July 7, 2021

Bicycle Group on K

I went to The Comedy Spot tonight for their new Tuesday Open Mic. The first one was last week, but I forgot to go. This time I made it. I hung around and said hello to a few people and talked to some other old friends, like Robert Berry. He told me that he had recently purchased an EV. Maryam came out with the list. She put me down. Then I snuck away to get a burrito from Azul. I love that place. After I finished my burrito, I went to check the list. It turned out that I had walked right past it, and it was visible outside, so I went back out to find out when my slot was, or if I even had one. You don’t always make the final list. I made it though. I was number 22 out of 25. That’s a lot of comedians, but then Amy Nelson was there and she pointed out that there was a note on the list saying “4 minute sets.” So that would make it take a little less time to get to me. She asked me about my house so I told her about my kitchen floor. She said she was remodeling her whole kitchen. Well, then I had to decide, should I watch the show, or what? I had time to kill. Then I remembered that I like going on walks, so I walked on J St for a while. On the way, I ran into Rebecca Buckley and talked to her for a while. She was actually going the other way to The Comedy Spot to watch the open mic. I kept walking until I got to about 12th St. That’s when I switched to K St. I was going West. When I reached 11th, all of sudden this huge group of people riding custom cruiser bicycles descended. It was a colorful bunch. Bikes decorated in all kinds of different ways. Some playing music on bluetooth speakers. Another had a PA system on it, and the guy riding it would give advice to the other riders, like to make sure they didn’t get stuck in the light rail tracks, and how his bike had extra wide tires so he didn’t have to worry about that. I guess it’s a thing they do for Taco Tuesday. Like a taco crawl or something. It was neat to see, and made me glad that I went for a walk. I don’t really like watching stand-up most of the time, I just like doing it. I figured I should be back by 9:30, so I headed back. Number 16 had just finished when I got there. It was David Samuel. I went outside again for a few minutes and we talked about Buddy Hackett. Most kids these days don’t know who he was. I went back in and it was my slot. I asked what they wanted to do. Someone said they wanted to tell a story, but then they didn’t tell it. I even asked them how it started, but they had nothing. I asked if anyone else had anything they wanted to do. People just laughed and didn’t offer anything. Finally I asked if anyone wanted to laugh, and then they all said they did. I tried out some new details that I wanted to add to my deodorant monologue, and it went really well. I was actually thinking about this today, because I saw a clip of an old SNL sketch where Will Ferrell wears a skimpy 4th of July outfit to an office meeting, and Sean William Scott tells him to leave. The only part of it that was actually funny, was when Will Ferrell stops trying to be funny and just reads out a typical office report. You could see all of the other cast members trying their hardest not to break. But as soon as things went back to trying to hit on the pattern of Will Ferrell’s outfit making his co-workers uncomfortable, they didn’t have any trouble keeping a straight face, because it wasn’t funny. I think it’s because what was really funny about it, was just Will Ferrell existing in that outfit. And to exist, you have to just do the things that you would normally do. When he read his report at the meeting, he was existing, but when he tried to play up the idea of how uncomfortable the costume made people, we stopped watching him exist because he was distracting us with his out of character behavior, like awkwardly standing behind Amy Poehler for too long. My point is, I’m finding that the funniest thing I can do, is just exist, and work to keep my material and performance from getting in the way of that. A joke with a punch line distracts from my existence. It might get a big haha laugh, but it can’t come close to the uncontrollable laughter I can generate by just being onstage and talking about some mundane thing like deodorant, because that’s just pure existence.