2021 Good Stuff
2021 sucked. It sucked more than 2021 and will probably suck a little bit less than 2022. So we have that going for us. It is easy to really get tied down with all the negativity and garbage that 2021 had to offer us. Ontario now sporting over 14,000 cases of COVID to round out the year. A politically polarized population that is as binary in its thinking as a refrigerator light switch. The fact Tiger King 2 is a thing.
It’s easy to drown in this. But one thing I do every year around this time is I review a list I keep throughout the year on my phone. Whenever something worthy of noting that was positive or an accomplishment worth remembering, I jot it down in a note on my phone. All year I update this list whenever something good happens. You’d be surprised in a year of rhino_taking_dump.gif, some bits of light creep in from the shadows. Here’s some of the good stuff that happened in 2021 that I have taken from my list.
Five Year Anniversary of Write Em Up and a Return to Comedy Bar
Write Em Up, my show where comics get roasted by my team of writers, turned five this year. For most of our five years, we had our home at Comedy Bar in Toronto. I say ‘most’ because I don’t know if you know this, but around March of 2020, the world got a little bit sick. From that point, and for our fourth anniversary, we moved online. We broadcast on Twitch, on Facebook, on YouTube and most recently broadcast via the Unknown Comedy Club, created by comedians Rodney Ramsey and Daniel Woodrow. Can’t thank them enough for having us onboard. Also, while the timing was okay, we were able to sneak back onstage at Comedy Bar to have our first live show in over a year-and-a-half in November. A sold-out mainstage made the dodging of a virus all worthwhile. Thank you everyone who has performed, written and watched my show, virtually or live. You are truly appreciated. Here’s to Year Six coming up.
Back In the Clubs
Speaking of stand-up, I was able to return to the live stage at a time when Omicron was just a weird Greek letter that we used in university math classes. November was smoking busy with headlining at Absolute Comedy Kingston, the above mentioned Write Em Up at Comedy Bar and a full week of shows at Absolute Comedy Ottawa. The Ottawa club is fast becoming my new home having moved here in mid-2020 where I’m meeting more and more great comedy talent from the capitol region. Kingston? Well, it’s my club that came in to where I grew up. I know Kingston and the people there. I recorded both my albums there, “Really?” and “Butterflies” which are now both in rotation on SiriusXM. Another cool 2021 thing! I love performing at all the Absolutes, and look forward to being back in 2022 at a point when comedy shows will only have infectious laughter.
22 Seasons of Cat Pee
Like everything else out there, my podcast Comedy Above the Pub moved onto Zoom from Season 19 onward. We just started our 22nd season, we started a Patreon for people to watch the video versions of the episodes, and we got to talk to tons of cool people. Some old friends, some newbies. But one guest that made my “Good Stuff 2021” list was Jeff Cesario. Jeff was on the Johnny Carson version of the Tonight Show several times. In my early days Jeff was one of the comedians I watched regularly. I always found him funny and learned so much from every performance. To have him on my humble little show is definitely list-worthy. Hopefully we’ll get him back again to make 2022 enjoyable again.
Eight Years and Counting
2021 also saw me being married to my lovely wife for eight years. We can now add “Global Pandemic” to the list of stuff that we’ve survived together. She’s been my rock in all of this and I can’t imagine navigating all of this stuff alone. She suffers well having me for a husband and I acknowledge it every year on these lists. She is mentioned lastly here not as an afterthought, but not unlike a stand-up set list, you close with the strongest material. Love you, Ags.
That’s some of the stuff from my list. If you don’t do this now, I’d invite you to make an ongoing list for next year. When 2022 sees us getting our booster shots for the new Beta-Theta-Upsilon variant, when polar bears start giving us the finger for what we’ve done, and the heads of Disney wake up one night and scream “Dengar, Bossk and Zuckuss need a buddy road-trip story!”, you’ll need something at the end of the year to remind you of the good stuff. I hope your list for 2022 needs two pages.
Stay safe. Love you all. Except the jerks.