Saturday, December 30, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Just letting all of you Sunshine Staters know that I'll be performing at the Ft. Lauderdale Improv this weekend, from Thursday 12/28 to Saturday 12/30. So put down your brand new Nintendo Wii or "Grey's Anatomy, Season Two" DVD and come out to a show. I promise to say lots of very funny things and that those funny thing will be properly amplified via microphone technology. And think of the added bonuses:
1) The Ft. Lauderdale Improv is adjacent to the Hard Rock Seminole Hotel and Casino, so after the show you can win back all of that holiday cash you wasted on your family.
2) You'll be able to cross "See the world’s most scintillating stand-up comedy show not involving watermelons" off of your New Year’s resolutions before the New Year has even begun!
3) I'll be selling and signing copies of my new CD, "Two For Flinching". What better way to try to make amends for the semi-degrading lingerie you bought for your wife?
4) Feeling a bit porky from all your yuletide binging? Well laughter burns up to 85 calories a minute! Where do I get that statistic, you ask? I made it up, fuckface! But laughing at my highly articulate dick jokes ain’t gonna make you any fatter--that’s the Christian Finnegan guarantee.
Please don't resist--you'll just end up embarrassing both of us. Here are the details:
Christian Finnegan @ The Ft. Lauderdale Improv
December 28 -30
5700 Seminole Way
Hollywood, FL 33314
Click here for tickets and stuff
See you there, friendlies.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
DAYS OF YORE
This morning, the St. Petersburg Times pulled a 2002 quote from this very blog for an article about Paul McCartney's holiday dickpunch, "Wonderful Christmastime". In honor of this little bit of media love, I've decided to re-post the entry the quote was pulled from. Reading it back, there are a couple of innacuracies (1. Bowie's blazer in the Bing Crosby special appears to be sharkskin rather than velveteen, and 2. Sir Paul is singing "sim-plee", not "seeeem t'be"), but in general I think it all still holds up. One thing, though: I'm kind of embarrassed for having said that "Do They Know it's Christmas?" has lyrical heft. As my friend Andres rightly pointed out, maybe these poor Africans don't know it's Christmas because...well, they live in fucking Africa, you condescending Imperialist bastards.
TOWER OF HUBRIS RATES CHRISTMAS CAROLS OF THE MODERN ERA
* "Do They Know it's Christmas" (Band Aid) -- Sure, you can name all of the soloists in "We Are the World", but can you do the same for "Do They Know it's Christmas"? In case you aspire to my level of utter dorkiness, it goes: Paul Young / Boy George / George Michael / Simon LeBon / Simon LeBon and Sting / Sting and Bono / Bono / everyone / Paul Young again / everyone. Why a pathetic 80s also-ran like Paul Young got two solos, we'll never know. I will say this, though--Paul Young wins the award for "Most Inappropriate Use of a Sitar" hands-down for that song "Every Time You Go Away". As far as the Band Aid song goes, I actually kind of love it. It's actually got some musical and lyrical heft to it, unlike that USA for Africa horseshit. GRADE: B+
* "Little Drummer Boy" (Bing Crosby and David Bowie) -- This song was, of course, recorded as part of a famous '70s Bing Crosby Christmas special and I defy any of you to watch the little opening "scene" acted out between Bowie and Bing and tell me it's not the first three minutes of a gay porno. "Percival lets me use his piano...may I come in?" Percival?! Then, Bing awkwardly sidles up to the baby grand and makes "small talk" as Bowie teases him with his Aladdin Sane-era shock of red hair blue velveteen blazer, while nonchalantly thumbing through some sheet music. The sexual tension is almost palpable. And then...song. Ladies and gentlemen, the gayest moment ever on television (that didn't involve ice skates). Bowie was in fine voice, by the way. GRADE: B
* "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (Elmo 'n Patsy) -- The very sound of Down Syndrome. Even sadder: I absolutely loved it when it came out. I would sit patiently by the radio, listening to Dr. Demento (as was my Sunday night ritual), anxiously awaiting the "Funny Five" countdown. "Coming in at #5: "Yoda" by Weird Al Yankovic, #4: "Fish Heads" by Barnes and Barnes, #3: "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" by Napoleon XIV, #2: "Dead Puppies" by Ogden Edsl", and the #1 song of the week, dementoids and dementites, is Elmo 'n Patsy!!! Hoo-raaaaay!" I think I stopped listening to Dr. Demento the day I touched an actual boobie. Thanks, Nicole Guttenberg! GRADE: D
* "Fairytale of New York" (The Pogues) and "2000 Miles" (Pretenders) -- I shan't joke about either of these songs. GRADE: A
* "Christmas in Hollis" (Run-DMC) -- I think of Run-DMC a lot around this time of year, every time I get together with my friends and "bust Christmas carols". I did so love this song when it came out, wlthough I had no idea where "Hollis, Queens" was, nor what "collared greens" were, nor "cold hundreds of G's". Looking back, I think you can pinpoint "Christmas in Hollis" as the precise moment when Run-DMC stopped being taken seriously by black people. I think it may have has something to do with the "mischievous elf" in the video. It's probably difficult to come off as "hard" once you've appeared on film with a dude in tights and pointy shoes. I still get psyched when it comes on the radio or MTV, only to disappointedly turn the station two minutes in, once my "Irony Meter" starts dipping into the red. GRADE: B-
* "Wonderful Christmastime" (Paul McCartney) -- Sweet Christ, if this is the worst song ever recorded, I'm not sure what is. Recorded in the early days of synthesizer technology, this little yuletide ditty (or don't-y) now reminds one not of the Beatles' majesty, but of a rejected theme song for some cooking show on Queens public access television. Every time I hear that "seeeem t'be haaa-ving...", a little piece of me dies. I will always love Sir Paul, but I fully expect that "Wonderful Christmastime" is what's piped through Hell's stereo system while Satan pierces your genitals with burning rods. GRADE: F-
* "Backdoor Santa" (Bon Jovi) -- Insert joke here. GRADE: D
There are, of course, dozens more ("Happy Christmas (War is Over)" by John Lennon and Wham!'s "Last Christmas", to name but two), but I'm getting tired and it's not like anyone going to be checking in here today, anyway. And if you ARE, go wrap some goddamn presents, or something!
Monday, December 18, 2006
WHAT CHILD IS THIS?
Hey there. Long time no type.
I was in Dayton, OH this week, performing at the lovely Funnybone Comedy Club. It was a very nice club and the majority of my sets went surprisingly well (except for Sunday night's show, which was populated in part by a large group of women from a local black church, one wearing a lovely Easter hat--hardly my target audience). Anyway, the brand new club is situated in one of those outdoor cookie-cutter outdoor malls that seem to be popping up in city in America. Seriously, everyu place I travel to seems to have one of these sprawling "lifestyle centers", all of which seem to include a movie theater, The Cheesecake Factory and either a Talbots or a Chico's. Totally off-topic, Kambri once nailed the Chico's appeal, describing it to me as a place for suburban middle-aged women who think of themselves as free spirits. Seriously, take a look at this chick and tell me she consider herself to be "sassy". Gauzy blouses combined with long strings of beads are an unholy fashion alchemy. Blecch.
Speaking of holiness, the most noteworthy of this particular outdor mall was the live nativity scene set up in the courtyard in front of the club (adjacent to the parking lot, as described in the Bible). I know it's easy to take potshots at religious people, and I actually find nativity scenes kind of heartwarming. But man, I simply cannot convey how lackluster this scene was--no effort whatsoever. Four bales of hay, some traffic partitions, and a few random townsfolk andd meth addicts in costume. The costumes weren't terrible in and of themselves, but Joseph and Mary apparently made a pitstop at LensCrafters on the way to the Holy Land. How hard is it to leave your specs in the minivan? Does life in the manger really require 20/20 vision? I'm also pretty certain one of the wise men was wearing an iPod. No goats or donkeys in sight, just one mangy collie lying off to the side, licking himself. And although I absolutely cannot confirm this, I suspect the Baby Jesus was a Bratz Babyz doll. Worst of all, the birth of Christ was being recreated directly beneath Adobe Gila's, a garish margarita-and-date-rape saloon that I'm sure is part of some awful chain. So for the better part of Friday and Saturday evening, the nativity was was bathed in the muffled bass and hostile chanting of whatever the DJ was using to get the party started on "Naughty School Girl Night". At no point in the weekend did I see more than five people observing the virgin birth at any given time--mostly, people would cast a cursory glance while strolling over to Yankee Candle.
Truly a Christmas miracle! Hallelujah!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
(NOTE: In a few hours, I'll be appearing on the Bob & Tom show, an very popular morning radio show that airs all over this great nation of ours. The show is extremely comedian-friendly and many of my peers who've appeared on the show have said they experienced a lot of new web traffic as a result. Therefore, I thought I might as well introduce myself to any curious passers-by.)
Good day, Bob & Tom listeners. Welcome to my little e-oasis. I assume you're here because:
A) You're desperate to learn more about the wonderfully talented and charismatic person you heard on the radio. Who is he? What makes him tick? What are his hopes and dreams? And most importantly, DO BOB AND TOM REALIZE THEY'RE IN PRESENCE OF COMEDY GENIUS?
