Thursday, March 10, 2011

"I said everything I was ever going to say"

For any comedian or comedy fan, you've heard by now that the wonderful Mike DeStefano passed away this past Sunday. It goes without saying what a loss this is to the comedy world and just the world in general. Someone so genuinely funny and kind should not have been taken from us so soon.

Whenever anyone dies, there’s always an out pour of condolences, from both those close to the deceased as well as complete strangers. It’s always welcomed and I’m sure it brings some comfort to that person’s family. I try to put myself in their place and in the midst of that devastation; it would bring some solace to know that I wasn’t the only one who was going through grief. That someone I cared about so much meant something to other people; affected other peoples’ lives in some way. I think deep down that is what we want from life: to be remembered. Now how we are remembered is definitely not up to us. It’s just interpretations of what others saw us as…or maybe what other people wanted to see in us.

I don’t claim to have been close to Mike but what I did see, whether on stage or off, was without a doubt something that more people should’ve seen. The same thing I’ll miss from him is what I miss from most comedians that were taken too early from us: honesty, raw emotion, and the ability to just be themselves despite what anyone else thought. These are qualities that I still strive for in my own art and what serves as advice that I give to anyone who wants to be a comedian: be yourself and come from an honest place. I am in no way saying that I’m anyone who should be giving out advice, but the bravest (and funniest) comedians are those who gave their audience just that.

That is how I’ll remember him: an extremely candid and raw person. And I’ll try improving the world (at least the comedy world) by trying to do what he did. Challenge the audience. Don’t give them an easy way out. Make them listen to your honesty because it’ll make them be honest with themselves…about every flaw, every emotion, everything that makes them angry. Bring your pain and anger to the forefront because if that’s what makes you YOU then that’s what an audience will want to see. There will always be dumb audiences, but if we don’t give in and don’t cater to them, like Mike did, then I really think comedy in general could be better.

Again…I’m a nobody. I’m in no position to say anything. I’m a baby in this world, I know that. But if anybody wants to remember or honor Mike…then start with yourself. Start with what you put out there. If you are sincere and coming from a real place, you will make your art better. And I’ll never be one to say, “This is what he would’ve wanted,” but I will say that maybe Mike would’ve laughed at you. As long as you’re honest.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Swing and a miss...

I decided to take a little break and write about baseball for a moment. Enjoy.

I've become increasingly sad over the last couple of years. Something I love and hold dear to my heart is starting to fade away. The quality, the structure and the overall love of it is being destroyed. And I'm not sure who to blame or how to stop and/or change it.

Think back to when you were younger. It's either gym class or just after school. You're standing against a fence with a group of other kids who are gearing up to play baseball. You're so excited because you love the game so much! And one by one, each team keeps passing on you. And you've been playing baseball for many more years than most of the kids against the fence. You're skilled better. You can run faster, pitch really well, have great hand-eye coordination, and can catch. You're an awesome, competent, talented ball player who's fun to watch and always give the true baseball fans an amazing show of what the game should be.

But for some reason, they keep picking the younger kids, the scrawny ones with no muscle, the kids who can't throw and have no idea how to handle themselves on the field. And the girls. For SOME reason, no matter how bad they are at the game, they keep choosing the girls. And it's just a fact...most of the time, girls suck at baseball.

Why would they do that? Why would they choose the players who obviously can't play?! Why would they purposely want to use less-than-great players? It's only going to make for a terribly boring and frustrating game!

I can't assume how long this has been going on, but I know it won't end any time soon.

And now, sadly, the fans can't tell the difference anymore. The game has become the same to them whether their team is full of real ball players...or girls and wimps. They stumble, strike out, and foul constantly. Doesn't matter...the team captain and the fans forgive them. As if they haven't done anything wrong.

They sometime take steroids to help and they LOOK like real pitchers and catchers...but still don't possess any skills. They have all the fancy uniforms and people shouting for them, but there's no improvement on the inside. They don't have that special something that makes you really love the game. Most of the players nowadays are coasting because...they don't have to get any better. They don't practice pitching or exercise at all to improve. All they have to do is keep getting picked from the fence...and their job is done. Go out there and play a shitty game. Who cares? They'll be looked at just the same as someone who worked very hard to get onto that field.

And I don't think I'm asking for much. I would just like to see a baseball game the way it used to be played. Years and years ago before everyone thought they could just pick up a bat and be recognized. Before everyone thought they had that "special something." I want to enjoy a game...not be enraged by it.

