I am friends with too many damn comics because I saw about 5000 posts/tweets/blogs/shares about Michelle Wolf. MIGHT AS WELL JUMP IN SINCE I DO JOKEY TIME AND I KNOW EVERYTHING. Breaking news: My liberal friends who do comedy are saying, “Suck it up, reverse snowflakes!” and my non liberal comics friends don’t seem to like it as much (yes, there are some comics who aren’t liberal/progressive).
First, stop defending Michelle Wolf. She knew exactly what she was doing. If you have the balls to go in front of White House officials and the media and blast the skin off their backs, you aren’t looking for allies. She has a Netflix show coming out. She’s doing exactly what she wanted to and will benefit from the criticism in ways you couldn’t hope for. She’s a big girl and her show will get a huge boost now.
Second, it was vulgar. Doesn’t mean a lot of it wasn’t funny. Doesn’t mean she did well for the event’s crowd (she didn’t) – she didn’t care about that, see the previous paragraph. Was it her fault, the booker’s, the crowd’s? We will probably never know. I’ve been paid to work formal events and even the lower standard fund raiser show. I did a show where the patrons told me before and after to curse or they wish I had cursed because the comics seemed uptight. I didn’t. Why? The person paying me told me not to. She used language and references that from my experience were way out of line for that type of room…but I have no idea and don’t care. Until the emails are released of what was expected, it’s a waste of time to jump on a horse and scream into the wind about it was her fault or the booker’s fault or the room was uptight. Probably all three. The world will turn and they will adjust the show accordingly.
Third, was it funny? Some of it was. I must admit, if I hear another Nazi joke I’m going to vomit. She did a great job covering the news topics of the day and even since Trump’s election, but I thought was light on media jokes and heavy on him, so the balance may not have been there for the event. Also, the abortion joke was poorly written. Abortion supporters claim a fetus is not a baby, so her wording played into the hands of the pro-life supporters if she was attempting a knockout blow. Again, not sure the parameters set or expected, but as a rule, if people are wearing formal clothes, probably not the place for such a joke, if such a place exists – you can watch it or read the joke, I’m not going to transcript the whole thing. Just my two cents and I’m not a clean comic by nature, so I’m not prudishly swatting away any crude humor, just observing material as someone who has been paid to perform in a tuxedo or suit on multiple occasions.
Like everything, this will pass and next year, they’ll probably give the room to much less partisan or dirty comic. I really don’t care about this event – it was a private event that got way too much coverage regardless of the politics. I don’t care who is supporting the event or performance. The same people cheering Dave Chappelle’s support of Ms. Wolf were losing it over his last couple specials’ lack of sensitivity towards the trans community and women. Calm down everyone, it was a comedy roast of sorts. A traditional roast is for one person and they expect it, so this is a little different, but not much. It was highly partisan and very blue and wasn’t very nice. And not one person I know or ever will talk to was there or could have been there. It’ll be OK for her and the administration, which will probably also get a boost. People don’t like seeing a comic tee off on someone unless they think they deserve it. In other words, everyone is exactly where they were before this event in regards to their disdain for Trump world or liberal celebrities. Hugs for all (don’t touch me, please; hug each other or whatever).
The NFL draft started last night and boy was it exciting. OK, I didn’t watch. I used to watch most of it, then I realized I was alive and could walk around and do other things, like anything. What a draft in sports is, is where 90 sports analysts call each other stupid because they disagree on who or what a team needs and should pick. Then a team picks a player and they all agree or disagree with the pick and call the team stupid or genius. Then this cycle repeats for several hours – in the NFL’s case, over 3 days.
I wouldn’t mind the draft, if there were about three minutes between picks. They have three months to get ready for it – the bad teams even longer because they didn’t make the playoffs. They get 10 minutes, then the time starts dropping. Used to be 15 and one year, the Vikings didn’t get their pick in for 45 minutes – they actually got skipped twice. They should have pulled the GM out and threw rocks at him until the pick was made.
Also, it’s all guess work. If you’re last in the league in passing and your QB threw 43 interceptions, my toddler could tell people you may want a quarterback. I don’t need three months of breaking it down by ten guys who have never coached or played football. Then they get a QB and they talk about it for 20 years after. Some fans actually go to the draft and sit there sober and cheer for three days. I just shuddered a bit.
All you need to know is very highly paid people are picking new players for your team. Most will be off the team in three years. If too many don’t make the team, those highly paid people get fired. If most do, you probably will win games. There’s your breakdown. Watch the first round, then go do something else. If you’re watching the seventh round on day 3, you need help and I feel bad for you. Watching draft guys argue is less entertaining than watching drunks at a bar yell about who was better at sports in high school.
Well, as I’m typing this, I’m technically on “vacation” aka my kids didn’t get sick, so I’m using days off before I lose them. I don’t suffer from depression, but if I lost a vacation day, I would burn down 73% of this damn city. The plan was that I would meet my wife at the movies to watch Black Panther and drink some drafts, but on the way to work for my half day, we found out the sitter’s kid had lice and our kids were home. VACATION BABY! Time to wash everything we own, including my daughter’s 447 stuffed animals! WHOOOOOOOOOOO!
