Thursday, May 24

Comedy is Dead

About two months ago, I had the fortuitous happenstance to check out the eighth circle of hell. Maybe it was the lack of a Virgil guide, maybe it was the fact that I was entering unfamiliar territory, but this particular circle of hell was definitely the worst...even worse than the sodomite level and the Satan chewing on people level. That's right, I'm talking about the comedy club.
Let me preface this by saying that I was at least driven by the purest of all motives - money. The local comedy club, the "Funnybone", had a contest called "Last Comic Sitting," which (imagine this) was based on a TV show called "Last Comic Standing". The premise was that a bunch of losers would get up on stage, do their best stand-up, and the audience would vote the shitty ones off the stage, leaving the winner to the $250 cash prize. There was a time limit -eight minutes for your act, tops - which meant that whoever won would essentially be receiving $250 for about twenty minutes of work. And all they asked you to do is make people laugh. No problem.
I figured that I'd go in, use some of the material from this site (which, by the way, amounts to over one hundred pages of pure shit as of this writing), make the people laugh, and be on my way with the money. Sounds simple, right? I mean, if you don't count the insults, I get nothing but compliments about this site. So how hard could it be to transfer the material from this site to the stage?
I showed up at the comedy club, signed up for the act, got my place in line, and started going over my material in my head. Okay, let's see, we've got a little bit of the Appreciate Your Parents post, we're going to use the joke about the hippies protesting the war, and we're going to use some classic double entendre metaphors to really nail that subtlety factor. Sweet.
We were all lined up outside while the comedy club manager, a fat man with a lot of bling, explained to us that there was to be no offensive material, no name calling, and when the flashlight was shone at you, your time was up. Blah blah blah. I sat there, silently, confident in my superior linguistic skills and already calculating how drunk I could get with a $250 bar tab. My confidence was boosted even further by the fact that all of the other contestants are certified losers. Seriously. One fat guy was doing nothing but impressions, the few black guys who were there were regurgitating the same "white people/black people" jokes that only black people can get away with, and the female comics were having an out-vulgaring contest with each other....because vulgar females are the height of comedy, apparently.
Now, there's something you need to know about amateur stand-up comics: they are horribly insecure, and by and large they suck. This meant that I had to sit outside with fifteen other people who were all trying desperately to make each other laugh, thus proving their superiority to everyone else. It was like being at a theater major banquet in undergrad: the loudest person is obviously the most successful. Fuck this. I sat off to the side and talked to the only other decent guy there, who was actually really funny in a quiet kind of way.
Finally, the show started, and we all awaited our turn on stage. I was assigned number 13 out of 15 people, which meant I had to sit there for a while. Still confident in the material that I had accumulated over 3 or four years of writing, I decided to watch and smugly judge everyone else. About five minutes later, I realized that maybe I had forgotten a cardinal rule of performance: know your audience.
Let me explain something else to you. Not only is the comedy club a festering cesspool of talentless performers just crying out for self-validation, but it's also a breeding ground for the future middle managers of America. That's right, I'm talking about the college business major. Backwards hats abounded. Beer was two dollars a pitcher. Women showed up drunk and kept drinking, getting louder and louder. I realized too late that maybe the only missile hard enough to penetrate this drunken fog of self-indulgence which surrounds the inebriated college student wasn't necessarily subtle, Oscar Wilde-type humor. My worst fears were confirmed when the fat guy who was doing impressions earlier received the biggest round of applause and the most cheers for doing nothing more than quoting Chris Farley lines. My position in line, which I formerly thought of as an advantage, quickly became a disadvantage when I realized that everyone in the house was too drunk to even see me, let alone comprehend me. Fuck.
I bombed. My first night out on stand-up comedy, I bombed. I was so confident that I could win this thing, and all I got was the typical cricket chirping cheers and tumbleweed applause that normally accompanies an onstage abortion at a Republican National Convention.
Thoroughly humiliated, I went home and thought about what I could do to up my chances during round two next week. Then I realized it: written comedy is way different from regular comedy. While my readers online are lonely asshole losers who are just as bitter about the world as I am and actually have time to sift through my mindless drivel for the few gems of semi-coherence that may pass as comedy, the audience at a comedy club needs a big blast of shock value to make them laugh. It's what America has become: a shock value culture. As someone said, comedy died when the Kool-Aid man crashed through the wall of the courthouse. That's why women comics are successful. It's because they talk about their periods and bedroom antics, not because their material is better. Well, shit.
Next week I went up and outdid myself. I insulted women in the audience, calling them whores, I announced to a room of two hundred and fifty people that I had a small penis, I railed about commitment-less sex, the whole nine yards. They loved it.
I was insulted, pissed and mad at myself for cheapening my material just because the audience was to dim to comprehend it. Is it really worth it to sell out for money? No. Fuck those people.I hated all of them. I wanted them to die. I secretly added another tally mark to my mental list of the benefits of active eugenics. Fuck ALL those people. I walked out the door, vowing never to do stand-up again. No longer would I whore myself out for money. I would stay true to what I believed was comedy, and fuck the drunken retards who couldn't deal with it.
Plus, I was eliminated from the competition.
Click this shit!

1 Bullshit Responses:

Anonymous Anonymous left the following bullshit...

"Eat fresh" :)

9:45 AM  

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