There are exactly two problems with comedy. One, comedians and second, the audience. I’m being a bit simplistic, but honestly, when a show is not fun, forget a bad mike, lighting, or acoustics, your issues come from one and two right there.
I host a monthly show and recently, I set up everything to start. I knew it would be a fun beginning because the entire front had three tables together and the back had the same type setup – this means groups are at the show for something else. The front table was absolutely littered with empty drinks, indicating they were about done. Although they didn’t pay attention, they were indeed about done celebrating a friend’s promotion and I was able to reclaim the tables one comic in and have about 12 people able to sit down instead of being at the bar.
The other table? Not so much. A mid-50’s group, mostly men, were having a reunion of sorts and not facing the show. The policy at my show is that it is free, so this happens – when people don’t pay, you get more people there, but they have no vested interest in paying attention. The ringleader was a silver haired man with a mustache who got louder and louder as the show progressed. He wasn’t heckling, but his volume was becoming problematic. Another comic actually popped over and asked that they keep it down (I couldn’t hear exactly what she said, but it seemed very respectful). The human speaker blurted out, “I haven’t seen this guy in 30 years!” He was pretty annoyed, a few more words, then right back to talking. Another patron approached me and asked that I turn up the volume.
The group finally left right before the headliner’s act and the one lady at their table approached me. “Do you run this show?” Well, I did announce myself as the host and also have been onstage four times, so yes. “This a nice idea, but I’m a paying customer and I don’t appreciate that BITCH (she really slowed down and emphasized the word BITCH as though I’ve never heard it before and boy it meant something!) telling us to be quiet.”
Couple things – I host the show, I don’t have any power to control private conversations between crowd members. Also, this is about the image you need for this lady.
Not quite as bikerish, but you get it. I said to her, “Well, it’s a free show. These people are enjoying it.” She had this incredulous look as though floored by the fact I didn’t drop to my knees and cry out in anguish over another patron telling her kindly to not scream laugh and yell talk over the show. “AHM A PAYING CUSTOMER!” I replied, “MAYBE JUST DON’T SCREAM, THAT’S ALL.” Bonus fact, I’ve literally never seen them at the bar where I’ve hosted a show for seven years, so there’s that also. I had to tell another group in the back to pipe down (they ignored me) and the show ended.
What did I learn from all this? Nothing, really. I went back onstage and explained to the crowd, “Well, if anyone tells another person to be quiet, apparently I’m supposed to beat them to death in front of the crowd. Rules are rules.” Then of course, a person who I didn’t see laugh one time came up to me and told me how to run the show and what promotion I needed and how much to charge and I think how to change my diet to get more zinc.
Long story short, here’s the fun with running a show. If you charge, people will literally bitch about $5 to get in, like everyone makes $1.75 per hour. This just happened on promo I posted on Facebook. If you don’t, it’s the wild west about 1 of 3 times, if you’re lucky. Comedy is fun, until people get involved. So, you just deal with it and try not murder strangers like paying customer lady – oh by the way, she also wrote a complaint on her credit card receipt, because that’s the official form to fill out. I hope she got the flu picking up the pen to write that note.
We broke down and joined the Disney movie club and recently got Pinocchio. My daughter absolutely loves it and Good Lord, it’s dark. Don’t read the book, btw, it makes the movie look like Bob the Builder. The premise is that a toymaker wants a wooden puppet to be his real son and because he’s good, it happens. Of course, the puppet has to prove his worth and be moral and good, so of course, he gets an insect to be his conscience. After many trials, it all works out and he becomes a real boy. Great ending, the song is one of Disney’s most memorable (“When you Wish upon a Star”) and the image of his nose growing when he lies is still used in pop culture 79 years later. Now for my issues with this movie.
First off, once he becomes animated to a living block of wood, Gepetto sends him to school, day one, morning one WITH NO DIRECTION OR GOD FORBID EVEN A MAP. Hey, welcome to the world, magic toy I want for a son, school is, um, I guess that way. Here’s a book (you can’t read) and your cricket pal to help. OH BY THE WAY THE USELESS CRICKET IS ALREADY OVERSLEEPING DAY ONE ON THE JOB. I’m sure no one will notice a wooden boy and freak out. Result? Toynapped and sold into slavery by street con artists to a puppeteer.
