Wild Ride (Second City, SNL, Do He?)

Posted: 28th October 2012 by Patrick in Uncategorized

Well it’s been awhile since I’ve been here, but there’s been alot of stuff happening in 2012 for me.  Some of it has been personal triumph mixed with a bit of failure.  Every bit of it has been amazing.  Let’s just go down the list.  First I started taking classes at the world famous Second City in Chicago.  Some of you might know about Second City, but for those of you that don’t, I’ll be brief.  It’s an improvisational theater in Chicago where Chris Farley, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, and countless other stars got their start.  This season (38) of Saturday Night Live alone picked up 3 new cast members from Second City so that should be an indication of the firepower that this place has.  Classes are exciting and very different from doing stand up.  Speaking of stand up, I started the year off a bit slow, but then things got rolling a little bit which led to my greatest accomplishment as a comedian.  I was asked to audition to be a writer for Saturday Night Live.  Through some freakish set of events, I had the pleasure of working with a very funny and super nicecast member of SNL.  Through the week, we riffed and improvised characters and got along great and through his generosity I was allowed the chance to send a writing packet in to the producers of Saturday Night Live.  This cast member deserves alot of credit, especially for putting up with me constantly asking him questions and bugging him via text.  When I get super nervous/excited, I tend to become a bit overbearing and annoying.  Although in my defense, I’ve dreamed of being on SNL since I was 6, so to get that close was a huge moment in my life.

I did have a job as a manager at a movie theater while all this was going on.  It was fun job other than dealing with stupid people everyday.  I’m usually pretty good about being super nice to people, but with the SNL disappointment and other things going on in my life, I let my temper/humor get in the way.  I was fired from that job for calling a manager at a McCallister’s Deli a “cocksucker.”  Ok, so here’s what happened.  I called the guy to ask if we could trade movie tickets for food vouchers and the manager there was extremely rude and hung up on me.  Well that didn’t sit right with me that day so I called him back and told him that the next time he answers the phone to “not be such a cocksucker about it.”  Now, should I have called him that, probably not, but I did immediately feel great.  I’m not sure why it’s “unprofessional” to let someone know they are being a dick head.  He wasn’t a customer and I wouldn’t say anything like that to a customer.  This guy was just a cocksucker being a cocksucker and I felt it was my responsibility to let him know.  My manager didn’t think you should and he did what he had to do.  I have no hard feelings towards them and I enjoyed the people I worked with and as soon as the ban is over, I’ll go say hi.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I’m banned from that place for 6 months.  I shouldn’t have been such a cocksucker.

Either way I enjoyed writing the sketches for my SNL packet and I had 2 weeks to get 3-5 sketches written.  If I get a chance, I’ll post the sketches that I sent in for everyone to read.  I was extremely proud of what I wrote and was happy that I got the chance.  Now I did not get hired to write which was very difficult for me at first, but just to be given the opportunity was amazing.  There will be more chances.  One great thing that did come out of these sketches was a character I call Typhoon the Headliner.  For those of you who have seen me perform, then you have seen this new character in action.  He’s an ex-def jam comic who’s entire act is pointing at people in the audience and saying they look like something they don’t.  The things he says they look like are so ridiculous that they don’t make sense (Don’t this guy look like the answer to the question, “are you uncomfortable?” Do he? He do!).  My stand up schedule is slowly starting to pick up and my classes at Second City are going fantastic.  I’m almost to the Conservatory, which is the professional program and I’m really looking forward to it.  There is a major divide in the stand up/improv community and I’m not quite sure why it exists, but that will have to be another article.  Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment and share how this year has been for me.  It’s been fun, rough, sad, happy, crazy, and pretty much every emotion possible.  For the first time in a while, I’m looking forward to what the future might bring.

Calendar Update

Posted: 27th April 2012 by Patrick in Uncategorized

June 8-9, Vaudeville Cafe, Chattanooga, TN

June 16, The Star City Comedy Club, Roanoke, VA

August 8, Cherry Street Comedy Club, Galesburg, IL

August 10-11, Goonies Comedy Club, Rochester, MN

Will Ferrell on Conan

Posted: 25th March 2012 by Patrick in Uncategorized

Will Ferrell is one of the funniest guys around.

WTF!?

