Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Monday, August 06, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Monday, April 09, 2012
Monday, April 02, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Congratulations to my NY Giants for winning another Superbowl. It was a most ripping victory. The Giants are football royalty. Being a Giants fan means you get to see your team go all the way every few years. Being a Jets fan means you get to route for the Giants every few years.
The most compelling thing about the Giants is that their fearless leader doesn’t look fearless or like a leader. Yet the quiet Giant has two Superbowl rings and all of New York City is feeling the noise. Now, the Knicks have an Asian point guard, who graduated from Harvard, driving the whole country bananas.
That’s what’s great about sports. The results trump the preconceived notions. Eli still looks dopey but it’s a fact that he captured a most elusive spoil twice over. What happens in other arenas where there’s no one keeping score? We allow our selves to be tricked is what happens. Truth is clouded by marketing tactics. We judge books by the cover. Some of the toughest people look the nerdiest. Some of the nerdiest looking are the most dull. Obviously sight is usually the first sense activated in most situations so to pre-judge is unavoidable. However at some point we must do the math and tally reality into our assessment.
I love that people I grew up with can attest that I’m from the hoods that rappers rap about. Some of those rappers are not from the hoods they rap about. Millionaire Rick Brown won the senator race in Massachusetts and said “I'm Scott Brown, I'm from Wrentham, I drive a truck...” I guess to say, “I’m one of you.” Yeah, and serial killers recycle but that doesn’t make them green. Clearly perceptions and norms come from somewhere. Those perceptions are there for a reason. They do exist. I don’t think we should look for exceptions or to confirm what we already think. Just allow the truth of every situation to present itself. Eli is elite, Jeremy Lin can ball and I should be in Paris getting effed up. :-)
Thursday, February 09, 2012
I had a groovy time last night at my show in San Francisco at the Punchline. It’s one of these clubs where the crowd is smart enough to get heady concepts yet down to earth enough to laugh at fart jokes. I try to make my comedy a marriage between smart and silly so the Punchline is right up my alley.
The most notable audience member was a girl I went to elementary school with in Brooklyn. Veronica was in my same class from grades 1-6. She was the smartest person in my class. (I’m keeping myself out of contention, for all my readers whose jaws just dropped. :-) We also lived in the same building. She’s from a concrete Brooklyn jungle raised during the crack years and she went to Stanford and is now a civil engineer. I’m as proud of her making it out of the hood by way of education and she is of me making it out by way of jokes. She was clearly on a trajectory for greatness even as a child. Veronica was always well behaved and studious. I was always studious but no one ever accused me of being well behaved.
I see there’s a Chinese dad in New York making his toddler run in the snow with his underwear on. The father calls himself the Eagle dad. It’s a part of the father’s “toughen up” regimen. Huh?? The boy is 4 years old. For every child hazed by their parents I can show you a child raised with leniency that will accomplish just as much. I really don’t feel all that bad for the boy. It’s just snow and he’ll be fine and maybe it will toughen him up. I just question the effectiveness of it all. Nothing trumps love. I’m sure my childhood friend was held to a high standard growing up but I’m also sure that she was loved. I never even had a curfew growing up but again, I was loved.
My father took my pacifier away from me at a very young age. Tough Love. Making a four year old run half naked through snow? Bananas! I don’t believe in coddling but I also don’t believe in treating a child like he’s a Navy Seal. The video doesn’t show the parents, but unless the father was out there in the cold with his undies on I call BS.
If you want your kids to be productive members of society try cutting off the TV, limiting video games, cutting out processed foods. When levying out discipline ask yourself child development or Russian secret service training. I don’t think Veronica was ever forced to run in the show. Dodging bullets was challenging enough.
Boy walking in the snow:
Thursday, February 02, 2012
I did a show in Hollywood last Saturday night and the comic before me was 92 years old. He started comedy when he was a wily 91. He actually did very well and was quite astute at joke telling.
Right now you might be feeling bad about yourself. You should, but you should also be emboldened that the adage that it’s never too late to be what you could’ve been is a real thing. I don’t see Max selling out the Staples Center or starring in a buddy cop action comedy* any time soon but to have your health and wits about you enough to tell jokes at 92 is amazing.
A 92 year old gets the same crowd support that an 8 year old would get. The audience wants them to do well and is already impressed that they’re even on the stage. It’s adorable. The fact that Max hit every joke dead on was a very welcomed bonus.
What have we learned? For 1 comedy obviously keeps the mind sharp and secondly it’s never too late. So pick up the phone and get the old band back together.
*QSN(Quick Side Note): If Max did star in an action buddy cop movie what would it be called?
- Old But Not Yeller
- Geriatric Tactics
- I’m Actually Too Old For This S@$t!
- The Early Bird Special
- Stop! or I’ll Poop
Saturday, January 21, 2012
A while back I wrote about the frequent but implausible way things happen in twos. I coined the occurrence a God Wink. Say the word ramp then you hear someone on TV say the word ramp a beat after you. That's a God Wink. Just a little nudge that suggests the randomness may not be that random after all. Though clearly beyond our scope of current understanding.
