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…

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Late and Untitled

Hey there ‘Redheads… Once again, I’ve neglected you. And, once again, I apologize. And, yes, it’ll probably happen again. It’s nearly two weeks deep into September and a couple things worth noting have happened in and around my immediate vicinity.
First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Time flies by so quick, you blink your eyes and *poof* it’s 5768. Man, 5768…shit’s crazy. Yes, apparently Jews as a people feel so much guilt about the past, that we’ve bent time and space to escape our many neuroses. We’ve built a time machine that runs on a mother’s disappointment. We can travel to the far reaches of the 4th dimension, but we never call…we never write.
Second, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! This blog is officially two years old. It’s going to start throwing tantrums if you don’t start paying more attention to it. Usually, when this digital doodle pad hits some sort of arbitrary milestone, I make a bunch of self-important calculations and self-congratulations. Not this time. I’ve been delinquent too long to cop-out and give you some half-assed clipblog. I’d rather use my whole ass and give you something worth a couple seconds of your diverted attention.
Third, a couple of overdue somber acknowledgements. The final curtain was drawn on operatic great, Luciano Pavarotti. Let’s all wish his pallbearers a speedy recovery. So, the comedy world’s go-to reference for fat guy jokes in the 80’s and 90’s is now gone. Time to update. Might I suggest Aretha Franklin?

She has some pipes…she ate a church organ.

Speaking of which, the fat lady gave a rousing rendition of “Give My Regards to an Indifferent Audience” at Soho Tea & Coffee. The impressive four-year run of the open mic came to a close a couple weeks ago. I was one of the proud few who played the violin while the ship slowly sank into the ocean of lattes and blank stares. Chris White and Larry Poon gave rousing performances to end the evening. Big thanks to Paul Schorsch for keeping the stage going for as long as it did. Soho, we hardly knew ye.

Portait of a crappy set…

Ok, so because this is a space designated for my random thoughts, I figured I’d try to sketch out one of the bits I tried out that night. It has met with varying levels of success, but I haven’t found the right pacing or phrasing to get it where it deserves to be. So please enjoy as I slap together a skeletal structure for this bit. Any feedback is welcome and encouraged…and away we go…

We’ve gotten lazy. Language and communication is a vast natural resource, but the guy in charge of running the filter has fallen asleep. Allow me to explain. I was thumbing through the dictionary the other day (play along) and I came across the word inconspicuous, which is ironic by itself, but that’s not where I’m going. The definition for inconspicuous was…not conspicuous. Gee, thanks for clearing that up, Webster. Chances are, if I’m looking up inconspicuous, I’m not stuck on what in means…get off your stack of phonebooks and define something. Pure laziness. I blame the internet. When I was a kid, and I wanted to find out more about a word or topic, I would go to the library to find a reference book related to that word or topic. Now, kids just go online and find…porn related to that word or topic. And now they’re just adding words to the dictionary willy nilly. Jiggy is in the dictionary. I’m pretty sure Will Smith doesn’t know what jiggy means. I’m starting to realize why immigrants don’t want to learn the goddamn language. It’s getting embarrassing. They just put “ginormous” in the dictionary. If you use “ginormous”, then you are a 12-16 year old girl or you just tried to describe that picture of Aretha Franklin (I use a different tag on stage, but this is a family blog…or something). Ginormous is a combination of “giant” and “enormous”, and it, of course, means big. Here’s my major issue. The dictionary is for people who don’t know the meaning of a word…and for people who need to steady a wobbly table. If you take a look at “ginormous” and can’t immediately glean its meaning, then you don’t need a dictionary…you need a helmet and a t-shirt that says, I Hug Too Hard…spit out that Mattel toy you’ve been sucking on. If the dictionary insists on including these hip, trendy, combo words to cater to the lol generation, I’d like to suggest another combo word to help balance things out… Fucktard. Allow me to break this one down for you. It’s a combination of “fucking” and “retard” and it is primarily used to describe people who use the word “ginormous”. Use it in a sentence? I thought you’d never ask. I can’t believe some fucktard put ginormous in the dictionary.

So, what’cha think?

One last thing before I go. Three of my bestest comedy pals, Chris White, Erin Jackson, and Mike Storck have made it to the semis of the Lucky 21 contest for the HBO Comedy Festival. In order for them to advance, they need your votes. Chris has put together a short video to explain the process…

Vote away!!

To be continued…hopefully before October…