Always Bombing

I can’t believe it. The pain finally subsided. That was rough man. I have to get a tooth extracted after the holidays and that’s not even the one that just tortured me for the last hour. Turning screws into my gums, I just wanted to enjoy a slider from work! Who eats while they’re in pain, that’s no fun.

It made me wish I was bombing on stage. That kind of pain is ok. I can deal with an audience staring at me during one of my confusing act-outs with maximum levels of flailing. But I can’t block out the pain of tooth #3.

A picture of my jacked up tooth.

A picture of my jacked up tooth.

I can fix the teeth. I can fix my reputation. I can’t fix that joke. Time to extract it.

Bombing in the moment, it feels like it’s all over and I let everybody down. My friends on the show. The booker, well, that’s a one and fuck you, you’re done. That one comic that I’ve been wanting to meet and now this is their first impression of me. The couple that I met before the show, they were so excited for me. They didn’t say goodbye on the way out. Even the servers were disappointed, they could feel the awkwardness in the club while dropping off cocktails.

There are many comics that I look up to that have ONLY seen me bomb. People I really like, but I only run into them every 6 months. I want them to know that I’m a pretty funny guy, but yes, I also bomb huge when it goes wrong. Spin the wheel on any given week and there’s gonna be a bomb. Those people always see me bomb. Then I have a good set, but they left early- shit! If you pay attention to shit like this then you’re crazy like me. I have a handful of names that I want to impress because I love funny people. I want to be funny with them.

Posting about bombing on Facebook sounds like a cry for help, but I just think it’s interesting. I know I’m fine, I bomb all the time, it’s part of the work. Maybe non-comics and family members think, “Oh, standup is just not for you Marty.” It’s hard to explain that I have to be terrible to get anywhere. That’s what we forget, we all fucking bomb, but mentioning it is like admitting you’re a shitty comedian or something. It shouldn’t matter online anyway, when you do good at mics, people notice, that’s that. Wait, this guy just admitted he bombed, forget it. I didn’t realize he dabbled in failure, I’ll book Neel Nanda instead. I like to reference Neel Nanda, I haven’t seen him in years. I’m pretty sure Neel Nanda has only seen me bomb.

I’m having the sudden realization here that everyone hates my guts. I’m usually making this face when it happens, I swear!

I’m having the sudden realization here that everyone hates my guts. I’m usually making this face when it happens, I swear!

I’m not gonna post how I kill. I don’t kill, I don’t destroy, I have good sets. I don’t know how to destroy yet. Seems like a lot of comedians do, but I don’t do that, believe me. I’ve seen professionals wait a minute on stage to start their next joke because the room was too busy howling. That seems like a bonafide murder. That’s a killer.

Sometimes the room isn’t with me, but then I’ll see a random couple laughing their asses off through an entire bit. They liked my Metallica routine or they like the horror movie stuff. I just caught a sneak preview of my future fans. They’re out there, just gotta trust myself. Keep writing the stupid stuff that makes me laugh. Do the comedy I want to do. Eat plenty of shit on stage to get there.

I bombed in San Diego harder than I’ve ever bombed in my life. It’s worse when you feel it happening and it’s so strong it interrupts your joke. I actually stopped because it was overwhelming. I started talking about how it wasn’t going well. I insisted a woman in the front row hated me. I dug myself deeper. I sounded insincere when talking about a charity. My jokes floundered. I fucked up other comic’s intros. I got the light 10 minutes early. I bought an audience member a beer and even that gesture looked back-handed. I guess I killed after all, but not in a good way.

The other comics avoided eye contact while it was happening, just listening to me drown. Nobody liked me. Then I did it a SECOND TIME in the same night. It really shook me to the core. Thank Christ I didn’t record it, one of the few fucks ups that paid off, I don’t have to quote my bombing to you verbatim. Believe me it…was…the…WURST. (seven assholes have a heart-attack from laughing so hard)

Every week is different. My ego inflates after a string of minor victories. Then the inevitable bombing sideswipes me a day later, hurling me backwards into the shit. There’s that feeling of, well now my friends don’t think I’m capable of being funny. They’ll forget I was ever good! I did everything we usually mock at open mics. I didn’t trust myself. I got caught up in the words. I never looked at the audience. Fuck, I thought I had it all figured out! Guess I’m starting over again.

Here’s a short documentary I shot about a group of comics dealing with a tougher than usual gig. Bombing seemed like the only option, even though our booker insisted that “If people don’t laugh, you are not bombing.”

We all enjoy watching our friends bomb right? Come on! Yeah you do. I love seeing my talented friends fall from grace every once in awhile, it makes us equals. Or puts me slightly on top, haha! (high-fives nobody)

Understanding the pain, that’s what brings us together.

