new york

30 Day Photo Challenge – Day 8

Day 08 – A picture that makes you laugh

The hard part of this day wasn't what the subject of the picture would be, but which one of the tons of goofy photos of Sarah I would choose. I opted for this shot of Sarah in the Toys R Us in Times Square being attacked by stuffed penguins.

Can We Get A Volunteer From the Audience….

This is what I love about the internets. Sometimes you come across things you had no idea were there, and sometimes it’s actually something that you’re pleasantly surprised to stumble across (unlike the horrible midget dressed as Michael Jackson dancing in the subway fiasco).

This weekend I’m heading back up to New York to do some improv comedy at the National Comedy Theatre. I was there performing in May and in one of the games we asked for a volunteer from the audience. A bachelorette party had come to the show and the bride-to-be came up on stage to join in the fun. After we had thoroughly exhausted every hilarious opportunity, we thanked her, took a picture with her, and the show went on.

Today I was surfing NCT’s website and came across their show blog, where they have been posting pictures of the volunteers who come on stage during the shows.I started laughing as soon as I saw the picture from that show and memories of me playing her airplane-pilot fiance came flooding back.  So enjoy this little blast from the past I didn’t even know was out there.

Seriously Jerry

It’s not like me to write a “serious” post. I think maybe .06% of my blogs have been straight-forward and not intentionally goofy. But I guess sometimes you just have to “write what you know” (I didn’t coin that phrase, but you can tell people I did if you’d like).

JT is a buddy of mine from the National Comedy Theatre. I’ve blogged about him a few times in the past and I still get excited and all “Way to Go, Dude” when I think of his appearance on 30 Rock. He’s one of the guys you meet in life that makes you glad you meet new people in life. Simply put, he’s one of the good guys.

JT is still up in New York and is currently involved in trying to get a production up and running. I know, I know, tell me someone in New York who isn’t. But when someone you look up to and admire is passionate about something, you can’t help but have that passion rub off on you a bit.

“Love Jerry” is a musical that JT and his friends have been working on for some time now (since college, if my memory serves). For most people, Broadway musicals bring to mind visions of lonely goatherds and cats played by over-the-hill angry thespians. But this musical is a bit different. It brings to light the subject of child abuse. In fact, it’s already been recognized by Stop It Now! National and Darkness to Light, two organizations raising awareness to stop child abuse.

Right now JT and his creative partners are in the middle of trying to raise funds to get “Love Jerry” off the ground. The official “Love Jerry” website can probably put it into words better than I can so stop by and look around. I think what they’re up to over there is pretty cool. Of course, if you’re more of a Facebook person, they have that available, too.

If you can do something, cool. If you know someone who might want to help, pass their website along. I figure it’s the least we can do.

