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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!

Be Careful What You Ask For, When You’re Really Just Trying to Be Nice

Well, you people asked for it.

Okay, that’s not really fair. Only a couple of you people actually asked for it… and frankly, now that I’ve got it, I’m not sure how easy it’s gonna be for you to get it. Assuming you want it, that is. And you probably don’t.

But such trivialities mean little to me — I laugh in the face of reason. ‘Ha!‘ I say. ‘Ha hah!

(This usually pisses reason off, though, and he ends up poking me in the eye, or jabbing me in the ribs. Reason’s a little sensitive about such things. And I guess I deserve it — nobody likes to have their face laughed in, or even near. I can be kind of a weenie when I want to be.)

All right, enough stalling. Here’s the thing — for any of you out there who are interested in seeing a grainy, shoddily-reproduced, shot-from-three-rooms-away, horrifying, grimly unfunny MPEG movie (or soon, an AVI clip) of my very first standup comedy set, performed this past Sunday night at the Comedy Studio here in the Boston area… all I have to say is: ‘You poor, misguided, tortured soul, you.

Well, that, and ‘Um, okay, here it is.

(Hey, I said you were misguided; I never said that I was gonna look out for your best interests. What am I, your frickin’ mother, now? What else you wanna do — smoke, drink, run around naked in traffic? Knock yourself out. I’m not your keeper.)

Now, before you get all sweaty-palmed and make with the clicky-clickys (or strip down and head for the closest interstate), let me just tell you this: in an effort to keep the movie file reasonably small, I condensed the original footage a bit. So it’s not all that clear, or crisp, and I’m not sure how well the sound carried through. I just bought the software today (and the camera this weekend); I’m still experimenting here.

(And any expert advice — other than ‘hey, don’t quit your fuckin’ day job — would be appreciated. If I can find a way to save this shit so the camera’s zoomed right in on my mug, is crystal clear with THX sound, and downloads in thirty seconds or less, then I’ll be happy to deliver. I don’t know how to do so, just at the moment, but I’m willing to learn. Teach me to pluck the pixel from your hand, o sensei. I am your digital grasshoppah.)

Also, when I say I kept the file size ‘reasonably small’, what I really mean is that it’s ‘actually pretty fucking huge’.

(Sort of the opposite as the way we men talk about our penii, if you catch my drifticles.)

Anyway, be warned — the clip, which comes in just under five minutes long, is about a 25MB download. And — just cuz I loves ya — it’s hosted here on my home machine. (‘Cause who else would waste that kind of bandwidth on my lame attempt at knock-knock jokes?) I do have a 128m/s pipe flowing up out of here — or so I’m told; again with the penis references, no? — so theoretically, at around eight seconds per meg, and twenty-five megs… carry the four, add six, jump back and kiss yourself… that’s what, somewhere under five minutes to download? But of course, that’s theoretical speed — your bandwidth may vary. A lot. And good luck, if you happen to be trying to grab the thing at the same time the Pulitzer committee is downloading my 100 Things Posts for another of their award booklets.

(Yeah, happens all the time. Hey, they mean well — I hate to kick them out.)

Anyway, my advice to you — if you really have your heart set on checking this train wreck out — is to start the download, and then go make yourself a sandwich. Hopefully, by the time you get out the bread, flop your lunchmeat down (that’s actual lunchmeat, folks, not your proverbial ‘lunchmeat’, all right; if you’re looking for penis euphemisms, you’re a couple of paragraphs too late), scrunch your Fritos in there, slather on the mayo and relish and goose liver pate, and gobble the thing down, then maybe — just maybe — the download will be done. Or almost done. Or halfway done. Or — look, if it’s not ready yet, then go have another sandwich, or clean up the mess you left in the kitchen, or something. Just be patient, dammit! I’m not gonna plan your whole damned life out for you!

Okay, so let’s assume that you’ve made it this far. (Because otherwise, I’m talking to myself again, and I’m pretty sure the meds are supposed to be taking care of that. So I’ll assume you’re still with me.) So there’s just one more thing I need to mention, and it’s about the first ‘joke’ on the tape. Unfortunately, my wife didn’t get a chance to start the camera until I’d already gotten on stage. And I stepped up making all sorts of loud, excited noises, the way some comics do. But that’s not on the tape. So, what you’ll need to do is imagine me, whooping and yelling, just before the tape starts — just picture me walking up, going,

Woo! All right! Yeah! Whoo! Yes! Woo hoo!