Just remember, you’re not alone. I saw you bomb. Maybe you saw me bomb. It know it’s awful. I’m sure you’re very good, just not that time. Huh. Next time was actually a little worse. Well, it happens. Three times is definitely not a charm. ….uh-oh.

On second thought, I’ll never bomb as hard as you- YEEEEEEEESH! (pulls collar, makes farting noises)

Here’s a clip of me bombing through a half-idea that I can’t seem to articulate or say in an interesting manner!

And here’s a video of me bombing more. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Resentful Open Micer

Let's start with the demons:

This person has seen me do well, but they never book me. They must hate me or my comedy. They keep pulling from the same circle of friends. Oh, they're booking other producers, movers and shakers, I get it. You book me, I book you. 

A first-year comic that brings 20 people. That's every producer's friend.

Ok, maybe they work hard AND they deserve it, but FUCK. THEM.

The rage of jealousy. Who is more deserving? Who is funnier?

I started working harder on my material and good things started happening.

Oh, is that how it works? I wasn't making an impression with my mediocrity, frequent bitching and fizzle-outs?

I'd be on stage feeling a bit wasn't going well and then jump ship,

"Alright, we'll just move onto the next thing." (20-second pause while I search my beer-battered brain for the next bit)

My biggest bombs have been with human interactions. Other comics that I just met...or think I just met. The fist-bumping, awkward half hug, handshake nightmare that’s never consistent. Sometimes it feels like an audition, I only have 30 seconds to prove that I’m funny and I’m not an alien. I usually fail both tests AND offend the person as a bonus! 

My ideal exchange is being silly with someone and it’s not a joke-off for seniority, we just have a mutual appreciation for stupid. I can let my guard down and be myself. It's hard though, I have to train myself to relax, remind myself it’s ok to just listen and not try to make an impression, or run over someone else's thoughts with my forced input. Stop crapping on comics I barely know.

I’ve been doing obnoxious/quirky shit for so long that I forget it’s a part of me- I make car sound effects when I dart past someone. I make sound effects when I give my debit card to the cashier. The fuck is wrong with me?

I play out hypothetical arguments IN MY HEAD. I'm getting worked up from imaginary interactions. It stems from one or two poisonous relationships. Why am I trying to be friends with someone so disagreeable? Why do I keep saying hi when they clearly want nothing to do with me? I want to be liked so bad, but it’s time to let that shit go. Maybe I just don't like the idea of ignoring someone that I used to talk to. A comedy ex.

“I don’t know the meaning of success, but I do know the meaning of failure. It’s when I try to make everybody love me.”

-a sign hanging up in Sammy Davis Jr.’s dressing room.

Wow. I’m glad I stumbled onto that one.

Comedy Groups on Facebook only stir the pot. So much sarcasm. Everyone has a snarky reply. I feel bad for the newbies because they’re obsessed with their very first set and already they want constant reassurance.

Let me share the joke I did and you tell me that it’s great and that I did the right thing- here's a clip. 

They’re still getting over the fear of DOING standup, while I'm complaining about not getting up enough! 

There are some godawful mics that will ultimately make me feel worse, but I still want to reach my minimum quota of 4 mics a week. Anything less and I feel like a piece of unproductive shit. 

The battle to keep cool continues. Listening to a host shit on another comic. How many comics in a row have a hacky race joke? This goldmine was exhausted by the 80's, but I guess research limits your output. Another smelly homeless person story. Trump impressions. Women are craaaazy. Complaining how you can't say faggot or dancing around the possibility of saying the N-Word. I'm so mis-er-a-bleeeee.

I write entries like this as if I have a fucking grasp on it, but I really don't. I bomb and I bomb and I bomb. I struggle to be myself. I rub a lot of people the wrong way. I have a long way to go.

Just give me stage time, anywhere, and I'll work at getting better. I'm trying to figure out these pesky act-outs. I have to commit to these 3-4 minute bits while most onlookers watch me stone-faced, or never look up from their phones. I feel disconnected all the time and I have to push myself to make eye contact.

Jeremiah Watkins told me to do that a couple years ago and it's still a struggle. I want to avert my eyes from any judgement. Fear is still holding me back.

Here's my jittery interview with him at The Comedy Store. It's 14 minutes and it's definitely worthwhile if you're feeling frustrated about open mics- let's go down the inspirational path for a moment...shall we?


I'm way older than Jeremiah, but I admire the guy and he's got a ton of mileage on me, so I couldn't help but be a nervous wreck and call him a Comedy God, haha. I was really pleased with his answers though and I hope you find some inspiration here, especially regarding attitudes and doing shows.


