This is the part of the website where I write funny things about life and figure out new stand-up bits. Also maybe talk about what’s been going on in comedy and mah life. I.E.- This is where I get real y’all.
11/27/12- SEE YA
The other day I said to someone, ‘See ya’! Wouldn’t wanna be ya’!’ But I said it to Nelson Mandela who I really would wanna be so I felt like a dumbass. As a result, now I only shout it at homeless people so that way I can mean it.
11/21/12- THANKSGIVING- Thanksgiving is the name of the holiday forthcoming, but it’s got a different name in Native American Culture. To them, Thanksgiving is known as ‘The Day Stuff Started Going Downhill.’ That’s when Chief ‘Bad Judge of Character’ was in charge.
Chief Bad Judge of Character to his fellow tribesmen- ‘Hey Fellas, they’re giving us a blanket with small pox for the state of New York! It sounds like a fair trade! I’m takin’ it!’
The thing I love most about Thanksgiving is the legend of it, like it’s a Star Trek episode. Like the Pilgrims landed, the Native Americans spoke perfect English and it’s like no, there had to be some obstacles to overcome before they sat down to eat. Like the Pilgrims landed and went ‘Hello! We’re seeking religious and political refuge from our oppressive government!’
Native Americans- ‘Inu-ya-shi-inu-wa-shu-wa’
Pilgrims- ‘Well…Let’s eat.’
There has to be more to that story than they tell us.
Regardless, have a Happy Beginning of Genocide Day!
11/21/12- ABORTED FETUSIES-
So some people think aborted fetuses are people. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it is true, Heaven is gross. There have to be just a ton of aborted fetuses littered everywhere. It’s gotta be like gum on the sidewalk, like ‘Oh, watch your step Charlemagne, nearly stepped in aborted fetus over there.’
That’s pretty much all.
7/10/12- SIGNS OF A DOG SHIT ROOM- Here’s a link to an article I wrote on the ComedyofChicago website. It’s all about what signs there are for when you know you’re about to perform in a terrible room before you go up on stage. Read at your leisure.
6/30/12- PLAYING A HAUNTED COMEDY CLUB- This weekend I went and played at a haunted comedy club. Which sucked ’cause I couldn’t tell if the ghosts there liked the show or not. Eventually they clarified by going ‘BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I’m not trying to scare you, I just thought that joke really sucked!’ After over two months of not writing, this is what I come up with. Lucky you. I’m actually only still writing to cover up the blank space that would be here between this blog post and the next were it not for these words. This blank space covered up by this writing of nothing in particular displays how little effort and time I took to write this ghost ‘joke.’ The fact that it actually doesn’t even cover up an already minimized picture of a ghost is a little embarassing. The original picture was much bigger but I didn’t feel like covering up even more space with mindless blather, yet here we are. Ok, minimum characters reached. Go about your day you dumbass. You just read more words that were used to cover formatting than you actually read content. I hope you die in a bathtub.
4/4/12- GREEN BAY EH?- So I did two shows in Green Bay (Actually Depere, WI, but it’s right on the border) headlining, doing 50 minutes a pop, for a total of probably 30 people. I think it was 18 at the first show and 12 at the second show. It was still fun actually and the challenge was worth the reward. Certainly not my type of crowd. Rural and old don’t mix well with jokes about poop marijuana boxes and Pol Pot and Stalin references (For poop marijuana box joke, click on videos and watch the top one to see it. It’s at about 5:15 minutes in.)
Not that anyone should really relate to poop marijuana box (The actual title of the joke is ‘Make Daddy Proud’) however this crowd especially shouldn’t. Yet they did like it. At one of the shows.
Regardless, that’s not what was strange about this experience. What was strange was that there was this couple, or what appeared to be a couple, that apparently were also swingers. So it seemed. Why?
All right, so here’s the skinny, some facts to lay down as to why I think these two were together and then later on thought they were swingers:
1) They were alone together at our show and even afterwards at the bar. (Facts that lead to them being a couple)
2) The lady was all over my friend and I. (Ok, maybe they’re not a couple)
3) The gentleman seemed to have no problem with said lady being all over us. (Ok, maybe they’re a couple but are cool with this?)
4) As we were leaving, the lady asked ‘Why are you leaving? Why don’t you stay?’ Which is a standard lady move when wanting someone to stay longer for sexual favors. Basically saying ‘Why don’t you stay? You know. Where I live. Stay there.’ Which would have been normal had the dude not been saying ‘Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.’ (Soooo what the fuck is happening here?)
5) They watched the 8 pm show, then hung out in the bar waiting until after the 10 pm show to see us. (This is creepy no matter what the situation is.)
Now we left because we had no desire to find out what the real situation was with those two. That said, my fellow comic and I hop in the car to head back home to Chicago (At midnight from Green Bay, which means we’d rather drive 4 hours at midnight then see what would happen to us in the sinful town of Depere, WI.)
I had bought some snacks for the road home. As I’m about to toss some peanuts in my mouth, I catch a familiar whiff of something and say ‘Why do my hands smell like pussy?’ David Drake, the feature comic I rode with says ‘Dude. Mine do too.’ We had shaken hands with this couple and a multitude of other people. So maybe it was the combination of enough random Depere hands that caused the smell. Or…maybe that couple did something whilst away during the 10 pm show.
I have no clue. Regardless, it’s certainly disturbing to find out as you’re putting food that goes into your body with your hands that your hands smell like pussy when you have not been near one all night.
You may say I’m being crude and ‘What does pussy smell like Joe, you crude bastard?’ It smells like roses. There. How respectful is that? When talkin’ about puss, ‘Very respectful’ is the answer.
3/19/12- SAINT PATRICK WOULD BE PROUD- This past Saturday, March 17th 2012, was the closest thing I’ve seen to the apocalypse in Chicago since I moved here. More so than the Blackhawks championship. More so than any gay pride parade traffic I’ve been stuck in. All day and night, the streets were flooded with idiots in giant green hats and flashing clovers hanging from a necklace made of green Mardi Gras beads. This is the legacy left behind by a patron saint.
If I ever become cannonized as a Saint, my one hope would be that I get remembered, not for the actions I did, but for making dummies dress up as exaggerated characterizations from the country whose history I changed, and using the most prominent stereotype from said country to be exploited so I can support my crippling addicition in a more fun and festive way.
I go against the grain when it comes to St. Patty’s Day. I don’t want to get drunk to commemorate someone. I want to act like that person did to honor their actions. Which is why I wait ’til St. Mother Teresa’s day to just go nuts adopting orphans and helping out teen prostitutes with leprosy.
The problem with everyone getting drunk on St. Patty’s Day too is that most likely no one even knows the REAL reason he’s a Saint. He never chased snakes out of Ireland. I don’t even know how you chase a solitary snake, much less multiple ones. Regardless, St. Pat is a saint because he brought Catholicism to Ireland from England. Something that would never cause any tension later on between the two countries. Good on ya’ St. Patty.
Probably the worst part of the holiday is it brings out everyone I ever hated in high school and college and makes them wander the streets. It terrifies me. You never know when someone is going to randomly yell in your face or just shout ‘FAGGOT’ as you walk by. I’d rather walk through Cabrini Green circa 1999 if for no other reason then the fact that the people who beat me up or kill me at least would have a reason to be angry based on inequality in the school system and coming from a broken impoverished home rather than being hammered and privileged thinking ‘This guy deserves to get beat up for being less cool than me. Plus my dick is huge so I have to prove that to the girl over there with the dyed blonde hair blended with her dyed jet black hair that I’m cool enough to fuck her.’
