Hey there ‘Red Heads… I bring good news from Bills country. First, let me extend my hearty thanks to Randy, Carrie, Dave, Tracy, and the rest of the crackerjack staff at the Comix Cafe for a fantastic weekend. All five shows packed with great crowds who were ready to have a good time. Also, thanks to emcee Anne Kurtis and headliner Blane Kelly, who provided the perfect Oreo cookies on either side of my sugared lard middle. If you’re ever up that way, I highly recommend checking out the Cafe. And now, my Buffalo travelogue:
THURSDAY– I packed up the Liberty and, under the guidance of MapQuest, ventured forth on a 7 hour schlep to Buffalo, NY. A tank of gas and $10.60 in tolls later, I was at the club and ready for the three days ahead. Apparently, a less established club in downtown Buffalo, Wit’s End, had gone belly up on Tuesday so two banquet crowds equaling roughly 70 people ended up taking their business to the Cafe. This pretty much sold out the Thursday night show, which is usually a crapshoot as far as crowd size and quality in the comedy world. The show went great and afterward it was KARAOKE TIME!! I didn’t sing, but I was happy to bathe in the drunken migraine that the evening quickly turned into. During a particularly horrible rendition of Piano Man, I remarked, “Billy Joel is spinning in his bed right now.” While the karaoke-ers took turns singing songs like they were angry at them, I got to know the club staff a bit better. Dave, the manager, I found out, is a professional wrestler…seriously. Much like comedy, there’s the big time and there’s the smaller circuit. Dave is Ice in Empire State Wrestling. I’m a wrestling fan, so I was more than happy to hear, first hand, about getting hit in the head with a steel chair. We swapped stories of performing in moose lodges and fire halls.
FRIDAY– Typically, on the road in a small town, there isn’t much to do during the day except go antiquing. Not so in Buffalo. My cousin, Janna, goes to school at the University of Buffalo that was a mere 3 exits down the highway from me. So, I sat in on her Abnormal Psychology lecture. The professor had a *ahem* distinct speaking voice…kind of a combination of Frances McDormand in Fargo and Edie McClurg in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. When I was in school, lectures like this went in one ear and out the other. With that voice, this lecture went in one ear, burrowed into my brain, and left a bloody trail on the way out the other. Oy vey. The lecture topic was “What is Abnormal?” One example of mania she mentioned was when a person was disturbed by the voices in their head. About 20 minutes into the lecture, I was praying for some form of schizophrenia…ANYTHING to get her voice out of my head. After that was over, I took my cousin out for lunch at Duff’s, a Buffalo institution. It was there I had my first steaming hot plate of sauced dismembered chicken appendages…yummy. Here’s the thing about spicy hot Buffalo wings, they taste great on the way in, then they sit in your stomach and slowly turn into hot razor blades for the trip out the other end. My apologies to my ass.
Both Friday night shows went great and my newly sharpened whoring skills sold $120 worth of CDs…more on the life and times of that money in Saturday’s recap.
SATURDAY– This was the day to do the touristy thing and go check out Niagara Falls. Before Saturday, the most I’d seen of the falls was in Superman II. The Buffalo weather had decided to show it’s true colors and I was greeted with freezing rain and blustery winds…not exactly sightseeing weather, but I had to see spectacular combination of water and gravity. It was about as impressive as water can be. I hear, that to get the full effect, you need to see it on the Canadian side…it was still pretty cool. After checking out an awe-inspiring wonder of the world, it’s best to take your high spirits and crush them at a casino…a place where dreams go to die. I mentioned my newly acquired CD money…it’s original purpose was to aid in the care and feeding of a sick puppy…me. Instead, it was donated in chip form to the firewater fund of the Seneca Indian tribe. My Indian name is Plays With Crappy Kicker.
The final night of shows at the Cafe brought a very judgmental crowd to the early show. My first 10 minutes of jokes were met with ewww’s and awww’s… I hate to do it, but I had to stop the set to let them know that the people in these jokes don’t exist…and don’t benefit from their pity. I got their dark side to show through in the end, but it was the first crowd of the weekend that really made me work for it.
On the whole, I give my Buffalo experience an A+. Great club. Great crowds. Great staff. Good times.
To be continued…