Comedy Recap of the Week: Heckled by 3 Women…

I did a show in Park Slope last night – a show that I usually have fun at and  always find interesting.  It is run by the very funny comedian/Twitter-philosopher Yannis Pappas and there was a sizeable crowd most of the night at the small bar.  I was scheduled to go last because they were kind enough to give me a little extra time as I prep for my CD recording.  I started the set so-so, but then got into my quick bit about Fun. and Lena Dunham.  It received good laughs from the crowd according to my recording of the show, but I lost three women in the crowd (separate women – they were not friends or sitting with each other).  When I compared Dunham’s body to a manatee, which I assumed would elicit anger from manatee fans, I was shocked to hear these three women express displeasure.  I moved on to a bit that did well (though I carried it for about 30 seconds too long) about subtle racism in pop music and then I made the mistake of asking the crowd,”Did I lose you guys after the Lena Dunham bit – is she the patron Saint of Brooklyn ( if you recall from one of last week’s posts – I got a similar reaction from some people at a different Brooklyn location)?”  And then the three women spoke up.  To introduce you to the cast of characters:

1) The unfunny woman trying comedy who bombed 20 minutes before I went on stage, a/k/a Ms. Unfunny.  This woman is trying to do comedy and apparently the first lesson she learned was to save her best quips for a comedian who follows her.  To put it this way, she was so bad the Huffington Post has put her on a list of women NOT to follow on Twitter.  Her set was bad, but her comment that I had the same physique as Dunham (considering I am in the worst shape of my life and a man I am not sure how that is defending Dunham, but so be it).  My response was to tell her “you are a suicide bomber comedian – you go into a room and not only destroy your own set, but ruin other comedians’ sets as well.  Congrats.”  I then told her she should quit and that her set would technically not count as a start in comedy anyway.

Now for anyone who thinks this is me complaining about an unfunny woman, I am not.  A person trying comedy for what appears to be the first time should know enough not to heckle another performer – especially for the sole reason that he mocked the creator of an HBO show.

2) The woman who demanded napkins from me several times during the show without a thank you or a please because apparently I am her employee AND she had lengthy, unwanted conversations with multiple comics during their sets when she interrupted her nonstop texting sessions, a/k/a Princess.   Her claim to fame at this point was that during the Dunham discussion she said, without taking credit, “Where’s the guy Yannis told to ‘waaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaa’ after a bad joke?”  She did not take credit for it once I focused on her, but we eventually had a heart to heart at the end of my set (foreshadowing).

3) A woman with a very tough, big-chick-escorting-JamieLannister-on-Game-Of-Thrones haircut also chimed in – but she doesn’t get a nickname because after she voiced very brief disapproval of my joke about Dunham she said nothing else to my memory.  So I guess thanks for respecting or at least tolerating 99% of my set like a civilized audience member.

Now there is a reason I generally do not engage hecklers.  I have no moderation.  I go from ignoring them to wanting to curb stomp them like in American History X.  But during this first interruption I kept my cool and actually recovered nicely for another 7 minute stretch of material and laughter.  I did throw in an “unlike Sam Morril (the comedian who was mired in a big blogosphere discussion on rape jokes last week), I am advocating violence against women” but we moved on.  I actually did a new bit about how I put on too much weight, so in a move that would make feminist bloggers proud I took the insults from Ms. Unfunny and turned them into an empowering statement about how I often eat cookies out of my own garbage can.

For a while I was feeling really good because I felt like I had moved on from a very awkward phase and was getting laughs. And then with exactly 2 minutes left in my set I went Neil in Heat.  What I mean by that is not that I started humping legs like a dog named Neil.  I am referring to the concluding scene in Heat where Robert DeNiro’s character has narrowly escaped trouble and is on the way to the airport with his girlfriend about to live his life free and rich, but at the last second he makes a pitstop near the airport to kill the man who betrayed him in the beginning of the film.  That decision changes everything and leads to his (spoiler of a 1995 film) death.  And that is what I did in the last 2 minutes.  Here is a sample of what I said:

“Who cares about rape jokes… I am wishing death on two people in this audience.”

“That Cleveland case was horrific, wasn’t it.  The silver lining is that that 6 year old will grow up to either be horrible in bed… or fantastic.”

Now those lines were meant to horrify.  The second line is along the lines of a well worked out bit I have (though it is not part of the bit), but I blurted out this clearly insensitive line just to elicit horror and oh boy, did it ever.  I do not do this ever and do not advocate shocking comedy for shock’s sake, but I wanted to rile up the people I was pissed at in the audience.  Here is the transcript:


Princess: I can’t even… that is disgusting…

Me:  I know it is. So are you. Fu*k you.

