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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!


#39. In high school, I won awards for emulating Bill Cosby.

No, I wasn’t peddling pudding pops, or doing that funky little choo-choo half-dance that he likes to whip out when he’s forgotten how to be funny. Really, it’s better than that.

You see, before ‘the Cos’ was a lame, dorky sitcom star, he was an actual standup comedian. And funny, too, at least in places. I know, I know — it’s hard to imagine. But it happens. I hear Ray Romano was funny at one point, too. Who knew? Oh, and George Lopez, too, though I really can’t picture it. Have you ever watched that show? I’m still waiting for the punchline…

Anyway, back in high school, I was on the ‘forensics’ team. I joined up ’cause I heard that we’d get to dissect dead bodies and solve crimes and cool shit like that. Of course, I was sadly misinformed. It seems that ‘forensics’ in high school means something like ‘solo acting’, where you pick out a piece and perform it in front of a panel of adults, who then judge you on how cute you look while you’re making an ass out of yourself. Whee.

So, since I was stuck on the team — they made you sign a one-year contract, like a long-distance company or something — I tried to make the best of it. I wanted to do some Eddie Murphy, or maybe George Carlin. You know, really raunchy crap, to set my act apart from the other pimply goons up there talking. But the teachers put the kibosh on that before I could even finish the ‘My shit is stuff, but your stuff… is shit!‘ routine. Just another example of the Man keepin’ me down.

So, I fell back on Cosby. My dad had a few of his old comedy records, and they were actually pretty funny. I memorized a bit he did where Noah and God talked about building the ark, and ‘what the hell’s a cubit?‘ and ‘Really? Elephants, too?‘, or something like that. It’s been fifteen years ago, now — I’ve forgotten some of it. Cut me some slack, all right?

Anyway, I did pretty well with it. I placed in a couple of tournaments, or meets, or bowls, or whatever the hell we entered. I think I may have even won one, in the ‘Humorous Monologue’ category. In any case, I did well enough to join a few team members on a trip to the National Tournament my junior year. Which was fun, but there were just two problems:

1. The tournament was held in the exciting, exotic, excruciating city of Buffalo, New York. Yawn.

B. The meet was sponsored by the Catholic Forensic Association, or some similar organization.

Now, I don’t know why we went to a Catholic-affiliated tournament. Ours was not a Catholic school. It wasn’t even Episcopalian, or anything else, as far as I know. But somehow we got lumped in with the nun-fearin’ kids. Which was good in a way, I guess — believe me, nobody at this thing had a piece like mine, where God’s kind of an asshole, and Noah’s giving him a hard time about the instructions. I was completely original and unique, in terms of subject matter. So that was cool.

On the other hand, all the judges were nuns and priests and other miscellaneous Catholic minions, and so my particular brand of irreverent, blasphemous comedy didn’t go over so big. No wonder no one else was trying it. So, needless to say, I didn’t win, and I don’t think I fared very well. On the other hand, I’ve never been in a competition before or since where all the judges promised to pray fervently for my mortal soul. So I’ve got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

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