Saturday, January 25, 2003

This is for a dating book (for women) I am writing with five other people which will be out in April. It's kind of corny, but it's comedy related so I thought I'd put it up.

There are close to a dozen stand-up comedy clubs in New York City. About 90 percent of the comics who perform in the clubs are male comedians. Most of those comedians range in age from 21-35. There are older and younger comics as well, and females too, but this is what most of the clubs are working with.

Because females aren't funny? Yes, if you ask Jerry Lewis. No, if you ask us. But that is a debate for another time. Right now, we're focusing on finding you a dateable guy.

Stand up comics are generally single, as they travel from city to city to do shows at colleges, bars and night clubs. It's a very independent lifestyle, full of cheers and boos, booze and cigarettes. Many comics I know stay single because it is hard to find people who are willing to tolerate that special something that makes a person become a comic.

And some are happily married, so who knows? Maybe a comic is just what you needed in your life.

Jennifer, one of NYC's comedy club bookers, says she only dates comics. "I know it's not the best idea to date the people you work with, but I love comedians. They are funny, they are passionate, believe it or not, a lot of the guys are actually pretty shy and sweet."

She probably is not referring to Andrew Dice Clay. She's referring to the young up and coming stars of tomorrow who are working out their material on the stage for their future sitcoms.

Take Tom, for example. Tom is a 30 year old stand up comic. He is single, by choice. "It's hard to find a girlfriend being a stand up comic," Tom told us. "Girls automatically assume I'm going to be loud and crass all the time, just because some of my jokes are a bit edgy. The truth is, I'm a pretty quiet guy. During the day, I like to watch tv, I work out and lately I've been really into yoga."

Comics are typically very sensitive people with extreme egos that get fed by the energy of an audience of people, laughing at their jokes. This is not the case for all stand ups. Some of them really are obnoxious.

We met Chris one night in a comedy club on the upper west side. "I hate dating," says Chris. "The women I meet at the clubs are all the same. They come to the comedy clubs to try to hook up with a successful comedian. Then they don't feel so badly about not having their own careers."

While we don't necessarily agree with Chris's opinion, it does leave the door open for you, an independent, strong minded woman to stand out in the crowd.

So, you're in the club. A hot, tall, slender, future movie star has just left the stage to uproarious laughter and applause. You see him walk to the back. His head is up, he looks confident. He's probably in a really good mood, just having "killed". Look to see if he's going to meet his lady. If he's not, it's possible that he doesn't have one, or she might be there cheering him on. It's a good idea to wait a few minutes until he's had a chance to let his stage buzz cool down, so he settles back into the reality of regular life. It's a pretty quick process, maybe about five to ten minutes. If you are bold enough to go alone, walk over to him and say something very simple about his set. It is just as good to go by yourself or approach him with an entourage of friends. That will create a bit of a spectacle and all his friends will be envious, which will make him really want to play it up. "Nice job up there" or "You were really funny" is generally all it takes to win him over. He will most likely thank you and immediately humble himself to you. For all he knows, you could be an NBC executive or a friend of one. He will most likely ask your name, and if he doesn't, just put out your hand and tell him. "I'm Sarah," you say. "Oh, nice to meet you, Sarah," he will reply. "I'm Jeff." You shouldn't worry too much about conversation, he will most likely jump into it, unless he's got another spot he's about to run off to. You can flatter him by asking him where he'll be next or if he has a website you can look up. Most comedians do have their own url and are booked at several show locations weeks or months in advance. He will no doubt be flattered and thrilled to have a pretty girl politely pestering him in front of his comrades, as that is why comics are in the business of getting attention.

After you walk away, don't be surprised if one of his comic buddies comes up to you and tries to mack. The good thing about comedy clubs is, the guys hang out in packs, and they are very competitive for a lady's attention.

Be careful about basing your opinion of a comic on his stage personna or the first meeting. A lot of times, a stage presence is just that. He is doing a job, and when the job is done, he goes back to being normal. Most comics are not at all what they are like on stage. A lot of people expect comedians to be constantly cracking jokes and always poking fun at everything. That's not necessarily the case always. Most comics get bothered if you go up to them and insist they be funny. Also, keep your funny jokes or stories that you think they should try on stage to yourself. How would you feel if someone came to where you work and tried to tell you how to do your job? It's annoying and no one likes it, so be considerate of that.

Once you get to know him better, then maybe you can berate him with your funny boss stories, or how crazy your mom is. Until then, just buy him a drink and get to know eachother.

Comics like to stay out late, and the business calls for it. It's a vampire lifestyle. Most comics sleep until the afternoon unless they have a meeting or a supplemental day job. Then, they get ready to go out and perform around 6 or 7 and are out until sometimes 2, 3 am or even later.

The best time to go out to a club to scope out the comic scene is on the weekend, because that is when the handsome and most talented comedians are performing at the clubs. Bring a pack of wild girls and go have a great time. Be supportive and most important, laugh, if you think he's funny. Don't call out to them while they are on stage, unless you want to get verbally smashed. If you heckle, it might turn out funny and it will definitely be fun for you, but it could mess up their flow. If your obnoxious blabbering caused him to mess up his set, generally he is not going to want to befriend you. If he's a strong enough comic, he should be able to pull through, but sometimes a bombing can't be helped. Maybe it was a friend of yours, though. Then you have a perfect excuse to go up and apologize for your friend and tell him you thought he was funny anyway.

It's also a good idea to go to a smaller, alternative style show, like Luna Lounge on Monday nights which is produced by Comedy Central, or Upright Citizens Brigade Assscat. The crowd there tends to be more intelligent, younger, and hipper. The comedy clubs generally attract a more bridge and tunnel or out of town crowd.

Just because a comic bombs by the way, doesn't mean they aren't funny or worth talking to. Some comics have off nights. It happens. A guy who gets your attention even if he didn't leave 'em crying in the aisles is going to appreciate your feedback and consider you very special and smart, different than the losers who didn't get him or his jokes.

Don't be a tag-a-long. After you give him a few compliments and chat briefly, you will know whether or not he wants to hang out with you or be alone. Sometimes comics just want to go over their material or listen to the tape they made and see how they can improve their act. Don't take it personally. He's at work. Remember that. The comedy club is a good place to meet a guy, but then after that, you want to remove yourselves from that situation. Set up a date for another time at a place that is not a comedy club. Most comics don't want to hang out in a comedy club if they aren't performing. They're there all the time. Comics are different than any other type of person you've ever met, in the same way that doctors are different from lawyers are different from anchorpersons. They all hang out in their own little world, but at the end of the day, everyone wants to be loved. Why not be loved by you?

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