Small Victories

Editor’s Note: This installment was erased in a flash due to blogger error after a couple painstaking hours of putting it together. The following is an attempt to recreate it…

Hey there ‘Redheads… Well, it looks like March is living up to form. In like a lion, out like a cheetah on crystal meth. Time is flying by faster than I can put things off. I’m worried that this might be a sign that I’m having too much fun…at this rate, if I have any more, tomorrow it’ll be May…’09. Fear not, gentle reader. I dare not tamper with the space/time continuum simply to indulge my own shits and giggles. Whatever rationed fun I do have, you can find in this half-assed annal. Speaking of which, let’s pick a cheek (I’m partial to the right, but if it is half-assed, then I guess I’m just partial…wow…stay with me, people) and take a look at the week.

First of all, big ups to Georgetown for being the lone survivor in the Donner party that was my NCAA brackets. If they end up winning it all, I can salvage some dignity having picked the champ. Other than that, the tourney was a total wash. It is very cool to see a local team make it to the Final Four. Especially at the expense of UNC…I haven’t seen a choke job like that since the hit on Luka Brasi in The Godfather.
Georgetown distinguished itself another way last week by holding the last and, in my opinion, the best round of the DC Improv’s District’s Funniest College competition. I had the pleasure of judging the contest along with the fetching comedy correspondent from the DCist, Erin Zimmer. The show was held in a cool little black box theater that was supposed to seat around 75, but the steady influx of students swelled to about 125. And the contestants came to play. This round had some of the best joke writing that I’d seen in the competition thus far. Be sure to check out the finals on April 11th at the DC Improv. Come out and show these kids that there’s more to life than a quality education.

On Friday, I learned, or rather reinforced, a valuable life lesson. When in doubt, show up. Always err on the side of getting out of the house. After wrestling with the thought of staying in for the evening, I put a choke hold on my slothitude (look it up) and managed to pry my ass off the couch for an evening of funny goings on. I was rewarded for my efforts almost immediately as I walked out the door and found a twenty dollar bill of the ground. Already the universe was letting me know this was a good decision…or, it was apologizing ahead of time for a shitty night. Either way, I was in the plus column. I headed to the Arlington Drafthouse, a budding mecca for the local comedy community, to see some of my favorite peers, Rob Maher, Joe Robinson, Danny Rouhier, Jon Mumma, and Seaton Smith. I arrived about a half-hour before show time to the sounds of laughter coming from the showroom. Who do I find fielding questions from a packed house of fans? Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, co-creators of Shaun of the Dead and soon to be released cop comedy, Hot Fuzz. Apparently, there was a screening of the latter and they were kind enough to hang out afterward for a right proper Q & A (yes, quite). So, for those of you keeping score, I’m $20 richer and I stumbled onto a minor celebrity sighting…Jared 2, Couch 0. I also found out that my CD has been getting some spins on the brand new Comedy Nonsense radio show on 106.7 WJFK. The show is on Thursdays at midnight…not exactly drive time, but if you leave your radios on, you can absorb the hilarity during REM sleep.

In the wake of Friday’s success, I figured I’d try to keep the streak alive with a Saturday night of bowling with my good buddies Chris and Allyson and two of her gal pals, who’s names escape me because it’s late and I’m having to wring my brain sponge to try and re-type this extra meaty blog. Anywho, bowling has always been a fickle mistress. Either it’s a rollicking good time where thousands cheer or it’s a frustrating demonstration of how many ways a ball can be heaved into the gutter. Even when the good time prevails, I’m not very good. I throw for power, not accuracy. That, combined with weak wrists, means I have trouble breaking 100 during an earthquake (those pins were set up under a door frame). In order to spice up the competition, we put trophies up for grabs…and by trophies, I mean a stuffed cow and bunny that we were able to extract from the arcade claw machine. For me, it wasn’t about winning. It was about not embarrassing myself on the hardwood against Chris, an avid bowler and host of the Chris White Invitational, and Allyson, who used to bowl in a league and hustles alley birthday parties to feed her $1000 a day ceramic clown habit (jeez, it’s getting late…I’ll hang in there if you do). In the first game I rolled a feeble 77, but I was encouraged by a couple late frame spares and a strike. I was also happy to see that chucking around a 12 pound ball for 10 frames hadn’t sapped the strength from my flabby pipe cleaner of an arm. On to round two, with the bunny on the line. I started off strong with a pin shattering strike that let the others know that I was in it to win it. The bravado was thick as Chris and I traded taunts and fist pumps while the pins fell. The final score: Chris 100, Jared 123…game, set, bunny.

