Big Money, No Whammies

Hey gang. I’ll pretend you both noticed and cared that this entry is late and apologize accordingly. I just got back from a fun show at the Bucks County Playhouse in quaint New Hope, PA. I had the pleasure of working with my good buddy and frequent comedy co-star, Kelly Terranova, the funniest comedian in his price range. A good time was had by most.

Everybody dreams about having a dump truck full of cash emptied in front of their house. Sure, earning money is fine, but we’re a nation of dreamers, and dreaming takes no effort. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve missed out on a possible $1,400,001,500. Let me break that figure down for you. Many of you may have heard that Warren Buffett has offered up $1 billion for anyone who can fill-out a perfect bracket. Through the first four days of the tournament, only one bracket is still eligible for the prize. Some guy named Biff Tannen. That guy has a bright future.

I filled out a bracket, hoping to take my 1 in 9.5 quintillion shot at the contents of Scrooge McDuck’s couch cushions. My chances disintegrated after the first game, when Ohio State lost by one point to Dayton. $1 billion out the window. I’m horrible at picking these games. I had a couple 12 over 5 upsets, but those are easy to pick when 3 of the 4 5-seeds crap in their hat and get bounced. The tournament is great theater. The plucky underdog vs. the national powerhouse, over and over again. Once my brackets got busted for gambling purposes, I just started rooting for chaos. If I can’t be right, let’s see if I can be the least wrong. And sometimes it’s great to be wrong. I had Duke getting out of the first round and I’ve never been happier to watch my incorrectitude. The sun shined just a little bit brighter after the Duke, the Cobra Kai of college basketball, took a crane-kick to the mush and got ousted by a 14-seed. Yeah, so what if UMD didn’t even make the NIT? Shut up!

One digit down from the billion, the $400,000,000 was the size of the recent MegaMillions jackpot. I’m starting to think the numbers you get from fortune cookies don’t mean anything at all. And it turns out the numbers of my anniversary and my birthday aren’t that special after all. It’s hard to maintain a sense of self-importance when the universe seems so oblivious to your demands.

A couple zeroes down the line was my most realistic missed opportunity to cash in. I meant to bring this up in the previous entry. A couple weekends ago, I got a call from a comedian buddy of mine. Someone had cancelled last-minute for a show at a synagogue and he thought I might be a good fit. Unfortunately, I was already booked that night, so I told him I couldn’t do it. His reply, “That’s too bad, because they’re paying $1500 for 30 minutes.”
“Give me the number,” I said. “I’ll find a way to make it work.” I gave the lady organizing the event a call and, unfortunately, they had just filled the spot before I got to her. I was still in disbelief, so I asked her, “How much were you offering again?”
“We have a $1500 budget. Why, how much do you charge?”
“Significantly less,” I said. I told her to keep me in mind for anything they have going on in the future. Congrats to the lucky bastard who snagged it. It’s just crazy how much people outside of comedy think our services are worth is in stark contrast to the money we get at actual comedy venues. Just sayin’ is all.

¬†For those of you who enjoy pro-wrestling, do me a favor and mark June 19th on your comedy calendar. I’ll be opening for the hardcore legend, Mick Foley when he comes to the DC Improv. The stage will be surrounded in barbed wire. Have a nice day.

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Tuesday Random Crap

Hey there, ‘Redheads… I hope this blog finds you well on a blustery Tuesday night. I’m still waiting on the footage from the Improv, so I give you another random pull from the lottery popper in my head.

One thing I neglected to mention in my brief recap of my weekend at the DC Improv, was the number of British people that came to the shows. Apparently, the exchange rate on my jokes is pretty good. I must’ve shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with at least a half dozen people who sounded like Russell Brand.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the NCAA Championship game that was contested last night between the Butler Bulldogs and the UConn Huskies. It made sense that two dog teams were playing because that game was a steaming pile. The only thing uglier is Verne Lundquist’s jowls in HD. I was disappointed that Butler lost because I was looking forward to all of the hack sports headlines, like “BUTLER DID IT!” or “HUSKIES SERVED LOSS BY BUTLER” or “BUTLER CLEANS UP”. Alas, those dreams were dashed. Man, Butler shot horribly. I heard one stat that they were 1 for 25 from the paint. That’s only one more basket than I had and I didn’t even play. I was an inside presence for Butler from my couch. There were fewer bricks thrown during the L.A. riots in ’92 (Google it). Overall it was a great tournament, but that game was a crappy way to cap things off.