So who's to blame? The team captains for picking bad players? The fans for not demanding better players? Or the players themselves for even thinking they can step onto the field?

I will say I'm not involved in the sports industry at all. I have no idea what goes on in the mind of a captain. All I know is that I can't watch a game anymore without being a little sadder each time. I can't watch a game anymore without noticing that the catcher is not standing in the right place; that the batter is holding the bat upside down; that every player is almost struck out or runs way too slow; or that the really great players are benched the entire game.

Maybe football is the way to go now...

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Interview with Jim Norton

[Originally posted on November 10th, 2008]

I'm really late with updates :)
Here's an interview I did with Jim Norton for Punchline Magazine.

Jim Norton: Comedian For All Mediums
After his first book, Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty Breasted Zilch stayed on The New York Times Best Sellers list for four weeks, it’s no surprise that Jim Norton would once again venture into the literary world. His new tome, I Hate Your Guts is a compilation of acerbic, all-too-honest essays about the people who irritate him most: everybody from Al Sharpton to Starbucks employees (and even himself). His biting honesty and colorful language leaves you feeling just as pissed off as he is, and laughing the whole time.

Heard everyday on the nationally-syndicated Opie & Anthony radio show, seen on the bigger stand-up stages throughout the country as well as his second HBO show, Down and Dirty with Jim Norton (not to mention the occasional film), Norton is fast becoming a master comedian of all mediums. Punchline Magazine recently caught up with the New York based comic.

I Hate Your Guts, is much different than your first book. This is less autobiographical. Why did you decide to write a second time?
They had asked me to do a second book. They said, ‘How about something on pop culture?’ And I’m like alright, but I didn’t’ want to take shots at like, Lindsay Lohan, or any of that shit. I wanted to just write about people that I couldn’t stand and that really made me want to throw bottles at the television in the last year or two. I just wanted to shit on people that have been irritating me.

Yeah, you do that a lot on Opie & Anthony. Did any of that sort of inspire you?
Well, what inspired me on O&A is the fact that we do that every day. It’s honest; we talk about what we want to talk about. And a lot of shows don’t really bag on other people, but we do— so it was kind of comfortable to do it in book form. You know, I’m a comic; my job is to be funny, so hopefully people laugh at it. It’s not like I’m accusing any of these people of rape. I’m just making fun of them.

Yeah, I heard the book needed to be vetted carefully by lawyers.
Right, I’m not saying they embezzled money. They’re all public figures and they’re getting shit on and they deserve to get shit on. It’s like, you know you can’t be Jesse Jackson or Sharpton or Keith Olbermann and be as vocal and as media hungry as they are and not expect people to hit you back once in a while.

Was it easier for you this time around to write a book?
No, this one was harder because the first one was done over the course of a year and a half. We were kicked off the radio and I was manically depressed. So I was just getting hookers and all that stuff and writing about it in a blog form and was hoping to turn it into a book someday. But this one, I said, ‘Okay, I have to actually write a book.’ So, I hired a girl to do some research for me ‘cause you know, I wanted to get the facts correct and…I got a lot of information on these people [because if] you’re going to rip on these people, you should have some of the facts.

The book is very funny and it’s great because that’s who you are; honest and mean when you have to be.
Yeah, because all you can do is tell the truth. I mean, I’m not always right. Too many comedians are obsessed over being right and being politically brilliant and poignant and they end up just boring everybody. They think they should go on Fox and CNN and talk brilliantly and it’s like, ‘Shut the fuck up. You don’t have to be right. You’re allowed to express your opinion, but be funny with it. You’re going to be right half the time and wrong the other half and that’s the way it is for most of us.’

As a comic, I’m not afraid to blast people and be wrong and be corrected even. I’m not always going to say the right thing. I hate when people say you have a responsibility. No, I don’t. My job is to be funny and I don’t have to think for other people and I don’t allow other people to think for me. I don’t think I’m going to change anyone’s opinion. I just try to make people laugh and I don’t need to agree with you to laugh at a joke. I’ve listened to Paul Mooney many times. He’s black and he’s radical and I don’t agree with a lot of what he says, but he makes me laugh. So if I hold myself to those standards, why shouldn’t I hold other people to them?

