And That’s My Year…

Hey there ‘Redheads… ’06 is a week away from being an I Love The special on VH1. The last couple days are going to be spent in a lazy haze of recovery from Xmas and preparation to celebrate the passage of time. A couple random things to get to in what will probably be the last installment of the year. It won’t be a recap, mostly because I’m simply not able to recall that much. Here, however, are the Top 3 things that happened to your favorite amiable zany this year…
#3. Lucking into opening for Train in front of 4000 people at the Erie Civic Center. The largest crowd I’ve ever been in front of, times 10.
#2. Featuring at the DC Improv. Big thanks to Chip Franklin for getting violently ill, which led to me filling in for him.
#1. Becoming an uncle. You’ve seen the pictures. Little Mo is cuter than the 1000 words those pictures are worth.
Speaking of little Moseph, my sister brought him to town to visit with me and the grandparents for a belated Hanukkah get-together. The highlight gift given was two sheets of stamps that my sister gave my parents that had Mo’s picture on them…Mostage.

I mentioned this installment was random, here’s something to make sure of it. This is an excerpt of an IM conversation that I had with avant gardian, Jerry Thomas:
Jared: I’m doing some career exploration…looking into voicework
Jerry: of what sort?
Jared: commercials, cartoons, etc… a friend of mine has a studio
Jerry: cool. pick me up some of that work while you’re over there
Jared: I’ll see what I can do
Jerry: thank you. you’re being a real sport about this
Jared: yes…badminton. although it can be argued that isn’t a real sport
Jerry: I think a real sport must include the possibility that one of the participants could be dead at the end of it
Jared: a shuttlecock in the eye will slow a guy down
Jerry: yeah, but it’s not like get your head severed by a hockey skate
Jared: true
Jerry: it’s not like pouring tabasco down a dolphin’s blow hole either
Jared: …also true
Jerry: sorry. I don’t know why I said that
Jared: you have a knack for knowing what stuff isn’t like
Jerry: I’m a genius!

Continuing with the randonimity (look it up), I’m happy to give you the latest video collaboration with freckled funnyman, Chris White. It’s called 10,000 Miles and Runnin’. It shows what happens when that special relationship between man and bike goes the distance. I appear in the latter half of the vid. See if you can spot the irony when I show up. Enjoy.

Look for plenty more video projects in ’07, including the second installment of GUYS WATCHING 24. Also coming in 2007, a brand new, fully functional, I know. You’re welcome.

Finally, I was saddened to find out that the world lost one of it’s greatest performers, James Brown. After all those years of clean living… He was, of course, known as the Godfather of Soul or Soul Brother #1, but he also held office…

December 9, 2003– US Secretary of State Colin Powell has named James Brown, the so-called “Godfather of Soul,” to a new and unusual, but apparently fictitious, senior diplomatic position, the State Department said today. Spokesman Richard Boucher confirmed that Powell had indeed appointed Brown to be the first US “Secretary of Soul and Foreign Minister of Funk” but said the job description for the post had not yet been drawn up.

He didn’t know karate, but he knew ca-razy. In looking for a proper tribute to the man who gave us Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag and Livin’ in America, I found a cool short film that he did with Clive Owen and Gary Oldman, called Beat the Devil.

Here’s to everyone who laughed with, at, and near me in 2006. Let’s do it all again next year.

To be continued…


Hey there ‘Redheads… Sorry I’m late, but I’ve been burning the candle at both ends the last week, and I simply was unable to find the inspiration or the energy to get to the blog in time. Besides, not a lot of blog worthy stuff has happened and it’s taken me a bit longer to compile enough stuff to fill this installment. But, you don’t come here for excuses…you come here for…well, what the hell do you come here for, exactly? While we try to noodle that one through, let’s get to the heart of things (then, on to duodenum)…

Last Friday, I ventured into the blustery cold to bathe my ears in some funk. I went to see Victor Wooten at the 9:30 Club. Victor is a virtuoso of el quatro stringendo solo basso profundo de electronique *ahem*. He plays the bass…has since he was 2. Seeing him live is a jaw-dropping musical religious experience. The club was packed mostly with local musicians who came to pay tribute to a living legend. I was able to get a spot right in front of the stage, where the sound thumped right through you. At one point, I think my heart actually started beating in 11/4 time. Those of you who are musicians, and know what that is, can probably get an idea of how cool this show was. For those of you who need the audio/video, here’s Victor and his brother Reggie having a thump-off…

Can’t fake the funk. The one downside to a show at the 9:30 Club, is having to stand for the whole show. Forget barking, my dogs were whimpering. The pain was more than worth it to stand about a foot and a half away from Victor whilst he works his magic.

