Washington: 3 clubs and a bar/ Stuff I found in my pocket

Hi! I'm Jake!

I've been in Washington 10 days now. I have had a bunch of gigs. The cash really helps a lot because my bank account is super hungry.  "Feed me you skinny dude with a gut," my bank account snarled, "If I'm not satiated immediately, I'll cannibalize your credit score!" My bank account means it. It gets really punchy.

Monday, I hosted the Seattle Comedy Underground open mic. I did a tight 5 then introduced 34 other comedians. Most of whom did 3-minute sets. A few of the favored comedians, including Seattle star, Ty Barnett did 5 minutes.

Some of the other 5-minute sets went to contestants in this year's Seattle International Comedy Competition. In the first round of the contest, everybody gets 5 minutes. The club was giving them a chance to work their sets. Practice makes perfect. Instead of working on his contest set, though, one of the competitors used his 5-minute set just to play. Whoops.

Riley Newton cracked me up again. She's very funny. Check her out.

One of the performers, Barbaba is a cute, lisping, ukelele comic. If she was any cuter, bunnies, puppies, and wallabees would be out of their jobs. She's saccharine - but in a very genuine way. She is the real deal. Barbara had a really funny song about the incest between Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia. After the show, she told me "Thanks. I also have a really adorable abortion song." I'm pretty sure she wasn't kidding. The thing is, it probably is cute too. I don't know how she does it.

Danielle had a really strong set. I gave her a tag. She seemed into it. I hope she uses it. When you see a good joke, it feels good to add to it, to be part of the process. For all you civilians out there, most jokes have a set-up and a punchline. Efficient writers often add a bonus punchline to their jokes. That bonus line is called tag. Sometimes you can have several tags on the same joke.

Inefficient writers often go the other direction and write really long set-ups for just one punchline. That's another way to go. I met such a comic that same evening. He started his set by not shaking my hand after I introduced him. He told the crowd he didn't want to shake my hand because I was creepy. Then he awkwardly told them he forgot his first joke. He remembered his second joke though. It was a rape joke. He also ended on a rape joke. In summary, in his 3-minute set, he wasted 30 seconds talking about me (with no pay-off), he wasted another 15 telling the crowd he forgot a joke, then he sandwiched 1 mediocre joke between 2 rape jokes. Good job, noob!

Ty Barnett had a 5-minute set. He was working on his 3rd Tonight Show appearance. He initially rose to the public view when he took 2nd on Season 4 of TV's Last Comic Standing. Truth be told, LAst Comic Standing is in the crapper now. At the time Ty took 2nd, though, it was doing pretty well.

One chick had been sitting in the front row the whole show. After awhile, comics learn not to sit there because after your set, you have to go back. She had a rough set then she and her friends left. It's one thing to walk the crowd, but it's pretty bad when comedians walk themselves.

I worked Laughs Comedy Spot last week with Matt Braunger. It was my debut week at the club. It was a great week! Tuesday, I came back to work my contest set. Ty was there. Duane Goad was there. He killed me. Great set. Riley Newton was there. Cracked me up again.

Dave Dennison, the owner of Laughs, and a fellow comedian, put the show's lineup together. During part of my set, I talked about the trouble with transsexuals. The very next comedian after my set was a transsexual. Dave! Come on! That cracked me up though.

After Laughs, I drove 30-minutes up to Lynnwood to host a gong show at a bar. No judges showed up. One contestant showed up. Tom, the proprietor, told me that contestant was a crackhead who took the bus. He comes every week. The contest was cancelled, but Tom told me he'd pay me anyway. So, I did a 15-minute set then took off. That set was a lot of fun. There weren't any other comedians, just an appreciative crowd. I was able to work some of my contest stuff as well as slip in some of the new punchlines I keep forgetting to do. Plus I got paid. Yay.

I had big plans to write all day Wednesday. Unfortunately, my Mac wouldn't start up. It had a "invalid sibling link" error. I spent 2 hours talking to tech support before completely wiping my hard drive and starting over. It took 7 hours to get my Mac back on track. What a pleasant way to spend a day- not. See that? I used "not." What a rare treat. Nobody does that anymore.

Worked with two really funny comedians Xung Lam, and Collin Moulton. Both of them cracked me up. I work with Collin again on Tuesday in Tacoma.

