Comedy! (insert witty subtitle phrase here)
It is my day off and I have some errands to do! However, that shouldn't keep me from what I really love: WRITING BLOG POSTS.
8:08am Queens: I start thinking about doing a piece on comedy while on the subway. I am wedged neatly between the door, a large Polish construction worker and what I think are three old Chinese women, possibly triplets, but I'm not sure because I can't see them. Someone knocked off my Todd Ford* glasses at the last stop and I dislocate one of my upper vertebrae to make room for a gaggle of rowdy junior high students. I then fold myself up American-flag-style and place myself underneath a wino's brown paper bag to make room for a woman with a stroller. A man further down begins to preach about Jesus non-sequitur. Non-sequitur is Latin for "bedazzler, amazing gem, rhinestone and sequin setter. You can bedazzle anything!"
9:11am Manhattan: I am sitting on a park bench just thinking. I believe it was Dick Cavett who said comedy is really just all about anger, but then when I googled to find the exact citation, I couldn't find the quote. So I guess I said it. But I mean really, just think about it: people who are funny are really just very angry. Conversely, angry people are NOT really all that funny. I learned that once in a roadside bar in southeast Texas (I don't really want to talk about it).
The woman sitting next to me starts telling me about how she is making a compost pile in her apartment. Why is this person talking to me? It sounds like this person has a pile of rancid meat and banana peels sitting on her fire escape? Maybe I can get to work if she would just stop talking? Why am I ending all my thoughts with questions marks?? What am I doing with my life?? Why am I here?? I begin to sweat profusely, pit stains forming deep pools of liquid under my armpits. Oh lord, I think, I cannot take much more of this. I don't want to seem rude, so I tell her I do, in fact, enjoy eating ants (always a surefire conversation killer). How shall I do myself in, with a noose, a knife, a giant weight that says "1 Ton" on the front??? Soon Lord Satan I will be with you! A mass of people in black robes gather before me while Sleep's "Dopesmoker" plays, chanting "OM SHOGGOTH, OM SHOGGOTH" and flames rise before my eyes... when I look up she is gone.
K, back to books on comedy. I take out my Moleskine diary that says 'Private: Keep Out. This means you Billy!' and begin writing.
10:30am Manhattan: I am in a cafe (not Starbucks**) drinking coffee and using the wireless on my laptop. This comedy stuff writes itself! I notice the man next to me has been painstakingly working at a Word document for some time. I say, "Excuse me, I can't help but wonder what you're working at there. Perhaps a novella, or a freelance Pitchfork review? A poem for n+1?"
"I'm writing the CEO of Boston Market, thanking them for curing my diarrhea. Then I'm going to write the Federal Reserve, telling them I KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT 9/11! By the way, do you know what this is? "
"That's a space bar. I'm trying to write about books on comedy. Any ideas?"
"Hmm. Not really. You should go to a library!"
11:05am Manhattan: I am back on the subway train. Three teenagers step on board, exclaiming, "WHAT TIME IS IT? SHOWTIME!" and so on. A stereo blares and they begin breakdancing, flipping in the air, and handclapping. When their show is over, I jump up, "Hey hey! That's pretty cool guys, BUT GET A LOAD OF THIS," and I throw myself onto the subway car floor, manically gyrating like the soldiers in Jacob's Ladder, shrieking and bleeding from my eyes. When I come to again, I am the only passenger on the car. A big rule for comedians: always alienate and freak out the audience as quickly as possible.
12:30pm Manhattan: After some guidance from a librarian, I have a stack of books next to me and am placing more on hold. What an adventure this has been!
Here are some hip, young, "Gen X" comedians who joke about being "slackers" and "farts."
- Mr. Funny Pants by Michael Showalter
- I Drink for a Reason by David Cross
- Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt
- My Custom Van: and 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face by Michael Ian Black
- The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman
- You're a Horrible Person, but I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice by various (Various is one of the hottest comics around today, just fyi)
Here are a few DVDs:
- Bill Hicks Live
- Richard Pryor Live in Concert
- The Comedians of Comedy
- The Original Kings of Comedy
- Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
- 127 Hours (this movie is HILARIOUS! Have you seen this thing?? Oh man. It reminds me of a similar ordeal I endured. I never lost an arm or went hiking or anything, I just drank my own pee once when I was 5. It's tempting but don't do it!)
- Tom Oatmeal
- Funny or Die
- The Onion (Kinda obvious pick but you never know, some people might not know about it. Don't be so self-centered.)
- Neil Hamburger
- The Daily What
- The Hairpin
Spoken Word CDs:
- Hilarious by Louis C.K.
- Feelin Kinda Patton by Patton Oswalt
- Bigger and Blackerer by David Cross
- Rant in e-Minor by Bill Hicks
- Cheese and Crackers: The Greatest Bits by Chris Rock
Books That All Are Serious for People Who Try to Act All Smart:
- The Odd One In: On Comedy by Alenka Zupancic
- American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story by Cynthia True
- The Joke by Milan Kundera
- Richard Pryor: the Life and Legacy of a "Crazy" Black Man edited by Audrey Thomas McCluskey
- The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Fall and Rise of an American Icon by Ronald K.L. Collins & David M. Skover
3:05pm Queens: I am mailing 8x11 photos of my cat to various agents, studios and theater companies. He is bald in various patches and has the face of a demon, but I think he has got a shot at the big time.... wait—are you still reading this?? This post is over, its time to go!
*Todd Ford is Tom Ford's loser, burnout younger brother. No seriously this guy is like the Roger Clinton of the fashion world. He loves reptiles and "nu metal." Still, they were pretty good glasses.
**It was a Starbucks.
***Are you reading these after you've read the whole thing or scrolling down and then scrolling back up everytime? You're breaking up the flow of pure comedy gold!