You have a lot going for you now, besides the book; you had a new show this Fall on HBO, Down and Dirty. How was that experience?
Well, it was great, I mean HBO gave us four episodes. We may do more. I actually talked to the president of HBO yesterday. What he’ll do, I don’t know. Those guys never play their hands, but he was complimentary about the show so if we don’t go, it wasn’t like ‘Hey, he thought it sucked!’ I just don’t know.

Was that reaction different from the one you got with Lucky Louie?
Yeah, in the sense that my name is on this one, but there was producers and stuff picking the acts. I didn’t really have any structural control, but HBO said we wanted to make sure people know it’s a comedy show, so how about we just call it Down and Dirty with Jim Norton? I mean, I’d have to be a moron not to say no to that.

And Lucky Louie was written by a bunch of great writers, but it was a fun project because if something wasn’t working, Louie’s a stand-up so [a lot of times] we could just try things at rehearsal and laugh or we would do a live taping and [when it’s] comics just doing the same jokes in front of the audience, you don’t feel comfortable doing it, so we had to redo something [and] a lot of times Louie would go, ‘You got anything else?’ and we’d try a second line to try to get a natural laugh out of the audience. That’s why I loved doing Lucky Louie and I really was furious they didn’t give us a second season.

Yeah, a lot of people were. It wasn’t like this happy-go-lucky environment like Friends.
Yeah, it wasn’t a bunch of good-looking people in beautiful apartments. The critics are such faggots. I mean, they like to look at an overly done set. You watch a show like Two and a Half Men— who lives in places like that?! I mean, who has a fucking decoration every eighth of an inch? Lucky Louie was [shot] on a dumpy apartment; there was no sweetening of the laughs, it was all live. The audience’s live reactions were totally real so if a joke didn’t do well, some jokes got little laughs and other ones got massive laughs.

But people have become so accustomed to sitcoms softening and sweetening the laughs and then balancing them, so it sounds like a production and using a laugh track. And Groucho Marx said that what has ruined comedy is the laugh track because it doesn’t have to be funny. A laugh track is a disgusting, cheating thing. You’re putting in fucking laughs where they may or may not belong. It’s fucking really irritating so we never ever used that.

I remember Louis C.K. saying how he would tell the audience, don’t “fake-laugh” at anything.
Absolutely. There’s so much pressure from the audience by people who are not usually performers— like when they want to get wide shots of the crowd clapping and fake laughing so they can edit better. I went nuts when they were taping Down and Dirty cause [I was saying] ‘What the fuck are you doing, making the crowd fake-laugh for? That’s so nonsensical.’ People know what to do when they hear something funny— they laugh. If they don’t think it’s funny, they won’t laugh. But it’s a problem in comedy in general that permeates the business is that people just have to spoon feed because they’re just so afraid of something not getting a laugh [but] that’s what comedy is. Sometimes it’s great and brilliant and other times, it’s mediocre and it misses. So let people see it for what it is.

It’s great that there’s a show out there where comics aren’t dumbing it down for the audience. Is it important to you to expose more people to this kind of cringe comedy?
Well, to me, it’s amazing how this type of comedy isn’t being represented right now on any real channel. To me, it’s like there’s so many great styles: there’s alternative, dirty, political. And to me, none of them are better or more pure than the other. They should all be represented in some form. But I like to see edgier or dirtier comedy. Other people might prefer Brian Regan or Jerry Seinfeld—and that’s good! But there’s this allusion that people who don’t curse are doing a higher form of the art— and they’re not. Pryor cursed. Carlin cursed. Woody was a genius and he didn’t curse. So it doesn’t make you better or worse for not being dirty. As long as you’re original, I think that’s the most important thing.

The general television audience is exposed to things like Last Comic Standing so they think ‘Oh, that’s what comedy is.’ Do you think this show might change the audience’s mind about what comedy is?
Well, people did watch it. We did pretty well with the ratings. We didn’t get a whole lot of promotion and we knew we wouldn’t. And in the final episode, Patrice O’Neal’s episode, they almost doubled…well, maybe not doubled, but almost 40 percent higher ratings. It was a huge jump so it made me feel like it was due to word of mouth. These people are catching on, liking it, and it had very good On-Demand numbers. So people definitely did watch it so I would love to do more. But to me, edgy is not necessarily dirty. It can be, but it can also just be social commentary or any of that stuff, it doesn’t have to be dirty.

There isn’t really a large representation of this kind of comedy where comics are being honest and not doing cutesy, easy things like Last Comic Standing.
Well, Last Comic Standing is a network show, it features new comedians, and it’s totally aimed at a different, broader audience and they’d get 10, 15 million people and I’ll never get those kind of numbers because our humor is aimed at a different audience.