Not the worst though. Oh no, here’s the best of the rest!
Appalachia – High school Chris takes his pal Honk with the parents to Tennessee. My parents wanted to go to somewhere in Tennessee, I don’t remember, so I drug my friend along. The highlight was on the way we stopped to piss and there was a mountain with a concrete luge. Hell yeah! These rednecks with weird skin color patches told me and Honky Tonk not to release the brake fully or we would wreck, then let us race on the dual tracks. Well, because I am also a redneck and not one to listen to anyone, I fully released the brake. I was kicking his ass and in a show of intelligence, turned around to taunt my friend with various insults. My lead quickly evaporated as I hit a 90 degree turn near the bottom at 35 mph. I could have leaned into it, but I didn’t listen to the billies and was facing backwards like an ass, so I launched into the air and the first thing to hit the concrete at full speed was my neck. I realized why the billies had weird skin patches – it had been ripped off via concrete. The rest of the trip I had to turn with my whole waist to look left and right, since I couldn’t move my neck. Oh and Honk beat me in a testosterone version of the tortoise and the hare.
Cancun – Quick summation: scummy college student exploiting website took our money, then said they “overbooked.” Got flight out of Pittsburgh by finding loophole to stick them with ticket to Atlanta. Flight to Cancun delayed thanks to engine. Spend 14 hours in airport. Fly to Cancun, hotel given to others. Half sleep in tiki bar with 19 others as Mexican children steal our shoes. Friend threatens local travel site office with violence via a baseball bat – we get four star hotel for week. Flight back falls through. Repeat, but in Mexico.
Italy – Honeymoon. We leave Venice for Florence. Miss train by 10 minutes. Strange Middle Eastern guys try to pinch me for luggage by surrounding me in tunnel under tracks. I told him to “back the fuck off” and he made a slashing motion by his throat and his three companions who had suddenly appeared behind me from a hallway disappeared. Then we missed bus in Florence by five minutes. Another 4 hour delay. Then bus in Poggibonzi goes an hour the wrong direction and we miss check in in San Gimignano by an hour. No one has cell service, so I bride the last restaurant open and get the owner of our B&B out of bed to let us in. We drink the only bottle of Jim Beam in Italy and pass out for 11 hours.
I see a lot of stupid on the internet. Stupid can be understood. Evil can’t. So for the worst people on Earth award (April 2018) version, congrats to people that exploit or attack the victims of tragedies, aka “False Flag Hoaxers.” This trailer trash couple, who go by fake names anyways, so not worth mentioning, actually are emailing, calling and face to face confronting the victims of the Sutherland Springs shooting, claiming they will offer $100,000 for proof that the shooting victims actually existed. There’s a video on Vice I won’t link to, you can google it. I can’t even link to it on principle, it’s so disgusting.
Why? Their claim is that the government staged the whole thing to put fear into the common population. I’m assuming the government does this to control people through fear or restrict rights, but honestly, I can’t bother to dig deeper into their reasoning. Their claim is that you can’t get a death certificate (you can, actually). The problem is that if you produce one, they’ll just say it’s fake. So I’m here today, to debunk these mouth breathing inbreds with logic and humor, these modern day Westboro protest level vermin.
First, the same government that apparently staged this is the same one that didn’t bother to file the background check information on the shooter. He beat multiple women, fractured the skull of a baby and threatened to kill multiple people, causing a discharge from the military. So the same government that is to blame for him being able to legally purchase weapons staged the shooting…so they could have their errors exposed in allowing him to purchase a weapon through their gross incompetence? Sorry, dummy, strike one. You have no logic trail already. Say hi to your mom/aunt and dad/uncle for me.
Second, there are multiple pictures of the family that I have seen after the shooting of the families from different locations with different outfits at different ages. There ARE valid birth and death certificates, but you would deny they were real, plus let’s face it, I’ll give $100,000 to you if you prove you have $100,000. You and your live under a bridge and ask people questions wife both appear like Wal-Mart is too fancy for your wardrobe. He by the way, looks like an ex-amateur wrestling called Big Dumb whose biggest match was at East Central high school gym against the Crippler on the West Texas pro-am wrastlin’ circuit in 1987. By the way, if he actually has $100,000, I’ll use his logic and yell “Nuh-uh! Nuh-uh! That ain’t real!”
Third, you’re lucky these people are better than you. If, God forbid, one of my family or close friends were killed and you got up in my face about it, I would pull your genitals off like an angry chimpanzee. Even if you are really stupid enough to think the government (look at Congress right now…go on keep looking) would create 26 fake victims, including a 77 year old and an unborn child, which takes a whole lot of stupid, why would you confront the victim’s families? Go after the government, then. The only reason, is that you’re pure evil. As in, you have no ability to comprehend human suffering and therefore, are not fully human. Oh and use your real name, pussy. I love these tough guys online (or in his case, in person) that use fake names. Why don’t you use the fake name Cactus Ass and show how tough you are, you know, shoving cacti – you get it. You the reader, this moron probably counts to 20 by taking his shoes off (or 22-24, depending on the amount of fingers and toes he has).