Posted: 26th September 2011 by Patrick in Uncategorized
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Last week I opened for Marc Maron, the creator and host of the WTF Podcast.  It was a thrill to work with someone that you look up to and listen to every week, but it also happened to be a weird and stressful week for me.  Marc was great and he answered all the silly questions I had about comedy and his experiences as a comic.  Whenever I work with someone I respect and look up to I tend to turn into a 13 year old girl seeing Justin Bieber for the first time.  I tried to hold back my excitement, but still probably came off a bit weird.  Either way, Marc was cool and even busted my balls, which I was happy about because in my mind that means he at least acknowledged that I existed.  I learned so much about how much work I have in front of me if I ever want to be at the level he is as far as comedy and performance is concerned.  I watched Marc crush night after night without being “jokey” and letting the audience in on his insecurities and his vulnerabilities.  It was incredible to watch him work. It was both inspiring and depressing that he was so good.  Seeing guys like him, Burr, and CK makes it feel like there is no way to reach that level of funny.  I’ve been writing constantly and trying so hard to grow as a comic and I felt like I was making great strides until parts of this week.

I listen to the podcast every week and Marc talks about his issues with eating and I have been watching what I eat because I have my own issues with weight that I’ve struggled with for a long time.  I don’t see how Marc survives.  His fans brought him cakes, ice cream, and cookies all week.  We sat in the green room just shoveling delicious snacks in our face holes and then went out to eat after the shows so we could shovel more greasy shit food down our throats.  I did have a hilarious moment when we went out to eat one night.  Marc and I were standing outside of a restaurant when a homeless man came up to us singing Rihanna’s “S&M.”  ”Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it.”  He sang out of tune and even added his own words.  I looked at Marc and said, “Welcome to Louisville.”  So the good part is that no matter how a show went, I could go backstage and eat some cake and ice cream to drown my sorrows.



                                                                 Snacking with Maron

I gotta be honest, the shows did not go well for me for some reason.  I think I put too much pressure on myself to have really good shows in front of Marc Maron.  I told myself before the first night to not have any expectations about the shows and just relax and do what I do.  I knew I had no chance of being invited to be on the podcast, but somehow in the back of my mind I had that fantasy where he sees me kill and is impressed to the point where he invites me on the podcast and takes me on the road.  I think every comic in my position has that fantasy, although it probably is a unhealthy thought because you end up setting the bar to a level that won’t be reached.  So even knowing that I didn’t have a chance, I still wanted to crush all week.  Crushing at the Improv is something I’ve done many times and wasn’t a concern for me until the Maron week actually started.  It would be easy to blame the audience, but I just can’t do that.  Something was off all week.  I didn’t bomb every night, but they weren’t shows that I felt proud of.  There was a night where I literally ended up talking to myself in front of Marc about how bad I was without realizing he was sitting there.  Before you think I completely ate shit all week, know that I did have good shows and I had one of the most interesting nights of my life on Friday night.  On a single show I ruined one relationship and started a new family.  It was amazing.  When I was onstage, there were some loud people so I called them out and told them to be quiet and  a woman was going to yell back at me and her boyfriend told her stop.  At the point, she lost her fucking mind and she started yelling at him.  At one point she accused him of cheating, called him from the bathroom, and cried during Ryan Singer’s set.  What’s funny is that while she was crying, her boyfriend sat and ate nachos.  They went head to  head and fought with each other to the point that the people they came with got pissed off and eventually told them to leave.  That’s sad when your friends tell you to leave because you’re an asshole.  I felt so proud that I ruined that relationship because they were being assholes during my set.  In my defense, the relationship must not have been that strong if I destroyed it.  At the end of that  same show, I facilitated a proposal.  A guy got up onstage and proposed to his girlfriend and I had to be in the middle of it and guide him through the process.  I was more nervous about doing that than I was telling jokes in front of people who clearly didn’t like me that much.  The proposal worked out and the woman said yes.  So in one night, I completed the circle of life.

After a show where I didn’t feel like I did that great, Marc did make me feel comfortable when he really didn’t have to.  At one point, he looked at me and said, “Don’t be so hard of yourself.” and then joked about I wasn’t funny.  I asked for his advice about growing and becoming a comic that isn’t so worried about going for the kill every night and I told him I was trying really hard to get to that point and he looked at me and said, “Sometimes it doesn’t work.”  In one sentence, he shit on my set, mad me laugh, and gave me perfect advice.  I felt like Marc liked me and the fact that I was even concerned about that is kind of sad, but I really wanted to prove myself as a comic to him.  I think every comic feels that way.  That’s why we became comics because we have something wrong with us and have a need to constantly prove ourselves to strangers.  I did feel instantly comfortable with him, but it’s weird because I listen to him every week so I felt like I knew him and I’ve hadn’t met him before the week.  It must be odd for him to have so many people who think they know you already based solely on the podcast.  He was friendly and hilarious to talk to.  So even though we had conversations and he seemed engaged, I still had moments where I wasn’t sure though.  Whenever he talks to people he respects on the podcast, you can tell by his excitement and voice.  I over analyzed every inflection in his voice and his tone and a part of me was like, “he didn’t sound like he really cared that much about that story I just told.”  The other thing I had to keep in mind is that he’s a very successful comic and I’m sure he gets asked questions constantly and I’m sure people are always asking things of him and I didn’t want to be that guy.  I didn’t want to over step any boundaries and ask for things.  All in all, it was an amazing experience being that close and learning from one of my favorite comedians.  Seriously, if you haven’t already, listen to the WTF Podcast.  Check out his cd “This Has to be Funny” on Itunes.  There will probably be a part 2 to this post so stay tuned.