Do you think this show might change people’s views on comedy or maybe “convert” them to watching this style of comedy?
No, because I don’t think there is a one thing of what it should be. Do I watch Last Comic Standing? No, because it’s a little too cutesy for me. I don’t know if my show will convert people, I just want to bring people this kind of humor because I think there are a million of them out there. I mean, pornography is the biggest selling video industry out there, it’s a billion dollar a year industry, so don’t tell me people don’t enjoy a darker side of life.

Did HBO approach you with this idea or did you come to them?
Well one of my managers is one of the producers of the show and my managers also produce Little Britain, so they went to HBO with the idea. And I wasn’t the guaranteed host. My manager suggested me, but it was ultimately HBO’s call. And luckily, I got the gig. It helped obviously having my managers produce it.

Did you have a lot of say on the show, in terms of which comics get booked or anything else artistically?
Not really. I gave a rough idea of what I wanted the set to be but there’s so many producers who deal with all this shit and as times goes on, if more episodes are shot, the better off we’ll be and maybe then I can say more. But there wasn’t anybody on it that I didn’t want on it. But there’s so many comedians that I did want on, like my friends of course: Otto and George I would have loved to have on it [or] Pete Correale. But there were people from L.A that they put on like Anthony Jeselnik who turned out to be fucking fantastic. So those are guys I would’ve looked over because I didn’t know them. The producers had the total control over that.

Do you think this could span into a tour?
I would love to do a tour. Dice wanted to tour…and the reason I haven’t is because I was putting certain shows around book promotion. Like Boston, New York, and New Jersey. But I would love to do a tour with Dice [and other comics]. My book comes out today and Artie Lange’s book comes out next week so I would love to go out and do gigs with Artie some day. Even though there’s been fighting between the shows [O&A and Howard]…there’s not anymore because we’re all with the same company now, like no one’s fucking angry anymore.

Would you want the taping to be in New York or bounce around a little bit?
Well, I would want it to be in New York because I like a certain mentality of the audience. L.A. crowds are nicer, they’re good-looking, but here [with the] Opie and Anthony fans, the Stern fans, they’re animals and that’s what I want [for] this type of humor. I don’t want a pretty crowd. I shot an hour for HBO about a year and a half ago in D.C. and they seek the audience for the shows and I said, I don’t want a bunch of great looking couples up in the front. That’s not my audience. My audience are misfits, they’re single guys.

Is there anything else you haven’t accomplished yet that you’d like to?
I’d like to obviously be on a show that lasts for more than one season. I did one line in Kevin Smith’s movie so I would love to do more than one line a movie. My acting is mediocre, I’m not an actor, I’m a fucking stand up, you know? I’ll do acting if it’s right for me, but I can’t just go and play the fun-loving neighbor because it’s simply not my nature and it would come off as phony. I would love to do a little bit more with that stuff and I want the radio show to keep going. But I hope people like the book.

Live photo at Comedy Cellar, NYC by Heidi Kikel.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Next Great Depression

I have always been a fan of comedy. I remember I was ten years old when the first comic I ever watched was Janeane Garofalo. I related to her sarcasm the most and at such a young age, I never saw a female portrayed like that and it was refreshing. She wasn’t blond or classically pretty or clucking on about boys and dating.
Since then, it’s been an intense hobby for me. Comedy Central, (at the time) showed hours upon hours of stand up every day of the week. It was absolute heaven to me. I watched everything! I remember first seeing all the comics we love today when they had their TV debuts: Lewis Black on Comedy Central Presents, Robert Kelly and Jim Norton on Premium Blend. Not to mention a slew of others that I still love to this day.
No one else knew more about comedy than me as a kid. I remember liking Dane Cook when he was good (and not shoving two of his fingers in every snapshot taken of him) and back then, no one knew who the fuck he was.Ugh… it was all downhill when I get to college and that stupid fucking super finger followed me into my nightmares...brainless fans.