I came up with an idea for a one-panel cartoon, but I don’t know how to draw. Here’s the premise: Where’s Waldo is at the gym, getting ready to lift a barbell as somebody walks by. The caption reads, “Hey buddy, can ya spot me?” It’s funny on a third-grade level, but it cracked me up.

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends recently. Last night pretty much ran me out of wax. I picked up a one-nighter as a favor to a buddy of mine, Paul Lyons, who wanted me as the feature. Unfortunately, I agreed to do it before I MapQuested the location. Fishersville, VA…which, according to MapQuest was 2hrs 45min away. This didn’t take into account having to fight through rush hour traffic for an additional 30. So, trip time there: 3hrs 15min. And, I had to drive back home after the gig so I could go to work today (I called in sick). The gig was on the downside of ordinary…smallish crowd…no cd sales…but the pay was decent. Then there was the trip home. 2hrs 15min. I don’t think I could’ve gotten home faster if I’d slingshot myself around the sun (professional driver…closed course…do not attempt). I caught my second wind when I realized that the trip could’ve qualified as a quantum leap.

Before I wrap up this installment, there is, once again, some sad business to attend to. We lost Peter Boyle this week. Sure, his most visible work was on Everybody Loves Raymond, but I never watched that show. I remember him from obscure classic flicks like Turk 182! or The Dream Team, where he played an escaped mental patient who thought he was Jesus Christ. To me, he’ll always be the lovable monster in one of the funniest movies ever made, Young Frankenstein. Most tributes focus on the classic Puttin’ on the Ritz scene, but I don’t give you the same old rehashed crap that everyone else does…I give you completely different crap. Here’s one of the funniest scenes in the movie, between the monster and the lonely blind man, played by a young Gene Hackman…

Your comedy homework this weekend is to go see comedy dynamo Justin Schlegel and Danny Rouhier at the first ever Saturday comedy night at Ned Devine’s in Sterling. There will be a quiz later.

Oh, and Happy Hannukah. Have a latke on me.

To be continued…

Hustle n’ Buffalo

Greetings from beyond the great white north, ‘Redheads… I’m back from a particularly nippy weekend in Buffalo, NY. Ah, yes…comedy takes me to all of the glamorous ports of call. A big thanks to Randy, Tracy, Mike, and the rest of the great staff at the Comix Cafe, for a great slate of shows. Before I get to the details of the trip, lemme dole out a few kudos:
#1. Erin Jackson, on her recent victory in Funniest Person in Baltimore contest, the NCAA Tournament of local comedy. Instead of March Madness, it’s July Jubilation/August Absurdity/September Stupidity/October Obsessiveness/November Neurosis. A veritable marathon of mirth, except without the chapped nipples or Kenyan domination.
#2. The 12 comedy brethren who made their case for television exposure last Tuesday at the DC Improv Comedy Central showcase. Even cooler than watching them ripping it up, was the show of support by the rest of the DC community. We are fam-i-ly.
#3. Rob Maher for taking one of his weekly open mics to Saturday prime time. Ned Devine’s is a great room for comedy, and Rob has done well to help it reach it’s full potential. Also, because he helped me remember that Kenyans always win marathons. Jack of all trades, he is.
Ok, with the virtual high-fiving out of the way, let’s get to the meat of this burrito.

On Thursday, I loaded up the truck and embarked on the 7+ hour drive to Buffalo, NY. Despite the mild weather we’d been enjoying, I was warned that the outlook for the remainder of the week was bleak and that my tan-tan would freeze before I reached the first marker. To which I replied, “Then I’ll see you in hell” (and I thought that reference smelled bad…on the outside).
Editor’s note: It was only a matter of time before I started going senile and repeating myself. I give you the following excerpt from February of this year…
Last night, the Blizzard of ’06 hit. A foot of snow dropped on a city that had been enjoying 60 degree days in January. DC was turned into a frozen wintry landscape. I was worried my tan-tan would freeze before I hit the first marker (and I thought that reference smelled bad…on the outside). I stand by the reference.