I recently listened to a set I did in Sacramento. Watching yourself is tough but if you don't know your past... I was doing my new favorite joke. In the joke a disgruntled person at a hospital asks to speak to a manager. Don't worry I haven't given away the meat and potatoes of the joke. While my made up character was complaining to a made up worker some guy in the audience near my camera was complaining to a real waitress and demanding to speak to a real manager. Apparently his beef was over the two drink minimum. Seemed he thought getting a hot tea and then having it refilled should count as two drinks. I didn't notice while I was on stage. A sign of the professionalism of the Punchline staff. Also, a sign that I was doing well and the laughter of the less miserly patrons drowned out Old One Tea Willie.
The man actually said the word manager a beat after my character did. I could tell at that point he was no longer listening to me so we independently asked to speak to a manager at the same time. Neither my character or One Tea Willie got what they wanted but I got a God Wink and another reason to suck it up and watch one of my sets every now and then.
Quick Side Note:
I once experienced a God Wink on my way to get pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I wrote a blog just 12 hours ago about seeing Charlie Murphy do stand-up. Two thumbs up for darkness. In that blog I mention some of the other actors turned comics who didn’t fare as well as C. Murphy. Most notable are Charlie Sheen and everyone’s favorite house guest Kato Kaelin.
I wasn’t prepared to see Kato Kaelin in person just 4 hours after I posted the blog. The world is a small place when you’re putting people on blast. I felt bad because I could see Kato in the audience enjoying my stand-up. The harder he laughed the worse I felt. What if he really dug my stuff and decides to look me up. Maybe read my blog and the 1st thing he reads is me tearing him a new one.
I don’t take back what I said. I think Kato would agree that Stand-up wasn’t his bag. His audience skills are impeccable though. Seriously, if I had an extra house, I’d let him stay in it.
Maybe my next blog will be about Gabrielle Union.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Most comics don’t take kindly to famous non-comics jumping into comedy to cash in on their fame. Sure, they can fill a room with people but they usually proceed to disappoint those people. Any bad show, especially one that cost top dollar, is a black eye on comedy. I don’t put people on blast as we do live in a free country and audiences exercise free will when they buy tickets to see someone do something they have never done. What people don’t realize is learning to do something after you’re famous is extremely difficult. I wouldn’t charge people to watch me learn how to play piano.
I feel like an example is in order. Again, this isn’t putting someone on blast as much as it is making a case in point. Charlie Sheen, hilarious actor, but he owes 4700 people in Detroit their money back. Kato Kaelin tried his hand at comedy and so did John Bobbit. One is famous for living in a guest house and the other is famous for being the 1st member of the lost member club. They had as much business doing comedy as I have getting a job rolling sushi.
So it was with some trepidation that I went to see Charlie Murphy do comedy. Sure he was hilarious on Chappelle but stand-up is a different animal. My stomach couldn’t bear seeing someone with Murphy as a last name not be good but I told my man Kwame Siegel, who opened for Charile, that I’d come thru.
Charlie hit the stage and I immediately let out a big “Whew!” He was good. In fact he was very good and his acting chops actually made for a great show. It was like watching a stand-up who wasn’t needy at all and really focused on connecting with his audience 1st and making them laugh a close 2nd. I was with Charlie Murphy every step of the way. He was at all times honest and funny. Some good stand-ups might get more laughs but few comics would have a show that was as enjoyable as Charlie’s. I actually learned from watching him. Lessons can come from the most unexpected places.
My prognosis for Charlie Murphy is that he will only continue to grow and get better. Hat’s off to Darkness. You did your thing family. Brooklyn we go hard!
Most Bally’s shower stalls don’t have curtains. It makes for looking straight ahead showering. Some smaller Bally’s don’t even have shower stalls, just a big room with several shower heads. That makes for heading straight home without showering.
In the Glendale, CA Bally’s the big shower room is adjacent to the toilet stall and sink. It’s usually empty or there’s a guy showering super fast, as if he’s getting charged by the second. A communal shower room is not the place to get clean. It’s more of a place to quickly rinse off the stink. So imagine my surprise and horror when I looked up from the urinal and saw a guy in the shower room sitting down on the floor, pensively with his head in his hands, as water fell on him. No shower shoes on, sitting down on the floor. I wouldn’t do that in my own shower.
Apparently, the man and his antics are a staple in the gym. Good to know a membership to the Glendale Bally’s comes with a resident crazy guy.
How does someone get to the point where they’re sitting on a public shower floor nude for 30 minutes a pop? That’s a story I think any mildly curious person would want to know. Was the man always a little touched? Did he drop some diabolical acid? Was he left at the alter and vowed to spend the rest of his days making people in various gyms uncomfortable? Perhaps his runaway bride was a personal trainer?
See, the possibilities are endless. Crazy is never the story. How the crazy was born is a tale for the ages. I want to see this guy’s prequel. What’s his Episode 1 that turned him into the Bally menace?
