Tuesday, October 3, 2006

You Will Always Be My Boo

Well it had to happen at some point. I'm surprised it hadn't happened yet. When I tell you I got booed tonight...I got booed. It wasn't a "Now that wasn't very nice" kind of boo. It was a "We don't know you, and we don't like you" kind of boo. It was the kind of boo that might have made me quit comedy had it happened when I first started. The kind of boo that would render a ghost speechless. It took 8 1/2 years of doing stand-up, but it finally happened: I got booed offstage...twice...in the same show.

I have always prided myself in attempting comedy in any situation. Outdoors, bars, mixed audiences, you name it, I've done it. One time I tried to do a set in front of hungover Applebee's Employees at 8am on a Saturday morning as part of their "WOW" program. They made several trips to the breakfast bar setup for them, which was conveniently 3 steps behind where I was trying to "entertain". One guy actually asked, "Where are the clean plates?" at a volume louder than which I was speaking.

What's the point? Tonight was healthy. I suggest you try it. The feeling of having people hate you for no reason is something every human being should experience. It's humbling. It's a reality check. It's motivation. I won't say it was racism, but it was definatley prejudiced. When I was introduced tonight, I could immediately tell that outside the first few rows, no one was listening. I was in the setup of my first joke when then first boo broke out. Then the entire back of the room seemed to form a chorus on the spot. "Can't I get a joke out before you decide you don't like me?" I asked. "No mother f___! Booooooo!" I heard something yelled about "that gel in your hair". Something very original I'm sure. Knowing that this was a no win situation, I placed the mic back in the micstand, and motioned for the emcee to come back to the stage. He told the audience he was going to bring me back up there and to show me some respect because he's seen me before, and "he's funny."

I went back up there and decided to give them a second chance as well. I started a new bit and right before I got to the punchline "BOOOO!" It was obvious that I wasn't going to get a fair shot. I shouted back "If you think it's so easy, come on up here and let's hear your best joke. We'll go one on one and see who the professional is." The crowd erupted with applause and cheers "Good for you white boy." I waited a good 30 seconds and thought for sure someone would be making their way toward the stage. I had done it, I had stood my ground, the tide had turned. No one came to the stage, they knew I was serious. I started a joke for the 3rd time and guess what happened this time......"BOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

Once again, I left the stage, defeated. But it wasn't a "I had my turn and failed defeat." It was of the sucker punch varitey. I hadn't even been able to get one bit out. People in the first three rows saying "Stay up there, tell your jokes." People in the last 8 rows doing their best Casper impression. How do I know that people are full of crap? Because I can't count how many people said, "I liked you, don't let them get you down" as they passed by me after the show. How can you have liked me? As much as I didn't have a chance to bomb, I didn't have a chance for you to decide I was funny.

No props for being from Cincinnati, no respect for the accomplishments I've made and what I've tried to do for the local comedy scene. It was just a bunch of thugs with free tickets to a club who show why they don't have jobs that would let them be able to pay to get in. Chad Johnson, Cincinnati Bengal and my favorite player was the host of the event, and I was able to get him to sign a painting that my good buddy Darin Overholser did of him for my personal collection. So that kept the night from being a total loss.In closing, let me say that this isn't a journal entry to fish for compliments and reaffirmations that I'm doing some things people enjoy. IN NO WAY did tonight deter me from my goals or my drive to be a better comic. I just wanted to share the story with anyone who cared to read it, and remind everyone that being a comic is hard and as Mitch Hedberg described it, "a very noble occupation." It's ok to not like someone's comedy, but don't trash whatever it is they're trying to do, just because it's not your cup of malt liquour.

I've seen my name show up in more than one blog from people who don't care for my humor. I've seen genuinely funny and nice guys like Larry The Cable Guy and Bill Engvall get trashed for basically being successful. Who gives a rat's ass if you don't like what they do? Their success shows that plenty of other people do. Laugh when you want to laugh, it's that simple. Give respect to those who are out there trying to follow a dream. We all have our offnights, Lord knows I had my worst one tonight. But if you don't think it's funny, then don't laugh. Win people over by letting them appreciate your sense of humor, not by getting them to agree with you on who's not funny. I know plenty of people who think I'm not funny, I've met audiences full. They fed me "hmrph's" and even sometimes complete silence, but hey, at least they didn't "boo".

Hope to see you out there,


Friday, June 9, 2006

Silly Hat Day

For all of those who say I don't have a real job, that I have more free time than I know what to do with, that I need a hobby...I submit the following.

In the heart of Louisville, KY, there's a wonderful restaurant called Lynn's Paradise Cafe. Great food and an awesome gift shop (think Cracker Barrel meets...awesome gift shop).