Looking to the comedy horizon, you can help in the fight against Autism by checking out the Baltimore Comedy Fest this weekend. Two nights of some of the best comedy Charm City has to offer. I’ll be on the kick-off show on Friday night along with the hilarious Mike Aronin, Sonya King, Jon Mumma, and Doug Powell (see him while the seein’ is good). It’s for a great cause, so join us as we use our powers for good instead of gleeful evil. Remember, when in doubt, show up.

To be continued…

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Running Up

Hey there ‘Redheads… Before I get things rolling, do you think that this would make a funny t-shirt…?


Maybe? I came up with the line the other day, and I thought it’d be the kind of thing that disaffected youth might blow $20 on at Hot Topic. I’ve promised myself that I won’t be sinking any more money into merchandising until I sell a few more crates of CDs (available online at the DCImprov.com…scroll down to find me sandwiched between Dennis Miller and Mitch Hedberg). Which means I won’t be venturing into the pre-shrunk cotton wasteland of t-shirts ’til about ’09…2109.

Unfortunately, it’s time to mop up the blood from wearing my heart on my sleeve for my recently dispatched Maryland Terrapins. They fought a good fight, but in the end they were felled by a questionable charging call and the sharpshooting of Butler’s A.J. Graves. You shouldn’t question this kid’s resolve. He did, after all, destroy the one ring in the fires of Mount Doom…

The pride of J.R.R. Tolkein High…

To compound my Terps anguish, my NCAA tourney brackets are a complete mess. Of the teams that made it to the Sweet 16, I correctly picked 8 of them. For those of you playing along at home, that’s 50%. I could’ve just flipped a roll of quarters and gotten the same result as my spotty knowledge of college basketball was able to prophesy. I guess I was kinda screwed because I mainly follow the ACC, and of the 7 ACC teams in the tournament, only one made it to the round of 16. So, in search of a cinderella team to root for to take it all, I now throw this blog’s support behind the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Where blackjack is a varsity sport.

On Saturday, I got a chance to do a very cool show at the DC JCC with World Champion, Judah Friedlander. It was the kickoff of a series of events for the twenty-something Jewish social scene. Not exactly how I pictured spending my St. Patty’s Day, but they dyed the Maneschevitz green to make it festive. The show itself was in a pretty nice theater that held 200+ and it was completely sold out. The way the seats were sloped, from the stage it was like looking at a wall of people. The show went great…I got them worked into a laughing lather for about 15 minutes, then made way for Judah.

It may not seem physically possible, but we’re all #1

After the show was over, I mingled with the crowd as they exited the theater and was approached by more than one young lass who couldn’t fathom that my material about not getting laid could be true. Once again, my apparent Clooneyish good looks betray me. Listen ladies, if you can’t believe it, then I leave it to you to make it less awkward to interact with you. That way you can serve as your own control group to test your hypothesis. Some of you can have yourself some Jared…others will get sugar water. You tell me what’s sweeter. Let the experimentation begin…

To be continued…

Mad As Hell

Hey there ‘Redheads… With all the hub-bub about the 100th post, I neglected to mention the madness of the NCAA tourney and the gambling thereon (it’s phrases like that that make me wonder if “Charlize” is a verb…it might explain why I keep thinking about conjugating her…best to just move past the parenthesis). This is the time of year that turns the average housewife into the Oracle at Delphi because they pick the perfect bracket based solely on which team’s mascot is the cutest. Amidst all of the bracketology and the in depth team by team breakdowns, the nation’s productivity levels plummet while the degenerate gambling populace check their brackets at work more frequently than I think about conjugating Charlize Theron. I filled out two brackets this year, one on paper and one on ESPN.com with some comedy friends. Looking back on it, picking Florida A&M to win it all was probably a long shot. My brackets have more ugly picks than a guy who eats his scabs.
As crappy as my picks were, I was right about the only two things that matter to me. Terps won. Duke lost. Let me say again, Duke lost. In the first round. And everyone saw it coming. On a day that saw all of the other high seeds advance, they were the lone upset. Mmmm…just a spoonful of sugar to watch the Dukies go down…Duke tears, by the way, are nature’s sweet n’ low. They’re a hateable team…it’s not news, I know but, as a UMd alum (best 7 years of my life…and no, I’m not a doctor), I take special satisfaction in watching the Dukies take a tumble while we play on. It also irks the shit out of me that Coach K looks like the mascot. It’s as if that foam rubber outfit wished it could be a real boy. In case you missed it, here’s the only minute that mattered from Thursday night…

Oh, is this a dagger I see before me? Love it.

