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…

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