Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My rental car is missing?

I am exhausted. After a corporate show in White Plains, NY and then a corporate show in Houston, TX the next night, I am ready to be home. The travel wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that the hotel valet parkers lost my rental car keys. Pretty unbelievable. One would think that a nice hotel that charges $27 a night to park would be on top of things like that. The worst part was watching all the other people get their fancy cars as I sat there trying to figure out how to get a key for a Chevy Aveo.

Here's a little fun fact: rental car company's do not have backup keys for their cars. What seems like a basic idea to me is apparently too much for them to handle. So the easiest solution is out.

After talking with their Roadside Assistance, the best solution became to tow the car back to the rental car center. I needed to catch my flight, so I left. After landing, I call to make sure the car was picked up only to find out that the tow truck was too big to fit in the garage. Ugh.

The next morning, the valet company called to say the keys had reappeared! I called the rental car company and they said they would pick it up. This was finally going to be over.

Then I got the call that said the rental car guys went to pick up the car but it had already been picked up by two guys wearing ties. What? Who is going to steal a car wearing a tie?

This might be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bellingham, WA is in Time Out

I just spent all day flying home from Bellingham, WA. I did a corporate show there and had a great time with everyone. I don't think they get too many visitors in Bellingham (that aren't Canadian), so they were happy to see me. I guess that's what happens when you are in Time Out in the very corner of the continental United States.

On my way to SeaTac Airport in Seattle,

I was able to take this really nice picture of Mt. Rainier...

and the Space Needle (it's been dwarfed since the 1962 World's Fair).

I almost didn't make it to Bellingham because I was laughing so hard at the name of this Driver's Education company: SWERVE. Really? You couldn't come up with anything other than a word that has the definition "turn aside, often to avoid collision"?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Indianapolis, IN

Crackers Comedy Club - Downtown Indianapolis is really becoming a rough room. It was pretty obvious that an overwhelming majority of the audience members were there to get drunk and not necessarily listen to comedy. It is getting close to a show that would happen in a bar, where the comedians have to battle the audience for attention. Except this is a comedy club in the downtown of a large city, so it shouldn't be like this at all. Comedy club audiences should respect the stage and what the performers are doing. If you want to get drunk, then don't come to a comedy show. It's that simple.

This all came together at the late show last night. The headliner, Geoff Keith, likes to talk to the audience a lot and make fun of some of the people. It came out that a guy in the audience was Shaun Parker, a semi-pro Mixed Martial Arts fighter. He was there with his girlfriend and two other couples.

Across the room, was a drunk guy that did not like Geoff's act at all. He decided to yell out "you're queer" about 30 times. Geoff had had enough and really shredded this guy to the audiences approval. He was wearing a red sweatshirt and red hat, as if he was a trying to a tough white gangster but he was obviously just a loser.

The staff finally decided to kick this guy out with his entire party. He wasn't going easily because he was completely embarrassed in front of the crowd. All of a sudden, he grabs a beer bottle and hits one of Shaun Parker's friends in the back of the head and the entire room blew up. Luckily, Shaun took control and pushed the melee out into the lobby as most of the crowd ran out the back exit. The comedy club manager called the police three times before they finally showed up -- after everything calmed down and the red sweatshirt guy had left. The police conclusion: despite having the reservation name and phone number, no charges will be filed since the red sweatshirt guy wasn't there anymore. How is that possible?

Shaun's friend was holding napkins to the back of his head, so I asked if he was doing okay. His exact response: "It's not my first rodeo." Well, that was definitely my first and I would hope that it will be my last.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lancaster, PA

The snow seems to be following me wherever I go as the Philadelphia area got several inches on Friday.

This made it pretty exciting to drive in my top of the line Chevy Cobalt. How is it possible that a car can calculate the miles I can drive before running out of gas but doesn't have power windows or power locks? Hey National Car Rental, get someone else to choose your car features.

On my drive from the Philadelphia Airport to Lancaster, I was behind a Colonial Electric Supply truck for a bit. I couldn't help but notice their logo might be the worst in the history of corporate logos. It's a picture of a colonial guy lighting a street lamp -- with fire. Not sure if they know but this has absolutely nothing to do with "electric supply".

