Cheap Beer Helps Out McVeighs, & Comedy On The Curve Approacheth…

So, show number two was upon us and there’s already been a few changes since the first-night fundraiser (made over $120 on just door and donations from comedians and audience members alike for Second Harvest…thanks all!). Well, not that many. We’ve got new bar staff, the drink specials continue, and we’ve got comment cards that offer the chance to win a dinner for four at McVeigh’s. And the food is not bad at all. This is not your deep-fried cheese stick affair. They use words like “reduction” and “confit” from time to time. I too am shocked.

In filed the comics before the show, the room already set up. It’s a pleasant moment when you realize to yourself, “Hey, I don’t have to move furniture before I pull out my Facebook chunk”. Comics both on and not on the show filed in, took seats and took full advantage of what will probably prove to be the larger draw than my attempts at new material or my ability to polish the old stuff: $3.00 domestic bottles and bar rails. What keeps comics coming? A chance at stage time and cheap booze.

I’ll Always Have Chicago, But Now Fewer People Will Starve

The needle is well buried into the red on the Exhaust-O-Meter. Flight back from Florida began as most flights seem to (too damn early for my liking) and had an uneventful connection in Charlotte. I’m sure Charlotte is a great city, if their Cinnabon in the connector lounge is anything to go by.

Landed, got home, shook the sand from the luggage and then got everything ready for the seven-hour-drive-each-way to Columbus, OH with Brian Hope. We had hooked ourselves up with a showcase spot at the Funny Bonef or the club owner who books a dozen clubs in the US. A good man to know, obviously.

Brian went first and did, by his own description, mediocre. Not me saying. His material was as good as ever, but just did not find the audience at all for some reason. We all get crap nights, and usually mine come whenever the words “case” and “show” are in close proximity. Thankfully, the training run in Florida provided me with a 20 minute set that I was comfortable with. Seemed to go well. Got to talk to the Godfather running the show who explained out of the clubs he has, he’s got a full roster already, but I could probably work one of the clubs he’s got in Hartford later in the year. Happy was I. The guy books chaps like Joe Rogan, Jim Gaffigan, Dom Irrera, and Norm MacDonald. Heard of any of them? To get a sniff in their direction is a privilege.

Next Time, I’ll Try and Find a Politically-Sensitive Map

So, I’m in Fort Myers, Florida doing shows at the Laugh-In. To be honest, I’m as shocked as anyone that I’m actually down here doing any shows to begin with. Including the owner. I was supposed to close four shows, two Friday, and two Saturday. Before the first show, Joe the owner introduced himself to me and asked how exactly I got in on his roster? So, I told him that two years ago, I did a couple of five-minute open spots, and left my résumé and headshot for him to look at. Next thing I know he called me up and booked me. Money for that trip well spent.

Now, remember, I’ve done a grand total of ten minutes at this club, some two years ago. But I figured, I’m way more confident, have a larger arsenal of material. This’ll be fine, right?

Van Allen, get a map.


I was totally looking forward to this trip in that it had several things on offer that I liked:

– Long fun car ride with fellow comics (usually good for a laugh)
– Opportunity to work with old friends in the form of Russell Roy and Winston Spear
– Opportunity to work with someone I’ve never worked with before in the form of Craig Fay
– Get to perform in a place I’ve never been in before in the form of Chatham

Cut to Hour Three of the car trip:

So, They Were Drunk. So What?

So it was a decently quiet night at McVeigh’s. Eight comics, five audience members; one of which I knew (and as a result will probably now ignore all of my Facebook updates), one aspiring comic doing research on performing (and probably wondering why he chose this particular art form and not, say, ballet), and three drunk, loud, yet entertaining non-union actors.

I started the show, as you do, welcoming them all, and laying down the ground rules. It’s okay to talk during my introductions whenever I hit the stage, but the acts are off limits. Standard procedure. You’ve been to a comedy show before you know the score.

Well, that didn’t happen.