Bits and Bytes
Although I do love the mix of pretzels, shreddies, cheerios and those weird cheese things, that is not what I am talking about here. I’m talking about my love of comedy, not only to enjoy but to perform. I can remember being eight years old and lying on the floor with headphones on looking at the ceiling and listening to Bill Cosby and George Carlin records and laughing my ass off. I would flip the record when it was finished and lie back down on the floor for hours. My mom and dad had a pretty good collection of both comedians.
Bill didn’t use profanity but his delivery was genius, if you have never heard the “I thought my name was Jesus Christ” bit do your self a favour and click this link. He had a special way of seeing things and could tell a story like nobody else. His comedy transcended race and colour, he was one of my first heroes. He reminds me of my father, maybe because we would listen to the album “Bill Cosby Himself” together and laugh until our stomachs hurt, especially “The Denist” bit, genius. My father would have tears streaming down his face and so would I from laughing so hard, it was a great feeling. Something we shared that brings me back every time I hear it.
Then there was Mr. Carlin, the thinking mans comic. He would come up with a new set every year according to what I’ve heard. His take on life was so original, so groundbreaking. “The seven words you can’t say on television” or “Stuff” are some of the bits that made me think a different way. He was crass and profane and I loved it. He could be rude, but smart, it made me re-think how people see you, you can be yourself and fuck the people that didn’t get it. That was George.
And there are others that over the years, I have loved to listen to and laugh, Richard Pryor, Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld, Dennis Leary, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Demetri Martin, Mitch Hedberg, Zach Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Dave Chapelle, Chris Rock, Steven Wright, John Stewart, Dane Cook and tons of others. I could listen to comedy all day, everyday. I love to laugh and life is too short not to. I just started listening to Bill Hicks and it blew my mind, that someone that funny had flew under my radar. I will always keep looking for funny cause funny is good.
So after letting you know my comic inspirations I come to the meat of why I wrote this blog in the first place, I love these performers and they inspire me to be funny and I can be funny in a living room setting, but to get in front of strangers and try to make them like me, terrifies me. Maybe that’s why I hide behind this blog, I don’t have to look you in the face and fear the rejection. I have written over a hundred blogs, some serious, some funny and I’m sure if I mined even just the blog I could come up with a set, then with life stories and things I haven’t even written about yet that are still stuck in my brain, I know I would have at least 15 good minutes. But it is the getting on that stage part, in the spotlight, I can feel my bladder twitching right now. See, now I got myself thinking “Oh god, I never thought of that, what if I wet myself from fear when I’m up there, in front of everybody, oh no!” and like a paranoid feedback loop in my head the fear gets bigger and bigger until my brain sabotages itself. But like my friend said to me the other day, “They want you to be the guy” he was talking about interviews in this instance, but it could relate to many things. I take it this way, people gravitate towards things they like, so if they like you, they want you to succeed. Why would someone buy a ticket to a comedy show just to see them fail. Unless you’re a Hipster (the subject of my next blog “The Trouble with Hipsters“) who think showing up for something ironically is cool, then they shit all over it later. But I think that if you do something well, you shouldn’t worry about who doesn’t like it. Worry about who does, they are your audience, they are the ones that will keep coming back. They want you to be the guy, that is how you build an audience and maybe one day, I will have the balls to be funny in front of groups of people, but for now, I’ll hide behind my words and be funny at parties. Wakka Wakka!