"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Thursday, May 9, 2013


There was only one other writer at rehearsal last week, so as we talked to the reporter we got to know each other a little bit.  

She asked me if I'd ever done stand-up and I shook my head and told her I was perfectly happy being the funny guy in the office. She said she'd tried it a few times herself, with mixed results, and we agreed the audience is just as crucial as the material.

This was the email I got on Tuesday:

I'm extending an invitation to X----x X---x for the open mic stand up comedy pity fest this evening. 8pm. It will be terrible. Bring a friend/groupie/lover with you. I'll be there.

I tried to get out of it almost immediately.  

Driving downtown is a pain in the ass, with all the one-way streets and nowhere to park. It was a bar, not a comedy club, so no cover charge, no two drink minimum.  

She mentioned she had a coupon for free chips and salsa and I told her I'd be there.  

Were there a dozen comedians?  The whole evening was a blur, an unfunny parade of sweaty, angry men trying to explain their jokes to a silent audience. Ouch. A couple dug into their pockets for fresh material. More than one simply stopped mid-joke and said, "forget it."

I may not have laughed at the jokes, but I certainly wasn't laughing at the performers, either. I know how tough it is to get up in front of an audience and wring giggles from strangers.

On the plus side: beers were $3.  

There's another open mic tonight.

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