 

Anchorman Makes Fun of Kardashians (Hilarious)

Posted: 14th September 2011 by Patrick in Uncategorized

Joke Writing (or lack thereof)

Posted: 6th September 2011 by Patrick in Uncategorized
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Part of being a comedian includes writing jokes. Every comic has a different voice and a different view on the world and a different way to convey these messages. I generally like to sit down and physically write jokes and continue to create content to develop as a performer and as a person. My goal is to also write for tv, which includes late night talk shows, and in order to do that you have to be able to write at least 75-100 or more jokes per day on strictly topical material that is clean and in the voice of the host. So today, I challenged myself to write 75 jokes based on news and articles I read. It’s 2:30 and I have zero, yep zero, jokes written. I have clusters of ideas and different topics but for whatever reason the punchline part of my brain has decided to stop working. it could be that I’m adding too much pressure on myself and I just need to relax or it could be that the goal is so overwhelming that the magnitude of it frightens me. Whatever it is, it’s important to break through and just write. One thing that I have found when writing is to not censor and just let the jokes flow regardless if they’re funny or not. So with these 75, the idea should be just to write 75 regardless if they are any good or not. I’m a perfectionist and I like to get things done right the first time which does not bode well for comedy because the very nature of comedy is trial and error.

There is the debate among many comics as to the proper writing habits. There really is no right way to do it. Some people set aside a time to write and others just let the jokes come to them. I need to be more strict about how much I write and when I write. I want to have a set schedule for writing everyday and get out as many ideas as I can. I think that is a smart way to write, especially if you want to write for tv which has quotas of jokes that need to be met. Seinfeld wrote everyday and treated writing like a job, regardless whether he wanted to or not. I’m not a huge Seinfeld fan, but the guy is good and knows exactly what he’s doing. Also, he’s rich. Other people are different. Louis CK once told me that he doesn’t write anything down and just riffs until something comes out. His advice to me was, “Fail, and fail alot.” There again we run into trial and error. I think the best way to write is to not judge anything that comes out because most of what comes out will be shit anyway and will never see the stage, but at least it’s writing something. The metaphor for writing that’s been used over and over to a cliched level is that writing is like working out. The problem is that it’s true. I hate working out and yet I do it everyday and I make schedule time for it everyday. Over time I’ve gotten stronger and a little leaner (I still think I’m fat, but that’s a different story) as I’ve progressed. The same goes for writing. If I dedicate and schedule more time to writing and do it everyday, then you’ll notice patterns, develop an opinion and a voice, and over time, get better and better. The goal is then to create as much content as possible because we can’t be stagnant with the same shit for years. That might have worked 25 years ago, but there is so much content out there that in order to stay relevant, content must be created. I’m not saying pull a Louis CK and create a new hour every year, but create SOMETHING. This is my opinion on the matter. What do you think?

Louis CK Tribute to George Carlin

Posted: 6th September 2011 by Patrick in Uncategorized

Birthday Bash at the Louisville Improv

Posted: 29th August 2011 by Patrick in Uncategorized

August 28th is my birthday and I got to spend this year performing at the Louisville Improv with two very funny comics, Ryan Stout and Nate Bargatze.  Both of these guys are hilarious and really fun to hang out with.  The Sunday show was our last show and it happened to be my birthday and since I have a microphone, everyone is going to celebrate it.  The fine folks at the Improv made sure I celebrated my birthday in style and here’s a video of my birthday bash at the Louisville Improv.  Oh, and I was also in a giving mood that night as well.  Before the show started, I ran into a guy who has the same birthday and he had no idea I was a comic, so at the end of the show I gave him a present as well.  To all my friends at the Louisville Improv, thank you for making me feel special and celebrating my birthday with me.  Enjoy.

This is a very short list of some of my favorite movies that were based on history.  You’ll notice I only added 3 so far and I am not including a TON of comedies that were based on history.  To be honest, I didn’t feel like writing all of them down or I’d be here for a REALLY long time so this is my top 3.  Enjoy!

