A Big Fat Lot of Nothing

Greetings from beyond the tryptophan haze, loyal reader. I bring news from my weekend. What happened, you ask? Nothing. Nada. Laundry. Zero. Bubkiss. After Thursday, my weekend was a monument to lethargy. A tribute to dormancy. I would’ve been the third victim in Seven. I did abso-shit-ly nothing. My plans fell through on Friday, I was felled by a migraine on Saturday, and Sunday is lazy by design. You realize just how much you like your new apartment when you spend 3 straight days there without stepping outside. I was going a brand of stir crazy not seen outside of Rear Window. It stunk…and, after 3 days, so did I.
I’ve resolved to take a more active role in seeking out activity, rather than sink any deeper into hermitage. So, we’ll see how that goes.

Ok…here’s an interesting bit of news:
Archaeologists excavating the ancient Philistine city of Gath have unearthed a small ceramic fragment inscribed with two names possibly linked to Goliath, the first solid indication that the famous biblical confrontation with David has a historical context.

I’m no theological scholar. I’ve never read the bible. I’m more -ish than Jew. But, c’mon. This is like an archaeologist carbon dating a stick, a straw, and a brick to claim the validity of the Three Little Pigs. Setting aside the outright fiction/morality play element, the beauty of the bible, or any text that engenders faith, is that anything that happened in it happened so long ago that the only evidence of it happening IS THE TEXT ITSELF. It’s what makes quoting scripture to back up intelligent design alot like using Legos to build a tunnel support…either way it won’t hold water.

I went very faux-intellectual there…sorry. I just like to hear myself type. Here’s a pretty picture to look at to cleanse the pallet…

There are 75 band references in this picture…enjoy.

To be continued…

Showcase Study 2: Jared Stern and the Accusatory Blog

Just got back from the DC Improv and the monthly open mic showcase. Kudos to Joe Deeley, Dave Kendry, Basil White, and your winner, Dawan Owens. All had solid sets in front of a crowd of increasingly rowdy friends of another comic on the show…and he knows who he is. Which brings me to the tone of today’s blog. This blog does not name names, unless it’s for something good, like the names I just listed. This blog is a uniter, not a divider. A lover, not a fighter. In short, it’s passive aggressive. When it sees an injustice done, it will give just enough detail to hopefully get the offending party’s attention and let them know to cut that shit out, without the embarrassing name droppage…kinda like those Chance Meeting ads they run in the personals section of the City Paper… “Hey, saw you at the Improv showcase. Your friends were rude and I think you stole a joke off a website. Coffee?” Ok, so let’s get to the vague finger-waving, then I’ll feel cleansed and we can all get on with our lives.

Those of you who are familiar with my act (all two of you) know that one of the jokes I tell is about seeing a bumper sticker that asks, “How Would Jesus Drive?” My answer…he would probably hydroplane alot. It’s on my CD. I’ve been telling it since ’03. Well, at the showcase, one of the comics made mention that if Jesus were driving somewhere, he’d hydroplane. At the same time, he might as well’ve punched my pet hamster in the nuts. Best case scenario? It’s a simple case of parallel thinking. His ten thousand monkeys, hammering away on their ten thousand typewriters, just happened to write a page of Shakespeare and come up with the same joke. He doesn’t know who the hell I am and, but for seeing him tonight, vice versa. It happens. Suck it up, Jared. Worst case? He lifted the notion off of the website where it comes up in the random joke box. That would be disappointing AND shitty. I think what was most disheartening, was that he didn’t tell it right, and it bombed. I sound petty as hell right now, I know, but it’s like someone took your kid to a party and fed him so much cake and candy that he puked on the gift table, and now YOU get blamed for being a bad parent. Just sayin’…that was not my kid’s fault.

Now, I can forgive that sort of thing, but out and out theft is a cardinal sin in the world of comedy. Tonight, at the showcase, I heard what sounded alot like theft(…or rape…joke rape is no laughing matter either). I’ll try to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but this joke was the winner of the DCStandup.com Inappropriate Costume Contest, and I doubt very seriously that his ten thousand monkeys could stop masturbating long enough to come up with this one on their own. Like I stated earlier in the blog…I’m not going to name names without being 100% positive, but this is easily 93%. If you’re that needy for material, let someone know, we’ll have a canned laughter drive for you…or something.