I think it is good to do as many shows as possible and there's nothing better than getting a Facebook message at 1 in the morning for a booking. I love filling up that calendar. You can throw any shit-show at me and I still get excited, especially when the flyer comes out.

I can walk into the worst case scenario:

You can’t turn off the televisions because there’s a game on- fine! 

Jukebox is staying on, fine! 

The bartender is having loud conversations with the customers, fine! 

Some guy is playing pool, ok! 

The sound cuts in and out, fine! 

The disco lights are distracting, fine! 

The other comics are talking outside, fine! 

The customers have to cross the stage to use the bathroom, fine, I'll make it work! I still get 10 minutes though, right? Hmm, I wonder if I can get them to listen, wouldn't that be something?

A week ago, my Dad and my stepmom had a stop in LA before going back to Hawaii. We met up at the Old World Village Market near my work. I told my dad about my first Door Guy spot and how my dirty joke got a laugh break and then he asked me to tell him the joke. I was hesitant, it was just weird because we were standing in this German marketplace and he had a basket filled with jars of peppers and mustard. I suppose the perfect setting for a dick joke.

I told him the joke and he was quiet. Then he was shaking. I saw him laugh through his squinting eyes and he said, “Did you write that? That’s pretty good.”

I don’t know why I even hesitated, the guy makes innuendos 24-7. At dinner he showed me a vacation photo where his ass was hanging out. Like me, he hesitated to share the joke for about 2 seconds. Then he got a laugh out of me. It's like we're both afraid to have our childish sense of humor shot down, the thing we hold dearest.

He's had my back through all my dumb decisions. DJ, Actor, Filmmaker. I’ve been on the wrong path before, so there’s always that possibility that I’m being delusional again. I took 4 years of my life to complete and eventually quit on a feature film and there’s that fear that I’m going to look back at my standup work and realize...shit, I was wrong again. The work is sloppy, amusing at best. Why did I think that I could do this?

That’s not the case though. I can do this. I don’t have to wait to go to a screening to see if these jokes work, I can just invade a dive bar mic on any given night with a handful of thoughts. Sometimes it's just a chuckle on the setup of the premise- oh ok. Maybe it's worth pursuing. That only took 30 seconds. Go back tomorrow for part 2 of 2,000- the development of this fine ball-accident joke.

The shows build up my confidence again. People that are specifically coming out for a comedy show are enjoying my set and for once I'm not seeking the approval of some asshole looking down on their phone. The work has paid off, but there's still so much more to do.

It’s the technical year. Compiling a consistent 5 minute act. 7 minutes. 10. 15. Logical segues and seamless transitions. Moving around comfortably in a professional setting. What is the line to open with? I say “Hey guys” and it never goes well. Immediately a bad impression. I usually come off best when I comment on something that has nothing to do with my pre-planned jokes- a little acknowledgement, maybe the setting or a callback to a funnier comedian’s bit. Always a positive statement, nothing backhanded. I can't stand comedians that shit on the venue when they're getting paid to be there. 

Right now I’m obsessed with the first word, Do I say hi? What’s up guys? Give it up for yourselves! I’m thinking of trying “Thank you” as if to say, Thank you for allowing me to get THIS far. Now let's see if I can make you laugh.

I made a promo video for my first Rec Room spot as a Door Guy. I love doing stupid shit like this at 2 in the morning.

I'd say 90% of the time I drag myself out of my self-loathing and get in the car, the night takes a turn for the better. I start singing in the car, making up my own lyrics, warming up my voice for the eventual set- maybe two if I'm lucky. Sometimes it goes horrible, but I still run into some fantastic people- totally worth it. Venturing out of my circle of friends usually leads to an interesting night. 

Every once in awhile someone comes up to me and mentions my website or open mic reviews. A couple guys handed me cash- unbelievable. That's pretty awesome. Sometimes the host will mention the critic thing in my intro and I'll get embarrassed because I don't want comedians to get the wrong idea, like it makes me think I deserve something. I just want to run my jokes too. I do occasionally scream, "No, no, NOOOOO!" during your set and shred pieces of paper, but it's only because I'm signaling to the host that I'm going to write the nastiest review unless I receive SPOTS. So don't jerk me around.

I've been pretty harsh at times, but I think a lot of mics are just excuses to get high with friends and that's just not my thing. I get annoyed when a fucked up host wastes time talking shit. No material, just ranting, spewing bile in every direction. There's a reason experienced comics never turn up to these mics. It's not because they're fucking hipsters, they have better places to be! This mic is depressing.

I fucking hate these people...where's the joke?  Freedom of speech my ass, say something that'll surprise everyone, I dare you. I dare you to write a good joke to back up that statement. That would blow everyone's mind, believe me. I just want to leave these people behind forever. Ranting open micers are BORING. 