B) You're desperate to learn more about the incredibly unfunny sack of crap you heard on the radio. Who is he? Why would anyone find him remotely funny? Why is he deluding himself? And most importantly, DOES THIS DOUCHEBAG HAVE NAKED PHOTOS OF BOB AND TOM?
C) You're looking for some bland amusement to distract you from soul-crushing spiritual nutpunch that is your career.
Whatever the reason, nice to have you. Scroll down, take a look around--I guarantee you'll find something that will make you say, "Gee, he seemed like a much nicer person on the radio." Toodles!
Your Private Dancer
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
HE'S GOT THE LOOKS THAT THRILL!
As you may have heard, interim U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton will be stepping down before the new congress convenes in January. Now I don't pretend to have any clue what goes into good ambassador-ing. My evaluation of John Bolton as both a civil servant and a human being is pretty bare-bones: All the people who support him seem to be douchebags--therefore, I must assume that John Bolton is also a douchebag and, hence, a bad ambassador. I will say this for the man, though: he is, without a doubt, the goofiest looking human being to ever hold high office. Don't believe me? Check this dude out:
Take a look at that guy and tell he shouldn't be living inside a tree. I mean, there are offices higher than Ambassador to the U.N. and there are probably people goofier looking than John Bolton. But to be that goofy and that powerful? Well, you really have to tip your hat. This dude is an inspiration--no longer will aesthetically challenged children be forced to say, "Gee, I'd really love to represent my country at the United Nations one day...but man, I'm just fucking goofy looking!"
I'm hoping that the president stays the course on this one and nominates someone equally as visually groundbreaking to replace Ambasador Bolton. To that end, I've compiled my only little shortlist. Feel free to forward these photos along to yoour congressperson, along with a few thousand signatures:
Monday, December 04, 2006
LET'S GET FISCAL
Question for you mature adults out there: When you receive your bank statements every month, what do you do with them? Do you go through them, match them against your receipts and checkbook, make sure no one is ripping you off? That seems like the kind of thing an adult would do. I'm hoping at least a couple of you do this, because if not, my financial strategy is truly fucked.
You see, when I receive statements of any kind (bank, credit card, cell phone, what have you), I toss them in the garbage unopened. You know why I don't bother to read my statements? Because you do. Nothing personal, there--I'm not implying that your fiscal responsibility is in some way uncool. Although, let's be honest: do you think The Fonz would spend a lot of time going through his Discover Card statement? But that's beside the point. What I'm saying is, Bank of America doesn't know me. They don't anything about me. They have no idea that I possess the organizational skills of a heroin-addicted toddler. For all Bank of America knows, I'm vigiliant with my finances, the kind of person who goes through every bill with a fine-tooth comb, looking for indescretions and overcharges. I could be the kind of person who spends an hour on hold with Account Services to clear up an errant late fee, not because I really need the $15, but merely on principle. For all Bank of America knows, I could be...you. And they're not going to dare try to fuck with you, are they? So thanks, nerds--your fiscal responsibility has freed me up to be the man I am today.
Why do I have the feeling that one day I'll re-read this last paragraph and start weeping?
I feel like I'm in the midst of a serious 'Manchild' phase of my life. My body is beginning to show undeniable signs of age, and yet I seem to have acquired none of the maturity that usually goes along with getting older. For example, I have a "bad knee". I'm not saying that I injured my knee, that if I take it easy for a week or two it will be back in tip-top shape. No, I'm talking about the deep ache in my left knee that has flared up over the past year or so whenever I've tried to jog for sustained periods/distances. This is not something that I see getting better--it's just a fact of life that I have to live with now that I'm solidly in my Thirties. Hell, I remember when my Dad first acquired a "bad knee" right around the same age I am now. Of course, when my Dad was 33, he owned a home, two cars and a business that employed about twenty people (this in addition to taking care of a wife and two children). This seems like that way it's meant to be: as your body starts to deteriorate, your "adult" capabilities begin to reveal themselves. Well, it's not really working out like that for me. It doesn't seem right that I suffer semi-regular back spasms and yet know absolutely nothing about the stock market. I knew nothing about the stock market ten years ago, but back then it was a positive. I was a freewheeling muthafucka in my Twenties--don't be wasting my time with all this NASDAQ shit! But now that I'm sporting a growing collection of grey hairs, I should probably have some vague sense of what the word "annuities" means. The guy who does my taxes tried explaining it to me, but he may as well be speaking Klingon.
I'll admit, part of me doesn't want to learn about investing, for fear of becoming one of those people. If I start having conversations about "the Market", how long will it be before I'm wearing a cell-phone holster and tucking my polo shirts into my khakis? But I am, ever so slightly, trying to dip my toe into the waters of fiscal adulthood. I even have a "Money Market Account" now, although it sits empty because I still have no idea what the hell it is. I hope to get a handle on it before I start noticing grey pubes, but it's going to be a horse race.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
THANKS A BUNCH, KRAMER...
WARNING: There is nothing funny contained in today's entry. Seriously. Being that it's "Tuesday Newsday" and I am by all accounts a stand up comedian, I can't really avoid addressing this Michael Richards craziness, can I? Hell, how often is stand up comedy front page news--especially a story that doesn't involve the words "Dane" and/or "Cook"? So I will try to adress it here, even though the whole story just makes me kind of depressed and angry. This story will have residual effects on the stand up community as a whole, from the barrage of anti stand-up editorials that are already being written to my suspician that an increasing number of people are going to start filming comedy club shows on their cell phones, hoping to catch something "incriminating". It's just bad for comedians everywhere, which makes it really difficult to feel sorry for this fuckhead.
Obviously, the tirade was insane. But having been taken to task for things I've said (or have been perceived to say) on stage a few times over the past few years, I was looking for a reason, ANY reason to exonerate the dude in my mind. Well, I tried--really, I did. I'm willing to stand up (no pun intended) for any comic, saying any sort of offensive shit, provided that there is a joke involved. It doesn't have to be a great joke--hell, it can just be a vague and poorly executed premise. But there is absolutely nothing resembling a joke in Richards' screed. Not even the germ of a joke. Not even a whisper. Oh sure, he babbled something about "words, words, all these words", obviously trying to point out our cultural taboos. Setting aside ethics for a moment, that's a pathetic cop out--invoking the word "nigger" for shock value is considered indisputably hack among real stand up comics, no matter what silly context you try to put it in. But for the sake of argument, I'll give Richards this one. that still does nothing to address lines like, "fifty years ago you'd be upside down with a fork up your ass" or "that's what happens when you interrupt the white man". That's just nonsense, pure and simple.
You have to understand, I'm still not terribly comfortable taking this position. As I said up top, my instinct is always to side with a comic over any "offended party". There is so little respect for stand-up in the culture at large, and pundits and journalists are ALWAYS looking for subtle (or not-so-subtle) ways to diminish what comics try to do. By talking shit about Michael Richards, am I not taking sides against my peers? But then a very simple truth dawned on me:
Michael Richards is not a stand up comedian. So fuck him.
Michael Richards is one of a growing number of on-the-wane celebrities who have decided to attach themselves like barnacles to the world of stand-up (think Screech). There is always an air of palpable condescension that comes from people like this. They think it's easy. Or if not "easy", than certainly nothing more than a means to an end. Stand up is a way to stay visible until an on-camera gig comes along. Plus, it gives them some feeling of "cred". These are not people who feel compelled to spend five hours at a shitty Tuesday night open mic, waiting to perform for a handful of disinterested drunks.
Simply put, someone like Michael Richards has never paid his dues and obviosuly doesn't understand that stand can be...well, pretty fucking intricate. There are things about comedy that you can't learn by waltzing into a club on Saturday night and babbling (and trust me, there are no fucking jokes in this dude's set--I've seen it) to a packed room full of people who adore you because you were on the tee-vee. All of those open mics and late night hell gigs teach you things, such as: Don't try to be "edgy" without knowing what the comedic payoff is supposed to be. To paraphrase "Glengarry Glen Ross, "If you don't know the shot, keep your fucking mouth shut." Watching Richards scream "nigger" over and over again in some weak-assed attempt to be Lenny Bruce (overrated, by the way) was liking watching a foreigner read the Pledge of Alleigance phonetically.
Look, I know Richards was a sketch comedian for a very long time before Seinfeld. But sketch is not stand up--neither is improv. Only in stand-up are you forced to take full ownership of every word that comes out of your mouth. There are no characters to hide behind, no scenarios to "yes-and". There is only you, your opinion and whatever ability you have to express that opinion in a humorous fashion.
Michael Richards doesn't know that because he's not a stand up comedian. He's an out of work actor trying to be edgy and dangerous until his next "wacky neighbor" role comes along. So fuck him.
Monday, November 20, 2006
EXACTLY HOW BIG OF A FUCKING ASSHOLE AM I?
