Dear friends! Be sure and download this week’s episode of EXPLAIN YOURSELF! featuring hilarious comedian Joshua Meyrowitz, a.k.a. Autistic Thunder. We’re endearingly awkward! Check it out!
Get ready for tomorrow’s new episode of EXPLAIN YOURSELF! by listening to last week’s, featuring my hilarious improv classmate Erin Dewey Lennox and I talkin’ about Jewish stuff and having bathroom-related issues!
My most recent episode of EXPLAIN YOURSELF! features the excellent comedian and writer Aristotle Georgeson talking with me about the perils of ADD, ill-fated subway rides, and persistent grandmothers.
Ladies and gentlemen! My Valentine’s Day gift to you is a new episode of EXPLAIN YOURSELF! featuring the geektacular Mike Hover and I chatting about miserable superheroes, ruined childhood fantasies, and the world’s worst action figure (seen above.)
Tyler is the king of promoting shows.
Come check out the fun tonight!
Come watch, LA! I’m co-hosting this!
This week on EXPLAIN YOURSELF! I talk to my old comedy friend (and fellow podcaster) Tyler Meznarich about stickin’ it to the man, irrational anger, and books, because we’re smart dudes all about readin’ books.
This week, on EXPLAIN YOURSELF!, I talk to the super great John Parr about manliness, keeping secrets, and why I can’t find a hammer anywhere in my apartment.
EXPLAIN YOURSELF! returns this week with the fourth episode, featuring my favorite Chicago transplant, Ken Garr, talking about ridiculous college stories. Download, subscribe, and rate five stars! I AM WORTH IT.
This week on Explain Yourself!, the hilarious Liz Shihadeh stops by my place to talk about megaphones, weird childhood stories, and lesbians.
This week on Explain Yourself!, I venture to my very funny friend Jake Cannon’s studio apartment to discuss failed relationships, changing our dreams, and Nicolas Cage.
The first episode of my new podcast is out today! Listen to me talking to the hilarious Emilio Rossal about life and fun things.
12/30/13, 7:15 PM
Open Mic, Rockpaper Coffee, Los Angeles, CA
We didn’t get up at the Store, and Meltdown is shut down until 2014, so I convince Tyler to go across the street with me to Rockpaper, which looks like it’s still going on. We enter and ask where the list is to find out we’re the last performers of the night. There are three of us left in here. We order our required items and sit down.
Nobody is hosting or keeping time. This mic is on the honor system. Sitting through those last three before my turn is agonizing, even though I like all the comics who got stuck here late. I just want to go on, though, because a room like this is rare, and there’s an opportunity here for me to really sit down and work some shit out. It’s one of those no-pressure-type situations.
The comic before me brings me on as “that young man right there,” and I take the stage, set down my phone and look at Tyler. “You were right, dude, we shouldn’t have come.” He laughs. “Oh well. It’s fine.”
I sit down on the on-stage stool. I don’t normally do this, but I’m feeling casual. I talk about living with my girlfriend after being long-distance, how it’s like going from being starving to being force-fed all of your meals. “I love the sustenance, but that tube really scrapes my esophagus. I think I’m bleeding internally.” The three present laugh. Something there.
I carry on by talking about the guy who tried to convert me to Judaism at work. I talk about how his methods might have been more effective if I didn’t feel the way I do about religion, then talk about my religious beliefs a bit. I haven’t ever done this before on stage. It feels cathartic, almost therapeutic. It’s a topic I can’t wait to explore more in the new year.
I finish my set, then bring Tyler on so he can headline. He does his time, gets out a few good premises, then closes out and leaves. We walk back to my car and I drop him off at the lot containing his car. We part ways.
On the drive back home, I mull over the facts: that was my last set of the year. I felt comfortable talking about something I’d felt immensely weirded out by in the past. I paid $2.50 to talk to two strangers and one of my close friends about this topic. It felt good.
This year has been a great one. I feel like I’m getting a better foothold in the Los Angeles comedy world, and a better grip on my voice and personality. I’ve made friends and enemies. I’ve changed my act so much that it’s almost unrecognizable from anything I was doing when I first moved out to L.A. I feel accomplished, but I know I have more to do. So that’s what 2014 will be. A year of growth.
Thanks for paying attention. I won’t be posting entries as much next year, but I’ll drop in when something really cool happens. Besides, I’ve got a new project for y’all that I think you’ll really enjoy.
12/28/13, 12:30 AM
Bar Open Mic, Flappers Comedy Club, Burbank, CA
It’s been ten days since my last set. A much needed sojourn to visit my parents in Texas made me want to relax instead of work, so I opted not to get on stage at all. But I’m back in town now and itching to get on stage. I get a work-in spot at the open mic and have a drink while I wait my turn. I shoot the breeze in the back of the bar with a few comics.
