I, XXXIII

Hey there ‘Redheads… Long time, no type. I’ve been suffering from low blog motivation for some reason. Luckily, another stunt month is quickly approaching…Blogtober. Try to contain yourselves, really. Some time has passed since the last installment, and a metric shit-ton of blog worthy stuff has happened. Most notably, I recently became divisible by eleven. I turned 33 last week and have just recently finished the whirlwind celebration. Unlike previous birthdays in my thirties, I don’t feel much older this time around. For 31 and 32 I expected to look in the mirror and see Lance Henrikson staring back at me. Not this time…it was just another day with cake. By the way, there needs to be some kind of federal regulation on the sugar content of birthday cake frosting. I nearly went into a diabetic coma from a single whiff of the stuff. The cake should’ve come with an epi-pen. I’m just saying, I’d like to enjoy my 33rd without risking my shot at the 34th, to stick a fork in it without having to stick one in me, to have my cake and not eat it too…ok, I’m done (it’s been a couple weeks…making sense is not a high priority). Speaking of super sweet, I got a call from my impossibly cute nephew, Mo, and he sang his nearly two-year-old version of Happy Birthday to me. That pretty much turned me into pudding for the rest of the day. So, I’m older. And so is this blog, by the way. The official blog-iversary was the 15th. I usually break out the digital confetti and break down how many of you very patient people give this rambling mess a looksee, but this time I’ll just say thank you for reading and hope you stick around for another year of poorly crafted procrastination. Onward and upward.

I have been busy these last couple of weeks in the comedy department, travelling to Harrisburg, Greensboro, Baltimore, and most recently, Youngstown. Big thanks to Dave, Tony, Crystal, and the rest of the fine staff at the Funny Farm. This was my third time working for them in their third different location. The previous two were located in hotels, but this new one is a more permanent comedy compound that is a converted Damon’s Steakhouse. Nice place. When I pulled into the parking lot, I didn’t know what my accommodations were going to be. The lovely Crystal informed me that the club rented a nearby apartment for the comics to stay. Groovy. I got the following directions to get there: Go around the building and turn left. Go past the trailer park and look for the house with the Winnebago in front and turn right. You’ll see a four-unit apartment building on your left. I say again, ga-roovy. I got there and met the headliner, Bill Scott. He informed me that the cable was out, so there wasn’t a functioning TV. Upon further inspection of the apartment, we also found that all of the towels left for up were damp and moldy. And there was a persistent funk coming from…somewhere. My first guess was the crawlspace that I found in my room. It appears we were stuck in the renter’s sequel to The Shining. Luckily, I had decided to bring my PS2 with me to use as a DVD player, so we weren’t completely lost. The only other source of entertainment was a wooden cabinet that slid open to reveal an 8-track/record player/stereo. The knob for volume was labelled “loudness”. We found a selection of polka cassettes for the 8-track and an Up With People record, which we immediately attempted to play backward to summon a denizen of the netherworld who could appreciate this place. After the show was done on Thursday night, Bill and I went to the all-night K-Mart to grab some supplies for the rest of the weekend…they were out of holy water, unfortunately. I did pick up a fresh towel and a cheap deck of cards and poker chips. Luckily, Bill was a fellow degenerate gambler, so we spent a large chunk of time playing heads up poker. We figured we had nothing to lose.
On Friday, Bill and I went to the local mall to kill some time. While were chowing down on some mediocre pizza from the off-brand Sbarro clone in the food court, Bill dropped some knowledge on me. He was enjoying a grape Fanta with his cheesy shingle and he asked, “Do you know the story behind Fanta?” I did not. Apparently, Fanta is the brand that Coca-cola came up with so they could continue selling soda to Germany during WWII. They didn’t want pictures of Nazis drinking all-American Coke, so Fanta was born. Our sick minds wondered what the ad campaigns must’ve been like. I came up with Fanta: The final solution for your thirst.
On Saturday, emboldened by my success playing poker against Bill, I tried to raise the stakes of my disappointment, by driving 45 minutes to nearby Chester, WV to check out the Mountaineer Casino. Unfortunately, the one tournament they had running in the poker room was a $235 buy-in, which was a smidge too rich for my blood. So, since I had come to play cards and lose money, I bought in for $100 in chips and sat down at a $1-$2 no limit table. I won one hand as was feeling pretty good, then I was dealt King-Jack and the flop came Ace-King-Jack…two pair. The turn was a five. Then the river was a Queen. So there was a potential straight on the board that I didn’t have and the guy to my left raises to $40. I had already called previous bets on the flop and turn, but he didn’t seem like he had the ten. I called. I turn over my King-Jack. He turns over Ace-Queen. I begin muttering to myself. I think I spent more time driving to the fucking casino than I did at the table. That was worth it. Luckily, I sold enough CD’s to offset that lapse in judgement. Fun bunch of shows in Youngstown and Bill was great to work with.