Ugh, who wants to read this shit?  JUST BE FUNNY!!!!!



I'm going to end this entry with something fun.

Luis is 17. We call him the intern. He's a bright guy and extremely funny for his age. He complains a lot like a whiny kid who constantly feels left out and talks a big game just to get a reaction. He's doing standup and who knows if he'll actually stick it out, but it seems like he's found a home with us least at the coffee shop mics or places he's allowed into. Here's an example of his sense of humor.

Recently he posted this on Instagram:

This flyer looks legit for an open mic. Minimal effort and the necessary information. 

We should've known what this kid was up to, but we wanted to believe this mic existed so bad and why doubt the kid? Maybe he'll give us a featured spot, haha. Weirder mics have existed. Anyway, these are the comments that followed:


I Think I Figured Out This Comedy Thing


4 years 4 months later…

I drove home on the 405, singing to The Beach Boys "Barbara Ann" like an asshole, alternating on the harmonies. I’ve been singing along to this song since I graduated from Maui High School (Class of '98 brah!) and I always get swept up in the happiest of memories. The Beach Boys are laughing while they’re singing, totally unprofessional. Musicians trying to be funny...when will they ever learn? There's a time and place- when you're in the studio performing, you BE PROFESSIONAL!

So what do you guys think I should write about?

I’m happy now because I hit two mics and I had fun at both of them. I feel good about what I’m doing. I occasionally THINK that and then some miserable mic sets me back a thousand years and I don’t know shit all over again. Wait, I think I just figured this- SMACK! I’m starting to get comedy now-WOMP! Last year I didn’t know dick, this year, I finally found my voi-BLOPFUK!

I’m becoming more and more relaxed, putting hundreds of hours of bombing in. Keeping my expectations low, trying to have fun and BE GOOFIER. Trust myself to be more spontaneous and not just saying the words that are over-rehearsed, trying to find new words to paint the picture. Then occasionally phoning it in, but acknowledging it, like when you stray away from meditation with distracting thoughts. Now Marty, take a deep breath and just get back on track when you dildo. You can look up that classic Sesame Street clip AFTER you’ve finished your meditation. You can try to tell your joke in a fresh way at the next mic. Now visualize your dick jokes slapping across the street like a game of Frogger…

Sometimes I’m so desperate for approval of a new bit I’ll ask Claire to watch me. It’s usually pretty painful, but she’s a good gauge of what’s godawful or she’ll see the potential in a bit and try to contribute. Then I’ll shut her down real quick because who’s the comedian here, right? I really think she believes in me (because she told me she believes in me, in those words) but sometimes I just want another comic to say "Hey good joke!" preferably someone with a Laughs on Fox credit.

Years have gone by and someone I’ve admired all this time is on the same show and we finally exchange pleasantries. No ego, just hey- we were on the same show! You’re pretty great. Love what you’re doing. Now you say it back to me. SAY IT BACK MOTHERFUCKER, I JUST SUPPORTED YOUUUUUU (falls into abyss, tongues of drunken audience members wagging and stabbing my mid-section)

I see those late night, sentimental “I love comedy” posts on Facebook every once in awhile and I can feel the cynical cesspool of backlash forming a giant tidal wave, but I totally get it. I had a night like that tonight. I have nights like that at many open mics. It’s seeing friends, it’s the few people in the audience that are suddenly looking up at me, who were buried in their phones a minute ago. It’s a hug from a comic that I love, or some rapid-fire joking going on outside in a semicircle of idiots. Being around funny people. Standing alone at an open mic that I’m dreading and suddenly finding that one person- a friend. They have my back with the perfect line that triggers a bark of laugh out of me, because it’s also relief. It’s gonna be okay because I can still hang with this fantastic funny person.


I got paid for some impossible bar show. I wasn’t told in advance and when I finished my mostly silent set I got a handful of bills. Mostly pesos and a farthing, but it’s amazing to get paid when you’re not expecting it. Now if only I could win some tickets to a Flappers show! (get yer jabs in ya cynical fuck, don’t get too sentimental Feelie Dan!) One comic offered me his hotel room for the night because he wasn't going to use it. Almost made me cry- the room was a shithole!

I think our cat is out of the woods, she was sick for a week. Tune is napping in front of the heater, thanks for asking.



Claire is gently snoring in the bedroom, I assume. She doesn’t snore loud enough to penetrate TWO DOORS. Now the cat is lapping water from a jar- one of my favorite sounds in the world. Oh yeah, the Patreon thing is kind of funny. I only have 6 subscribers, but I’m enjoying making videos- they're kind of a video journal of some open mics I’ve been visiting. Video reviews, interviews, testimonials, etc. If you can’t get enough of my open mic bullshit and you’re curious it’s $2 a month to join.

