Doing comedy introduces you to a lot of interesting people. From the freak-shows of society that show up at an open-mic once or twice and then disappear, to the rural-road gig attendees whose only window to the outside world is Facebook, I've met an interesting folk or two along my way. Some are totally awesome people, some I'd rather forget. I thought it'd be cool to document some conversations via memory.
Background: a road gig in Idaho. 2009. An audience member (AM) approached me after the show. He was a really nice guy, but blatantly racist/homophobic/anti-Semitic. What was pretty sad about this situation is that this guy seemed to not even know any better. He said all of these things to me as if it were just normal conversation. Oh, the headliner happened to be Jewish and he had a joke about dating an African-American—it's necessary information for the conversation to make sense.
AM: Hey, you guys were pretty funny.
AM: Where do you guys live?
Me: I live in Seattle. The headliner lives in California.
AM: Seattle? You like it?
AM: Just a bunch of queers and environmentalists isn't it?
Me: We have a space needle.
AM: So, like, I gotta ask you, do you and that Jewish nigger-lover travel together? I mean, do you like, eat with that guy and stuff?
(Moment of silence for shock to pass)
Me: We travel together, but we don't eat together much.
AM: Heh, I don't blame you.
Me: Well, I mean, between all the trees that we hug and trying to find guys to have sex with, we don't have much time for food…
(Dude walks away)
Backstory: 2011ish-A drunk lady after a gig in Pittsburgh who was full of comedy wisdom she wished to share. If drunken unsolicited advice was a currency, I'd be a rich man!
Pittsburgh Drunk Lady: If you want to make it, you know what you need to do? You need to talk about the Steelers and growing up in Pittsburgh, that'll get you on TV.
Me: Right, because that's universal.
PDL: Exactly. HERE WE GO STEELERS! I mean, you gotta talk about that stuff, I'm from the Northside, where are you from?
Me: Forest Hills
PDL: You gotta talk about that, I mean, that's how you'll make it, what are your goals?
Me: My goals? Hmmm, I don't know. I have a lot of goals. One of them is to be an interesting enough person that I don't need to base my character and personality off of the geographic region I happened to be born in.
(Awkward moment of silence)
Backstory: A phone conversation with an agent about what ended up being my first-church gig.
Agent: So, tomorrow's a church gig. I don't know how many church gigs you've done before.
Me: Ummm, well, I guess tomorrow will be my first.
A:….Oh…well, don't over-think it.
A: Don't tell any jokes about Priests fucking boys in the ass.
Me: I don't have any jokes about…
A: Eh, you'll be fine.
Background: 2012- An older couple after a show at a comedy club, this dude was awesome, his wife was passed out drunk next to him but he wasn't ready to call it quits yet so he hung out anyway. He'll be Married Dude (MD).
MD: You were really funny, I'd like to talk with you for a bit if that's alright.
Me: Right on, glad you enjoyed the show.
MD: Where do you live at?
MD: I live near that way too. We're visiting from out of town.
MD: We got ourselves a nice motel room, it's too bad my old lady's asleep or we'd make that motel room shake all night, let me tell you!
Me: Right on, good for you man!
MD: You like doing comedy?
Me: I do.
MD: That's swell. You know the 2nd Amendment gives you the right to carry a gun, do you carry a gun, Ron?
Me: I don't.
MD: Why not?
Me: Just not my thing I guess.
MD: Well…you were really funny!