and giving something for people to use – feels like a win all around, which is why I think various lobbies, probably aviation at the top of the list, have worked hard to kill this (in addition to the GOP wanting to privatize rail).  So instead what we are left with is a 5.5 hour trip to Syracuse that takes 7 hours because Amtrak, once out of the DC-Boston corridor (where the money and power reside) Amtrak does not own the tracks so freight always gets priority – on my last 5 long range trips (5+ hours) the average arrival has been just a few minutes short of 2 hours late.  I am no populist and am a happy Hillary voter, but nothing more richly symbolizes America than business being given priority 100% of the time over people on the rails of America.  When I finally arrived in Syracuse (after we had to ride 30 minutes past the station because of a disabled train at the station so we could switch tracks) the sky looked like the beginning of the Battle of Helms Deep in The Two Towers, so very welcoming.

Thursday’s show was solid. Nothing big to report, but worth noting is that two stories below the club in the mall was a Cheesecake Factory. So I had a slice of the Hazelnut Cheesecake while the headliner was on (it’s their new flavor and it may be the best they’ve ever done).  And just to show you the admiration and respect the Mall has for the money printing machine that is the Cheesecake Factory check out the side of the Mall as they are every bit as powerful as Saxs Fifth Avenue and Macy’s (and only Cheesecake Factory appeared to have reserved parking for their management in the Mall parking area.

No part of the mall looms larger than The Cheesecake Factory

Friday – Great Movie, Great Shows, Horrific Aftermath

On Friday I went to see Deepwater Horizon, the Peter Berg directed movie starring Mark Wahlberg about the Exxon Valdez spill (kidding for those of you who are bad with jokes).  I have made a lot of fun at the expense of Wahlberg and Berg (sounds more like a law firm) because they have been on some sort of draped-in-the-flag mutual masturbation series of films recently (starting with Lone Survivor, which was OK and then next month’s Patriot’s Day about the Boston bombing these guys are making short, white American men feel even better than Donald Trump).  The preview for Patriot’s Day is literally like a remix of the Deepwater trailer – white guy kisses pretty wife while guitars strum, then goes to work trying to make the world a better place – then bad sounds and ominous shots – and then title screen.  I said on my podcast the next Wahlbergberg movie is probably going to be called Standing Blue – about a white cop who protests San Francisco 49er games because Colin Kaepernick won’t stand for the anthem.

Make White Men Great Again

Now, with all the jokes out of the way, I must give the Wahlbergberg devils their due – Deepwater Horizon was excellent.  Incredibly well executed (minus some of the given cheese in the first 30 minutes of the film), well acted (Gina Rodriguez was not quite Tom Hanks at the end of Captain Phillips (GOAT PTSD performance) but she was really good when given a chance to flex her chops and Wahlberg was solid, as was Kurt Russell), and quite powerful. Highly recommend.

As for the shows on Friday – I crushed obviously, but in my arrogance I slipped up. I am not a big cheese eater unless it is preceded by “grilled” or followed by “cake” but I opted for the quesadillas during the 1st show, then got cheesecake in between shows and then, in a moment of boredom, got the mozzarella sticks during show 2.  What happened next was nothing short of Deepwater Horizon meets Harry from Dumb and Dumber. I will spare the details, but I got back to my hotel room at 1230am and left my bathroom at 3:05 am.  In between dumping crude oil into the Syracuse sewage system I also vomited so hard I thought I burst a blood vessel in my right eye (just turned out to be bloodshot with cloudy vision for an hour).  If my stomach had been any worse Peter Berg could have directed a movie starring Mark Wahlberg about the plumber that would have had to come and fix my bathroom. Porcelain Knight coming to theaters 2018.

Jeff Daniels in The J-L Cauvin Saturday Night Story

And here is me crushing in an extended bit about my dog Cookie.  Another clip of me doing Trump is getting a lot of hits on Facebook (my Trump impression is so powerful it turns conservative, upstate white voters into a Def Jam crowd)

Saturday – Crushing Sets, Crushing Emotions Over Poor Sales

Saturday I saw the movie Ouija, which was not very good (other than Lights Out – critics have been off bigly with this year’s horror offerings).  I also ate very little because my stomach felt like it had been through a war.  So there was nothing much of significance to report other than the fact that I crushed hard.  Several people told me my Trump bit/impression was the funniest thing they had ever heard. I agreed with them.  But in two shows I only sold 1 CD.  So I went back to the hotel bummed, but hopeful with one more show left in the week.  #LiveLoveLaugh  Here is a picture of Jake The Snake Roberts and I from the club. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, this is Jake doing his impression of me when I heard Jake The Snake Roberts was headlining comedy clubs:

Sunday – The Final Chapter

Sunday began with being woke(n) up by the high school band that occupied every room on my hotel floor except for my room and the headliner John Henson (of Talk Soup and Wipeout) and they were loud and annoying, but I had already gotten the 4.5 hours sleep I need to be an angry, lazy, bitter sloth of a comedian so I was good to go.  I went to see The Magnificent Seven and was joined by John, who either because he wanted an aisle seat as well or just wanted to assert his headliner status, sat one row above me in the theater.  The movie was not very good. I feel like Denzel, Chris Pratt and Antoine Fuqua were all better than that movie (though Pratt was annoying in his overly charming performance).  Then it was time for the final show.  I did very well and sold the most CDs (10) than any other show for the weekend. I felt so confident that I had a 3rd and final piece of cheesecake, which as of this typing has not done any damage.

Headliner asserting his higher row status on me at the movie. Fat face selfie angle was used for this shot.

All in all it was a great weekend working with John and Mr. Jackson (the emcee), as well as Rob, the chauffeur, door guy, former strip club bouncer who escorted John and I around for the weekend.  Looking forward to coming back in 2017! Now I get to see my dog Cookie, who is not thrilled about her Cookie Monster costume, but fu*k it – she looks cute in it. And if Wahlbergberg have taught us anything, it is heroes don’t always do the easy thing, but they do the right thing – coming in 2020 Mark Wahlberg as Cookie the Dog in Halloween Hero directed by Peter Berg.

