Tuesday, August 31, 2004


A quick promo: Tonight I can be seen on McEnroe, doing five minutes of stand-up and another two minutes of semi-awkward banter. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about (and judging by the shows "niche" viewership, that's pretty much all of you), McEnroe is a talk show on CNBC, hosted by tennis champ John McEnroe. I actually taped the episode a couple of weeks ago, but it airs tonight at 10pm and then again at 1:00am. Check it out, if you can. Here in NYC, CNBC is channel 15 on yout Time Warner Cable box.

And here are a couple of more things about my little LA sojourn:

* Friday evening, Kambri and I attended Craig Kilborn's final Late, Late Show taping, I've always felt that Kilborn is unfairly dismissed. The show, on the whole, isn't as funny as Conan, but Kilborn has his own charm--he's always had a great Bill Murray/Tim Matheson in Animal House/Caddyshack-era Chevy Chase thing going. Anyway, the taping was pretty sweet. Being Craig's final show, the guest list was pretty stellar, including Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and (most importantly) Adam West. The only less-than-perfect aspect was that Kambri and I were actually seated in the studio audience for Kilborn (as opposed to the way we spent Kimmel, hanging in the green room). Now, being that I work at a TV show, I know that all tapings run the risk of growing tedious. This particular taping, being that it was a "special night", seemed to go on about 45 minutes longer than Schindler's List. Still, it was pretty cool to watch the whole thing go down.

* After the taping, Kambri and I headed downstairs and found ourselves in a Price is Right storage room (both shows tape in the same building). I suggested to Kambri that we should have sex on one of the giant set pieces, but she chickened the fuck out. What a wimp. She heard a little noise from some distant corner of the building and scurried out of the room like a coke-addled chipmunk. If you want to read her bullshit revisionist version of the moment, you can check it out here.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


At long last, I have returned from sunny Los Angeles. All in all, I would say the trip was a blast. In fact, there were moments of the type people daydream about when they imagine living in LA. The whole laptop thing didn't exactly work out for us, so I was unable to give you on-the-fly updates. But now, I am proud to give you a chronological account of our glorious trip:

* We got into town on Wednesday morning and cruised over to Enterprise to pick up our sweet Hyundai Sonata (upgraded from a Geo Metro, muthafucka--you know how I roll). Kambri, in addition to her dual role as my publicist and "thang", also was kind enough to drive my ass around Los Angeles. For reasons that are too boring to go into (read: vehicular homocide), I don't have a valid drivers license. So instead, I embraced my role as "navigator" and I'm proud to say that I only needed to be yelled at for giving crappy directions four or five times!

* Our hotel stank like a salami fart. I'm sorry, that's the only way to say it. Kambri tried to tell me it was just stale cigarette smoke, but, um...no. I know what cigarettes smell like. And I think I have a pretty good idea of what stale cigarettes would smell like. But Room 217 of the Best Western Sunset Plaza? Salami fart. On the upside, the hotel was perfectly situated, within a ten minute drive of pretty much everywhere we needed to go. I know LA has the reputation of being a sprawling metropolis, but as far as I'm concerned everything you need is within a few square miles of Sunset and Sweetzer.

* Wednesday night my managers held a big showcase thingy at The Laugh Factory, which was the reason I went out there in the first place. It was pretty damned sweet, with the room split 50/50 between regular audience members and industry. For those of you who aren't pretentious douchebags, the term "industry" generally refers to anyone employed on the decision-making side of the entertainment business--producers, casting agents, development executives and their many hangers-on. Industry audiences tend to suck shit, in terms of crowd response--they've seen it all and, rather than enjoy a show organically, they tend to watch everything with a critical eye. Well, I guess "critical" really isn't the word. It's more of an "Are other people liking this?" eye. Nevertheless, this particular audience was great, and everyone on the show had a damn fine set. Afterwards, we did what all movers and shakers do after a victorious night: we ate at a second rate, garishly lit Jewish deli. Hollywood! Yes!

* Kambri and I spent the majority of Thursday lounging around at the pool, and in typical Christian Finnegan fashion, I got sunbburned. Nothing as freakish as my "White Seal" period (see June 15th), but I'm still notably pink on the left side of my body.

