Friday, April 18, 2014

Hasta las tardes, amigo...

I knew.
I knew the last time I saw you would be the last time.
I'd hoped not.
I hoped that maybe you could hang on another week so we could chat again.
I selfishly wanted you to dangle on the edge of death, merely so I could have one more moment with you. My friend from the old days. My verbal sparring buddy, who used to join me in rounds of inappropriate banter just within earshot of others, as to shock them and amuse us. My hilarious little "beaner", which you would respond by calling me "camel jockey."
I'm really going to miss you, old friend. You left too soon. You got the light, but had way more material for us.
And though I can't speak to you again, I will always have you in my world and memories.
The shows. The laughs.
That "fo sho, fo sho" that followed most statements.
How I told you not to pet my cats, because you'd impregnate them.
The trips to Houston to expand our limited comedy horizons.
Movie Pitchers. Amberjacks. Corpus.
Bar B Que. Whataburger. Budweiser.
That cock eyed grin.
Right up until the end, you were working new material. I am so happy that I had that last moment with you.
Just us.
No one else in the room.
Old friends talking shit as if you weren't on the verge of death.
And I hoped I would see you again.
But I knew.
And when I read, six time zones away, that you had passed to the other side, I wasn't surprised.
And when I hit the stage that night, I had you in my thoughts. My heart.
And I will always feel that the laughs were for the both of us.
Travel safe, dear and funny friend.
I'll see you on the other side.
Just save me some 'que, hombre.
Love you buddy.


Monday, February 10, 2014

The Four Wheeled Necessity.

It's the only way to live. In cars.

     When I started doing comedy, my vision of going "on the road" was filled with great shows in towns across America, meeting new people and seeing places I had never been. I envisioned spreading my funny ideas like a humorous Johnny Appleseed, leaving smiles and laughter everywhere I stayed. The actual "road" reality never factored into my dreams. Of course, I knew I'd have to get from place to place, but the mechanics of it were just sort of vague and, at the time, seemingly less important than the bigger goal of being a "Road Comic."
     Ah...if only to be wrapped in such blissful ignorance again....
     Road comics go through cars like NBA players through sneakers and politicians through  obfuscations. It's the tool of the trade, the four wheeled necessity that keeps the "road" in "road comic." Your car is not just your means of's your office, your dining room, your shelter and, in many instances, your hotel room for the night. It can be a frustrating money pit as well. Improper maintenance and you can find yourself on the side of the highway in 102 degree heat frantically calling a booker to explain why you won't be making that (much needed) gig. Been there. Sweated that. Blown tires, black ice, fog, rain, construction jams...If you can think of a shitty road condition, I have most likely driven through it to make $250 and a hotel room.
My first road car was a beat up, fourth hand 1990 Toyota Celica. Drove it from New Orleans to Billings Montana in 2 days. I learned a couple things on that trip. Any car that sits mere millimeters from the ground does not make for a fun cross country ride. And, being a Southerner, it was the first time I had ever used defrost for the outside of the windshield. Always called it a "defogger." I'm sure a fly on the mostly missing headliner of that car would have enjoyed the panicked, white knuckle slalom through mountain passes and the constant look of sheer terror frozen on my face driving on ice and snow.
     As a feature comic, I was making less money than the trip cost. Even with gas at less than $1.50 a gallon, there were a few off nights that I had to sleep in the car, crunched up in the back seat, cocooned in almost all of my clothes and blankets. I ate enough gas station hot dogs to send up a CDC alert. Wet Wipe baths in rest stops. And don't park and sleep in a rest area unless you want to star in your own horror film. The secret? Wal Mart parking lots. All the way at the back. 24 hours and constant traffic. Perfect for a 5 hours siesta.
Such glamour!
RIP 1994 - 1996