Since I was a teen, I have known better: I don't think Carlos Mencia is edgy, nor do I think Dane Cook is a growing legend. I don’t think Jeff Dunham’s puppet act is one of a kind nor do I think Pablo Francisco should have a career! I’ve known that these are the thoughts and beliefs of those who do not know any better. They follow blindly and eat up what’s given to them. In a way, I can’t blame them.
Fast forward to now. I’m 22 and have been exposed to the real side of the comedy business for over a year. I’ve seen the “fancy” shows with the big names, the shitty open mics and everything in between. All of it is fucked. There’s just no better word for it. I don’t want this to become a forum for bashing New York City comics (quite honestly, I don’t need the trouble), but without using any names, let me just discuss how the quality has gone way down!

I know this has been touched on by other websites (fuck, how could it not? It’s the huge fucking unfunny elephant in the room), but seeing it firsthand has made me sick. Going to the former Laugh Factory and seeing some jackass (on more than several occasions!) do more time than he should be allowed; all about drinking and getting drunk. Twenty minutes on the stage at the famous Laugh Factory and all you have to say about life is getting drunk and not remembering anything? What the fuck are you contributing to the world? The next night I go and see some woman pontificate over nothing! Yeah, great, you use your breasts to attract men. Holy God! Someone call Montreal! Someone call HBO! We got an aspiring legend on our hands!
I disagree with *Patrick on one thing…the quality of comedy overall has gone done due to the comics themselves. At least that’s how I see it. No one is writing anymore and nowadays, people in general I think are just dumber and can’t form a real opinion of what good comedy is. Which just means anything will make them laugh. The comics who win me over write from their heart. They discuss what’s real to them and thus, we can relate to it because it’s something real to us. It hits a nerve with us. Isn't that the fucking point of comedy! Laughing over a subject brings people closer together. But, that’s not the case today. You can do a slightly accurate impression of Al Pacino? Boom! You’re featuring. You angrily discuss how women talk too much? Boom! You’re at Gotham.
With the quality going down coupled with the over-saturation of the market, people are getting a less-than-high quality product. Just like anything else that absorbs that lethal combination. You think McDonald’s were as unhealthy today as they were when they first opened up? No way. Back then customers got a real burger that wasn't slathered in chemicals. But, with competition, laziness, and the thrill and desire to scam more money out of people while spending the least amount, the quality of food went down. And just like McDonalds, New York City comics that are featuring in the city today makes me want to vomit.

*NOTE*: Inspired by Patrick's article about the lack of scrotums on bookers at Cringe Humor.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sticks and stones can break your bones…but words are much more fun.

(The "aftermath" of my reviews of LCS Season 5...this was put up last summer originally on Cringe Humor)

“We’re searching the world…who is the funniest…you will decide…who will be the last comic standing”

Don’t those words just send a shiver down your spine? That same shiver you felt when you watched Are You Afraid of the Dark when you were nine. Unfortunately, unlike that pleasant thriller, Last Comic Standing is still on the air, continuing to disappoint millions of real comedy fans (Alright, so maybe there aren’t millions of them…at least 235…maybe). And as a real comedy fan, I think it’s safe to say I can tell the difference between a good comic that possesses great creativity and writing skills…as opposed to a comic who does obsolete impressions of Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino.
Recently, during season 5 of Last Comic Standing, I bared witness to this awful comic named John Caparulo. To be honest, my first instinct was to not give his name out because I didn’t want to give him any press. In any event, I basically called him out on his awfulness, and to my surprise, he wrote back to me in a not-too-happy manner.

“Actually, what I said was that I DON'T LIKE big dogs. If you’re going to criticize someone, you could at least try to be accurate.
And yes, both Larry the Cable Guy and I wear baseball hats on stage, but the similarities stop there. He is from the deep-south while I am from the midwest, and our respective points of view are completely different. However, I wouldn't expect you to recognize that because you’re only 21 and have probably never even left your parents’ house.
The problem with MySpace is that it makes nobodies from Nowhere, New York, feel like they're really important. The fact that you actually take the time to sit and write a comprehensive review of a television show, even though no one is paying you to do so, leads me to believe that you’ve gotten used to people listening to whatever you have to say. But, trust me, as you get older and older (and heavier and heavier) people are going to start listening less and less. So, I guess, enjoy it while it lasts.
As for me, I've done pretty well for a “dumb hick.” I've been on the Tonight Show twice. I’ve done a Comedy Central special, and I have a movie coming out in February. I’m pretty sure all of that didn't happen by accident. Meanwhile, you’re still living with your mom and criticizing people who are actually doing something with their lives. So put that in your next blog, fat girl.”

