I talked to my ex from high school recently and she reminded me about my first time. I had completely forgotten it since I do it all the time now and have gotten good at it. Or at least I don’t fumble as much as I did then.
I recalled it last night while hanging out with Jesse Joyce (http://www NULL.jessejoyce NULL.com) and he asked me how long i’d been doing it. I told him and as someone who has been doing it less than 5 years I also talked about how long I’d been planning on doing it, how I wrote jokes and did routines for my friends before I actually ever did it at a club on stage in front of people who didn’t know me. Then I recalled a conversation with my old girlfriend (who is still one of my best friends), Daneal, in which she totally jogged my memory.
My senior year of high school I was involved in this project where they let 4 students direct one act plays for an evening of theatre. Somehow I became the stage manager and board operator and at the few shows we had I went onstage, made some announcements and warmed them up with a few jokes. Keep in mind I’ve always been a jukebox of comedian’s bits. I can do at least 5 minutes of almost every comic I know in NYC. And back then Comedy Cental (which was HA!) had shows like “The A List” “Dr Katz” and various specials from which I soaked up jokes and regurgitated them to my friends with my own twist.
I told jokes around the theme of “travel” and did a joke by Marc Maron, Emo Phillips, Anthony Clark and Eddie Izzard in that order. Of course, I paraphrased greatly.
I read in the paper the other day about these two guys who would shoot steroids and work out multiple times a week. Like this was their ritual and one day one of them goes temporarily insane, decides he’s strong enough to stop a moving car, goes to the freeway to do so and dies in the process. Now, if out take out how morbid this is, you have a very funny situation. I mean where were his friends when he was like “AAAH! To hell with these machines…i’m gonna go stop a moving car.” They were totally oblvious to that? “Okay. do you need a spot?” So imagine you’re driving down the freeway after work maybe listening to some music and all of a sudden this huge hulking figure comes out of no where and thrusts “AAAAAAAARRRGH!” And you go BOOM – right over him. What do you say to the cops? “Yeah…uh…I just ran over a super hero. Um…i’m not sure which one, he wasn’t wearing his costume. What? Tell him to move the car – he couldn’t STOP the car! Come scrape Spidey up!”
I like to travel. I went to Hawaii and it was nothing like i thought. I thought people would be wearing grass skirts and coconut halves on their breasts, but i was the only one.
I went to the vatican city. I’m looking at the vatican and i notice this lady all in black staring at me from across the street with a baby. And she’s got 2 grown up kids too – all in black. Out of nowhere she throws the baby at me. Just throws it – lobs it through the air. I’m like OH MY GOD I HAVE TO CATCH THIS BABY! I position myself to catch it and as I am her bigger kids run across the street and pick my pockets. Take my cash, credits cards, traveler checks – everything – and then they are gone and i’m standing there with a baby. So…you know…let that be a travelling tip for you. If a women throws a baby at you, just swat it to the ground swat it and go “I DON’T THINKK SO!”
I’ll leave out the Izzard joke. Its more well known now. About Neil Armstrong’s speech on the moon which I saw him do on Comic Relief before his HBO special that broke him to American audiences. So there you have it. I followed in the footstep of many comics before me that copied someone else before them. Bill Hicks who did Woody Allen bits. Damon Wayans and Eddie Murphy who copied Pryor. Pryor who copied Cosby. I just hope someday a high schooler who doesn’t know he’s a comic yet will tell my jokes to his friends.