That’s my visceral reaction to that question. It’s funny, I was going to blog about this Monday. This is the first time I could sit down in front of my computer and if the dog or cat wake my kids up, I’m going to sell them to a restaurant in a bad part of town.
The basic answer to the question is yes, but there’s an issue or two, in case any comics reading this are wondering. Yes, you get opportunities to collect more material. My three year old daughter said to me the other day she was going to remove my “pay nay” for some reason and laughed. That’s funny. That’s not really a joke. I had an old co-worker when I first started that did that. Every time something remotely funny happened – “You gonna add that to your act?” Yes, Carl, I’m going to add that joke about a misshipment of foam trays into my closing bit.” Having something humorous happen doesn’t always translate into a bit.
Also, there a little something called time. Here’s how my day went the other day. My son woke up at some ungodly hour, my wife had him, but was she was dog sick and I took him. He went to sleep finally so I slept on the floor next to his crib because he was tossing and turning. Then I woke up, did some things to get their dishes washed, and worked all day. Came home, ran the vacuum, got dinner ready, did bath time and got them ready for bed. My daughter fell asleep reading with me and then awoke suddenly and vomited on me. Cleaned that up with my wife’s help, showered and got a few more things done. Went to sleep at about 12: 04 am, last I looked. Son woke up at 2:58 am, went back to sleep before four am. Repeat cycle. OH BOY LOOK AT THE MATERIAL I GOT. NOW I’LL USE THESE 47 SECONDS OF FREE TIME TO REALLY WRITE AND HONE THIS BIT.
I did a show once with two other comics. One was a single guy, the other had three kids. Single guy: “I want to travel for shows more, but I feel I really don’t have that much free time.” Three kid guy: “I’m about to slap the shit out of you.” That pretty much sums it up.
Here’s my GoT bracket, lock it down, I’m taking home millions. OK, probably $15 or whatever we get from the office pool.
My upset pick is that I think Arya Stark will kill the Night King. Too powerful to take on head to head, she gets it done with dragonglass daggers. Jon Snow on the Throne because he doesn’t want it, so why not? Daenerys is definitely knocked up.
Other than that, Tormund better make it. He’s my favorite character – badass, funny and from the Free Folk and I sure do love me some Freedom. I think Jaime kills Cersei but dies. All the Greyjoys are going down. Theon may leak through, but he has no dick, so what’s the point? The Hound will die doing something noble. Bran will die doing something like warging a dragon. Sansa is not going to make it because all the Starks can’t make it.
I’m probably wrong, since it’s Game of Thrones, everyone will die except Samwell Tarly and he will rule the Iron Throne knowing how this show goes. Who cares! Bring me more Game of Thrones!
About nine years ago, a fellow comic Patsy B asked me if I would be in a documentary about stand-up comedy, so I said sure. She filmed, interviewed and had to go through eight film editors before it was completed, but it finally came out and I went to Gateway Film Center in Columbus to see the finished product on the big screen.
I actually am glad it took a while to finish, because I saw myself from eight years ago telling jokes at the Funny Bone. I was beardless, in better shape and appeared to have more hair (don’t tell my hair, I try not to provoke it more into falling out at my age). I also saw a version of a joke I tell now that went over well, but was way more unpolished. It was pretty interesting to me personally just to see what I thought at the time, although in all honesty, no one should listen to 32 year old single Chris. Bad idea.
Patsy did a really great job getting diverse opinions and advice from seasoned emcees, radio hosts, touring comics and even local veterans. I didn’t disagree with anything I saw in the movie and most of the advice was solid and necessary for anyone looking to start up in stand-up comedy. I will have to share when it becomes available to the public.
I would say my best tips for anyone looking to start doing stand-up are 1) be single and childless, 2) be crazy or dumb enough to try it, 3) record your sets, 4) don’t bother asking for advice until you do an open mic (personal pet peeve of mine – spending 35 minutes telling someone about timing and stage presence that will never actually get onstage) and 5) you’re not as funny as your friends (or you) think you are. Oh and lastly, don’t talk to me until you’ve done it for six months. That’s most important. I’m a big star in a documentary.
