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Comedy Recap: If an Album Is Recorded in the…

This past Saturday I recorded my 4th album at the Triad Theater in Manhattan.  I will be reviewing the recording this week and deciding what stays and what goes.  I do not know what the album title will be, but I do know that the three best tracks were “Why White Women Disappear,” “Cheating Cops,” and “The Main Goal of a Father” are three of the best bits I have on any of my albums (“cheating cops” was almost entirely off the cuff, which feels good).  And comedian Chris Lamberth did a masterful job opening up the show for me.  And then sharing cookies with me in my post-job well done show ritual.

The night was not without disappointment.  Despite having sold out my first two album recordings at the same venue and drawing over 130 people to Philadelphia for my third album, Too Big To Fail, I drew lightly, by comparison, for this show.  First I must say a heartfelt thank you to everyone  who showed up – the bonus for you is that you may be able to hear your individual laugh, which is one of the consistent bonus to people who come to my shows.  But it did feel bittersweet that I was able to draw a lot more people to a show on a Wednesday in Philadelphia than to a venue in my hometown on a Saturday.  But as I tweeted last week, stand up comedy life is basically a race to replace the friends you lose with fans before you go broke.  I feel like the perception in your hometown (if your hometown is NYC) until you get famous is “oh my friend is doing a thing,” but the novelty is gone from when you started, no matter how much better and accomplished you are.  However, doing something in another city than your hometown makes you look more significant because they only know you on the merit of your stand up.   But the lowest points were definitely a few hours before the show.  Here are my top (bottom) four moments:

  • 6 Hours before the show I get a text from a fellow comedian, who replied “maybe” to my Facebook invite, telling me where he and several comedians were meeting to watch the 8pm Knicks-Pacers game (I predicted Pacers in 6 three weeks ago so I could have saved a lot of time for people).  This was the first “uh oh” moment leading to the recording.  I look forward to the day I get married because I assume I will get an invite to a bar crawl from this person while I put on my tux.
  • 5 hours before the show I get a message on Facebook from a former work colleague that I invited to the show asking me “what is a good comedy club to go to tonight?”  This was the one that sort of threw my mindset off a little bit.  My philosophy is support me or ignore me, but don’t be oblivious to the point of interrupting my life with stupidity.  I replied with “Well I am recording my album tonight, but I suppose that does not count.”  He replied with some semi-non sequitur and I told him to use google.
  • When I saw my buddy log on to the Play Station network before leaving for the theater I said to myself  “I guess you are moving yourself from the ‘maybe attending’ to the ‘not attending’ list.”
  • One hour before the show I ran into a friend who lives on the same block as the theater who was leaving said block to go to a meeting and could not make the show.

So the set went well, the crowd was smaller than wanted, but great in enthusiasm.  The album will be damn good.  The last month of my comedy career has had more good things happen (got a gig co-hosting a web series with Discovery on dumb criminals/legal proceedings, got lots of buzz from the Louis CK video – we will see how far that buzz goes – and wrote and produced another surefire video hit, Alt Wolf coming out this week) than the last several years combined.  I was hoping that the show, which had some of the best bits I have ever written, would be the cherry on top of this month, but instead it was the crushed walnuts on the comedy sundae – useful, not bad, but not the perfect ending I hoped for.  But now I am more motivated than ever to continue this good run I have been having.  Look for the album this Summer. 

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

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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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One Month Until The New Album Recording!

One month from today (May 18th if you are bad at words and math) I record my 4th stand up album LIVE in NYC at the Triad Theater.   Get tickets here:

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/367876

I would love to pack the place.  Tickets are only $10 so please organize your friends and colleagues who are frieds of stand up comedy (and not easily offended hopefully, but I will accept their money anyway) and buy tickets in advance (advance sales are key for me).

Thanks – see you in a month!

