Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keeping it Real

Last time I did standup I really thought it was the last time. Waiting to go on I felt old and out of place. On the way home, after the show I thought of a joke that addressed that feeling. That is my style, starting from someplace real and pushing it to where it would make people connect with that place and laugh. I knew exactly how to deliver it.

The next morning I woke up and had a complete joke in my head. An awesome joke, but one that was outside my usual style. I have no idea why I thought of it. It’s based on sleeping with the maid of honor at a wedding – something that could be real, but not for me. That afternoon, on the way home from work, I came up with the second half of that joke, which up until that moment I hadn’t known HAD a second half to it..

I knew I was going to have to perform again just to do those two new jokes. So figured out a way to take part of what I did last time, plus the two new bits and tie them all together with a theme about being old (because I am) and thus it’s all based on something real, just the way I like it.

The thing is, the material is all cruder than what I usually do. Not that I have ever shied away from sex as a topic or from a couple four-letter words; but, well, this routine might offers the suggestion that I like to play sex-education show-and-tell with your young children in the park. But that’s mild stuff for Go Bananas, so no problem, unless, say, my daughter decides to come to the show, which she never has wanted to.

Naturally my daughter decided she is finally comfortable with coming to see me do standup and brought her new boyfriend just to raise the awkwardness level to orange. Comedy comes from dark places but does anyone want his daughter to know he has dark places?
My five minutes went great. I did forget a couple lines, but they were incidental. I got laughs from the opening to the end (which sounds vaguely nasty). My daughter claimed she was not traumatized and we all went home happy. Today I did not wake up with a joke in my head. It didn’t come to me until I got to work. Something to do with whether doing stand up is better than sex. I might have to go back again.


al in la said...

Mr. B.

Well this explains a lot! (i.e. Your multiple and occasionally funny anti-caps.) Thanks for adding a link to my blog. Keep up the good work and keep anti-capping.

JohnnyB said...

Al, yes I left LA to come to Cincinnati and break into show business. I enjoy having the link to your blog anchoring the blog role at the bottom - you really need to post more often.

Jim Donahue said...

I imagine that this is quite a rush. I do have an idea for a somewhat Andy Kaufman-ish bit, but I'm not sure my balls are quite large enough to actually do it at an open mic night somewhere.

(I was in a production of Christopher Durang's "The Actor's Nightmare" about a decade ago. Six performances. I'd say two were terrible, two were good, and two were AMAZING. When the audience gets it and laughs in all the right places ... boy, that is just the greatest feeling in the world.)

(Word verification thingee: hamenoel. Kind of Christmasy.)

JohnnyB said...

It's never actually as hard as it seems before you get up there. And, yeah, if the audience is with you, it's awesome. And if it doesn't work, well, you are still alive and can be proud to have tried.
For Go Banannas open mic night, you have to bring 5 people in. So the audience is a friendly crowd, wanting to see their friends do well.