It also is hard to fathom how many people at one point in time on that day are puking, having sex in a filthy place where sex shouldn’t be happening (Ex: Behind a dumpster, in a Walgreens, etc.) or just flat out date raping.
I did come up with a slogan for the girls I saw walking around the streets a la Miller Lite. ’Great Body, Less Personality.’ Pretty funny huh…(Cough.)
All right, that’s all I had on this stupid holiday. See you guys in another month while I remain lazy and don’t update this blog.
2/23/12- DEDICATION AND BOREDOM- So at the start of the week, I was pretty excited. I had two shows in Cleveland. I had a place to stay. A way to get there and back. And I was with two of my favorite comics/friends. But then there was a phone call that somewhat ruined the trip. Because it turned my time in Cleveland into two trips.
I got a call back for a commercial which normally would have made me very giddy, but it was on a Tuesday. My shows in Cleveland were on Monday and Tuesday. So in other words. Drive to Cleveland. Do the show (Which fortunately enough was as late as possible starting close to 11 pm.) Drive back to Chicago from Midnight (Central time) to 6 AM. Get two hours sleep. Do the audition. Drive straight back to Cleveland. Do the other show. Sleep for 10 hours. Drive back to Chicago.
Overall, it wouldn’t have been that bad, but on the drive back to Chi-town it started to snow at 5 in the morning and what would have been a half-hour ride home was turned into an hour and a half. I was groggy. Couldn’t see shit. Felt like I was going to die the entire time.
Earlier in the drive it was weird stopping at gas stations too. Like at 2:30 in a service station, it just looks like 5 guys got together for the ‘Who’s creepiest’ competition. Not that I’d expect normal people there. I guess if I had seen another dude in a peacoat and jeans similar to mine, that would be the guy I’d trust least ’cause he’d seem like he was trying too hard to be normal. I had to stop 6 times on the first trip back to Chicago and then stopped 6 times again on the second trip back to Cleveland because A) I was by myself falling asleep while driving, and B) I constantly had to piss due to all the coffee and Red Bull I was drinking (This post is coincidentally sponsored by coffee and Red Bull.)
There was a point where I got so delirious at 3:30 in the morning, I stopped at a service station that had one of the saddest game rooms I’ve ever seen. No shooting or car driving games. Just the claw machine, Addams Family pin ball, and Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga. Good thing I love Ms. Pac-Man. I played one level before I went, ‘What the fuck am I doing? I have to get home.’
I also got pulled over for speeding in Ohio. The cop was nice. Not nice enough for me to pay the ticket though. If it’s out of state, I feel like that’s a warning more than a ‘You need to pay this.’ I just won’t speed through Ohio again and I’ll be fine.
And the reason this post is being written…because I’m bored as shit. I had no show tonight and didn’t go to a mic. Staying in was relaxing, but it’s also bizarre. This is what normal people do? Watch a movie. Hang out. It’s relaxing, but I also just feel like I should be doing something. It’s just so odd that you spend so much time coming home from work or trying to finish all your errands by 6 pm so you can get to a mic by 7 pm to sign up and get a good enough slot to go up at a show by 11 pm that when you aren’t doing that, you don’t know how to handle having those 5-8 hours free.
But now I know that this is what regular people do. And now my Joe Fernandez Regular Person facebook persona can walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. You big dumb idiot bitches.
2/23/12- PREGNANCY SCARE- So there are two times I’ve had pregnancy scares with girls. And for those who don’t know, a pregnancy scare is when you’re scared a girl’s pregnant. But both times I’ve had a pregnancy scare, I’ve always said the right thing to the girl. I’ve said ‘It’s your choice. Whatever you want to do, I fully support you and will continue to fully support you no matter what.’ But actions speak louder than words. Which is why I leave banana peels at the top of stairwells. And just really wax down the kitchen floor like ‘C’mon, take the hint! I still got plans for the future. Don’t do this to me.’
1/30/12- DONE WITH ONE NIGHT STANDS- So I’ve finally grown up and stopped hooking up with girls solely to do it. Like this girl to the left who was the last girl I hooked up with. She was sweet enough to let me take this picture of her before I left her apartment. She asked “Why do you need a picture of me?” I replied, “It’s one for the road baby…It’s also for my website.” Then I hopped on my motorcycle and road off on into the night sky.
I will say it is weird being done with one night stands, ’cause when you’re done with one night stands it’s almost identical to having a girlfriend. Like girls can smell that indifference on you and for some reason that makes them more attracted to you. Like, “Ooooo, he looks like he would ignore me in public. What a hottie.’
If anyone out there is struggling to get with a girl, the best pick-up line in the world is to go up to a girl at a bar and go “I don’t like you!” And then just punch her. She’ll think you’re mysterious.
And of course the worst pick up line in the world is to go up to a girl and say “I like you a lot. I think you’re cool and we should hang out some time.” But it’s weird being done with one night stands, cause when you turn a girl down for one, they don’t understand. Like it just doesn’t register. Their face has the same confused look a chimp has when they change up the scientific pattern in an experiment. Just like a chimp sitting there pushing a button going, “All right. Hitting the button…And this is normally when I get the banana. I am hitting the button that normally gets me the banana. I don’t really understand, I’m hitting the button that says ‘My friends are leaving, wanna give me a ride home?’ He’s saying ‘No.’ That’s weird, that’s not normally what happens when I hit the button. I’m hitting the button that says ‘Do you like movies?’ He’s still saying ’No.’ Let’s try ‘I just broke up with my boyfriend and I’m feeling really vulnerable.’ No. Let’s try ‘I’m so drunk I don’t know where I am.’ This is weird. Normally I hit one of these buttons and I get a banana anywhere from a half-hour to an hour later depending on how far away I live.”
The one thing I don’t miss about one night stands is when you bring a girl home in what is clearly a one-night stand situation and you don’t have a one night stand. And the reason the girl always gives is “I wanna go on a date first.” And it’s like “Oh yeah. You see a future here based on the 15 minutes of conversation we had at Big Shitty Tap. Just to go over the situation, you came over to my house without knowing my name. So heads up, this isn’t going to end in marriage. ” ’Cause that’s not the story I want for my kids. Like “So Dad, how’d you meet Mom?” “Well, I was scraping the bottom of the barrel at a 4 AM bar. Your Mom was drunk. So was I. I saw she had a tattoo on the small of her back. I said score! Anyhow, 10 years later, couldn’t be happier. What a relationship.”
So yeah. In essence. I’m done with the thing I’ve been doing the past 4 years.
1/16/12- WHAT ‘UP’?!- So since I last posted, there’s been the debut show of Your Funniest Friends, which if you are reading this you know what that is because you’re most likely someone I know personally. It was a great show and got a lot of support from friends. It was sold out which was cool and Dastardly (Which is a bad-ass band that you should check out if you haven’t already. Here’s my favorite song of theirs)
The band performed great and the sing-along at the end was very fun, much like in the video you just watched.
Here are some cool photos from the show that should peek your interest to come see it.
The following week I hosted ‘UP’ Comedy Club, the new stand-up club owned by Second City. It was a ton of fun. I drank Jack Daniels on the rocks all weekend for some reason. Normally I’m a beer guy, but this place was so classy (See photo at the beginning of this post) I just suddenly wanted to be Dean Martin. And they were free. So combine the fact that they cost nothing and I have a problem, it made for the perfect storm.
There will be more posts coming soon when I have something funny to write about, but currently the new ‘Your Funniest Friends’ Showcase is taking up a lot of time.