As I got closer to Lancaster, I drove by Christ's Home Office. I guess the flexible work schedule has made it's way to Heaven and Jesus has decided to work from home a few times a week. It seems a little pretentious to put a sign up but who am I to judge?

Then there were the shows at Stitches Comedy Club with headliner Paul Bond. He was a funny guy and I really enjoyed watching him perform. He is working on a pilot for HBO, so look for that in the next year. We decided to take this picture with a fan who thought he would get dressed up for his big Saturday night date with a skull 8-ball t-shirt. Luckily, he was a great guy and an even better laugher.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lima, OH

I guess I can check off performing at an Eagles Lodge from my list. I just returned from a show with Mike Armstrong at a Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge in Lima, OH. Mike summed it up best when he said, "Apparently in Lima, Eagles means all white".

The most disturbing thing was the backdrop painted on the wall there. It was a graveyard with a skeleton coming out of its grave. Creepy. I was also amused by the large sign that stated in all capital letters "No Children on the Dance Floor". Yeah, because people in Lima are known for their stellar dance moves and we don't want kids getting in the way of the country line dancing.

I was told after the show that someone in the audience actually said, "He can stop with the TransAm jokes". Really? It took my show in November 2008 for you to realize that people make fun of your TransAm? Supposedly someone actually asked this guy if he had a trailor hitch on the back. Classic. Now that's a picture that I need to get someday.

On my drive to Lima, I was surprised by the snow. I am never ready for snow when it first comes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 2008 Clinton County Comedy Tour

The Clinton County Comedy Tour was a success as we visited two new venues. Mike MacRae headlined the shows and everyone really enjoyed his comedy impressions. I hope we have as much fun whent he tour returns in the Spring.

Each time I do these shows, I always write a Top 10 about Clinton County. In case you missed the shows, here is the list:

Top 10 Signs the Holidays are Near in Clinton County, IL
written by John Garrett (JohnGcomedy.com)

10. You see people in church you haven't seen since last Christmas.

9. Your family holiday dinner is at the American Legion because you are a Rakers. The Thole's are over at the VFW.

8. College kids come home from SIU Carbondale and complain about how hard it is to cook for themselves. Reason number 27 to go to Kaskaskia College.

7. You actually shoot the meat eaten at the holiday dinner.

6. You have to check your Christmas tree for critters since you cut it down next to your clubhouse.

5. People argue over which is better: a hayride in the back of a pickup truck or a hayride in the back of an El Camino. Either way, it is not a hayride.

4. People decorate their house for Christmas like idiots. Seriously, this isn't Summerfield, take down the inflatable Santa.

3. Kids start looking for good car hoods to use when sledding down the side of an interstate overpass.

2. The holiday parade in Carlyle consists of 4 marching bands, 3 old cars, 2 tractors and the Deien Chevrolet monster truck.

and the number one sign that the holidays are near...

1. You carve the pumpkin using the knife you just used to gut a deer.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Casual Friday's here!

I just completed a short music video spoof of "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do this again soon. Now gather everyone around your cubicle for some good laughs.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Milwaukee, WI

Driving across the country gives me the opportunity to see a lot of really ridiculous things. It just happened that a lot of these things were on my route to Milwaukee this weekend.

This picture might not be clear enough but it shows a Hummer dealership right next to a Smart Car dealership. Just in case you change your mind at one and want to go in the extreme opposite end of the gas mileage spectrum. Or you could buy both and just carry the Smart Car home inside your new Hummer.

I have a joke in my act about how I don't really care how you vote politically, but if you have a crappy car, don't put political bumper stickers on it. I literally thought, "Yeah, let's follow your path to success, Mr. Ford Festiva!" While I didn't get a picture of that one, I did manage to get these two:

If you drive a car with no hubcaps, then I really don't care what you think. Enough with trying to make a statement already.

The only thing this lady "hopes" is that her trunk doesn't open on the way home. This is embarrassing.

Once I got to Milwaukee, I had a great time at Giggles Comedy Pub in Brookfield, WI. I used to live in Milwaukee, so it was nice to see some of my old friends. I really appreciated them taking time to come to a show with their friends.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

St. Charles, IL

If you don't think my comedy appeals to a wide demographic, then check out this picture. A special thanks to Lyle and Rosemary (and friends) for coming to my show at Zanies Comedy Club.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rochester, MN

I just performed two night at Goonie's Comedy Club in Rochester, MN. I didn't expect much because the first landmark on my drive into town was a corncob water tower. You don't get to see that everyday. If you live in Iowa, then just act like you don't see this everyday.