The trip up was largely uneventful until I stopped at a rest area on the turnpike to cram some cuisine from the Burger Kingdom into my head hole (no, the other one). I pulled in just as two busloads of high schoolers, with their sculpted bed-heads and zest for life, emptied into the rest area. As I bent an ear to their in-joking and awkward social interactions while I waited in line behind them, I felt an odd kinship with these scamps. It didn’t take me long to figure out why…they were theater geeks. As Steven Wright once quipped, “I like to reminisce with people I don’t know…granted, it takes longer.” I should’ve done my duty as a comic and started asking questions about where they were from and what production they were in, so as to properly mock them here, but as a card-carrying member of Springbrook H.S. Stage Crew, I couldn’t betray my past.
Nearing Buffalo, things got dark. At 4:00pm. A massive cloud pretty much swallowed the sky. Rather than rehash another reference from an earlier blog, I’ll forgo any mention of The Nothing and just say it was a down comforter of nastiness and forboding. Then came the cold November rain. Buckets of cats and dogs rain. This dreary bit of meteorology led to a less than stellar turn-out that night at the club. 55 people showed up to a room that holds 250. And they were not in a laughing mood.
Before, I go further, allow me to tell you a bit about the guy I was working with this weekend. As is blog policy, I won’t be naming names since this won’t exactly be complimentary. Not necessarily a bad guy, but an insufferable sad sack and a hack to boot. If he wasn’t complaining about his cellphone battery, he was trying to steer any conversation to him and some C grade name-dropping. A hairy lump of a man. I had high hopes because his credits said that he wrote for National Lampoon. Come to find out, he was mainly responsible for comma placement. His act was just reheated overused dreck…which the audience gladly lapped up, mind you. If you were on a hack scavenger hunt, you could put a check by the following items:
-If I have a 4-hour erection, I’m not calling a doctor…
-Are the speed limit signs just a suggestion around here?
-What’s with Braille on drive-thru ATMs?
-I’m sweating like a gay guy eating a hot dog…
-Where were the hot teachers having sex with kids when I was in school?
-Lorena Bobbit joke
The rest just kinda run together, but you get the idea. To top it off, not only was he a hack in the figurative sense, but I had to listen to him hack up phlegm from the adjacent room in the condo. Yech, with a side of blech. Luckily, my interesting person quota was filled by the MC, Tom Tran. He’s a DJ at local rock station 103.3, The Edge. Also come to find out that he’s an 8 year vet of special ops and got into comedy as a way to ease the stress that was brought on the battlefield. I will never complain about the “hardships” in my life nearly as loud anymore. Why? Because I saw video of Tom GETTING SHOT IN THE HEAD. He was shooting video during a routine sweep that turned into a firefight. It’s nuts. It was made all the more surreal watching it on his PSP. He was pretty much the polar opposite of Hacky McDouchebag. Tom also hipped me to this little nugget about Dane Cook in Rolling Stone. Definitely worth a read.

On Friday, the rain was joined by 50-60mph wind gusts. I wasn’t going to let that keep me from getting away from Eyore for a couple hours. I met up with my cousin, who attends the University of Buffalo, for wings at a Buffalo institution, Duff’s. If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favor sit down for a plate of tingly deliciousness. Unfortunately, the tastiness of the wings going in is directly proportional to the pain upon it’s fiery exit. My tummy is not made of the cast iron that I assumed it was, and in between shows it reminded me that while I may’ve removed the headstones, I DIDN’T REMOVE THE BODIES!! Oh, the unholy exorcism that took place in men’s bathroom was an epic battle between good and evil. Telling it to “get thee behind me” seemed redundant, but it made me feel better in the end (you heard me).

Saturday was easily the best night of the weekend. Not only were both shows well attended, but it was some of the most fun I’ve had on stage in awhile. I need to do that more often. All in all, Buffalo treated me well. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to get to the Seneca Niagara casino to try and win back my money from last time. In retrospect, it’s probably for the best. Over there, the wigwam always wins.

It’s gettin’ late. Sleep dep and blogging don’t mix well.

To be continued…