3.  History of the World Part 1

“It’s good to be the king.”  This film made that phrase a cultural phenomenon that would be used in later Mel Brooks films.  History of the World included some of the biggest names in comedy and entertainment like Carl Reiner, Orson Welles, Sid Caesar, Bea Arthur, and Hugh Hefner even makes an appearance.  Hef seems appropriate in the Roman parody given all the orgies and puking.  I just assume Playmates do both.  The film turns the phrase homo sapien into the first homosexual marriage, makes a symphony of screams, has a stand up philosopher, 15 commandments that broke so now there are 10, Dom DeLuise being fat, and even has Hitler on ice.  You seriously can’t go wrong with those combinations.  Schindler’s List would have been such a better movie if it had Hitler on ice.

The movie was broken down into sections including the dawn on man, the Old Testament, the Roman empire, the Spanish Inquisition, and the French Revolution.  One of the most memorable scenes from the movie is Mel Brooks as Moses when he learns of the commandments.  “The Lord Jehovah has given unto you these fifteen…” (whereupon he drops one of the tablets, which promptly shatters) “Oy…Ten! Ten Commandments! For all to obey!”  That scene pretty much sums up the plot of the movie.  Mel Brooks is a genius when it comes to parody.  Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

                                                                         Did I mention he played fat?

2.  The Great Dictator

Hitler and comedy don’t really go hand in hand, but leave it Charlie Chaplin to satire on of the most evil people who ever lived.  Besides killing millions of people and forever ruining the tiny moustache, Hitler still hasn’t really passed the “too soon?” test for most people which makes Chaplin the ballsiest comedian out there.  Now we hear a comic feel good about himself for making fun of Bush and they think they are making real statements.  We get it Bill Maher, I’m not a fan of Bush either, but I could really do without your lectures.  Chaplin got opportunity to shit on Hitler and have Hitler actually watch it.  That’s pretty bad ass.  Oh and Charlie was HATED because of this film by most Americans because at the time, we were still at peace with Germany.  Charlie just didn’t like that some hack was stealing his moustache so despite popular opinion, he decided to take Hitler down.  Suck on the Bill Maher.  At least most people actually agree with you.

The story is basically the same as the Prince and the Pauper except Charlie’s character is a Jew barber, which if history is any indication, was not really accepted by Hitler and his people.  I’m not sure about Hitler’s opinion on barber’s but guessing from his haircut, he should have had a problem with them.  So the Jew barber looks like Hitler (who is named Hynkel in the film in the country of Tomainia) and Hitler looks like the Jew barber and through a bunch of hilarious gags, they manage to get their identities mixed up and switch places.  And by switch places I mean the Jew takes over the country and Hynkel gets arrested for being a Jew.  The Jew barber makes the country free and renounces all of Hynkel’s laws and frees all oppressed people.  What happens afterwards?  Who knows, the guy was a barber so I’m sure with his experience in running countries, it collapsed.  But that’s a different story.  The film is filled with political satire making fun of Mussolini, Hitler, fascism, and antisemitism.  It’s brilliantly made and was Chaplins first talking film.  You know what would have made it better?  Hitler on ice.

1. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan are THE WYLD STALLYNS.  Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves play the heroes of this comedy and this movie is where EVERY person gets their Keanu impression.  Rufus, played by George Carlin, must go back in time using his time traveling phone booth to help the “Two Great Ones” not fail their history class because if they do, it’s off to military school and there will be no Wyld Stallyns.  Did I mention they suck at playing instruments and yet they will eventually form the greatest band known to man.  But for now, they have to do a history report.  What better way to do a history report then to go back in time and grab some of the most important historical figures and bring them back to help you pass the report?  There is NO better way.

So Bill and Ted go back in time and pick up Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid, Socrates (which they call S0-Crates), Beethoven, Genghis Khan (not the John Wayne version), Sigmund Freud, and the “babes.”  The babes are just princesses who are being told to marry people they don’t want and Bill and Ted try to rescue them.  Turns out you can get you head cut off for that type of behavior and Socrates and Billy the Kid dress as executioners to save them.  I know, this is the most awesome movie ever.  Pretty convenient that all these historical figures from all over the world speak english.  This movie has it all, every historical person getting arrested for going ape shit in the mall, mainly because they have no clue about modern technology.  Genghis Khan beats mannequins with bats, Joan of Arc causes trouble for aerobics classes, Beethoven gets kicked out of a music store, Socrates and Billy Kid essentially molest high school girls and then Sigmund cock blocks both of them, Abe Lincoln gets thrown out of a photo booth because the guy wants his costume, and did I mention Genghis Khan skateboards.  DAMMIT! It’s so awesome that I’m having trouble containing it.  Oh, the end?  Rock concert where all historical figures play instruments and put on the most amazing history report ever.  Bill and Ted pass and it paved the way for the sequel, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.  They “melvin” the grim reaper.  Nuff said.

Be sure to check out my top reasons why green is the best color.

Hilarious Video from FunnyorDie