25 THINGS I LEARNED IN CALIFORNIA – 2008 EDITION

  1. If you order a large soda from Del Taco, you will find yourself partaking of a drink 3/4 the size of your own head.
  2. A group of Asian kids, dressed in black leather complete with chains and spiky Mohawks hanging out at Del Taco at midnight have a somewhat forboding sense about them. Surely they have been out and about all night causing trouble and being just as bad as their menacing exterior projects.
  3. Seeing those same Asian kids dressed in black leather and chains in the Del Taco parking lot at 9:30 in the morning completely negates their rebellious punk look and makes them seem desperate, sad, harmless, and even a bit pathetic.
  4. I am a man of my word. Having once vowed to never drive one, I learned at the car rental company that our car would be a PT Cruiser. We were offered a smaller car that the agent claimed was actually much nicer. I agreed to take the smaller car. I do a good enough job as it is looking like a tool in my every day life. I don’t need help from the PT Cruiser.
  5. If you want to get your money’s worth in the stand-up comedy world, wait until you’re in New York City to go to a comedy club. The prices of a weekday show are about 3 times more expensive in LA and you only get to see about 1/3 of the number of comics.
  6. Every day it’s sunny and 77 degrees. The rest of the world are schmucks.
  7. The speed limit on the highway is 65 M.P.H. The flow of traffic averages 77 M.P.H. The highway drivers are actually much better than I recall. I still hate motorcyclists (if you’re stopped at a red light, why is it OK for them to cut in line and jump in front of everyone else just because they can squeeze between cars? That’s not fair. I hate, hate, HATE them).
  8. On a coast-to-coast flight if you’re taking Southwest you don’t get an in-flight movie and the only food they offer you is peanuts and Wheat Thins. Where’s my barely-recognizable Salisbury steak?
  9. People who don’t have any idea what they’re talking about are very entertaining. At the wax museum a man wrongly identified Jack Black from the recent King Kong remake as Vince Vaughn from Wedding Crashers. He did, however, get Tom Hanks from Castaway correct. Even though he told his kids the volleyball was named “Spalding” (instead of the actual name “Wilson”).
  10. If you go to the Rocky Cola Cafe in Hermosa Beach at 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon you actually have a good chance of getting a parking space.
  11. The Tonight Show host Jay Leno sells out shows at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach at $30.00 a seat. Ironically, tickets to see The Tonight Show are free.
  12. In-N-Out burgers are just as good as I remember.
  13. The attendants at the Dollar rental car place near the San Diego airport are energetically honest. When asked how he was doing, the young worker replied with a huge smile, “Great! I get to stand out here and look at hot girls all day.” I wished him luck.
  14. Elderly women who order a Bloody Mary on a plane that leaves at 9:30 am are making a statement about themselves that may be unintentional.
  15. If you wear a dress shirt, tie, black pants, and dress shoes to a California wedding, you will feel vastly overdressed. Especially if the groomsmen wear flip flops.
  16. The carpool lane is the coolest thing ever (I actually learned this in 1992 but had forgotten I knew it).
  17. Sarah is a natural boogie boarder.
  18. If you buy a new pair of swim trunks, don’t assume that the string tie feature is part of the apparel. Otherwise when a big ocean wave hits you from behind, you will find yourself struggling to keep them on.
  19. Sometimes the friendliest person you’ll meet is the maintenance guy at a time-share property.
  20. Wireless internet is not free at the airport.
  21. If you forgot to pack beach towels, check under the bathroom sink of your time share. Sometimes they provide them for you so you don’t have to go out and spend $40 to buy your own and then get angry when you find this out after-the-fact.
  22. It costs more for a tank of gas than it does to get your tires rotated, oil changed, and get an emissions test.
  23. Even on-duty policemen like to sneak away to the cliffs of Rancho Palos Verdes and take in the view every once in a while.
  24. Sharks still scare me. Even large paintings of them.
  25. As amazing as it is to be back in California, I wouldn’t want to be there without Sarah.

What is Improv?

What is comedy? What makes something funny? What the heck is the “rule of three?” These are just some of the topics scholars have discussed – and debated – since the dawn of time.

And when improv was discovered (right around the dusk of time) it spurred on deeper queries. My pals up in Manhattan at the National Comedy Theatre shed some light on the topic. Enjoy.

And discuss.

Finding Timmy’s Whiteness

Yesterday I was trying to catch up on my Entertainment Weeklys and was reading the February 8 issue (the one with Juno‘s Ellen Page on the front) and in the middle of reading the article on “Survivor” I saw my friend Timmy.

When I was in New York working at the mutual funds company, the guy who was my supervisor was Timmy. He was really cool and we got along really well, especially after finding out we were both performers at comedy clubs. I was doing improv at the National Comedy Theatre and he was part of a sketch troupe that performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. I was able to catch a performance and had a great time. In fact, I think I even blogged about it.

Anyhow, it was fun hearing about Timmy’s adventures as they were invited to the Aspen Comedy Festival and were approached by some TV people.

Fast forward to me reading EW and seeing a full-page ad for The Whitest Kids U Know on IFC. And of course, there was Timmy with a huge finger pointed at his head (you have to see the ad to really get what I’m trying to describe).

This blog really has no point other than to say it was cool. Good job, Timmy. Good job Whitest Kids. Good job IFC.

Kudos all-around.

Where are the words?

Last night I was looking for a notebook I had while I was in New York. I remembered I had copied down a monologue in it that I wanted to take a look at. What began as a simple Hey, where did I put that notebook routine turned into Wow, I just found another notebook I had totally forgotten about journey.

I don’t think I ever realized how many words I’d put to paper in the last couple of years. Notebooks, journals, notepads, pocket memo books, you name it and it was filled with stand-up comedy ideas (some of them still made me laugh and others made me glad I had buried them in a notebook I’d forgotten about), short stories (including the original hand-written version of my short story, “Java”), and various quotes that struck me as humorous.

Still, I was struck by how much there was. Pages were literally filled with my familiar all-caps handwriting, all written with my trademark black-inked Pilot G-2 pen. Page after page after page after page. It seemed to just pour out of me, usually pretty easily.

It’s been a while since I’ve written and the all-too-many empty pages at the back of each notebook only emphasizes the point.