Enough of the negativity. Either this did some good, or I can go ahead and add two more names to the “People Who Might Hunt Jared For Sport” list. Because white people make lists…and they might be rednecks if they watch NASCAR…and black people have fried chicken with bad credit…y’know what I’m sayin’…?


To be continued…

Showcase Study

Last night’s comedy showcase at Wiseacre’s can be summed up in an IM conversation I had today…
Jared: you missed an odd showcase last night
GComic: really? how so?
Jared: just a strange audience dynamic…they were bi-polar…I was loved and hated in the span of 20 minutes
GComic: wow
Jared: it went a long way to prove the harsh truth of comedy…
Jared: Audiences simply don’t know any better
Jared: they just want to be entertained
Jared: and they will ultimately decide if an unoriginal poorly written joke kills or a well crafted bit fails utterly
Jared: I should write a book

Best line of the night that wasn’t said on stage:
During the grocery list of differences between white people and black people being recited on stage, I turned to say something to Herbie Gill. Before I could say anything, Herbie says, “I can’t talk to you, Jared. We’re too different.”
Ryan Connor’s blog (conveniently linked on your right) will do the description of the evening more justice. I’m just befuddled by what happened. Ryan will be fueled by rage…and pursued by an investigative reporter (Mr. McGee, don’t make him angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry)…sorry…had a Hulk flashback.

It was just a strange audience…they staggered from uproarious laughter to stunned silence, hung a left at unenthusiastic chuckling, and wound up not caring where they were at all. They meant well, but only with an exit interview and a control crowd could we truly know what the hell they were thinking.

Ok…on to a bit I’m trying to develop. I made the mistake of birthing this joke on stage at the showcase. It was chum for sharks of indifference. So let me lay it on you, the blog-reading public, so I can at least pretend someone is laughing at it. Here it goes:
I heard an on the radio for Volvo. The slogan the ad ended with was, “Volvo: Born from jets.” That doesn’t sound plausible. Jets are cool. Perhaps the coolest method of conveyance. Now, imagine if two jets made sweet sweet jet love…Cessna-style. A Volvo would be a jet’s retarded child. It would drool, have one wheel bigger than the other three, and hug too hard.
It needs work. I know this.

Tomorrow night, the League of Dorks assembles to eat Fuddrucker’s and check out Harry Potter and the Ogling of Hermoine. A good time to be had by all…

To be continued…

Yelling "THEATRE!!" In A Crowded Fire Hall…

Just got back from The Ugly Mug, a nice little pub in DC, watching the first 3 quarters of Monday Night Football with fellow DC Standup All-Star, Chris White. Chris is a true Eagles fan. When I say “true” I mean he is driven, not by a love of the Eagles, but by an abject hatred of anything non-Eagle. He bleeds green and white…and as I write this, he just got his heart ripped out Temple Of Doom-style by a 4th quarter interception return for a touchdown. Take away his green & white shoelaces and his belt with the “Cowboys SUCK” buckle…for his own good.

On to the weekend recap… On Saturday night I had a show. It was pretty cool. More later (check out Ryan Conner’s blog, conveniently linked on your right, to learn more about why that statement is witty and ironic…calling back to another comic’s blog and whatnot).

On to the real weekend recap… Did a pair of shows on Saturday night in fabulous Hammonton and Tabernacle, New Jersey. Two places at once, Jared? When did you become the master of space and time?

Both fine questions…I’ll explain. One show started @ 8:30, the next show, 20 miles up the road, started @ 9:30. So, after each comic finished his set, he left for the next show. Should run like clockwork. Well, the first show went fine…no superlatives…nothing to shout about… I got done with my feature set and hopped in my car and headed to the next show. I got there around 9:40. As I approached the front door of the fire hall, I could see through the windows that the show hadn’t started yet. No big deal. No comedy show ever starts on time. I walk in and am greeted by a squat, surly gentleman who informs me that the MC got lost and went 40 miles out of the way…and I’m on in two minutes. Ok, so not only do I have to stretch my set for an undetermined amount of time, but I’m going on cold…once AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds” is done (dirt cheap, I might add), it’s comedy time for a packed house of booze-loosened folk. These are the gigs that test comics’ souls. These situations are either amazing or a complete abortion…no middle ground. Luckily, I was able to harness my newfound anxiety into an amped energy level that helped grab the crowd’s attention. I did 40+ minutes and CRUSHED…I know…who cares…but I rarely toot my own horn…humor me. A potentially crappy situation turned into a great show, and I was the launching pad for it. That warms my cockels.

