Archive for May, 2010

Books I pretend I have read.

Here’s what I’m allowed to say:  I graduated from college so that proves I’m smart!  (Albeit a college that has since gone out of business, but whatevs.)  People may or may not be shocked to find out that I didn’t fully read some of the required educational literature from 6th grade until I graduated from college and I’ve been sort of lying about it ever since.  Assignments were boring and life was fun.

That said, if these works come up in casual conversation, you would never guess that I hadn’t read the whole damn thing cover to cover.  I’m that good.  Try me sometime. I’ve got an understanding of the text, skimmed the chapters, maybe read a Cliff Notes or two, but there is a shameful list of literature that I haven’t actually read in its entirety.  These are works on which I’ve written full papers, done deep analysis and about which I’ve given amazing oral presentations.  This speaks volumes about my ability to glean context, extrapolate subtext and bullshit like the dickens.

Here is my shameful list:

The Hound of the Baskervilles – Bor-ring.  I read the first few chapters and gave up.  The final project was a diorama — the golden gift assignment for the bullshitter.

Huckleberry Finn – OMG, he’s friends with a black guy!  N-word, n-word, river raft, who cares?

Hamlet – I think he goes mad because he has an uncle-dad or something.

King Lear – He’s got some daughters and something happens.

The Scarlet Letter – No one in town likes Hester Prynne.  Spoiler alert: it was the priest.

The Odyssey – Something about a journey where a lot of stuff happens.  I read the interesting parts.

Paradise Lost – I think I wrote a 15 page paper analyzing other people’s analysis and never actually read the whole book.  It’s friggin’ LONG.

The Stranger – That song by The Cure is a way better synopsis.

With this list in mind, please note that there is a much longer list of books that I actually did read.   I hope none of my former teachers read this.  Will that void my diploma?

May 17, 2010 at 9:48 am 4 comments

The Rules.

I’m sure I’m not the first to come up with the idea of a list of rules or guidelines for stand-up comedians.  Unfortunately, this idea runs counter to comedic philosophy.  In the comedy world, you are constantly told that there are no rules or that any rules are meant to be broken.  It’s a world where for every rule, you can find several exceptions.  And yet, I still find the need to make a list of rules – rules of etiquette that I feel should be obvious.  Keep in mind, I don’t dare fancy myself an authority on this stuff.  I’m a simple comedian, trying to make it big.  If I were an expert, I’d be big already, right?  I’m still learning, still growing, so maybe I’m still new enough to think there should be some rules.  Here’s my first one:

Rule number 1: Don’t insult people just for coming to see you perform.

I see this all the time.  There’s a show that’s not well attended and there are only five people in the audience.  Five kind-hearted normal people who came out to have a good time, see some comedy and have a chuckle.  These are not five people who came out to be berated and insulted for not being 40 people.  They can’t help it.  These are the people who showed up.  When comedians take out their aggression on a small crowd for not being a bigger crowd, it makes me cringe.  It makes everyone uncomfortable and makes these poor innocent people not ever want to see live comedy again.

This happens: The comedian will come out and say, “Look at you five idiots.  Why are you here?  Didn’t you losers have anything better to do tonight?”  No, they paid to come out and see you entertain them.  They should be thanked.  They shouldn’t have to defend themselves for being a small audience.  Again, that’s not their fault.  It’s like throwing a birthday party to which no one comes and then yelling at the one friend who does show up.  It defies logic, it’s uncomfortable and it’s rude.

Unless they make it abundantly clear that they deserve otherwise, always be nice to your audience.  Your small audience of today is your big audience of tomorrow.  Each one of those five people could have five friends who have five friends and you need that kind of exponential admiration to fill Giant’s Stadium one day.  So be nice.

May 11, 2010 at 10:20 am 2 comments

Come see me!

Next shows:

Thursday, December 1st
Ed Sullivan On Acid Comedy Show
The Duplex
61 Christopher St
New York, NY

Sunday, December 11th
Jazz on the Park


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May 2010