I performed on "LOL Thursdays" the night before to celebrate a fellow comedian's birthday. A show Catch A Rising Star bills as [A Showcase]:
"Each week [that] will feature some of New England's best comedians in short, high powered sets! The best way to see the areas top comedians at an affordable price!"
LOL Thursdays is every Thursday at 7:30pm. If you haven't been to a show at Catch, you should at the very least check out a local showcase. When I perform there I try to wrangle up five to ten people. Now with the power of the internet, WE ARE LEGION!!
I digress, back to the topic at hand. The surreal life that was my Friday night. If not for Jim Wright being there Thursday I would not have gotten passes in time for me and my Comic's Corner crew. Jim is the club manager and all around great guy, I found out about the show just as I was missed my window for credentials on Wednesday. Good thing I am my own man on the inside. A regular self "Deep Throat." ? That can't be right. Either way I talked to J Dubbs, (no one calls him that. They might now though.) secured some tickets, assembled my crew, co-host Bruce Botelho Jr. and Photographer Jennifer Blake and off we went! A regular One Armed Bald Guy, the new class!
Once inside I saw a crowd gathered of about 40-50 people. I thought this seemed odd considering the early 90's TV Nostalgia contained in the room alone. Local comedian John Morris was billed to host and was delightfully bumped to a longer guest spot when regular Catch Host, Mark Shea showed up and opened the show.
Morris dealt with the same stone wall tactics from the audience when trying to do crowd work. Prepared to host the show, he even resorted to asking if there were any birthdays or celebrations in the crowd tonight. Of course nobody was celebrating anything. The audience didn't seem to enjoy the crowd work but as the show continued, they would be made to feel very awkward. The comedians were working very hard for reactions and the audience was working on processing where they were. And we haven't gotten to the main event yet.
Off the bat that is about two fucks in less than one minute. When I was first doing the Comedy Connection open mics, a more experienced comic took me aside and asked me if I had even known how many times I had said "Fuck" in a five minute set. I thought, I dunno, three or four? Fifty-two. 52! Also about one a minute. It wasn't working for me and this guy told the audience to go fuck themselves essentially at the same time. The alienating continued. I didn't feel like I was a part of Todd Bridges stories. He was telling anecdotes of his drug addiction and experiences with other celebrities. There seemed to be chances in his act for him to dig in and really explore things like Richard Pryor being paranoid when he visited him and then shortly after seeing Richard run by his house on fire! He seemed to gloss over those moments with a loosely written joke about Richard misunderstanding him for gay and I am Todd Bridges and I saw Richard Pryor on fire, huh guys, eh? Kind of delivery. At one point when he thought no one was paying attention, he got upset and comically accused an audience member of dismissing his set. Using a "White Guy Voice" he referred to himself as a Ni**er, a word we are not allowed to say on stage at CARS. His set also ended on an awkward moment. Todd refused to end his set on a failed joke so he proceeded to do his impersonation of a "coke stare" at the audience. It was about two real life minutes of Todd Bridges staring at us.
I was disheartened because there seemed to be places where these guys both had me and could have kept me if they just developed the personal material in more of an intimate way. I get that you are a celebrity but how does the person inside you handle that? Discuss!
Dustin was a nice guy off stage. Before the show he wanted to unwind and get ready so we didn't talk until after the show. It took a while for that to happen so I feared it may not. I sat with him as he ordered some post show food and we talked for fifteen minutes or so. He then excused himself after eating and never returned.
Todd avoided me at all costs it seemed. Before the show he just wanted to relax and get ready for the show. We would talk after. After the show he just wanted to leave and when he didn't seem to have a ride back to his hotel yet, he joined the Adult Hypnotist show that followed as an audience volunteer, He truly went out of his way not to be quoted in this blog that not a lot of people know about. Bruce and Jenn got pics from that show and Bruce is working on a piece about Hypnotism. So if nothing else we have that to look forward to.
All in all the night wasn't a total bust. Next time we will all be there so no worries. Right?
For more things I left out and a possible Q and A version of my interview with Dustin Diamond, send requests to email@example.com and I will attempt to post more goodies. Also, you can comment here.
-See Ya Out There!