 

Cookie as Cookie Monster with Depression

Get J-L’s new stand up album ISRAELI TORTOISE on iTunes, Amazon & Google.

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Road Comedy Recap: Curb Stomping Your Enthusiasm in North…

This weekend I was in Raleigh, North Carolina at Goodnight’s Comedy Club. I am writing this from the cafe car of my Amtrak train (the Silver Star, which originates in Miami, so other than licking a toilet seat in Brazil there are very few places I would expect to carry Zika more than this train) and trying to remember that the week was a strong one – worked with solid comics, saw two good movies, sold some CDs, indulged in some Chick Fil-A (in North Carolina, which I have dubbed a “bigotry Inception”) and was able to relax a little bit.  However, 93 Uber rides, a horrible hotel breakfast, one female heckler and her emasculated husband and an elderly obese woman blaming me for her fall on this train 30 minutes ago have forced me to temper my happiness about the trip.  So with that tease let’s get into the details of another road trip with America’s favorite Middle Man Road Recapper.

Thursday – Hotel, Motel… Best Western?

I woke up early on Thursday, said goodbye to my girlfriend and Cookie (my dog, I packed several “Complete Cookies” – vegan, protein cookies that my girlfriend calls “Bro Cookies” because they are sold at GNC) and headed for the Carolinian, the 7:05 am train that leaves NY Penn Station for North Carolina.  I managed to secure a seat by myself until Richmond, VA, which on a packed train is pretty great.  I read a little bit, wrote my next sketch (filming Friday and going up 10 days before the first presidential debate) and generally felt like a freedom rider in the 1960s (there  were 3 white people and a bi-racial giant in my car to go with 80 black people and 54 bare feet.  I played spirituals on my iPod to complete the ambiance.

When I arrived in Raleigh only an hour late (5:30pm) I got an Uber thinking I had hotwire.com’d the same hotel I had been in 2 years ago.  For those of you that don’t play travel Russian Roulette on Hotwire.com (or as I will call it after this trip THOTwire.com), you put in your location and the website gives you discounted rates for hotels within a distance range – but to get the discounted rates you don’t know the name or exact location of the hotel.  4 out of 5 times it is a great deal and very convenient.  However to get the $54/night rate (#ComedyMogul) I picked a hotel in a 0.2 miles-5.0 miles range from the club.  Well, this was the 5th time because the hotel was 4.7 miles from the club – so that would mean Uber back and forth every night.  But if you add up the rate of the hotel I stayed at last time (Days Inn – #ComedyMogul) I still saved about $19 when you subtract the Ubers from the increased nightly price so basically I gamed the system again, if you don’t factor in the mental cost of inconvenience.  Sadly their continental breakfast sucked, but for $54 a night I guess I should be thankful that they had anything. #Blessed

Raleigh North = Nowhere near where you need to be in Raleigh

Thursday night’s show was fun. The headliner was Jon Reep, who I actually voted for on his season of Last Comic Standing many years ago, and 6’7″ emcee Brent Blakeney, who I worked with the last time I was in Raleigh (the Duncan-Robinson of opening acts), but this time we did not have to babysit Iliza Schlesinger’s dog in the green room. The show went well, though it was the only crowd for the week that wasn’t packed.  But I did make one pity sale of a CD to an older woman. That pity money then went to pay for a depression donut at the Dunkin Donuts near my hotel (the only thing within walking distance to my hotel – I would end up eating half of their inventory by Sunday morning).

TGIF

Friday would be the peak of the trip on all fronts, except CD sales.  I woke up, thought about going to the hotel gym, and after burning 3 calories thinking about it I opted instead to do a double feature at the movie theater. I got an Uber and ate at the aforementioned Chick Fil A and then saw Hands of Stone and Don’t Breathe. Check my positive reviews of both here:

The shows that night were great.  Packed crowds, big laughs, etc.  In other words nothing really fun to recap happened. I did get a celebration milkshake at Dunkin Donuts (technically it is a DD/Baskin Robbins, but DD is doing all the heavy lifting for that mediocre ice cream – the milkshake was weak).

Saturday – “If AIDS and Cancer had sex on this stage right now it would be more enjoyable than what you are doing”

During the day I sat in my hotel room doing a marathon of The Good Wife on Amazon Prime (solid show – 15 eps through season 1; I would have called the show The Nice Lawyer).  I then made my way to the club. The first show was hot despite a few woman making their voices heard too much (one woman said “oh come on” in disappointment about 7 times in the first 11 minutes of my set and a couple of younger ladies kept trying to get me to recognize them by overreacting with “awwws” at some punchlines. But overall – great first show.  Then the second show happened.

There are sad and tragic moments in American History concerning black men that are too legion to count. From slavery to Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin America has a plentiful history of destroying black men. I would like to add another black man to that tragic roster.  There was a Latin woman who kept talking and repeating lines and clapping off the beat of the jokes. At best she was horribly distracting, at worst she should be first on Trump’s deportation squad list.  I probably spent 12 of my final 22 minutes on stage in North Carolina dealing with her. I pledged to the crowd that I was going to join ISIS and after I completed my one target mission I would retire from jihad.  I ripped this woman so many ways and nothing worked (also here is a popular blog I wrote in 2013 about female hecklers).  And even more disappointing was that her husband or boyfriend, a strong looking black man (physically strong, obviously he had been mentally broken) had said nothing or never tried to intervene or calm her down or drown her in a bathtub.  Now in fairness to Stephen from Django, she was a Latin woman and that is right after cookies as my life kryptonite , but at some point you have to step up and be a cis-hetero-normative male, no matter how good the salsa is. The entire crowd roared every time I crushed her and the biggest laugh I probably got all week was when I morphed into Trump and gave her a “Get her out.”  On Twitter and Facebook I said this man’s performance was “the weakest by a black man since Charles Smith against the Bulls.” (The above quote is one of many things I said to her by the end of my set). Here are just a couple of still shots from me scolding the woman:

Please shut up
Seriously, shut up!

