(NOTE: This is NOT a new email. I originally received this email over three years ago asking me if I had ever considered trying my hand at standup comedy. My original response was posted on 8-21-06. The following was my original response.)
Danny from Michigan writes:
Hey Randy, have you ever considered trying any standup comedy?
Well Danny, the thought has occurred to me on a couple of occasions. The problem is to make it as a comedian you have to come up with original material that is legitimately funny. And audiences can be tough. If you get up in front of a crowd and spout unoriginal, boring, or unfunny crap, they'll let you have it. Just take a look.
On second thought, how hard can it be?
* It's now just over three years after this email response was originally published and I have an update. I have now officially begun my standup career. And by career I mean doing it for no money (besides the occasional tips) in front of six people at a time in shitty bars in midwest Ohio. My brother actually got me into it because he's been doing amateur standup for about three years now and I figured hey, if the little dork can do it, so can I. Of course I kind of got him into humorous writing because of my site, so really, he should be thanking me.
At this point I'm mostly just getting my feet wet and getting myself out there in the local scene. I'm meeting some funny people and practicing telling jokes about my tiny crooked penis in front of a live audience. The first time was extremely nerve-wracking and just about made me wet myself, but I got through it and I'm excited about getting back up on stage in just a few days. I was scheduled to be on stage last night but the turnout was pitiful and we ended up just having a comedy writers workshop with the comics and bouncing ideas off each other. So far I only have one finished set, but I'm working on a second that I plan to debut next Wednesday.
The thing of it is, just that first night has given me a tremendous appreciation for people who can do standup comedy. It might just be the single ballsiest thing in the world to do that doesn't involve physical danger. The thing about comedy that is different from other creative endeavors is that you're aiming for a spontaneous emotional response, making it immediately apparent whether you've been a success or not. For example, if you go up on stage with an acoustic guitar and play a few songs, people are going to clap for you just to be polite and you may not really know whether people loved you or hated you. But when you go up on stage and tell jokes, you're going to know immediately. If they think you're funny, you'll know it because you will get an immediate response (laughter, groans, applause, and other noises of shock and/or appreciation). And these reactions can't be planned or faked just out of politeness. Trust me, there is no louder sound in the entire world than the silence that follows a joke falling flat on the ears of a standup comic's audience. Until you experience it for yourself you can't appreciate just how far out there these people are really putting themselves. It's like driving down the highway with your dick hanging out the window. It really is.
But for all the nerves and writing headaches and lost sleep the night before, my first set actually went off well. I had a couple awkward moments but overall the reaction I got was pretty good for a first-timer (and better than some others present that night with years more experience than I have) and I didn't choke, stutter, blank out, or piss myself so overall I have to say the first time was a success. The only thing I kicked myself for later was that I was so nervous I actually completely skipped over about two paragraphs worth of my set, which contained a couple pretty good jokes. But, as I said, overall a success. I've decided to publish the set I used from that first night. I've already made a lot of changes to it, as I'm always getting new fucked up ideas on how to talk about my dick in new disgusting ways, but here it is. My first standup set ever performed. Enjoy.
I've been married for about a year and a half now. My wife and I don't have any kids, but we're to that stage where everyone expects them. As soon as you walk out of that church, you're on the clock, and the longer you take to have kids, the more people bug you about it. What hurts us even more is that my wife's brother had a daughter last year, so baby fever is spreading quickly, not unlike diarrhea
The good thing about baby fever is that you can actually turn it to your advantage. See, the thing about having kids is that to have kids, you have to have sex, so when people are wanting you to have babies, what they're really saying is they want you get laid a lot. It's pretty incredible actually. For the first twenty years of my life it seemed as though all the forces of nature were conspiring against me to stop me from getting laid, but now everyone's rooting for it.
Like my father-in- law. When my wife and I started dating and I met her dad I about pissed myself. I'm a big guy, but he makes me look like Mini-Me, and to make things even better, he goes by Big Mike and he was a big fish in the local Teamsters. Normally boinking the daughter of a Teamster named Big Mike is not a very safe idea, but now he wants grandkids, so it's kind of like I have the Godfather's blessing.
But it isn't just my father-in-law. Everyone in both of our families wants us to have kids, so they're all rooting for me to get some. It's like the Rudy of doing it. Every time I have sex now it's like there's people in the background cheering on me and my sperm. It's like the slow-build applause in the movies. When I slip some booze in my wife's drink to make my job getting laid easier, the slow clap starts. Then it gets louder as I go full-on Johnny Depp sexy mode with one of my killer lines like “Hey, you wanna do it?” And then I'll get all trigger-happy and go off in my pants and the audience goes “Awwwwww.” And that is why I will never again do it in front of an open window.
