Archive for March, 2006
Tuesday, March 28th, 2006
Greetings from Pittsburgh!! That’s right I’m in a new place I’ve never been hanging out with some friends doing some comedy shows. I’m here with buds Josh Grosvent (http://thisisjoshua NULL.com) and Victor Varnado (http://bestalbino NULL.com). For a while I had been talking to friend Gab Bonesso (http://gabbonesso NULL.com) about possibly coming to Pittsburgh to do some shows in the Underground scene here. I thought to myself better sooner than later. I’m considering this to be a test run to an actual possible tour to various underground rooms in certain places. Sound vague? Its supposed to.
Last night was our first show and without hyperbole it was awesome. The crowd was very receptive and attentive. Pittsburgh, I salute you. Don’t let me down tonight.
Sunday, March 26th, 2006
I’m really really good at being modest. I’m the best humble person ever.
Thursday, March 23rd, 2006
There are certain types of people who when they talk to you they feel they need to touch you. Some are non threatening touches, some are. I myself am a toucher. I touch a shoulder or a back. I rub backs some time. Some don’t mind, some are uncomfortable by this. When they are, I mentally note it and never do it again. Then I feel like an asshole even though I didn’t do anything wrong (Not my fault your father touched you like that and you revert to a frightened child everytime anyone else does – but I understand where you’re coming from).
You may have been following the ongoing saga that is my relationship with the old man downstairs. He is a grabber. An arm grabber. He has grabbed my forearm a few times while talking to me. But he’s not really talking TO me, more talking AT me in broken English as he says those 3 magic words that set my heart a flutter…”Too much noise.”
Really? Me? OH, Mr DeVereau you are a cad.
“Too much noise.”
Well I just can’t believe you, I’ve been hurt too many times in the past, I don’t know if I can trust you.
“Too Much Noise.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? GET SOME EARPLUGS!
No, he can’t get earplugs. How else would he be able to hear his heart stop beating? (That’s mean, Baron). Well, sorry.
The other day I ran into him in the hallway entrance of my building. He saw me coming and said his catchphrase (The audience was rolling) and I just repeated it at him like I didn’t understnad what he said and walked up the stairs to my place. I looked back and he was at the bottom of the stairs and I think he said something along the lines of “I see you. I will pray for you!” WHAT? What are you talking about? I don’t think the almighty cares if I knock something over every now and then. Maybe he’s making it happen to get rid of you. (That’s mean, Baron) Well, SORRY.
15 minutes later I see him on the street and he yells something at me like “Be nice.” I said, “What? I’m nice,” and I saluted him with a bow of the head and walked away.
Then he said “Okay.” But not nice Okay. There was an accent on the KAY. As if to see “fuck YOU.” Well, fuck you, man!
Its not good to want to learn about another culture just so you can cuss someone out in their native tongue.
Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
Ssssh. Topsy-Turvy is on. I love Mike Leigh.
Sunday, March 19th, 2006
Psychology teaches us that the older we get, the more black and white our thinking becomes. Some things just “don’t make sense” anymore. That’s why the older people get the more you hear the rhetorical question “why would someone do that?” (and variations) as the grounds for a convincing counter argument against unruly behavior. That’s apparently all the evidence you need – not knowing why someone would do that. Even though these are same people that made it so there are 3 Law and Order’s and spend the episodes guessing at the motives for the crime, those skills of deduction don’t translate to the real world.
There is a restaurant near me, or I should say was a restuarant. It closed. The signs had been taken down, the floor inside ripped out, the chairs, tables, lights all gone. It was a ghost restaurant. One day as some contractors were taking the last semblances of this being a restaurant away I heard an old lady say to the man taking away the neon sign, “Is that restaurant closed?” He paused. “Uh…yes. Yes it is.”
So nice that guy. I wouldn’t have been nice…
“Uh…no its not closed. Its still open. We’ve just taken everything away because the owner is going for a really new look. He’s going for a new age sort of meta postmodern feel. That’s why all the furniture is gone, the staff is gone, the kitchen is gone, and any sort of food is gone. That’s why the owner is at home right now crying and pulling his hair trying to figure out how he’s gonna pay for his son’s freshman year of college and his wife’s coke habit at the same time. That’s why he’s clutching a gun to his temple right now. Its all to bring you a unique dining experience.”
