This Is How We Jew It

Hey there ‘Redheads… I hope everyone had a very merry and a holly jolly. 2007 is just about in the books, and I can honestly say…shit’s crazy. Speaking of which, I’d like to congratulate Tom Brady on winning the Super Bowl…the fantasy football Super Bowl of the 2007 Stand-up League. The Golden Boy, along with his go-to receiver Reggie Wayne, and bruising running back Fred Taylor carried me, their coach/general manager/owner to my first ever fantasy football championship. It was a rough season, starting out 0-3 and needing to win the last game of the regular season to get the last spot in the playoffs, but we hit our stride in the post season. My team’s name: 2007…Shit’s Crazy. My avatar is going to DisneyWorld.com!!

I’m not going to do a huge retrospective of how Britney be buggin’, or Anna Nicole be dyin’, or Don Imus be trippin’. If you want that, pick up the remote and turn on VH1…you two deserve each other. If you know me at all, you should know that my ego knows no bounds, and any look back at the year that was will be into a mirror. Yes, I probably think this year is about me…don’t I? So, sit back, relax, pretend you give a damn, and let’s get this last overdue blog going…

Before we rewind things, a huge thanks to Allyson from the DC Improv, John and the rest of the great staff of The Birchmere, and Good For The Jews, David Fagin and Rob Tannenbaum, for an amazing weekend. Just to help deconstruct that Rube Goldberg thank-you note, GFTJ contacted the DC Improv for a Jewish comic to open for them at the Birchmere, and I got the nod. It was a great couple of shows at a kick ass venue. A very cool way to cap off the year. Both shows were packed, though both nights’ crowds skewed a touch older than I was expecting. Old Jews tend to be a bit judgemental when you break out the Parkinson’s material, but they played along, and I was quick to point out, “Good thing Jews don’t believe in Hell, eh?” I was also happy to finally use my Nicotine Yarmulke joke in front of its intended demographic. Rob and David were great to work with. When I thanked them for having me, David noted that the choice was between me, “and a guy who’s comedy CD was called Mein Albumf.” If you can’t laugh at that, open the blog door and get out.

On Xmas Eve, I put on my dancin’ shoes (they’re prescription) and joined a couple hundred other chosen people, blacklisted by Santa, at the annual Matzo Ball in downtown DC. What better way to work up an appetite for General Tso’s chicken and milk duds the next day than to relive the awkward part of your Bar/Bat Mitzah? As you may know, dance is not my medium. I work mostly in water colors. Dance clubs aren’t my element. They’re not even on my periodic table. I can’t dance. I can’t walk. The only thing about me is the way I talk. The fact that I’m quoting a Phil Collins song, should tell you just how tragically white I am on the dance floor (Greek tragic). I’m here to tell you, I was not the worst dancer on the floor. There were poor bastards out there who made Napoleon Dynamite look like Helio Castroneves. They ran the gamut, from spastic to rigid. One guy looked like his feet were rooted to the floor…I’ve seen parking meters with better range of movement. He danced by bending at the waist, like one of those plastic drinking birds. The monster from Young Frankenstein could’ve served this guy. Anyway, long story short, I can’t stand dance clubs and I’m still a lonely Jew on Xmas. As a side note, one of the songs the DJ spun was the theme to The Jeffersons. To me, the height of irony is having a bunch of Jews shaking their trust funded groove thangs to that song. If you were wondering, the height of irony is apparently 5’6″.

Here now are a few of the top news blurbs from the blogs of 2007, as judged by me…just now.

From 2/22:
WASHINGTON (Feb. 21) – Drugs prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder will include guides to alert patients and parents of the risks of mental and heart problems, including sudden death.

Now, I’m not a doctor but, it’s my understanding that when a possible side effect of a drug is death, IT CEASES TO BE MEDICATION. Slap a Mr. Yuck sticker on it and keep it away from the children. Are these the lengths we’ll go to in order to ignore the lure of shiny objects? “Geez doc, Johnny seems to have gone limp.” “Yes, but he slumped over on his geometry homework.” The article continues…

The alerts also cover psychiatric problems, such as hearing voices, unfounded suspicions and manic behavior, of which there is a slightly increased risk in patients who take the drugs, the FDA said.

Hearing voices. Unfounded suspicions. That’s exactly what we need in kids that lose focus easily. Y’know, given my druthers, I think I’d rather be distracted by SHIT I CAN SEE. And nothing quite like a paranoid delusion to keep junior in his room with his nose to the grindstone. If you’re not careful, this’ll end up being his next book report…

From 4/04:
On to one of the funnier news stories I found recently in the Washington Post

Criteria for Depression Are Too Broad, Researchers Say
Guidelines May Encompass Many Who Are Just Sad

Up to 25 percent of people in whom psychiatrists would currently diagnose depression may only be reacting normally to stressful events such as a divorce or losing a job, according to a new analysis that reexamined how the standard diagnostic criteria are used.

