This past weekend I was at the Brokerage Comedy Club in Bellmore, Long Island. I had performed there once before and it would have been a very forgettable weekend for anyone who is not a grudge holding comedian with a great disdain for Long Island. So I went to the Brokerage, post Thanksgiving, prepared for verbal warfare. Turned out the shows went really well, although they sort of had a downward trajectory.
The emcee was Meghan Hanley a young white woman bursting with smiles, and the headliner was Steve White, a black guy bursting with smiles, so I had a critical dual role in the show: I was meant to ease the crowd into a darker skin tone and to present a darker world view, in case the emcee and headliner gave them the perception that everything was OK. And the crowds did a good job in easing me into a darker and darker mood.
Friday’s show went off without a hitch. Really great reaction from the crowd, though more than one person approached me after the show to verify that my Dad was black (and not a clever comedy trick I use to talk about Haitian people). Oh Long Island! You and your white flight Jews and Catholics!!!
Saturday’s shows started great, and by started great I mean I was able to say approximately 40 words until some Italian Napoleon decided to interrupt my bit on Big and Tall Stores:
Napoleonzo – “Hey, my buddy is 6’7″!” pointing to his friend
Me – “Ok – cool. Thanks.”
Napoleonzo – (Raising his hand to interrupt me) “So you are probably 6’5″ if you guys stand back to back” (because that is how you measure height – not by rulers apparently)
Me – “OK – Hey everyone I just got challenged to a height off by a friend of a guy! (Pause) You know what Fuck that Joke! No it had a punchline and everything, but it was made so much better by a dick interrupting to have a conversation.”
And herein lies the problem with being my size. If I was 5’7″ dude I would be a snarky guy. Instead as an angry looking 6’7″ no matter how sarcastic (or how right I am in complaining) nothing can halt comedy momentum like me attacking an audience member.
The show continued, mostly without a problem and the post show response was pleasant. My favorite post show interaction was with a 52 year old divorced Mom who informed me that she felt like I was wasting so much potential (I told some bits about having been a lawyer). She had a look of such sadness that it started to depress me. And she was a divorced Mom attending an over 45 singles event at a comedy club! As we talked it eventually turned out she was dragging me down because she was really projecting lost life opportunities of her own. I then asked her if we had been engaged at some point, but it turns out we had not been.
The second show on Saturday was going really well, but about 16 minutes into my set some older drunk gentleman definitely said something disparaging in the corner. Now the Brokerage is a small and cozy club so if you are talking in anything above a small whisper it is audible. I looked at the guy and realized I was not good at dealing with hecklers. The guy looked like a drunk Ted Kennedy and my instinct was to say, “Listen to me you ruddy, drunk Irish fuck – say something again and I’ll bury you at the bottom of a lake with your shit family you Ted Kennedy looking bag of shit.” Of course my better angels tell me not to say that, but because my temper is so out of control, my better angel cannot come up with more acceptable ways of dealing with hecklers – it is either drop a nuclear bomb or say nothing. Throw in the fact that I am the size of a defensive end and I am forced to just take it.
Post show though I still got lots of compliments, handshakes and the club paid me so it all ended well. Thanks to everyone who came out, except for the friend of the tall guy and the Ted Kennedy looking guy. I hope you both have horrible lives.
I am headlining a casino in the middle of Minnesota on Wednesday. Then I am headlining the Joke Joint in St. Paul Thursday through Saturday. See you there, no one that reads this blog!