I’m gonna start a boot camp for the elderly. Forget putting them in a home. Get them in shape. I’m gonna have a drill sargeant taking old men and women through obstacle courses. There will be running, swimming, shooting a gun, bow and arrow, kung fu, karate, judo, toning and conditioning. Once their bodies are sharp. I will be them through a 6 week course in computer technology. It will start with working an ATM, then to programming a VCR (I think my grandma is the only one in the US who knows how to do this), then cell phones, and on up to Windows, Linux, and programming with HTML and Flash. So now their minds and bodies will be lean mean fighting machines. No longer will you have to wait 15 minutes at an ATM behind someone who just wants to know what time it is. No longer will you be caught behind a slow moving body walking down a street or a stairway. Those days will be done. The elderly will not be sitting at home wondering who did it while watching Law and Order, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Jake and the Fatman, or the Father Dowling Mysteries. They will be out and about SOLVING REAL CRIMES. Watch out America. Watch out for the GRANDMARMY.
Friday, March 17th, 2006
There is a deli in the West 50s I saw the other day that looked like a joke from a satirical sketch. It was called the “United We Stand Deli.” It had red and white strips every that led to pockets of blue with stars in it. I saw it and immediately thought it was overdone. I went in and discovered it was owned and operated by a bunch of Arabic men. They should have just hung up a sign outside that said NO TERRORISTS IN HERE, NO SERIOUSLY, WE’RE NOT TERRORISTS.
It reminded me of a thing a lot of people do, especially black people. Certain people when they are around police just start to feel guilty. You didn’t do anything bad, but you start to feel guilty. Maybe there’s a little sweat. Maybe a bit of a jitter. You start to feel like maybe they saw that thing you did in 8th grade you never told anyone about. Wait a minute, that wasn’t illegal – just gross. You have nothing to hide! Fuck those guys!! PIGS!! Then you realize that your internal dialogue is making you look really suspicious. So you try to not look suspicious which makes you look even more so. The act of trying to not look suspicious makes you look like you just killed someone. Now you’re overdoing it. Talking to the cops, trying to make conversation and be really comfortable. Looking uncomfortable though is what you should look like. There’s a movie line, I think its Mamet “You know who doesn’t look uncomfortable around the cops? Theives.”
I ran into Tom Shillue (http://tomshillue NULL.com) in the street and told him abobut the deli. He told me the story of what had happened. How it used to be the United Deli. How on 9/12 the guy squeezed the word States in the small space between United and Deli. How he put of patriotic symbols up everywhere. How the place got redone and ws born anew the United We Stand Deli.
“Wow,” I thought, “Who’da thunk someone would such an identity crisis could make such a damn good ham, egg and chesse.” Then I remembered how good my ham, egg and cheese’s are.
Thursday, March 16th, 2006
My friend Josh Reynolds (http://joshuareynolds NULL.com) asked me to do the innagural episode of his new Podcast “Laugh Riot.” Check it out here (http://joshuareynolds NULL.com/pages/8/index NULL.htm).
So Aspen is done and technically i’m still $50 away from being homeless (That’s not true, the homeless are no laughing matter unless you saw one pee himself).
Soooo the trip back to NYC Yes. Let’s talk about it shall we? BULLSHIT!! UTTER BULLSHIT!! I was to leave Aspen to Denver at 2:23 Sunday afternoon. The sky was clear the day was beautiful. Fellow comedian Lenny Marcus was to be on the same flight. Good, I thought, someone to travel with that I like. We get to the airport: fiasco. We see hordes of other people from the festival waiting for planes that had not yet come.
We do not get on a plane until 3 hours later. And we sit there because now its snowing and the pilot can’t see far enough. We missed all the good weather and now we’re sitting in the plane cuz there is not enough visibility. The snow clears up. We take off arriving at the Denver airport 30 minutes after the connecting flight back to New York. Lenny Marcus, Bob Powers and I deboard the plane with false hopes thinking they may have held the flight. No way. No hope. The plane that left Apsen right after ours arrived. It carried Russ Meneve, Chelsea Peretti, the Walsh Brothers, Sherry and Jacob Sirof and their baby Winter. They met the same fate.
We were given tickets and told the next flight wasn’t until 7:30am the next morning. It was 7:30pm. Oh what a glorious 12 hours awaited us all.