I had a great time and really enjoyed the people there. First-class treatment included staying at The Kahler Hotel. I have a good feeling there have been a few comedians kicked out of there. This is the city where the Mayo Clinic is located. That is pretty much what keeps this city on the map.

Friday, July 18, 2008

"The Point"

Have you ever wondered where the "Gateway to the Pineries" was? Steven's Point, WI. That's where. When visiting Steven's Point, Wisconsin (not that I highly recommend it), be sure to just refer to it as "The Point". It will help you blend in because you don't want to look like a tourist. Then again, wearing anything but jeans and a flannel shirt might make you stick out. It is hard to believe that a website lists Steven's Point as the sixth best place to live in America, just behind Tulsa, OK. What are they the gateway to?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Appleton, WI

It isn't the Fourth of July unless you are shooting off massive fireworks and the cops come. That is the rule in Appleton, WI. The other rule is to have mousetraps in every bar. Yes, that's a real mousetrap and yes, that is a real dead mouse.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Bob & Tom Show (yet again)

I was a guest on The Bob & Tom Radio Show again this morning. I was the only guest for over three hours, so it was a lot of fun. Here is a short clip of a new joke I did on the show.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fan mail

Check out this postcard some comedy fans in Myrtle Beach sent to my P.O. box. It is pretty classic so I thought I'd share it with everyone. This guy reminds of my old manager.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Des Moines, IA

I was in Des Moines, IA this weekend performing at The Funny Bone Comedy Club with Jon Reep. Jon was the "Hemi guy" in many Dodge truck commercials, so he constantly has guys come up to him to talk about their trucks, making him the biggest Dude Magnet I have ever been around.
It was amazing how much flooding happened while I was there.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ocala, FL

Ocala, FL is located about an hour north of Orlando. So you know you're in Florida but you don't get all the benefits of being in Florida -- like the ocean and some culture. We might as well have been in Mississippi.

After the shows at Jokeboys Comedy Club, I was able to talk with a lot of really nice people. Here is a picture with Denise Brady-Stiles and headliner Mike Eagan.

Denise lives near "The Forest", a national park full of small towns and Ewok villages. Okay, maybe not Ewoks but it would be really cool if they were there. Instead of Ewoks, they have large bears and Denise has decided it would be a fun hobby to take close-up pictures of the bears when they are near her house. I have a feeling she might be related to Timothy Treadwell, known from the documentary film Grizzly Man.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lansing, MI

You know what people in Michigan don't like? Import cars. Any import car. They also don't like the words "Toyota" and "Honda". So I decided to shock everyone at Connxtions Comedy Club in Lansing, MI with a very funny joke that uses both words. As you can see from the picture, I was waiting for a beer bottle to get thrown at my face.

The weekend was nice because I got to see my friends Jeff and Jill Lenkowski. They are really cool people despite Jeff being an engineer. It was nice that they brought a group of friends to the show, too.

In order to help promote the shows, Demetrius Nicodemus and I did a few morning radio shows in Lansing. It's not often that a radio station takes over an old two-story house and turns a bedroom into the studio, but don't tell that to Michaels in the Morning on 94.9FM.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Two Hours I Won't Be Getting Back

I joined 35,000 people this morning in Indianapolis to run the Mini-Marathon (click for action picture or see another one below).

That name is ridiculous because there is nothing mini about it. The Mini-Marathon is the country's largest half-marathon (13.1 miles) and the eighth largest running event. This event features a lap around the famous track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The track is huge and I never thought it was going to end. It's a good thing I ate nothing but pasta for three days straight. I finished with a respectable time of 1:55:25. That was good enough to get me 6,005th place overall. I thought that was pretty good until I found out the winner was already back in Kenya.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Seinfeld Documentary Clip

This scene from Jerry Seinfeld's documentary "Comedian" (2002) is perfect. I have used this story myself when explaining to others what it's like to be a comedian. While it is something that no one can fully understand or appreciate unless they are also a comedian, this story really sums it up well.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fireman Convention

I spent this weekend at the FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference) Convention in Indianapolis, somewhere in the middle of 340,000 square feet of convention space with over 900 vendors. It was pretty overwhelming to say the least.