What an interesting way to respond. Don’t get me wrong, I found it hilarious. I personally enjoyed the fact that I irked him so much that he felt the need to write such a comprehensive insult back to me. My first response to this was how pathetic he must be that he went out of his way to try and prove how wrong I was and said that I’m a nobody who knows nothing. If that is so true, then why respond in the first place?
“I’m sure it bothered him… [But] you gotta have a tough skin,” says comedian, Harry Terjanian. “As far as what he did, I don’t think it was necessarily wrong of him to respond, but I think for him to get personal and insult somebody as calling them fat or whatnot…shows that it really bothered him and it’s kind of pathetic. I wouldn’t have done that.”
“If you don’t like it, that’s just the way it is,” says comedian Joe DeVito, who was on Last Comic Standing with John Caparulo. DeVito made it past the auditions and performed on the showcase, but unfortunately didn’t make it far into the competition. “If someone wants to say I’m not funny, they’re entitled. If they say I’m a joke stealer, then I need to take them on. Unless they’re making an accusation, then you have to let it go.”
“I get a lot of negative criticism mostly online,” Terjanian adds. “I ignore them completely unless something bothers me factually or someone misrepresents something. If you just don’t think I’m funny that’s fine. If they make some kind of factual statement that’s wrong or say that I’m saying something that I was not saying. That’s the only time I ever comment on it.”

When I first posted up my mini review of Caparulo’s set on my Myspace profile, I originally got one of his quotes wrong (not that it mattered…it was still unfunny). So he was right in writing to me to correct a wrong quotation…but as for the rest of it? It just confirmed how pathetic he really is and as other comedians will tell you, you should never let your anger show. It lets that “dumb fan” win and trust me when I say that it does make us “dumb fans” very happy to know that we ticked someone off. That was never my intent; I just simply wanted to voice my opinion. But to know that something I said made such a “celebrity” so angry that he took time out of busy schedule to write to me, says more about him than me.

“Any comic that’s dealt with criticism…some guys are too sensitive and take any critiquing…with a ‘fuck you’ reaction,” says comedian Joe DeRosa, who recently had his own awful experience with Last Comic Standing and unfortunately did not make it onto the show. “I don’t take it well…it’s the only job where people think they have the right to tell you if you’re doing it wrong. Most of us fall into that trap. If you really care about what you’re doing, then when some stranger tries to diffuse your work in 30 seconds, you picture all the times you’ve bombed and got shitty money.
“Its all because you believe in this stuff. It’s very hard to not snap on somebody, especially because comics tend to be sensitive and insecure. It’s hard not to indulge yourself and make this person feel stupid, but it shows they’re getting to you.”

“With Caparulo, his attacks got personal too, which you never really wanna do,” Terjanian says. “Whether they’re a fan or not, unless it’s onstage and that’s different, but internet comments, you should take them for what they’re worth and know that some people are gonna hate you and a lot of people are stupid. As far as Caparulo, from his perspective, I can sort of understand why he’d be pissed because to him, he’s funny. When you tell someone they’re unfunny, you’re telling them they’re no good, whether they realize that or not.”

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and thankfully we live in a country where complete free speech is not only protected by law, but it’s encouraged (well…most of the time, if you don’t count the Don Imus/Opie and Anthony/JV and Elvis debacles). Unfortunately, that’s also going to mean that, for comics at least, you’re going to get some great opinions and some terrible ones. If you’re a comic and someone insults you or your act, take it with a grain of salt and know that you know better.
Thankfully, Last Comic Standing is almost over…for the moment…and we can all go back to seeing real comedy (especially live in clubs). As for John Caparulo? I had fun with my response and allowed my sarcasm to run rampant.

“Oh, wow, I'm so sorry! You're right! I completely misrepresented you! And you know what, now that I know what your joke really is...I was absolutely wrong about you! You're so creative and original...I can't believe what I was thinking! I was wrong, I'm sorry. But now let's go over what you got wrong. First of all, Larry the Cable Guy is an act. His name is Dan Whitley from Nebraska (not the deep south). Here's a link to a video of him BEFORE he became a hit on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. I figured if you're such a fan of accuracy, you might be interested in it:

Daniel Whitley

Second, I am only 21 but I have been living in my own house in New York for the past three years. But that's okay, you didn't know. I forgive you completely. Third, if I'm such a nobody from Nowhere, New York, why would such a huge celebrity like yourself take the time to respond to my 4 sentences with such a long response? I suppose your movie shoot that day just got canceled and you had some time to kill, right? Yeah, that's understandable.

