Friday, March 28, 2003

I did The Comedy Studio for the first time last night (Thanks, Tim!). I was nervous as hell. The Comedy Studio is the home of smart comedy, which means the dick joke quotient is very low. My set went well. It wasn't killer. It wasn't stunning. I will not be written up in the Globe as the Next Big Thing. And that's fine.

It feels freakish to say it, but I'm not looking to take over the world. I interviewed this 20yr old on my radio show this week. His goal was to be the next Leno. Yaaaawn. That holds no appeal for me. The people I respect (ok, I'll use the words - my heroes), unfortunately, are almost unknown. Peter Cook, Bill Hicks, Burgess Meredith. Each incredibly talented. Each had a long career, except for Hicks who died too soon of cancer. None of them neccessarily superstars, but influential to others. Peter Cook opened the door for Monty Python. Dennis Leary stole Bill Hicks act. Burgess Meredith worked consistently for 60 years on stage, film and TV. If any of them were walking down the street, chances are you would not recognize them.

I've thought about fame ever since I was a kid. I'm not sure I want to be a celebrity. When I was doing comedy in Rochester, NY, I was downtown and some approached me and said, "Aren't you that guy I saw last week?" Yes, it was flattering, but a little fucked up. The thought of 100 people all wanting to say hello to me as I walk to the corner to get cigarettes just makes me shudder. Performing, though, is a drug. There's a driving need to get my voice out there.

It comes down to this - I crave feedback, but hate people.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

R-E-S-P-E...Aw fuck it

We call him by his first name. Saddam. Not President Hussein. Not Hussien. But Saddam, like he's a character in a sitcom. Even though he's public enemy #1, even though we fear him enough to invade his country and forcibly remove him from power, we still refer to him by his first name. Like Cher. Like Maddona. Saddam.

One of the tactics of war is to dehumanize your enemy. What better way to do this than to deny him his rightful stature as a leader by robbing him of his title. I'd love to see CNN refer to them as Saddam and George.

All this talk respect-for-the-rules-of-war is just whining. It just confirms my suspicion that the country is being run by junior high school students.

And fuck Bush. I'm not moving to Canada.

Monday, March 24, 2003


I'm watching this war unfold on CNN, on NPR. But I can't believe it's actually happening. It's too wierd. There are too many people against it for it to be happening. It's an out-of-body expirience. With every word the government speaks, they strain their credibility. The front page of a Boston Globe had a photo of an Iraqi POW with a gun pointed at his head. Two days later, the US decries footage of US POW's being shown on Al Jereeza. The govt cries foul that Iraqi soldiers are dressed in civilian clothing. The US was founded in great part to the fact that the colonists fought dirty. The military seems downright pissed off that (shock and horror) that Iraqis dare defend themselves and fight like hell for their country. Bush says the war will cost $75b and last 30 days.

When I was a kid, I begged my parents to buy me Pong. They told me to save my money and buy it myself. No money, no Pong. I wish the Congress would say that to Bush - "No money, no pong."
Oh, boy! For the longest time, my wife and I lived on one car. It kind of sucked, since I was the one relying on public transportation, taking the bus to the train and a 15min walk after that. Whatever. Half the year it sucked and the other half it was fine. Then I got a job that needed a car. Woohoo! We talked about the cars we could afford. It came down to a new, crappy car (Focus) or a used worthwhile car (Saab). We went with a used Saab 9000, since we drive on vacations and there's enough room to keep the kids from fighting.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because one of the benefits of buying a Saab (at least from Charles River Saab) is when you make an appointment for service ahead of time, you get a loaner. And the loaner I got on this brillant, sunny and almost warm day was - a red 93 Convertable! Like I said - Oh boy!

Sunday, March 23, 2003

It all comes down to trusting my instincts, which I generally don't. At heart, I think I'm 60-40 mean-spirited/earthy-crunchy. The wasp inside is constantly ripping people to shreds. The W.A.S.P. I was brought up to be is congenial and concilitory. There's a bit of a battle that goes on there. As the youngest child constantly craving approval, it's a bit of a stretch to go against the grain even when I'm chomping at the bit to do so.

The fight referred to in the last post was on a board for Boston comedians. The guy I was arguing with is one of the best political comedians in Boston. He reads far more than I do. I'd not met him before instigating the argument and I thought it was a huge mistake going up against him. It turns out that it was fine. I met him about a month later and he seemed genuinely pleased to meet me. He said some very flattering things. Of course, my low self-esteem brain told me he was lying, but I took it on faith that he was sincere. Sometimes you got to have conflict before your taken seriously.

20 years ago, I stage managed a play. The set designer was a short round bull-dyke named Linda. She hated me. Why she hated me, I never figured out, but she did. Nothing I did was up to her standards. Any questions I had for her were either an affront or proof of my stupidity. This went on for about three weeks. As we got closer to opening and the tension mounted, she became harder and harder to deal with. One night, she pushed me over the edge with some comment or another. I whipped around on her and let loose, starting, if I remember, with a resounding "FUCK YOU". The director and the actors gaped at me as I ranted and spewed obscenities at her. I stormed outside and started kicking things. Once I got back in, we resumed rehersal. At the end of the night, she bought me a drink and we became great friends.

It's always stuck with me how completely fucked up it is that I had to get angry at her to respect me. It takes all kinds.