Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I performed the other night at Saturday Night Rewritten, which, by the way, was a pretty neat show. The concept is simple - they take the sketches from the night before's Saturday Night Live, rewrite them, and put the show together for Sunday night. I salute them for taking it to task - Saturday Night Live is regularly pretty lame. That confuses me, because I know several writers on the show and they are funny! So something goes wrong somewhere between a funny idea in a funny person's brain and a lame ass sketch on Saturday Night Live - but alas; je nais cest quai.

I performed this past Sunday as the musical guest, and the show was better than the previous night's SNL, but not perfect. It is a big job to rewrite a whole show and learn it all in such a short time. But I take my hair off to them, because I don't wear a hat.

Interestingly, Mr. David Cross was sitting in the audience. The turn-out was fairly sparse - maybe about 15-20 people showed up. But one of them was David Cross, oddly. What was David Cross doing there on a Sunday night? Watching the show, I would suppose. But why? Why wasn't he hanging out with Jay Z or Sarah Silverman, or someone else famous? Why wasn't he performing at some fundraiser somewhere or making love to his girlfriend? What the hell was going on that Mr. Cross should turn up in a basement theater on Bond Street?

Mr. Cross, why? Why, Mr. Cross?

I don't know. I can't even honestly say that he was there for sure. I didn't see him with mine own two eyes. Other people saw him, and reported loudly upon his sleek exit aft closing credits, fore lights arose. Maybe they just thought it was David Cross. What do THEY know? Maybe it was Todd Barry, pretending to be David Cross. They said, "He sat in the back! HE was here!" As if Jesus himself had graced us with his presence.

I have some theories as to why he was there. But I won't share them with you.

As I heard the news of his attendance, my stomach curled up into a dead bird and shat. Why? I thought aloud. Why had he come to that show of all nights, and seen me suck my ass through a straw? Why? I wouldn't say it was the worst set I've ever had. But the atmosphere alone was enough to take the spirit out of even the most ego-laden performer. The theater is musty and kind of drab, a la UCB's old days - which gives it a nice, old-timey feel, but still - it's only as good as the show going on inside of it. SNR is a very low-budget show. The comedians on the show were impressive in some aspects and lack-luster in others. And I didn't help matters by choosing to play my older, less charming, dirtiest material. I was feeling wierd that night - I didn't know if I could or should tell jokes or not, so I didn't - I just sang a few songs - it was not one of my better sets. From a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate it a 17 degrees celcius.

People came up to me afterwards and said "You were great! You were terrific!" But I knew it was not so. I knew in the spectrum of terrific to shit hag, I was closer to dumpy slutbag, which is on the lower end of the spectrum. For people who'd never seen me before, it might have been an okay set, but if you're David Cross - well - let's just put it this way - he was not one of the people to come up to me and say, "Great set."

But why should I sit here and second guess myself on what David Cross thinks of me? I've got stuff going on. I'm making upwards of $300 per week. I just got a new fancy haircut - I cut it myself in my bathroom. Things are looking up. I got new shoes at a yard sale for $2.

But still, I can't help but beat myself up over it. I like to bleed internally, quietly, fakely.

Mr. Cross, if you're reading this - I apologize for letting comedy down. This reminds me of an anecdote:

I was talking with an important man one day, one who probably could have really helped my career if he'd wanted to. I told him I was a comedian. We spoke for awhile about me, my career, and any advice he might have for me. Finally, at the end of the conversation, he said, "Oh, by the way - you didn't say anything funny."

So, in closing, I'd like to offer a piece of advice to comedians, which I hope to apply in the very near future - don't suck in front of important people.

1 comment:

David D. said...

When you say that "From a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate it a 17 degrees celcius," what does that mean. 17 degrees celsius is a pleasant 62.6 degrees fahrenheit. Is that what you meant to say? I guess from the context that it's supposed to be bad, but it doesn't sound that bad to me.

"From a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate it a 62.6 degrees fahrenheit."