So Saturday night I was driving a rental car to a show in Pennsylvania. I'm not a huge fan of driving--in fact, I just re-acquired my license fifteen months ago, after letting it expire when I moved to NYC at age eighteen. This particular drive was annoying because I'd rented a portable GPS system that had, due to my idiocy, taken me forty minutes out of my way. I also hadn't eaten, so I was a bit cranky. Somewhere along the way I realized I'd forgotten to pack my American Crew Forming Cream (the official hair product of aging wannabes), so I got off the highway and turned into an Eckerd's. As I started to pull into a parking spot, I noticed a roly poly child of around eleven sitting in a station wagon two spots over. He was sitting in the backseat with the door open, playing with some large brightly colored toy--some sort of brightly colored lazer gun, or something. And I suppose "playing with" isn't accurate. He was just sort of sitting there, staring at it in his hands as if it were a bunny he'd accidentally strangled to death. Mom was obviously inside buying personal hygeine products and had left Junior outside to amuse himself. He kind of reminded me of the kid from Bad Santa, only wearing glasses and not so visibly retarded.
Anyway, I pulled a bit too far into the parking spot and the front end of my Ford Taurus scraped the cement parking barrier, making a rather hideous noise. Naturally, I then backed up a bit, causing another loud screech. I got out of the car and cheked the front of the car--I bought the insurance for the car, but I was worried that Dollar Rental would still try to charge me. Relatively comfortable with the state of the Ford Taurus, I began to walk toward the front door. As I passed the Bad Santa kid, I heard home say something, almost inaudibly: "Nice driving."
Um...did I just fucking hear that? Did this little fuckknob just talk shit to me? After the day I've had? No. Fucking. Way.
"Excuse me?" I said, as I spun around to face the kid.
"Nice hat," he said, peering up from his lazer gun. (I was, for the record, wearing a rather nondescript hat.)
"Oh really? Nice hat? That's what you just said?"
"Because I could have sworn I heard you say 'nice driving'. You didn't say 'nice driving'?
"So you're telling me that I heard you wrong, that what you really said was 'nice hat'? That's what you're trying to convince me of? That's the story you're going with?"
Pause. Then quietly, "I said 'nice hat'."
The roly poly child sheepishly pulled his legs into the car, shut the door and slumped down in the backseat. I turned around and strode confidently into Eckerd's, feeling as if I'd stood up in the face of Injustice. By the time I returned to the Ford Taurus, the kid's mother had abviously finished her shopping and the station wagon was gone. I was half disappointed, as I wanted to see kid squirm a little bit more. And the other half of me was relieved, as I was a little afraid that the kid was going to tell on me and that I'd get yelled at by his mother.
Question: Exactly how big of a fucking asshole am I?
Monday, November 13, 2006
MUSIC APPRECIATION DAY
I'm not feeling particularly funny or self-analytical today, so I thought I might as well just recommend some tunes I've been digging lately. Not all of these are actually "new", but I've come to discover (or re-discover) each of these over the past month or two and they're all genuinely wondrous. You should go on iTunes (or whatever) and buy them.
* "Sunday Noises" by Califone
* "New York Groove" by Ace Frehley
* "Destination Diamonds" by Diamond Nights
* "Phoenix" by Cibelle
* "Skip to the End" by The Futureheads
* "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
* "The Only Night" by Ian Love
* "Drop it Like it's Hot" by Minus the Bear (no, it's not a Snoop Dog cover)
* "Even Tho" by Joseph Arthur
* "Don't Save Us From the Flames" by M83
* "Province" by TV on the Radio
* "Piece of Clay" by Marvin Gaye
* "I Was Born (A Unicorn)" by The Unicorns
* "Why Don't We Fall in Love" by Amerie
* "Fly High Michelle" by Enuff Z'nuff (fuck you, it's a great song)
If you can't find at least one song on this list you dig, you're fucking Al Qaeda.
Friday, November 10, 2006
PREPARE TO BE SPEECHLESS
Listen, I know this clip has already made the rounds, but I include it here in the hopes that there are a few of you out there who are still uninitiated. There is so much to love here, so much to loathe, so much to make you squirm uncomfortably in your chair. Without further ado, I give you "One Bank":
one bank on Vimeo
Thursday, November 09, 2006
THE POLITICS OF TOMORROW!
So the votes in Virgina are in, the Democrats have officially taken the Senate and depending on your philosophical leanings, you're either elated or moritifed (count me among the elated). I did, however, notice there seem to be more and more fringe political parties on the ballot every election year. In New York, we had the Libertarians, the Green Party, The Independence Party, Working Families, Conservatives, Socialist Workers and the "Rent is Too High" Party (I like a party that spells it out for me!). In my opinion, the Two Party System is the single worst aspect of our American Democracy--how can a government function well if half of its leaders deperately want (nay, NEED) the other half to fail? So I think the rise in Third Party candidates can only be a good thing. And according to my research, the ballot is only going to get more crowded next time around. Here are a bunch of fringe politcal parties looking to make their mark in 2008:
PHILOSOPHY: Freetopians are vehemently opposed to government infringements on personal liberty at all levels. Among the things Freetopians are opposed to: streetlights, child safety caps and minimum height requirements on roller coasters.
SLOGAN: "Libertarians are a bunch of Communist pussies!"
THE ARE-WE-RACIST? PARTY
PHILOSOPHY: The AWR endorses a number of controversial social policies, all of which are very ambiguous in their intent. Are they trying to help the less fortunate? Or are they horrible racists? Hard to say. Proposals include a plan that would require teachers in predominantly Black schools to rap their lessons plans, a "Tortillas-for-Guns" program in crimeridden Latino neighborhoods, and The Schlomo Goldstein Foundation, which helps Jews pass the bar exam.
SLOGAN: "Working towards an America where men and women of every race are valid."
TGL (Total Government Live)
PHILOSOPHY: TGL wants to offer America a more direct approach to Democracy, whereby policy would be created via "shout outs" by average teens who happen to be congregating en masse outside the House of Respresentatives.
SLOGAN: "Hi, I'm Tracy Meloni from Merrick, Long Island and I want to give a mad shout out to tax code reform for working families and small business! Chad Michael Murray, I love you! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"
THE FINGERFUCK PARTY
PHILOSOPHY: Founded by prominent economist Ronald Fingerfuck, The Fingerfucks are the "no nonsense" party of fiscal responsibility. They believe budget cuts are necessary in both social programs and military spending if we ever hope to reign in our ballooning national deficit.
SLOGAN: "The era of false promises is over. America deserves honest and sober fiscal leadership in the face of a ever-evolving global economy. Vote Fingerfuck."
THE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE GIRLFRIEND PARTY
PHILOSOPHY: This group believes that the 'passive-aggressive girlfriend' is the perfect model for good government. If voted into power, the PAG will exert its influence on foreign and domestic policy through an intricate combination of awkward silences, vague expressions of disappointment, and occasional crying fits.
SLOGAN: "So...you don't want to increase farm subsidies? Um...okay. No, that's fine... (sigh...) ...Listen, I think I'm just going to go. No. I'm fine. Obviously, you're not interested in what I have to say, so... You just do whatever. I said, I'm fine. Really. (sigh)"
THE PEPSI GENERATION
PHILOSOPHY: This party is dedicated to promoting the family value of cool, refreshing Pepsi cola. Look under the cap of your participating Pepsi product for a chance to become Secretary of Health and Human services, or any one of 150 other rad Pepsi prizes! The PG hopes to rebound after months of infighting between potential nominees Shakira and Beyonce.
SLOGAN: With a smooth taste and less than 100 calories, it's clear that Pepsi is the choice of a new voting demographic!
THE PARTY PARTY
PHILOSOPHY: If voted into power, this group will see to it every American citizen would be able to throw a kick-ass party. Funds will be allocated for beer, potato chips, crepe paper streamers and totally awesome '80s music mix CD's. A special congressional task force will be formed to make sure that "Jeff" doesn't show up.
SLOGAN: "Dude, you are so wasted! We are so getting your vote!"
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
AN INTERVIEW WITH A FASCINATING HUMAN BEING
The very wonderful comedy website Dead Frog just posted an extensive (dare I say, exhaustive) interview with a truly legendary American. That's right: me. Some of what I said makes me cringe a little bit. Some of it I'm relatively proud of. The main thing this interview has taught me is that i really need to learn how to speak in full and complete sentences--especially when talking to someone on the phone.
Anyway, if you're interested in the philosphy of stand up comedy (to the extent there is one), I think it's worth reading. You can read the whole thing here.
P.S. By the way, Kambri has been demanding I mention that, on the very same day I "worked" with Kevin Federline, she chatted with Wilmer Valderama. this is significant because K-Fed and Wilmer are probably my two biggest go-to punchlines on "Best Week Ever". Wilmer more than Federline, honestly (after all, anyone can make a K-Fed joke). Still, that is a pretty heavy-duty aligning of the douchebaggy planets. You can read about Kambri's Valderhomage here. I'm relieved that, by all indications, Kambri was able to resist havng sex with him.
Monday, November 06, 2006
So, if you didn't notice, I took a little time away from the Tower of Hubris last week. What can I say--I was ravaged by exhaustion and had other things to do that were...how shall I say it...more important than the e-masturbatory folly that is this blog. But just so you don't feel like you missed out on anything, here's a quick update on the things I'm wracking my brain with these days:
* I spent the majority of the past week readying a sitcom idea that I am pitching to a television executive this afternoon (at 3pm EST, if you're the kind of person who believes in putting out "good vibes" and shit). I'm working with a very talented writer dude who's really done the lion's share of the work--my main role has been to meet him for lunch and babble nonsensically about my worldview. My other role has been to add little nuggets of wisdom, such as "I don't want my character to be named Walter" and "There aren't really any Cubans in Astoria, Queens". Anyway, it's been a pretty interesting process and I'm proud to finally count myself among the 4,000,000 douchebags out there hawking a situation comedy.
