Length: 12 minutes
Crowd: 15 people
Listen to this performance
Last night I "headlined" at Stand Up NY. I remember when the idea of headlining something used to sound impressive to me. Now I realize it just means you go last.
These "New Talent" shows are a strange mix of comedians. Some comics are on the bill because they bring people. Bring 5 people (or whatever) and you get stage time. They often suck. Others are on the bill because they're funny comics working on new material. So you get this really strange roller coaster ride of a show. Some people are hilarious and then some are just painful. Like really painful. Like a car crash mixed with a trainwreck and topped off with an incest survivor painful.
The night started off really funny. First comedian was Rob Cantrell who was on point. Anyone who makes jokes about taking shrooms in on a good path for me. Victor Varnado did a nice bit about a chick bench pressing him while giving him a blow job. Tough to explain, ya know? Some other funny comics followed. Small crowd but they were friendly and digging it.
Then shit took a turn. There was a little kid comic, like 14 years old or something. Funny for a kid I guess. Which means not really funny. And then creepy, weird ass, negative comics started taking over. Just one is a blow to a show but when there's three or four in a row you can just feel the air get sucked out of the room. Just be funny or get off the stage. These people were being negative and weird. There's a difference between being edgy and just saying shit about race or chicks that makes everyone uncomfortable. On the plus side, the whole thing started to feel like a performance art spectacle. It was like a bizarre game show to see who could say the most inappropriate thing.
Also, all the comics kept trying to do crowd work but there was only 20-30 people in the room. Eventually people get tired of being picked on. Especially by chumps who aren't funny. Chatting with the table of Australians is funny the first time. The eighth time = not so much.
By the end of the night I was just dying to get on stage. At least I knew I wouldn't make people feel as awkward as the previous comics. I kinda rambled. I was a bit drunk. I didn't rely on prepared material. I brought out some totally inappropriate stuff just to give it a go. A lot flopped. But some people definitely dug it. Some quick "in flow" comebacks worked really well. (Note to self: Start with real material and then turn to crowd interaction. I was kinda shaky coming out of the gate but built momentum once I got to the material.) Turns out I went 12 minutes. Wow, I had no idea. The time just flew by. I could've been funnier but it almost seemed like a bad idea to be good in that situation. Once the strange ship leaves the port, you might as well keep sailing.
Permalink | 12/27/2006