Heat Check

A lot of the writing on here is step 2 in the process. It’s not refined, it’s just me rambling about ideas I think are humorous. I write without thinking if the joke would work on stage. or really if it’s funny at all.

I’ll have the thought. Then I’ll write it on here. If it’s at all funny I’ll keep kicking it around in my head. Then one day when I’m out of excuses or polished jokes to work on at open mic, I’ll try it on stage. but first I have to sit down and basically re write it to stage form. Which means, get to the point, put funny words last, cut out the fluff. Every word is usually planned and precise. Sometimes I plan to ramble a little bit on stage with something and hope something in the moment clicks. but if you’ve read the last couple blog posts, I thought I’d share some of the jokes I did today and how I wrote them for stage and you can look at differences.
I have a cousin who is a model for Abercrombie. Also, no ladies you can’t have his phone number. Because I don’t have it. He doesn’t talk to me. It’s weird to think, that’s in my bloodline. Maybe not in me, but it was close. That was almost me. I know it’s kindof overdone but Millions of fuckin sperm and THIS is the one that wins? Life could’ve been good. It’s a little depressing to know your genetics are capable of producing amazing people and Im at open mic night.

(first off. This whole first part is extremely hacky and easy. The “millions of sperm” thing is an old heckler line that’s been passed down from comic to comic. When a drunk guy is yelling and making an idiot of himself. “Millions of sperm, and THAT guy wins?” everyone cheers if they hate the guy. If they hate you. Well. You’re fucked. I just kinda flipped it and made it a little self deprecating. It got a pretty good laugh. The open mic night line is literally only going to work at open mic. You can’t keep using that. “…and I’m here at snoqualmie casino making $500 performing for 800 people.” That’s actually kindof cool. Even a weekend at laughs. Unless your whole character is above everything and cocky and can get away with it. If you’re a big star you can be like “fucking snoqualmie? My career blows.” and everyone will be like “He’s right. WE DO SUCK! HAHA.” but I justify it with it being open mic and sort of placeholder punchlines. To see if the audience will go along with the premise and me running out of time writing and a little lazy. This is where kicking it around for a while comes in. Gotta mess with the idea and think of some clever stuff. Also I don’t know if the phone number thing works yet. I did the setup and some lady yelled out “Is he single?” and I said “You can’t have his number.” and everyone laughed. and then I said “I don’t even have it. He doesn’t talk to me. Why would he.” and people got on board. I don’t know if it works as a regular joke. It’s a little cheap shot. but the fact that I wrote that, and someone actually yelled it at me proves I’m sort of answering someones probably question. I could phrase it a little differently. but like I said. Open mic time is for working out the kinks. Build the structure spit it out and see what happens.)

He was on a season of survivor and he didn’t get very far which I don’t know why. He’s a model, aren’t they used to not eating? I don’t know what you’re allowed to have on the island but Im pretty sure he would’ve lasted longer if there was a reward challenge involving diet pepsi and cocaine.

(This is the part of the joke I really liked. My cousin was getting on my case about having roommates on craigslist and whatever. I wrote these little lines back to him. I decided my family is so intriguing and I eventually will have more on them. So yeah. I figured I’d see if these jokes worked. They did. Success. Best feeling. New stuff that can fit in somewhere in the set. Non topical. Good good.)

I have a friend who is dating a baseball player, but she’s not cute at all. I was like how did that happen? aren’t athletes supposed to date hot girls? Then I saw his batting average and I was like ohhh. He needs his eyes checked.
(This one I told before I think and it did alright. I wanted to do it again and I will keep doing it to see how consistent it does. I think it’s funny. It’s a little simple. Jokes like this are good openers. Solid base hit every time. Quick to the punchline. I’ve been opening on the 4 balls joke for a few years now and it’s so long to the punchline it’s annoying. I can literally hear the audience thinking outloud sometimes “is this supposed to be funny?” but the payoff is always big enough to justify the wait. I recently dropped it for a month and then I was in wisconsin and the crowds were a little slow and not going for my newer opening jokes I’ve been using. It was frustrating, I had to break the glass in case of emergency. but I cut out a few words and it seemed to flow better. Especially being the MC. I don’t know if this joke will stay in the act for long, but if I need to fill 45 minutes or have a couple short cute jokes for the radio, this serves purpose. The guy is a mariner too which plays into the whole mariners suck thing which always gets a chuckle locally.)

Do you think Martin Luther King is pissed they keep naming the worst streets in america after him? Don’t get me wrong it’s an honor to have a street named after you. That’s a big deal. You’ve got to be a civil rights leader or … really good at baseball… or a tree or something. But when it’s the worst street in every city? That’s a little fucked up. Congratulations, we’re giving you a baseball team. Sweet. Oh it’s the mariners? Nevermind. I was on a MLK street once. I was lost. There was a popeyes, a pawn shop, and a liquor store in the same parking lot. How stereotypical can you get before it becomes offensive? That’s why Tacoma is my favorite. They put a hospital on MLK. What a great idea. If you get shot “Hey man you need an ambulance?” “Nah it’s right up here I got it!”

(This thing I wrestled with for a long time. I re wrote it about 10 minutes before I got on stage to the opener line. I was going to take a weird conspiracy government hates black people side to it, but I just wanted to get to the point and I was worried I would lose them. I had a joke in there that didn’t make this draft though that I want to find a way to throw in or use in a different joke about those crazy people on the street shouting things like “The goverment is out to get you” and “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” I was worried people wouldn’t get it, but it cracks me up to classify Kanye as a crazy guy shouting on the street. Anyway, so I went with this thing and actually I didn’t even plan on tackling the popeyes part of the story either, but I was on fire. lol. They call that a “heat check” in basketball. You’re nailing everything, you’re feeling it, so you throw up a really ridiculously difficult shot just to see if it hits. Sometimes they go in. It got a lukewam response and I knew it would. It’s not a punchline, it’s just a thought so far. but we’ll get there. Then I finished out with the old classic Tacoma MLK joke that kills most of the time. Anyway. Good time at open mic. Thought you might be interested in a little behind the scenes.)

There you have it. The before and after. The thought process behind it all. Of course you care. I’ve got a few premises in my pocket. I’ll have to find some time to blog. I’ll be working this weekend.

Lebron James Heat Check:

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