* On Saturday evening, I nearly got into a fistfight. And when I say "fistfight", I mean "had my ass handed to me by a teenage Latino dude". Here's an abbreviated rundown of how it all went down, with the helps of semi-colons: Thug Life was sitting on the subway stairs; I needed to get by and as I did I bumped into him slightly; he said some shit to me; I said some shit back; he got into my "grill"; I didn't back down (too much); Thug Life ceremoniously removed his doo-rag (it was ON!); I walked down the platform; he followed me and said some more shit; I said some more shit back, trying my best to refrain from calling him MC Hammer (he had stupid little lines cut into his eyebrows); he promised to follow me wherever I went; I told him to go ahead, while privately praying he wouldn't); he told me as we got above ground he was going to rob and beat me; I gave him a very nervous "whatever" look; Thug Life started stalking the platform yelling "WHITE BOY! WHIIIIIIIIITE BOY!"; I removed my license and credit cards from my wallet (just in case!); we got on the train, he starting badgering some random and bewildered black woman, shouting about how, back in the day, white boys never would have gotten away with talking shit (ah, the salad days!); we got off the train; I walked towards one staircase; he inexplicably lost track of me (I wasn't running, I promise!) and walked towards the other staircase; I climbed the stairs while listening to Thug Life yell "WHITE BOY! WHERE YOU AT?!"; I walked at a normal pace (maybe I was hurrying a little...okay, I was speed-walking, basically) across 14th street to my gig, all the while half-waiting for a drunken fist to come careening down onto the back of my head; I got to the club and spent the next twenty minutes drinking and waiting for my hands to stop shaking with rage (okay, fear). Then I went up and tried to make people laugh--it went pretty well except for the moment where I started yelling at some Jersey girl for talking during my set. I'm man enough to admit that maybe I was taking shit out on her just a teensy-weensy bit. Such is life.
* Oh, and did I mention I met Kevin Federline on Thursday? Well, I did. I did something with him for Best Week Ever. While spectacularly unimpressive as a public figure (even in person, K-Fed has the starpower of a TGI Fridays night manager), he said or did nothing that was glaringly douche-y. I was polite, but not overly friendly. I already felt like a major hypocrite standing there next to him after all the shit I;'ve talked about him on the show. Best Week Ever, like politics, creates strange bedfellows. Honestly, I was just relieved he didn't punch me in the face. Either he's fully embraced his Semi-Celebrity Pinata status, or Best Week Ever isn't on his radar. I will say this, though--that dude positively reeks of cigarettes. Shit is nasty, yo.
* Lastly, just so I don't miss yet another opportunity to flog Two For Flinching, here's a quick little promo I did for BWE (as we insiders/jackwads call it):
Monday, October 30, 2006
YES, THIS INVOLVES FARTING
My life is a movie. I know a lot of people say that, and when they do they imagine their lives as distinctly Woody Allen-esque, with overeducated urbanites tossing off witty rejoinders. Or maybe you view your life as a compendium of bittersweet nuggets of poignancy set to pop music, a la Cameron Crowe. Or hell, maybe your life is the spitting image of The Constant Gardener--who's to say? But that's not what I'm talking about. My life is a really crappy movie. The kind of movie that would garner a Metacritic score of 34. The kind of movie that would star Jonathan Silverman and be released straight to video--in Belgium.
Here's a brief glimpse of what I'm talking about:
This afternoon I found myself standing at the elevator bank of an office building, alone--not a soul within sight. As the elevator doors opened and I stepped through, I felt the Asian Chicken Salad I had for lunch shift awkwardly in my stomach. So I...well, how do I say this...I ripped a fart, okay? Don't fucking judge me. What, you've never done passed gas in your life? Your digestive tract is impervious to such things? Anyway, I wasn't too concerned as soon the elevator doors would close and no one would have to know about my little faux pas. But here's the thing: the doors didn't close. They just sat there, motionless. I stood thee calmly for a few moment, wondering what the problem was. Before long, a scent rose up to my nostrils--faintly at first, than like a tidal wave of hot lava. It was a stench so brutal and unyielding, I nearly lost consciousness. My head was immediately filled with visions of war, pestilence and Andy Dufresne crawling through a sewage pipe to escape Shawshank Prison. This smell came from me? From my body?! Even as my mind continued to reel, the elevator doors remained open, as if in silent testimony. "BEHOLD!", they exclaimed, "THIS MAN JUST UNLEASHED A TORRENT OF UNHOLINESS THROUGH HIS ANUS! YES, THIS MAN RIGHT HERE!"
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the elevator doors began to close. Thank you, sweet christ! Redemption! I stopped worrying about the doors and set to wondering if I could hold my breath for 17 floors. Then...horror. Three corporate types (two men and a woman) came around the corner and began rushing towards the elevator doors. In a panic, I began furiously stabbing at the "Doors Close" button, all the while trying to assure the office drones that I was doing everything I could do to make them re-open. With the doors about five inches apart I felt like I was in the clear, but at the last moment this dude got his mitt in between, and the doors began easing back open. The walls started closing in on me as a felt another another wave of awfulness ready itself in my lower intestine. Finally, as the three fastidious-looking business people loaded into the elevator, I freaked out and essentially shoved them out of the way to get back into the lobby. "Pick the wrong elevator?" asked one of the fellows, amiably. I muttered some sort of affirmative response over my shoulder and kept walking. As the elevator doors were finally closing, I heard the woman exclaim, "Oh...god!!".
I stood in the lobby for a solid ten minutes waiting, quite literally, for the smoke to clear. I felt sorry for those poor, innocent professionals--that particular elevator was for Floors 17-25, so they had at least a solid 20 seconds to marinate in the horrific ass-sauna I'd created. Finally, I got into another elevator and went up to the 17th floor. And when I stepped out of the elevator, guess who was standing there? Can you guess...?
No one. the elevator bank was completely empty. Like I said, my life is a crappy movie.
Friday, October 27, 2006
So it's been a couple of days since I posted. My sincere apologies. As you can imagine, the past few days have been a bit of a blur--two separate CD release events, interviews with college newspapers, radio call-ins, blah blah blah. Even though things will continue to be hectic from here on in, I do feel like the next week or two will give me a nice opportunity to get my head back above water. I have about 150 emails I haven't responded to, I haven't hung out with my friends in a while and I haven't really written any new material lately. Also, I'd really love to have sex with my wife sometime soon--she deserves the forty-two seconds of pure ecstasy that only Finny can provide. of course, my mentioning that in a blog entry probably hamstrings any chance I have of getting laid anytime soon. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.
Speaking of the lovely Kambri, I should mention that she's going to be reading a piece from her site Love, Daddy at the Yankee Potroast reading this coming Monday 10/30 at Ace of Clubs. Y.P.R. is a very prestigious and well-respected literary cuddle party, so this is kind of a sweet gig. Anyway, you should check it out and stuff.
And now, apropos of nothing, please enjoy the music video "Breaking the Chains" by Dokken, a band I was very fond of in eighth grade. Stick around for the second and third verses--that's where this becomes a real treasure trove of awfulness.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
MY THOUGHTS ON THE SITUATION IN NORTHERN KOREA
I really think we've painted ourselves into a corner with Kim Jong Il. Our unilateral approach to the war in Iraq and its resulting global backlash has stripped the United States of any leverage at the bargaining table. Sanctions may sound like the answer, but our only realistic option is to re-engage North Korea in six-party talks...and...um...
...wait a second, here...
Who the hell cares about North Korea when TWO FOR FLINCHING COMES OUT TODAY?!!! That's right, peoples--the release of my debut CD is really the only news worth knowing. North Korea, Shmorth Shmorea. Can you purchase a resolution to the dicey issue of nuclear proliferation at your local record store or favorite online music provider? No, you can't. Is Kim Jong Il endorsed by Comedy Central? He most certainly is not. Does UN Ambassador John Bolton make you laugh hysterically? Well okay, maybe a little. But the point is, your life will be directly affected by the purchase of my CD far more than it ever will be by a semi-failed nuclear test on the Asian peninsula. That is, until North Korea sells the technology to Iran and we all die in a fiery mushroom cloud.
But until then, it's all about TWO FOR FLINCHING! Buy one, sucka!
P.S. It's not on iTunes yet--that will be another week or so.
Monday, October 23, 2006
THE PEANUT GALLERY SPEAKS
Listen, I'm going to keep today's blog entry short. I'm a bit depressed, to be honest. As you know by now, my CD ("Two For Flinching") is being released tomorrow on Comedy Central Records. Understandably, this is a big deal to me--I've always dreamed of a moment like this and what it could mean for the rest of my career. Well, the very first review of "Two For Flinching" is out, and...well, it's pretty darn negative. I'm constantly trying to remind myself that there are always going to be people who don't enjoy what you do and that you can't let that get you down. Still, it really hurts when your pour your heart and soul into a project and some bitter prick hiding behind a keyboard talks shit about you. I mean, I can accept someone not enjoying my work, but some of the stuff in this review seems downright personal. Anyway, you can read it for yourself here. Regardless of what you end up thinking about "Two For Flinching", I think we can all agree that the guy who wrote this review is an asshole.