Why was I there? Because Black Diamond has an excellent marketing campaign for their X-Boot. The idea is that fire boots by themselves are not exciting, so Black Diamond decided to make their booth a little more interesting. What would attract more than 35,000 firefighters and EMTs, most of which are male? Models. It was my job to let everyone know who the models were and talk to people as they passed by.

The models were Aubrie Lemon (Deal or No Deal Case 23) and Carrie Stroup (Maxim). They were both very fun to work with. I believe my favorite line was, "Aubrie's been on TV and Carrie... owns a TV, so come say hi." It was amazing to me how these firefighters would run into a burning building but were reluctant to talk to Aubrie or Carrie.

Aubrie and Carrie thought it'd be funny to get my camera and take some candid pictures on the last day.

I think those two signs pretty much say it all:
Training in Progress and Emergency Scene Ahead.

One of the many self-portraits the girls took. It reminded me of the Ashton Kutcher Nikon Coolpix commercial, except I'm not Ashton Kutcher and none of those girls stuck their tongue out.

The last of the self-portraits was of Carrie's right eye. On the flight to Indianapolis, she accidentally put nail glue in her eye instead of eye drops. I am still not quite sure exactly how that can happen but it cleared up by the end of the weekend for our group picture.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Memphis, TN

Mayor Willie Herenton was recently elected again using the campaign slogan "Shake The Haters Off". I really wish I was making this up, but I am not. See here, here, here and here for proof. If you look closely at his bio, you might notice that he actually has earned a Ph.D. -- in Education -- from Southern Illinois University. Wow.

The shows at Comedy, TN were a lot of fun. It was nice working with Jeff Caldwell, too. You may have seen Jeff on The Late Show with David Letterman or The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Michael McCommon is a local photographer that was at one of the shows so he took a few pictures.

It was a good thing the University of Memphis basketball team won their Final Four game because people Saturday night were in a good mood. That makes doing comedy a little easier. What doesn't make doing comedy easier is knowing the University of Memphis has a Men's and Women's Rifle Squad. I guess nothing can surprise me in Memphis anymore.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Garfield Thinks I'm Funny

Jim Davis, creator of Garfield, is a fan of my comedy. He invited me to be a part of the launch event for ProfessorGarfield.org, a website designed to help kids learn to read.

He was such a nice guy and told me stories about his days at Ball State University with David Letterman.

I thought I would take the time to find one of my favorite Garfield strips.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dayton, OH

The first night at Wiley's Comedy Club in Dayton, OH was a little weird. The comedy club plays some music before the announcements to start the show. A drunk mom (her son was there to witness this) sitting near the stage thought it would be funny to climb onstage and attempt a burlesque-type dance. When the manager turned down the music, she tried to scurry off the stage but lost her balance and fell on her butt. It was absolutely classic. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures or video to share with you so you're going to have to take my word that it was hilarious.

It was not surprising when she felt the need to staunchly defend McDonald's sweet tea by yelling, "But it's only a dollar". My response, "Right on cue".

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Amazing Race

I just had the most stressful weekend I have had in a very long time. I performed Thursday and Friday night at JR's Last Laugh, a great comedy club in Erie, PA. The shows with Michael Somerville and Eric Hunter were fun since we are all ND alumni and it was St. Patrick's Day weekend.

The reason I didn't perform on Saturday was because I had booked a corporate show near St. Louis, MO for that night. All was going well until NWA cancelled the flights out of Erie due to fog. This is when it got stressful and the Amazing Race (against the clock) started.

After a quick breather, I realized that my options were:
- try flying out of Pittsburgh (2 hours south)
- try flying out of Cleveland (2 hours west)
- drive the entire way (9 hours)

Since it was noon and my corporate show was at 8:15pm, I had no time to waste. I quickly left the line at the NWA counter, rented a car from Avis (they were cheapest) and drove straight to my corporate show. I half expected Phil Keoghan (the host of The Amazing Race) to be waiting there to tell me I had been eliminated.

