I Am The New Ben Guyatt…Or Brian Coughlin. Depends Where You Are.

I Am The New Ben Guyatt…Or Brian Coughlin. Depends Where You Are.

I Am The New Ben Guyatt…Or Brian Coughlin. Depends Where You Are.

I’m sure you’ve all got friends that have something, that one thing, that they don’t want anyone to touch. Not you. Not their wife. Not mom. It could be anything. Their 1961 “Bullet” Thunderbird. Their collection of crystal goblets dating back to World War I. Their wife. So you know that when someone gives you a turn to take a spin, take a drink, or…really, I think I’ll end there…you realize it’s a special thing. Friday, at Club 54, Ben Guyatt stepped away from the room that he has spent so long and so much care in building and threw me the keys.

Because Ben was out and Brian Hope was headlining there they needed a host. So, guess who’s BatPhone rang. I was able to take the stage at Club 54 in Burlington and host the snot of the room to bring Brian to the stage. This would turn out to be the second time in two days that I bring him on to the stage as the last act. More on that later.

Now normally, the night is a bit predictable when Ben’s at the wheel in that the room doesn’t really know what to expect. Unless the crowd has shown up specifically to see the headliner (and let’s all just have a moment to thank Facebook in our own quiet way), there’s no mention of who it is until Ben’s bringing them to the stage. He does this typically after Ben has done the improv game where you put your hands behind your back, have someone snake their hands around the body and mime out hand movements for the amputated Ben. It typically ends with a masturbatory mime of some sort and then the words, “Are you ready for your headliner?”

I hit the stage to the usual intro that Ben uses, which included the words “As seen on ‘Comedy at Club 54’” (I haven’t), “Host of the longest running stand-up comedy show in television” (I wasn’t), and “Heeeeeeeeere’s Ben Guyatt!” (I’m not). Adjusting the crowd’s expectations, I asked, “Jesus! What the hell happened to Ben? He’s shorter!” and also put the word “out” beneath the word “with” on the “Comedy at Club 54 with Ben Guyatt” backdrop on the stage. There were two fundraisers there that night which made the opening piece easy. I introduced David Andrew Brent, a new-to-me comic who (and I mean this entirely in the complimentary) has one of the best Schwarzenegger impressions that I’ve ever heard. Middling was Ryan Maglunob who as usual did not disappoint. Table was set for Brian who hit the stage, gave ‘em a good time, and left before the ‘Thriller’-video-without-all-that-pesky-rhythm dance party fired up. Doug the owner seemed to enjoy so I may just get asked back.

Saturday saw me at Betty’s on the not-usual Wednesday night but at the 40th for buddy and podcast-third-chair Dave Paterson. I got to host the roast which included a series of burns from the family and friends (not unlike Frank who a first-time bang-up job without having all of the baggage of being a comic) but also from the likes of Russell Roy (who magically created a brother for Dave…now THAT’S a birthday gift), Ruby (who didn’t really want to roast him…but went on and did anyway, now THAT’S digging in for a friend), and again Brian Hope closing the night (who came in 8th out of 6 with his coming second joke…now THAT’S a lot of silence). Props as well to Brian Coughlin for loaning us the Corktown Comedy equipment and sadly took the babysitting bullet while his wife served us for the evening. Great night, with great folks. See Dave if you have any cake needs.

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