* That evening, we went to see a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. A friend of mine is a producer on the show (industry, muthafuckas!), so he got us into the green room, which is something of a "scene" in LA, due to its open bar. It was filled with..well, exactly the kind of people you'd expect to find in that situation: greasy hipsters and their vapid-looking women. If the Kimmel green room was a bar in NYC, I'd avoid it like the freakin' plague. But in the scheme of our little trip, I loved it. And not everyone in the room was a pretentious Hollywood type. No, the highlight of our green room experience had to be our long (some might say exhaustively long) conversation with Jay Maynard (you'll want to take a few minutes to enjoy that site, trust me). I've said it before and I'll say it again: jealous much?

* The best part of the Kimmel experience was that The Cure (one of my favorite bands of all fucking time) just happened to be performing that night. There was a big stage set up behind the studio and, after the show was over, The Cure treated the 1500 or so spectators to a few additional songs. I'm sure banging out "Inbetween Days" and "Just Like Heaven" wasn't the highpoint of Robert Smith's career, but for me, it was damn near euphoric. It made me want to smear red lipstick all over my face.

There's more, but I need to get my ass into bed now. I'll finish up tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


In a few hours, the lovely Kambri and I will be jetting off to Los Angeles for a few days of light schmoozing. I'll be performing at a fancy-schmancy "industry showcase" tonight at the Laugh Factory, so if you are an Angelino, put down the mirror covered in blow, climb out of your heart-shaped jacuzzi and come out to the show.

I've only been to LA a few times, and never for more than a few days at a clip. I have mixed feelings about the town, on the whole. Sure, 75% of the work in TV and film is out there, and tooling around the Hollywood Hills in a rented car gives me an undeniable psychic boner. But I think of it not so much as a place where dreams are not "made", so much as "pitched, re-pitched, optioned, developed for eighteen months and eventually drained of anything remotely funny and/or interesting by a UPN junior executive."

I will say this, though: I don't buy into that "LA sucks" nonsense that most New Yorkers blithely parrot. NYC is and always will be my home. I didn't move here for professional reasons--I lived here for six years before I ever considered getting involved with stand-up. It was just a lucky turn of events that when I did, I was already where I needed to be (geographically speaking, of course). So in I never thought of the the Big Apple and the "Big Orange" (Um...yeah) as being diametrically opposed--in my mind, LA is just any other city-that's-not-New-York. But as far as those cities go, it's certainly not the steaming cauldron of shit my friends and colleagues make it out to be. In fact, it has often reminded me of nothing more than a bunch of New Yorkers, transplanted to the suburbs. And like any place, it has its positive aspects and its negative ones. On the upside: the weather, the abundance of really good Mexican food and the relative accessibility of the natural world. On the downside: I'm pretty sure they shoot Reba there.

Anyway, I'll have my laptop with me, so I'll try and check in from the road. In this case, that "road" happens to be the Sunset Strip, where we'll be staying. I'll tell Nikki Sixx you all say hello.

Monday, August 23, 2004


* At last, the Fatty Arbuckle trapper keeper was mine.

* Did Elsa ever truly love me, or was she merely the nurse I paid to assist me with my penile splint? I fear I may never know.

* If music be the food of love, then binge! And then purge! And then see a therapist!

* Capt. Brock Westerly had two big things going for him: the respect and admiration of his troops and the complete discography of Manhattan Transfer.

* Staving off death for one last moment, Galaxor reached for the ringing phone. "Good afternoon..." he uttered with his final breath, "...Bed Bath & Beyond?"

* Aunt Margaret discovered her little ping pong ball trick quite by accident, one drunken Thanksgiving night.

* By daybreak, the the villagers would all be burned alive and I'd be playing bass for Hoobastank.

* Every night, young Timmy Lewis climbed into his pajamas, knelt beside his bed and prayed to God for the biggest cock in Grade Three.

* A lot of people will try and tell you a tapeworm is not a proper housepet. But then, they've never met Stretchy.

* Herpes schmerpes--one way or another, the field hockey team was getting new uniforms.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Have you caught Olympic Fever yet? I haven't, but I did recently suffer a bout of the 24 Hour Olympic Flu. I was in on the toilet all night long, shitting rings. (rim shot) Hello! Come on, people!