That’s all I got. See you Wednesday.

Buzzer Beaten

Hey there, ‘Redheads… It’s 75 and sunny outside and I’m 35 and unkempt inside, smacking the 57 on the side of the ketchup bottle that is my brain, hoping that something worth a quick blog will slowly ooze out. Then you can dip your eyes in it. The things I do for you.

Even if I wasn’t furiously typing, I’d be inside anyway, balanced precariously on the edge of my seat, watching the NCAA tourney on four separate channels and my girlfriend’s iPad. Some great ones just finished up, including the nail biter between George Mason and Villanova, which was made all the more dramatic by the play-by-play of Gus Johnson. That man can make CSPAN sound exciting. But even he can get too caught up in the excitement. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure he screams, “EXPLANATION POINT!” as George Mason finishes off Villanova. What say you?

That was one of the few games played today that I actually got right. I’d like to encourage all of you to text 9099 to help me recover from my devastated brackets. Paul the Octopus could’ve made better picks than me and he went to the big plate of calamari in the sky six months ago. I’m glad, though. Now the pressure is off and I can enjoy the tournament without obsessively checking to see if I got a game right. I can just assume I was wrong and enjoy my beer.

See you Monday.

Blarney and Friends

Hey there, ‘Redheads… Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all. The day we commemorate St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland by drinking enough Guinness to float an aircraft carrier. Mine hasn’t been all that happy. I found out today that my vehicle was totaled in the accident I had on Wednesday. It’s all kinds of smashy. I’m conflicted about it. On the one hand, I’m getting a new car. On the other hand, I’m getting a giant headache dealing with the insurance and all of the other crap. We’ve been through alot together, the Liberty and I. Countless comedy road trips, through all sorts of weather, it was a trusty steed. It only ever left me stranded twice, and both times it was stolen, it faithfully returned to me. Over 163,000 miles of loyal service. Liberty, I hardly knew ye…

Well, that was somber. Let’s lighten the mood with a St. Patty’s Day favorite…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if that doesn’t make you smile, you’re not human.

So far, through the bulk of today’s NCAA tournament play, my brackets have remained largely unscathed. I picked the Richmond upset and I was on the right side of the hotly contested Butler/Old Dominion tilt. The one giant pockmark came when Louisville, a team I picked to advance to the Elite 8, crapped in their hat and got beat by Morehead State. The only comfort I take in that is that only two people picked Morehead State to win, Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen. They are alumni, right? By the way, I caught some of the coverage online today at work, Leslie Visser looks like the Crypt Keeper in a pink sweater. She is not meant to be within a thousand paces of an HD lens.

See you Friday.

Slim Pickins

Hey there, ‘Redheads… And welcome to everyone who found their way here via DCBlogs.com. Stay awhile. Make yourself at home. Here you’ll find mild amusement for your momentary distraction. Give your eyes a snack. While you’re here, why not click on over to my fan page on Facebook or enjoy some of the fine comedic video sketches linked conveniently on the right.

For those of you expecting the third installment in my Mardi Gras travelogue, I’m putting that off for a day for two reasons. First, I was in a car accident this morning, involving a utility pole, so I’m not exactly in the right headspace to reminisce about strip clubs. Second, it’s TOURNEY TIME, and I want to get my horrendous picks on record before the games tip off tomorrow afternoon. I’ll get back to Mardi-blogging tomorrow, as my brackets crash down around me. Let’s get to pickin‘…

In the East Region, I’m pretty much going chalk. I’ve got the 1-4 seeds making it to the Sweet 16. However, I have UNC beating Ohio State to make it to the Final Four. With my luck, Washington will take out UNC in the 2nd round and my ACC/Big East bias will be my undoing once again (I’m looking at you, Georgetown).

In the West Region, I start to upset the apple cart a little. I’ve got Oakland barging their way into the Sweet 16, only to have their plucky little hearts carved out by Duke. But the Cobra Kai of college basketball gets theirs when San Diego State beats them to get into the Final Four.