     The next few years, I ran through a series of vehicles. Ford Grenada. Geo Metro. Saturn. Like a shady Used Car inventory. They all lasted a few years, then gave out under the weight of the workload. 
     My last road car was a 1993 Chevy Astro Van. No back seats, busted windshields from it's time as a lumber hauling vehicle. Smelled of mildew and exhaust due to multiple leaks and months parked in the country with the windows open. I'm sure I displaced a number of the Rodent family when I drove it out of Alabama. It was my Mom's husband's work van, and upon the death of my Saturn, they fixed it up enough for me to drive back to Chicago. What was supposed to be a temporary transportation fix ended up being the longest lasting work horse car I had. 3 years. From swamps to mountains. Like a trooper, she got me around over 25 states. Sure, no matter what the weather conditions, I had to drive with the windows cracked so the windshield didn't mist over and I didn't pass out from inhaling exhaust fumes. And she had the aerodynamics of a foam brick, which made wind gusts on tall bridges particularly exciting. But that van just kept on trucking. I called her the S.S. Who Dat, and my mother had a giant magnetic sign with those words made to hang on the back. The last trip I made in her started in Houston TX, through New Orleans, up to Morgantown, WV, Meadville PA through Cleveland OH, past Chicago IL to Iowa and back down through Montgomery AL, burning gas at a rate of 9 mpg due to multiple sensor failures. We barely limped back to New Orleans, where she finally met her maker. 

SS Who Dat's Final Voyage

     It's much harder now. With gas prices bouncing around the $4 a gallon range and performer pay stuck in 1990's levels, the era of the road dog might become a thing of the past. Most comedians prefer to fly in and out of gigs, renting a car when necessary. More cost effective and safer that way, obviously. But what's missing are the intangibles. Like pulling off into small towns and running into a cool farmers market, or finding a killer BBQ joint run out of an RV in nowhere Arkansas, or finally going INTO the Spam museum and finding out it's actually more cool than kitsch. Seeing America, not from the paved Interstates and Taco-Pizza-Chicken-Hut Gas station/malls just off the exit, but on the back roads and small towns. Getting to know the people of this country for real, and not the media distorted cartoons polluting the airwaves. 
     So when a haggard looking funny person rolls into your town in a beat up set of wheels, fast food bags littering the floor board and a dashboard covered in flyers, tickets and travel brochures to perform at Bubba's Sports Emporium on comedy night, please go out and support a show. Buy a ticket. Purchase the CD, or T shirt or bumper sticker. You're keeping a comedy tradition alive.
And besides...
I'm going to need a new alternator soon.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

So ya wanna put on a comedy show? Don't.

I get it.
I know what you're thinking.

Business sucks.
The home team can't win a game.
No one wants to sit in your bar/restaurant/casino and drop a bunch of change on watered down drinks and pre-fab frozen potato skins.
Even with flabby ass ex-cheerleaders prancing about in Dollar Store negligee.
Karaoke night has deteriorated into a handful of regulars who can't differentiate between reality and their tin eared chances of getting on 'The Voice."
It's bad.
Dismal even.
You tried every "All-You-Can-Eat/Drink" special in the Idiots Guide to the Service Industry, yet still the room is emptier than a public park in Fargo, North Dakota in late January.
Even the crappiest cover band in town wants $600 a gig and a bar tab.
And they play "Higher" by Creed 4 times.
Even Scott Sapp would punch them for that.
What to do? What. To. Do?
Then here comes that kid! The one who offers to do comedy shows on an off night!
He says....
"Hey! I can bring people! All my friends say I'm funny, and we'll do it for free. just let us have the door!"

Fuck no.
Stop now, I beg you.

Why, you say?
Isn't comedy a great way to make people happy and fill my coffers to boot?

No it isn't.
It's the equivalent of offering free blow jobs and giving every dude a kick in the nuts instead.

Because comedy isn't a side dish to your "All You Can Eat Wing" promo.
It isn't the words "Comedy Tonight!" sans talent names on a crappy road side sign.
We are not side dishes to "Steak Night" or "Free Pull Tuesdays" either.
We work hard at what we do. Those of us who are professionals.
We travel 1,000's of miles to hone a craft. An art form.
Yes. I called it an "art form."
And of you don't believe that, then I again beg you to educate yourself.
You try and make 20 to 1,000 strangers like you enough to listen to your shit for an hour.
You probably wouldn't last a minute.

Not to mention, there ARE rooms.
Rooms in your town, or nearby most likely, who DO try and offer a professional show.
Maybe they are an actual long standing club, or a venue who has researched the market and made the proper adjustments to conform to the comedy show dynamic. These rooms are the bread and butter of almost every hard driving road dog on the circuit.
Clocks punched.

