Quickie

Hey there ‘Redheads… Just a quick installment to freshen things up. First, thanks to everyone who voted for my digital self in that YouTube TurboTax contest. Unfortunately, I don’t think it got me to the next stage of the competition. C’est la vie.

Tonight through Sunday, you can come support me live and in person at the DC Improv. I’m hosting the week’s slate of shows with headliner, Ian Bagg. Thumb your nose at Mother Nature and come enjoy some comedy and burritos in a dark basement. Click the link for tix and info.

If you don’t have plans for Friday night. One of the finest funk virtuosos on the planet is in town at the State Theatre. Do yourself a favor and check out Victor Wooten as he slaps is electric bass silly. Here’s a small sample of him on el quatro stringendo solo basso profundo de electronique

And it’s not often I tell you to check out an SNL sketch, but this one tickled me as a drifted to sleep in my Hanover, PA hotel room. You have to have seen There Will Be Blood for it to be funny…just sayin‘ is all…

See you at the Improv

To be continued…

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Taxation Representation

Hey there ‘Redheads… Happy St. Patty’s Day to one and all. Here’s hoping the technicolor yawn from your green beer binge is an easy clean-up. I didn’t wear any green today, but I was envious of everyone who did, so my psyche was Irish.

Today’s installment is a call to arms…to fingers, actually. I need to mobilize my legion of loyal readers to the noblest of endeavors. Voting…in a YouTube contest…for me. Yes, the tax jokes I’ve foisted upon you in the last two installments have been performed, recorded, and uploaded. Now, all they need is your blind clickable approval. Here’s how the finished product turned out…

Yes, I’m a shill. I’m over it. Here’s the vital voting information you’ll be needing to help make my YouTube dreams come true…

1. Go to TaxLaugh.com
2. Click on VOTE
3. Type “Jared” into the video search
4. Click on my video (it’ll say “laughtrack” next to it)
5. Vote…lots…seriously, tempt carpal tunnel

Fly, my winged monkeys!! Vote like the wind!!

As a reward for your putting up with my antics, I have some cool audio and funny video for you to cram into your various sensory inputs. Here are some kick-ass mash-ups I found in the last couple days…

Sledgehammer & the Cherry Tree
Mash Me Amadeus
Jenny’s Superstitious
Funky Goes To Hollywood

There you go. Music to vote by. Also, I got this video from my buddy Christian aka Skinnen Bones MC. For the last 8 months, Christian has been working at an American theme park in South Korea. Here’s the email I got from him last week…

Hi everyone, I’ve had a blast living in South Korea the last eight months. My budddies and I just shot a music video for a song we wrote and recorded called “Kickin’ it in Geumchon.” Geumchon is a small city 15 minutes from where we live. Check out the video to see what our life in Korea is like. Hope you’re well.

I’m Jared Stern and I approve this message.

To be continued…

The Rewrite

Hey there ‘Redheads… Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on the tax jokes from the last installment. I was able to pick the brains of my comedy comrades at Wiseacre’s and made some rewrites, edits, and additions to what I had before. And, just so I can make some sense of my chicken scratch, here’s the revised version…

Tax time is coming up soon. Taxes are a sticky time of year for comedians because we ride the poverty line like a bear on a unicycle in the Russian circus. My cash flow situation makes Tom Joad look like the Monopoly guy. Unless IRS stands for Internal Ramen Noodle Service, there’s not a whole lot I ca kick back to the government. Alot of times, I’m paid in free drinks. Last year, a brewery claimed me as a dependant. I can’t exactly put a stamp on a six-pack and expect to be square with Uncle Sam.

Deductions are tough to figure out too. What about all the times I donated my services and was funny without compensation? What’s the blue book value of a witty retort? It doesn’t help that the tax code is so complicated it makes Shakespeare read like See Spot Run. You need a degree in finance and a black belt in sudoku. Ben Franklin once said, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Just to make sure, now there’s a death tax. I can only imagine it means if you croak before you file, the government is allowed to take an arm and a leg post-mortem.

If you think you’ve got it bad, pity my friend, the accountant. Every year at tax time, he locks himself in a bunker and starts crunching numbers like The Count on meth. He becomes so reclusive, he makes Dick Cheney look like Rachel Ray.

But all is not lost because now there’s TurboTax. You plug in your tax information and TurboTax makes sense of it all for you. It takes the Rubik’s cube of taxes and gets all the colors to line up. It’s easy.