In the Southeast Region, I’ll take Richmond over Vandy, Florida State over Texas A & M, and the winner of the play-in game over Georgetown as early upsets. All of those mean nothing in the long run, since I have the top four seeds making it to the Sweet 16. Then I’ve got Louisville taking out Kansas, then getting beat by Notre Dame for the spot in the Final Four. If you’re keeping score at home, that three #2 seeds so far.

The Southwest Region is a free-for-all. Let’s just put it out there. I’ve got Kansas State vs. Michigan State as my Elite 8 match-up in this region. That’s a #5 seed against a #10 seed. Kansas State wins which completes my Final Four.

UNC takes out San Diego State and Kansas State beats Notre Dame, then the Tar Heels win the whole shebang. Ok, you see what I did there? Don’t do that.

See you Thursday.

Prognostication, Baby…

Hey there, ‘Redheads… I don’t have a clever coherent framework for all of the crap I want to get to in this installment, so pardon me if today’s batch of self-important blather seems a little scatter shot.

I hope everyone has let their livers sleep in a couple hours the last couple days to prepare for the all-day pickling it’s going to get on St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick was apparently the patron saint of blacking out and holding your hair while vomiting. I’ve reached that certain age when drinking for distance no longer does anything for me. Sure, I’ll wear some green and kick a ginger, but you won’t see me out at a bar wading through a sea of Guinness. That is ground zero for drunken douchebaggery. I’m Jewish, so I can’t give up crap like that for Lent. The Jewish equivalent would be called Owed, I guess. I’m here all week. Try the fish fillet. But none of that matters, because everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day. Even these guys…

I did a show up in Timonium, MD, which was named for the element on the periodic chart that conducts polite chuckling, on Sunday. I encountered the strangest form of heckling I’ve ever received. Towards the end of my set, a couple drunken Timoniites started growling and barking at me, just enough to throw me off my Swiss precision joke rhythm. I tried to ignore it, mostly because addressing it directly meant bringing everything to a screeching halt to deal with people who weren’t going to care or understand what I had to say in response. Plus, on the off chance one of them genuinely had Tourette’s, I didn’t want to look like a dick. I made some lame joke about them eating kibble and shutting the fuck up. Did I mention I’m horrible with hecklers? So many better comebacks showed up late to my brain as I was driving home. “Y’ever see Old Yeller, asshole?” or “Howabout to go back to the bar and sniff your friend’s ass?” or “Play dead.” I just wanted to vent that out, because I’d never heard of anyone growling or barking at a comedian before.

I can’t let that bother me, because it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Tourney Time. The time when my productivity plummets (granted, it doesn’t have far to fall) as I crunch all of the numbers, knowing that my brackets are going to be more brittle than Haiti’s infrastructure. This year, just about anybody can take it. I’m hoping this is the year that a #16 seed beats a #1 seed. And I hope that #1 seed is Duke. So, just to get my picks on record, here are my picks to click for the NCAA Tournament…

-In the Midwest corner of the bracket, where my Terps reside, referred to as the “group of death”, it’s going to come down to the winner of Georgetown vs. Ohio St. I’m a homer, so I picked the Hoyas over the Buckeyes to get to the Final Four. I love my Terps, and I have them making a respectable run to the Sweet 16, but that’s all.
-From the West region, I’ve got Syracuse in a cake walk to the Final Four as the only #1 seed to make it.
-Out of the East, where I have Cornell making it to the Sweet 16, I’ll take Texas to reclaim the perch they got knocked off of early in the season and make it to the Final Four.
-In the South, where I have Duke losing in the second round to Louisville, I think Baylor makes it to the Final Four.
-So, Georgetown faces Syracuse for the fourth time this season with a shot at the national championship on the line and two Texas teams go at it on the other side of the bracket. I’ll take Syracuse vs. Baylor for the championship. Go Orange. Now, look for Syracuse to lose to Vermont.

