This post is a few days late. I kept feeling like I should write a blog on the last trip, I just couldn’t find the energy or time.
January 30th, 2009 is my comedy birthday. So this year I celebrated 4 years since I first tried telling jokes. I prefer to think of my start date as April. Because I kinda dicked around the first 2 months but in April that year I got punched in the face on my birthday. From then I decided to not be a fuck up anymore and only drink if I’m trying to get laid and otherwise focus on comedy every single night. (That’s a whole other thing by the way. “Get ‘em drunk, hope for the best. That’s my only move.”) It’s been a fun ride. Anyway, I celebrated by going on a college run with a friend of mine. He told me he gets Google alerts on his name, so I’m scared to type it in. He’s going to read the blog and be like “this isn’t funny, I’m not taking this guy as my opener anymore.” – Maybe if I mis spell it? Steve Hofs tetter – I left a space. Let’s see how good you are google. Is there a way to tell google to not come here anymore? This is for my parents to read so they know I’m trying and they keep paying for my health insurance.
So here’s the deal, I drove to Salt Lake City to meet up with him, do 2 shows at a rock club there. Those were FANTASTIC. From then, we drove to a hotel an hour away to sleep for a few hours and then wake up early to get to Idaho for a gig at Idaho State University at NOON. I know what you’re thinking, how are you doing two shows, and then driving 6 hours to be at your next destination by noon with a great nights sleep if you’re last show ends at midnight? I’m not. Luckily, we didn’t have a gig that night (although we tried to set one up) otherwise I may have jumped out of a window.
Now, this was my first time doing a show at Noon at a college. I’ve done various shows at noon, like The Bite of Seattle shows. Those were outside in a tent at 11am. I forget what I said, but I started the show like “It’s nice to be here tonight. err. Today. This morning? I just woke up.” It got a good laugh because they knew I was being honest. College gig’s at noon are infamous among comedians. One comedians favorite story is about a nooner outside, where he got a sunburn. All I could think about was Mike Birbiglia’s joke:
“They had literally placed me, in front of a deli line. So I’m kind of shouting at these strangers, as they order Turkey sandwiches. That’s what a lot of these college gigs are like.” – Because if you can’t tell by the picture, this was the cafeteria. They also had a sandwich cart where everyone was lined up. So I’m on stage, taking a bullet spot, warming up the crowd, while they are in a line for food. Now it starts to make sense why my friend brings an opener for these gigs when he doesn’t have to. It’s just a little easier for him. To their credit, they were a pretty good audience. The 20 or so people up front were good enough to make me feel like, “Hey, they paid attention and laughed at things. This was beyond my expectations. I win.” – The … Manager? Director of the school activities? Came up afterward and was very complimentary: “The people in the back stayed for the whole show, you guys are good!” That’s the standard? They didn’t walk out on us? Cool.
We kept it moving after the noon show and drove a couple more hours to a bigger city to get a hotel and hang out because it cut down the drive for the next day, and there was a comedy club in that town we could stop in and feel like humans. I call up the manger and he says I can do a guest set. So I go over there and run into some comic friends I haven’t seen in a while. The MC is doing jokes, but not getting much response from the audience. I’m off stage thinking, I’ll get them. I’m good at this. The MC botches the introduction. The name should always be the last thing out of your mouth. She said my name 3 times. Including before people knew it was the end of her set. “So anyway, I’m gonna bring up Andrew Rivers next. *applause* oh thank you. Your guest set is Andrew Rivers, He’s a funny comedian, who travels all over the country doing comedy and is from Seattle. Andrew Rivers.” I go up and make a joke about the MC and I are not going to fall in love. The MC had a joke about only wanting to date fat guys. I’m skinny. It gets a surprising huge laugh from a small audience. I’m like “Boom. Professional.” I start on some skinny jokes. blank stares. I’m like alright, fine, too far? I switch to the set I had planned about 50 shades of grey. It’s a little dirty, goofy, and always done well. The go to with a tight audience for me is to get a little dirtier. They don’t like anything I have to say. Complete silence on punchlines. Some chuckles on others. I get off stage and they hand me two drink tickets. So I had two drinks. I wasn’t even trying to get laid. I was just trying to convince myself it was ok. Drinking at work is weird for me. I can not drink with no problem even if I know it’s free. but if they hand me drink tickets. I feel like if I don’t drink, I’m wasting something physical.
So then we move on to the best show of the week. A college gig at 8pm at a hotel conference center. Off campus. We show up. It’s a Mardi Gras party for college kids. Hours worth of decoration have been put up. There’s a dance floor thingy. Blinking cups. Balloons with glow sticks in them. A DJ, a Photobooth. You know. Everything you’d ever want to have at a comedy show. The kids are spinning the glow sticks and talking and just overall not paying much attention while they drink and get ready to bang each other later. Comedy was just getting in the way of that. So we tried comedy for about half of an hour, and failed. I should also mention there was an excellent introduction from one of the college kids: “ok everybody, we’re gonna start the comedy show in about 5 minutes. So. Actually you wanna just come up now? Ok, here he is.” My friend set up his camera in the corner and shared the footage with me. I feel like it’s on the same level as Steve Irwin Death Footage. To be shared with loved ones, so they know what happened and they can come to terms with my death later. So we ventured back to Seattle, my friend caught his flight back to LA and Saturday I immediately went back to my favorite club and did a set and it went great and I’m almost back to feeling like a comedian.
This weekend I’m at Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland, 2 miles from my home. So I can stop adding miles to my car. Sunday I’m doing a benefit for my high school seniors, I guess they helped me become a comedian by not allowing me to have friends, I should help them not become comedians by making sure they can go to senior night and have friends. Then I’m on the road for a month and a half. Oklahoma City, Wisconsin, Minnesota and more. See you then folks.