Apparently, signs of depression include not being happy, not knowing that you’re happy, and an inability to clap your hands. Until the criteria can be narrowed down, doctors are simply prescribing their patients to get over themselves.


From 5/23:
Here’s a news story that has renewed my faith…

Female shark reproduces without sex
A female hammerhead shark that gave birth without sex has put the bite into conventional wisdom about reproduction among large vertebrates, according to research published Wednesday. The discovery is the first known case of asexual reproduction in sharks but it also raises concerns about the genetic health of dwindling shark populations, they say.

…that God is a vicious eating machine. We’re going to need a bigger bible. That’s right, we may have witnessed the birth of Shark Jesus (yes, I resisted the urge to call him Jawsus…give me some credit). He’ll be able to turn water into chum, feed 5000 with just one surfer, and…swim on dry land.

I can’t go any further without acknowledging one of the recurring themes of the blogs of ’07, my impossibly cute nephew, Mo. Most of these blogs would be nothing without this dimple dynamo squeezing a cheap grin out of you. Here now, is a year’s worth of Mo…

Well, ‘Redheads… That’ll just about do it for 2007. Thanks to everyone who made it a fun year. And thanks to you for reading about it. I hope 2008 brings more of the same: good friends, good laughs, and good timing. See ya then…

To be continued…

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Viva, Part 2: A Fuzzy Recollection

Hey there ‘Redheads… Happy Hanukkah to you and yours. Have a latke, some vodka, and blow your paycheck on some high stakes dreidel. You’ll have to excuse my usual blog lag. I’ve been a runny mess for the last week. With a schnoz like this, believe me when I tell you the last couple days have been my own personal Double Dare physical challenge. I’ve collected the bulk of my nose-leavins to sculpt a giant snot replica of The Thinker (enjoy your meals, folks). Ok, so before I try to scrape the account of my trip to Vegas off the bottom of my brain barrel, I want to get some quick plugs and thank yous out of the way, lest you check out on me in the middle of my stories of high rolling hobnobbery (look it up).

First, a big thank you to my good friend Chrissy (#1 on MySpace) and the DC Firefighters Burn Foundation for including me in their benefit for Children’s Hospital last week. Fellow funnyman, Rob Maher and I provided the comedy portion of the entertainment for the evening. There was a great turn out and they raised a bunch of money so some kids can have a happy holiday. Hopefully, this good deed will be enough to offset all of the petty crap I’ve done this year. Also on the bill, was a great local band, Rome In A Day. They rock…I’m holding up my lighter and swaying side to side as I type this. Do yourself a favor, click the link, and give them a listen. Rob and I took turns swooning over their lead guitarist, Ali, throughout the evening…for the kids.

On to the pluggage…
COME SEE ME AT WISEACRE’S IN TYSON’S CORNER
FRIDAY, DEC. 7TH @ 9:00
WITH HEADLINER MARK MATUSOF
ONE NIGHT. ONE SHOW. ONE…NEW JOKE.

or…

COME SEE ME AT THE COMEDY SPOT IN BALLSTON
SATURDAY, DEC. 15TH @ 7:30
WITH ADAM RUBEN, BEN ISAAC, AND LEO GOODMAN
JEW MAN GROUP

TIX ARE $14…and we’ll be picking up loose change off the floor.

For those of you clamoring for a local Jared fix, there ya go. I assume the rest of you have the patch. Now, finally, three weeks later, let’s get to my trip to Sin City. For those of you who would like a well-written account of most of it, please to be checking out Chris White’s blog (conveniently linked to your right). What you’re going to get from me is some basic detail with some cough-syrup enhanced embellishment and some pictures. Cool? Let’s light this menorah.