Random Irish Guy: No man – fu*k you – everything else was fine, but fuck that.

Princess: That was disgusting.

Me: I know, but this is not my Comedy Central taping (random chuckles).  Thank you for the time though Yannis.

Princess: Have some grace for that girl.

Me: Grace? You have been a rude cu*t this whole show.  You demand napkins at the bar like I’m an employee.  You’re cute and you have an iPhone that you have not stopped looking at the whole show, except to interrupt, but you are a piece of shit as a person so fu*k your grace comments…. Frank Gallo and Yannis Pappas than you for the time. Not sure if I picked up any Twitter followers tonight.

I then exited the stage and gave Princess a huge smile.  The Irish guy tapped me on the shoulder and said “You were hilarious but that one line was too much.” And he was right.

So after reviewing this I apologize for last night to the audience at Bar 4, even though I am really sad only because I reflected poorly on myself.  And I used valuable stage time to get into personal attacks instead of using it for working on other bits.  So my advice to comics is use stage time wisely, try not to be too mean if it is not necessary, don’t heckle other comics if you are a comedian (or atempting to be one), and if you see the woman known as Princess in this blog, don’t let her in to your show.

Don’t forget tickets to my new CD recording May 18th in NYC can be bought HERE –

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


Sticker Stupidity: My Made Up, But Plausible History of…

I am not a fashionable person. I was wearing flannel before, during and twenty years after the grunge movement of the early 1990s.  I wear New Balance sneakers and sweatpants a majority of the week.  I buy my suits at Jos. A Bank (how can you beat “buy 1, get 47” free sales?).  But sometimes things are so awful that even my primitive fashion sense is offended.  One thing that has been number for many years on my “fashion items I hate” are babydoll dresses, or as I refer to them “FUPA” covering dresses.   The most misleading item in fashion basically begin at the end of a woman’s breasts and then finish at the conclusion of the woman’s flaws or bloating, depending on whether she is on a permanent or 4 day expansion, respectively.   For several years this Trojan Horse of fashion has been my least favorite item of clothing, but over the last couple years it has been bumped out of the #1 spot buy New Era baseball caps with stickers on the brims.

I own a New Era baseball cap.  It is a Yankee fitted (the game version, not one of the 477 varieties of Yankee caps that have been released – you know so that you have a specific Yankee fitted hat for every holiday from 4th of July to St Patrick’s Day to Arbor Day) and I have owned it for several years.  It is broken in and lacks any price tags or stickers because I am not a fu*king moron.

I do not know the day the trend of leaving stickers on a cap began but I know it has emerged in the last couple of years.  Here are the many different explanations I have seen on-line:

  • Emulating athletes who receive brand new caps on draft day
  • Maintaining a “fresh” cap to symbolize the freshness of the person wearing it
  • Wearing the sticker to pretend that you have so much money that you don’t care

One explanation that a friend of mine had offered, not by way of knowledge, but just hypothesis, was that maybe it started as an act of civil disobedience.  Since it is a trend that began among black people, the idea was that with mall security and store employees discriminating against black youth in stores (questioning, following around suspiciously, etc.) keeping the sticker on after purchasing would act as a deterrent to being questioned, or would at least make people who are eyeing young black men suspiciously could be made to look foolish.  I thought this would be a great reason… if it were at all true.  However, I could find no evidence that this fashion AIDS has any root in civil disobedience.  Sorry, but when you look at Martin Luther King Jr.’s brim in any old photos you will not see a tag or sticker still on it.

Another explanation that I have pondered, (and at the risk of accidentally stealing material, I think comedian Yannis Pappas may have said this before I did in my presence at his show in Brooklyn), is that black people were simply doing the dumbest thing they could think of and seeing if white people would still steal/copy it. (If Yannis tells me he did not say this, consider it a new joke of mine).

But assuming none of these are true, all I can think is that this trend started out of sheer stupidity.  It is this generation’s pet rock.  But it is also evidence of the power black people have on influencing our culture.  Enough talk about “Girls” on HBO, black people can take some (non-compensated) comfort that they still disproportionately influence the culture (and in most cases is good, but not in this one).  Here’s is my brief, informal history of the sticker-on-brim phenomenon across racial lines:

  • Black youth start wearing stickers on their brims for some unexplained or unjustifiable reason
  • Latinos, as with the N word, quickly begin using it  as well to get grandfathered in when the race war begins
  • White people resist and mock
  • White people begin to actually market stickers and the hats now have bigger and more ornate stickers KNOWING that people will not leave the sticker on the hat (perhaps googly eyes or scratch n sniff are next)
  • Dumb white teens begin doing it, as evidenced by J-L Cauvin seeing no less than 7 white youths wearing stickered brims at the Yankee Game on April 27, 2012 (and only 2 were Guido-types!)