Aside from their famous "magic pants", Albert Einstein action figures, and a book for white people on how to speak "street", Lynn's features quite a silly hat collection. My good friend, and fellow comedian, Dan Davidson and I decided to use our time waiting for a table to try on these fancy hats. As always, I was armed with my camera phone and what you're about to see are the results of our adventure...

Not sure if Dan is granting wishes or touching altar boys in this lovely selection.

I always wanted to be a retarded super hero.

Do you really want to hurt me?

Sailing....takes me away.

Ready for some raping and pillaging.

He gives out Golden Tickets like candy.

Brokeback Barbaro

Dolphin Safe Davidson

Look, I'm a pot head. Good Lord I'm funny.

Trojan Man!

(you write the joke)

Me finally getting laid.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Kohls Has Racist Mannequins

I'm not usually one to judge retail giants. But Kohl's...shame on you.

I was perusing through a Kohl's department store near my house recently when I noticed something odd about the mannequins in the children's clothing department. Mind you, Kohl's is just one big open room, not multi-level. So you can pretty much see every section from the main walkway. I look up and notice a young white male mannequin in the most stereotypical pose. I'm not sure if he's supposed to be surfing, skateboarding, or on ecstacy, but it's one of the "whitest" outfits on a blonde haired, blue eyed boy. And the pose made me think, "That's what Kohl's thinks that a kid wearing this outfit would do." Here's what I'm talking about:

Still don't see it? Ok, here's another example. I look down the wall and notice a young African-American, or black, male mannequin. Completely different outfit...completely different pose. I'm not sure if he's shooting dice or ducking down to watch for the cops, but it just looks like he's up to no good. SHAME ON YOU KOHL'S! Here he is:

The last one was the most disturbing. Maybe i don't get out much, but I've never seen a retarded mannequin...until that day at Kohl's. You might ask, "Josh, how do you know it was retarded?" You tell me:

UNBELIEVABLE!!! Why don't they just put a helmet on him and paint some drool on his chin while they're at it? I couldn't believe it. Look how terrified the kid on the right is. It's like he's saying, "I hope none of my friends see this kid talking to me." And what's with that angelic glow on him? Is Kohl's trying to tell us that retarded kids are going to hell? Lastly, I understand that you have to be politically correct in our country these days, but who's going to buy the outfit on the left for their kid? So the kids at school could say, "This is what a mongoloid would wear. Kohl's says so."

If you couldn't tell, I have a lot of free time.

Hope to see you out there,


Monday, April 10, 2006

Bill Burr and The Guy From "Weekend At Bernie's"

Ok, every once in a while you have a laugh that cleanses your soul. A laugh that makes you feel like you're going to throw up. A laugh that brings tears to your eyes, and gives you the impression you just finished 1,000 crunches. Last Sunday, I shared one of those laughs with comedian Bill Burr. If you don't know who he is, get out from under your rock, do a search for him on MySpace or just look in my Top 8. In the few days I worked with him, he's already become one of my favorite comics.

So Bill and I are having lunch at The Cheesecake Factory in Tampa. Just a couple of gentlemen, enjoying some delicious unhealthy food, watching a little golf on a Sunday afternoon. A blind guy and two of his friends sit at the hightop table next to ours, and Bill jokes, "There's the guy from 'Weekend at Bernie's'." We both get a chuckle. It really did look like the guy.

I then tell Bill of my idea for my website to take pictures with people who look like celebrities, but obviously aren't them. He thinks it's a great idea and offers to somehow take the picture of Bernie and I. So we have to devise a plan where I somehow get into the picture but no one knows it's being taken.

We decide the best method is for Bill to walk to the end of the bar and stroll behind the two friends of Bernie's that still have their sight, while I stretch or something to move into frame. He would take the picture in passing since the blind guy would obviously not be able to see Bill right in front of him. The plan alone had us trying not to laugh.

All of the actors were in place and Bill makes his move, but right as he gets in to take the picture, Bernie leans forward to take a bite of his food and is now blocked from view. ABORT! ABORT! Bill sees it too and returns to his starting position. He makes the second pass and I pretend to drop my napkin then perform the most horribly acted, over-the-top stretch I could muster. Above all of the chatter in the restaurant you could definately hear the click of the camera phone as Bill walked by.

We both sit back down at the table and with no emotion on his face he slides the phone to me for my viewing pleasure. The photo I looked at is below.

The second I saw this picture, I let out the most obnoxious laugh you've ever heard. There was no way I could contain myself. Bill, trying not to laugh, lost it as well. Five good minutes of laughters that had both of our eyes welled up and stomachs aching. When one of us would gain our composure, the other one would lose it again. While I definately think to appreciate the situation and what we went through to take this picture you "had to be there", it was just a story that I thought was worth sharing.

Hope to see you out there,