So, Now is When You Need a Cigarette? Really?
This is how comedy works sometimes. You are standing around, minding your own business, and then suddenly next thing you know, you’ve got a call suddenly there’s a booking. Nice. So, glad I had my phone on on Tuesday night. Turns out I’d be hosting for Larry Smith and Marc Sinodinos at Hose of Comedy in Niagara Falls. Cool! Not only do I get to reacquaint myself with comics that I’ve worked with a few times before, but I’d be able to tourist it up on the Saturday in NF. Wax museum, here I come.
So, Friday night, things are happening nicely. Despite my directions being questionable, and Larry not having a cell phone (you’re kidding, right?), I picked him up and gave him a lift to the club. The crowd’s pretty close to full, and all went well. My opening piece before bringing on Marc as the middle went really well. Good runs into the audience, applause breaks, it was all pretty swell. Marc goes up and does his usual best. “Easy-peasy”, I’m thinking. “Get up there, do 5 minutes, continue with the laughter, and Boom! Larry’s up and running and we’re good to go. I’ll be able to return to my chicken fingers.”
I hit the stage and suddenly half the audience leaves. Just up, and heads for the door. I check the front of my pants to ensure that no soiling has occurred. Check. Well…None that they should notice. As I’m halfway through the time I want to bring Larry up to, it hits me. They’re grabbing a smoke. Really? All of you? The same time? Did you all come from the same meeting? So, because the room was half-full by now, the timing for the crowd seemed different. Then the stragglers coming back to their seats, were walking in halfway through the set-up, so would miss the punchline, weakening the momentum further. I was getting them to the point where you’d want a crowd for a headliner but it was slow going. After finally looking at my watch and thinking, “At this rate, I’ll be closing the show” [Not something anyone should ever have to deal with. – H!ITVA! Ed.]. I bailed off and brought Larry to the stage who I knew, given his energy, wouldn’t take long to get the room in alignment. I was correct. By the end the crowd had a great show and appreciated it, despite the fact that Larry and I were killing ourselves over the lack of momentum before he hit the stage.
Saturday came and the same deal with the show, the crowd, everything. Well, save a couple of things. Really, really hideous weather saw to it that all my touristy stuff that I wanted to do ran with the rain water down the sewer grates. You want Maid of the Mist? Stand out in the lawn, Sunshine. Bah. Also, by arriving to the club early, I discovered why the House of Comedy is typically sold out. There is NOTHING to eat near the club at all. Lucky for us I guess. Where else in Niagara Falls can you find a place that lets you jam a show to a halt by throwing a cigarette into the front spokes? How’s that for a metaphor?