Mostly, who cares? Just another lookyloo incident that only matters because someone tabloid famous is involved.
I do think there's a lesson here about getting outside of your comfort zone though. A lot of comics hit the same couple of rooms over and over and this sort of incident shows why that can be a bad idea.
Mayer almost always goes up at The Cellar where he's pals with the other comics and in with the owners and seems to be able to do whatever he wants because of who he is. (It's also a very cliquey, testosteroney, bust each other's balls kinda environment there.) Once he brought his act to an alt show, it seems like it hit him what a different ballgame it was. All of a sudden, he was out of his element and had to scramble. And the result sounds like it wasn't pretty.
That's the problem with getting stuck in any single comedy ghetto. Instead, I'd advise doing whatever room you can. Alt shows for Brooklyn hipsters, club shows for tourists, urban rooms, Harlem coffee shops, hostels filled with backpackers, Park Slope restaurants, "art star" freak mics, Jersey City dive bars, corporate gigs, suburban hotels, whatever. Lots of jokes will work at one of those places. But a joke that works at ALL of them? You know that's funny.
Will it get awkward sometimes? Yes. But that's the way learning often feels. Uncomfortable.
I hate to go to the CK well yet again, but he put it well:
Go onstage in adverse conditions, that's how you get good. Do you really think that becoming a great comedian means finding audiences that are already ready to laugh at what you have to say?
Being comfortable or getting better: Sometimes you have to pick one.
Permalink | 12/08/2009