With networks and websites always pining for more content, I have an idea that will revolutionize programming. I say we extract the highlights from touched people and make them downloadable either into your computer or phone, for now and later on directly into your head. What could more entertaining than seeing how a Phi Betta Kappa become a person who collects plastic bags on Sunset Blvd. in preparation for the return of his mother ship? Even if the person was always a bit off, had a normal life and there was no inciting incident the story will still be a page turner when you add in the director’s commentary. That’s the wayward person explaining their own story...
CRAZY COMMENTARY: See how that table is mocking me? That’s why I hit it with my head.
The good thing is the “Behind The Crazy” series will never run out of subjects to showcase. I see the series eventually expanding to include “Behind The A-hole” and “Behind The Magician” What drives someone to pull quarters out of people’s ears? Until we figure out how to extract people’s memories, I’ll just have to fill in the back stories.
Never fall for a personal trainer unless you’re sure they feel the same lest you find yourself sitting on a cold floor all wet.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I walked into Starbucks near Queensway Rd. in the Bayswater section of London. 6 months ago I was in there almost daily for a span of 3 weeks. 6 months before that I was in there daily for a different 3 week span. It felt like I had just been there the day before as opposed to 6 months ago.
The same two baristas anchored the coffee bar. Did they recognize me? Did they wonder why I'm a fixture for 3 weeks at a pop then disappear for 6 months? If I was friendly enough or odd enough during my 3 week spans, could I lead them to believe that I live in London?
Then I wondered about their lives. What had transpired since our last tea/money exchange. Had they found love, lost love. Maybe this guy/girl barista duo dated but thought it wiser to remain friends. Maybe they're magical in the Starbucks galley but clash in real life and had to learn the hard way that foam and love don't mix. Or maybe they had been too busy with life's day in and day out drudgery to reach any milestones. Maybe nothing significant has happened in that time frame. Or, maybe no outward change took place but revelations had. Maybe epiphanies not visible to the naked eye had transformed them into new beings.
Then back to me. Was I a better person an improved comic? Maybe my goals should be synced with these UK trips. Maybe I'll comprise a list of things to do before I see the dynamic duo again. Or maybe they'll have moved on when I come back.
I remember being 5 years out of college, living in Boston and people in front of my mother's New York building me asking me how school was going. Did they think I was pursuing a triple doctorate or had they let time pass them by? Next time I'm in Bayswater, I must tell the friendly baristas of all my travels and biddings. That is if the line behind me isn't too long.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
When I think of things that are useless, hotel turn down service is near the top of the list. So someone comes to your room and basically starts the comforter move for you but only slightly in one corner. Does anyone have this service at home? Is anyone so rich or so pampered that they need someone to put a crease in their comforter at night?
Maybe these same people pay someone to open potato chip bags for them or rub their eyes in the morning.
Hey fancy hotel: If you want to check my mini bar, just ask. Don’t enter my room under the guise of performing the most meaningless and borderline insulting task you can think of. If you must come in, how about you loosen the nazi comforter tuck at the bottom of the bed. Muay Thai champion kick boxers can’t kick those comforters loose.
Just give me free wifi and plenty of tea and I’ll put the do not disturb sign out. So the bed never gets made. Can’t turn down a mess. Are we still talking about beds or my dating life? :-)
Monday, January 02, 2012
Sunday, January 01, 2012
Of course it would only be a matter of time before someone pointed out that they were each born at a different time of the day. And then people born on April 3rd at 4:38am, EST would have to gather every year around 2am to party hard (probably via skype.)
So, logistics dictate that I be okay with bringing in the new year with the rest of the world, China notwithstanding. It’s not actually resolutions that I seek to have in place by my birthday but more my yearly theme. Past personal themes have included:
- Year of the Stir Fry (I stir fried once all year)
- Year of the Alliance (same year as the stir fry. I faired better on this working with 3 writing partners and shoot several shorts)
- Year of the Early Bird (so-so results but immediately followed by the....)
- Year of the Curfew
- Year of Aint No Half Steppin’ (the 1st year I started all this theme business and stand-up comedy not so coincidentally)
The themes are a neat way to keep me on message and connect my specific goals by way of a shared focus.
I was at a lost of what this year’s theme should be and then it hit me like a sack leaves (It wasn’t the most epic of revelations.) I’m happy with my overall objectives and work ethic. I just need to do the little things a bit better. So my preliminary choice was “The Year of Crossing T’s and Dotting I’s.”
Ultimately, I hope to do everything right as a matter of fact. But a key component of this is to see things through to the very end. It’s when you’re think you’re done that you need to do just a bit more. Basically in Basketball that would be the extra pass. The little effort after what seems like the logical conclusion that makes finishing so much easier. That’s what I wish to consistently do, make the proverbial extra pass. It requires a bit more mental energy but actually makes overall execution easier while also making the payoff greater. So after some consideration this year will be...
The Year Of The Extra Pass
It’s about winning while making it easier on yourself. It’s staying in the moment in all things. To see the opportunity that’s there but would be over looked if lack of focus or anxiousness got the best the of you. 2012, get ready for a lot of extra passes and plenty of slam dunks. Hello.