Dating sucks. I once took a blind date to a concert, where she saw her ex and went to talk to him. She didn’t come back. I had a date go south so bad, I fist bumped the girl when she got out. I was shocked she didn’t fist bump my jaw. I’ve dated a couple ladies seemed alright – so alright they were dating other guys at the same time. I was pretty much done with the hassle, wishing sometimes I was a eunuch to save the aggravation.
I met my fiance after a particularly lame run that caused me to quit internet dating. She was beautiful and confident, so I gave her a call. She had watched my comedy that night, so she deserved a free meal for sure. I was surprised how easy she was to speak to and how smart she was. Most amazingly, she didn’t seem to want to change everything about me from head to toe.
I’m not an easy person to get along with. I don’t know if it is my eyebrows or deep voice, but I look pissed all the time (I usually am). I am sarcastic and about as romantic as an egg fart. I snore. My favorite music is heavy metal. I have the home improvement skills of a toddler. Yet she has loved me back. She makes me want to be better.
Tomorrow I will make her my wife. She is the love of my life. Where once there was nothing, now there is Hope. See you soon, babe.
One thing that comics seem to love is either giving or receiving advice about comedy. I’m more than happy to impart my knowledge, but lately I have had a bunch of open mikers and newer comedians asking me questions. I’m not exactly a stadium filler, but here’s some easy tips that I think everyone should know.
1) No other comedian can give you perfect advice. If someone tells you how to improve a joke or your stage presence, you should take notes. If someone tells you what you have to do completely, it won’t work because you’re a different person. Unless it’s future you and they tell you what works and how you can make millions. Listen to that person and save John Connor from the Terminator too while you’re at it.
2) If you want my advice on comedy, but won’t go on a stage, you’re wasting my time and yours. Find a new hobby. Once you go up, we’ll talk. Maybe. OK, probably not, but go onstage first.
3) Videotaping your set will help you more than any amount of memory. I have gotten great punchlines, callbacks and add-ons I never would have remembered after performing thanks to tape. I have a great memory…but I drink a lot, so I trust the tape.
4) If you can’t remember five minutes of material, you probably aren’t going to be getting paid anytime soon. If you are asking how to get paid to do comedy, you probably won’t be getting paid anytime soon. If you get paid, don’t feel guilty about it if you have a bad set, as long as you prepared yourself and gave it your best. Trust me, you don’t get bonus money when you kill.
That’s about it for now. If someone figures out how to get paid for blogging, message me and this blog topic was worth it.
There are a lot of candidates, but my least favorite one was about a year and a half after I started. My pal said he had a gig for me that he couldn’t make. I was to do a show at a VFW in my hometown, 45 minutes, good money. I walked in and there were 300 people in attendance. This is a great turnout! Then the bartender said, “Oh, you’re in the other part of the building.” I walked around the corner and there were 15 people, most over 75. Turns out the other part was a fundraiser, I was to entertain the hardcores in the back bar.
A man about the age of Methuselah approached and shoved a microphone in my chest. “Are you ready?” No, where’s the stage? “No stage, stand by the door.” I grabbed a beer and went to start. At that moment, a dad brought two boys under 10 in the bar for steak night. Great, there’s half my material. The sound quality was awful, which doesn’t help when most of the crowd has hearing aids. The other bonus was that every time someone came in, the door hit me in the back. Thanks, asshole. It got worse.
After struggling with my new clean material I had as a backup, I decided to throw caution to the wind and spice it up. I got two tables laughing on my first blue joke. Then as I started the next one, the loudspeaker announced a blue Toyota had its headlights on. I fought back, only to be interrupted that the half and half drawing was at 9 pm. I did one more joke and the voice of God announced that the steak orders had to be put in in the next five. I was pissed…then I realized the man making the announcements was the old bastard that set the show up. I looked right and he was speaking into the other microphone, staring right at me while he did it.
I knew I probably shouldn’t punch an octogenarian, so I looked at him. “I’ll quit now for half pay.” “OK!” He was too excited. I finished the joke and walked out with a check I was sure would bounce. There is no worse feeling as a comedian than walking out of a VFW with old people staring you down with a mixture of contempt and pity. Sorry, greatest generation. I let you down. Except that guy running the sound system. He probably fought for the Huns.