View Larger Map

I still cannot believe I made it in time to put on a suit in the parking lot. Within 15 minutes of arriving, I was on stage. Needless to say, I slept nicely that night before heading home to Indianapolis.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Columbia, MO

The best way to describe Columbia, MO is to say it is the home of the University of Missouri, a party school with a huge frat/sorority population. Let's just say these kids aren't big readers. Their Tiger Spirit store sells these t-shirts:

I had fun at Deja Vu Comedy Club with headliner Eric O'Shea. We even got to do the Cosmo & J.C. Morning Radio Show from Kaldi's Coffeehouse. That allowed us to talk about everyone walking by without them knowing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bob & Tom Radio Show again

I was a guest on the nationally-syndicated Bob & Tom Show for three hours this morning. It was nice being the only guest on the show but it also meant I had to be ready at all times.

Tom continues to give me a hard time about being a single accountant. Even though it is radio and most people do not actually see me, I wore the shirt and tie combination to really bring my character to life. It seemed to go over well and I appreciated all the emails I got from listeners.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Syracuse, NY

I spent last weekend in Syracuse, NY at Wise Guys Comedy Club. The crowds were a lot of fun when they finally got over their inferiority complex about Syracuse. I understand your city gets made fun of a lot but that doesn't mean you shouldn't laugh at a good TransAm joke. Gomez, a local radio DJ, emceed some shows. He had a joke that referred to a lacrosse stick. Only in Syracuse.

When I visited the gigantic mall, I noticed that there were a fair of guys that looked like the construction worker in Happy Gilmore.

I asked someone at the comedy club if the mall is where the goofy looking people hang out. The exact response, "No. Central New York is where the goofy looking people hang out". Well that explains a lot.

There was a lady at one show who took a ton of pictures. She even has a blog about the show. My favorite part of the blog is how she thinks she was picked on because she was sitting close to the stage, not because she was taking hundreds of flash pictures during the show.

It was also fun doing radio with headliner Sheila Kay on Movin100.3. They were a great morning show that helped plug my entry in the TurboTax contest.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Appleton, WI

If you have never seen snow, then go to Appleton right now. It snowed 8 inches when I was there and another 12 inches the day I left. Unbelievable. It has snowed so much there that they actually ran out of salt to put on the roads!

My favorite thing about Appleton continues to be the fact that they have parking meters in their public library parking lot. Free parking is everywhere near the bars. That's right, you have to pay to learn but not to drink.

The shows at Skyline Comedy Cafe were a lot of fun. I really appreciate everyone coming out in such harsh weather.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Clinton County Comedy Tour

The Clinton County Comedy Tour with John Garrett had another successful run this weekend. Highland even welcomed the shows. I realize this isn't Clinton County, but I thought they really needed a laugh. Headliner Mario DiGiorgio was a huge success, so I am happy my good friend was able to book these shows.

I always write a unique Top 10 for each tour. For those that do not know, the State of Illinois recently passed a ban on smoking in bars. While this may seem bad for some of you, think about what could have been banned.

Top 10 Items That Could Have Been Banned
From Clinton County Bars
written by John Garrett (JohnGcomedy.com)

10. Camouflage because this means less people in a bar smelling like deer piss.

9. Cowboy hats because your horse isn't parked out front, Partner.

8. Can Coolies – especially wedding ones because there's no need to show off that you were at Randy's wedding. Odds are everyone else was there, too.

7. Chewing tobacco because no one wants to accidentally drink your spit can.

6. Babies because they don't need a drink until they learn to walk.

5. Middle-aged Ladies' Night Out because falling down while dancing to Baby Got Back is embarrassing. I don't like big butts and I don't lie.

4. Cover Bands because the only difference between you and a DJ is a DJ knows more songs.

3. County League Softball Jerseys – both Men's and Women's because either way, it's less testosterone.

2. Comedy because these Top 10's really get people riled up.

and the number one item that could have been banned...

1. Anything Mater Dei because, well, do we really need a reason?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where's Al Gore now?

I am in Sioux Falls, SD and it is absolutely freezing. In the time of non-stop propoganda about global warming, it is even more hard to believe when the temperature outside is -5 and feels like -24.

This is ridiculous.