My Patreon

We can’t end this journal entry on a plug though, that’s pathetic.

It’s nice to have a new family of comedy friends in this strange world, but then I remember my friends from acting school or the people I knew through the Geffen or Arclight. Years are going by. Marriages, break-ups, babies, health scares and the occasional tragedy that affects us all. I’ll hear a song or see a clip from some project that brings those people swirling back in my head- oh yeah, I love those people too. Maybe I should give them a call. See one of their shows. Stop by for a visit. Finally introduce myself to their ten-year old baby.

I get asked,

“How’s the comedy going?

I usually ramble for a few minutes about the intense highs and lows, desperately trying to make sense of it all and it all sounds absurd saying it out loud, like I’m lying to their face!

You HAVE TO bomb? You HAVE TO do shit mics? You HAVE TO write? Network? But what about the comedy special- everybody's getting dem stupid!

I always manage to squeeze in that one overly sincere declaration of,

I’m in this for the win.

I mean it. Sure I’ve FLIRTED with quitting in my head, but it’s usually because I’ve been on vacation and it can feel especially troubling going back to a mic after a week of no stage time. It rarely happens and when it does I feel sad. But when I've been away, it's harder to go back. I never seriously considered quitting though. I made a feature film in 2007 because I told myself I could do it. I never said My movie will get distribution. It kind of fizzled out after the completion thing.

But I can do this. I am a comedian.

Don’t forget the patreon thing. Come see a show- check my dates at I have Dvds of my short films, ask me and I’ll give you one. TheWurstTweet on Twitter. Search me on your podcast app. Find me on YouTube. Open Mic Reviews on Instagram or Marty Wurst for my regular pinups. I have old movie reviews on My website has a Steve Buscemi voicemail. I’m in a shitty movie called Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill. I sang to Jennifer Connelly at a press junket for Blood Diamond. My Google search is pretty great. I made a movie called Salivate- you can’t find it anywhere. I have two audiobooks on Audible- Dark Sanity and Zombies in Love.

Oh and here's that Sesame Street clip.

Mish-mash of Comedy Musings

I write my name on the paper strip and glance into the bucket to see if the paper strips are folded and then fold my paper accordingly. I got a tip early on that if I should drop my name into the bucket 5 minutes before the mic starts, my name would be closer to the surface. Superstition among comedians. Sure enough, I got called up first at The Hollywood Improv with this method. Most of the time I drop my name too early and then my name isn't pulled for a good hour. Maybe there's something to this. When my name is on the bottom, the host doesn’t always mix it well enough to get that baby back to the surface.

Why do I even think about this bullshit, just throw the name in.


The Devastator (a partial set)

One day she decided to meet me half way. She decided she was on board with anal sex...yeah. So that way technically she could still be a least in God’s eyes and I would get what I want. And BOY let me tell you man, everything they say about the ass is 100% true, the tip just slides right in man and aww fuck... my asshole hasn’t felt the same since.

Scattered laughs. It’s over-rehearsed, but the joke sort of delivers. He’s wearing a loud Aloha shirt of the Weird Al variety. It feels like a put-on. He came with his friend, who of course is filming his set. He’s going by the name of Devastator. I can’t stand him and I don’t care what the fuck he’s doing. His tone is vaguely arrogant, but there’s clearly no truth behind his material and his delivery is boring.

The last girl I was dating was a fucking asshole. She made me do things I didn’t want to do. The last time I talk to her was...pretty rough. She made me stop watching black porn. Which is ridiculous man...I don’t fuck black women- I have nothing against them, I just can’t have babies with them because I have something weird called sickle-cell trait- you guys know what I’m talking means my kid would come out retarded, so that’s the only reason I wouldn’t go out with them...that and cuz they’re black.

Wakka wakka. He ends his next joke prematurely, leaves the stage, putting on an air of “That’s EXACTLY how I wanted this to go down,” and exits through the side door to the parking lot.

Part of me wants to follow them down the sidewalk, close enough to hear them brag about their accomplishment,

"How fast can we upload this video?"

"That was so Andy Kaufman right there!"

Then I would interrupt,

“Excuse me, DEVASTASTOR? That was amazing man, I’ve never seen anything like that. So BALLSY and unfunny, just like you planned!”

"YO, this guy GETS ME!"


Some guy saw me standing around and introduced himself. He turned out to be the one thing that made the open mic worthwhile.