The other good thing about baby fever is it also provides a convenient excuse to get out of things you don't feel like doing. If the in-laws call you up and ask you over for dinner you just say "Sorry, can't. Trying to make a baby" and rather than bug you about coming over, they start cheering and wish you luck. It also provides a good excuse for being late. Now we can do it and be ninety seconds late for family reunions and just say "Oh sorry about that. We were trying to make a baby," and everyone cheers for me and my sperm.
But another thing about marriage that I'm learning is how much women complain about men. I'm always hearing about how I never pay attention or some shit, and it just isn't fair. You have to realize, it isn't that we don't care about your stupid little lives. It's just that all of your stories are really, really boring. "Today I went to Perkins with my girlfriends. My coworker is cheating on her husband with the mailman, isn't that terrible? What haircut should my sister get?" You women will tell us every random thing you can think of until you're blue in the face, but you have to realize that about eight seconds into these conversations, we lose interest entirely and start staring at your boobs and fantasizing about being married to somebody who can't talk. To be safe, just assume that if it isn't about sports, video games, or naked chicks, we don't care.
That may sound crude, but look at it this way. You talking to us about girly crap and expecting us to care would be like us trying to have guy conversations with you and expecting you to care. How would you feel if all of a sudden at the dinner table we asked you which Die-Hard movie was your favorite? But not only do you expect us to listen to your girly stories, you then give us a pop quiz on it later. Like when we wake up on a Saturday morning, or in my case 1:30pm, walk out to the living room in our tighty-whiteys, turn on the TV, and sit down to an afternoon of Scooby-Doo. Then out of nowhere the old buzzkill walks out and says "Isn't there something you're forgetting?" Yeah, there probably is, but you bored the crap out of me with that story about your sister's haircut so I wasn't paying attention when you told me your mother was coming over.
Another thing women seem to complain about is that we're bad with occasions. I'll give you that.
For example, my wife and I have been together for over five years and I still don't know her birthday. I know the approximate time of year, but if you ask me to pinpoint the date, it would take me a few guesses to get it right.
And to make matters worse, I suck at gift-giving. Every time birthdays or holidays come around she usually has something really big and expensive for me, and I have something lame and shitty for her.
Last Christmas, for example, I had no idea what I was going to get her. The only thing I had picked out so far was a couple bottles of her favorite perfume, which happens to be Calvin Klein's Obsession, that I just picked out when I was at the store. I figured I could get her a real present later, but the perfume would be a start.
Then I came home from work a few weeks before Christmas and there was a brand new, big-screen, HD TV in my living room, with a football game on and a six-pack on the couch. I thought I'd died and gone to White Trash Heaven. Apparently, my wife went to the door-buster sales on Black Friday and got it. And as anyone can tell you who has ever gone to those sales, those people are fucking crazy. Hell hath no fury like a woman at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. The last time I went I saw two women pulling each other's hair out because they both wanted the same toaster. Then there was the lady who was ripping the plastic off a covered pallet display. She was tearing so hard that her hands were actually bleeding from it.
And then you think about the fact that my wife actually walked out of one of those Black Friday street-fights with a brand new big screen TV, so she won. My wife actually beat Bloody Hands McGee and the hair-pulling twins at the Wal-Mart Black Friday battle royal. That's a scary thought. I don't even want to know what she had to do to walk out of there with a TV. That's probably one of those things she'll keep to herself until she's on her deathbed. It'll be the very last thing she says. "Honey, remember that TV I got you for Christmas? I had to shoot three people to get it."
I know some guys would think it's a turnon being married to someone who can kick enough ass to walk out on Black Friday with a TV, but not me. See, this isn't your cutesy girl-power, Charlie's Angels ass-kickery. This is more like crazy trailer park bitches on Jerry Springer ass-kickery, and I want nothing to do with that. I think it's because I really don't like the idea of being that guy in the emergency room who got beat up by his wife. You know the guy. He's the one sitting by himself looking around, paranoid. And he thinks everyone's staring at him. So out of nowhere he'll just say "Yep, got in a bar fight. With a man. He was huge, you should've seen him. “ And he'll just go on, but everyone knows the truth. They can see the shame in his eyes. Dude got his ass kicked by a girl.
So here my ass-kicking wife comes home from the Wal-Mart battle royal with my new TV, and I was rocking a full 3-inch woody just looking at it. And then I remembered that all I had for her was those two bottles of Calvin Klein's Obsession. "Great" I thought. My wife bought me a big screen TV and I got her two bottles of shitty perfume. That was just ducky. But I figured oh well, I'll just give it to her and get her a real present later. So my wife took off the wrapping paper and pulled out her two bottles of Calvin Klein's Obsession.................................for men.
And that, my friends, is how you end up in the emergency room as that guy that got his ass kicked by his wife.
If you have a question, drop me a line at email@example.com