Charlie’s Standup Comedy Journal
Well, that grabbed your attention, didn’t it?
This was another show at the Emerald Isle; these Wednesday nights are starting to turn surreal, but in a good kind of way, not a scary, Stephen King sort of way. A few weeks ago, it was an impromptu ‘Comic Idol’ night, where the more musically inclined among us belted out tunes for a while, in lieu of telling jokes to the audience.
(Of course, in their defense, that was largely because we were in lieu of an audience to begin with. And there’s nothing quite so consternating as doing standup to a room full of other standups. And no one else. I’ve been there. It was no fun. And I needed a shower afterwards. ‘Nuff said.)
Anyway, last night at the Isle, it was more of a show. There were four — count ’em, four! — patrons filling the seats up front, so it was mainly bidness for the first part of the show. Two hours’ worth of comedians went on, and did their sets more or less the way you’d see at any open mic comedy night. A veritable ‘Improv’, it was.
Then, of course, came the soon-to-be-famous Emerald Isle ‘comic workshop’, where comics can try out new bits and get advice. Or Stash can ad-lib, rather hilariously, about… um, well, I don’t remember, exactly, to be honest. It was largely a blur, though I do remember something about Ronald Reagan, and a priceless little bit later about Larry Flynt interviewing Osama Bin Laden. I’m sorry, folks — you really had to be there. I simply couldn’t begin to convey what happened on the stage that night.
What I can tell you, of course — and show you, as well — is my contribution to the festivities, way back towards the end of the early session. Heady from the no-preparation success (yes, it’s a relative term; bite me) of my last show, I decided to do as little as possible to get ready for this one. This is in stark contrast to the meticulous preparation that I put into the first few shows; practice that wasn’t particularly making ‘more perfect’, and was frankly starting to get a bit tiresome.
So I decided to wing it, more or less. I did plan out the jokes I’d tell, and practiced a couple of times in the car on the way there. But I didn’t time anything, or diligently craft and recraft the wording, or go through the routine over and over until I could recite it in my sleep. And frankly, I haven’t been doing that for many of my recent shows. But the difference is, until last night, I was aspiring to do those things; for this show at the Isle, I whipped out a big old bunch of ‘Fuck it!’ I even slipped in a joke that had come to me that day, and reused another that I tested out in my last set.
(Both of which revolve around the idea of a ‘small penis’. Hence the title of this post. And hence my rather significant discomfort, when I realize that the only two jokes I’ve written in a week are about small penises, in one way or another. There’s something deeply psychologically disturbing about that, and I’m just hoping that it doesn’t visit me in my dreams, whatever it is. I get little enough sleep in my life now, without ‘small penis nightmares’ hanging over my head.)
Anyway, I ended up having a blast, and I think the new stuff went over well. Have a look, and see for yourself. I apologize for the camerawork, by the way — my wife wasn’t able to make the show, so I just set the camera on a counter, and zoomed in on the general direction of the stage. I don’t think that I ever wandered completely out of the shot, but I did hover rather annoyingly in the left-hand half of the picture for most of the set. Maybe one of these days, I can afford to hire a roadie, and you’ll get better clips. Until then, load ‘er up and enjoy!
Download Clip of 03/10/04 Set —
Emerald Isle, Dorchester, MA (4 minutes, 40 seconds):
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