I know all three of you that follow this are craving more content, so here’s a quick teaser clip from the most recent podcast Matt Riggs and I did on ‘Bad News, Good Timing’ which you can subscribe to on iTunes.
Have a good one everybody. There will be more posts shortly when things slow down. So just settle down you buttholes.
12/21/11- BEEN AWHILE
LONG TIME COMIN’- So it’s been a busy couple months since I last posted something in this section of the website. I went to New York. I Andied and Kaufmaned at the Andy Kaufman Awards making it to the Finals which was pretty fun. What made it more fun was hanging out with two of my favorite people in the world, the Puterbaugh Sisterz. If you don’t know the Puterbaughs, you can get a good sense of them on this episode of ‘Bad News, Good Timing’ http://www.mevio.com/episode/305759/meshach-taylor-tiffany-and-danielle-puterbaugh
Then it was off to Boston for the Boston Comedy Festival where I got to do damn near every independent show in the city (thanks to Matt Kona and Rob Crean who are super-nice fellas) including one of the most fun times I’ve ever had in my life at the Comedy Studio. The set is in the video section of the website but you can also see it here:
Celebrated Thanksgiving (I.E.- ‘Manifest Destiny Day’) Other than that, as Christmas comes up, I’ve already made my goal of at least 10 booked shows a month. So it’s been a fun good year. I’ll post more now that I’ll have more time as I’m probably going to get laid off from my job come January.
So for all three of you that follow these posts, thanks. In the meantime, Happy Holidays, and here’s a couple holiday jokes for you:
10/20/11- CHICAGO MARATHON
CREEPY HEALTHY WEIRDOS-Look at how creepy this guy looks. That weirdo physique where it’s horse legs on bottom and Holocaust victim on top. Marathon runners are like depressing looking minotaurs. This guy also looks like he lost his weiner somewhere in the race. Where is the bulge? Nowhere to be found. They also depress you by reminding you how out of shape you are.
This is the event that happened last week in Chicago. The fight for ‘Who’s The Biggest World Beater?’ happened while I was working in downtown Chicago giving tours.
The day started simple enough. On my drive into work, there was a girl clearly taking the walk of shame. Unless she was wearing her fashionable dress and fancy purse solely to take a stroll around Webster and Halsted at 7:15 in the morning. It was hilarious to see and a great way to start the day. Watching that was my banana and oatmeal for the morning.
Watching the Marathon made me feel like shit. I think next year to get back at all those runners for being in such good shape and having their lives so together, I’m going to watch the Marathon from the sidelines, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and yelling ‘You’re still going to die! You may even die before me! Won’t you feel like a shithead then huh? Look at me! LOOK AT ME!’ And if they don’t look at me, that’s when I’ll stick my leg out and trip ‘em so that way one dude goes down, and then everyone else trips over his body. ’Cause that’s what they get for rubbing it in my face that I don’t have my shit together.
That said, I do think they need to tweak the rules of the marathon slightly.
After everyone crosses the finish line, they should let us know whether or not the Persians were defeated. They should also die at the feet of an 18 year old volunteer after delivering said news. I mean if we’re going to do this thing right, in the tradition of the Battle of Marathon, let’s do it that way then.
What I’m saying is, I want 1.5 million spectators to watch 45,000 people die after completing a race. Most likely those people dying in the race will die being watched by friends and family. The same friends and family who were cheering them on no less than an hour ago.
I really hope I have sucked all the fun out of marathons from here on out.
Take that you creepy minotaurs!
10/20/11- MY FAVORITE HASHTAG
#DEPRESSING SITCOMS- So I fell in love with a game on Twitter and obsessed a bit much about doing it. I was also very proud of the number of tweets I put up. So lamely, here are the ones I’m most proud of.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Salem 1692
GRACE IS ON FIRE!!!!
My Three Sons Died in Combat
The Munster’s Dumpster Babies
The Post-Partridge Depression Family
The Bob Needs a New Heart Show
Murphy’s Brown Skin is Why She Didn’t Get The Job
The Thomas Jefferson’s Slaves
Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71601
My Two Dads Are Continuously Persecuted For Their Lifestyle Choices
Dahmer and Greg
Everybody Hates Chris But Loves Raymond Because They’re Racist
Just Shoot Me…Please
Sister, Deceased Sister
Single Without Children
Sadly, those aren’t even all of the ones I tweeted. These are just my favorites.
9/29/11- VEGAS BABY VEGAS!
HOOKERS AND GAMBLING- So I performed in Vegas last week and it was a good time, but I was Vegas’d out by week’s end. You can only spend so much time in Vegas before you go ‘Man. This is all there is here. I’m sad now.’
Vegas is a magical town. What with all the magic shows. I don’t know if anyone knows this. Maybe I’m the only one who knows the secret. But if you ever walk into a casino. And you listen really closely. You can actually hear the sound of someone losing money they should be using to buy their daughter a birthday present.
Gambling does make you feel like a gargantuan gaping asshole. I ended up winning $170, but I was up $313 and, like an asshole, pushed my luck and lost $120 in 30 minutes at a black jack table. It’s only after you lose that money that you go ‘Oh yeah. There are people in Africa with AIDS. This money could’ve helped fund a hospital in Uganda. And instead I just lost it because I hit on 14 with the dealer showing a bust card.’
The other main feature of Vegas besides old people who have been deserted by their families at the slot machines is the hookers. I.E.- The young people who were deserted by their families early on.
Our first night in town, my buddy and I got hit on by a blonde Asian prostitute. And we could tell she was a prostitute, because she was talking to us. That was the dead give-away.
Because in no other city have I been where there’s just been a hot chick sitting alone at a bar that then calls me and my friend over saying ‘Hey fellas! I can’t finish all these Jell-o shots! You want some!’
It’s like, ‘No thanks. I don’t feel like getting roofied and robbed tonight.’ Most nights I do it’s just that this was a Monday and I was tired.
But prostitutes often roofie dudes, don’t have sex with them, and then rob them. Totally defeating the purpose of prostitution and roofie-ing people. Both those things were created to have sex with people. And these prostitutes have completely missed the point.
The man who invented the roofie Captain Donald Roofio would be very upset. And you may say ‘Joe, who’s Captain Donald Roofio?’ He’s the kid from Hook. He grew up and started raping people while they were asleep with a pill he made up.
But it’s unfair. the prostitutes roofie you and then don’t have sex with you. They should have sex with you, if not for protocol’s sake, then at least to give me a positive thing to wake up to in the morning.
You wake up with a splitting headache ‘Oh no my laptop’s gone! Oh but I totally got laid last night. I can tell. My dick smells weird.’
One thing that was fun was giving prostitutes ridiculous reasons why I couldn’t hang out with them. Like if a prostitute came up to me saying ‘Hey cutie, wanna party?’ I’d be like, ‘No thanks, I’m on my way to the library! Even if I don’t make it there in time I’m gonna sleep there overnight so I can be the first one to check out ‘How to Kill a Mocking Bird.” Not ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird.’ But ‘How to Kill a Mocking Bird.’ It’s basically an instruction manual for a BB gun.
And lastly, I inadvertently offended a prostitute while I was in Vegas. A prostitute came up to me and said ‘For $300 I’ll let you fuck me.’ I drunkenly said ‘Ah, I think I could’ve gotten you for free before you lost your dreams.’
She was not pleased.
Fun times overall.
9/5/11- THE IMPROV IN SCHAUMBURG
MAY I HAVE A SUGGESTION FROM THE CROWD PLEASE? ONLY DON’T BECAUSE THE NAME OF THIS CLUB IS MISLEADING.