Anyhoo, I was watching gymnastics a couple of days ago and I have one question: what the fuck happened to the horse? You remember the horse--that tan thing that 14 year old freaks of nature vault off of, and the thing that your Nazi gym teacher made you basically dry hump in order to pass 2nd Grade phys ed. Well, the Olympics have apparently done away with the classic dildo-esque model we all remember from our youth, in favor of some new mushroomy thing. Apparently they got rid of the old vaulting horse because it was deemed "dangerous". And in response, I have but one word: Exactly. Why the fuck do you think I'm watching Olympic gymnastics in the first place? To see some Romanian girl with a hardluck story (is there any other kind?) score a perfect ten? Hell, no. I watch because I know there there is the chance, however slight, that I might get to see a growth-stunted anorexic totally wreck herself on national TV. Call me cruel, but that's good TV.

But seriously, what is the IOC doing, making the Olympics safer, especially when you consider what they're up against nowadays? If you want to compete with Fear Factor, you need to be making the events more dangerous, not less. For instance, the long jump--why not add a shark tank? You know, not a huge one. Most of the athletes would clear it no problem. But every once in a while... And instead of just having a guy chuck the javelin out into the middle of a field, why not have two javelin throwers throwing simultaneously, in opposite directions? Of course, each thrower would have his leg chained to a nearby post, so as to cut down on dodge-ability. And would it be so hard to have one of the Greco-Roman wrestlers pull out a folding chair every once in a while? Let's get some goddamn excitement, here.

* I can't tell if this is the best subject heading I've ever come up with, or the worst. Your thoughts?

Friday, August 13, 2004


I realize I promised a blog entry every fday this week, but if reading this site has taight you one thing, it's that I'm a goddamn lying bastard. But, in an attempt to make up for my horrible inaction, I present:

WHAT YOUR FAVORITE ALBUM SAYS ABOUT YOU, Part CCXII (or whatever it really is)

MODEST MOUSE, "The Lonesome Crowded West" -- As I enter my Thirties, I'm finding it more and more exhausting to remain above it all.

MAROON 5, "Songs About Jane" -- Boy, applying for this Gap card was the best decision I ever made. Ten percent off every purchase! Sweet!

JURASSIC 5, "Quality Control" -- Despite my best attempts to embrace what I perceive to be 'hip hop culture', black teenagers still mock me openly.

KOOL MOE DEE, "Knowledge is King" -- Despite the fact that I am a black man, black teenagers still mock me openly.

VAN HALEN, "OU812" -- Did you know Sammy Hagar has his own brand of tequila? How cool is that? Fucking rock 'n roll, baby! Cabo Wabo! WHOOOOOOO!!! ...Oh shit, I'm late picking up the kids from soccer practice.

ASHLEE SIMPSON, "Autobiography" -- The Brooklyn Bridge? For sale? Wow, what a fantastic investment opportunity. Where's my checkbook?

FRANZ FERDINAND, "Franz Ferdinand" -- Do these glasses look okay? I'm worried they don't make me look nerdy enough.

ALAN JACKSON, "High Mileage" -- My wardrobe has queer undertones I'm completely unaware of.

SCISSOR SISTERS, "Scissor Sisters" -- My wardrobe has queer overtones I'm acutely aware of.

TOM WAITS, "Small Change" -- I like to meditate on life's big issues, such as "Why am I sitting alone in a bar on a Tuesday afternoon?"

RAY CHARLES, "The Very Best of Ray Charles" -- I went out and bought this album the week after Ray Charles died, so I could back up all of my bullshit about having been a lifetime Ray Charles fan.

LORETTA LYNN, "Van Lear Rose" -- I went out and bought this album because the White Stripes guy plays on it, but it will also come in handy in a few years, when I go around saying I've been a lifetime Loretta Lynn fan.

GIPSY KINGS, "The Best of the Gipsy Kings" -- I manage a three-star tapas restaurant.

BLACK FLAG, "Damaged" -- You know, back in the day, the mosh pit used to mean something.

BOB DYLAN, "Saved" -- You'd never know it, but I'm something of a controversial figure within my tiny online discussion group.