Hey, speaking of mastery of space and time (before the cockel warming), on the walk back to the metro, my dork side came up with a great idea for a superhero/superpower. Feel free to skip to the bottom if this is too much geekage for your taste…I just want to get this written down.
Ok, the guy’s name is Newton. His special power: to create localized gravitational fields, allowing him to control gravity’s pull on a person or object…making things “fall” in any direction he wants. This also grants him a reckless form of pseudo-flight. He can’t overdo it in any one spot, however, because he could tear a hole in the Earth’s gravitational field…causing a black hole.
I’d be his loyal companion, DORK BOY
This is no longer a blog…it’s a cry for help.

Come see me, Sean Gabbert, and Ryan Conner at the Wiseacre’s Showcase this Thursday @ 8pm. A measly $6 for 6 fine funny fellows. Support live comedy…and the resultant blogs.

R.I.P. Eddie Guerrero…who climbed the top rope in the sky yesterday morning. The afterlife’s gonna have a killer pay-per-view.

To be continued…

The Secret to Happiness, Wealth, & Whatever Else Dills Your Pickle…

Somewhere within this blog, the truth lies… Kinda like Where’s Waldo?

There are few things in life that make one truly happy. Yesterday, I drove home with a bag of six of those things. What were these magical items?…boxes of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. I’m not sure what these fantastic wafers are made of, but I’m pretty sure the secret ingredient is freshly squeezed Girl Scout juice…fresh off the sash…tastes like cinnamon sugar…hang on, I think Dateline NBC is knocking on my window.
My plan for the next week? Devour each sleeve of chocolaty goodness until I shit pure Ande’s Candies. I will be happy…50 pounds heavier…and very happy.

Interested in making money? I suggest song-writing for pop music demos. A friend of mine is a budding pop star. She’s had several meetings with movers and shakers in the record biz. The one thing keeping her from taking things to the next level? A proper demo. Here’s an interesting bit of music trivia…How much do the rights to record a song cost?… Time’s up. $15,000. And there are no guarantees that the song will even be any good. Fifteen Grand. I think, instead of jokes, I’ll devote my creative energies to writing songs…or maybe just jokes that rhyme. How’s this…

I know a guy who plays too much Pac-Man…

He always has the joystick in his hand…

He once played for 24 hours straight…

Even Pac-Man himself was getting irate…

When will you put you your games on the shelf?

You’ve got all those extra lives…

Use one for yourself!

…I’ll take my money in small unmarked bills, Britney.

Finally…some words of wisdom. I didn’t get these off of some inspirational tripe-a-day calendar. This is just a nugget of truth that I’ve dug up and would like to share with you, the loyal reader (I say “reader”, because I’m pretty sure only one person reads this thing).
Here ya go: “Nothing ruins a relationship more than assumption in place of communication.”
Take it however you like. When in doubt…simply talk to the person.
I’m pretty sure if I properly package, repurpose, and rephrase that little tidbit, I can be the next Dr. Phil. Common sense sells like hotcakes…I’ll make a mint.