So this weekend was the show in Schaumburg with Jon Lovitz. It was fun. I told Jon Lovitz I enjoyed ‘The Critic.’ He really seemed to care.
It was tough this weekend though. For one thing, my voice was shot from smoking too much, the third time this year that’s happened. So in other words, time to quit. Legitimately quit too. Not just saying I’m quitting and then bumming 10 cigarettes in the course of a night and pretending like that counts as quitting.
As a result, I couldn’t do a third of my jokes and the rest certainly suffered from me not having my full voice available.
The other thing that was tough though is that the crowd fucking despised me. That’s not actually true, but I certainly never had a crushing set. And I didn’t bomb. I always had certain jokes that hit. But it was just a reminder that the best thing you can do is commit to your shit and not back down even if they don’t like you. It really was the best thing to happen because I was caring so much about audience reaction lately. It reminded me that what you need to do is enjoy your material and do what you want to do on-stage.
I did a different set every night to keep things fresh (and also to try and figure out what the fuck these people would laugh at.)
It’s also tough hosting in a situation like this for a litany of reasons.
1) You’re hosting. So that sucks.
2) You’re hosting while people are ordering drinks, eating their food, etc. You’re background noise. You might as well be a jazz musician playing dulcet tones while they chow down on chicken fingers and guzzle Heineken.
3) The space is gargantuan, which I’m not used to. I’m used to being able to see the crowd. Doing crowd work if I’m hosting. But they are so far away, the intimacy level is gone, and that was hard to adjust to.
4) The audience is there to see Jon Lovitz. They could give less of a shit about what I’m saying. The worst was the last show this Sunday when Lovitz showed up 10 minutes past when he was supposed to go on and the feature had to stretch and even worse, I had to go up and do time between Lovitz and the feature. I had to do 3-4 minutes in a room full of people primed to see Jon Lovitz, expecting him to be coming right up. And here I go. Saying ‘You know, I used to work in a call center, and lemme tell ya’. IT WAS ROUGH.’ So I got a little more degradation on my big finale.
The best thing though was when I went to two open mics after the show and (sadly in a way) they went better than the shows in Schaumburg did. But it was because I had been through 6 shows of packed houses (400 or so people) not digging me. After you have that happen, there’s really not a whole lot that can knock you down.
The weirdest thing was that I wasn’t nervous before any of the shows. And maybe I didn’t do well because it was my fault. I went into each show thinking ‘These people aren’t going to like me.’ So maybe that was the vibe I was giving off.
Regardless, I ordered the most expensive things on the menu all weekend, showing no tact whatsoever. Two Prime Ribs. One Asiago Chicken. Tons of hot water and lemon. Waiting ’til the end of the week to tip the staff, which I was then informed by the feature act that’s an idiotic move when you’re the host because you’ll only be giving them a grand total of $20 so I ended up tipping out $40 for feeling bad for not tipping each night.
Also I hit on this girl who was ‘just friends’ with Jon Lovitz named Cassandra. And of course I sang ‘And her naaame was Cassandraaa’ from Wayne’s World. That worked like a charm. But I was definitely trying to see if I could have sex with her (Or at least a BJ) in the green room while Lovitz was on stage.
I was making headway (Pun intended) by doing that thing where I plant the seed by simply talking about sex. I forget how it came up but I said something like ‘So you’re not a one night stand kind of girl huh?’ The conversation went from there and I found out she hadn’t had sex in three weeks and was dying to masturbate but couldn’t because she was sharing a hotel room with Lovitz.
I’m not gonna lie. I kind of got the beginnings of a boner when this conversation was going on. Not like a full boner. My weiner was still pointed downward, but it was longer and slightly more rigid than normal. Not all shriveled up at a 6 inch length per usual.
Nothing ended up happening and the next day she was leaving so I was left with relatively blue balls based on my ridiculously unrealistic expectations.
Regardless I learned a lot of lessons from this weekend.
1) Do your set. Muddle through the shit. If they don’t like you don’t let that affect the way you feel about your delivery, material, etc. If your material works most of the time at most places as a showcase or feature, don’t worry about it not working as a host and just push through and be professional. If a joke doesn’t hit, move on. Don’t linger or try and save it.
2) Start hitting on the headliner’s 30 year old twice divorced with two kids ‘friend’ before the last night she’s in town.
8/25/11- SIX FLAGS
MORE FLAGS! MORE FUN!
So I went to the theme park that for some reason chose a half-human, half-turtle pedophile as its spokesperson. I think they picked him because they had just watched the movie ‘Splice’ and thought a weird amorphous quasi-man would make for a better mascot than a standard man, a fuzzy cuddly animal, or anything that doesn’t give people wet terrors.
It’s interesting going back there, ’cause as a kid I thought it was the best place in the world. Going back as an adult I was walking around thinking ‘Uhh, this is kind of just a big trailer park. How many more sleeveless shirts and outdated sports jerseys can I see? Marshall Faulk has been retired for 10 years for Christ’s sake, why are you wearing his jersey? Are you related to him? Or are you in fact Marshall Faulk?’
But regardless it was ridiculously fun, and I was with my best friend from high school and two other comics, so we got extremely inappropriate. My favorite part of the day was probably when we went on a roller coaster called American Eagle and as we were leaving there was a scared 12 year old girl who was still debating whether she was going to go on the ride or not. She asked us if the ride was scary and of course we said ‘No it’s fine.’
As we walked a little further along, Mikey Manker (one of the comics with me) reconsidered his answer and told us, “When she asked me how the ride was, I should’ve said ‘Great, it was like sex with a 12 year old.’ and then walked away.” To which my friend Justin from high school replied “And then she would’ve said, ‘All right, I’m sold.’”
Clearly a fun time had all around. If the place wasn’t so full of high school skateboarders/meth dealers it’d have been perfect. But sometimes you get a cloud or two even on a sunny day. The teenage meth heads being the clouds and Six Flags being the sunny day.
8/3/11- VICES AND OPEN MICS
So I’m sitting at an open mic right now with a few other comics. The open mic is at a bar called Coles, which is notorious for making comics show up 4 hours early just to get a good slot (14th or earlier on the list.) You can’t leave the bar for more than 15 minutes or they will cross you off the list, so you have no choice but to wait at the bar. While sitting here my fellow comics and I were discussing how tough it is too avoid drinking and smoking while you’re at an open mic. You wait at least 2-3 hours on average to do your 4 minutes of stage time, and while you’re waiting, to not drink or smoke is damn near impossible. You’re surrounded by it. You’re bored. You’re anxious. And you have to do something with your time. The level of difficulty in sitting around drinking only water is very high.
I’ve spent the last two days not going to mics only because I need to avoid these situations. Especially because lately I’ve been on a tear of drinking and smoking beyond any reasonable level. When I’m home I don’t crave either cigarettes or booze. And even when I’m at work I crave smoking slightly, but not to the level of when I’m at a show or a mic. It’s the sitting around waiting that is such a killer. I’m trying to figure out what I can do instead of those things when I’m at a mic, (such as right now writing this entry), but I have already cracked and had one cigarette and it’s only 7:30 pm.
And that’s the thing. I don’t really enjoy smoking. It makes me feel terrible, and there’s the downfall of cracking that makes you hate yourself more. And also the rationalization of ‘Well I’ve already had one, might as well keep going and start another day on quitting.’
Comedy shows are just the toughest places to be when trying to quit drinking and smoking. Especially at shows where you get free drinks or even worse, the only payment you get is free drinks, so you HAVE to take advantage of that. Isn’t that right ‘lack of accountability’?
