Oh boy. Michael Showalter confronted TJ Miller Tuesday night after Miller mocked Showalter from the stage. Then a lot of people who weren't there weighed in on the situation over at aspecialthing.com. One says he saw Showalter get pissy in a similar situation before. Some highlights from the AST thread:
Doug Benson writes, "I mean, mentioning another comic that was onstage earlier than you, even if you are not friends, is pretty routine in stand-up shows. especially in the alternative scene, where the likes of Paul F. Tompkins and Greg Fitzsimmons often open their sets with a rundown of remarks about preceeding moments in the show." He also says, "If someone one-ups you in a douchey way, you should say 'douché.' Like touché."
Another commenter tells this tale about Marc Maron dissing a previous performer: "I was at a show at M Bar one night and there was a group hosting that included those women Frangela on Best Week Ever. They opened the show with an improv sketch, they actually took an idea from the audience. I thought it went OK but I was near Marc Maron, who was going up first and groused, 'Now I have to dig us out of this improv hole.' I feel OK sharing this because Marc then went up and opened with, 'Now I have to dig us out of this improv hole.' It was really uncomfortable and hilarious at the same time, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't friends with any of them.
Jen Kirkman wants everyone to play nice: "Sometimes it's an easy quick laugh to point out the obvious such as 'that guy had a long set' 'that girl is wearing a weird skirt' but overall it just does end up setting some kind of pissing contest or said comedian getting the last word. There's not really a need to do that. No matter how nice you are or what recommendations you have behind you - just don't do it. That particular move sounds dick-ish - no matter what someone's prior track record."
Oddly, some other guy on the thread claims, "The New York comedy scene is all about mutual respect and love among the comedians." Yeah, um, right. Never seen any namecalling or disrespecting in the NYC comedy scene. No sir. Every show around here ends with a round of Kumbaya, a massage circle, and trophies for everyone!
Since others are weighing in without knowing wtf happened, allow me to do the same: If Sean's original report is accurate, I don't get what the big deal was. Seems like a gentle poke that should've beeen fine, even between strangers. I've opened a set with a similarly flavored comment many times. Then again, people also think I'm a big douche. Or is that douché?
Anyway, it's fun to watch comics act like a bunch of 10th grade girls. It's like The Hills, but more ridiculous. Who even knew that was possible?
P.S. Here's Showalter going off on a lady in the front row who brought her cats to the show. It's really funny and offers a glimpse at what he's like when he's ticked off.
Sandpaper Suit is NYC standup comic Matt Ruby's (now defunct) comedy blog. Keep in touch: Sign up for Matt's weekly Rubesletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TJ Miller vs. Michael Showalter: The fallout
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