I was a little annoyed when I first came to the bar. There were a couple meatheads. As soon as meatheads hear that you are the comedian, their alpha male instincts tell them they need to say something that is soooo hilarious so they can be better than you. One of them something to me before the show. I don't remember what it was, but I remember being sooo impressed. Calm down, meathead. Take a roophie.

Meatheads are the kind of guys who says things like "I should be up there" but then never get the guts to get on stage. After the show, comedians often sell merchandise to make up for the low money most of us make. I sell shirts I designed. One of the meatheads saw me lugging my t-shirt bag around and quipped "What is that, your luggage?" Good one.You should be on stage.

Most of the crowd was awesome. They had a blast. One table though had the luggage meathead, a fake-boobed newlywed, another skank, and another meathead. Tables like this often have their own, raucous conversations that distract from the show. The fake-boobed newlywed spent a portion of the show with her back to the stage. She was still drunk with attention (and cheap liquor). I think she thought she was hot, too. She was a 6 at best (even in Renton) but she acted as if she thought she was a 10.

Yesterday, I drove to Spokane, 4 hours from Seattle. I am headlining Chuckles Comedy Club. I have another show tonight at 8:30. Last night's show was fun. We had a small crowd, but they were cool. The emcee, Martin, made a bad choice. He ended his set with a Holocaust joke then immediately brought up the guest set for the night. That's like setting yourself on fire then hugging the person who comes to rescue you.

The guest set, Brian put the fire out, though. He is fairly new. Despite the fact he has maybe done 5 shows, he has a lot of good jokes. Also, noobs often ramble on about several disconnected topics which makes it hard for disoriented audiences to follow them. However, Brian was able to flow through the same topic for several minutes with the audience's full attention tand laughter. Pros do that. This kid is on his way.

The feature, Joe Fontenot started off like a bomb. He exploded onto the stage with a high-energy rant. I was dying. He is a very funny guy. At times, throughout his set, he calmed down and spoke to the crowd as if the show was a fireside chat. He talked about all the changes he and his life are going through because of his new kid. Throughout the show, without warning, he oscillated from heartfelt to heart attack and back again. He had 2 settings, awww, and kablam! It was fun to watch.

I couldn't tell you what all Joe talked about. I barely remember what I talked about. I do remember he was funny, though. Also, I remember one thing about my set: Before the show, Joe showed me this voice recorder application he downloaded for his Droid phone. I had been complaining about my horrible Olympus recorder. I am always running out of space and/or batteries on that thing. It sucks! I try to always record my sets because I ad-lib a ton. That's where 50% of my best punchlines come from. Since my Olympus recorder is always dead or full, I am missing out on a lot of good writing.

So, last night, I used this new voice recorder application that Joe showed me. During my set, just to make sure my voice recorder captured my ad-libs, I kept wandering over to my phone to yell at it. "DID YOU GET THAT, VOICE RECORDER?!?! THAT WAS A GOOD JOKE! I JUST MADE THAT UP! DO YOUR FRICKING JOB! I'M DOING MINE!"

Well, I need to get going. It's 7:00. I need to get my crap together and go to the show.

Oh yeah: the reason I called this episode, "Washington: 3 clubs and a bar/ Stuff I found in my pocket" is
  • a) I am in Washington.
  • b) This week, I worked 3 comedy clubs and 1 bar.
  • c) I found all my notes about this blog entry in my various convertible-pants pockets.
I found one other note: Before I left Denver, a Denver musician gave me her phone number. She had seen me a couple times at Comedy Works and told me I was raw, but really likable. I have to admit, my tail was wagging a bit. She gave me her phone number and said "Call me. Let's go on a bike ride." Cool.

I checked out the singer's website. I watched one of her music videos and was blown away. She has an amazing voice. The animation for the video was equally awesome. I texted her, saying how impressed I was. All she wrote back was "Hard work pays off." Ok. For true. I texted her that I'd like to hear more of her music. No response. When I called her to set up the bike ride, I left a voicemail. No response.

None of this is a big deal, but this is the second time now a lady has volunteered her phone number - without me even asking for it - and then blown me off when I called. I know I'm crazy, and I know crazy attracts crazy - but this is crazy! Anyway, no biggie. I just threw that number out. Gotta shrug it off like dandruff. I have enough flakes in my life. All right! I just had a dandruff metaphor. Cool. Tell your friends!

Well, off to the show!

Bye! I'm Jake!