There you have it – white people stole blacks from Africa, stole their music for Elvis and stole golf back from Tiger Woods.  But now they have tipped their hand too much.  It is now clear that white people will try to copy any trend from black people no matter how dumb.  Just three years after a black man got the Presidency, a white dude is trying to take it back, despite clearly being an awful job.  But the brim sticker phenomenon is inexcusable.  No one can offer a legitimate explanation for why people do it and the people who do it refuse to acknowledge that it is absurdly dumb looking.  So shame on you black people for starting a stupid trend and shame on you Latinos and white for copying it.

But thank you Jeremy Lin for not doing it. Yet.


2009-2010 All ABF Team

With the NBA Finals upon us and the end of the River Bar showcase (becoming a weekly open mic starting in July) I thought it would be a good time to announce the first and only All-Always Be Funny teams from both the River Bar and Village Lantern shows (criteria was crowd reaction, my reaction, difficulty of show (tilted heavily towards River Bar participants) and Paul The Bartender’s response if at River Bar).  But before getting to this I’d like to thank every comic that has appeared on my shows the last year. 

Now here comes a long comedy-sports analogy because I like both and know that 80% of comedians will not understand (so hopefully someone will be able to translate it into Marvel Comics language or something else that will compute)

1st Team

Yannis Pappas – The best performance at any show I ran this past year (July 2009-June 2010).  Granted it was at the Village Lantern which is like a Comedy Central Presents compared to half of the River Bar shows this past year, but it was a great performance that would have worked in a broom closet.  Killed it with a relentless energy and various pantomimes of sexual acts on stage.  I’m not sure there’s anyone tougher to follow in the city right now, but one of my favorites to watch. 

Rob O’Reilly– One of only a few comics to actually kill at River Bar when patronage was well down.  Also one of only 3 comics to earn an enthusiastic rating from Paul, the bartender at River Bar.

Helen Hong– ditto Rob O’Reilly – but was Paul the Bartender’s favorite comic.  One of the few comics to actually make multiple appearances at River Bar.

Rory Scovel – At a poorly attended show at River Bar, managed to save the show, by doing a 5 minute play by play of a playoff baseball game as if the pitcher’s inner monologue were a sensitive gay man. 

J-L Cauvin – if only for mere cumulative laughs from having been on every show sans one. And I am Paul the bartender’s 3rd favorite  comic.

2nd Team

Sean Donnelly – except for me, logged the most time at River Bar, which slowly became a torture chamber for comedy.  And despite this, SD was able to bully crowds into paying attention and eventually laughing. 

Matt Maragno– the Pau Gasol performance – great, but overshadowed historically by being on the same show as Yannnis Pappas (Kobe in this analogy with the same verbal aggression that Kobe has on the court and in Denver motels) on the same show.  Every resident of Gramercy should hear “Coffee and Cream” (and my use of the word “historically” above is limited to my memory of comedy shows I run)

Dave Lester– Unlike the NBA we had to wait until here to see our first full fledged black guy (also from the show with Maragno and Pappas).  Got an enthusiastic response from my friend John.  To put this in perspective, John once skipped a show of mine at a bar to go to a bar next door, just to avoid comedy.  So if he considered it worthy, then it was.

Jess Burkle– Saw this guy murder within his first months in comedy (which goes to show a Harvard degree and experience in acting can go a long way in making a comedian).  I was not present for his ABF performance, but word of mouth was very strong and having seen him kill in Hoboken at The Goldhawk (the ABA to ABF’s NBA) I have complete faith in this decision.

Mike Lawrence– strong set on a night that was almost derailed by an awkward Ray Combs Jr. vs. Joe DeRosa quasi-showdown.  It is also worth noting that Mike Lawrence just edged out Ray Combs Jr’s testicles which made a 20 second appearance on stage at the Village lantern.

Thanks again everyone – now come say goodbye to River Bar’s showcase THIS THURSDAY.  It will be a great show and followed by the Lakers-Celtics Game 1. So if you like comedy, hoops and comedy-hoops themed blogs then you should be there. It is free and the lineup is excellent.