I thought the relaunch of 90210 was going to be the only instance of rich white people talking crazy on TV last night, but I forgot about the Republican National Convention!
Thank you Fred Thompson! For a split-second there, I wasn't too sure of my decision to support Obama in
this election, but your excellent speechifying at the GDOP (Grand Dragon Ol' Party) National Convention
quickly reminded me that I was backing the right candidate. I will be honest here - I like some things
about McCain. I've always appreciated his outspokenness, his willingness to fight for what he believes
in, even if it goes against his own party - I can dig that. It's his bad luck to have to go up against a
history-making candidate. In another election, he perhaps could have won my vote.
So my problem isn't with McCain, it's whom he chooses to align himself with. I'm not talking about
Sarah Palin here. I don't know enough about her to make any judgments as of yet. Although I don't know
how she's going to find the time to campaign, what with her busy schedule, governing Alaska, field
dressing mooses, and filming her weekly series 30 Rock:
Sarah Palin, in a scene with costar Alec Baldwin
I don't think it's right to malign her just because her teenage daughter had unprotected sex with, as
the ever-reputable Daily News put it, "a superhunky bad boy ice hockey player from the cold country". I
mean it's Alaska for Frak's sake, what else is there to do if you don't hunt mooses? (By the way, I know
the plural of Moose is Moose, I just like saying Mooses.)
Anyway, my problem isn't really with Palin (at least not yet). My problem is with the Karl Rove's,
the George Bush's, the Republican Egoists, and my newest object of scorn, the Hon. Fred Thompson. Did you
catch his speech? The "Flaw and Order" Senator started off ok, but quickly veered into questionable
commentary when he started lauding the merits of the Vice Presidential Nominee:
"Some Washington pundits and media big shots are in a frenzy over the selection of a woman
who has actually governed rather than just talked a good game on the Sunday talk shows and hit the
Washington cocktail circuit. Well, give me a tough Alaskan Governor who has taken on the political
establishment in the largest state in the Union -- and won -- over the beltway business-as-usual crowd
any day of the week."
Don't go there Fred! Oh yes, let's bring up her experience: Umm, two years as Governor of "the
largest State in the Union". Why that's not misleading at all! Considering Alaska is almost dead last
in population, and is last in population density, so basically she's governing a lotta land, but not a
lotta people. She did have one other big elected office - she was the mayor of the booming metropolis
known as Wasilla, Alaska. Those 6,000 people can assuredly vouch for her!
"And I can say without fear of contradiction that she is the only nominee in the history
of either party who knows how to properly field dress a moose ... with the possible exception of Teddy
I don't know what I love more - this quote, or the fact it got a standing ovation. I do know that if
the terrorist start strapping bombs to mooses, we'd be in good shape with Sarah.
Thompson then goes on to make several references to McCain's character, talking about his war days,
and the torture he went through. He then went on:
"Now, being a POW certainly doesn’t qualify anyone to be President.
But it does reveal character.
This is the kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their
I actually thought this was pretty good speechifying, and had no problems with this portion of his
address. I appreciated this story of high morals, and what makes a person of strong character. Oh
before I forget, here's a photo of Fred and his wife:
My real problem with Thompson's speech come when he starts dissing Barack. I truly hate when the speeches
diss the other candidates - tell me why to vote for your guy, not why not to vote for the
other guy. Also, I am the last guy to play the racism card, I think it's overplayed in our country, and
I've tried not to assume racism from the people that are against Obama. I'd love to believe it's
ideological differences and not skin color differences that is the main reason people are against him.
I'd love to believe that. But there just is this underlying tone, this smarminess, that makes me think
that it is far more prevalent than I suspected. Check out all the "Code Words" for black in this tidbit
from the speech:
"The respect he is given around the world is not because of a teleprompter speech designed
to appeal to American critics abroad, but because of decades of clearly demonstrated character and
There has been no time in our nation’s history, since we first pledged allegiance to the American
flag, when the character, judgment and leadership of our President was more important.
Terrorists, rogue nations developing nuclear weapons, an increasingly belligerent Russia.
Intensifying competition from China.
Spending at home that threatens to bankrupt future generations. For decades an expanding government
... increasingly wasteful and too often incompetent.
To deal with these challenges the Democrats present a history making nominee for president.
History making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for President.
Apparently they believe that he would match up well with the history making, Democrat controlled
Congress. History making because it’s the least accomplished and most unpopular Congress in our nation’s
Together, they would take on these urgent challenges with protectionism, higher taxes and an even
And a Supreme Court that could be lost to liberalism for a generation."
New code words for Black: Liberal, inexperience, lacking character, lacking statesmanship. I have no
evidence for this - it's just an undercurrent I'm picking up on. To test this theory I downloaded
a playlist from Thompson's I-Pod:
That Old Inexperienced Magic
Liberal Hole Sun
Paint it Not Qualified
Say it Loud, I'm Media-Biased and I'm Proud!
I think I spot a pattern. I didn't realize how long this blog was going to be. I'm not even gonna talk
about this guy:
Instead just this friendly reminder:
Peace Ya'll (Hope to See You Here)!
I hereby interrupt the thoroughly engaging "Don't Do This!" series of blogs for this important public service announcement. In other words, I've got a show to pimp. Omar and I are producing a (unofficial) fundraiser for our friend, Barack H. Obama. You may have heard of him, and perhaps understand why he needs the money - it costs a lot to rent the White House. Anyway it's this Friday at the Broadway Comedy Club at 7:30 PM, and besides Omar and Myself, you can see sketch group Slightly Known People, Zach Sims, John Morrison, Josh Homer, and Leighann Lord. Plus others who cannot contractually be mentioned at this time. Standard two-drink minimum applies, no cover, just a suggested contribution to Barack. (And we all know what "suggested" means.) Please check out our event on the Obama Website.