Let the games begin…

199

Hey there, ‘Redheads… How was your collective weekend? If you filled out an NCAA bracket, part of your weekend was spent spitting expletives at a television. It all started out so well. I was perfect for the day games on day one. Then, I lost two upset picks by one point each and one of my Sweet 16 teams went down. On day two, the bottom dropped out when the ACC collectively shit the bed, including Wake Forest, who I had in my championship game, fuck you very much. So, ka-flooey, my brackets went up in smoke. With my brackets busted, my hopes then rested on my Terps, who had a nice win in the first round with 2 seed Memphis in their way in round two. And wow, did we get clobbered. The Terps got so thoroughly stomped, the school is considering changing the school logo to a Memphis sneaker print. We got Memphisted. They shot something like 70% in the first half. They were shooting golf balls into a 55 gallon drum and we were firing proton torpedoes into a two meter vent shaft. Not only did we get outgunned, but we were completely outsized. The Memphis players were cartoonishly huge…it was like we were up against the alien team from Space Jam. It was a miracle that we only lost by 19. Too bad that had to be the deflating end to an otherwise great season. Back to the brackets, aside from my Wake Forest prediction, my other three picks are still kickin’. I stand by my pick for Syracuse to win the whole thing…until they get bounced next weekend.

So, I’m coming to grips with the harsh truth that I have allergies. To what, I have no idea, but nature seems to have it out for my lungs. So, rather than cough between every other breath, I have turned to the healing power of Zyrtec. It takes a unique approach to tackling allergies. It makes you so drowsy, you forget to be allergic. You just stumble around in an arid haze.

In reference to the blog’s title, this is the 199th post. So, the next one will be a Super Double-Deluxe 200th Post Spectacular…or something. I have nothing in particular planned, but expect alot of padding with clips from previous blogs.

‘Til then…

Maddening

Hey there, ‘Redheads… Greetings from beyond the flowing rivers of green beer and vomit. I hope everyone had a Happy St. Viviana’s Day…never heard of it? That’s probably because I just made it up. She’s the patron saint against hangovers and headaches…so, who better to name the day after St. Patrick’s Day for? I’d like to nominate someone else for patron sainthood (can a Jew do that?). I think Jack Bauer should be the patron saint of badasses. I watched Jack kill a man, then start up a truck with the same bloody screwdriver. Somebody call Vince from the ShamWow and SlapChop commercials, because I’ve got a feeling the StabStart is gonna be bigger than the Snuggie. By the way, if the blog seems mintier than usual, it’s because this blogging session is being fueled by Girl Scout Thin Mints. That’s right, Thin Mints, making poops smell like altoids since 1980.

So, I should break a small bit of crappy comedy news to you. You may remember in an earlier installment, when I was touting an upcoming feature spot at the DC Improv. Yeah, well…turns out I’ve been bumped from that stratosphere back down to earthly hosting duties. The headliner is bringing his own guy to feature. No worries, though…it’ll still be a fun slate of sold-out shows…just less of me. Me concentrate. So, come check out less of me May 14-17 with Roastmaster General, Jeff Ross. Click the link for tix and info.

And thanks to everyone who came out to the shows at the Baltimore Comedy Factory last weekend. Apparently, people that I don’t know either read the blog or stalk me on Facebook, because plenty of printed out coupons with my name on them showed up and I didn’t recognize any of the drunken masses as they filed past me and ignored my attempts to sell CDs. So, here’s to my supposed fan base.

Congrats to my Terps for squeaking their way into the big dance. They kick off what’ll hopefully be a deep run in the tourney on Thursday. Here’s the thing with having them in the tourney…I have to try to fill out my brackets without seeming disloyal. If they play up to their potential, they can beat anyone in the country, so it might be easy to justify a national title run, but I have to bet with my head instead of my heart. I’d love to see a UMD/Morgan St. rematch in the championship game, but that’s just not gonna happen. The 2009 brackets might as well be pinned on a dart board this year. Any one of about ten teams could conceivably win it all. Once the games tip off, I fully expect my brackets to collapse like a game of Jenga in the Parkinson’s ward. Heck, this year the tourney could be won by Stone Cold Steve Austin, who will be playing Syracuse 5 on 1…he gets a steel chair, of course. And this year, President Obama has filled out a Baracket. I think he picked UNC to win it all. As a country, we better hope they do because I think he bet the bailout money on it.

In case you care, here’s my Final Four prediction:


MIDWEST REGION: WAKE FOREST
WEST REGION: MEMPHIS
EAST REGION: PITT
SOUTH REGION: SYRACUSE
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: WAKE vs. SYRACUSE
NCAA CHAMPION: SYRACUSE


Book it. Let the games begin.

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…