Douchebags Helping Douchebags
Douchiest thing I've heard on stage this week:
"You ever been on a set of a web series and all they have is a veggie platter?"
I just sat at a mic for 2 1/2 hours. I got pulled 2nd to last. It was an eternal struggle to muster any energy for my own material, I almost shit on a comedian that went up before me. Never a good idea. Should I comment on how their mic is run? Definitely not. Am I allowed to punch a wall after the 2-hour mark? Relax man, every open mic'r goes through this, I'm not special.
I step outside for a couple minutes. That's the best idea. Take a few deep breaths, get some fresh air. Regroup, look over the jokes I want to do. Go back in.
The set goes ok, but now I'm a major tool if I leave before the last comic goes up. I want those 5 minutes, I want to run out to my car and peel out, but this poor jerk has been waiting longer than me. So I watch the set and be supportive. Does anyone get a prize for sitting through an entire mic? I know that sounds funny, all of us should be supporting the open mic, but that was a fucking marathon. Almost everyone else bounced, it's just part of the game. I don't have to stay, but I know how it feels to perform to two people, so every once in awhile I stay.
When I started standup I was overly supportive. I thought that was how it worked. I'd watched people pop in, do their set and leave immediately. I'd think, what the fuck? What a bunch of assholes! There's three people watching and everyone else is hanging out in the other room. Oh Marty, you ignorant lass. I didn't know about the grind then. Multiple mics, pop-ins, favors, favoritism, clicks, and networking whores. Then me, a shitty amateur that doesn't even know he's shitty yet.
A lot of comics have a built-in audience. 3 friends that laugh at everything they say. It's a packaged deal, they turn up to mics together. They call their friends out in the audience and make in-jokes. Haha, I just laughed at how silly I'm being on stage! (mugs their way to victory)
After awhile they start to sound the same too. It's like the valley girl equivalent for standups. Their voice goes up and it sounds like a question....but it's noooot? Kill me now.
That's usually what they end on, kill me now or fuck my life.
Fuck your life? You're booked on every show asshole! You've duped enough people to believe that you're funny, you're doing great!
I hate it when I've been sitting for an hour and a bunch of comics arrive late and add their names to the bucket. Then they get drawn before me. Man it's a huge bitchslap. Fucking lottery...the worst.
I start going back to that paper-folding theory. Throw your name in last, they forget to mix it up and keep picking paper off the top! When you sign up first come, first served on a list it's different. Showing up late and then having to go dead-last isn't a big deal, it's not like you're bumping anybody because of your yuk-cred. Unless the host just desperately wants to go home or whatever, but going last is rarely a good thing.
Going with friends can help. My friends don't always laugh at my bullshit, trust me. I have to be pretty spontaneous or have a new joke up my sleeve. But we might as well suffer together, so we can vent about it later, share a story, talk about the people we saw. So if you've made any friends in this ghastly scene, do yourself a favor- GO TOGETHER. It's a whole different experience. Going to multiple mics and hearing everyone's perspective is great. First impressions, comics you may have noticed, the host, random hilarity. Good to share all those things on the drive. You might as well go to war together.
There was a point where I started getting more than 1 show every couple a months. Multiple shows. I got over eager and wanted to invite friends out to some of these dive bars. Now I wish I could just be a total dick and make flyers with all my dates, with a little Asterix next to the shows that are in nice venues. A skull and cross bones to represent venues with possible rat infestations (more on that later)
I hate it when a friend decides to advertise with an invite riddled with curse words and then tags me. "PLEASE COME OUT TO THE SHOW YA FUCKING CUNTS, IT'S GONNA BE A OFF THE CHIZZ-ARTS...dickholes are fun!"
You're not helping me dude. Most of my friends are pushing forty and you sound like an asshole. This isn't eye-candy advertising,
"Your flyer with the shit-covered toilet really spoke to me, I had to come out and support! At the very least check out the bathroom!"
But yeah, a lot of the bar shows I'll just post on Facebook and Instagram, lazy effort, but it's out there. I don't have my own fanbase yet, sorry!
