Saturday, August 16, 2014

“Conde Nast Traveler” ranked the five least friendliest cities and three out of five were French, including Paris. When asked to comment, a Frenchman gave us the finger.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The good news is Donald Sterling is no longer the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The bad news? He may start his own all-white NBA team, the Montana Coldplay Listeners.

That is one King-Hell Bastard of a Shot, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Scientists have created a rudimentary model of a brain that functions at low-level capacity. It’s first words were; 
“Honey Boo Boo here, y’all better red-neckonize.”

The charge of assault against Seattle Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch, has been dropped. As a result, Nike may have no choice but to release him from his contract.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Researches say dogs can detect prostate cancer. Guys, you thought it was uncomfortable having a gloved hand up there? Just wait until it’s a schnauzer.

The Chinese Communist government has branded pet dogs a decadent “Western Menace.” While previously they branded dogs as a tasty and nutritious snack. 

Former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, worth $21 Billion, just bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. For the rest of us, that’s like joining a health club. Except his health club seats 18,000, has a payroll of $81 million and he owns the health club.

Three Times I Bombed Doing Stand Up.

In talking to, and hearing comedians talk about their first years, I didn’t know it at the time, but I had an almost miraculously easy first few years doing stand up. Yes, the first time I went up on an open mic night, I sucked, but everyone does. Stand up is way, way harder than anyone can imagine. Especially me.
It looks so easy from the audience's perspective. That is why there are so many awful hecklers. They think they should be up there. They could not be more wrong.
When you stand on stage with a bright light blinding you and an audience you cannot see somewhere in front of you, and your voice is booming in your ears, suddenly you are, without any doubt, the singularly most alone and non-funny person on the planet. 
But I had good material, worked at it and went from a 2 to a 6 very quickly. Most comedians spend three years going from a 2 to a 6. After a while I would occasionally be a solid 8, but usually a good 7. To be a good, professional stand up, you need to be able to hit 9 and 10. Robin Williams, Sam Kennison, Richard Pryor, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Steve Martin could hit 11 and 12, but that is why they are legends.
The first night I hit a solid 8, it was amazing. Standing ovation, hugs from the audience. You know you did well when the comedian who goes up after you is seriously pissed off at you for killing too much. It is an amazingly intoxicating experience. 

(You don’t want someone to bomb before you, then you have to rebuild the audience, but the worst is following someone who kills)
(First time I really bombed)
The very next time I went up after my first-ever 8, I just happened to come by the Comedy Store in La Jolla to watch a friend. The manager, Tony, said they had an opening and wanted me to go up. This was when I decided I would do an entire set by winging it. Just saying whatever came into my head, I decided to do none my other material and just riff with the audience.
After about three “So, how is everyone doing?” I could hear crickets. Then I could hear people coughing. Clinking the ice in their drinks. My throat started to tighten. Sweat started coming. By the time I left the stage, I had not just bombed, I had pissed off the entire crowd. This is not an exaggeration: I went into physical shock. Besides the passing of loved ones, worst experience of my life. It is genuinely emotionally scarring.

The comedy gods detected my hubris and cockiness and bitch-slapped me with instant karma. 
The second time I bombed wasn’t really my fault. There was a house band for an incredibly snotty software local company called Peregrine, and I sat in on the harmonica. We were playing at the Christmas party, and the head of the band, a nice guy, asked me to do some stand up during the break, and I said sure.
Now I knew the band members were mildly friendly, but a little snotty and rude, but the lead singer of the band was a full-blown asshole. And he had a terrible, weak voice. What I didn’t know is that the rest of the company, Peregrine, was comprised of assholes the level of the lousy lead singer.
It was at a hotel banquet room and there wasn’t even a stage. The leader of the band - the nice guy - introduced me and nobody clapped, they just kept having a loud cocktail party. When I tried to talk over them, they just go louder. Near the end, there were several shouts of “Shut up.” One dildo actually came up to me after and said;
“You should stick with playing the harmonica.”
A year later, Peregrine went down in flames with several of the top executives going to prison for embezzling.  Nobody was happier than me.
The third time I bombed it was really only a half bomb.
A good friend of ours works with at-risk youth and asked me to arrange for comedians to perform at their fundraiser, which I did. Hired a sound system, booked the comedians, booked the room, hired the bartenders, the whole nine yards.
It was a huge success. The problem? I was too busy setting it up and I had no time to rehearse my set and I was seriously rusty. Not horrible, but like a 5 or 6.  The problem was the other comedians were full-blown pros and had solid 8 and 9’s, so I looked much worse than usual by comparison.
When one comedian came off after killing and we talked out in the hall. An older gentlemen came out to congratulate him on such a fine performance. Then the older guy looked right at me and said;
“Oh. Hi. Sorry.”
Luckily for me, I did a good job as the MC and actually got some great laughs by the end. The last comedian was a little tipsy and bombed so bad there were members of the audience – more than a few were reformed gang members -  were waiting for him outside to beat him up. I had to walk him to his car. (He had made some bad jokes disparaging the troops and these guys had friends serving in Iraq)

One of the weirdest nights I had was when the crowd was so awesome, and I was doing so well, I thought I would unleash some new material on drinking. How I knew I had too much to drink when I had drank myself hot. How, when I was single, I wish my dates had two drink minimums. Great stuff, right? Nothing but awkward silence. 

It wasn't until I got off stage that someone told me the entire audience consisted of A.A. members. A little heads-up would  have been nice . . . 
So there it is. Compared to most comedians, three total bombs is almost nothing. Truth be told, I got to be a solid 7.5 as a stand up comedian.  Which is damn good, if I do say so. Mitzi Shore asked me to showcase for her three times - meaning she was considering hiring me for the Sunset Blvd Comedy store. She never picked me, but she asked three times to see me. One time I showcased with Chelsea Handler. She was extremely talented, but had a bad night and was not picked either. 
Had I stuck with it and wanted it more, I think I could have been a solid 8 to 9. The final factor was I just did not want it bad enough. Writing was what I wanted to do. Stand up was too, oh, I don't know, too actor-y.  
Stand up comedy is like earthquakes. A 7 on the Richter scale is exponentially higher than a 6. The 8's and 9's tour and have "HBO" specials and get commercials. 10's become talk show hosts or get a TV show. 11's and 12's get the top time slot talk shows, ala Leno and Letterman, and or movie roles, ala Martin, Pryor and Williams. 
One night at the Comedy Store in La Jolla everyone was bombing. The crowd was truly bad. The vast majority of times the audience is good, they want to have fun. But sometimes there are bad crowds. 
For whatever reason, they had carted in a bunch of older folks who did not want to be there. As we all sat there commiserating in the bar/lobby afterwards about what an awful audience they were, I remember thinking. That is not an excuse.
Robin would have killed.