Hope some of you can make it!
First off, I want to make a general apology to my very own "Happy Hour (and a half)" open mic. Two people said to me last week that they were expecting the worst, because of how I described it in my blog. I want to say that in general, our open mic is pretty good, and while you do have some obstacles like a loud bar downstairs and a very weird and not too convenient stage setup, you also have some great regulars, and a pretty good time for your $0. So c'mon by, I didn't mean to scare you off. (If you were coming by, however, just to see all the train-wrecks, well let's just say you may be lucky to see one or two of those as well.)
Anyway, on to the topic of this blog, "Don't Do This! (No.2)". Again, this is a matter of my opinion, not rules, and again it seems like it should be obvious, but apparently isn't.
Don't Do This! (No. 2)
Don't be an Off-stage Disruption
I think one of the rudest things other comics do is ignore the fact that a show is in fact happening while they aren't up. Especially seeing as how they would hate the same thing happening to them. I hate to say that recently I've seen evidence of this at my very own mic. There is a large group of guys who are regulars who go to a bunch of mics together and like to hang out. I don't have a problem with this (although it can get kind of "clique-esh" which can be intimidating to other comics who are new or visiting). I do have a problem with said group of people going into the room outside of our stage area, not watching the show, and having loud conversations with each other, sometimes even missing their call to go onstage. Not only are you being disruptive, you are taking away from the quality of the mic by not being in the audience, for someone perhaps who will be in the audience for you. I know you've seen it all before, but I think you owe them the respect of being in their audience - they are doing it for you.
Other ways comics can be disruptive include: coming in late and immediately proceeding to the MC to see if you can get on the list - try to see if you can avoid walking to the front; carrying on conversations while someone is performing - I've seen this happen with comedians even during real shows, not just at open mics. Anyway you get the idea - I'm sure you guys could list more examples if you think about it.
I would like to think that most comics who do this are probably not even aware they are being disruptive in this manner. Hopefully they find out and can change their behavior. I'd hate to think that there are people out the who know they do this, and just don't give a crap.
So, Omar and I (and now our very own Sam Garrett) have been doing this open mic for almost a year now, and I have to say, I feel like I am learning something every week I'm at the show. Mainly, I'm learning things NOT to do. (I'm learning positive things also, but not as much as the negative.) Anyway, I hope to share these lessons learned with you folks on a regular basis, so that's why I called this "Don't Do This!" Number 1. That should mean there's more to come, unless we vote this concept off the island. A lot of these lessons, by the way, you would think should be VERY obvious, and yet, I see people ignore them on a regular basis. Also - who the hell am I to be giving advice? Well I'm not saying these things as a "Professional" or "Expert", so if you have differing opinions, share them. If you have a valid argument against what I'm saying give it! I'm just giving this advice as someone who may be in the same boat as you. However, I think I do have a reasonable head on my shoulders, and maybe I can help you in some small way. If not, well you ain't paying me anyway, so don't complain. Unless of course you wanna send me a check - then feel free to complain. So here goes.
Don't Do This! (No. 1)
Don't Start a Set with a Negative Vibe!
When doing a set, don't start off by bad mouthing the place, or the size of the audience, or what type of show you are doing. Sometimes all 3 of these happen together. Example: "Well my career is looking up! Here I am at the sucky Limerick House, doing another crappy open mic for 6 people - so anybody watching those Olympics?" I don't care if the audience is just other comedians, when you perform, it should be for the audience, and not yourself. You OWE them your best. Talking about the venue, or the show or the crowd, is doing nothing to forward your set. You've also given a reason for people to feel bad, who might not have been seeing things the same way as you. Finally, you've alienated whoever has produced the show, by putting his business with you out to the public - very bad form. Maybe you don't need that producer or that show, but people talk and you may have screwed yourself. Also, you really don't know who may be in the audience on a given night, maybe someone you want to work for, and now they've seen what you do, they won't be a'callin.
Of course, I'm not saying avoid all crowd work, and don't talk about anything that may have just happened that the whole audience saw. Also, if you have a "negative" stage character, I'm not saying to abandon your act/style. But understand the people can tell the difference between sarcastic wit and just general assholery. Make sure you know how to cross the line before you cross it.
I guess I've gotten really sensitive to this working the open mic. You might be surprised at the number of people who've gone up and basically trashed the mic, even though they are the ones up there not doing anything for the audience. I just laugh it off, but (cue violins) it is kinda hurtful, when I'm just providing a hassle-free environment, not to mention a free environment for you to work your stuff out man. Go talk your s**t elsewhere. Our mic can get kinda rough sometimes, as is the nature of the open mic, but your bringing the fact up is actually making it worse. And no, insulting Kantad is probably not going to hurt your comedy career, but you may get put into a "Don't Do This!" blog.
As I write this, the tournament is still going on. I play the first hand, nothing great happens. Next hand I'm holding 7-7, and the flop is 3 sixes. Guy ahead of me raises - unless he has four sixes I have him beat right? I got a full house. I call his bet. Next card is a 7! Great, even if he had a high pair, I now have the higher full house. I'm all in baby! Next card is 9, and of course he has a pair of nines. Unfreaking believable. I'm out. There goes my 11 bucks. I waited months for this thing and I last 30 freaking seconds. Just like when I played the Apollo.