After the second show I sold some more CDs and was treated like a hero by most of the crowd.  But those good tidings simply meant that the comedy gods had something negative in store for me before leaving North Carolina, because no comedy journey ever ends well…

Sunday – The Fall Guy for the Fallen Lady

Just 2 hours ago at the writing of this sentence I arrived at the Raleigh train station.  I boarded the train and was told to take seat 3. I saw an obese elderly woman sitting in seat 4, but she had books and a tray of snacks in seat 4. I then said “Hey, that is my seat – they assigned me to it.” She then started saying she could move back (her scooter was in front of seats 1 and 2), but I did not understand that seat 4 was not her seat (why would I assume an obese/handicapped woman would park her chair somewhere other than the seat she is sitting in?) so I just waited for her to move the snacks so I could sit down. She then got out of the seat and shuffled/struggled to walk over to seats 1 and 2. At this point half the car is staring at me like I am the bus driver telling Rosa Parks to move, even though that is not what I intended. Also I am now blocking about 12 passengers from making it to their seats.  A guy the size of Luke Cage then tells me he is in seat 4 (why Amtrak paired 6’7″, 280 lbs with 6’3″, 230, when the people paired behind me had the combined weight of Tom Hanks at the end of Philadelphia is a mystery to me). As I was sliding out of the way of Luke the fall heard around the Amtrak world occurred.  The old lady fell spilling coffee and juices.  Luke and I helped her up to her seat and then a conductor came up to her to see if she was OK. She then explained that (pointing to me) “He HAD to have that seat so I got up.”  I tried to get support from Luke Cage, but between elderly black woman and guy who looks like he co-owned the pizza shop in Do The Right Thing I think his support for my predicament was tepid at best.

My train buddy is not on my side

So now I sit in the cafe car on my way home blogging instead of being treated like the Bull Connor of Amtrak in my seat.  The good news is I will be back on Amtrak tomorrow headed to Albany to do voice work as Donald Trump, so I just need to remember my German Sheppard and fire hose in the morning.

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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Road Comedy Recap: Impressions, Injuries and Deal Making in…

I have been in Los Angeles for the last five days and it was a trip befitting my social media hashtag #ComedyMogul.  I was making big media appearances, performing at stand up clubs and engineering deals with one of the biggest chain restaurants in the country.  It was one of my most productive trips to the west coast ever, even though every plural in the proceeding sentence should actually be a singular.  As I write this in an airport motel with plans soaring uncomfortably close every 10 minutes I am beaming with a sense of pride that I managed to crush it on the #1 podcast on iTunes, had a great set at a comedy club and filmed it and helped start a potential big deal between the Cheesecake Factory and a new craft beer, ALL while managing to earn exactly zero dollars while doing it all.  This is what Black Twitter would call “Peak J-L.” So here is the recap you have been waiting for.

Saturday – The Gentlemen’s Lodge

My flight out was pretty uneventful.  My legs felt good because I was in the Extra leg room seats (still unfair that in this day of trans bathrooms a tall man must pay extra to be in seats that fit) and I watched Daddy’s Home, a perfect airplane movie starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (very funny throughout, not really sure why critics crushed it, but perfect way to pass 100 minutes on a cross country flight).  I also had a 2 hour conversation with the woman sitting next to me, who happened to work for digital advertising for YouTube. We had a fun chat about politics, millennials, digital ads (I told her the kinds that I am most likely to watch – so now she has a good sample study of comedy moguls’preferences) and how I can help my content get more views. She said I should aim to get to 5000 subscribers because then I have access to YouTube studios.  With just over 1500 subscribers at my current pace I asked her to reserve me some space in 2032 for me to record some killer content.

When we landed in LA I was greeted by my buddy Nick D. in his Mercedes and he drove me to my hotel in Studio City.  Thanks to Hotwire.com I got a great deal at a place named The Gentlemen’s Lodge.  I figured the great deal I got was based on the fact that in Los Angeles, a place called The Gentlemen’s Lodge would either be a far right enclave where conservatives hunted teenage boy and girl runaways for sexual sport or it would simply be an ironically named place where gay orgies were taking place.  Well, it turns out it was just a normal hotel, despite the presence of kids named Harper and Brooklyn roaming the hallways.  The rest of the day was uneventful as I prepared for a big next couple of days.

The Gentlemen's Lodge 4th floor (my floor) featured a quote from Bruce Springsteen's worst album for some reason

Sunday – Comedy Mogul Down!

I woke up at 4:45 am on Sunday because I never adjust well to the time zone change. But I felt energized and decided to get up and go for a run like I was the Rock sharing annoying Instagram workout pics.  Around 5:45 I started jogging on a quiet and empty road. Feeling good, like I might be able to churn out a couple of extra miles I made the mistake of relaxing and feeling a moment of happiness.  Just when those feelings infected me I tripped.  I rarely trip. It’s sort of weird. I will sometimes have my foot catch on something and not trip either because of balance or gait or weight distribution but I rarely trip.  Well, about ten years of never trips caught up in one epic fall.  When I hit the ground I scraped my palms, busted open one of my knuckles, busted my knee wide open (it still has not scabbed yet 4 days later) and bruised (or worse) my ribs.  I don’t even understand how I could have fallen only once and done that much damage to so many different body parts, but at my height maybe it’s like falling from a 2nd story window.  Whatever the case I was basically a gimpy invalid the rest of the trip. But that didn’t stop me from heading to Flappers in Burbank that night.