But now.
Because your cheap ass decided to partner with a hack little shit, or a shady booking agent who undercut the established guy by undercutting the comics pay by $100 and no hotel room, this consistent income generator is closing down.
And now comedy in your area is a pale, shitty ghost of what it was.

You get what you pay for.

We work hard and travel hard for our money. If someone is willing to offer the "same thing" at half the price, then please allow me to offer you some real estate deeds in Somalia.
I have a twin span in Alaska up for grabs.

Just don't, please?
For those of us who depend on hard work and talent to pay off....
Could you just figure out a new wing recipe?
I hear "Lead Zep Linz" is looking for work....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Morning Hangover.

By all rights, I should hate the NFL.
Considering my left of center politics, anti-corporate attitude and general disdain for the arrogance that wealth breeds, I shouldn't spend my Sundays plastered in their marketing logos, screaming for my group of millionaires to beat your group of millionaires to make other millionaires more millions.
But I do.
Knowing what I know of how the owners of teams corrupt local politics and force cities to spend resources that could be better used for public services rather than grotesque architectural nightmares that can only be entered by spending loads of cash, I would still sell out family to get play off tickets.
And considering my knowledge of quantum physics, I should not be freaking out that I am wearing the wrong shirt and I didn't do my OCD ritual properly, hence causing the interception Brees threw.
I know, deep down, that my improper attire and screaming at a television will not set off a butterfly effect and change the outcome of the game.
I can't help it.
I am an addict.
I have a fleur de lis comforter.
I have probably spent more money and time on football than some spend on food and shelter.
And I will continue to do so.
Like I said...addicted.
My dresser has a New Orleans Saints alter that, if disturbed in any way, causes me to stress in a way normally reserved for fiscal issues or health problems. Instead of trying to justify or alter this behavior, I embrace it. I accept this madness.
I am, for better or worse, a New Orleans Saints fan/junkie/addict/slave and proud of it.
In lieu of religion, I worship at the alter of the Super Dome.
And Goodell is the devil.
504ever. Who Dat for life.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Meandering my way to the other L.A.

It only took a year and a half and more going away shows/parties than the Who and Eagles combined, but I'm finally on the road to L.A. Pointed westward, car full of the things I thought I would need in the next three months. I'm sure I forgot some stuff and I know I brought shit with me that I don't need. Like some sort of anti-Johnny Appleseed, shedding unwanted crap across country. I actually have stuff stored in 4 states. Every time I move, I seem to be unable to just throw away flotsam and jetsam that has followed me town to town in unopened boxes, so as my vehicles get smaller and my crap expands, I end up stowing a box or 10 in a storage unit/friends house/relatives garage/bar I worked at/etc.. Soon enough I will have added a 5th state. I am moving to California, but I have already worked in my eventual return to NOLA. I am going to live in L.A. for a while, but I am a New Orleanian. You don't live in New Orleans so much as you have a relationship with her. Albeit a tumultuous, dysfunctional relationship, full of super high highs and pit of despair lows, but a relationship. Soon enough, if you are one of the unlucky blessed few, you find yourself hundreds of miles away from the Crescent City, standing in your kitchen, crying as you make a roux (not for gumbo, but merely for the smell) and singing to a Rebirth C.D. Wearing Mardi Gras beads. Nothing but beads. Plotting how to move back. It happens. To fight this is futile.
Anyway, here we are in beautiful North Lake Travis, a few miles from the city where I went to college. UT. Hook 'em and all that. The route here included the absolutely necessary detours through Shiner, TX to visit the brewery of the beer that fueled many a crazy nights of my young Austin years, and through Lockhart, Tx. to grab some killer BBQ from the CenTx Hatfield and McCoy's of the smoked meats universe. Google "Smitty's" and "Kreutz" and read the story. Good stuff. Almost as good as the sauce free 'que. Tonight I drive down to San Marcos to make some more people laugh and have a few drinks with friends. If we are lucky, and the weather holds out, a float down the river is in the cards for tomorrow. I'm in no real hurry to get out to Lost Angels. My plan is to experience as much of the country as I can on the way. America is a wonderful place if you get out of your house and off the Interstate. There will be many pit stops and much food consumed and quite a few pictures. If you want to follow, feel free. Or maybe you could just jump in a car and join me on an adventure of your own. One minute you are watching TV and the next you are a lump of fertilizer in a box way under ground. Make the best of it.