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Sets and The Cities

It has been a whirlwind of emotions over the last few days based on the shows I have had.  Surprisingly the emotions were both bad and good, which differs from my normal emotional responses to comedy of bad and worse.  I will start with the bad news, since that is how it happened chronologically.

Saturday night I was co-headlining a show at the Triad Theater in the west 70s of Manhattan.  Comedy crowds come in different bunches.  Sometimes you get hardened comedy fans.  Those are great crowds – they want good comedy and understand the medium and are not easily offended.  Then you have tourist-type crowds that generally want to hear the most basic comedy and are easily offended.  But then there is a third, wild-card crowd, that one can see in Manhattan, which is a crowd consisting of other comics’ friends.  Now if those friends are comedy savvy people then they tend to embrace all types of comedy.  In other cases, they are groups of people who are prepared to laugh at their friend, because their friend is mostly their only exposure to stand up comedy and everyone else to them ranges from unamusing (because you are not their friend) to shockingly inappropriate (because they think stand up comedy is what CBS comedies do).  Well guess which one I got Saturday night?

My initial material dealt with interracial porn and how we could never be a racism-free society as long as there were people in America that believe whites and blacks having sex together represents a taboo in keeping with some of the other more anatomically shameful porn genres.  I got nothing (obviously this concept was presented in more joke form and not as a graduate thesis).  The few laughs I got were from a few comics and a few people, but the mention of race and sex, even in a sanitized way, seemed to elicit a “We didn’t know a comedian was going to discuss race and sex! Well I never!”  So in what is becoming an increasingly annoying flaw in my stand up I took the uptight comedy stupidity of the majority of the crowd and looked at them with disdain the rest of the show.  I made sure to be harsher and more care free with my material, which actually won me about 12 of the 45 people in the crowd.  However, the remaining 33 seemed to genuinely hate me.  Which actually felt good.  They were only ruining one evening with their response: mine.  But I was ruining 33 evenings with my routine.

Say Goonigh to de bah guy Triad Theater!

Confirming the depth of the hatred some members of the crowd had for me was a story told to me by the date of a friend of mine in attendance.  After the show, she was in the bathroom and heard a woman say, “I liked the show, but I wanted to stab that last guy in the face.”

In case you are wondering, I was the “last guy.”

But redemption was only a few days away.  I had a private show for Comcast at Helium Comedy Club in Philadelphia last night.  I kept my set clean (not one curse in 45 minutes is the longest I have spoken, let alone performed, curse free since I  was 12 years old), I riffed about 20 minutes of political material that went over well and as of today no one has made an official complaint to my knowledge.  So it was good to wash away the bad taste of Saturday with a strong showing last night.  But the cherry on top was sharing a train ride home from Philadelphia with Samantha Jones a/k/a Kim Cattrall.

Who's that tall drink of beige hatred?

I am very well versed in Sex and the City.  An odd admission perhaps, but the same way Malcolm X was knowledgeable of the Bible, I felt it necessary to understand the white devil in my own fashion.  But let me tell you, my seething disdain for the culture that Sex and the City spawned (or at least greatly augmented) all but melted away when I saw Kim Cattrall.  I actually did not think it was her because she looked much younger than what I assumed her age was (dead).  But she had not one, but two personal assistants (gay man and hipster looking chick) with her so that settled it for me.  In all honesty it is pretty intimidating when you see a woman from television that you never found THAT attractive relatively to other women on television, but then you see them in person and it opens your eyes.  I felt the same way when I was in the same green room with Teri Polo (Greg Focker’s wife in Meet The Parents) several years ago.  All I could think was “If Greg Focker’s wife looks this good in person, then Macy Gray must be a fu*king knockout!”

Kim and I rode in the same car (we agreed that I could be on a first name basis with her), so hopefully everyone else in that train car realized the star power they were surrounded by.  And just in case I thought that Sex and the City was a horrible show for a generation of young women it was refreshing to see one of the show’s stars travelling the same way as the miserable King of Greyhound Comedy.  Hello gorgeous.