My name in lights
Later in the month, Flappers will be headlining a comedian eve more relevant than me: Jake The Snake Roberts, a 1980s wrestler

Despite performing at 1:20 am east coast time I had a great set closing the side room at the club.  Here is a quick clip of my new material about my dog Cookie. Enjoy:

Monday –  Cage, Crushing Carolla & Cheesecake 

Monday was celebrity day for me.  When I limped to the Starbucks across the street from TGL I was on line next to the actor who plays Luke Cage (co-star of Netflix’ Jessica Jones and the start of his own Netflix series this Fall).  We both played it cool, which was refreshing – just getting treated like a regular Starbucks customer and not a Comedy Mogul.

That afternoon I headed to Carolla Studios and had a great appearance (best one of the 6 I have made).  You can listen to the episode here and also watch my new Carolla sketch video I made for the show:

But the biggest thing I did had nothing to do with comedy.  Ryan is the manager at the Pasadena Cheesecake Factory and a big fan of The Adam Carolla Show.  My friend’s girlfriend is a waitress there and when Ryan found out last year that I was the guy that did the impressions on Carolla I began to see my bills shrink exponentially at the Cheesecake Factory.  As the second biggest regular celebrity at the Pasadena Factory (Terry Crews currently holds the #1 spot) I wanted to give back and show my appreciation for being treated so well.  And it turns out that a few hours before I went on the air I learned that Ryan was hoping to get Adam Carolla’s new craft beer into the Pasadena Factory (yes I am aware that calling The Cheesecake Factory, “The Factory,” is hugely douchey).  So on air I brought up the idea of Adam getting his Endless Rant IPA into the PCF and the idea was a hit with him and later his producers when I connected them to Ryan.  So now in addition to #ComedyMogul I am also a budding #CheesecakeMogul.  I have never read Trump’s The Art of the Deal, but I am pretty sure I just wrote the sequel in Pasadena.

Salted caramel cheesecake - one of my 2 free pieces of cheesecake during the week

Tuesday & Wednesday – Sun, More Cheesecake & 2 Nicks

Tuesday was the only full day I had to soak up some Sun because, like The Nothing in The Neverending Story, dark cluds metaphorically and literally follow me.  After getting a little darker I then headed back to the Cheesecake Factory to get more free food and to soak up Ryan’s praise since he had now heard the deal get sealed on air, along with his name said on the air.  I then ended the evening watching CNN in bed because I was too sleep to check out some LA shows. I fell asleep at 9:45pm local #RockStarLife

Wednesday was uneventful – met up with my buddy Nick Cobb and met his infant daughter (I asked her if she could put in a good word with me at MTV2) and completed my trip goal of hanging with only two different friends in LA and having them both be named Nick. Now I am about to go to sleep in my Super 8 Motel with jets lodly flying overhead.  Can’t wait to get back to NYC and earn some money doing legal work, but to be fair this was as good an unpaid trip as I could hope to have.  Hoping some good things materialize in the next few weeks, but hopefully they don’t pay.  #KingOfAllUnpaidMedia

The view from my airport motel. #Blessed #HumbleBrag #WaingroFromHeatStayedHere

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: Wine, Comedy and a New Jersey…

I was a last minute addition to a gig on Saturday and just the way I got it was illuminating in terms of how different generations and experience levels of comics can perceive road work. The gig was a paying gig, with transportation and a hotel room. This is what is known in road comedy as, “The Holy Trinity” or more accurately, “Whoa, did I get a time machine back to 1990?”  I was asked a week before the gig, which was to take place at Willow Creek Winery, in Cape May, NJ, by the young comic booking it who seemed apologetic for the relatively last minute notice.  See, he is approaching comedy like Bernie Sanders approaching a 19 year old black college student at Berkeley, who has a different world view on The Struggle. What he didn’t realize is that my career has felt much more like the experience of John Lewis (not just because of our similar names), except my comedy career has endured more pain and struggle than his work during the Civil Rights Movement. So in my mind, when I hear money… and a ride… and a hotel room, I don’t need to concern myself with anything else about the gig. Hell, I might have ditched a gig for this gig. But fortunately he caught me on one of my 361 nights a year when I am not booked. #Blessed

We all (Sam (the young comic/booker), his girlfriend (not a comedian) and Anthony DeVito (funny comedian) met in Hoboken around 1:30 on Saturday and made our way to Cape May in Sam’s car.  The drive was very fun and pleasant, though I realized I have the tendency like a dog that has been crate trained (my studio apartment being my human crate) to thoroughly/overly enjoy interaction with comedians when no longer solitary. I think if you asked comedians their opinion of me it would be “asshole” from (mostly) people who have never met me and “pretty cool, but holy sh*t does he talk” from people who have worked with me.  So at least I enjoyed the ride down to Cape May and then we arrived at the Southern Mansion.

Southern Mansion is the hotel where Anthony and I would be staying. Below is a picture of the bed situation, with Anthony doing some pre-show reading.  The Southern mansion looks and feels like somewhere Leonardo Dicaprio would have lived in Django Unchained and the living situation illustrated that. I had wished the bed situation was a little more equitable, but since I could not physically lie down on the small bed/lounge I got the humungous, gay Asian bed.

When we got to the show it was a beautiful event space full of elderly white people.  We got fed a nice dinner and drank free wine at which point I wondered if we were just being feted before we were ritualistically sacrificed. That is how un-road comedy this gig felt.  But then the show started and the crowd was great. Chrissie, the 4th comedian on the show, who drove up separately with her boyfriend, went up after Sam emceed. She did very well and set a dirty tone for the show. Like a comedian canary in an old, white people coal mine she let Anthony and I see that we would not have to operate on a perfectly clean level.  Anthony then went up and did well, especially when the microphone broke for 10 minutes (NOW it is feeling like a road gig!) and then it was time for me.