Now for some pictures!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Welcome to the eBookmark for

Hey ya! If you are here, you probably were looking for my website. It's in the shop at the moment, but please feel free to look around here on the blog, and or check me out on some other places on the World Wide Web of Information, silly pictures, porn and memes....

My Facebook page:

My Twitter account:

My You Tube account:

My IMDB page (under construction as well)

And my Reverbnation profile:

Please check back in a week or so for the launch of the new website and more fun shenanigans!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Down the Down Time Rabbit Hole.

Here's an old post I though was appropriate to this forum to migrate over. From a Mid West run I did last year...Enjoy!

So you want to be a Road Comic?

It's Thursday. Five days since my last gig. Nothing on the books until Saturday, so, besides trying to hustle more work, I'm pretty much in down time. A holding pattern. Lots of web surfing...back of eyelids surfing....
The last 2 shows were, well...not what you'd see on Comedy Central. West Virginia was equal parts David Lynch and Larry David. The "crowd" was drunker than a homeless man who found a $20 bill near a liquor store. To characterize the barrage of non-sequiters and random noises blurted towards the dance floor area called the stage as heckling would be to disparage real heckling. Wrapping up felt like dismounting a mechanical bull. Fun, but in a ball busting and disorienting way. The next night in northern PA was a good show except for the drunk woman who began her crazy babbling before the host even took the mic. Drunk women are the worst offenders at live comedy shows. A drunk dude might pipe up, but usually they will lapse into a sullen heap once defused. A drunk woman knows no such restraint. Like a shrilly vocal Jason Voorhees, they will bring down a show with the tenacity of the honey badger. The only way to deal with them is to try and make them a part of the set or have them ejected. Both are disruptive to the magical hour long trade of humor for laughs that we all picture as the ideal. It takes years and experience to find that line where you aren't the big mean out of towner picking on the local lovable skank, nor the spineless pushover utilizing half your time wrangling with the annoying booze harpy. I set the rules with her from the beginning. I would allow a minimum of mouthiness, but when I needed her to zip it, I would utilize the safe word "Armageddon". By the end of the set, every time she began to blurt out some booze soaked non-sense, the crowd yelled "Armageddon!" in unison. It was beautiful.
So here I am, waiting for the next series of adventures in comedy. In the meantime, one show canceled and I had to drop another because my van decided it wanted to play "let's start acting fucked up and turn the Service Engine Light on and off randomly". Thank goodness my hosts for the week are amazing people and have allowed me to stay extra days and figure out my transportation issues. Looks like I'll be sinking money into a mechanic and a rental car (to finish the tour while the repair is done). Add to that the sudden unavailability of my Chicago area connections for a place to stay, which will be adding at least one more night in a hotel to the already spiraling downward budget. 
Am I complaining? Nope. It's what we do. Another comic friend of mine was just informed that her vehicle is screwed. FUBAR'ed. She has three weeks left to go on this run and is over 1500 miles from home. How is she handling it? Better than most people would. is what we do. Comedians go through cars like NBA players go through shoes. Part of the package.
You have to be a special type of crazy to do this for a living. Operating costs (gas, hotels, food) have tripled in the last decade yet pay is stagnant or dropping. Clubs are scared to take chances, so they are booking conservatively, meaning that unless you have TV credits or are a regular at the club, good luck on getting in!  "You'll need to do a guest set." Translated: Drive here, put yourself up and do a free set to maybe have the chance to know who will be ignoring your call for months until there is a fall out.  It is a madness that makes jumping in a vehicle with 280k+ miles and driving another thousand to do a handful of shows which will net you, if you're lucky, $200 to $300 profit seem like a no-brainer. Black Ice and Lake Effect snow? Why not? Eating primarily from an ice chest or a dollar menu? Absolutely. Too broke to afford a hotel on a night off? Trust me...there are a ton of ways to sleep in the car. Done that. Slept there.
Yet, as rough as the road can get, I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm doing what I am supposed to do.
I just wish it were in a better car.