I was sitting next to a heckler at a bar while an open mic was going on. The host almost had a meltdown dealing with the guy earlier and for now it seemed like the heckler had won. He was yelling from across the room, so he clearly had the advantage over the host, who had to squint at his enemy through the lights. I was tempted to ask him for an interview, but he gave me the information I wanted pretty quick. The heckler complained to his neighbors that it was a bar, "Fuck them if they can’t handle it. Maybe they should perfect their craft first!"

Meanwhile, this guy showed up alone to drink, sharing boring conversations with like-minded idiots. I guess he perfected his craft.

(dramatic One-Up sound as if Marty schooled the man through a shitty blog entry months later)


The crowd slowly filtered out, and I recognized an elderly couple giving each other loving looks. My heart swelled. They had chosen stand-up comedy for a date night. They were laughing through the entire show and on their way out the old man excitedly explained to his wife, "It was THE WAY he made the microphone stand an extension of his penis...that's what separated him from the other comics!" For a moment, I felt triumphant, until I realized he wasn't talking about MY SET, but Jareth's...who had stolen my bit for his own selfish shot of glory. (to be continued)


I'm going to be guesting on a few podcasts:

Comedian Talk (comedians talking about comedy)

Comic Gab (comedians talking about stuff related to comedy)

Funny As *%#! (comedians talking shit about stuff and comedy)

I Can't Stand That Mother-*%@! (comedians talking shit about comedians)

Comedians That Love Cats (comedians having cat discussions with token pussy jokes)

I'm Depressed (comedians working on their openers)

Dude, How'd You Do It? (comedians begging successful friends for advice that doesn't involve actual work)

Yeah, But You're White (black comedians guilting white comedians one joke at a time)

Yeah, But White People Have Problems Too (white comedians trying to convince black comedians that they understand the struggle)

Let's Get Baked (comedians getting high and struggling to make it funny)

Comedy Club Podcast (club owners talking about comedy classes and name-dropping. They need interns!)

I Killed Last Night (2+ year comedians bragging about their amazing sets to anyone who will listen)

Too Soon? (comedians ripping into celebrities that just died, with discussion about cutting-edge comedy)

I Have A Podcast (a comedian who co-created a podcast with a guy who gave up on it after 3 episodes. Should he keep recording?)


"SO you're a comedian, ay? Tough racket. Have a seat son. How long have you been on stage? A YEAR? Wow, you're still wet behind the ears. (fondly) I remember when I told my first rape joke. Seems like the day before yesterday. I went by the name of Johnny Bonkers. I used to take a banana and stick it up my ass. Then I never addressed it- I just went into my act. I alienated millions! It was very courageous for the time. But anyway, let me give you one piece of advice. Sometimes, you'll feel alone up there, when it's so dark you can't see if anyone is out there and there's that devil of a spotlight BLINDING YOU... and you can't remember the next joke, you're covered in flop sweat, and you start to feel the old ticker head-butting your chest, trying to escape the nightmare that is taking place. But you can't just leave! Because there's always that ONE COMEDIAN out there. Watching you...and you know what? He WANTS to watch you shit your pants. So let him have it."

- excerpt from "A Stand-Up Guy" A one-act play written by Johnny Bonkers.


The laughs are not good enough anymore, I'm chasing after that laugh-clap. Am I a comedian or a bonafide junkie?


There seems to be a pattern where I bomb miserably at a show and then I hit up a second mic where I have no expectations...or hope. I'm completely numb from bombing, but I end up having a good set. Because I'm loose, relaxed, and just being myself. This gave me the idea that I would go into every mic with the mentality that I already bombed in spectacular fashion, sulking my way to the stage, but I could only trick myself so far. The moment I gained confidence, I would start mugging my way through bits and trying too hard once again. Maybe I need a little guardian angel to approach me as I'm walking to the stage- give a quick whisper,

"You suck."


Don't Forget To Funny!

Shitting on people in conversation. Shitting on the Comedy Store potluck, it's clearly rigged! Shitting on people in jest because I'm fresh off a Roast Battle and just can't help myself. Shitting on other comedians because my comedy is far superior. Shitting on people when I guest on a podcast. Shitting on lowly beginners who don't know any better. Shitting on my own comedy. Shitting on people on stage. Shitting on the venue. Shitting on the host who means well, but still fucked up my name. Writing a shitty review on ITunes, just so I can shit on the host who I hate.

Shitting on the comedy couples who stick together. Shitting on podcasts that I wish I was invited on. Shitting on bookers that never book me. Shitting on comics that never say hi. Shitting on hosts that don't even try.

Shitting on bringer shows. Shitting on your Instagram account. Shitting on your pool party with your stoner friends. Shitting on your sexy pics.