Before I went up Sam mentioned that Willow Creek Winery is the best winery in all of New Jersey. So in an effort to dig myself a hole, I announced that this gig was a perfect compliment for my bucket list because I had just performed at the best Olive Garden in Paris.  But it got some polite chuckles and the set went well. It was a weird feeling when I did my Election year run through of Trump-Sanders-Obama impressions realizing that this crowd of old white people did not seem to like Trump, Chris Christie, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton (maybe a Jeb Bush crowd?). And in the middle of one bit about Spirit Airlines one woman yelled at me “They don’t support the troops!” which I thought an odd policy for an airline.  But they were a nice crowd and laughed a lot despite being drunk and understandably tired (hour long dinner before a 110 minute comedy show).  We then went to a bar nearby that had possible the best chicken fingers and fries I had ever had.

The next morning Anthony and I went to brunch looking like a closeted couple of gay men on a secret getaway from our heteronormative fake lives in NYC. There was a nice continental spread, as well as on the house a la carte service to choose from (omelets, pancakes or French toast). After eating, but before departing, we got a nice compliment from a woman who was at the show and then some guy asked me to “do Bernie Sanders at brunch”… before telling me “last night was pretty good.” As I have said, pretty is the ugliest word in comedy, but when a gruff white dude with a mustache tells you any kind of compliment you have to realize that anything more than “pretty good” and his VFW buddies might accuse him of being queer, so I will take the compliment in the spirit in which it was intended.

We had an uneventful drive back to NJ and then caught a PATH and a Subway train right away, which is pretty crazy on a Sunday. So, without being hyperbolic, this might have been one of the best gigs I have ever had in my entire career when taking into account free perks, crowd, pay and overall comfort from start to finish.  And it might even still make the top 10 if I had a comedy career that wasn’t on life support!

 TWO NEW EPISODES OF MY PODCAST THIS WEEK OSCAR RECAP (TUESDAY) & SUPER TUESDAY RECAP (THURSDAY)- Check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. Subscribe for free!

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Weekend Comedy Recap: Fire and Rain at the Hoboken…

This past Friday I had a gig that might be summarized as the perfect gig for me.  I was part of the Hoboken Comedy Festival (obscure comedy gig – check!) taking place at a movie theater (movie venue – check!) in a comedy competition of roasting/saying cruel jokes about another comedian (cruelty/trolling/insults – check!).  I was slated to go against Dan Frigolette, the founder of the festival.  So in preparation, I ended up listening and watching over 10 hours of on-line content in the two weeks before the roast to obtain any small fact or stories I could to cultivate a killer set of roast jokes.  The battle could not have gone better.  I won all three rounds and objectively had the best set of anyone involved in the show.  At one point I felt like Drago verbally beating Apollo to death in Rocky IV.  A highlight for me (other than getting paid $50 because I just assumed it was in keeping with my career of unpaid greatness) was having one of the judges of the competition, comedian Robert Kelly, tell me that I did a great job and also that he then realized I was the guy behind the Comedy Academy web series and told me that he loved the Dane Cook, Louis CK and (especially) the Gary Gulman impressions.   Felt good to get some validation from a big time comic.  Of course I anticipate this translating into zero dollars and zero club spots.  Before getting to the bigger stories of the night here are the jokes I used to win. Enjoy:

It was supposed to be an exhibition.
  • Dan says he gets mistaken for many different races.  Sorry to break it to you Dan, but “rapey douchebag” is not a race
  • Dan has been on a comedy tour called “The Best Kept Secret Tour”.  But the secret is out – you’re a terrible comedian
  • Dan admitted to keeping a photo log of all his hook ups.  He’s like a sexual version of Memento – he constantly has to remind himself that he is a scumbag.
  • Dan started doing comedy in 2001, a year of another American tragedy as well.  Not only does he look like he could be the 20th hijacker, but his comedy has lasted 14 years. 9/11 had the decency to only be one day.
  • Dan has 18 subscribers on YouTube, but he has only been on YouTube for 9 years so the jury is still out.  His on-line content is like kiddie porn, except more uncomfortable and with a lot fewer fans.
  • Dan’s big credit is that he appeared on the Artie Lange show – making heroin track marks the 2nd worst thing to appear on Artie Lange
  • Dan teaches improv classes for kids, so If you ever wondered “is there anything worse than Improv?” there is being taught improv by Dan Frigolette while he tries to fu*k your mom.
  • Dan appeared on the HBO show Boardwalk Empire, but only lasted a few episodes because he was deemed too unfunny to star in a show about murder and corruption.
  • On a podcast interview Dan claimed to masturbate 6 times a day.  With all that time spent jerking off it is quite impressive that he still manages to find time to be irrelevant
  • Dan says that his favorite sound is the sound of someone trying to hold in a laugh.  His least favorite sound is someone telling him what the definition of trying actually is
  • Dan’s favorite comedians are Louis CK and Bill Cosby.   One has been rumored to make women watch him masturbate and the other is a serial rapist.  Just imagine how much Dan will like them once he starts listening to their comedy!
  • Dan said he would try porn but he is afraid to do porn because he could be tempted to do gay porn if the money was good enough.  Breaking news from the Hoboken Comedy Festival – for for a case of Axe body spray Dan will suck your dick on camera.
  • Dan once wondered on a podcast “what if women found it sexy for men to taste their own cum?”  Women responded: “If you taking your own cum in your mouth would stop you from telling your jokes, then yes it’s a turn on”

So after I went up the main event featured two other comedians roasting each other, but it turned out they were a mix of drunk (I think) and unprepared, so they began to riff and roast the room.  Things were going OK (I think the burning embers of my performance were still making things difficult) until the comics turned their attention to a man who looked like a smaller, lighter skinned Richard Sherman.

Does this look like a guy you want to pick on in the audience of a comedy show?