I have self appointed myself King of the Internet, because someone has to run things on here. Here’s the new royal declarations from your Majesty, King of the Internet, regarding what you can and can’t post anymore. OK, mostly can’t.
Royal decree #1: Thou shalt not post more than two “Hey guys, I’m sad and depressed and need some good vibes” posts per month. TWO IS THE NUMBER, THE NUMBER BEING TWO. If you post the third, my royal white coats will show up and drag you to therapy. Four and you’re committed. Five and you will be shot from a cannon for my amusement. Seriously, get help, get friends or GTFO. Likes aren’t helping your cause.
Royal decree #2: If you think you have some insight on a murder that no one else knows about, then thou must report this “insider” conspiracy to my minister of information. His office is at the bottom of the Ohio River, just dive in and swim around until you find him. Or her. Or whomever. NO ONE HAS TIME FOR YOUR CONSPIRACY THEORIES, REPORTETH TO THINE MINISTER OF INFORMATION NOW AND GO AWAY.
Royal decree #3: If thou art a man and thinking about posting something sexual on a female’s innocuous post, then ye shall be bombarded by gay men posting overtly crass posts on your page until you see ye are shamed and know how uncomfortable it is to be creeped on.
Royal decree #4: ALL WEIRD JAPANESE KIDS YOUTUBE VIDEOS ARE HEREBY EXPELLED FROM MY INTERNET. One more bizarre video of Paw Patrol action figures being crammed into a bag of blue slime while a family dances to Benny Hill music will drive me to cancel the internet. WE AREN’T LEARNING ANYTHING OTHER THAN THIS IS MAKING ME CRINGE.
This is it for now. Subjects, send me more Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones trailers and be gone!
“Hey Chris, didn’t that movie come out like forever ago?” Yes, and I have two kids under four, so I finally finished it on my phone at 10:45 last night. This is my life. Plus, no spoiler alert needed, if you haven’t seen it, tough cookies, you’re way behind.
HEY THIS MOVIE’S THEME IS “HAN SOLO” REALLY FLIES BY THE SEAT OF HIS PANTS. Han starts off as a slave and escapes. Han leaves behind a lady when the guards close the gate on her. Han signs up to be a pilot in the Imperial military, but gets stuck in infantry duty. This is where the first sentence begins to be repeated about every three minutes throughout the movie. BTW – still better than Star Wars outside the first three.
After crossing the wrong people, he winds up a prisoner and finds Chewbacca. Now I in. Chewbacca is the best Star Wars character, because his dialogue isn’t written by grown men imagining what 11 year old boys would like to hear in a movie. I must admit, I started getting interested at this point, as the action really increased. Now it’s way better than any of the Star Wars made after 1983.
The train scene was great and had deep consequences, the stakes were raised and it finally showed what happened to get the Millennium Falcon into the story. The rest of the movie went at a pretty good clip for action, but again, the dialogue. Han Solo has to do the “Kessel Run” a very dangerous space journey (and a callback to the originals). It gets name dropped about 19 times at this point into every single conversation, but things are moving fast enough to get past it. WE GET IT – YOU IMPROVISE AND KESSEL RUN AND MAYBE SOMETIMES YOU IMPROVISE MORE. The ending got more involved and there was a hook for a sequel tossed in there.
Overall, I enjoyed it and it was about 300% better than any of the newer Star Wars films and about 500% better than the batch from 20 years ago – looking at you, Phantom Menace, yuck. Action – 8/10. Tie ins to Star Wars base films – 7/10, one more Kessel Run reference and I don’t think I would have made it. Acting – considering how they wrote the script, 7/10. Dialogue – 2/10. I would have went lower if they just grunted “I can fly that” and picked bugs off each other’s backs, because that’s how deep they wrote Han Solo.
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.