I'm pretty excited to be back and I think that has inspired me to quit being so lazy about writing. I told three new jokes last week which all worked. Unfortunately, I also found another person to hate.
Here's the story.
As many of you know, I have a wife and two kids. I just spent the last 10½ months seeing them only on the weekends, so I'm not ready to lose three or four nights a week with them so I can run to Virginia and tell jokes for free. Wednesday is my night to hit the open mics. So, if I can, I like to do two shows. I feel no entitlement. I ask, and the people that run these rooms are sometimes cool enough to accommodate me.
This past Wednesday I was doing RiRa's in Arlington and I asked Andy Kline if I could come over to Wiseacres afterward and do a set. When I got there I was put up 12th. Eleven comics went before me. I got up, did my time, saw the light, finished the joke I was telling and got off stage. No problem, right? Apparently not. There was a comic chewing Andy's ear the whole time, saying things like, ''How long is this guy gonna go?'' and ''Is he gonna tell another joke?'' When he finally got on stage he said something to the effect of, ''Thanks a lot for putting the national headlining radio personality on before me!''
Okay, first off, the worst thing about this is it didn't get a laugh. Why would it? It wasn't funny. Addressing that the guy in front of you did well and that you are not comfortable with this prepares them for a bad set. You're already behind and you haven't started yet. A suggestion would be, ''Give it up for (insert comic's name)!'' Then you get a free applause break, and you get to benefit from the energy created by the comic before you. That is EXACTLY what I did with Rob Maher when I took the stage that very same night.
Second, ''national headlining''? Dude, I'm not national and I don't headline. Thanks though.
Third, ''radio personality''? I was just fired. You are as much a radio personality as I am.
Fourth, people in Baltimore barely know who I am. Now we're in McLean. More people know you than me.
Fifth, there was a shit-ton of funny people there (Rob Maher, Randolph T, Andy Kline, Bryson Turner, Damone Miller, Sean Gabbert, etc.) Do you think no one will ever get laughs in front of you? What are you trying to do? If you want to do comedy professionally (which I'm sure everyone there does) you have to know that there will be other funny people at comedy shows.
Sixth, you want the people in front of you to do well. Do you understand this? Why do you think a show has an MC and a feature? So the audience is laughing before the headliner gets up. You were actually done a favor. The show had a lull and I was lucky enough to have a good set an hour and a half into the show. Take advantage of it. Do you think I want to follow you if you bomb? No. I want you to do well, not just for the show, but because I'm not a complete dick.
Seventh, don't complain to the people running the room unless you're sure you're right. Especially if they are a friend of mine. Not because I don't want you talking about me, I couldn't care less, but it makes you look amateurish. This business is about comedy, but also networking and building relationships. You will not endear yourself to people when you are upset about a comic who's doing well.