Man, what a slow weekend.
I don’t know about you folks, but I’ve done nothing in the past two days. Nothing. No things. Nada.
Watched a lot of TV, though. The TiVo is tapped out — I burned through a couple of Law and Orders, three Simpsons, two Futuramas, and a Home Movies. Plus parts of all three Matrix movies on HBO, and the Syracuse game last night. A lesser man would be tired of television. Pooped. On to bigger and better things.
Me, I’m watching my new Comedian DVD. I am Iron Man. Color me trooper.
It’s a cool flick — it’s ostensibly about Jerry Seinfeld’s return to standup. And there’s a bit of that — you see some of Seinfeld’s new jokes, and some other comedians doing some bits, and that’s fun. But the fascinating part — at least for someone like me — is the insight into the life of a pro comic. The pressures, the personalities, the late nights, the drinking, the bullshitting, the worrying… now that’s entertainment. Last Comic Standing is for babies — this is the real shit, unadulterated and, for the most part, not terribly pretty. It’s awesome.
And, honestly, it’s a lot like what I see at comedy nights and open mics around Boston. Without the fame and respect and laughs and money and audiences and success, of course. For the most part — I’ve done shows with a few successful people, mind you. Gary Gulman. Bill Braudis. Todd Barry.
(I didn’t meet any of these people; don’t misunderstand. I doubt if any of them saw my set, and they couldn’t pick me out of a police lineup, for certain. Unless I steal their car stereo one day, and they get a good look at me — maybe then. Short of that, it’s a purely one-way thing. And that’s cool.)
Anyway, it’s interesting to see how the process stays largely the same. The talent grows, the material builds, but the process is pretty similar. Writing and practicing and rewriting and performing and practicing again and banging your head with a large, blunt object and drinking heavily and rewriting and then finally, maybe, having something worth performing again. It’s a process, really.
Now, there’s one thing that I don’t normally do, but you see a lot of it in the film, and at open mics everywhere — taking notes on stage. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with carrying notes up there — hell, people way funnier than me or anyone I know take notes onstage. I’ve got no room to talk. I just don’t do it myself — maybe that means I don’t do enough shows, if I actually have time to rehearse and remember all the shit without a crib sheet. I don’t know.
I just think it makes people a little nervous, if you need notes to do your job. That wouldn’t work in most professions. You wouldn’t want to go to a doctor and hear:
‘Okay, please take off your pants, and… um, let’s see here… I’m supposed to put my hand, uh, here, it says, and… what’s next? Oh — cough, please. Right. Always forgetting that bit.‘
(Because you never want to have a doctor’s visit that reminds you of summer camp. That’s a little personal rule of mine. Maybe you feel the same. Or not. Cough, please. Thanks.)
Same thing with firemen or salesmen or even lawyers:
‘Your honor, I — um, hold on, I know this one. Lemme check my notes… wait, wait… oh, ‘object’. Object! Yes, I object! Hey!‘
Actually, the only other profession that gets a pass on the whole ‘cheat sheet’ thing is teaching. I’m not sure why that is, exactly. Maybe we want to make sure they’ve got their shit right. I mean, let’s face it — they’re raising the kids. Whole generations are depending on whether teach knows when the War of 1812 happened. If they fuck that up, we’ll… um, well, I don’t know. We’ll never have some goober win seventy consecutive Jeapordy shows again, I’ll tell you that. That war shit comes up at least once a week on there.
Anyway, I’m just saying. Whatever — I’m going back to TV now. At least I’ll get out of the house this afternoon, to go to a Super Bowl party. Where we’ll watch the game, of course. On TV. It’s all circles within circles here. Circles within circles, all within the boob tube.
Have a great Sunday, folks. The commentary track is on now, and I wanna hear the comics make fun of each other. Good times, good times. I’m out. Later.Permalink | 4 Comments