Alcohol also helps you deal with being nervous before a show, loosening you up a little bit. And afterwards it’s either a celebration of that high you get from having a good set or a way to drown your sorrows after you just ate shit.
I don’t know at what point I’ll hit the wall and stop. I’ve already been to the hospital twice for liver damage from drinking. I’ve nearly lost my voice on multiple occasions from heavy smoking. I don’t know what other wake up calls I need, unless it’s just taking a month off from comedy so I’m not around these places.
Or I can sit down and talk with Josh Hamilton. He should have some insight on how to break these habits.
Regardless, this sucks. And I want another cigarette only as a time-killer but it will only make me feel worse and I know that.
Hopefully I’ll figure it out sooner rather than later.
8/3/11- ROUGH DAY AT WORK-
So this is a new joke I’ve been working on.
About two weeks ago I was having a rough day at work. And I don’t know if anyone else has had this happen to them, but you ever been having such a rough day at work, and you wanna go home early so bad, that in the back of your head you’re like ‘Ehh, I could kind of go for a terrorist attack right now. Nothing terrible, just two dead, 17 injured. Just enough to get me a half-day.’
And the very next day after I thought that, the terrorist attacks in Norway happened. And I was like ‘Man…that is a day late and too far away. I need it to at least be in Hawaii for my boss to be like, ‘Go home, be with your families.’
And you may say ‘Well Joe, what if your Mother or Father were in those terrorist attacks?’ And it’s like, ‘Well no I wouldn’t want it then. But if it’s someone else’s Mom who I don’t know I’ll be able to get over it way faster.’
7/22/11- TERRIBLE JOKE-
I’ve been writing a lot of hardcore, not fun, very angry stuff lately, so here’s a stupid joke I thought of today: “Coin flips have been annoying since they started those commemorative quarters for the 50 states. Now instead of saying ‘Heads or Tails’ I have to say ‘Heads or State of Vermont.’” Yep. The Onion will be knocking on my door any day now.
At the gym yesterday, these two dudes were working out next to me, and man did they suck as human beings. First of all, they were the dudes that yell at each other while working out. Like, ‘Come on! Fight! Push through! Push through!’ Like some weird auto-erotic gay rape fantasy where the one guy is telling the other guy to fight through the pseudo-rape situation they’ve put themselves in.
Then, after every single set they did, they would low-five three times then jump up. I don’t know if they were former college athletes or what the story was, but I don’t know how you can see yourself doing that (Which they could see themselves doing it because there are mirrors all along the fucking walls) and think ‘This has to be disturbing everyone around me.’
The funny thing is that I was listening to a podcast called Radiolab, which is a program put on by NPR and WNYC where they interview neuroscientists, biologists, and other nobel prize winning professors and researchers. I.E.- A program these two half-human, half tree trunks wouldn’t understand.
It was just kind of funny listening to these two beasts next to me not caring that no one has or ever will love them (besides themselves of course) because their ancestors somehow survived the Neanderthal period and never fully evolved so now these dumb gorillas can’t fully comprehend human behavior and how it’s supposed to go, juxtaposed with the most intelligent men in the world explaining the theory of relativity and that by moving at different speeds we make time go slower and faster. The faster you go, the slower time goes for you, if ever so infinitesimally.
So meatheads, gorillas, juiceheads, jarheads, etc. Take note. Stop with the over-celebrations and read a book or listen to a radio program. No matter how big your Bi’s, Tri’s, and Lat’s are, no one will ever care for you unless they are as shallow as you. In which case, hang out at BarleyCorn and you’ll meet your ideal woman.
Jesus this was harsh. Christ, where’s my medicine to make my brain normal?
7/20/11- WRITING SLUMP-
So I’m in one of those many funks that we all experience where there is just a vast wasteland of terrible jokes in my phone that I can’t get to work (The jokes don’t work, just to clarify. My phone is fine).
The advice that I got third-hand was that whenever you’re in a funk, just tell terrible jokes. It’s better to keep writing stuff that isn’t worthwhile to keep yourself fresh than to not go out to mics cause you have nothing new or to keep doing the same old jokes. Who knows? Maybe one of those shitty jokes actually ends up working or you riff something on stage that can work.
One thing I’ve discovered on my own is that trying old jokes that you’ve retired and bringing ‘em back to see if you can get them to work again is a fun experiment. Sometimes looking at a joke with fresh eyes reminds you why you thought it was funny. Ideally, you also have gotten better and found your voice, so with a little tinkering you may have a great new joke that just needed a break and a new voice for it to work. Above all else, if neither of these things help and you remain in a writing slump, at least you get comfortable bombing and not letting it get to you.
As much as a writing slump sucks, (It’s been over two months since I’ve written a solid joke that I feel comfortable with) I fortunately have got a lot of older jokes I can go to and I also keep trying to force these new jokes that I think are funny down audience’s throats. It’s even funnier because when I do showcases I try the jokes out thinking ‘Well maybe it’s just that I did that joke at an open mic and that’s why it didn’t work.’ But then I do the joke at a showcase after doing about 10 minutes of solid material only to completely lose my momentum by doing that one new joke.
It’s easier to deal with this having been through them before and knowing that eventually it will go away. I used to get thrown by these slumps thinking ‘Oh God, what if I’ve bottomed out. I’ve got nothing left. I’ll never write a new joke again.’ But that’s why you go out and experience life and something will happen. And if you have a funny brain it will trigger inspiration, and that’s where you’ll get a new joke from.
In the meantime, here’s one of the shitty jokes I’ve written that I will continue to do until something good comes up:
1) I’m pretty glad radioactivity doesn’t give people superpowers. Cause then we would’ve lost World War II. Like ‘Hey how’d the bombing of Hiroshima go?’ ‘Eh, it was all right, except everyone in Japan has laser eyes now. Some asshole in a wheelchair gave ‘em glasses so they can control it now.’
That joke has been eating more shit than Masturbation Jenkins (If you don’t know who that is, you’re very very unfortunate.)
This is a very appropriate follow-up to the last post I made. I just watched the film ‘Lenny’ starring Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce. And it is incredible. It does a great job of juxtaposing his life with his act, which both were so intertwined it displayed how honest Lenny really was. They’d show scenes from his life, followed up by a bit about that exact scene. Only we are not talking like foofy Seinfeld bits where he and Kramer go to a laundromat, Jerry’s shirt shrinks, and then he ‘speaks the truth’ about shirts being shrunk. We’re talking cheating on your wife and lying to her about it after the movie shows him doing just such a thing.
The courtroom scene at the end of the movie is what’s so stirring. He is pleading with his lawyers to let him do his act in front of the court, because he believes the judge is a good man who will understand that he (Lenny) is also a good man. And that if the judge hears his act, he’ll understand that the things he is saying are not meant to shock, they’re meant to enlighten. There’s a reason why he’s using ‘those’ words.
His lawyers disapprove of this, telling him just lose this court case, they’ll take it to the State Supreme Court where he’ll get out of the charges. Lenny defies them saying he doesn’t want to go to jail again and he’s sick of paying for lawyers. So either put him on the stand to do his act, or get lost. Lenny defends himself in the following scene.
He tells the judge just hear my act. He says he just wants to talk without all the legal double-talk bullshit. That his lawyers keep telling him he’ll win in a higher court but he doesn’t want to win in a higher court because he shouldn’t lose in this court because he’s not doing anything wrong. The judge continually denies him the right to do his act as his defense and continues to deny him the right to represent himself.