Mmmmmmmmmm… Minty hotcakes… *drool*

The circle is complete…

To be continued…

‘Paz Dispensers

I made a rare appearance at the Enlightenment Room of the Topaz Hotel last night. Bar none, it’s the best time to be had for free on N St. on a Thursday night (and you can quote me, Curt). The room was packed, the crowd roared, and the line-up did not disappoint. Props to the ever-uptight Curt Shackleford for running a great room.
It was a nice stroke of the ol’ ego to have a great set in front of a gracious audience. Keep supporting live stand-up comedy, if only to feed our attention-hungry psyches.
The MC of the evening was a guy named Johnny Fortune. With a name like that, I expected all of his jokes to end with “…in bed”.
And now, a word on jokes and joke writing. I’ll use one of Mr. Fortune’s jokes as an example, but it’s bigger than just one guy or gal. I’ve been noticing that some comics are trying to pass off premises as whole jokes. For example, last night Mr. Fortune hit the crowd with, “I just found out that ham is actually pig’s ass…” and that was it. He then got on the audience’s case for not getting it. That’s essentially the equivalent of: Knock, knock Who’s there? Pig’s ass… and stopping right there. It’s a great premise but, beyond the mention of a pig’s patoot, it’s not very funny by itself. Some comics do this, then lean on the verbal crutch, “Y’know what I’m sayin’?” in an attempt to get the audience to relate to them and their half-joke. Take the next step, is what I’m trying to say, and you’ll find yourself getting some better or, at least, more consistent audience response. Ask yourself, “Pig’s ass who?” Not a sermon. Just a thought.

On to some self-promotion… I’ve overhauled my MySpace.com page (which you’ll find conveniently linked on your right) to include MP3’s of my CD and a calendar of my upcoming comedic engagements. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

News Flash:
Harlequin Enterprises and NASCAR Announce Licensing Agreement

Harlequin Enterprises Limited, one of the world’s leading publishers of series romance and NASCAR, the largest sanctioning body of motorsports in the United States, today announced a new licensing agreement. Under the agreement, Harlequin will publish a variety of women’s fiction titles that will have romantic plotlines centering on NASCAR drivers. A NASCAR spokesperson praised the partnership saying, “…nothing screams romance quite like Dick Trickle.”

To be continued…

Oooooooh Scaaaaaaary…Blah

First, a spooky ‘Ween to all… May your toilet paper fly freely, your pumpkins splatter, and your bags of dog poo burn like beacons in the night. Favorite costumes so far: Martha Stewart (complete with handmade ankle beeper)… George W. Bush as the Hamburgular… and, my favorite, the Ghost of Tara Reid’s diginity and self-respect…may it only possess her once a year.

I’ve recently been faced with the horrors of being a homeowner. I’m getting used to the subtle nuances that make my new place “special”…retarded special, not extraordinary special. My apartment drools. Or it did, anyway. The second time I ran the dishwasher, it almost flooded the kitchen. And, recently, when I ran my dryer, it rained in my den. I’ve discovered that I’m handier around the house when faced with using an umbrella indoors…
Yesterday, standing on a chair to wipe off my ceiling, I found that the top of my dryer was cloaked in a blanket of lint and dust. Apparently, this was keeping the heat from venting properly, and creating a tropical depression in my den. I yanked it off, a la Ghostbusters (and the flowers are still standing…) and the problem has subsided. This goes a long way toward correcting a theory that I formulated when I was 5 years old…clouds are not made of cotton candy…they’re made of lint. Somebody call Sesame Street…get me Oscar the Grouch on the phone.
I need to be careful, though…just because I can use a Swiffer doesn’t exactly make me Bob Vila. When some real shit goes down, I doubt I’ll be able to correct it with a paper towel.

Oh…speaking of coming back from the dead (sorry for alienating any non-DC comedy folk here)… Raise your hand if you remember Joe Springer…ok…a few of you… He was a fixture of the DC scene back in ’02-’03, when there was still comedy at Chief Ike’s and Zoo Bar. Chris White and I ran into him on the streets of Adams Morgan while barking for a Staccato show…and that was the last anyone ever saw of Joe Springer. *POOF* And like that he was gone. Underground. Nobody has ever seen him since. He becomes a myth, a spook story that open-mikers tell their kids at night. “Tell a cancer joke, and Joe Springer will get you.” And no-one ever really believes… The greatest trick Joe Springer ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
Well, a couple weeks ago, out of the blue, I get an email from Joe. No explanation of where he’s been. Like he was swallowed by a wrinkle in time and, to him, it’s only been a week. Odd. Freaky. Just to me? Got it. Move on? Ok.

I’ll be making a rare appearance at Topaz on Thursday. The room is always tons o’ fun. There promises to be a stocked roster of talented comics…and me *sigh*

To be continued…