P.S. Just a reminder to those of you in the NYC area: My CD release performance/party takes place tonight! I'll be doing a full 45 minute set and then selling and signing copies of "Two For Flinching"! Please come to the show and help me get over that hateful reviewer's screed! Here are the 'deets':
A Night of Life-Changing Stand Up Comedy by Christian Finnegan
with a special appearance by Nick Kroll
Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction
34 Avenue A (b. 2nd and 3rd st.)
Friday, October 20, 2006
Look, I realize I skipped yesterday's blog entry. I feel awful about it, honestly I do. And to show you how bad I feel, I'm going to punish myself by showing you this:
Yes, that is indeed me . Actually, I'm not really embarassed by that--I was kind of a cute kid. If I want to punish myself, I should show you this:
Not enough for you yet? Still haven't forgiven me? Well, try this one on for size:
And, just for shits and giggles a glimpse into my future:
That is all. I'll try not to let you down again.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
BROADWAY'S LEAST POPULAR MUSICALS
One Night with Bronson Pinchot
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamthong
Thoroughly Palsy-Ridden Millie
Anything Goes (Other Than Ass-Play)
Jesus Christ Relatively Obscure Character Actor
A Man, A Woman, A Dutch Oven
Twyla Tharp presents Down Boys: the Songs of Warrant
The Houston 500*
Seven Mail-Order Brides for Seven Computer Programming Brothers
Ku Klux Kismet
A Bunch of Gay Guys Pretending to be in Love with a Bunch of Annoyingly Cheery Women
* If you don't get this reference, google it--but not from work!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
As I'm sure you've heard, Madonna's new African baby arrived in London yesterday and was scooped up into the loving arms of a paid employee--and not a moment too soon, as the nation of Malawi has a well-known "30 minutes or it's free" delivery policy. Madonna wasn't at the airport, but she did manage to tour the orphanage and judged young David Banda the cutest (and, therefore, most worthy of a future). I've seen pictures of this kid and not only is he cute as the dickens, he looks fabulous with Madge's new zebra print halter top! To those of you who would question her motives, I would remind you that we are living in a African orphan world, and Madonna is an African orphan girl. Lest we forget, Madonna's true genius is in constantly re-inventing herself--it just so happens that this time out she's reinvented herself as Angelina Jolie's hairy-faced older sister.
Human rights activists are up in arms over the adoption, and they're right--we need to stop all of these financially secure celebrities from stealing kids out of these kick-ass orphanages! They're robbing these children of character-building experiences, like fighting over bowls of mushy rice and bedding down at night sandwiched between 300 of your best friends.
Look, does this whole scheme smell like a desperate attempt to remain socially relevant? Is Madonna a horse's ass? Yep. Should people get off her ass and let her adopt this baby anyway? Ab-so-lutely. If this kid was old enough to speak, I'm sure he'd say, "Listen, I'm fully aware that I'm a PR stunt. But I'm a PR stunt with a mink-lined playpen, fuckface!" Hell, Madonna could be bringing this kid on playdates with John Mark Karr and he'd still have won the lottery.
Opponents have claimed that Madonna was able to skirt Malawi's mandatory eighteen month residency law for prospective adoptive parents, and that if everyone was able to do that it could result in child trafficking rings. Um...yeah. Whatever one may think of Madonna, I think we can all agree that she's probably not selling children on the black market (I have the feeling Michael Musto might pick up on something like that). And it's not as if this is setting some rigid precedent--when some dude in sunglasses pulls his windowless van up to the orphanage, I don't see the government of Malawi saying, "Well...we let Madonna do it, so load 'em on up, I guess!"
So let Madonna or any other huge celebrity go ahead and adopt a Third World baby without a waiting period--lord knows the kids' lives are going to be better for it. And it's unlikely to lead to some sort of nefarious bumrush on the world's orphanages. But this sort of fast-tracking should be reserved only for stars with genuine staying-power. If we start handing these kids out to the Tara Reids and Wilmer Valderramas of the world, it'll only be the matter of a year or two before they find themselves back in abject poverty.
Monday, October 16, 2006
"TWO FOR FLINCHING" FEVER...CATCH IT!
As you may know, Two For Flinching, my debut stand up CD for Comedy Central Records, is being released a week from tomorrow (Tuesday October 24th). I know you're desperate to buy a copy for yourself--not to mention copies for your friends, family, co-workers, recent one-night stands, manicurists, defense attorneys, black market internal organ harvesters and creepy MySpace stalkers. Well, I've got some good news for you: you can pre-order a copy of Two For Flinching this very moment! No need to wait for "The Man" to give you permission--strike back at the status quo buy giving your money to Viacom (and me)!
Seriously, I don't want to be too grandiose about this, but here's the deal: every person who pre-orders a copy of Two For Flinching will achieve fame, financial independence and unyielding sexual gratification. I swear this is true.
For those of you in or around New York City, it gets even better: on Monday, October 23rd, I will be performing a full 45 minute set at Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction to celebrate the CD's release. That's right, forty-five full minutes of chicanery, hijinks and heartfelt advice regarding matters of social import. The show will be hosted by the wondrous Nick Kroll, and here's an extra enticement: you;re also invited to a post-show reception where I'll be signing copies of Two For Flinching. And I'm not talking some bland "All the best, Christian" shit--I'm talking about signing your newly-purchased CD in a way that is both personal and potentially insulting! How can you possibly resist?
Here are the show details:
A Night With Christian Finnegan and His Spectacular New Compact Disk Of Life-Altering Stand-Up Comedy
Monday, October 23rd
Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction
34 Avenue A (b. 2nd and 3rd st.)
New York, NY 10009
So if you're in or around NYC next monday night, I'd be honored if you'd help me celebrate the biggest moment of my professional career, the release of my very first CD. If you're not in the New York area or you're in the throes of some viciously infectious disease, go ahead and pre-order your copy of Two for Flinching online. Do it and I'll be your BFF!
As always, I thank you for your continued support.
Friday, October 13, 2006
FINE PRINT INDEED
There's a little mini-interview with me in this weekend's Metro (you know, that free newspaper you see littering the streets of major American cities, like Boston, New York and Philly?). Please bask in the important details of what constitutes a typical Christian Finnegan weekend.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
UP FROM THE ARCHIVES!
I'm insanely busy this week, so I thought I'd entertain you with a blast from the Tower of Hubris past. This entry comes from 2003 and I still think it's a humdinger of an idea. If anyone knows anybody in the videogame racket, tell 'em to give me a call!
As I've mentioned before on this page, I'm a bit of a Playsation buff. And by "Playstation buff", I mean: complete dork. I was thinking that there should be a brutal fighting game (a la Mortal Kombat, Tekken, etc) that pits various historical figures against each other. I am in no way joking about this--I genuinely think it would be cool. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the idea has already been trademarked. After all, think about it: Mussolini vs. Marcus Aurelius! Cleopatra vs. Ben Franklin! Malcolm X vs. The Lindberg Baby! Of course, each historical figure would have to his his/her own "Special Move". For those of you who are unfamiliar with the fighting game millieu, every character has its own wacky maneuver which, if triggered at the right time, will devastate the other character. So, by pushing a complicated combination of buttons, you can make your character shoot a big blue fireball, perform a brutal spinning head kick, or rip out your opponent's spine. Well, with history, the possibilites for special moves are endless. And you could just keep putting out new editions of the game, with different characters. Here are some ideas for viable historical figures, along with what they're Special Moves might be:
Special Move: The Emancipator
Taking advantage of his rumored Marfan Syndrome (aka Gigantism), Lincoln's hands suddenly become freakishly large and he fatally boxes his opponent's ears.
Special Move: Le Judgement
His opponent weakened, Robespierre pull a guillotine out of his powdered wig and swfitly executes his rival, declaring him an enemy of progress.
Special Move: The Calcutter
Swinging her rosary beads with blinding speed and deadly accuracy, Mother Teresa eviscerates her opponent, spilling his guts out onto the arena floor.
Special Move: The Historical Inevitibility
Marx rips his bourgeois opponent into tousands of tiny, perfectly equal parts. He then sweeps up the pieces and deposits them into the "Dustbin of History".
Special Move: The Mongolian Barbecue
Khan douses his opponent with oil and then roasts him alive on a rotating cast iron grill, which he pulls out of his beard.
Special Move: Knitting Needles of Fury
In a burst of staggeringly violent knitting, Betsy leaves her opponent riddled with gaping, star-shaped holes.
Special Move: A Midsummer Night's Brutality
Quill in hand, Shakespeare carves out his opponent's heart while simultaneously composing a sonnet in his honor.
Special Move: The Back (of the) Buster
After weakening her opponent with her cane, Rosa lifts her opponent high above her head and breaks his spine across her knee.
PYTOR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Special Move: The Nutcracker
Special Move: The Equestrian
His opponent disoriented, Caligula begins fellating a horse. The opposing fighter is so disgusted, he vomits up his own internal organs.
MOHANDUS "MAHATMA" GHANDI
Special Move: The Hunger Strike
Emaciated and insane with hunger, Gandhi pounces on his opponent and begins tearing off hunks of flesh with his teeth.