I could not hear all that went on, but it seemed they wanted to engage the audience member in roasting – he launched some insults (called one comic a “milk dud head” and called the other comic garbage, but then after some more chatter I heard Light Sherman yell “ask your mom about my big dick motherfu*ker!”) At that point in comedy, when things get testy (PUN) with an audience member two things are possible – event staff remove him or, because it sort of happened at the comedians’ prompting, use humor to diffuse the situation and move on.  Neither of those things happened. Instead one comic elevated the hostility with a lot of “shut the fu*k up”s and “get the fu*k out of here motherfu*ker”s.  Granted one of the ways Light Sherman defended himself was with “I got 30,000 followers on Instagram!” which definitely deserved to be mocked, but he also said in the stream of expletives “y’all are wasting my money” (tickets were $20, though my performance was worth at least $25 by itself), which may have been valid considering that he was just being told to “shut up motherfu*ker”, which would feel like a poor usage of $20.  At this point I started to feel sort of bad for Light Sherman (I always assume the defense of comics in situations like this, but it felt like both sides elevated the situation to where both parties were wrong). He had  his girlfriend or wife with him, who was embarrassed by his antics and was probably the biggest factor in getting him to leave peacefully, but it felt like the largely white crowd was just petrified of the angry black man at this point, even though he never got physical and was definitely insulted outside the bounds of humor at least as much as he responded in kind.  He ended up leaving and the show ended without law enforcement.

After the show, I was was surprised by a buddy from law school, Jim, (once again law school always giving me the most consistent support for my comedy career) and went to a bar with his buddies after.  After getting complimented and doing my Donald Trump impression I went out in a cold storm to catch the bus to NYC (the PATH train, which seems to shut down anytime the weather veers from 68 and sunny, was shut down due to weather).  I reached the corner across from the bus stop and saw the bus there.  I got into the middle of the street and waved the bus down before it pulled out but it didn’t matter – he left.  Apparently he did not know that I was a Comedy Roast Battle Champion.  Well, turns out it was the last bus of the night (hey dude – if it is a hurricane, the train is shut down and you are the last bus of the night, try not to be a dick next time).

Me missing the bus in Hoboken

So I ran back to the bar to catch my buddy who would be heading back to the city later.  I reached the bar freezing and drenched and the bouncer informed me the bar was closed and I could not re-enter (the bar was a small neighborhood corner pub, not some douchey club FYI).  I said my friends were in there and I missed the last bus so he told me he would tell them (I didn’t want to flex my muscle and tell the guy I was a roast champion – no need to humiliate him for his obvious oversight).  He came back a minute later and said they were closing their tab and finishing their round and they would be out.

28 minutes later my buddy Jim emerged and we got in his Uber back to the city.  For those of you wondering why I didn’t get a cab home – cabs from Hoboken to the city are always insultingly expensive and I did not want to spend the lion’s share of my surprise $50 on a cab (and I don’t have Uber on my phone – UNION MAN).  So I got home around 3:15 am and went to sleep a champion. #Blessed

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Comedy Road Recap: A Show for the Aged

This weekend I was on a show in Croton Falls, NY, a place that would be a perfect setting for a horror movie. There was a horrific Summer storm raging and Sprint, which generally has mediocre coverage anywhere outside of a 15 foot radius of a Sprint store, was completely dead. Combined with the desolate, suburbs-on-verge-of The Sticks ambiance, I figured it was only a matter of time before an ax wielding madman chopped my head off. So it was imperative that if this was a horror movie that I find the busty young co-ed showering before I met my demise.  None of that happened, but I was set to perform a half hour at the Schoolhouse Theater, which felt like the clocktower the lady was trying to raise money for in Back To The Future.  The show was sold out (90 seats to hear JLC speak), but the average age was Old Testament and the average ethnicity was Clorox.  But after 11+ years doing comedy, one of the refreshing things is you learn never to judge an audience by its demographics.  Sometimes a crowd of young people can be stupid, unimpressed or uninformed and give you next to nothing, while a bunch of old people in the suburbs can be a great audience, literally dying for a laugh. And that was the case on Saturday (the thumbnail pic on this post is supposed to represent me with the audience).

A few of my jokes rubbed the crowd the wrong way and/or confused them, but my tag line becamse “tell your grandkids to use ‘the google’ to figure it out – then they might become fans of mine who laugh at the joke when I am actually telling it instead of 6 hours later during an Internet search.”  Yes, sort of long for a tag line, but it worked with slightly shorter variations throughout my set.

After the show there was a Q & A with the audience where they asked the comedians about comedy, our lives, etc and it actually was kind of cool. And it allowed me to make my final impresssion a nice one instead of as a cynical dick.  After the show I even sold a few CDs and met a teacher from my high school who was classmates at UPenn with the emcee.  One elderly woman in a scooter said to me she wished I would write something so she could learn more about my life. She said that every time I started to talk about myself, whether my family, my jobs, my travel stories, she wanted to hear more about it.  As I always say, all the good women are either taken or are wheelchair bound senior citizens. I told her if I ever write a book I will get her a copy (for full cost – I left that part out).  I then went home and celebrated with some cookies and milk because for all the glitz and glamour tht comes with performing for 90 people in a small theater in the suburbs, I am still just the same humble comedian I started out as. #Blessed

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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Labor Day Weekend Comedy Recap: DC Comic

This weekend I was at the Arlington Drafthouse in Arlington, Virginia to feature for Jay Chandrasekhar (or Jay C as I would have called him if I knew him better and had thought of that funny nickname on the spot instead of on a train two days later), known best as a comedy director and star of the films Super Troopers and Beer Fest, though I was happy to hear that he had also directed several episodes of Arrested Development.  I took Amtrak down to DC on Saturday and then ventured to the Metro Pentagon City stop, which was also the location of the mall I always went to during law school when I wanted to spend money I did not have. I hopped a cab to my hotel, the Pentagon City Sheraton, a 4 star hotel according to Hotwire.com, which continued its excellent streak of providing me with criminally low prices for DC Summertime hotel rooms (honestly – I feel like the cheapness of DC area hotels in the Summer could not be any lower even if there was an outbreak of Ebola in the DC area).