There has to be legislation passed to protect these people, but I’m not smart enough to know Texas law vs. federal law. I am smart enough to know how Texas operates, so hopefully someone accidentally rolls this lumbering ogre and his toadie up over the hood of a Silverado – accidentally, of course – while um, swerving to miss an armadillo or gum wrapper or something. Sorry you have to deal with this, Sutherland Springs.
Before: “I’m tired, I was up until 3 am!” After: “I’m tired, my kid woke me up at 3 am.”
B: “We always go to that bar, let’s do something different!” (Goes to same bar) A: “We always get that takeout, let’s do something different!” (Kid eats only that takeout, goes to same restaurant)
B: “I had a bad day yesterday, I got fast food at midnight.” A: “I had a bad day yesterday, I ate my kid’s leftover dessert for the eighth straight meal.”
B: “I was so busy yesterday, I had to run to the grocery store and pick up five things.” A: “I had so much free time yesterday, all I had to do was pick up 37 things at the grocery store.”
B: “I need to get drunk!” (Gets drunk) A: “I need to get drunk!” (Has one drink, falls asleep sitting up)
B: “I got a bonus at work, I’m going to Vegas!” (Money gone in four days) A: “I got a bonus at work, I’m buying a playhouse for the kids!” (Kids play with playhouse for two days, never touch again until you go to sell it online, then suddenly interested again)
B: “I don’t watch kids’ movies.” A: “I’ve seen Trolls six times since Tuesday.”
B: “The scariest thing is waiting on a pregnancy test or getting pulled over leaving the bar.” A: “The scariest thing is changing a diaper and hearing a toot. Or whenever my kid is in the other room and it’s quiet.”
I have seen a lot of new comics over the years and heard a lot of discussions about comedy in general, so I though why not cover what goes into a good comic? The obvious and most important one to me is material. Good, funny material will cover up and hide a lot of flaws, but there’s still a ton that goes into it other than the content of the words.
Stage presence. This is a mix of confidence and practice. Most good comics I see are very comfortable onstage (although a few portray the nervous side because it fits their act). I have seen a lot of comics power through new or untested jokes better than nervous, jittery comics doing great material. The audience wants to believe you think the joke is funny. Projection of voice is part of this, some comics are funny, but you can’t hear them. That sometimes helps, I have found.
Timing. Man did I suck at this at first. I used to stomp all over laughs because “dead” air is brutal. No one wants to be stuck up there in silence so I used to hurry up and start the next joke while people were laughing. Recording your set and stage time will help with this to hear the cues and get more comfortable. Once you get past nerves, you can actually pay attention to the crowd onstage and pick up on things. This is such an important thing, I think every comic gets good at this fast or quits.
Crowd work. That leads me to crowd work. I still think this is the most overrated and overblown part of stand up. EVERYONE I talk to that hasn’t seen comedy in a while asks me if I pick on people. No. Unless they are really, really asking for it. Crowd work just has to be a quick acknowledgment of something dumb and addressing the awkwardness or maybe just taking a response to a question that leads into a great joke you didn’t have planned on telling. Hecklers are really rare and usually best ignored. Or you can just open carry a firearm. Then no one heckles.
Callbacks. Also not my primary strength, although having a flow to your set will also give this effect. It harkens back to a previous joke and plays off it, which shows good writing and uses the old joke to maximum effect. I don’t naturally write that way, but it’s a good skill to have. Oh and calling back doesn’t mean telling the same jokes over during your set, that’s called being drunk.
Audience awareness. What is the crowd? I still remember doing two shows one week a few years back. Art History Graduate Students and the Central Ohio Tractor Pullers Association. Different sets, by the way. Same with clean and dirty sets. My little secret is I do largely the same sets, I just use different words. Just takes a little discipline.
Preparedness. The better you know your set, the better off you’ll be onstage. I always marvel that people after a year still don’t memorize their five minute sets. I honestly think this, over anything else, helped me when I started. I used to time my sets and practice with a TV remote as a microphone. I felt like a psycho, but was able to go from not remembering a five minute set to doing 20 plus minutes within a very short amount of time. Then I had two kids, so I’m glad I did that a while back. Now I just chug coffee and hope for the best.
Using who you are onstage. I have seen a lot of comics excel at this. The audience can see what you look like. Use it to your advantage. Fat people tell food jokes. (Note to self, diet or start writing food jokes.)
Of course, if your material sucks, then none of this matters and look for another joke site on how to write. I got nothing for ya. Except make that fart noise with your tongue sticking out at the end of every joke. That works with second graders.