This week, Oct. 1st – 5th, I’ll be hosting the slate of shows at my favorite club, the DC Improv. After four weeks on the road, it’ll be nice to play roughly 20 minutes from Stately Stern Manor. I’ll be working with Jim Florentine for the second time in three weeks. He was fun to work with up in Baltimore, so this should be a good week. Come check us out.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the current political and financial climate that is currently swirling around us like the ghosts that seeped out of the ark at the end of Raiders (don’t look at it). Sarah Palin looks like she won a reality show to get on the Republican ticket. I caught part of her interview with Katie Couric. The phrase “moose in headlights” comes to mind. I do, however, think that John McCain is the best candidate to lead us through the impending depression…because he lived through the last one. I don’t understand the bailout. I have no head for money. I had all of my assets converted into skee ball tickets. I just want someone to put it in terms that I can understand…

Happy New-Jew Year to everybody. It’s 5769 and still no flying cars…come on people.

To be continued…

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Toe Tappin’ Fun

Hey hey, ‘Redheads… July has been a lean month for bloggage. The big Vegas blog in the last installment doesn’t make up for a month of slackitude. Which is why it’s time for another stab at stunt blogging to try to rebuild readership (back to 3). By the time you read this, it’ll be…Blogust. Please, contain yourselves. I wanted to sneak in one last installment before those festivities begin. So, here are a couple quick hits to get the blog rolling…

For those of you rabid ‘Redheads who have been itching to hop in a VW bus and follow me like Phish, I give you my upcoming schedule. Thankfully, the comedy stars have aligned and I’ve strung together enough dates to make it worth your (and my) while…

Blogust 15th @ The Bottle Factory in Salisbury, MD
Blogust 29th & 30th @ The Comedy Zone in Harrisburg, PA
Sept. 5th & 6th @ The Comedy Zone in Greensboro, NC
Sept. 7th @ The Comedy Zone in Fayetteville, NC
Sept. 11th – 13th @ The Baltimore Comedy Factory…guess where.
Sept. 18th – 20th @ The Funny Farm in Youngstown, OH

Slap that on a t-shirt. Then print up a bunch of ’em for me, would ya? That’d be great. You might’ve noticed that the upcoming DC Comedy Fest is not on that calendar. There’ve been some rumblings among the DC comedy community about the make-up of the Fest. I’ve given up on letting contest/festival rejection stick in my craw. I’ve coated my craw in teflon, so the no-thank-yous just slide off now. That being said, a big thanks to the fine chaps at Top Shelf for putting together a slate of shows filled to the brim with all the local talent the DC Comedy Fest left out.


I’d also like to thank them for including me…and for only charging me $34. Hopefully, despite being on the Top Shelf, enough people will be able to reach us… Not sure where on said shelf I am just yet…stay tuned.

Here’s some new ear candy for you to suck on…




Instructions: 1) Click ’em. 2) Rock out.

See ya in Blogust…

The Buckeye of the Beholder

Hey there ‘Redheads… Greetings from beyond the PA turnpike. I’m back from a great weekend of shows at the Funny Farm in Youngstown, OH. Big thanks to Tony and the rest of the staff for making my first time there a pleasant one. Before I get into the details of the trip, I’d like to let those who care know that my impossibly cute nephew, Mo, has said his first word. That word? Wow. That’s one of the things I love about the little guy, he appreciates what it means to be a baby…exploration, discovery, and drooling on those discoveries. Everything is pretty new to him, so it figures that he should be in a constant state of amazement…now he can voice it.