So Gepetto tries to rebound from this colossal mishap by walking the streets to find Pinocchio. The magic fairy helps the boy escape and he vows to go to school. SEVEN MINUTES LATER THE CRICKET IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND AND HE’S GRABBED AGAIN BY THE STREET PEOPLE. He’s then basically sold into slavery again via Pleasure Island.
The bad boys turn into donkeys to be used in hard labor as punishment for their sinful ways. The cricket FINALLY does something good and helps Pinocchio get the hell off the cursed island but again, tells no one about this hell on Earth. Jiminy Cricket sucks. Finally we find that Gepetto has been swallowed by a whale named Monstro. For some reason, he took his goldfish and cat in his boat, I have no idea why. The dumb puppet finally steps up and saves him and becomes a real boy. The worst guidance counselor of all time insect gets a gold star for being his conscience.
This is my biggest issue with this movie, well that, and the fact the street fox and cat that literally sold a puppet boy into slavery twice got no comeuppance. Jiminy Cricket is the worst and quite frankly, got a gold star, because why? He didn’t get the kid sold into human slavery a third time? GTFO fairy lady. I’ve never got anyone human trafficked before, fairy, give me a gold medal I can resell for a ticket to Pleasure Island. I’ll go there and I’ll pull a Punisher style revenge on the psycho that runs the show there and make Pinocchio 2: The Reckoning. There’s a family movie we can all enjoy.
I constantly said when my daughter was born, “I can’t wait until she’s old enough to talk. That will be fun to hear what she has to say.” I may regret that now.
G: “I want the Mickey cup.” Me: (Holding a pot of boiling noodles, shuffling to the sink) “OK, hang on a second.” G: “I want the Mickey cup, dada.” Me: (Pouring noodles into strainer) “I said I will get it, hang on. Be patient.” G: “Dada. Dada. Dada, I need the Mickey cup.” Me: “I understand. PLEASE WAIT A SECOND.” (Puts steaming hot pot back on stove, grabs saucepan about to bubble over and moves it) G: “Dada. Dada I need the Mickey cup. I need a drink. Dada I need Mickey cup.” Me: “OK! I GOT IT! (Fills Mickey cup with water, hands it to her) G: “Dada I want juice.” Me: “Mother of pearl…(dumps water hands her juice in Mickey cup) here’s the juice.” G: “Dada, I don’t want Mickey cup.”
This above scenario happens about, oh, 12-97 times a day. Then there’s this one, which happens daily.
Me or Wife, aka Parent: “Here’s your shirt, come here let’s get dressed.” G: “Not that one.” P: “OK, what shirt?” G: “This one! (Picks pink shirt) P: “OK, fine. Here’s your pants.” G: “NO! I WANT THESE PANTS!” (Picks red pants, now looks like a Valentine’s Day card) After a four minute argument, parent gives in… P: “OK, but we aren’t going out in public. Here’s your socks.” G: “NO, I WANT SNOW WHITE SOCKS!” (Picks sky blue socks, repeat same argument, give in again) This repeats for coat, hat, gloves and finally shoes. At the end, my daughter looks like she went to a Goodwill on a budget that is ran by the My Little Ponies. A homeless toddler rainbow. P: “OK, put on your play shoes, I’ve let you pick every single article of clothing.” G has nuclear meltdown over shoes that lasts ten minutes even though we have let her pick literally every stitch of clothing down to the underwear.
Of course, there’s also all the fun conversations, mostly about poop and her telling me who has what genitals, which happens daily. Then there’s the little things, like reading to her and seeing this line.
In case you can’t read it, it says “inside Stinky’s hole is nice and toasty” which made me laugh because I’m still a middle school boy. It’s the little things that make your day with children.