Shitting on your stupid ass glossy flyer that misrepresents the shithole I'm performing in. Shitting on your outrageous cover charge for a show full of amateurs. Shitting on becoming a Comedy Store Regular- why you? Shitting on your tour. Shitting on your GoFundMyShittyComedyChannel.

Shitting on everyone in a public forum because you're all against me. Shitting on other clubs. Shitting on talent coordinators. Shitting on the 1-drink minimum. Shitting on you because I can't take a compliment. Shitting on you for being on your phone. Shitting on you for talking during my set. Shitting on you for leaving right away.

Shitting on your pre-booked open mics. Shitting on your living situation. Shitting on comedy festivals. Shitting on comedy contests. Shitting on clean comedy shows. Shitting on your inability to skip the rape joke. Shitting on hecklers. Shitting on your first open mic videos.

Shitting on your Twitter joke. Shitting on your pathetic merch. Shitting on your attempt to brand yourself with a catchphrase. Shitting on your hashtags.

Shitting on your blogs. Shitting on The Comedy Bureau. Shitting on that Netflix special. Shitting on improv, actors, and anyone who wants to check off comedy on their bucket list.

Shitting on tags that I didn't ask for. Shitting on your webseries. Shitting on your workout pics. Shitting on your inspirational quotes. Shitting on your sudden change of attitude you hypocrite.

Shitting on your new headshots, shitting on you for quitting comedy or not quitting comedy. Shitting on you for starting comedy. Shitting on you for pitching a joke to me.  Shitting on you for doing a show in your underwear. Shitting on the person who just died. Shitting on you for joking about it and beating me to it.

Shitting on all the negative fucks that I want to distance myself from. Shitting on desperate cries for help. Shitting on someone who just wants a sincere answer on Facebook. Shitting on people that just want someone to stand up for them. Shitting on your political beliefs. Shitting on you for getting political. Shitting on you for being emotional.

Man I'm exhausted. What am I doing here again?

15 Minutes in Spokane

Amber Scalzo and I are hitting the road. Santa Cruz, Coos Bay, Seattle, Spokane. Maybe Boise, Grass Valley, San Francisco and Bakersfield on the way back. It's a long haul for only a couple of shows and whatever open mics we manage to get on. Is this a tour or a very long drive?

Comedian Amber Scalzo.

Comedian Amber Scalzo.

I feel bad about it, but it wasn't for lack of trying. I've been down many rabbit holes the last couple of months, searching for mics and shows, trying to put the puzzle pieces down and creating a schedule that makes sense. Hitting up bookers and friends of bookers. Some of my LA friends tried to help and they came through. Some bookers asked for our stand up clips and never got back to me. Damn. It hurts that we don't have stand up clips that are current, I think it's blowing our opportunities. Then my new laptop died on me, so now I can't even edit the recent stand up footage I got of us. Great timing. When I load up my Macbook Pro it looks like an 8 bit video game that gets stuck on the apple boss.

I think the uncertainty of the trip makes me nervous too. We have two shows that are spread out and a lot of breathing room. Will we hit this mic, can we make the drive in time, should we just go here instead and meet up with these people or power it out and drive through the night? Boise or Everett? Portland or Grass Valley?

Fuck it all. This is what I love. To go on the road. This is an adventure. I'm super lucky to be able to do this. I'm unemployed and my girlfriend is letting me take her car so I can drive 2,400 miles. She knows I have to do this and she understands the difficult world of comedy that I've chosen.

Portrait of a saint.

Portrait of a saint.


So why feel bad about it? I'm already going on my 2nd trip, with only 4 years into comedy. I'm going to see some cousins and Amber and I have multiple places to crash. All we have to do is drive, try to get some sleep and do some stand up comedy. Yeah, there are some nights where it's just impossible to get to a mic without killing ourselves to get there, it's not worth it, we need our sleep. Sometimes the days and mics are not going to align perfectly. I guess that's when those pop-up mics come in handy, I gotta get my own setup like Johnnie Flowers.

We did a pop-up mic in front of a 24 Hour Walmart at 1 in the morning. Lot of shoppers surprisingly. Love the giant magnet sign that Johnnie slaps on his car. He just brings a simple speaker and microphone with him wherever he goes. "Sometimes, I don't even get out of the car!" Here's a sample of the experience  here  And a behind the scenes look at this operation  here

We did a pop-up mic in front of a 24 Hour Walmart at 1 in the morning. Lot of shoppers surprisingly. Love the giant magnet sign that Johnnie slaps on his car. He just brings a simple speaker and microphone with him wherever he goes. "Sometimes, I don't even get out of the car!" Here's a sample of the experience here And a behind the scenes look at this operation here

Claire is carpooling and taking the bus while I'm gone. She lives close to work, but I still feel like I'm leaving her life in shambles. She's totally fine with it and only encourages me. I started feeling lonely last night and I'm missing her already. There's always Facetime and consoling emojis I suppose.