The show plays out as per usual - a few new guys, a few regulars, our resident old man Gary talking about his dick, my buddy Josh talking about being a 31-year-old virgin. This really is just an average Friday night. It seems routine at this point. That’s not a bad thing, though. I just feel comfortable.
Clarke calls my name, so I take the stage and start by asking if anyone had a good Christmas. Nobody bites, so I talk about mine by way of my grandparents and the gifts they’ve given me - one from my grandma this year that wasn’t even under the Christmas tree, one from my grandpa last year before he passed. The second joke gets a better response than the first one, but both get some laughter. This holiday-specific material might not work year-round, but I feel like when the crowd reacts warmly like this - even lukewarmly - there’s something worth exploring about the bits.
Next, I talk about a sign I saw for a Family Restaurant that advertised its Cocktails in a bigger font than the restaurant’s name. “I think that sends the wrong message,” I say to some chuckling in the back. I talk about how even though it seems like fun to be drunk around kids, it’s a terrible idea, relaying a story of getting repeatedly smacked in the face by one of my swimming students as proof. The premise is funnier than the punchline right now, so my next task is to get the end up to snuff with the beginning.
I don’t remember what my final story was supposed to be. “What else should I talk about?” I ask myself into the mic. I look at the notes I wrote in my phone and find a good one: a story from work when a guy tried to convert me to Judaism by complimenting me. His exact words? “You look smart. Jews are smart! You’re probably an Orthodox Jew who doesn’t know it yet.” This ridiculous line of logic gets a laugh, but that’s as far as it goes since I haven’t written this story out or analyzed my attempted converter much. But there’s something to this story. While realizing this, I lose my train of thought, ramble off into nothingness, thank the crowd, and leave the stage. I return to my now-empty drink at the end of the bar and order a glass of water. I’ll watch a few more comics then get out of here. What’s the harm in sticking around?
12/18/13, 11 PM
All Star Wednesdays, Flappers Comedy Club, Burbank, CA
After clocking out, I just want to get out of here. But I have a spot to do in the main room that I’m not about to half-ass, so I change and ask Rob, tonight’s MC, if I can go on earlier. He says it’s cool. He’ll get me on in two.
About ten minutes later, Rob calls me to the stage. I take it, shake his hand, and face a crowd of about twenty. They’re lively, at least. I start with Jap-Slap, which works as per usual, and is only enhanced by the fact that our resident old man Gary decides to pipe in with a guttural grumble when I talk about old men being racist. I can’t contain myself, cracking up on stage and doubling over mid-act-out. “Nothing will ever be better than that,” I tell the still-laughing crowd before finishing the bit.
I talk about being broke. “Anyone else broke in here?” The comics all clap. “Of course.” I talk about getting a broken iPod stolen, and about trying to be smarter about how I spend my money through investing in canned goods. I talk about supplementing my income by teaching swimming lessons, and dealing with terrified two-year-olds. The tiny crowd stays with me.
I feel like I’ve hit the halfway point, so I transition into talking about moving in with my formerly long-distance girlfriend. I find a nice bit of wordplay when I call her a keeper, then say I literally do have to keep her since she pays half of my rent. One guy in the front says, “aw,” so I tell them not to worry. “We survived this long over distance, we’re gonna be fine.”
I close with the Dating Technology bit. Just like earlier this afternoon, something about the middle of the bit doesn’t quite ring true. It ends just fine, but that middle is giving me too much trouble now to not warrant some close scrutiny. I thank the crowd, leave the stage, and then get out of the club. I’ve got other things to attend to now.
12/18/13, 6 PM
Happy Hour Auditions, Flappers Comedy Club, Burbank, CA
The auditions are in the Yoo Hoo Room, thanks to some holiday parties, so I’m stuck running back and forth from the main desk to the Yoo Hoo lobby to make sure the lists are updated correctly and on time. As the booker finishes up his announcements for the day, he announces the pizza spot comic. The crowd claps. But he’s not here. So the booker makes a split-second decision and brings me up instead. I lift my head from the lists I’m adding to, rise from my chair, and saunter on to the stage. I guess I get a pizza today.
I take the mic out of the stand and say something dumb - “I just love pizza,” I think - then decide this set will be about my girlfriend. I talk about us living together for the first time, then go into the Dating Technology bit. Just like last night, the middle section of the joke where I describe the app we used to stay in touch falls flatter than usual. I’m convinced: something has changed about this joke, and I need to figure out what it is.
I talk about my girlfriend’s cat, and how seeing it use the toilet like a person freaks me the hell out, then close out with a tried-and-true joke about missing her from far away that I haven’t busted out since she moved to Los Angeles. Thankfully, it still works. I get the light, so I put the mic back and thank the crowd before leaving the stage. As I leave the room, I thank the booker for throwing me the spot. He says it was no problem.
I go back to the ticket booth desk. The girl I’m training today seems nonplussed, even as I apologize for getting caught up over there. I think she’s gonna work out well here.