Of course, if you’ve never actually seen me before, you’ll have a hard time with this part. So you might want to watch the clip once first, just to get a feel for my appearance — and that’s about all you’ll get from this blurry footage, I’m afraid; I’m really far less blobby in real life, I promise. Well, around the face, anyway. I can’t really speak to the relative blobbiness of some of my other parts. Or if I can, I’m not going to. Shaddup.

Anyway, watch the thing once, see what I more or less look like, if you were seeing me underwater in a fog bank at dusk, and then rewind the movie and watch it again, this time properly prefacing it with the hooting and cavorting that I provided above. Really, the whole thing will be so much funnier that way. No, really.

(Look, you’re probably not going to get the first joke, anyway, unless you’re from this general area. It has to do with commercials for a local beer, and — while it’s distributed nationally — I’m not sure the media blitz that we got about it reached the rest of the world. So if you don’t know what the first bit is about, just move on and get to the crotch stuff, or whatever tickles your sensitive spots. Though if it’s not crotches, then you’re probably not gonna like much of any of this clip. So be warned.)

So, there you go. Just another example of the give-and-take we enjoy, dear readers. I say I’m going to do a standup act, you feign mild interest. So I go buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of video equipment and tape it, and you raise a collective eyebrow in mock curiosity. I buy another several dozen dollars’ worth of software, and voila — all that’s left is for you to pretend you like it, and we’ll all be happy. Really, it seems fair, now, doesn’t it? I think you’re getting off pretty damned easy here, frankly.

In any case, check it out, and let me know what you think. (Or just tell me you like it, regardless — hey, I’m gonna do more shows, anyway. Your snarky opinion’s not gonna stop me.) As I amass more shows (or at least the other one scheduled for December 3rd), I’ll post those, too. I’ll probably go to the trouble of starting a little section on the sidebar for them, so look for that, if you’re into that kind of thing.

In the meantime, I gotta go work on my new material. Hey, you people didn’t think I could really just leave it at five minutes’ worth of stuff, did you? If you’ve suffered through even a tiny fraction of this florilegium in front of you, then you know me better than that. I can do quantity, folks. Now I’ve just gotta work on that other thing. Woo!

Permalink  |  8 Comments

8 Responses to “Be Careful What You Ask For, When You’re Really Just Trying to Be Nice”

  1. chasmyn says:

    Well, it took longer than 5 minutes to download (I have DSL), but it was worth it! I was laughing out loud, I’m glad you figured out how to post it! As for video editing software, we use Video Factory 2, and I could probably get you a copy, but honestly you’d be on your own to figure out how to use it. I barely managed to make a slideshow while having my tech husband next to me answering questions every 5 minutes, but if you think you’re up to the task, email me your address and I can send you a copy. (One thing it allows you to do is make the files smaller so they don’t take so long to download.)

  2. Jeff A says:

    That was awesome, well worth the download time, and I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass.

  3. Bleu says:

    You kicked the ass off of my boyfriend’s roommate, that’s for certain. Not that that’s probably saying a whole helluva lot, but you don’t know him, so you won’t be offended.

    Well done, good and noble comic.

    Rapidly becoming a rabid fan,


  4. Amber says:

    You forgot to cut to a member of the audience, laughing. Who could you have used? Oh, that’s right! Me!

    It was just as good the second time! Aren’t you glad it’s over?

  5. Charlie says:

    Thanks, everybody! Now if I could just improve both my comedy skillz and my techno-skillz, I could show you something clearer and funnier. Baby steps, folks… baby steps.

    Amber: No way, man! I’m itching to do the next one already! (Oh, no, wait — that’s a rash. Um, never mind about the itching thing…)

    But seriously, I’m gettin’ ready for the next show on the 3rd — should I threaten not to post the footage, so everyone will come see it in person, instead?

  6. Katie says:


    THAT WAS AWESOME! Break a legge on the 3rd!!!


  7. Lara says:

    Yay Charlie! It took over an hour to download (dial up’s suck!!) but it was great! You even got a “where the hell was i?” in there!!! THANK YOU for posting the video! You rock!!

  8. Brad says:

    I love DSL. I had it just under a minute and DUDE! That was some funny shit! No seriously, it was.

    Now, go get all techno-savvy with the whole video production thing and gimme more! (I can’t come and see you, being in Australia and all, so you have to do this, m’kay?)

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