We’re All Stars Now…
So, on Thursday I get to reprise my role of “Don’t-normally-do-it-because-it-makes-me-really-stupid-but-support-the-cause” guy and do Howard Dover’s next ExtravaGANGA show, this time in the never-been-there-before Time To Laugh club in Kingston. Looking forward to not only being home in the Thousand Islands but being able to get yet another care package of one-hitters, flavoured rolling papers, and all kinds of other things I’m sure will help me with my crippling, crippling, glaucoma. Howard’s a great guy for doing these shows, and who am I to say no to coming home? My DRIVE-FM spot may be live as I’ll be getting into town mid-afternoon, so be warned, Kingston, I’ll be badgering you live and not on the phone.
Again, it’s a reprise of the show that started in Ottawa at Absolute Comedy. As a consequence of being in Ottawa, I got to pull a couple of opening spots at Absolute on the Friday. First show was magic as you’d expect there. Second show, well, that’s when my body decided, “Hey, who needs to pay attention to the wording of new jokes? Trip away, my friend.” So I did. Might as well have gone through the new stuff with a mouthful of avocado pits. Five out of ten at best. But some folks do have ‘em. That was mine.
Monday, I drove back trying desperately to think about break-up material to meet the theme of the New Material Night (all new, never performed before, probably all of it crappy) at the AltDot at the Riv. Thanks, Zoe. You sadist. Break-up material? Not that I can’t go to the bucket for material ideas on this topic, but how do you pare it down to something that isn’t going to make people go “Honey, get your coat.”? Enter Ron Fromstein who called me while I was passing Brockville. “We’re on the same show tonight. Want to hook up and write?” A saviour. And remember, Jesus was a Jew, too. We hit the Second Cup, ordered hot liquid, and set about the task of telling each other that our material was shit. Blame the caffeine but it seemed to work. It didn’t suck as much as I figured it would. I’ve had some questionable outings there on the New Material Night, but this was by far the most favourable. First time I did this room, I got my biggest laugh by telling a woman that sneezed that she was obviously allergic to shit. What’s great about the nights is that you know that whatever’s being said is all new. It’s never been performed in front of a crowd, and every comic has an air of slight nervousness and anxiousness as they deliver their stuff. Even Irwin Barker, one of the funniest and most prolific writers out there, hit the stage with a pad of new jokes and had “Sorry, this is the first time I’ve said this in public” written all over him. Even so, his stuff was clever, well written, and as you’d expect, funny. He had some keepers and told me I had the same. Being told by one of your idols that you don’t suck is kinda nice.
This was actually the first time that I stuck around for the Newcomers show after the regular AltDot show. It’s where newer comics try their stuff after the old worn-out veterans like me hoping to become old and worn-out so that they can get on the first show. It was great seeing this show after the new material show and watching people being nervous and antsy for other reasons. Key difference seemed to be the nervousness in delivery. The newer comics didn’t have that confidence of being themselves and paced back and forth delivering the well-rehearsed lines through nervous grins and darting eyes. Different from the likes of the New Material show where the confidence was there for all to be able to fake your way through crap jokes. Don’t worry if you missed it. I’ve got tons of crap jokes for later.