Hey there ‘Redheads… As promised, I’m back on track with my bloggery. This is, by no means, a guarantee that this Amtrak won’t derail again at some point (or collide with my train of thought), but for now lets head to the dining car and feast on some hearty blog meat…or, for you vegetarians out there, bloccoli (and, apparently, corn).
Now to answer the burning question (would ya believe “smoldering”?) that’s been on everyone’s mind: Am I the funniest Jewish comic (of the roughly 50 that entered an arbitrary and completely bullshit NY bringer contest)? Sadly, no. I am, however, somewhere between the 4th and 15th funniest. I am happy to report that Adam Ruben is the 2nd funniest Jew on record. For this accomplishment, he was awarded a $150 gift certificate to Macy’s. If he has any sense of finance, he’ll invest that money…in a stake in the 50 foot, floating UnderDog balloon from the Thanksgiving Parade. A big thank you to my two friends who came out to support me, budding rock star, Marissa Levy and song parodist extraordinaire, David Brody.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a fun experience. Getting on the main stage in front of a packed house at the Laugh Factory, even if only for 5 minutes and for 300 old Jews, was quite a rush. This was a great example of how moody a contest can be…the judges and crowd love you in the prelims, and for some reason that connection is lost in the finals. It’s a mystery. The crowd for the finals skewed older…I know this because I could carbon date most of them. It looked like a casting call for Cocoon 3 (yes, there was a 2). Older people don’t respond to the same things that young whippersnappers do…factor in some inherent uptightness and the ambient temperature of the room being about 100 degrees, you’ve got a dangerous concoction of kvetching and shpilkiss.
This was evidenced as I was coming off stage after my set. A lady, who wasn’t old, but fit the uptight mold, waved me over to her table. Here’s what she lays on me… You should rethink that Parkinson’s joke you tell. My father is dying of Parkinson’s. It’s very offensive. I’ve never been a huge fan of this rationale. And I said to her plainly, I didn’t write the joke about him. A good friend of mine died in a rainstorm last week, should I now be offended by jokes about driving in the rain? This lady might as well have said this…You should rethink that bobblehead joke you tell. My father choked to death on a bobblehead doll. Lighten up people, they’re just jokes. If you are offended by something, it shouldn’t be up to the author to change his or her worldview because you feel snubbed. I should write a book, but that lady might burn it. Well, enough of me taking myself way too seriously…for now.
A cool highlight of the show, was its bookend special guests. The show was opened by Freddie Roman. In the green room, he regaled us with a story of how he and Henny Youngman were arguing over who headlined at the Copa Cabana. Just to give you some perspective, that story is currently being studied in the comic antiquities wing of the Smithsonian (by top men…who?…top men). The show was closed by Mickey Freeman. Mickey is the last surviving member of the cast of television’s Sgt. Bilko. They were both very entertaining. Now, when you see a headliner get on stage and tell book jokes, you roll your eyes and wonder how they’ve made it this far. Here’s the thing, though…these guys probably WROTE THE FUCKING BOOK.
Since neither of us accidentally infected ourselves with mouse malaria, or monkeypox, or hamster HIV this time, we arrived in NY with a couple hours to kill. We wandered through Times Square and found our way to the Toys R Us. Unfortunately, we were unable to recreate the scene from Big, but here are a couple things that we saw worth noting…
1) Bulk Legos. Making a three story replica of Tara Reid, but don’t have enough purple for the crotch? Fear not. They have buckets and bins of every piece you could need, sorted by color, size, and configuration.
2) The wall of Pez. Every type of Pez dispenser imaginable, from Darth Vader to Bruce Vilanch. They also had everyday heroes…a firefighter, a policeman, and my personal favorite, the nurse…which dispensed placebos.
3) A kid throwing a major league fit. No toy store visit is complete until you see a kid blow his top because his mom won’t buy him that three story replica of Tara Reid. This kid was screeching like he’d just burst out of somebody’s chest. His face was beet red, which made his blonde hair look like spaghetti noodles on a dodgeball. The mother held him like a trophy for the Most Justified Reason to Hit Your Kid and she rushed out of the store. Priceless. Remember, you too can be a winner in the game of Life.
And now it’s time to debut a new feature on the blog. After the utter failure of Joke-a-Day in June, I’ve decided to narrow my focus to bring you the best of a phenomenon I’ve always enjoyed: Gas Station Marquee Words of Wisdom. I’m sure you’ve seen them. Either motivational, uplifting, or biblical, these blurbs come straight from the Unleaded Supreme being to help you through your day. Each blog, I’ll post a new one…plus my own commentary. I dub thee John 3:16 9/10. Enjoy:
If you seek vengeance, dig two graves. That’s sound advice, because when I get revenge, it usually involves cutting somebody in at least two pieces.
Superman Returns came out last week. I’ve always been a big fan of the last son of Krypton. I’ve heard good things from my dork sources about the movie. I’ll have a full write-up, of course. In the meantime, here’s a panel from a Superman comic that I’ve always identified with…
Well, the year is half over. Time for the real procrastinating to begin. Have a safe, emergency room visit-less holiday. May the 4th be with you.
To be continued…