Special Move: The Blue Period
A vicious chokehold, wherein Picasso gets his pudgy croissant fingers around the opposing fighter's neck and squeezes until his face turns blue and his head pops like a zit. (Alternate Special Move: The Guernica--a pummelling so fierce, the opponent ends up with both eyes on the same side of his face.)
Special Move: The Republicizer
This is basically just a kick to the face while simultaneously having sex with a young boy.
JOHN MERRICK (aka The Elephant Man)
Special Move: The Not-An-Animalizer
Merrick unleashes a tale of woe so heart-wrenching, the opponent begins sobbing uncontrollably. It is at this point that Merrick attacks and brutally headbutts him to death.
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER
Special Move: The Butter Substitute
Carver batters opponent with...um...low cholesteral...? Okay, this one sucks.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
This is just a quick update to let you know that Robin Williams' Man of the Year, the sure-to-be-the-most-hilarious-and-socially-relevant film of this young century, drops this Friday! Get out your fucking lawn chairs and save your place in line outside the multiplex!!! Already, predictions are being made and wagers taken up:
* Will Robin break out his hilarious and oh-so-timely Southern evangelist imitation? (Yes)
* What about his even more hilarious swishy queen character? Will we get a taste of that? (You betcha)
* How far into the movie before Robin breaks into his spot-on "black guy" voice? (4 minutes, 22 seconds)
* Will that voice resemble any real-life black person I've encountered over the past 25 years? (Nope. He'll be a baritone Black Panther dude who bellows stuff like 'What it 'tis, ma brutha!")
* Might the film conclude with sort of lazy and self-congratulatory exhoration to ""be honest", "put people before politics", or "be good to each other"?!! (Magic 8-Ball says odds are good)
* When Robin Williams delivers this big social message in the final ten minutes of the film, will he lean forward on the oval office desk? Will he clasp his hands penitently? Will he purse his lips and speak in clipped words as a way of showing that playtime is over and it's time to get all poignant and shit?!! (One can only hope)
And most importantly:
* How awkward will it be when you try to explain to your crestfallen parents and office co-workers why you don't find Robin Williams entertaining?
Only you can answer that one, my friend.
Man of the Year, this Friday, October 13th! Don't miss it!!!!
Monday, October 09, 2006
HIT ME. NO, SERIOUSLY--HIT ME.
I'm about to wrap up a six day college swing through Michigan, Illinois and finally Missouri. If there is anyone out there think this sounds glamorous, please stop by my apartment tomorrow so I can punch you in the face. Here's a glamorous situation for you: preparing to do an hour of sexually explicit and liberal elitist comedy material for 700 people at a "family weekend" concert in rural Illinois. I've done plenty of "family weekend" shows, which are always awkward, but this one took the cake--literally everyone from grandparents in USA sweatshirts to five year old girls in pigtails. Needless to say, my dickhole-stabbing joke destroyed! Anyway, it's mostly been a pleasant trip but I'm dying to get home...for 44 hours, at which time I leave for another trip. Sigh.
On the upside, I'm writing to you from the Casino Queen Hotel in East St. Louis, an area world-reknown for it's poverty and squalor. I had no show last night and St. Louis is right on the way from Edwardsville, IL (where I was Saturday night) and Cape Girardeau, MO (where I'll be tonight). I always jump at the chance to get to a casino, maybe because there aren't any in or around NYC. I've been to Harrah's here in St. Louis at least three times, as I find myself passing through here quite a bit the past couple of years. But this time out I wanted a scuzzier experience, and what can I say--the Casino Queen more than delivers! This place is what you might call "extremely ghetto", if you were the kind of douche-y white person who misappropriates terms like "ghetto". The buildings are decrepit, mysterious stains decorate the hideously patterened carpet, and the buffet features a big discount bottle of supermarket-brand salad dressing you just pick up and squeeze yourself. I wasn't really bothered by any of this--I was more upset that I missed the Rod Stewart tribute by one day!
I'll be leaving the Casino Queen in about half an hour with $404 of its money. In fact, this is the second time in less than a month that I will have won a substantial amount of money at a blackjack table (I won $500 a few weeks ago). And here's the sad thing: I'm ten times as proud of the relatively small amount of money I've made gambling than all the money I've legitimately earned on this batch of college shows. Passing through the hotel lobby on my way back up to my room this morning, I couldn't help but look at the desk people and think, "You people are paying me to stay in your hotel! You're paying me to sleep in your bed! You're PAYING me to shit in your toilet! SUCK IT!!!" It's this kind of thinking that creates gambling addictions, I suspect.
Time to get back in my rental car...paid for by The Casino Queen, muthafucka!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
IT'S TOO LATE...I'VE SEEN IT ALL
Here is perhaps my favorite 4:09 minutes in recent television history. It's a clip from Ricky Gervais' show "Extras" and it is undisputable proof that Patrick Stewart is an unheralded comic genius. Absolute perfection.
(Thanks to Chris Regan for a heads-up on the link.)
Thursday, October 05, 2006
CONSTELLATIONS: I CALL BULLSHIT
That's right, you read the subject heading correctly--I'm oficially calling 'bullshit' on planetary constellations. Big Dipper? Okay, I'll give you that one. Little Dipper? Iffy at best, but fine. But the rest of them, Ursa Minor and all that nonsense? Sorry Poindexter, I don't buy it. Oh sure, people try to show point them out. "See? Right up there, slightly northwest of Saturn? There's the hunter...and there's his quiver of arrows...and he's riding a steed...?" And all I can think is, "Dude, there's only five fucking stars there." You're filling in some serious gaps. "See? Right up there--it's a giant crab, eating soup!" No, I don't see it.
And you know what else is bullshit? Fresh mozarella. You know, that taste-free white gourmet nastiness? I'm not saying fresh mozarella doesn't exist, mind you--I'm not crazy or nothin'. But I think it's time we all admit that fresh mozarella is a friggin' bust. Time and time again I'll be perusing some restaurant menu and I'll get all excited. "Ooo, fresh mozarealla and tomato salad! That sounds delicious--and classy! Thank god I'm not one of those philistines whoscarfs down un-fresh mozarella!" It's only once I'm chewing a bland slab of gentrified turd that I realize that I've once again been had. I'll take Cheez Whiz any day.
This is Andy Rooney, signing off.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
CURRENT HOUSE MEMBERS WITH SKELETONS MORE DISTURBING THAN MARK FOLEY'S
REP. KEN CALVERT (CA, 44th Dist.): Recently caught masturbating at the Vietnam Memorial.
REP. LANE EVANS (IL, 17th Dist.): Plays online Scrabble with Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
REP. VERNON J. EHLERS (MI, 3rd Dist.): In 1987, had one-nighter with Terri Schiavo. Never called.
REP. ROBERT E. "BUD" CRAMER (AL, 5th Dist.): Has memorized the entire libretto of Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Starlight Express"--in GERMAN!
REP. DARLENE HOOLEY (OR, 5th Dist.): Upon hiring, forces each and every campaign staffer to "earn his Red Wings".
REP. EDOLPHUS TOWNS (NY, 10th Dist.): Worships the Golden Calf.
REP. TAMMY BALDWIN (WI, 2nd Dist.): Title of her college thesis? "The Case Against Retards".
REP. HAROLD ROGERS (KY, 5th Dist.): Has been overheard describing marital relations with his wife as a "sexual Auschwitz".
REP. WAYNE GILCHREST (MD, 1st Dist.): Using binoculars to look through your bedrom window at this very moment.
REP. DOC HASTINGS (WA, 4th Dist.): Cockfighting enthusiast.
REP. MARCY KAPTUR (OH, 9th Dist.): Needs fifty dollars to make you holler.
REP. NICK RAHALL (WV, 3rd Dist.): Lives in West Virginia.
Monday, October 02, 2006
THE IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, Pt. II: The Bail-Out!
So in last week's "Self-Analysis Monday" entry, I concluded by saying I'd pick up the saga of my first trip back to my hometown-ish Boston, MA as a bonafide professional comedian. Well, a full week has led me to the conclusiuon that this story ain't all that interesting. So on today's "Self-Analysis Monday", a day I plan on devoting autobiographical vignettes and ruminatios on all of my frustrating and peculiar personality quirks, I will make this very bold declaration: whenever I end a blog entry with a promise to pick up the story at a later date, chances are pretty damn good I'll end up punking out. You, as a potentially faithful Tower of Hubris reader deserve to know that. Seriously, in this one area I am completely and utterly full of shit.
Just to not be a complete liar, here is the rest of my Boston weekend in a nutshell: I did four shows, one of which was awful and one of which was probably in my top ten of all time (the other two were solid, but unremarkable). A bunch of people from my hometown showed up--some expected, some not. A bunch of my relatives showed up to the really great show, which was a relief (Christmas this year would have felt a bit awkward if they'd seen the show where the mic kept shorting out). For the late show Saturday night (solid but unremarkable), a gaggle of the "popular" kids from my jr. high/high school were there. They weren't necessarily the douchebags who made my childhood miserable (well, maybe one or two of them), but they were most certainly friends with said douchebags. I was dismayed to discover that the years had turned them into downright likeable human beings (even Christina Watkins, who apparently I insulted by name on a VH1 show called My Coolest Years a couple of years back--sorry, Christina!). Or maybe they were always fine human beings and I just have a persecuation complex. Split the difference, I suppose. The bottom line is, I'm against this personal growth thing. Douchebags should remain douchebags--it makes life less complicated.