Go Terps.

To be continued…

Numbers

Welcome ‘Redheads, to the 100th installment of this collection of corny chronicles. Sure, 100 blogs may not seem like alot in the grand blog scheme, but keep in mind that my compulsive procrastination and complete lack of follow-thru should’ve doomed this little exercise about 90 installments ago. With 100 in the bag, I think it’s time to start a new chapter…or lengthen the run-on sentence. You’ll notice, just below the hit counter, that I’ve sold out. Hopefully, I can squeeze a couple dimes out of this thing over the next 100 installments. I’ve got a pack of Ramen noodles that I’ve got my eye on. Enough with the shameless plea for spare change. Let’s take one down, pass it around, and get on with the business of #100…which is coming to you one hour sooner, thanks to daylight savings time.
Let’s get the math out of the way and figure out just how many of you still check in on this thing. The formula is (# of hits3 x # of installments since the counter was put in…to account for the number of times I check it)/ the number of installments since the counter was put in. That comes to:

(9000 – 225)/75 = 117
It’s good to see that the amount of potential readers does actually outnumber the installments. Just think, in 17 more posts, you can each have the kind of 1 on 1 attention that is normally not seen outside of nursing home patients and the severely retarded. You’re special. I’m hoping that the eventual completion of JaredLive.com (any day now) will give the readership a goose…or a cornish hen…or something.
A big thanks to the DC Improv for opening the doors of the brand new DC Improv Comedy Lounge to Danny Rouhier, Jon Mumma, and myself for it’s first local stand-up showcase. And thanks to the people who sold out the show and packed it just shy of fire code violation. Granted, it only holds 60 people, but the atmosphere was intimate and made for contagious laughter and Danny, Jon, and I should’ve been quarantined. After the show, we were approached by a couple people who told us they chose to come to our show instead of the main room show, with Pablo Francisco. Others just got sold out of that show and decided to laugh at us instead. Either way, it was a cool night.
It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops, however. Just before the show got started, we learned that Richard Jeni shot himself. Yeesh. Apparently, while his girlfriend was making breakfast, he remembered how he liked his brains…scrambled (I am going straight to hell).

Thanks for reading the first 100 blogs. Here’s to 100 more…or at least one.

To be continued…

The Waaaaiting Is The Hardest Part…

Hey there ‘Redheads… We’re only one installment away from the arbitrary milestone of 100 blogs. I’ve had a few of those recently…5000 hits, the one year mark, most grammatical errors, all of which have just been convenient excuses to fill this space with recycled content. Rest assured, the 100th installment will have…more conveniently recycled content than those. Only the best for you, my throng of fan (I leave off the “s” for…well, for accuracy *sigh*). In the meantime, let’s get on with 99.

So, for the first time ever, I’m bummed that I don’t live in New Jersey or Georgia. Sadly, my fortune cookie numbers failed to hit the $370 million lottery. These things have got to hit at some point. With fortunes like: “You will be fortunate in everything”, “There are coincidences”, and “God will give you everything you want”, how can I lose (I shit you not, these are actual fortunes I’ve gotten)? Perhaps things will turn around for me next year, the Year of the Jew. In order to increase my chances for the next big jackpot, I’m gonna move to Wisconsin and get a job at a meat recycling plant. I’m also going to age myself about 50 years and take up fishing. I had plans for that money. Actually, my plans didn’t extend much past answering the question about my plans for the money…two words: nuclear program. Oh well, so much for financial planning.

I saw a very cool movie over the weekend. Do yourself a favor and check out Black Snake Moan. Easily the better of the two Samuel L. Jackson snake movies. This is his best take-no-shit-bad-ass performance since Pulp Fiction. He plays a lovelorn southern farmer who finds Christina Ricci’s nubile nymphomaniac unconscious on the side of a dirt road and, in an attempt to keep her from further depraving herself, chains her to his radiator. Let the healing begin. This movie is equal parts engaging, disturbing, and darkly comic. And is not ruined by Justin Timberlake. If there’s any justice, we’ll see Mr. Jackson on stage at the Oscars, performing nominee for Best Song, “Bucket of Blood”.
Speaking of Sam Jackson, he’s probably the most prolific actor of our generation. He’s in everything. Without consulting IMDB (you’re gonna have to trust me on this one), here’s 10 off the top of my head, not including the 3 mentioned above:
Unbreakable
Deep Blue Sea
Triple X
Die Hard With a Vengeance
The 3 shitty Star Wars prequels
The Incredibles
Shaft
Changing Lanes
He’s also got small parts in Coming to America, Sea of Love, and Goodfellas. I’m thinking it’s time to put Kevin Bacon out to pasture and bring the 6 Motherfuckin’ Degrees of Samuel L. Jackson (patent pending) into the pop culture landscape. Feel free to play at home.

