Regarding January 11th: A Bad Day

Oy vey. Wednesday, January 11th 2006… the first crappy day of the new year. Three small things conspired to slowly erode my usual good mood and leave me just plain pissed off by the end of the day (y’like the inadvertent a-b-a rhyme scheme there?). Ok, let’s start from the bottom and work our way to the top.

The cherry on top of this turd sundae was watching my Terps get their asses served al dente by Duke…in HD. Every misstep in vivid detail. The Terps had 30 turnovers. I’ve seen fewer balls thrown away in a dog neutering facility. All this was made worse by having to listen to Dick Vitale verbally fellate J.J. Redick throughout the game. It was an embarrassing display and it’s a miracle we only lost by 24 points. I think, in order to properly motivate the team, Gary Williams needs to threaten each player with the loss of a finger for each botched pass. They’ll either get their shit together or learn to dunk with hooks. Tough love.

Moving a bit further back through the abyss… It turns out you truly can’t please all of the people all of the time. Especially one guy in particular, who sent a complaint email to the DC Improv expressing his distaste for my set during the Sunday show. The Improv forwarded the email to me. I’ve gone back and forth as to whether I should email the guy back, but I ultimately decided not to empower one reactionary shmuck who didn’t get me by giving him a response. I will, however, post it here and add a few clarifications. Here ya go (he’s in red…I’m in grey):

We attended the Jeff Caldwell show last night (our fifth or sixth show at the Improv). As always, Jeff was hilarious. Herbie, the MC/opener was great as well.

But this is somehow the second time we’ve had to endure Jared Stern–we had to sit through his act before the otherwise great Arabian Nights show (where he did the same lame jokes)–and someone needs to clue the guy in. Two things: a) endure? ouch…you wound me, sir. b) In my 9 or so times on the Improv stage, I’ve never been a part of an Arabian Nights show, great or otherwise. Maybe I appeared to you in some kind of peyote-induced vision quest. Which makes sense that you didn’t like me…I never do well in my dreams either. But, please, enlighten me…

People dying of starvation in Ethiopia is not funny. Stern, I assume, is Jewish; would he make jokes about the Holocaust? If not, what’s the difference? Is it that Ethiopians are BLACK? By the way, you can treat my comments as a fortune cookie. Except, instead of adding “in bed”, add “you twit.” Try it. It’s fun. Without explaining the joke, it’s not making fun of starving people. It’s a corny take on what Ethiopian cuisine might be. Nowhere in the joke do I taunt a near-skeletal infant with a chicken wing. And there are plenty of funny Holocaust jokes. They’re dark and twisted, but in the end, they’re just jokes.

Stern, in his act, picked on:

Fat people
Parkinson’s sufferers
People dying of starvation
AIDS patients
Asian people (Stupid “Me make you laugh long time” comment)
You forgot: the Amish, albinos, Alzheimer’s patients, people with prosthetic limbs, the blind, unwed mothers, bulimic muppets, dead celebrities, and dim-witted knee jerks like you who can’t see past your over-inflated sense of morality to find humor in ANYTHING. And I wasn’t making fun of Asian people with that line. It was a reference to Full Metal Jacket, labeling me as a whore to those people who, y’know, get jokes.

Hey, Jared! Guess what! Some people in your audience are fat. Or gay. Or Asian. Or have a relative with Parkinson’s or AIDS. Or know someone from Ethiopia. Or just find the idea of making fun of others’ misery really low-class. You managed to alienate 90% of your audience by the time you were done. See above.

Jared should take a lesson from Jeff Caldwell, who did not once pick on a group of people but who absolutely killed the entire audience for over an hour.

Let me add that we’re big fans of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle–the difference is, you can make fun of yourself or your own race/ethnic group. But kicking people when they’re down is just un-American. Point of note: this is the part of the email where the guy tries to back up his ignorant comments by claiming to be a fan of a famous comic that he probably doesn’t understand or know much about, but Tom Shales gave his show a glowing review, so he must be cutting edge. Listen, asshat, if you think that Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle only make fun of Black people, then you couldn’t be more full of shit if you were, to quote Dennis Miller, “a port-a-potty at the Lollapalooza festival.” And kicking people when they’re down is America’s bread and butter…it’s what Tiggers do best.

Other than Jared, it was a great show. We may come back–but we’ll first call to make sure Jared isn’t on again. And may I never have to endure your ass-backward sensibilities again…

Well, that was cleansing. See what I have to deal with? Any words of encouragement, for either party, are welcome.

The initial bit of crappiness that made the 11th so odious was the memories it dredged up. January 11th marked exactly 4 years since I was unceremoniously shitcanned from a supposed career in radio with Elliot in the Morning and DC101. It’s not all bad, though. That job, while fun, was slowly killing me from the stress, exhaustion, and unhealthy habits that come with morning radio. I put on 30lbs in 2 1/2 years, I was constantly falling asleep behind the wheel, and the job was a rut with no real room for advancement. A party every morning…including the hangovers.
If I hadn’t been shown the door, I probably wouldn’tve completed my COMM degree, become a stand-up comic, or started writing this blog… Merry Christmas movie house!!

The cool thing about January 11th? It’s over. Long live the 12th.

To be continued…

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