THE CURE, "Disintegration" -- Remember when I was completely miserable and would threaten suicide on a weekly basis? Man, those were the days.

JIMMY BUFFET, "Songs You Know By Heart" -- People foolishly think that smoking pot and being 'square' are incongruous. I am living proof that they are not.

LLOYD BANKS, "Hungry for More" -- Yo, Jurassic 5 fan. I'm about to make a very blatant pass at your girlfriend. Check it out. It's like you're not even here, yo.

SALIVA, "Back Into Your System" -- Odds are, before the weekend's over I'll attempt to light a fart.

CELINE DION, "New Day: Live in Vegas" -- I can't wait for Andy's party; this is going to be the funniest birthday present ever.

Sunday, August 08, 2004


So Friday was the big night, everything went great and all was right with the world. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, scroll down a bit. I actually wrote a really long blog entry about the taping earlier today, and then promptly deleted it by accident. Yes! Anyway, I will now try to recreate the pure genius of that lost blog entry.

The whole experience was surreal from beginning to end--from trying to explain what an "iPod" is to an octogenarian livery driver to sitting around in my dressing room drinking all the bottled water I could handle (jealous much?) to the performance itself to the many hours of drinking and drunken conversation that followed.

I have to say, I'm genuinely happy with the way the actual taping went, and I have no reason I won't be extremely proud of the show when it airs. But as I am a typical self-loathing comedian, it is in my nature to address that less-than-perfect aspects first. So...

The lighting in the (oh so very) beautiful Hudson Theater was such that I could make out the facial detail of just about everyone on the orchestra level. It was like doing comedy in 600 seat living room. That wouldn't have been so disconcerting if my entire guest list hadn't been sitting right in front of the stage. When it comes to an important show, friends and peers tend to be less-than-ideal audience members (especially if they've heard most of your set twenty times before). When you do comedy, you want to see people laughing unreservedly, as opposed to nervously 'rooting' for you. The producers actually offered to seat all of my friends up in the balcony, but I said, "Nah, I don't get phased by that stuff." What a douchebag. That said, the audience was absolutely fantastic and I don't think my performance was adversely affected.

The other semi-weird thing was that I flubbed a couple of lines and had to go back and do them over again. Apparently, this is par for the course in these half-hour tapings. But it was completely foreign experience to me. When you fuck something up during a regular set, you cut your losses and move on--there are no second chances. So it was bizarre to launch into a bit that the studio had heard me do thirty seconds earlier. But in a TV taping, it's all getting it down perfectly for the cameras, so I did what needed to be done, dammit. Thankfully, the audience kind of rallied behind me and the bit got nearly as good a response the second time around, if not better.

But all nitpicking aside, it was definitely the highlight of my comedy life and I imagine I'll never forget it. Afterwards, I went to a midtown bar with about fifty friends and drank beer after shot after beer. It was pure bliss.

So now that the Comedy Central Presents taping is officially in the books, I'll get back to to posting semi-funny shit on a more regular basis. In fact, i'm going to declare it right now: a TOH entry every damn day this week! So let it be typed, so let it be done!

Monday, August 02, 2004


So did you miss me? Did you struggle to fill the 45-60 seconds of your workday usually devoted to reading my horsepoop? I know it was a long, cold week without me, but I had to stop writing for a week, in order to clear out all the suckers. I figure anyone who hasn't abandoned this stupid little website by now must be a true TOH reader. So for those of you who are back, half-expecting to see the same informational entry that has been collecting dust for the past eight days, I thank you.

Just about every waking moment these days is spent contemplating/freakingout about this Comedy Central thing on Friday. I genuinely look forward to being done with it, so I can stop poring over the same comedy pits (thinking they're going to suddenly become more hilarious) and go back to thinking of brand new poo-poo and pee-pee jokes.

But just to prove how totally non-funny I am these days, I'll try this:


The I.O.U. Party

The Soldiers of Islam Party

The Ungroomed Vagina Party

The Half-Assed Indie Rock Hipster "Party"

The Wicked Retahhhded Pahhhty

The Key Party

The Need-fifty-dollars-to-make-you-holla Party

The Party Hearty Party

The Vicious Hitler-Loving Queers Party

The Danzacrats

Okay, that's all I got. Sad, no?