Medical drama - Half the doctors and nurses are dating, or even better used to date. They like to fight during surgery. Someone dies on the table, then is brought back. A doctor sees a hangnail and realizes that it’s a genetic heart condition that only appears in East Timor or during a full moon. There are a lot of hugs and music plays in the background during the rain as ex-lovers break up or reconcile. Repeat the next week.
Celebrity reality show – Boring celebrity plus family. “We’re so wacky!” is said every three minutes, which is followed by an act that isn’t wacky at all, like they go putt putt. Then someone gets drunk in public.
Home Improvement/Car repair – Douchey host. Randomly finds the perfect fixer upper while just tooling around town. There’s no way they’ll get that done in time! They get it done in time. Oh man, I didn’t see that coming!
Wedding planning is much the horrible Hydra from ancient Greek mythology. You cut off a head and two more spring forth. Then those two heads want half payment up front or cancel appointments. Some of the things are fun, some are pure hell, and all things involve stress.
A nice example of one thing is getting a marriage license. We rolled in, having no idea that they closed in three minutes. All the staff was helpful. We had to take an oath that we weren’t second cousins or closer. Look asshole, just because I have three testicles and twelve fingers…OK, you should probably check. Then we just needed $50. Why not? Why shouldn’t you have to pay for a piece of paper? Sons of bitches.
The problem? They only take cash, like the mafia. We even had a check book ready like we were 75, but forgot about the cash. I pulled out $43, she had $4. In her purse was $2.40. “That’s good, we’ll get it.” Then a guy came around the corner, “We can’t give them money, we could violate the law. You’ll have to come back.” OH NO HE DIDN’T! I had to sprint to an elevator and run a block away to dig .60 out of my car. I remembered earlier that day when I could have paid with my debit, but I put a $5 bill in the self-checkout.
I made it back to the building in a few minutes, drenched and out of breath. Needless to say, the security officers weren’t exactly thrilled to see me. My belt set off the metal detector, adding to my near stroke. I made it by about a minute, light headed and huffing…for sixty cents. I was too tired to even give the obligatory “I pay your salary” redneck speech. It worked, now to hide my fiancee’s passport so she doesn’t wind up in Guatemala.
My lady works in a field aligned with the arts, so I get to see some local performances each year. Just recently, I was witness to Twisted, which was a collaboration of ballet, orchestra and opera. This is how it went down.
I walked in and immediately went to grab a drink. 97% of patrons were sipping wine, so I knew I had to be fancy. In other words, I skipped the Bud Light and went for a Yuengling. Good job, Coen. I went to walk in the theater and was told no open beverages. I chugged it. Well, I just white trashed the theater and the show hasn’t begun.
On the way to my seat, there were two Asian ladies in my aisle that didn’t speak English very well. I don’t know if it was a culture thing or they were just rude, but they didn’t move. “Excuse me.” They stared at me. Thus, I felt nothing when I crushed the one’s foot with my boot. Yes, I wore boots. I did feel awkward though when I found out my seat was right next to foot lady. I picked my own seat instead.
The show started and I was proud to know I recognized the music. Then I realized I knew it from Tom and Jerry or Looney Tunes. Whatever, it still counts. I was expecting an anvil to fall at any moment. This may shock some of you, but I used to play the cello. In sixth grade, we had to join orchestra, band, or choir. There was no electric guitar in any, so I would up in orchestra. On the first tryout, I got third chair, which means I played well. I was so dumb, I thought better meant you could sit in the back. Next time, I bombed it so I could screw around in the back.
There was a lot going on – dancers were spinning around opera singers, while the orchestra and even choir was onstage. It was pretty impressive, especially since I can’t sing, dance or play any music outside of a few Alice in Chains riffs from their Unplugged album. Make sure you support your local art scene, comedy included, but make sure you let them know on the comment card they either need to allow open containers in the theater or bring an adult sippy cup.