Then there’s a moment when Lenny leans in and says ‘Your Honor. I so want your respect.’
An amazing line. Delivered in such a tender fashion. It is earnest and heartfelt. With that single line, Lenny is saying ‘Please. Just make an effort to understand me. I understand you. You don’t like what I have to say. But you should hear it with open ears. Don’t just hear the words that shock you. Hear the words around them that give them meaning and a purpose. I want you to respect me because it would mean that you understand me and what I’m trying to do.’
Lenny goes on after a short pause to further elaborate his point. Saying that when he is talking about tits and ass, ass and tits, he is not doing it to shock the audience. It’s to show that we live in a hypocritical society.
His plea to be respected falls on deaf ears and the judge holds him in contempt.
Lenny concedes. He requests to be sentenced because he is broke and can’t afford lawyers and can’t make any money as his performing license has been stripped of him. The judge then refuses to sentence Lenny, but rather remands him to psychiatric evaluation.
Lenny goes on a tirade that ends with ‘PLEASE! DON’T TAKE AWAY MY WORDS! I’M NOT HURTING ANYBODY!’
Another incredible line. Behind that is what I believe lies under all true comics.
If someone were to take away your ability to perform, it would be devastating. I’ve only been doing this for 3 years and 11 months. I am so invested at this point in comedy, there’s no turning back. I can’t imagine what it’d be like 10 years down the road, if I were doing my act, and suddenly it was taken away. Getting to the point that you have to beg just so you can perform. Because it means that much to get on stage and make people laugh. To share with people who you really are and have them understand you, when you in everyday life feel a little bit different or odd.
In the last post I commented about how where I work I have to be very P.C. and clean with everything I say, which is not who I am. I feel like most comics would be hilarious to watch at their day jobs, seeing them pretending to be normal people just so they won’t get fired. I know that’s how it is with me. I see the people that get on my bus, and I know what I have to do to make them have fun. I tell stupid cheesy jokes, and I do enjoy that to some degree. But I can’t joke in the fashion that really makes me laugh. And even with that restraint, making sure everything is family friendly, that still isn’t good enough for some people.
I had someone complain because I mentioned the Rush street area known as ‘The Viagra Triangle’ and she said that was too dirty. ’I'm glad my kids weren’t on the bus,’ she said.
Even in my job, I want to have fun. And I want the people to have a good time. And I feel I do a damn good job making it accessible to everyone. And I ignore some of the other jokes I’d like to tell. Some of the stuff that shouldn’t be considered offensive but certain people still deem it as such. People seem to think that any reference to sex, drugs, or violence, or whatever else is offensive just because certain words are used. I can’t wrap my head around that.
And here is why Lenny Bruce continually got arrested. Clearly there were people who enjoyed his shows. His honesty on stage. There were people who didn’t. They could have easily just not gone to his shows. But that wasn’t enough. He was saying words that should never be mentioned. ‘How dare he say ‘Cocksucker!’ They felt threatened. And it’s because they were being exposed.
Because if cocksucker is such an offensive word, why do you know what it is? Why do you know what sucking cock is? That cock is slang for penis? Do you only have sex missionary style for 5 minutes and no longer because that’s the way the Lord wanted you to do it with your wife? If it’s so beyond the realm of what’s acceptable, why is it something you understand and quite possibly have done or had done to you?
People seem to want to deny the fact that sex is a part of life. Dicks get hard. Pussies get wet. It happens. Even in the most sanitary and ordinary sexual situations.
The woman who was offended by my viagra triangle joke and said she was glad her kids weren’t on the bus. She got fucked. A hard dick went inside her wet pussy and we know it did because she has children. Yet referencing a medication to let elder men get hard dicks so they can fuck wet pussies, only I don’t mention any of that, I just reference the medicine and the joke that is a standard joke throughout the city that most full-grown adults can handle. That’s too much.
I don’t understand how something that is so prevalent, so entrenched as a natural part of our world is something so many people want to deny. It makes no sense. Vulgarity is not wrong when used properly. It generally isn’t wrong to begin with. Saying ‘Fuck’ out loud is the most harmless crime in the world. But some think otherwise.
I guess my point is watch the movie ‘Lenny’. It’s all right.
7/8/11- I NEED TO REMEMBER PODCASTZ GET BROADCASTZ-
So last night I did a podcast for the Winners and Losers show, which is a really fun and hilarious podcast to listen to and at this juncture is the only podcast I have continued to listen to over any other ones I’ve tried out. I am a regular co-host on this show, and every time I’m on, I say terrible things, admit terrible stories that I don’t really want people knowing about me, and the worst part now is I have a job that has a pretty strict policy about not making a buffoon out of yourselves, thereby making a buffoon out of the company. A fellow comic and I work at the same place and did this podcast and I’ve never really had any problems with saying something that embarrasses myself (I mean I do, but the consequences are a red face and other people not judging me as harshly as I judge myself), but when we finished this session of recorded conversation, we both were like, ‘Uhhhh, should we have talked that extensively about our job followed by ridiculing organized religion complimented by retard baby rape jokes?’ It’s weird now to have to worry about filtering what I say when generally I could give less of a shit.
It kind of goes in line with something we talked about on the podcast. The job I work at is one where I am in front of 50 people giving them tours. I won’t say the subject matter of the tours or the mode in which these tours are given, but suffice to say, I have to mind my P’s and Q’s in front of the customers. Lately the impulses I’ve been having have been to say fucked up things while giving these tours just to see what would happen. Like, ‘This statue is to show how Native Americans were left powerless after their land was taken from them. Then again, who doesn’t like a good genocide every now and then. Sometimes it’s necessary.’ Of course I don’t believe that, but that stuff makes me laugh.
Now I don’t know if it’s because of hanging out with comics so frequently, but the more engrossed I get in this comedy scene, the more those crazy things you say to make other comics laugh seep closer to the front of your brain nearing your lips to be released at the most inopportune time simply because you like the idea of saying something so absurd in a situation where you know it doesn’t belong.
I guess the thing that’s most frustrating is sometimes you are speaking extemporaneously on these podcasts, and you let things slip that you don’t even really believe in. I would describe myself as athiest, but when I go on these podcasts I feel like a militant athiest who believes anyone who dare subscribe to the ideals of religion must be done away with. Which isn’t true, as 90% of my friends are of a religious denomination as is 100% of my family and I could care less that they believe in that fashion as they are good people.
I do say fucked up things all the time, but I do have limits, constraints, and things that I think are offensive which I don’t believe should be ridiculed. Yet instead of abiding by these limits I have, I instead push over lines that even I think shouldn’t be crossed. Or if they are to be crossed, need to be done so in an eloquent fashion and not a drunken mumble or a fast-paced impulse reaction to top someone else’s offensive zinger.
Maybe it’s a good thing to have this job to bring me back to normal people thoughts. But at the same time, I used to not care about any repercussions for what I said other than how it reflected on ME. And if I say something and later realize ‘That was dumb,’ I can own up to that on my own terms. But to suddenly have a fear of being fired for something as silly as a podcast bothers me a great deal. The idea that I can’t fuck around as much anymore for fear of losing my job, even though what I’m doing is in a format that is completely separate from my job, no way is a representation of my job, nor does it have anything to do with the effectiveness in which I can perform my job, is a little bit of an off-pisser. I guess this sudden encumbrance has got me a little rattled. Does it now mean if someone sees my stand-up from work, they can fire me for those viewpoints on stage that ‘Don’t reflect those of the company’? It’s a bizarre feeling to have something wrest a little control away from you that you’re used to having.