So I guess I continued "The Improper Bostonian" after all, albeit perfunctorily. Seriously though, the next time I end a blog entry with "to be continued", roll your eyes and give your monitor the finger.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
WELCOME TO THIS VERY SPECIAL WEEKEND UPDATE!
Look, there are newsletters and there are newsletters. This one is the real f'in deal, peoples.
Details about Two For Flinching, my debut CD to be released by Comedy Central Records on October 24th;
Announcement of the "Name My CD" contest winner, as well as the announcement of a new Finny-related contest;
A brief report on the 2006 Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal;
Yeah, you heard me right: MORE!
If you don't read this newsletter, you must be some kind of dick!
Friday, September 29, 2006
I HAVE FRIENDS, Pt. I
Look, I have friends. No seriously, I do. And many of them exist in this glorious realm known as Cyberspace. Let's meet a few of them, shall we?
Adam Felber, the creator of Fanatical Apathy, has a new novel out ("Shrodinger's Ball") that got a sterling review in The New York Times. You should pay him lots of attention because he's important and shit.
"Happy Cruelty Day", the book written by Girls are Pretty curator Bob Powers, won't be out until March 2007. That gives you plenty to check out his website and wonder what Bob's fucking problem is.
The last in my trio of authorial-type friends is Chris Regan. He was a writer for The Daily Show, one of the co-writers of America the Book, and now he's in the process of turning his fantastic news website This Day in Mythstory into a volume of its own.
Speaking of great writers, check out Todd Levin's Tremble.com. He's so good I kind of hate him a little bit. Dick.
Check out RobPRocks, the website of comedian/songwriter/all-around swell guy Rob Paravonian. Of particular interest: "Life as a Comic", a videoblog that gives you a fly-on-the-wall look at what a comedian's life is really like.
And I'd probably be severely beaten by my lovely wife if I failed to mention that she is the creator of not one, but two fantastic websites. One is Daily Dose, where she tells fun little NYC-related anecdotes, talks shop (did I mention she was recently hured as the PR Director for Comix?), and occasionally gives away free tickets to all sorts of great shows. The other website is Love, Daddy: Letters From My Jailed Deaf Dad. I believe this one speaks for itself. Check it out and shake your head in disbelief at the fact that it's all 100% true.
I suppose that's enough for now. But I have more friends (honestly, I do!) and they all have great websites, so I'll be pimping them down the road.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS BLOG ENTRY CANNOT BE OVERSTATED
Yesterday I saw a dude who had completely shaved his head yet still wore a full beard (kind of like the first two fellas on this rather odd webpage). I don't approve of this look. The beard always looks phony--like something you might find in the Halloween aisle at KMart. Goatees are perfectly acceptable, despite being a tad out of date--in fact, goatees probably contributes to the general bad-assedness that dudes who shave their heads are going for. And moustaches are fine, especially if you're a gay man in his forties. But full beards just look downright silly. I think it's the temples/sideburns area, the way the hair just startsall the sudden. I'm sorry, but sideburns have to emerge from something, to flow forth from somewhere. They can't just stand alone on the upper face--it defies nature! That would be like me shaving all the pubes above my johnson, but leaving a bushy testicular 'fro.
Or maybe it's not. One thing is for sure, though: I just creeped myself out.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
THIS COLLEGE SEMESTER'S MOST FREQUENTLY DROPPED COURSES
History of the Thermostat, 1950 to Present
Race, Class, Gender and Quizno's
Musical Traditions of Manchester, New Hampshire
Fryolater Tech III
Cognitive Assessment of Wilmer Valderrama's "Yo Mama"
Brunch Studies 301: The Restoration
Introduction to Your Teacher's Assistant's Off-Campus Apartment and Genitalia
Ecology and the Music of Rush
Origins of the Cargo Pant
Practicum in Post-Colonial Buttfucking
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
THE CARDS NEVER LIE!
As you may have heard, it turns out Miss Cleo is a purveyor of the Sapphic arts. Like many, I was shocked--who knew my $3.99 a minute was going toward Marlene Dietrich posters and rare import Phranc bootlegs? Miss Cleo vows to contonue her psychic readings, only instead of tarot cards she'll now be reading WNBA ticket stubs. And instead of the traitional crystal ball, Miss Cleo will be gazing into a regulation softball.
Regardless, this story should serve as an inspiration to every young girl out there who dreams of one day becoming a shameless scam artist, robbing poor people of their life's savings with cruel promises of love and prosperity...but thinks that dream is unavailable to her simply because she enjoys eating pussy.
Monday, September 25, 2006
THE IMPROPER BOSTONIAN, Pt. I
This past weekend I headlined The Comedy Connection in my hometown of Boston for the first time. I call Boston my hometown because, as far as I know, The Improv has yet to open up a branch in Acton, Massachusetts. Having moved to NYC when I eighteen, I was never a part of the rather established Boston comedy scene. Boston is perhaps the biggest comedy petri dish in the world--it may not be where everyone ends up, but a large percentage of the "greats" started here and many still remain. Seriously, ask around and you'll discover that something like one out of every three working (or aspiring) comics in this country grew up in the Massachusetts area. I have some theories as to why this may be, but that's for another blog entry. Anyway, Boston has such an established scene, they don't really need (or want) to bring in "headliners" like, say, Tampa does. So other than a few colleges and a couple of short spots at The Comedy Studio, this was really my first opportunity to "play Boston" and I jumped at the chance. The weekend had a number of high points and a few insanely awkward points. Here's a brief rundown of a rather surreal three days.
I got in on Thursday afternoon and almost immediately went to promote the show on Backstage with Barry Nolan. Barry Nolan is a guy you might recognize from "Extra" or "Hard Copy", and when I was a kid he used to host a Boston-area show called "Evening Magazine". Now he's back in Boston hosting this local cable show. When you're a kid, you have no concept of difference between local and network TV, so in my mind Barry Nolan was as big a star as Tom Selleck or Mr. T. So it was bizarre meeting him in person and even stranger to have him pretend to give a crap about whatever nonsense was coming out of my mouth.
That night I performed at Kowloon, a massive chinese restaurant in Saugus, MA, which is about ten physical miles and 10,000 cultural miles from downtown Boston. Saugus is the kind of place where middle aged women still sport Bon Jovi hairdos and use words like "retarded" and "queer" (pronounced "ree-TAH-did" and "KWEE-yah"). It sounds like a potentially rowdy crowd, and it might have been, if there were more than seventeen of them. In a room that sat about 300. Ouchie! Naturally, being my first real Boston show, this was a major kick in the spiritual nads. To make it even more awkward, an old friend of mine from high school was there (she'd emailed me earlier in the week to make sure the show wasn't sold out. Oof.) And the piece de resistance: there was some sort of high school dance going on in the room next door, so every time a waiter would enter or leave the showroom, we'd be bathed in the soothing sounds of the Ying Yang Twins. It was just about as close as you can come to a Spinal Tap moment in the comedy world. And yet, despite all of this, I hactually had a fun time--it's pretty hard to take yourself too seriously in a situation like that. It was one of those nights where I would have been better served to throw out all my material and just do crowdwork, as the seventeen people who were there were all really fun and lively people, Bon Jovi hair notwithstanding.
The next morning I went and did a couple of radio interviews, which is par for the course when you're doing "the road". The first was WZLX, a classic rock station I used to listen to a quite a bit in junior high school--I begged the DJs to "get the Led out", but they refused. Then I went over to a station called WROR, which is kind of one of those "soft hits" stations that you associate with insurance company cubicles. The DJs, "Loren and Wally" have been around forever, to the extent that i remember kind of making fun of them when I was a kid (granted I was, at the time, a moronic Dokken-loving pre-teen). So just as with Barry Nolan, I found myself shaking my head at the peculiarity of the situation. Interestingly, I had a great time on WROR, bantering with the genial chaps in between James Blunt and Kenny Loggins tunes. Part of me loves the idea of some human resources woman heading out to the comedy club to see that polite young man she heard on Loren and Wally, only to be confronted by my thoughts on teabagging and dickhole-stabbing.
Okay, this blog entry is sprialing out of control. I will continue my Boston update on next week's "Self-Analysis Monday". In the meantime, more nonsense.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Good day, fans of high culture! I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to two of my favorite artists:
Larry Van Pelt
Take a look around their respective sites. As you might imagine, I enjoy them for vastly different reasons.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
This is sort of a continuation of what I was writing at the tail end of Monday's entry.
I haven't been suckered into any bad-ass sportcoats, but I will admit to buying a few pairs of ridiculously overpriced jeans. At first I couldn't understand how jeans that were in such poor condition could cost so much. But then I was informed that, depsite appearances, said dungarees are not ripped or frayed--they are "distressed". My guess is, "distressing" is a process where a pair of jeans is given an AIDS test and then, two weeks later, asked to come in to the office to "discuss the results". It's all pretty ridiculous and I am absolutely a hypocrite for going ahead and buying into it.
