This weekend I had, what appears to be my final gig of 2015, in Saratoga Springs, NY. And like the race horses that have run there, my career has been begging to be euthanized. On top of that general malaise, I also was (and still am) in the midst of the worst cold I have had in many years. But it was with the warrior’s determination of a vagrant participating in a bum fight that I boarded the PATH train to Hoboken to meet up with Usama and Dan, another comedian on the show and the show’s producer, respectively, to ride up to Saratoga. Usama, who turns out was going to go to medical school before discovering comedy, or as I call it, “the poor man’s def poetry”, showed off his brains and wit quickly, as he pick 6’d one of my jokes in our initial conversation (a “pick 6” is a term I coined for when a comedian telegraphs his (sigh… or her) punchline so badly that were it a football pass you could intercept it and take it in for a touchdown. In this case it felt more like I had been picked off by Richard Sherman or Darrel Revis (like when I anticipated a Bill Burr punchline correctly at MSG – sometimes a brilliant comedic mind can make a great play without it being the QB/joke teller’s fault). In my case, Usama and I were looking at the Freedom Tower from Hoboken (a Bangladeshi man named Usama and a bi-racial Egyptian-looking giant surveying the Freedom Tower from New Jersey – I am scared and angry that we weren’t profiled) and I said, telling him it was a joke (instead of being one of the comedians who pretends like his organic conversation just naturally morphs into well constructed bits), that it is a good thing we didn’t have cell phone cameras on 9/11 because nothing would have been worse – and he interrupted me and said “People shouting world star as the towers fell!” And at that moment I realized either I am losing my fastball or Usama is a sharp dude/comedian. Needless to say both my comedic instincts and my self preservation instincts compel me to choose the latter.
So Dan showed up shortly after Usama and I met and we got into Dan’s Subaru. Dan is Italian, but also has a Mediterranean skin tone that could easily be construed as Middle Eastern, so basically we had a sleeper cell headed to Saratoga, with much worse funding. Usama fell asleep in the backseat for just about the entire ride up, which allowed me to eat horribly at rest stops without the skinny dude body shaming me. #DoveSoapAd
We arrived at the venue, The Parting Glass Pub, at around 7, just in the nick of time for the 915pm start time. There were just as many headhsots of horses as there were of entertainers, or maybe Tony Robbins used to do comedy. I sat in a half coma sounding like Stephen Hawking with a stuffy nose, hacking like I was in the last stages of Ebola, which allowed me the isolation I needed to prep for my set. The show went really well with Usama really impressing me (he did use the “soul bounce”, generally saved for black comics in all white rooms (trademark pending), to point out he was a real outlier compared to the crowd, whose racial makeup was somewhere between albino and bleach, but his set was really great). I did well with my 40 minute set (my timer after read “40:07” which proves that even when sick I am a well-oiled machine of struggling comedy) despite my cold and the local guy taping the show was nice enough to tell me he was a huge fan of my appearances on The Adam Carolla Show. Basically this was like Jordan’s flu game against the Utah Jazz, but for upstate NY comedy shows.
We then departed back for Hoboken, stopping just once at a Roy Rodgers where I got a burger and fries just to ensure that death would come swiftly. We arrived in Hoboken at 3:00 am and Usama took the PATH back to the city. I got home at 3:45 and celebrated a good show with a chipwich and 4 hours of sleep. For one little show the money was good, though I did the math and if I had simply worked on my legal assignment for the entire time I spent on the Saratoga trip I would have made triple the money. When you are willing to sacrifice comfort and money for comedy that is a sign of dedication to your craft. Or a sign of masochism. Either way, looks like that is the last road update of 2015. Thanks for the least productiv & least lucrative year of comedy road work for me in 7 years comedy biz! #Blessed