That’s all for now. Deuces puta.
7/5/11- HAPPY 4TH OF JULY? MORE LIKE CRAPPY 4TH OF POO-LY!
So the holiday that happened just yesterday is one that I enjoy because it’s fun to barbecue, hang out with friends and drink on a Monday. It isn’t unusual for my friends and I to drink on a Monday, but doing it during the day makes life even greater/sadder.
What I don’t understand about the holiday is one thing: Fireworks
Every year, fireworks happen on the 4th of July. And every year, there are hoards of people who travel to Navy Pier to see the things they have seen since they were 5 years old. I never have gotten fireworks and why people think they are so great. If you have seen one fireworks show, congratulations, you’ve seen them all. There is nothing different about any fireworks show I have ever seen. They are all the same. It’d be like if people said, ‘Hey Happy 4th of July! Wanna go down to Navy Pier and look at kaleidoscopes?’ ’Well, is there anything different about these kaleidoscopes?’ ‘No, no. Same as they ever were.’ ‘Oh…then no.’ I’m saying, there needs to be some innovation here.
I want to see a fireworks show where fighter pilots have to dodge the colorful explosions above. That would be something to see. Cause at the very least you get a fireworks show, and at the very most you get a few awesome plane explosions out of it that look even cooler. I understand watching air force pilots die in the sky would probably bring everyone down on America’s birthday. So what we could do is have the pilots remote control the planes from the ground (Since people are too pussy to appreciate the nostalgia of a Roman times event where watching people die was the main source of entertainment. Fuckin’ losers.)
It may be expensive, but look, we’re not coming out of this recession. Let’s enjoy our last decade as a country before we spin completely out of control.
Now the other thing I don’t get about fireworks is why they’re used to celebrate our men and women abroad fighting for our rights in wars that are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (And if you don’t think these wars are necessary, you’re not a patriot and need to go back to pink-o Communist Russia, which is still a Communist country even though they claim they are a democracy. At least that’s what Glenn Beck tells me.)
But all non-political bullshit humor aside, it makes little sense to me to celebrate with fireworks. I mean if you’re a soldier coming back from a war in a foreign land, I’d think the last thing you’d want to hear when you came back was loud explosions overhead.
Like, ‘Hey Tom, good to have you back stateside.’ ’Yeah, it’s good to be back. I just, it’s hard you know. I still sometimes feel like I’m still over there. I wake up in a cold sweat and just can’t forget-’ ‘Hey yeah that’s great, CHECK THIS OUT!’ BEEEWW, KABOOM, BEEEWW, KABOOM. RAT-A-TAT-A-TAT-A-TAT.
‘Uhm…say Dave did you read that copy of ‘All Quiet On the Western Front’ that I lent you? You should check it out. Cause then you’d understand why I’m about to P.T.S.D. all over your lawn right now.’
That’s all. Happy 4th of July everybody!
6/21/11- JUST FOR LAUGHS? NOTHING ELSE? WHAT ABOUT HUGS, FARTS, AND GRANDMAS?
So the Just For Laughs Festival came as soon as it went. A six day festival that had some of the biggest names in comedy come through town. Louis C.K., who is revered as quite possibly the best stand-up alive, came by. Chicago’s own Hannibal Burress, one of the fastest rising stars in all of comedy currently working on the hit TV show 30-Rock, passed through. Steve Martin and Martin Short closed the festival out on Sunday night, the only performance of the evening for JFL. Steven Wright, Kristen Schaal, Seth Myers, Jeffrey Ross, Russell Peters and many many more talented people came through the city. It was an awesome experience and I was lucky enough to be part of this festival in two separate shows (The Andy Kaufman Awards show at Lincoln Lodge and El Show Latino at the Playground Theater.)
It was an awesome feeling when on Thursday night I went to see four shows, the New Faces of Chicago Comedy (Which was an idiotic name for the show considering every comic on the bill has been here for at least 4 years) at Lincoln Hall followed by two shows at iO. One where Scott Adsit and John Lutz, both working for 30-Rock as well, improvised together. Then Pat O’Brien, a Saturday Night Live writer, performing sketches with Seth Myers, the anchor on Weekend Update. That was followed up by going to Oakwood for the final night of Rotten Comedy, a local comedy showcase, and all the Chicago comedy scene is there. I did the final set ever at Rotten Comedy which was nice. Some special guests showed up too. Nick Vatterot, another local Chicago talent that’s moved on to bigger and better things stopped in as well as Victor Varnado of Awkward Kings of Comedy.
Getting to see four shows with completely different styles of comedy, people at different stages in their careers, yet all in the same city, all part of the same scene. It didn’t get any better than that. Doing the shows was a stressful experience that I documented briefly (Check the Vlog section to see more) but it was still great. Getting to be on the same bill as Kristen Schaal, who also performed at the Andy Kaufman show at the Lincoln Lodge, was exciting as hell. The best part was that she was nice as she is talented. Even gave me a kiss. Take that mutha fuckah.
All in all, the experience was amazing because the whole city was consumed with comedy. Every show I performed at had at least 30 people attending, which may not sound like a lot, but when you play enough shows for 8 people, 30 is a dream come true. And that was the minimum. All but one show I performed at was sold out. The vibe in the city was awesome. You knew at all different parts of the city, that some place, some where, someone was making a room full of people laugh. And that was an amazing experience that I was honored to be a part of…
Also going to the hotel parties were pretty great too. Free booze in the classy-ass Sax Hotel. Standing far away from Jeffrey Ross as he talks to people way more important than me. Then approaching him to say ‘I think you’re funny,’ him saying ‘Thanks’ and forcing up a meager smile before walking away. Fuck yeah fartknocker! You wish that was you!
6/9/11- HOSTING IS HARD
I know every comic has to do it at some point and it is a good skill to have, but man oh man is hosting a difficult job. I hosted for my debut performance as a new member of Chicago Underground Comedy, an awesome alternative comedy showcase in the city, but it was pretty tough going. The situation was difficult as it was a smaller crowd in a bigger space and it was on one of those days where the heat was so bad you sweat in the shower.
That said, I tried everything to warm up the crowd (no pun intended) from crowd work to the most solid jokes I have that have been hitting hard at shows lately. But on this night it was like pulling teeth.
The hardest thing about hosting is when the crowd is not giving the laughs up easy for not only you, but other comics as well, and still trying to be positive. It’s hard not to get angry, confrontational, volatile, or at the very least a little insulting towards them for not being responsive.
I only commented one or two times in a negative fashion towards the crowd. It happened after the third comic of the night went up. When he finished his set he said, ‘I’m sorry I wasn’t better’ and left the stage (This should give you an indication of how tough a night it was.) At this point is when I cracked a little and showed a bit of hostility towards the crowd. I said to the comic as he left ‘Don’t worry, one laugh from this crowd is like a standing ovation.’ I then followed it up by commenting on how when the previous comic was up, he asked a question of an audience member regarding whether or not he had bought anything online before. The audience member gave a cheesy response and pointed to his girlfriend and said ‘Her.’ The audience gave a hearty chuckle in response to that, so I made the observation that it is a bit disconcerting that the biggest laugh of the night came from that guy in the audience. And that it came at the expense of him purchasing his girlfriend online no less. I then called them a bunch of sick fartknockers. This was not well-received surprisingly enough. I then said ‘Well we’re going to try another comic out on you guys,’ and brought up the fourth comic who finally got them going a little bit.