I don't mind the idea of jeans looking faded and a bit tattered but I think the wear and tear marks should, at least, mimic the kinds of wear and tear one might acquire in real life. Faded around the knees? Perfectly understandable. Frayed down by the heel? Fine and dandy. But a four inch rip in the middle of your shin? That's fucking inane. I saw one pair that featured corresponding extreme fade marks on the outside of the thighs. Other than sliding down chimneys, how exactly would your pants ever come to be abused in this particular way? I'm guessing the model name for this particular pair of jeans would be "Low-Rise Hipster Santa Claus Boot-Cut". And I'm a complete hypocrite, because I purchased the most ridiculous pair of all. I own a pair of jeans with fifteen to twenty 3" circular wear-and-tear marks distributed evenly across the thighs and shins. I can't explain it--this beefy Queens sales guido told me they were cool and I was too intimidated to put them back on the shelf. I paid $130 of my hard-earned money to not offend a guy wearing a spandex muscle shirt. On the upside, I now have a pair of pants that makes it look like I have large powder blue measels.
I imagine the whole concept of distressed jeans must be a real slap in the face to the Indonesian pre-teens who are making the garments in the first place. "So let me get this straight," thinks young Ramelan*, "Americans like wearing jeans that are faded and torn? They actually want them that way? And they'll spend upwards of $200 for them?! Um...does anyone want to buy my jeans? Because they're plenty fucking "distressed"! Are these idiots for real?! Screw this, I'm out of here! Oh, right--I'm chained to my sewing machine. (sigh) Okay America, I'll make your silly pants...but I'm going to make them look as ridiculous as possible. Enjoy your faggoty-ass dungarees, Hipster Santa Claus!"
* Yes, I googled "Indonesian baby names". It's called cultural sensitivity, people.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
My dad and I hosted Friday Night Stand up on Comedy Central on Father's Day 2005. Here are some SFW clips to kill some time:
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
WILLIE NELSON, THE ANTI-ANTI-DRUG
Listen, I have something to say to all of the kids out there: don't do drugs. No matter what you're friends tell you, getting involved with drugs will absolutely not make you look cool.
Unless you're a 73 year old musical legend! Try and tell me that Willie Nelson is not the greatest human being on the face of the earth. Nope, you can't do it. What's more lovable than the image of a bunch of elderly dudes tooling around the country in a tour bus fueled by french fry grease, sitting around jamming and getting baked? I'll tell you what: those same elderly dudes on that same tour bus, blitzed out of their minds on 'shrooms. This scenario "reality Show Gold" written all over it, but apparently the Man has a problem with a bunch of groovy oldsters trying to communicate with their spirit guides. Has Willie Nelson not earned the right to have us look the other way every once in a while? Thanks a lot, Officer Buzzkill--you've officially harshed a very mellow man's mellow.
I've never actually done real drugs before. Sure I've smoked pot a number of times, but I'm not a particularly good stoner. I'm willing to bet that when Willie smokes up, he doesn't lock himself in the bathroom because he's afraid no one at the party thought his "Knight Rider" reference was funny. I most certainly have certainly never done anything kooky like mushrooms. This, despite the fact that I was, during my restless teen underachiever years, accused of being a drug addict on a regular basis by my teachers and parents (a quote from my mother: "What are you on? Blue-ies? Green-ies?! RED-IES?!!"). But no, I'm a big square when it comes to that stuff. If I was going to become a bonafide druggie, though, mushrooms is definitely where I'd start--after all, they like "totally come from the Earth, man". Still, I doubt I could ever hang with Willie and his gang of septuagenarian hallucinators. While they sat around reminiscing about "that night in Muskeegee back in '77", I'd be licking the upholstery and trying to cram my head through the hole in Willie's acoustic guitar.
Still, if your'e reading this Willie (and I suspect he is, since rumor has it that Willie Nelson is an obsessive self-Googler), I hope you'll consider taking me out on the road for a few days. I promise not to narc and I'll do my best not to ask you what you were thinking with that Julio Iglesias bullshit.
Monday, September 18, 2006
WEIGHT! WEIGHT! I NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO LOVE YOU
So I've lost some weight over the past few months (click here for further video evidence). To answer a quick couple of questions, 1) No, I did not have gastric bypass surgery, and 2) I don't have a "secret", other than learning how to reconcile myself with hating life. Since January, I guess I've taken off somewhere in the range of 70 pounds. I've never discussed it on stage because...well, it's not funny.
Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic about this de-fattening, but what's there to laugh at, really? Ten months from now, when I go on a KFC bender and gain all the weight back? That will be hilarious. Until then, I'm sort of in comedy limbo. You see, there's nothing less funny than actual accomplishment. See? Even that last sentence probably caused you to bristle a bit. "Ooh, you achieved something? Whoopdee freakin' do, you self-satisfied jackhole!"
Maybe it's a reflection on how I see the world, but the whole situation makes me feel unspeakably awkward. Every time someone says something complimentary, no matter how much I appreciate the gesture, I can't help but imagine that anyone overhearing the conversation is thinking, "Man, what a fucking tool." That's okay, though--people mocked at Joe Piscopo when he got into shape, and look at him! He's still hilarious!!!
Oh, wait. Shit.
Anyway, I've become something of a silly queen since my physical re-alignment. Yes, I was forced to get rid of my entire wardrobe, which necessitated a good bit of shopping. But the truth is...and I have a truly difficult time saying this...I've been enjoying it. You have to understand, for the past ten or so years I've shopped exclusively at a small boutique specializing in antique military apparel (you may know it as Old Navy). Either that or I'd go to The Gap and hope to find an XXL generous enough to conceal my man-teats. But now I can walk into petty much any store out there and pose in front of the mirror like a gen-u-ine metrosexual. It's a new me, I tell you. A new, unlikeable me.
By the way, I've been noticing a rather bizarre fashion trend lately: the Badassification of Functional Garments. It seems that the nouveau thing in Hipsterwear is silkscreening some gothic and/or violent design onto a nondescript piece of business casual. I'm sure you've seen it--normal green polo shirts that, for some reason, feature winged demons, pentagrams and severed limbs? I don't know how the trend got started but it's great news for me, as I'm constantly trying to reconcile my love of 100% cotton pull-overs with the teachings of Anton LaVey. Lords know how many times I've been shopping at Brooks Brothers thinking, "Man, I love that powder blue button-down. If only I could simultaneously convey the image of a gargoyle buttfucking a nun..."
I guess this is just all part of the internal negotiation a guy goes through when he finally admits that the band is breaking up and that it's time to get a real job. "Look, I'll wear your stupid blazer, Mr. Goldman Sachs! But no one is going to deny me my love of broadswords and large-breasted vampiresses!"
Or maybe I still have a bit to learn about fashion.
Friday, September 15, 2006
I HEART JANICE
So my friend Todd sent me this wonderful link, and it fills me with delight. Now I know it might seem a bit lazy to just post a link to a silly viral video that's probably already made the e-rounds. But that, my friends, is why we're calling it "Casual Friday".
Viva You Tube.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I've always admired Olympians. So much dedication, so little payoff. Sure, I'm dedicated to stand up comedy, but let's be real here--my "dedication" allows me to get away with being drunk one third of the time. But when you're training for the Olympics, you're up at dawn every day, eating right, savaging your body. And for what? A Wheaties box? Maybe a four minute interview on "Regis & Kelly"? That hardly seems worth all the time and effort. And that's just the chosen few in the "glamour" events--figure skating, the decathalon, synchronized pommel horse tossing. But what about the rest of the poor souls who've devoted their lives to The Games? What's America's fifth best pole vaulter up to these days? Temping, I suspect. Seriously, if you're consdiering pursuing a career in pole vaulting, learn how to use Powerpoint.
How did pole vaulting get started? How does one even discover he's good at it? There are no pole vaulting Little Leagues. Dad never takes you out into the backyard and flings your shit over the hedges. I'm willing to wager the fifty best pole vaulters in the world are not even aware of it--they're just working in construction, completely unaware they're sitting on wellspring of useless potential. Until, one day, some dude is carrying a length of pipe across a construction site, he trips, and up he goes. "Holy shit," the poor soul thinks, "I could have been a pole vaulter."
But perhaps he's lucky--like I said, there's not much of a future there. Eventually he's going to have to let the dream die and apply for a real job and, sadly, pole vaulting is not exactly a "resume builder". He's never going to flip through the Classifieds and stumble upon a listing that reads, "HIGH POWERED POSITION IN CORPORATE FINANCE FIRM. $200G PLUS COMPANY CAR. ELEVATOR BROKEN; PLEASE ENTER DIRECTLY AT THIRD FLOOR". Bascally, one's only hope as a former pole vaulter is to find a university gig and try to convince other deluded youngsters that they should devote their lives to learnng how to run fast while carrying a long, bendy stick.
This, by the way, is not unlike the scam run by most acting teachers.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
WORLD'S LEAST REPUTABLE CHARITY EVENTS
Massage for a Cure
The Concert for Nantucket
The NAMBLA Interfaith Water Balloon Toss and Texas Chili Cook-Off
The National Tourette's Syndrome Foundation Silent Auction
An All-Star Salute to Scott Peterson
Adopt-a-Gay-Bathhouse High Society Ball
The Ayman Al-Zawahiri Invitational Golf Classic
Operation Rescue presents: An Evening with Josh Groban