This old man named Barry opened up his set with how God hates faggots and that he knows one thing's for sure, Jesus wasn't gay. Then he proceeded to act out a bit about Moses (For a second I thought he was trying to do an old Cosby bit from Carson) and lead with a flamboyant limp-wrist impression. The worst part of it was the stupid woman that was supporting him, clapping and laughing the whole time. They had come to the mic together of course.
"Praise God!" she said.
"Why don't they just get some pussy- I don't understand this faggot shit!"
"HAK-HAK-HAK-HAK-HAK," the friend laughs, looking around as if to say- he's amazing!
I was so angry that I couldn't let it go for the next 30 minutes, plotting how to destroy these fuckheads. What tactic should I use? A joke about Jesus sucking cock? What's the ultimate trigger for this piece of shit? How would he feel if I went up on stage and did his own material back to him, but replaced Faggot with another slur? Oh boy. Yeah, I would be banned for life and I would probably have all the time in the world to write these blogs. Fighting anger with anger. Slur with slur. I'd destroy myself before getting through to this guy.
A comic went up a little later and addressed Barry's set with some jokes about Jesus masturbating, and that helped me calm down a bit. I just didn't want to have to perform for these idiots, they sat in the front row for the entire mic.
Later I watched an arrogant dude named Drake eat chips on stage- he was also angry about certain groups of people that were left unnamed. What the fuck is with this place? Everyone wants to share their deepest hatred here. When the host lighted him he said,
"Yeah, I see it, go away."
After he sat back down he vaped from his seat. There's your poster boy right there, vapers.
How the hell do you recover from watching so much toxic waste? Am I weak because I let this shit affect me? I'm not writing a gotcha blog, I see this at mics all the time. But I step away, try to calm down and then still attempt to be funny. I don't make a scene..even though I want revenge immediately and my face feels red hot. I can't even appreciate the jokes coming out of the next comic's mouth- whether it's good or not, because I'm temporarily paralyzed- the venom rushing through my body. The kettle will boil1` for hours, but I try to compose myself on stage and not make things worse..or God forbid, awwwwkwarrrd? I can turn my brain off most of the time and endure all the predictable misogyny, the gay jokes, the little people jokes, race race race, "fuck you guys for not laughing, that's funny!!"
I'm worried about the long-term effect. Will it affect my relationship, to the point where I start to turn on Claire?
It was just one night man, shake it off.
I got pretty close to snapping the other night. A group of bumblefucks were sitting in Shanghai'd during the open mic and made a game out of cheering or clapping really loud every time someone came out of the bathroom. Because that's what's funny in high-five culture. They kept doing it and it would totally derail whatever joke the comic was doing. They did it once, then twice during my set and I got really angry. I'm weird when I'm angry.
I got back to the jokes and had an ok dismount, but that's kind of the worst part. If I'm funny, then these douchebags come out and pretend to be my friend, like the nerd that gets a pass because he did everybody's homework. Yeah, I was funny for you, don't worry about it. You guys are great at fantasy football and rape, that's your thing! I'll do the jokes.
One guy clapped me on the back,
Die soon buddy. Die soon. You can always single out the bullies in the audience, they love my last name- they've been bullies all their life.
We just went to a mic where they have rats. We saw them, they were running past the curtain. Two separate incidents and nobody was talking about it. My buddy Kenny was just about bursting, the excitement in his eyes, just wanting to get on stage and address it. I filmed him just in case he really flew off the handle or got some backlash. If anything, the audience was still pretending it didn't happen.
It's been a few days and the depression comes creeping back again. I watched Drag Me To Hell last night. It has one of my favorite downbeat endings. Alison Lohman is cursed and the demons will never leave her alone and at the end they're literally dragging her down to hell. Yeah, I think it relates to standup, haha it can get pretty fucking grim. How long can I keep running away from these bastards?
I feel like these blogs bring out the WURST in me!
You get it? YOU FUCKING GET IT?
(resumes gang-bang, high-fives all around through waves of idiotic laughter)