Video of Mike Lawrence's first Whiplash set. Magical set. Just kills it. And ya know you've got a Lawrence-friendly crowd when they cheer at the mere mention of comic books!
I've seen all these jokes a bunch but it's funny how a hot crowd can really make a persona come alive. You feel like you really know him after this set, esp since so much of it relates to personal stuff like his sex life, family, work history, etc. Feels like the big connection with the audience he gets here is, in part, because of how much he's willing to reveal himself.
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.
Lawrence at Whiplash
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Great set! I've seen most of it before, but some of the bits were more fleshed out this time around, which is always a nice surprise.
And Mike Lawrence seems ubiquitious lately - at least on sites I frequent. Synchronicity? Coincidence? Maybe it's a sign he's blowing up? I don't know... but he's got pretty much everything I love in my favorite comics. First, of course, he's funny. Then there's the intelligence, the self-deprecation, the absurdism- he seems very much in his own head, but able to make his experiences universal... and you can tell that everything he says is real.
It's one thing to be build an act around what you think is bizarre about the world, but if you pick at what's off in yourself, I think you've got some absolutely unique and defining material.
I watch A LOT of comedy these days and sometimes comics with whom I'm just becoming familiar start to blend together and I can't remember which bit belongs to which performer... mainly because everything is so impersonal, but I've NEVER had that problem with Mike Lawrence.
More about the personal material: It's macro comedy vs. micro comedy. Micro comedy focuses on the experiences of the individual, whereas macro comedy focuses on generalities. With macro comedy, it's easier to be clever and quippy and pull funny circumstances from thin air, but it's also easier to run into parallel thinking. Micro comedy is often so idiosyncratic, it would be difficult to find two comics - even those with similar subject matter - whose material feels familiar. I like both kinds of comedy (saying that feels like I'm being too binary...), but definitely tend towards micro comedy myself ... because, while many good comics begin with individual experiences for their bits, great comics are able to zoom out and make their audiences understand why, though their topics are intensely personal, they're funny in the larger scheme of things.
I'd consider Paul F. Tompkins largely (though his newer stuff IS more personal) a macro comic who does what he does amazingly well.
Thanks for posting that Ruby. It means a lot. The thing I told myself before the set was "just cherish and enjoy your time out there" because I knew I'd be back to the smaller bar shows and mics that got me there in the first place. Sure enough I was at the P.I.T. the next night,gladly
And Rebecca, I think living in New York and the overall competitive nature of this city really forces you to look within and find the things about yourself that no one else has. I know I can fifteenth out of sixteen comics on a lineup and still be the first to mention I worked at Mcdonalds for seven years. Being surrounded by hundreds of comics makes you reveal stuff you normally wouldn't. "Dont look at him! Look at me! My parents left me and found awful people!"
wow , mike that was FANTASTIC .
brilliant , just brilliant . The improv joke made me roar !
p.s I didn't realize the sound on a flip was so good ?
Thanks London. It was filmed by the very funny Mark Normand on his flip. Not sure the brand, but it's an HD one so I'm guessing it's a newer model. He was also in the crowd in the third row so I think that helped. I think it's better for someone to be in the center of the crowd filminng instead of off to the side in terms of capturing the laughs.
Congrats! Loved it.
Actually, I have a comment for you Mike that better expresses my feelings in this moment. Permit me to quote from The Joy Luck Club?
"June, since your baby time, I wear this next to my heart. Now, you wear next to yours. It will help you know. I see you. I see you."
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