When I arrived at my hotel with an almost dead cell phone I realized I had left my cell phone charger at home.  So I took the hotel shuttle back to the Pentagon City Mall to purchase a cell phone charger, which quickly put my net earnings from the weekend at a robust -$21.00.

It was then time to head over to the theater.  My hotel was literally .9 miles in a straight line from my hotel so I started walking, forgetting that I am 36 lbs heavier than the last time I lived in DC for a Summer.  By the time I arrived at the theater I looked like Robert Hayes trying to land the airplane at the end of Airplane!  The staff at the club was great and the crowds were some of the best I have performed in front of.  And CD sales were surprisingly robust.  I saw an older gentleman leaving the theater on Friday night wearing a Williams College hat and I said – “Hey Williams – I am class of 2001.” He then gathered his family around to chat – he was Class of 1964, his son was class of 1996 and his daughter was a vile human being, which I inferred when she said that she had attended Duke.  We had a nice chat and then they bought my albums, which made me finally feel like I was benefiting from the Williams College alumni network.  After that an older drunk woman sort of sexually harassed me which was made weirder by the fact that her date/boyfriend/lover/husband/benefactor was right there. She actually spent 4 drunken minutes guilting him into buying one of my CDs.  It would have been less awkward if he had just paid me $10 to come back to their apartment and have sex with her while he filmed.

The next day was a big day of podcasting.  First was recording a mega movie episode of my podcast with Chris Lamberth (goes up tonight/Tuesday morning) and then I headed back to the theater to record back-to-back-podcast episodes with the guys behind the Three Guys On podcast.  Then, with 7 hours of my life gone I felt like I had had a busy day of accomplishments, until I realized all I had done was record three podcast episodes.  The show was not until 10pm so I had more time to kill so I grabbed dinner with my buddy Ross, whose wedding was chronicled in last week’s blog post.  He then revealed a  truly shocking pair of opinions to me: he is a huge fan of The Leftovers and hated Guardians of the Galaxy.  I asked him when he was joining up with ISIS, since he clearly hates America.

The show was surprisingly packed, sold a few more CDs and then headed back to the hotel. Sadly, my trip back to NYC this morning has been punctuated by a disturbing amount of people in my Acela train car with bare feet up in the air or on their seats.  I am so tired of people putting their feet everywhere like the world is their foot rest.  Feet, whether covered or not, belong on the floor, unless you are in your own home.  And no one wants to see your feet.  I have been angry about this and not many people articulate it better than Adam Carolla in his new book President Me.  From my perspective it is one of those things that is wrong, but the burden shifts to the complainer if you complain.  Like being owed $5.  The person should just pay you back, but if you ask for it back too often you will get the “Jeessh, alright – it’s just $5!!!”and YOU end up feeling like an asshole even though they owe you money.  Put your shoes on people and keep them on the ground.  Other than that, really successful trip to DC.  Hope to see some of you people at the DC Improv October 24-26 when I am back (assuming the people at the shows read this blog).

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: DC Wedding

This weekend was one of those rare weekends (62% of all my weekends) when I was not booked to tell jokes for minimal profit.  So I did the next best thing – I brought my comedy skills to a wedding in DC for free (food provided, no room – like most gigs now)!  My friend Ross was getting married to his lady of almost ten years, Anne.  Interesting story – I met Ross in my first and only Improv class (the thinking was I am new to stand up so let me bolster my overall comedy game, includign the comedic arts that people find annoying) in DC when I was just a few months into starting as a stand up comedian. He has been one of my most loyal and valuable supporters/critics of my comedy (for those of you that like my podcast he was like Josh Homer 1.0).  When I left DC in 2004 to be a Bronx ADA, Ross met Anne shortly thereafter, proving that there is no good luck as good as J-L relocating to another part of the country from you #blessed.

I arrived in DC and got a sweet deal at The Melrose Hotel, which was right across the street from McFadden’s where I would occasioanlly drink when I was just a DC law student with loads of potential.  The Melrose was super nice, to the point that I think hotwire.com made a mistake with the price they gave me.  My room was spacious and beautiful and came with a section of the US Constitution on the wall, as I usually request when on the road.

Other than accurately stating the Constitution this was a perfect room for a Tea Partier.

I went for a nice stroll through Georgetown to the Ritz Carlton Georgetown where the wedding was.  It was a nice fairly small ceremony and the Maid of Honor was Bridgette, a cute female bull terrier, who rumor had it was a real whore with a couple of the groomsmen later that night.  I thought it was cute, given the small ceremony, for Bridgette to be involved, but can you imagine being the bridesmaids and losing out to a 112 year old Bull Terrier?

Then it was time for me to shine. The miscellanous wedding table.  I was sitting with four couples and one married dude whose wife was back home.  Definitely one of the most fun wedding tables I can remember in my wedding career.  Instead of feeling like Lebron on the Cavs, I felt more like Chauncey Billups on the 2004 Pistons – a real solid team effort from everyone at the table.  Added bonus was sitting next to a celiac (the gluten diseased people) which meant double dinner rolls and double cake (cut me some slack I dropped 40 lbs since March) for me. I even asked for permission by the time I took her third roll.

Due to my extra working out, my lack of partying conditioning this Summer and my insomnia over the last month I left around 1015 and went back to the Melrose. I fell asleep and was having a nice time until my hotel alarm went off at 3 am.  And then again at 530 am.  Here is something I think all hotels should do (this has happened to me 4 times in my life) – the maid should have to reset or turn off all alarms as part of her (or HIS #equality) duties.  As revenge I jerked off into the shampoo bottle and then cleaned it off like it had never been used.  It is a thing I like to call “Shitting it Forward.”    But seriously, there is nothing more annoying then having exactly one night a week to sleep well, having swank and cozy conditions to get eight hours and then, with 6 gin and tonics and a belly full of gluten, getting jolted awake at 3 am.