I streamlined or removed completely some of the more circuitous references. I feel like it needs one last punch to wrap it up, so I don’t seem like such a shill. Any ideas? I’m open to suggestions. It got a decent reaction when I tried it on stage (after cluing the audience in to what I was doing), but it needed to flow better and sound more natural…as natural as tax jokes can sound anyway. Hopefully, I’ll have the video recorded and posted for your voting pleasure in the next couple of days.

For you ‘Redheads in the Baltimore area, if you’ve got nothing better to do on Thursday, check out…

Also, please to be focusing any excess positive mojo you might have to spare on getting the Maryland Terrapins through the ACC tournament. They’re gonna need all the help they can get, and I’m not above using a mystical monkey paw to get it done. The madness starts Thursday…I’m hiring a family of gypsies to step in front of the Boston College bus before the game.

To be continued…

Marching In…

Hey there ‘Redheads… Welcome to the month of madness. Sadly, my Terps turned purple choking on a 20 point lead and lost a game that’ll probably keep them out of the NCAA tournament. Degenerate gambling just isn’t the same without a real rooting interest to pin your hopes to. It turns out, everything I know is wrong. I just found out that one of ingredients of the miracle cold fighter, Airborne, is bullshit, apparently. You might as well pop a Pez when you feel a cold coming on. They lost a class action lawsuit for false advertising that’ll have them cutting checks like Steve Martin at the end of The Jerk. I also ran across this depressing item…

MILWAUKEE (March 4) – Gary Gygax, who co-created the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons and helped start the role-playing phenomenon, died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva. He was 69. He had been suffering from health problems for several years, including an abdominal aneurysm, said his wife, Gail Gygax.

I’ll put this in terms that the bereaved geeks will understand. He was losing hit points and was finally unable to make a saving throw vs. death. May a chorus of Umber Hulks sing thee to thy rest… His spirit will live on…in the hearts of people who have no life.

Originally, I wasn’t going to make this an official blog. I was futzing around, putting some ideas down in cyberspace to use for a YouTube contest that’s being sponsored by TurboTax, and I figured I post it for feedback. They want entrants to come up with tax jokes, with the eventual message being that TurboTax is the easy way to do it. So, I put together a small tax bit, in the style of a Dennis Miller rant (they’re fun to do…once you figure out the formula, it’s sardonic Mad-Libs). Here’s what I have so far…

Tax time is coming up soon. Taxes are a sticky time for most comedians because we ride the poverty line like a bear on a unicycle in the Russian circus. Unless IRS stands for Internal Ramen Noodle Service, there’s not a whole lot I can kick back to the government. Alot of times, I’m paid in free drinks. I can’t exactly put a stamp on a shot of Jager and expect to be square with Uncle Sam. Although last year, the Anheuser Busch brewery claimed me as a dependant. And deductions are tough to figure out. What about all the times I’ve donated my services and was charming and witty without proper compensation? What’s the blue book value of a fart joke?

For most people, doing their taxes is so horrific they get the same gut wrenching reactions as when they watch 2 Girls, 1 Cup. It doesn’t help that the tax code is so complicated, it makes Macbeth in Swahili read like the Cliff Notes to See Spot Run.

If you think you’ve got it bad, pity my friend, the accountant. Every year around this time he becomes so reclusive, he makes Dick Cheney look like Rachel Ray. He locks himself in a bunker and starts crunching numbers like Cookie Monster let loose in a Thin Mint factory.

All is not lost, though. Our push-button age that lets us google our youtubes has also brought us TurboTax. You plug in all of your information and suddenly you’ve gone from Laurel and Hardy to Ernst and Young.

Lotsa so *blank* it makes *blank* look like *blank*. It needs tweaking. I’m not trying to write Twain over here. I just want a passable entry into a YouTube contest. Not the loftiest of goals, but it’ll divert my deficit of attention for the time being.

Quick programming note: Turns out that I won’t be working with Judah Friedlander when I return to the DC Improv, March 26th-30th. Instead, Ian Bagg will be the headliner. His name is a much smaller score in Scrabble, but don’t let that keep you from checking out the show.

Switching gears to a serious matter, please take the time to follow the link and read about a plight that has befallen comedy comrade, Ryan Conner.

To be continued…