First, big thanks to the DC Improv and Chris White, who’s free hotel room in Caesar’s Palace I crashed in for the duration of the trip. Chris was one of 3 finalists from the DC regional bracket competing in Ziddio.com’s Lucky 21 contest. I was a close 57th. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I got into Vegas around 9 on Thursday night, just in time to drop my stuff off in the room and check out Chris’ first showcase. Also on his show were local favorites, John Betz Jr. and Al Goodwin. I went to take a quick bathroom break after Chris’ set and had my first celebrity sighting of the weekend, Brian Posehn from The Sarah Silverman Show. It was particularly surreal because I had just seen him on the plane ride in on a celebrity edition of The Weakest Link. It took every ounce of restraint to not accost him and tell him this. That restraint would come in handy later. After the show, we adjourned to the special VIP lounge that the festival had set up for those associated with the comedic goings-on (again, thanks to the DC Improv for getting me on the list). Who do we see heading to the lounge? Chris Rock and Jeff Ross. I got a good idea that restraint was going to be the theme of the weekend when dealing with the various famous and semi-famous people, when we saw Chris Rock rebuff a request for a picture by a random bystander. That will explain why there are no famous people in my collection of pictures. Instead, here’s one of me and my friend Becca just happy to be there…


The lounge was a sweet set up. Free food. Free booze. A foozball table. Plenty of vague high-ranking showbiz muckety-mucks to suck up to…it was a comic’s wet dream. It was also, as was the bulk of the festival, sponsored by Twix, so the thing might as well have been built out of candy. Here’s a quick run down of the rest of the celebrities we spotted, gawked at, and otherwise pretended not to give a flying fuck about: Nick Swardson, Bobby Lee, Bill Burr (shook hands with him, nice guy), Carrot Top, more VH1 talking heads than I can count, Marc Maron, Kevin Pollak, Patrice O’Neal, and Jim Breuer. For the most part I mixed and mingled with some familiar faces, Tony Deyo and Andy Hendrickson. We also ran into recent DC export Adam Jacobs. It was a cavalcade. So, that was the scene in the VIP lounge.

My first morning in Vegas, we had breakfast at a cafe in Caesar’s Palace. I had peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast, in tribute to The King. Then I continued my tribute by passing out on the toilet. After recovering from breakfast, on a suggestion from Chris, we trekked out to the Atomic Testing Museum and Casino.

Nothing like a little bit of historical destruction to temper your future gambling losses. The coolest thing in the museum was footage of houses on the test site being obliterated shot by cameras that can capture a 1000th of a second. You could wind the video back and forth, frame by frame. It was an apocalyptic flip book. They also had the list of every code name used for nuclear tests. My favorite: Ferret Prime. Sounds like the greatest band ever or the shittiest Transformer ever. They also had a timeline of the history of nuclear discovery as it related to moments in pop culture and regular historical events. It was what they chose for the pop culture that got me. Most made sense…see which one jumps out at you as out of place…

1980: John Lennon is shot.
1987: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is popular.
1989: The Simpsons and Seinfeld debut.

That puts things into perspective. 1987 stunk. Moving on. On our way back to the strip, we stopped for coffee. Keep an eye peeled, folks, because this drive-thru sensation is gonna sweep the nation…

SexxPresso. Coffee served by scantily clad vixens who got tired of working the day shift at Pizza Slut. The drinks have naughty names with double and triple entendres, and come in either A, B, or DD cups. A refreshing surprise was that these gals took being a barista seriously. The coffee came first (get your head out of the gutter). One word, people: franchise.

We also took in a Vegas show. So many to choose from, we wanted to have a truly unique experience, so the dart we threw landed on the bullseye of…Topless Vampire Revue. That makes it sound so tawdry. Yeah, sounds about right. We went to see Bite at the Stratosphere. Chris does a great job of crystallizing the show in his recent blog entry. The only thing I’ll add is never has a show been so accurately described by its title. It had its moments, but for the most part, it was laughable. The vampiresses writhed to such rock anthems as “Welcome to the Jungle”, “Cat Scratch Fever”, and “Stairway to Heaven”. They did so under the direction of the Lord Vampire, who looked like he didn’t make it past the table read at WWE auditions for The Undertaker. Overall, the set looked like it was out of Ed Wood’s high school musical. Yes, I realize I’m critiquing a show that basically revolves around undead boobs (thumbs up on those, btw). The one redeeming part of the show were the most convincing audience plants I’ve ever seen. They were brought up on stage and “bitten”. They turned out to be amazing acrobats. Check out the video…

The other great audience plant was an unassuming guy who had a gimpy hand. Well, after he got bitten, he kept his gimp hand strong and turned out to be a better than average singer. If it weren’t for those performers, it would’ve been a wash.

Be sure to look for my east coast topless vampire revue, Suck. Chris also came up for another great monster-themed topless revue…shaved werewolves. Hot.

Once again, my poor blog time management is getting the better of me, so the last thing I’ll mention, in a bit of horn tootage, is that I took 3rd in a poker tournament my last day there. It started at 3pm…I played ’til 8:30. My winnings ended up paying for my trip.

Good times.

To be continued…