On Sunday, join your favorite amiable zany and fellow local funnymen, Jon Mumma and Danny Rouhier for the first ever stand-up showcase at the freshly birthed DC Improv Comedy Lounge. We’ll each be doing 30 minutes of our own brands of hilarity in an intimate atmosphere. So, come laugh at us up close for a mere $10. Click here. Be there.

To be continued…

V

Hey there ‘Redheads… Welcome to March. The month of the madness. One of the greatest sports months on the calendar, provided your sport is gambling on college basketball. This particular NCAA tourney will be extra special, because it’s the first time in 3 years that my Terps will be taking part. They’re a very convenient team to root for, because I already bleed red (we won’t discuss where the black and yellow come from). The only thing that stunk about last night’s drubbing of Duke, were the techinical difficulties suffered by ESPN. The last 5 minutes of the game had to be acted out by Scott Van Pelt and Stuart Scott doing shadow puppetry while Dick Vitale narrated because the video feed got screwed up. It went from HD to Orson Welles radio drama. Long story short: Fuck Duke.

Today-ish marks a comedic milestone for me. Stick a candle in a cupcake and wish me a happy comedy birthday. I’m five. Yes, it was the end of February 2002 when I went to my very first open mic at the now defunct comedy hole in the wall that was Wichester’s in Baltimore. If my memory serves me correctly, Mike Shader was the host that night. I had scribbled down what I thought was 5 minutes of material…turns out it translated into 3 nervous yammering minutes on stage. I have in front of me, the set list from that night. I’m happy to say, I don’t do any of those jokes anymore. Let me see if I can transcribe some of my embryonic chickenscratch for you…

Material:
Grandpa Izzy –> senile memoirs…wrote the first unauthorized autobiography, entitled Where The Hell Am I and Who The Hell Are You People? He claims he discovered irony, when he got fired from the unemployment office.

I have dyslexic amnesia…I have no memory of what’s about to happen to me.

I do alot of community service…every morning I hit the streets to provide the homeless with fresh…cardboard and sharpies. I teach them alliteration: Homeless, Hungry, Help. I also do work with the BFMSM…which is Bouquets For Median Strip Mexicans.

That’s the most I can piece together from the ancient text. Besides, I should leave some mysteries for comedic scholars to ponder when they open the shitty comedy wing of the Smithsonian. I think I’ve done well to walk upright in the stand-up world since then. In Jerry Seinfeld’s documentary, Comedian, he says that your age in comedy parallels the development of a child at that age. 5 years old…I’m pretty well potty trained, able to handle the shit that comes my way…and I say the darndest things, don’t I? Pretty soon, it’ll be time to go to school, whatever the hell that means. So, here’s to further development and unstunted growth. I’ve got some cool play dates coming up. Be sure to check out the show at the brand spankin’ new DC Improv Comedy Lounge on March 11th. Myself and two other funny little stinkers, Jon Mumma and Danny Rouhier, will be doing 30 minutes apiece. Come laugh at our fart jokes. Click here. Be there.

Speaking of cute kids, check out this video of my nephew, Mo…

Admit it…you just tried tickling the computer screen.

Also, a happy 30th birthday to DC comedy den mother, Amy Mumma. She had a humdinger of a party last Sunday at Chuck E. Cheese for adults, Dave & Buster’s. The comedy sewing circle in attendance had a grand time telling stories that cannot be reprinted here…let’s just say it was a gas (for those who were there: nudge nudge wink wink). And it better be 30 more years before I see Justin Schlegel’s yam bag with balloons tied to it again. Look for pictures from the event in a future installment…don’t worry, not of the aforementioned yam bag.
(UPDATE 3/02/07: Got ’em…here they are)

Even when posing for pictures, at least one of us kept it gangsta…or something.


An Amy & facial hair sandwich…yummy.

Here’s Jay Hastings, reenacting his favorite scen from Jacob’s Ladder.

There you have it…photographic proof we had a good time.

Go Terps.

To be continued…