5. I was at Soho Coffee House performing at an open mic night, and per usual I was bombing (it’s very hard to get laughs when most people are staring at their laptops and praying for you to shut your filthy, unfunny mouth). I was making fun of Jesus (a staple in my act) or some other aspect of religion which I find stupid and out of date when out of nowhere I started getting yelled at (leave it to a religious nut to get offended by someone making fun of their Savior. WWJD?). He was attacking me verbally and telling me point blank, “You’re not funny. Nothing you’ve said has been funny.” Despite it being true, it was still hurtful. So we went back and forth, back and forth until I absolutely lost my cool and started to yell at him. “Who do you think you are, go to hell you stupid sack of shit…” This went on and on. Then I decided to go big and lay the hammer down by saying, “Dude, you should have been an abortion. What a waste you are.” That was when he charged the stage and challenged me to fight. I was scared but excited because there were 20 other comics and I’m fairly confident they’d have stepped in. By this time most people had looked up from their laptops and were fully engaged in the accidental drama scene that erupted during a shitty comedy show. Feeling defeated I walked outside to smoke a cigarette and was hailed as a hero by the employees of the coffee shop. The staff had been trying to find a way to kick that guy out of their establishment, but didn’t have anything that stuck. This stuck and after that I always had the respect of the employees that worked in there and got free coffee quite frequently, not to mention all of the cigarettes I could bum.
4. Marc Maron screamed at me in the green room of the DC Improv for doing 10 mins instead of 7 mins in a guest set. I did VERY well on stage and got great laughs. However, as soon as I walked off stage, I was treated to a wonderful symphony of screamed laced insults. “Fu**ing Bill Hicks wannabe!” was my favorite insult. Seriously, he was yelling at me so much that I thought it was a joke. I just laughed in his face thinking that he would eventually laugh and say, “I’m just messing with you.” That never happened and then he slammed the door to the green room, walked on stage and then made fun of me to 300 strangers. Marc was/is one of my favorite comedians and I love his podcast.
3. I don’t remember this but apparently I was doing a benefit show for the ASPCA in Baltimore and I started talking about how much I love dogs and how much I hate cats. According to Jon Mumma, I told the audience how much I love dogs. I really laid it on thick. “They’re man’s best friend, the are loyal, they play with you, they’re happy when you come home…” all of those types of things. THEN…I went into great detail about how I hate cats and how I would like to kill them all. “You put a bunch of kittens in a blender, you run them over in a steam-roller, you could burn them, you could use them as target practice.” I thought it would be a funny bit due to the juxtaposition of the crowd and the benefit and all, but no. I died another slow death on stage (I ate it quite frequently in Baltimore. Black people loved me, but white trash hardly ever get sarcasm.).
2. I performed for the Calvert County employees Christmas party in lower Maryland and it was awful. The “party” was in the middle of nowhere in a simple meeting hall/Shriner’s Club type of venue. It was not classy and not set-up for comedy. On one side of the room there was a buffet of steamed crabs, corn, potatoes and beer. Then there was the stage and in front of the poorly rigged stage were 100 folding chairs. Those chairs were not comfortable and could have been used in Guantanamo Bay to replace water boarding. I tried to do my act but it wasn’t working – they ddn’t want to hear jokes. However, I was informed of what they did want to hear because one of the audience members came up on stage and told me to my face, “Hey, I can tell your struggling up here. Have a beer. Listen man, just start making fun of (insert redneck/whore’s name here) and this place will go ape shit.” The only thing more humilating than an audience member walking on stage and telling you that is when the microphone is lodged in your hand, which is pressed under his mouth due to his unwelcoming embrace. The whole place heard his suggestion and laughed. But then I started to make fun of the whores and the boss and all was well.
1. The first show I ever did at a comedy club was at the Baltimore Comedy Factory and I opened for Angel Salazar (his claim to fame and the credit that he continues to ride is that of being one of Tony Montana’s henchmen in the movie Scarface). His big line in the movie was, “Chi Chi, get the yayo!” Yayo means cocaine and I’m pretty sure it’s still a part of not only his dialect, but also his diet (I know this because he asked my friend to get high in the bathroom). His comedy is not what you’d call my cup of tea, but if you’ve never seen it…then you gotta YouTube it. His closing bit involves 4 wigs, 8 costume changes, audience participation, banners, flags, music and karaoke. It’s the best/saddest/worst/best again comedy I’ve ever seen. However, it’s the most unbearable thing after the 7th show in a row. It is absolutely soul crushing when you’re attempting to tell what you think are clever, well thought out and thought provoking jokes when this little Mexican is bringing down the house with his impression of Tina Turner (full drag, lipstick and a jambox blaring “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” The better question is, What’s Comedy Got To Do With It?). That was my FIRST experience at a club and it didn’t deter me at all. I think I also got to meet George Wendt that week too. You know, the guy who played Norm from Cheers. I can’t remember.
There are probably worse stories than the ones I just listed but I can’t remember any of them. They come in and out of my mind on whims. Hell, at this point most of them are made of half truths and embellished facts, but that’s what makes stories fun to listen to. I mean-most of it is true. I did meet Norm from Cheers and that’s the most important part of the story.