I'll be able to feed our cat Tune with this handy Kittyo app that I have on my phone. We have a Kittyo machine (it looks like a blender) that shoots kitty treats and has a laser pointer- so I can interact with the cat remotely. You know, the necessities in life. It barely works, but it gives me a cheap thrill. It was a Kickstarter project that was 2 years late on the delivery date and then it took me a year to get the damn thing working. Some things are worth waiting for. Now I can shoot treats at Tune's dumbfounded face!!!

I told my mom about the trip and when she found out I was going with a woman there was a long pause.

"Oh...that's nice. So Claire is okay with that?"

"Yeah... I mean Amber is a comedian too, we're just friends."

"Does she have a boyfriend?"


It was pretty uncomfortable and I even started to question myself. Wait, am I doing the right thing? Is there something wrong with this picture?

Claire was listening and she quickly pointed out that my mom must think I sleep around. Yeah...what the fuck? It's not like we're getting motels together or sharing a fucking sleeping bag. We're crashing on friends couches and driving a couple thousand miles to do less than an hour of comedy. And what does that say about Amber? Single people just hopelessly fuck out of desperation? It doesn't matter with who, where, or when, as long as it's a "plump delicious cock"? That's a Norm Macdonald description, sorry.

I'm no skank and besides, Amber likes men, not comedians.

The last time I hit the road was almost a year ago. Tom Allen, John Parr, and Casey, our video guy, hit Arizona for 5 days. We were extremely lucky. We had 7 booked shows and a couple of open mics thrown in the mix. A paid hotel, courtesy of my Aunt Dorise and Uncle Marty- incredible gesture. I was expecting to crash on their floor with a bunch of cats next to me, but they were happy to do it. To top it off, my Uncle passed away after the trip, so it was the last time I got to see him.

Casey filmed nearly all of our sets and some great behind-the-scenes footage, but we never saw it. Weeks after the trip, he said all the stuff he filmed was lost and then he abruptly moved back to Colorado. It's really a shame, our first comedy trip lost, so we'll just have to go by memory:

We did a backyard show, a dive bar, an upscale restaurant, a pizzeria, a blackbox theater and a comedy club. Every night was totally different and kept us on our toes. I had my first drunk woman rush the stage and blather at me,

"Wurst Wurst!"

Tom had the lights go out in the middle of his set at the Firehouse space. The outdoor crew rushed to fix it and 5 minutes later the spotlight came back on and Tom picked up right where he left off. We also watched Tom go into a sports bar no less than 3 times to ask a bartender out, but he would make a B-line for the bathroom every time because he was nervous. He would return to the parking lot, looking defeated, and John would start to build him up again until he reluctantly caved in and marched right back. Goddamn it was funny. We got invited to a coke party after a show. We ran into Arizona's Mike Enders EVERYWHERE. He almost became a parody of himself- the shit-eating grin, the warm greetings around the room, drunker and drunker every time we saw him. I'll have to write about Arizona in a separate entry.

Anyway, I guess we'll never see that footage. I'll just have to film these experiences myself from now on. Arizona was one of the best experiences of my life and now I have another trip to look forward to....tomorrow!

Bueller is a rich asshole that manipulates his best friend and gets away with everything, but man it looks fun. "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

Bueller is a rich asshole that manipulates his best friend and gets away with everything, but man it looks fun. "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."


Got some good playlists. Going to have the blackest coffee, blacker than the souls that frequent The Blacklight District Lounge. I've got the right partner in crime. We have shows. There are mics to be had. No swanky hotel this time, just couches and floors and maybe a bed, but I might as well thank everyone in advance.


You want to do this some day? Here's Ron Babcock's helpful guide:

Ron Babcock's Do-it-yourself Standup Tour Guide

Something that really helped me is going through my Facebook friends and writing down a list of every state and linking my friends to the state and city, so I could map out a trip and know where my contacts are. I asked for places to crash or just invited them out to a show. No shame in it. I have family all over, so this is a good way to connect, even if it's incredibly brief. We gotta hang out when we can and help eachother out!

I also wrote down all my phone numbers in a notebook in case my phone decides to die on me. I guess I could write down all the directions too, but I'll just trust that one of us will have a working phone. Or use a handy Thomas Guide! (blows the dust off) *cough cough*

Oh and the day after we get back from this trip, I'm doing a show in Phoenix. Bad scheduling on my part.




I'll be back kitty. I should take that Medieval Times crown out of my suitcase.