I think the other thing that makes hosting difficult is not taking the blame for a low energy show. You feel like maybe there was something better you could have done. And in your head just thinking ‘Is it my fault for not getting them better prepared for the show.’ I haven’t hosted in the longest time, so it was good to try it out again. However, I can’t say I missed the experience either.
Oddly enough the times I have the most fun hosting are at open mics, mostly because it doesn’t really matter and as the night goes on and you slowly get drunker you can do whatever you want.
Anyhow, that’s all for now. Deuces.
5/25/11- OLD GHOST JOKE
This is a joke that never worked for me except the last time I did it, so I’ll express it here and lay it to rest in the annals of time. It basically goes along the lines of this.
People always blame their farts on dogs, like that’s the thing to do. But I don’t have a dog at my house. So if I fart and get caught, I have to blame it on ghosts. Like if I’m making out with a girl and she smells something and goes, ‘Did you just fart?’ I’d be like ‘Hell no! It’s that girl who hung herself here 50 years ago.’ I can see her doing it too because I have the 6th sense, she’s like ‘I’m gon fart!’ I’m like ‘Tricia don’t. I’m trying to bang this girl.’
I don’t know why that joke never worked…
5/24/11- UPBEAT FEELIN’
This is a short little entry, but it’s just about how good I’ve been feeling about comedy lately. I’ve started to follow the path of the comics who stick to the same set every time they go up, doing the same 10 minutes or the same 20 minutes or the same however much time I’m doing and I feel like I’ve been getting better and better at just telling the jokes. The other thing that I think has made this better is that I’ve stopped bringing up a cheat sheet to look and see what joke is next. I used to just bring a napkin up with my jokes written on them along with a beer. Every time I finished a joke I took a swig of beer while I peered down at my cheat sheet to see what joke was next. It was a great way to deceive the audience and also keep my addiction to booze going at a strong, unhealthy rate.
Regardless, the last month or so, instead of being lazy and bringing up a cheat sheet, I’ve started figuring out a set that flows well so that way when I finish a bit, it moves swimmingly into the following bit. It makes remembering my set easier and it also makes me feel more natural on-stage. On top of that it makes my set come across as though I’m flowing from thought to thought as though they are just coming to me as I stand on stage in front of them.
The only thing I still am struggling with is starting the show out with a joke right off the bat. I have to riff on something in order to get into my flow. Riffing off the top helps me feel like I’m being myself. Lately I feel like I’ve been using it as a crutch though and want to start getting better at naturally opening up the show with a joke. I just don’t know how to open a show with a joke and not have it come across as mechanical. That’s really all for now. Much love.
5/3/11- ART vs. IDIOTS
Yesterday I went to the Art Institute as part of my new job, giving tours on the double decker buses of Chicago. We go into the Art Institute, and it just reminds me of why I don’t belong in a museum. I think there’s two types of peoples in this world. The peoples that like art, and the peoples that laugh at farts. You’re one or the other. You can’t have both. You hear a fart and go ‘how disgusting and rude’ or you hear a fart and hope someone else heard it so you can share the experience and joy of laughing together at butt cheeks slightly separating to let air out then slapping back together.
I just don’t get it for the most part. Everyone else is looking at a sculpture going ‘Oh the beauty’ and all I can think is ‘I wanna push this thing over and watch it break.’ On top of which I don’t get what is fun about looking at stuff. People are like ‘oh you need to take it in, let it wash over you.’ I like paintings, I really do. ‘NightHawks’ by Edward Hopper is my favorite painting of all time. And I got the chance to see it again up close yesterday. But after I saw it I was like, ‘Yeah, good painting…Man, I’m pretty hungry right now.’
Not only that, people stand and admire the art and go, ‘Oh look at this Jackson Pollock.’ And it’s like ok I’m looking at it. But it’s still not a video game. That’s at least something that’s interactive. There’s no way to argue for art over video games. If it was between art and video games, art would have to go. Sorry Michaelangelo. See ya’ later Degas. Adios Picasso. Not that I don’t appreciate history and art, but if I have a choice of standing and looking at things that are aesthetically pleasing or pretending to be a Japanese guy who goes ‘HY-DU-KEN’ while shooting fireballs out of his hands, I’m taking the Japanese guy every day of the week. And the other thing is- HAHA, I just farted! I wish you guys were here to hear that! …Oh man…what was I talking about?
5/3/11- HITTING ON A GIRL WHO’S ALREADY TAKEN
While we were at the museum my buddy started hitting on this girl who was one of the tour guides. He was talking to her and joking around with her and then she did that bullshit thing where after she’s roped you into the boring conversation you don’t wanna have but are dealing with because you enjoy fucking women, she brings up her fiance.
Which is always a weird thing. As soon as a girl brings up she has a ‘boyfriend,’ or ‘fiance,’ or ‘my brother is right over there,’ or what have you, the next thought that enters a guy’s brain is ‘How long do I have to keep talking to her so I don’t seem like an asshole.’ I think girls should be forced to wear signs letting us know if they’re taken or not. And if they are taken, have a sign that lets us know their situation. ’Taken and engaged. I really think he’s the one.’ Ok, I won’t go talk to you then.
Now if I see this sign:’Taken, but I’m really unhappy with the relationship. He hasn’t been calling me back and he’s been getting angry with me for no reason. A sensible woman would have broken up with him a while ago but my self-esteem is low and he’s attractive, so I’m holding on to this relationship more because he’s handsome and I’m hoping eventually he’ll be nice even though deep down I know he won’t. Anyhow, I’m really upset about it and despite the fact that I’ve deluded myself into believing we’re in love, I still would cheat on him under the right circumstances. Like if a guy were acting really nice to me and then we drank and it made me think ‘Why doesn’t my boyfriend treat me this way?’ and I really believed the guy talking to me was interested in me as a person even though all I’ve talked about so far is my boyfriend, shoes, and that new reality show about people with no perspective that don’t get along. I guess I’m saying I can be fucked if you really can trick me into it.’ I may go for that.
I have a friend who is a part of the ‘taken’ crowd and she was getting hit on by some true bros. They were buying her drinks, putting their arms around her etc. As this was going on I went and talked to her and was like ‘Are you sure your boyfriend would be ok with that?’ She said ‘What? They’re just being nice.’
Now I don’t know if this is delusion, naivety or stupidity. What I do know is that no man, ever, in the history of humanity, has bought a girl drinks and nodded while she talked the whole time, just to go home at 2 AM and go ‘Wow, what a lively conversation that was. I’m glad I got to meet her and lose $7 a pop on her cranberry vodkas while getting to hear about where she went to college and what she did for a living. AHHHH, that was refreshing. Well, time to go home and masturbate. My goodness, I couldn’t be more pleased with this outcome.’
This friend of mine got upset when I brought all this to her attention. She responded quite incredulously with, ’All guys go up to strange girls just to hit on them? Really?’ And I was like well what else would be the reason for them to talk to a strange girl? And she said, ‘Maybe they just thought I looked interesting.’ First of all, if guys wanted to talk to someone cause they looked interesting, they’d pick the paraplegic Vietnam Vet in the corner, cause that guy has seen some shit. HE looks interesting. Not a girl dressed exactly like every other girl in the bar on not only this night, but Tuesday through Sunday (I don’t know why Mondays are different, but they are.) But if you need more evidence that guys only talk to strange girls for fucking purposes over conversation, just look around the bar. See any guys going up to other guys going ‘Hey man, I thought you looked really interesting. Lemme buy you a Woodchuck.’ No.
The reason guys come to talk to strange girls is to try and fuck them. The reason they buy them booze is to impair their judgement.
That’s not opinion. That’s science.