After all agreeing that going to a hotel would be too much of a hassle we got something to eat. I got myself a personal pan pizza at a little place there in the Denver airport called “Wolfgang Puck.” Just the name of the chef. Not a restuarant title there at the Denver airport. Then all of us sat and talked there at the Denver airport. I’ll tell you something those Walsh Brothers can sure tell a story there at the Denver airport. Did I mention we were in the Denver airport? Chris and David Walsh told us the story of one of the first times Chris did stand up as part of a contest where he did 5 minutes to open for Bill Bellamy with feature act Michael Winslow (yes, Motormouth Jones from Police Academy). Needless to say it was torture. The crowd booed him from the moment he got on stage as a means to teach him a lesson.
We made our way over to the gate where we thought our plane would arrive. We sat. Talked. Laughed. Sat. Talked. Silence. Laughed. Talked. Shared. Silence. Chelsea asked me if I wanted to take a walk. We walked aroud the terminal with her fancy camera that also records video and we made a few silly clip which you can see here (http://chelseaperetti NULL.blogspot NULL.com)…eventually. We made these videos of us just appearing in places which were funny to us, but I’m not sure how much of that was caused by the delirium tremens we were experiencing. Is it normal laugh heartily while foaming at the mouth then bite the head off a baby Gecko? Shoulda got insurance by Geico fo yo baby!
We made it back to the gate cuz i realized the Walsh’s were leaving soon and I wanted to say good-bye. We missed them. Then we sat. Talked. Laughed and eventually fell asleep.
The night was actually fun. It was pretty cool hanging out with funny people and seeing them close to a breaking point. So yeah, I was in the Denver airport for 12 hours (did I mention that), but it was actually…um…er…fun. Yeah. Sleep now
Saturday, March 11th, 2006
I have been having a great time out here in Aspen. Its been fun and difficult at the same time. For instance, the audience here is hard to read. I said a few times to a few different people that one of the biggest parts of stand up is knowing how to read your audience. “Know your audience” the adage goes. Its knowing that what plays in New York, isn’t gonna play in Kentucky. Doing 20 minutes about the subway might just get you lynched (although it would take less than that for me I’ve heard).
BUT, the thing about the Aspen audience is that they are from all over the country. That makes them difficult to figure out in 7 minutes. Of course, having solid inpenetrable material would help, too bad for me.
I think that’s just part of performing here. I’ve notcied that the gap between how I felt about a set and the feedback I get from random audience members is wide. I haven’t really felt great about every set, but people have complimented me on the street. People I don’t know that don’t owe me anything have complimented me. Those are the people I care about the most. Strangers who like to laugh. It good to hear I made them laugh a little. Helps me sleep at night. That, and the horse tranquilizers.
Thursday, March 9th, 2006
If i don’t ski, I will never stop hearing about it when I return to NYC. I will have to drop the race card.
THEM: Did you…?
ME: NO!! Black people don’t ski!!! We don’t like sports in which we are surrounded by nothing but white!!! And snow too.
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
The above title is to be said in the voice of an effeminate victorian-era butler who was just asked if the sugar was correctly placed into the tea. He said “N’Yes indeed!” sort of overdoing his happiness. Then he turned and walked away from the Contessa muttering the words “Bitch.”
Aaaaaand scene. Last night was my first show. I was pumped. I spent some time hanging out with a former flame/good friend of mine (haven’t met her husband yet, can’t wait to) at a festival kick off party. Then I walked over to the show. I was first on the Showcase 2 preview.
For the last few months, I’ve been having an interesting nervousness before performing. It starts with feeling no pressure, no fear, but the moment before I walk onstage I get electric butterflies being chased by a Sasquatch on a Vespa in my stomach.
All was good though because all the other comics were supportive (not to mention hilarious). When DeRay…er…um…MeHay was warming up the crowd I was behind the curtain going over my set list in my head. I don’t know why. This is material I know backward and forward. I went out and the crowd couldn’t have been better. Very receptive. I’m not sure if I killed, but I felt good about my set. I was just happy I didn’t vomit or feel sick (this morning fellow comic Neronica Tosey said she had a bad case of altitude sickness and felt nauseous). I’m just happy people listened. I’m just happy I didn’t have to do my backup material which consists of weeping, wiping my nose, talking incoherently, and eventually peeing my pants while running offstage. THAT would have been awkward!!
(wipes sweat from brow. Baron then looks at the screen to survey his work. Accepting that its not gonna get any better, he clears his throats and clicks “send.” He then gets up from the computer and turns around to see himself in the mirror. He realizes has urinated on himself. He gives himself a knowing smile, shrugs, and walks out of the room.)