punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Stand up or Shut up

I got my first taste of comedy from my mother, I guess. When she was sober and more with it, she had a silly streak in her. My father didn't care for it much, but he tolerated it; his style was more physical comedy where things hurt people. My childhood friend Neal really did a lot to influence my comedy. Neal got me hooked on a lot of stand-up and comedic music. Dr. Demento helped me branch out to Monty Python, which got me hooked on British humor. Slowly over time, I had seen and heard so much humor, I could emulate it fairly well. I got a stock of accents, memorized skits, and was in theater for a few years. I wrote a lot of funny stories, too.

It wasn't until 1990 when the Prune Bran writers recruited me as a writer, thus starting the horrific decline of modern man. My acting was pretty bad, but I must say my skits were pretty good. And for the first time, I felt that rush when an entire audience laughs at a joke you wrote, and the complete and blissful denial when they didn't. When you totally nail the core audience, like I did with the bumpers at Katsucon (see, I knew anime fans must hate the band Creed, and I was right), you will know. better than any drug.

But while I was onstage at conventions, hopping around in bad Star Trek and Zombie Sketches, doing improv workshops, and hanging around some truly talented actors and writers like dptiwsted and badmagic as well as very unfunny and talentless hacks like dashrippington (just kidding C :) ), I thought the whole time, "Could I do stand up?"

Can I do stand up? Can I haul my fat ass on stage, belly bumping the mic, speaking to a crowd full of people who are talking over me and possibly heckling me?

Heckler: YOU SUCK!
Me: You swallow, but that's why you get paid more! Stop boasting, dad.
Heckler: Get off the stage, fat ass!
Me: Hey, I don't come to your workplace and smack the dicks out of your mouth, do I?
Heckler: You are totally unfunny. I have seen better heads on glasses of beer.
Me: Eating lead paint chips is no way to go through life, son.
Heckler: Yeah, you're proof of that!
Me: You're proof of what happens when cousins marry.

That seemed SO EASY because I had like 5 minutes to type that out. How about on the fly? I don't know...

... and there's only one way to find out. Starting this month, I will be preparing a few sets and hopefully attending Open Mic at the Riot Act Comedy Club here in DC. Why not the DC Improv? Well, funny thing, it seems that their policy of "Open Mic" means you sumbit a demo reel. Huh. Not exactly "Open Mic," now, is that?

I am not doing this alone. ninjacooter will be joining me. In fact, while we'll not be on stage together, we will be cheering and booing each other from the audience. We'll drop by a few nights and scope out the acts, the competition, the audience, and to gain false confidence by thinking, "Surely, I am funnier than that guy..." Then, when the time is wrong, we'll leap on stage and bare our souls to the angst-ridden drunks that sit at the tables like angry sloths with rifles.

We're doing it as a confidence building exercise and adventure, and not because we're so far into our delusional, we think this will make money or fame. In fact, failure seems like the more exciting option. We're STILL talking about that disastrous improv panel at Castlecon (an audience member got too excited and bit me).

When we DO gain the nerve to shield our inner organs from thrown rotten vegetable matter, you wanna come see us? It'll be fun. Sadly, it will also be on a Tuesday night. Probably we'll get up the nerve in October somewhere.

You can say you were there when you saw Rogue and Punkie crash and burn!
Tags: comedy, improv, prune bran, stand up
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