I am probably (especially when having a few adult beverages) one of the most crass, uncouth, and unrefined people on Earth. My wife is very lucky. I wasn’t always. As a kid, I was honestly very shy and reserved. The only thing that made me shift gears? I did a ton of impressions. I know, I shuddered also. I used to do a spot on Robin Leach. My Irish, English, German and Scottish accents are solid and I can mimic most cartoon characters, even with my stupidly deep voice. In high school, the only time I came out of my shell (sober) was doing a deadly Matt Foley, motivational speaker. As a young kid though? Nope.
My daughter, the aka more gentle sex, talks about poopy and pennes and butts like she’s getting sales commission. Someone help me. I don’t know what to do. I was taking a piss and she barged in, like only a three year old can. “THAT’S YOUR BUTT! I DON’T HAVE A BUTT.” Well, you’re half right.
Yesterday, I was changing her pull up, as we are almost potty trained. “I DON’T HAVE A PENNE (pronounced PEY-NAY). LOOK!” Then she went full spread, as if I didn’t know from before her birth there was indeed, no penne. “LOOK DADA, NO PENNE!” Oh dear Lord, I thought girls were more gentle than boys. With this trend, I can only guess my son will wag his ween on the street corner like a trenchcoat creep by 18 months. Someone help me. Yes, Karma is a real bitch also. I’m paying for ruining all those weddings in the early to late 2000’s with my shirtless dancing and best man speeches.
I have probably never once blogged about my real job, but here goes. I sell wide format sign equipment and related printers. It’s a lot of work, a ton of training and tech knowledge and extremely stressful due to the market being competitive. “But I thought you were just a comedian?” No, my kids like to eat and stuff, so I have a real job. I KNOW, RIGHT? YOU ATE YESTERDAY OR WHATEVER.
Recently, I got the word I would be helping create training videos for the Epson F2100 Direct to Garment printer. I get to print t-shirts. Here’s what I did this weekend. Disclaimer, none of these are for resale, so don’t sue me.
Oh you knew I was going there. Get it Captain Lincoln, you bad mofo.
Piece of Mind still the best album, but you knew I was going to test print some metal shirts. (The Pantera one didn’t turn out because I’m not good enough at graphic design and vector art editing yet. Pray for me or send Abbott Brothers vector art. RIP Brother Dime and Brother Vinnie. #CFH)
Oh and one last one, a gift for my wife.
Nothing says “I love you” like a personalized gift. I gave it to her and she mumbled something about making the biggest mistake of her life or something. I am sure I just heard her wrong.
My memory was recently sparked by a post from my friend Amanda about college bathrooms and I remembered a story about the confused pooper. I should do more material about college, but most of it isn’t very believable to the average person. For three years, I lived in a fraternity house with 33 other guys. It was like a living organism of pure chaos and destruction and mostly, a petri dish of filth and fun. It constantly smelled like old yeast and beer. I remember guys’ moms leaving in tears as they helped their sons move in.
One feature that really stood out when I was there was the absence of stalls or doors in the bathrooms. There was an upstairs and downstairs bathroom, identical. Three sinks on the left, showers in the back, and two toilets and a urinal on the right. Literally the only chance you had of privacy was to poo at 5 am, which exactly no one ever did. I knew guys that would walk a mile to campus to use the cleaner facilities.
One night, having forgotten to lock my door, I awoke after 3 am to a fellow brother staring at the glider chair in the room. I was directly across from him on the couch I slept on. He was fixated on the chair. “What’s up, man?” No answer. “What’s going on?” Nothing. He just kept staring a hole in the red chair, the only piece of new furniture in my worldly possession. He finally reached down, flipped up the seat cushion, and dropped his pants. As he spun into a poo crouch, I moved like the wind. Faster, actually, the wind never had anyone drop a deuce on their favorite chair. My roommate had also sprung to action as we wrestled him, depantsed, from the chair and into the bathroom. He realized, in his stupor, that his surroundings were more appropriate, then sat down and passed out, pants around ankles. I didn’t stick around to see what happened next. We locked our door more often after that.