Wow, my uncle is a dork…

I can’t wait to talk to him about last weekend, so it can sound like someone gives a wet Huggie. Until then, I’ll settle for assuming that you guys do…

So, Youngstown was a fun trip. The club is in a Holiday Inn, nestled in the back of the hotel’s dance club. It had it’s own room, of course, but as the clock struck ten, you could feel bass that could dissolve kidney stones thumping through the back wall. It wasn’t terribly disruptive to the headliner, the very funny Steve Iott, but those of us sitting in the back had The Tell-Tale Heart told by C & C Music Factory (I Love the 1850’s). And the lights on stage were HOT. I’m pretty sure my shadow was burned on the back curtain. Steve had a great line, “I feel like I’m a boxer trying to make weight.” There wasn’t any blood or tears, but we sweat buckets.
I got a chance to buddy up with local Ohio comics, Katrina Brown, who was popping her club MC cherry on this gig, and Michael Malone, who did a guest set on the Saturday show. Both were very cool and funny, so I was batting 1.000 with nice folk to work with.

When it came to killing my Saturday, I defaulted to the local mall/movie theater. Usually a safe bet to shampoo the boredom out of a 3 to 5 hour rug. I had to catch up on my cinematic blockbuster viewing, so I plunked down $6.50 for a noon matinee of the flick that would test my fragile childhood memories, Transformers. Overall, I enjoyed it. The good outweighed the bad. First, the good: Hearing Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime made me feel 10 years old again. There were also some nice little touches, like the phrase printed on the Decepticon cop car, “To punish and enslave.” The movie was a pinata of eye candy, and Michael Bay took his directing stick and beat it until every piece of digital Dubble Bubble hit the floor. Action is his forte and every dizzying robotic clash was expertly executed…the final dust-up rattled my eyeballs in a martini shaker of metallic mayhem (alliteration, baby). Now for the dork complaints. Three words: Too many humans. The only two who were remotely compelling was John Turturro’s slightly eccentric head of secret group Sector 7 and the smoking hot love interest of Shia LeBeouf…but only because she was hot…seriously, her belly button had a separate credit. Also, it took way too long to get to Megatron and Starscream…it was a 2+ hour flick and they were first shown with about 20 minutes to go. Of course, they took some liberties with a couple of the characters, most notably turning Megatron into a jet instead of a gun, which is forgivable. What did bother me was the conversion of Devastator from a giant 6-robot wrecking machine into just a suped up tank. Overall, my childhood remained relatively unscathed. I sat through the entire length of the credits to see if they slipped in any extra footage, then left the theater. I was heading for the exit, when I noticed a father and son going to the adjacent theater to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I still had a couple hours to kill, so I slipped in for a double feature. I hadn’t snuck into a movie since The Lost World at a sold out Uptown ten years ago…ah, memories…me and my buddy sitting in our seats while two paying customers frantically searched for a spot. So, two first run flicks for $6.50…that’ll help the healing after paying full price to see The Hills Have Eyes awhile back. The new Harry Potter flick followed the same formula of the previous five, but this one was easily the darkest of the series so far. Ralph Fiennes did his best impression of a Marilyn Manson stunt double as Voldemort and they didn’t waste the talents of Alan Rickman for once…he was Hans-tastic. After spending roughly 5 hours in a dark theater, being bombarded by special effects, my peepers hurt somethin’ fierce. But I got my money’s worth.

This weekend will be a “Hilarious romp!”Earl Dittman, Wireless Magazine. I’ll be featuring at the Baltimore Comedy Factory with the Hollywood Crushers, Adam Jacobs and T-Rexx. Do yourself a favor check out one of the seven shows on the slate. One show on Thursday and 3 on Friday and Saturday. It’s a much better comedy investment than seeing that new piece of garbage Adam Sandler opus…trust me on this one.

See you in Charm City.

To be continued…