Stand Up Comedy

Roaches vs. Man – My Alamo in the Comedy…

Week 2 of my San Antonio journey officially began yesterday as I moved from the outskirts of San Antonio into the heart of downtown to work at Rivercenter Comedy Club.  A quick breakdown of the two clubs – The LOL Club gets you free admission to the best movie theater in America (Alamo Drafthouse) and quick access to a Cheesecake Factory and a Chick Fil-A.  On the downside you are sort of isolated and the only gym you can workout at is Planet Fitness – a gym that bans jump rope and heavy weights, but does have tootsie rolls and pizza parties.  Now I am at the Rivercenter Comedy Club.  Pluses – near the Alamo, which could be defeated by an athletic high school basketball team (if the tall Dutch were attacking instead of miniature Mexicans it would have been taken faster – the thing is small and short), near a Fogo De Chao (a Brazilian steakhouse that serves unlimited filet mignon) and a free week pass to the Gold’s Gym.  There is a movie theater, but it is not free and not as good, though it is a solid AMC.  So at this point it is hard to draw an overall winner.  Each club has its strengths and weaknesses.  The tie breaker is simple:

LOL Club – comedians get a hotel.  At Rivercenter – comics get the condo.

Whenever a comedian gets booked on the road there are three possibilities: one is the club provides a hotel, the next is they provide a condo – an apartment the club owns or rents and have cleaned once a week for the incoming comedians (do yourself a favor and DO NOT bring a black light – better to live in ignorance) and the last is that the club provides nothing.  Shockingly the lack of any lodging is sometimes preferable to the condo.

The first time I performed at Rivercenter was in Fall 2011 and I did not see one bug the whole week.  So despite other comedians ripping on the condo I had no problem coming back to it.  And during the day I saw nothing.

I did the show that night and had a great set – excellent crowd.  Had fun chatting with the emcee George and the headliner Cory, who was my condo-mate (the headliner gets the room with the 14 inch tube television – BALLER).  However, as I walked back with Cory to the condo after the show he began telling me haunting stories about his last time at the club (which was Fall 2012 – so more recent and relevant) and the high quantity of roaches he saw throughout the apartment (to be fair there are a lot of combat traps and 2 bottles of Raid in the condo).  And like Beetlejuice or Candyman it was as if Cory summoned the evil spirits of roaches and waterbugs by saying their name because when I got back to the condo I saw a large roach climbing the side of my dresser. I promptly smashed it (#hero), but was now convinced/paranoid that the apartment was teeming with them.  I put all my stuff into my suitcase and sprayed every inch of the room with Raid.

We then went out where I decided a few beers might put my already tired ass into a coma so I could pass out without thinking about my new roommates.  We ended up going to this excellent place Mad Dog’s British pub, which featured outstanding karaoke hosts (they looked like an older Amy Poehler and Mya Rudolph performing a sketch about two older women hosting karaoke).  When Cory and I walked in we got great looks of “who ARE these guys” because Cory is short but very jacked and bears a little resemblance to Michael Vick, while I look like a back-up long snapper for an NFL team (hey we both made this fictional roster).  One of the karaoke highlights was one guy wearing a Roger Staubach jersey who did a phenomenal version of Cherry by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons.  The staff was hot, the crowd was fun and the hosts were great (singing, dancing and joking around – I guess women in their mid forties do have something to contribute after all!) and I started to relax.  After a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours we left to go back to the condo.

We were talking in the kitchen area and I was starting to feel comfortable (all the lights on in the apartment) and then a roach just sauntered out towards me in the light of the kitchen.  This roach was like Blade – it was of the night, but could also walk in the light.  I then noticed one on the wall and Cory informed me that a stain on the floor was his handiwork earlier in the day (dead roach stain, not a Cory stain).  I promptly stepped on the one approaching me and declared “I’m out of here.” I felt like those brave souls at the Alamo that I was now so close to – outnumbered by aggressive, tiny, brown creatures.  I then booked a room at a nearby Doubletree for a surprisingly low rate (this blog is sponsored by  When I got to the Doubletree at 3 am the man at the desk looked at me and said “No offense, but you look deathly tired.  Here are a couple of cookies.”  And then I fell asleep in my beautiful room at the Doubletree.

Remember the Condo!

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San Antonio Journal Part I – Chief, The Alamo…

Two smooth flights yesterday, so I did not have a repeat of the near-death experience from two weeks ago on the way to Indianapolis.  Flew to Atlanta from LaGuardia and ran through the airport OJ-style looking for a Chick Fil-A, but could not find the terminal in time before needing to get my connection to San Antonio.  I then found myself sitting right next to a young man, who based on his Mohican eyes and Native American necklace was definitely going to Harvard on a free ride.  He was six foot four and sitting right next to me.  So the two most physically awkward of the 180 passengers on the plane are forced to hip dry hump for two hours to Texas.

On a side note – whoever flew the plane from LaGuardia to Atlanta had the softest landing of all time in Atlanta.  This blog is often a bastion of hate (honest hate, but hate nonetheless) and I think it was important to point out a hero out there.  On the flip side the pilot to from Atlanta to Texas was named Jeff Davis (How did that name not go the way of Adolph – oh right because people in the South still think Jefferson Davis is a hero) and landed quite bumpily in San Antonio.

The comedian condo is located near The Alamo.  Not impressed.  I feel like 10 years ago I might have been able to just jump up and climb over the wall.  It seemed more like a taunt to the little people who were trying to take it.

At the show there were 10 people, all up front (a comedy friendly ratio of 8 women and two men).  Only one man felt free enough to laugh a lot so I probably directed 60% of my “skits” at him.  At the end of my half hour I observed the following break down of the group’s reaction:

  • 6 people clapping (probably an even split of 3 appreciative and 3 obligatory/reluctant)
  • 1 person smiling and doing nothing
  • 2 people staring with arms folded in protest
  • 1 person shaking her head disapprovingly

After my “comedy thing” I went looking for food in the shopping mall, but it was already 9pm so everyone was closing shop to prepare for the rapture, except for Chili’s and Hooters.  Now given the dismissive reaction I had just been given from over a half dozen women, Hooters would have been the logical, get even, degrade-my-enemy type move, but I went against my instinct and had a burger and fries at Chilis.  But on the televisions in Chilli’s was the show Revenge, so apparently women were not done ruining my night.  I observed 15 minutes of the show and I hope the creators of that show die alone.  Of course my anger took a turn for the weird when I was banging on the door of a closing Hooters screaming, “I cannot take our stupid, female driven pop culture – I want to degrade you with an 8% tip!!!!”

I slept about 11 hours last night (slightly interrupted because of an incredible loud cracking sound that keeps emanating from my window), which may sound like a good thing, but I have not slept that much since I was skipping classes, neck deep in depression, in law school. In other words – it is a great thing!!!!  That law school depression is what drove me to comedy.  Perhaps now I am being driven to find some other form of life that will offer temporary happiness and years of torment!  Def poetry slam runner up has a nice ring to it.