A Clueless Boob

Monday February 6th, 2012 – Chicago, IL

The older I get, the less I know. I am now officially a clueless boob, and that‘s my final answer. I have completely given up all hope of ever trying to figure out the inner working secrets of standup comedy, women or human existence as a whole. It’s all still a mystery.

I thought I was at least starting to figure some of it out – the comedy part anyway. After tonight, I would have to say not. I hosted The Rising Star Showcase at Zanies in Chicago as I have dozens of times before, and I thought it was a complete disaster. Everything and everybody felt off in every way, including myself. The energy wasn’t clicking for anyone.

Those nights happen, but I haven’t had one in a while. I’ve had super solid shows lately as a matter of fact. Granted, hosting is a different skill set and energy altogether, but it felt like I’d never been on stage before. My words and rapid rhythm weren’t flowing like they usually do, and it frustrated the hell out of me. The more I tried to find it, the less I could.

The audience’s vibe didn’t help either. They weren’t mean spirited, stupid or drunk, but they weren’t laugh out loud types either. And there weren’t very many of them. That has a lot to do with it also. Mondays have been packed as a rule, but tonight wasn’t even close.

I don’t think it was even halfway filled. Was it Super Bowl hangover? It doesn’t matter. It wasn’t happening. The lineup of comedians wasn’t clicking either. Again, they weren’t necessarily bad acts and I don’t think they were bad people at all. But they were mostly an inexperienced group, and nobody went up there and lit it up like I’ve seen so often before.

It was just one of those nights where everything failed to mesh together. It’s not a major disaster, even though it does annoy me. I want people to have a good time when they’re at a show I’m on, even if I’m not the headliner. I’m a fan of the craft, and want comedy as a whole to be a pleasurable experience for everyone – comedians included. It should be fun.

I tried my best to stay with it the whole night though. Just because they weren’t a stellar bunch doesn’t mean they didn’t deserve my best. Plus, it’s a challenge for me to wring as much out of any audience as I can – especially the weaker ones. That’s what I’m paid for.

As the night dragged on, I just wanted it to be over. Sometimes there are way too many acts booked and the shows go long. Tonight, everyone went short and I had time to fill at the end. I’ve got the experience and material to fill it, but I really didn’t feel like tonight.

Again, too bad. That’s what I’m paid to do. I know that going in, and tonight was one of those nights when nothing was going to be pleasant. I did my job to the best of my ability, most importantly got my check, and was trying to sneak out the door when I got stopped.

It was a table of four telling me how funny I was, and how it was one of the best nights they’d ever had. Did they see the same show I did? Then I went outside only to have more people give me a high five and tell me how great I was. And I thought I had a clue. Nope.


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