One of the Gordian Knots of comedy is figuring out how to do “corporate” gigs. These are shows sponsored by a business or organization. Most comics hear early on that these, much like the elusive river nymph known as a college gig, pay very well. Plus they just sound important. Of course, if you can’t do clean(ish) material, you probably won’t get many of these. When I first started, I was listening to a new comic who was perhaps the filthiest comedian in the room, bragging about doing a corporate gig. I was shocked. How did you get that?, I inquired. “Well, it was the company I work for.” You did it at an official work function? “No, it was during our lunch.” Did it pay well? “I didn’t get paid.” OK, douche, you didn’t do a corporate gig, you annoyed and offended your entire office while they tried to eat reheated casserole.
I got a text last weekend from my pal Dustin for a last second comedy show at a brewery for a private group. It was a cool setting, great beer and food included. Of course, one solitary baked bean, which I hadn’t even ordered, but wasn’t about to turn down, bounced off my fork. I looked in horror as the BBQ sauce managed to stain my shirt in three places about two minutes prior to showtime. I pondered doing the show shirtless, but I was the final comedian, so I managed to sort of clean it off. Classy. Maybe I need to toss a bib into my bag.
The show went well, even though the one drunk lady in the back was yelling for dirty jokes. I have zero problem getting blue and would rather do a show without content restrictions, but I do what the people that pay me say to do. If someone offers enough money, I will write an entire set list about antiquing or eating boogs while I’m dressed like Miley Cyrus. Oh, and by enough money, I mean probably at least 55 bucks.
I did a 5K race this weekend. My wife signed us up for two of these to get free running shoes, which was good. My alarm went off at 6:45, which was not good. So I went back to sleep. Thanks to that, we showed up at the race 15 seconds before the start. I know this because the announcer said, “We start in 15 seconds.” Good thing I’m a world class Olympian and don’t need to stretch.
Right at the beginning, we passed the Porta Potty row. Nothing says get your run started like a protein bar shit smell sucking into your lungs. Seriously, move the crappers, race staff. Since we were so far in the back, I was behind the walkers. One lady had three Gatorade bottles strapped to her waist. If you can’t walk 3 miles without a Gatorade each single mile, you should probably start with getting the mail at the end of your driveway. You’re going to die.
Luckily, for running I got a free shirt. Neon blue, with lime green and pink trim. Looks like my wife gets two shirts this year. Unless there is an emergency easter egg party in my future, it’s not getting worn. I would rather wear a shirt made of cockroaches and broken glass. We both finished the race, though and I got a medal, which is a really fancy participation ribbon, so I now have proof I’m better than you. It’s neon blue, lime green and pink though also, so I’ll never be able to wear it either.
The only thing America loves more than sports is betting on sports. Thus, the popularity of March Madness. College basketball is actually kind of lame otherwise. All the best players go to the NBA after one year, so it’s hard to know anything about who is the best team or conference, except Kentucky, because their coach signed away his soul to get six NBA starters per year on his squad.
I like the tournament because you can win money with no brain investment at all. If you lose, you’re out $5. There are several annoying things, though.
– The guy in your office that fills out nine brackets, has one finish third out of 15 people and runs around bragging what a sports genius he is.
– The upset king. Another person picks 22 upsets in the first two rounds. Four win and he fills the break room with stories about the insider info he is privy to, even though the other 18 games he picked as upsets were 20 point or more blowouts.
– The person that says they won their bracket by picking mascots. No one knows all these dumbass mascots. I’m a huge sports fan and I couldn’t tell you five mid-major mascots. You didn’t pick the Colonials over the Banana Slugs, the Bunions toppling the Asscrack Lints, or the Whogivesashits to beat the Neverheardofems. Stop lying.
– The person that loses one game and rips their bracket up. No one picks every game and you had the winner of the play-in game losing in the next round. Relax.
I got a call yesterday afternoon to fill in for a fallout at a St. Patrick’s Day gig. The requirement was they wanted an Irish guy. I’m sort of Irish…and German…and English…and possibly Native American. I took it and the contact called me. He kept calling me the “speaker” instead the comedian, so I was getting a little unsettled. Five hours isn’t enough time to make up a fake motivational speech about kicking my smack addiction and working with poor kids.
I got to the venue and it was an all-male Irish club having their 80th annual St. Patty’s event. I liked it right off the bat because I saw this.
I was told to prepare a couple Irish jokes. My wife asked me if I had many Irish jokes. I told her if all I did was Irish jokes, I would starve by the end of March every year, but I would think of a few more. I recited a few stock Irish jokes to fill the quota, but was happier with the lines I came up with.
“I feel pretty Irish today. I’m out drinking with other guys while my pregnant wife is at home.” (Went over well) “I’ve never done an Irish organization before, but I lost a ton of money playing poker at a Sons of Italy, so I’ll stick with my own tonight.” (Lukewarm, more for the rivalry with Italians than the funny) “I can tell this is an Irish organization because you guys put a beerholder on the podium.” (Good laughs) I had a really bad one about my Grandma being in the Christian Women, but no one recorded it, so I’ll act like I didn’t bomb. (It was deafening quiet, like a desert of shame)
I had a show this past weekend at a very fancy country club in Canton. It used to be a seminary and had gourmet food, stonework, a hotel onsite and I’m pretty sure a dungeon for shitty entertainment acts. I’ve never been in a stockade, but this would have been the place.
The show went very well – I did some cleaner material and the crowd seemed to be having a good time. I have a few jokes where I ask the crowd questions to illicit a response, including one where I ask, “Who in here hates their job?” Dead silence. I realized at that moment I just asked a room full of extremely wealthy country club members who hated their jobs. I repeated that sentiment exactly and said, “OK, think back to that time when you were 15 and your dad made you mow lawns for like three days to teach you a lesson. Who hated that job?” They laughed, so I think it was a good save. I guess that’s what I get for working dive bars too often.
My wife and I decided to find out what gender the baby is. She wanted a surprise, but then we realized everything for baby is either pink or blue. Well, not everything, there were at least two green and yellow onesies out of the 1400 we saw. I wanted to find out so we can pick a name. I’m leaning for something original, but not too weird, like Captain Freedom Coen if it’s a boy or Mydadowns Firearms Coen for a girl.
I have a feeling it’s a girl, which is scary because all I know about girls is that they have emotions and stuff. And they like princesses A LOT. Then again, it will be nice to have a female be impressed by me, until she’s three, when her maturity will pass mine. If it’s a boy, I have a lot of important things to pass along, like how to let a grounder go between your legs and how to cropdust farts in a public setting. Either way, we’re both very excited.