But overall, a great little trip back to my old stomping grounds. Here is a throwback photo of Ross and I (and comedian Danny Rouhier on the left) in 2003 or 2004 when I started.

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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St Paul Road Recap: Grandma Steve Austin Flips Me…

This past week was a whirlwind tour of Canada-South, aka Minnesota.  It was the typical J-L Cauvin comedy trip: Southwest Airlines, solid merch sales, complaints to the club and complaints directly sent to me while on stage.  The trip began with a 5 am run on a rainy Wednesday morning in NYC. It felt good – the city was dark and quiet and the only thing to fear in Midtown Manhattan was the 6’7″ bi-racial guy looking like a small B-cup version of Baywatch-Manboobs Edition running up and down 1st and York Avenues.  I got back to my apartment, showered and grabbed my bags for LaGuardia’s Southwest Airlines section, which is as close in feel to Port Authority Bus Terminal as any airport in America gets.  Upon arriving at Minneapolis-St Paul Airport, after a Chicago-Midway lawyover, I was picked upby my feature Joey Vincent, who for NYC comics looks like Jon Fisch, if Jon Fisch played Left Tackle for the Minnesota Vikings.  So the two of us drove the 2 hours in his van to the Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN.  The gig at the Black Bear Casino is always interesting – it is run by a nice little fellow named Chuck, for whom ever year is 1987 when it comes to fashion – he sort of reseembles a short, mustachioed version of Sean Penn’s lawyer character in Carlito’s Way.  Well the casino has no table games and the showers have curtains instead of doors, so basically I don’t expect Floyd Mayweather to have his next title defense there.  Seven minutes prior to showtime I took a photo (look it up on my Facebook page (157 likes #blessed) or instagram: jlcomedy to see the 4 people sitting in the room.  But as soon as you could say #quitting and#RobinWilliamsMusthaveHadThisAsHisLastGig, the floodgates opened and we had almost a full room. Joey had a great set and I did what all legends do – performed so great that I sold one CD after the show.  If this sounds unremarkable, it isn’t because Joey said he had never seen someone make a sale at Black Bear and this was the second straight year I had at least one sale. I am basically the Wilt Chamberlain of selling CDs at weird casinos.

We headed back down to St Paul on Thursday for the first of my five shows headlining the Joke Joint Comedy Club.  The club has a condo, but unlike many condos, this one is the second floor of the club owner’s house so you know he keeps it clean and cozy.  It is like your own small, 2 bedroom apartment equipped with Dish TV and a PS3, which is a great contrast to the comedy condo at Rivercenter Comedy Club in San Antonio Texas, which is fully equipped with West Nile Virus and cockroach semen.

The Thursday show was actually just me doing twenty minutes after a comedy contest, which was fun because you could feel both the fatigue and the “this guy isn’t our fu*king friend” vibe from the crowd. Still sold three CDs to an avid reader of this blog so here’s to you if you are reading this post.

Fridays shows represented the highwater mark of the week for sure.  The early Friday crowd was massive. Not kidding. From what I was told it far exceeded Summer expectations and then I ended up selling 17 CDs after the first show (leaving me with two left for the remaining three shows).  And there was only one complaint to management!  The late Friday show was a much smaller crowd, but really really good (other than the fact that they bought zero CDs).  They also were treated to an eight minute off the cuff discussion of Barkhad Abdi, the Somlian pirate from Captain Phillips and Minnesota resident (until he moved to LA for movies and teeth whitening… I hope) that was not vidotaped and will go down as the greatest 8 minutes of comedy dedicated to Barkhad Abdi EVER.

Saturday’s shows had me stressed because, if I was pushing that much merchandise weight on Friday, there were bound to be a lot of disappointed fans on Saturday. Fortunately for all of us, the large crowd featured a woman I will call Grandma Steve Austin. The show was going alright, but then an odd exchange occurred:

Me: My father is Haitian-

Lady (possibly Grandma, but not sure): We like you anyway!

Crowd: Nervous laughter.

Group of Latin and Possibly Mixed Race Women on the other side of the room: What the fu*k did she just say?

Me: That was weird (followed by some laugh line).

(15 minutes later)

Me: I think if the state has marriage powers then they have to be given to gay couples, but I think sometimes Dads who are upset at having gay sons get a bad rap.

(Definitely) Grandma Steve Austin: FU*K YOU!

Me: (turning to see who she was arguing with to see her staring right at me) Huh? But the joke is really funny

Crowd: TELL IT

Me: (I tell it and it kills)

5 minutes later doing my closer:

Me: So my girlfriend was actually in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street

(I then turn to GSA’s side of the room where she is holding out a double middle fingered salute (Steve Austin style), waiting for me to turn – as in she already had them up before I turned towards her)

So unless this woman has a gay son and was ripped off by Jordan Belfort I am not sure why she was so hostile, though I learned afterward that she was extremely drunk and her husband ditched her halfway through the show.  Sadly this led to me selling zero CDs after the show, mainly because of the awkward tension, even though I did get a “great set” worth of handshakes after the early show.  At this point I was feeling like Tiger Woods chasing Jack Nicklaus – after the 21 CD sales prior to Saturday I figured there was no way I wouldn’t sell out.  Now, just like Tiger, after a belligerant exchange with a woman, I had lost my mojo and was still stuck with 2 left to complete the task. Well, the late crowd was really good, even though it was probably my weakest set of the week.  I sold one album. So I left with 23 from NYC and would return with just one. Pretty good considering for my last road trip (Cleveland-Chicago back-to-back) I brought 40 and returned home with 32.

The next day the club owner was nice enough to drive me to the airport at 545 am where he told me that the headliner at his Houston club, which I will be headlining in September, sold $700 worth of merch this weekend.  Given my track record I better bring more CDs and a willingness to harvest my own organs if I want to sell that well. Stay tuned.

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!