‘Redheads… I am HUGE in Erie. Allow me to explain. First, a big thank you to Debbie and the incredible staff of Junior’s Last Laugh for a great weekend of shows.
So, check this out. On Saturday, I arrived at the club with the co-feature, John Garrett, a half hour before showtime. When we get there, Debbie drops this on us: Grammy Award winners, Train are playing the Erie Civic Center tonight. Their opener got sick and can’t sing. They want you guys to take her place. For a crowd of 4000 people. They want you to be there at 8:00.

Wanna see pictures? Of course you do…

For those about to laugh, I salute you…

My new comedy pal, John Garrett waits backstage…whilst I rock.

* an editor’s note: it seems that whenever I’ve been photographed recently, I’ve been wearing the same shirt. I do own other shirts.

This was the biggest crowd I’ve ever performed in front of. If it weren’t for that bottom picture, I might not’ve believed it myself. Up on that stage, with the house lights down and two massive spotlights in my eyes, I couldn’t see a damn thing (the only reason why the crowd is visible in the picture, is thanks to expert flash photography). With a crowd that size, that was expecting music, I had to make some adjustments to my on-stage presence to make sure I wasn’t devoured and spat into Lake Erie. I had to hit ’em hard, big, and quick to grab their attention. So, I channeled my inner-Justin Schlegel (WWJSD), and hit the stage like a fuckin’ rock star. “HOW’S IT GOIN’, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA!!!” *CROWD ROAR* Awesome. The crowd was suprisingly receptive to my shuckin’ and jivin’. It was one of the cooler things I’ve done. Period. It’s totally going on the resume.
My 15 minute set went by in the blink of an eye. Thankfully, the house photographer snapped about a hundred pictures…which’ll have to serve as a replacement for my splintered short-term memory. After I finished, John hit the stage and as also well-received by the throng of people.
We were psyched. 4000 people. Guess how many people were at the late show at Junior’s… 40. That’s a 99% drop-off.

You know you’ve made it, when you’re recognized in Cracker Barrel the following day…AND I WAS. Mmmmmmm…syrupy celebrity. That’s one city down, roughly 499 to go.

Along with that massive highlight, there were some other sidelights that made whiling the hours away during the Erie days interesting. One of the easiest way to kill time on a road gig, is to take in a matinee. So, on Friday, John and I ventured to the local multiplex with the intent of gutting a couple hours out of the day. We chose Silent Hill. Now, I’ve never played the game it’s based on, but I’ve got to imagine this crap is more spine-tingling when the controller vibrates. A word on horror movies… Disturbing imagery without context, point, or plot isn’t scary. There was no reason to care about the well being of the people on the screen…to call them “characters” would imply their actions had some direction or thought behind them. In order to make the twisted stuff true horror, the audience has to be able to suspend their disbelief. I believe John and I spent most of the movie laughing. I had high hopes for this movie, only because the lead actress was in one of my favorite creature flicks, Pitch Black…do yourself a favor, rent it.

After a moment of silence for the $4.50 and two hours that gave their lives for that celluloid mess, we headed to the local DQ to ease our pain with a Blizzard…but it was something else that gave us chills. After we sat down, we noticed a person placing an order at the counter. The person looked kind of like Cleveland from Family Guy

You may be wondering, Jared, why so ambiguous? Well, because after careful deliberation, even we weren’t sure what it was. We had a Pat on our hands. The person in question sat down with his friend, who was also of, at first glance, indeterminate gender. The way John and I were seated, John had a bird’s eye view of their table. He witnessed the first one scoop a dollop of whipped cream on his finger and feed it to the other one. A few minutes later, John held a napkin up to his mouth and said to me, “Jared, you have to turn around right now.” I did, and saw the first guy biting into a footlong hot dog. I turned back to John and stated matter-of-factly, “We need to go now.” We quickly abandoned our ice cream and hurried out the door. We didn’t even make it to the car before we both doubled over in laughter. Laughter so hard, my eyes teared, my nose ran, and my chest hurt…one step shy of a seizure. I don’t know how well this translates in blog form, but it was damn funny.

The next day, we took a trip to Wal-Mart. John had a cellphone earpiece to buy, so I decided to take in the value. I found a big fat bin of it. DVDs for $5.50. Decent ones too. I got Total Recall and Hudson Hawk. Ok, yes, I know…these are hardly classics, but for $5.50 I couldn’t afford not to get them. Besides, with the acquisition of Hudson Hawk, I completed the Danny Aiello trifecta (The Professional, Jacob’s Ladder, and Hudson Hawk).
As we walked through the Wal-Mart, monitors broadcasted Wal-Martian propaganda. One phrase I heard was, “Can you put a value on joy?” Would you really want your joy from Wal-Mart? It’s marked down joy…and that’s just apathy. But, at those prices, you can’t afford to not…you get the idea. Don’t settle, people.

Speaking of marked down performance, make sure to check out my gravelly tour de force overacting in…

…conveniently linked to your right

Wanna see me live? It might be more awkward than our digital dealings, but take a chance people. I’ll be at the Baltimore Comedy Factory, Thurs-Sat with Jay Hastings and Angel Salazar. See ya there.

To be continued…

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