But thank you anyway for writing to me. I get so tired of hearing praises from so many comedians on what I write about the show, that sometimes, it's nice to hear a different opinion. Especially coming from someone so well-read and erudite. It makes me feel so special that while I'm sure I'm not the first one to give you such a negative review, but I am someone who hit a nerve. That would make any fat girl feel special.
You must tell me when your film comes out, I'm dying to see it! Love ya!”

He never wrote back to me. Most recently, out of curiosity, I checked to see if he was still on Myspace. He isn’t. And I really hope that wherever he is, he’s bombing on stage. If my words can hurt him…God knows what a New York club audience would do to him.

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 13 & 14

Yep, I haven't updated in a looooooonnnnng time. My apologizes. So let me just sum up what might've been my last two reviews on the last two episodes of LCS Season 5.

Jon Reep won. Lavell Crawford didn' my surprise. I thought he had it for sure. But this show continued for another season during the summer...and shockingly enough, I didn't watch it. I couldn't. For one, I had improv class during that time. And two....Esther Ku. I think that's all I need to say. Ugh. Believe me, I watched ONE episode...and that alone was enough to make my stomach turn.

This industry sucks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Last Comic Standing, season 5, episode 12

"Comedy's biggest title is on the line!" announced Bill Bellamy at the start of this week's episode. More like the biggest lie of the year. Is he fucking kidding me? Biggest embarrassment of the 21st century is what this idiotic show is. After doing his own horrific set, he introduced Harland Williams: "comic and international favorite." ugh...where do I even begin with that? "He was in Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary." Yep, and apparently hasn't done a damn thing since then.
Harland Williams' act hasn't changed in years. He's still just as...weird as I remember him. His non-sequiturs just don't make any sense to me. He talked about how you could yawn so long that a hotdog flies in your mouth? Now that's just lazy writing. Or perhaps he just put a bunch of words on pieces of paper and randomly selected words: "yawn," "mouth," "hotdog," and go! And his joke about filling a woman's breasts with beer so he has more interest in her...I'm sure I've heard that before.
The next "special guest" really gives meaning to the term, special. Last season's winner, Josh Blue, stopped by. The only joke I appreciated was when he had this bit about him being unaware of what his right arm was doing, and found out it was Republican. "Now you're Republican, too?" he said to his arm. "You know we need the stem cells!"

Now it was time to find out who made it through to next week. To my surprise, the first one chosen was Gerry Dee. After each winner was announced, they showed a video made of them going back to their old jobs. Gerry Dee, following in the grand tradition of performers, was a waiter. "My waitering days are over," he said. "I better stick to stand up." Um...*cough* do that. His performance was after that and it made me especially mad. He recycled his joke about women taking longer to get ready except disguised under an observation about gathering designated drivers. Women do it ahead of time, men do it at the last minute. Sounds very familiar. I thought it was funny that at the end of his set, the camera panned to this couple: a man in a flannel shirt mouthed the words, "wonderful," to his wife who was next to him in a polo shirt. It reminded me of those people you see in the infomercial audience and overreact at how fast the blender can grind up a tomato.

The second comic announced was Lavell Crawford. If you're curious, he used to be a crossing guard. His performance was as it always is...using the same joke for all it's worth. I get this image of wet rag and someone wringing it for as much water as he can get out of it. Call me crazy but there's only so much I want to hear of his trip to the doctor's for an anal cavity search. He then mentioned he had a dream where he ate a giant rice krispie treat and (say it with me)...his mattress was gone. I'm VERY sure this has been done everywhere else! Ugh, his light came on 8 minutes too late.

The third and final comic to be announced was...Jon Reep? That means that Amy Schumer is out. Before she left, she said, "If a girl takes the stage, give her a chance, she might surprise you." I can't even joke about that...I just agree with her. Right on girl! I guess that article that Shecky Magazine found was wrong.
Jon Reep's old job was at the Good Year Auto Center. Yeah, pointless, I know. The start of his performance wasn't bad. He continued to do what I appreciate about him which was to show the audience his own point of view of the world. He talked about how people in Los Angeles don't think much of him because of his accent and they expect him to say any minute, "Shoes?! What are shoes for?!" That made me giggle.

And that's it for this week! Two more weeks to go! Hang in there'll be over soon...that is, until Summer 2008. Sigh, oh much therapy...

[Original post date: September 5th, 2007]