Monday, October 15, 2007

Standing Up On Friday Night

I did a gig for the Lady Shriners of Long Beach on Friday. Long Beach is where the Queen Mary is permanently docked and the Shriners are part of the Masonic Family.
Leaving L.A. on a Friday night is a nightmare. A trip that should take anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes took an hour and 45 minutes. I turned down the Shriners' invitation for a free meal because of the traffic and left late to avoid the real L.A. rush hour. Halfway there I remembered that these events usually never start on time and when I arrived they were only on their main course. A lot of these gigs will sacrifice the comics and serve food during the show but the Lady Shriners waited until dessert was finished. It may seem like a small thing to those of you reading this, but trust me, in our business, that's a big thing.
The theme was the 1950's to commemorate their 50th Western area meet. There were probably around 200 people there. I did a gig the previous Wednesday and there were maybe 30 people in the audience. Believe it or not, the more people there are, the easier it is. When you've only got 30 people and some don't laugh, it's really Q U I E T in the room. In a big crowd, somebody is always laughing. It's what comics refer to as The President of the Audience theory. In a small crowd, the person who doesn't laugh or laughs the loudest is subconsciously elected President and the drones around him or her will follow suit. In a big crowd, there are Presidents all over the damn place so you're always doing well in some part of the room.

This is Bobby Soxer commitment ladies and gentlemen, commitment. Ruth, who is on the far right, was my contact person and took great care of me.

The three women in this photo did not want to have their picture taken. After I begged them, they finally dragged themselves to the middle of the dance floor and then at the last minute, the guy on the far left rushed up to be included. I didn't ask them to pose like that but it made me laugh that the 3 people who did not want to be photographed morphed instantly into America's Next Top Greaser.
These women in the Poodle skirts were completely... ...insane. I asked for all the Poodles to come forward and they just kept coming and coming until they took up most of the dance floor. It took me 3 photos to get them all in.
After I had finished taking their picture and told them they could return to their seats, they all started screaming and rushed the stage. Do I look like Little Richard? Don't answer that.

The Centerpieces were all these little 1950 era cars sitting on 45s. I took this picture because I have a joke about Davy Crockett in my act because I'm really up on current events.
I committed a performance no-no and used Elvis' mic. There was another mic sitting off to the side on a podium but once I saw his and that it had a person named Brian attached to its sound board I was not about to use the other one. I had to lower the mic stand for my height and then FORGOT TO RAISE IT BACK UP WHEN I LEFT THE STAGE. When Elvis impersonator Steve Roth took the stage he looked at the mic level and shrugged and then raised it. So Steve, I apologize. Please don't hate me because I can spot a good mic a mile away and am so self-absorbed that I didn't remember to raise it back up.

After the show I hung around the parking lot and took this picture of a plane landing at Long Beach Airport, which is behind the hotel. Yeah, I know, I have no idea where the plane is either but it's purrrrrdy.

End of chat.


  1. That's a Whole Lotta white people.

  2. Yeah. I can't really compete with Bossy for laughs, so I won't even try. Just wanted you to know I liked reading your post! Funny!

  3. Anonymous11:45 AM

    As you know, I have lived in Hawaii for many years now, but before I left, the Queen Mary in Long Beach was one of my departing gigs. LOVED IT! I am recommending you for a gig on Catalina Island. Not only will you get stuck in traffic, there is also the possibility of sea sickness...I know you're dialing to get that gig even as I type.
    Martha Jane

  4. Anonymous12:12 PM

    Bossy, Long Beach is so white it's blinding.

    madmad, no one can compete with Bossy for laughs.

    MJ, I used to play that room on Catalina a long time ago. The last comic I was there with ended up committing suicide about 8 years ago. I don't think I had anything to do with that decision but you never know.

  5. OMG! How many poodles had to sacrifice their lives to make all those skirts? Wait ... are the skirts made BY poodles or OF poodles?

  6. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Jami, it's always funny to me that when I venture out of a city (I left suburbia when I was 17 and never went back)I see things that blow my mind. Some of those poodles look alike so I'm guessing someone made those skirts and that's kinda sweet. Here in LA you can't get anyone to make you a cup of coffee, forget a skirt.

  7. Anonymous1:02 PM

    How would someone (a scorpio someone) from the east coast who can't remember how she clicked onto you but once she did immediately added you to her favorite bloggers (of which you now make #5 - scorpios are picky!), see your routine/act/bit/whatever name is politically correct??

  8. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Beckie, I know, aren't we the PICKIEST sign of the zodiac? AND the smartest.

    I wish I had some gigs back east but for now, no such luck.

    But go to and put my name in and they will tell you when my Seinfeld and Curb are being replayed. If they don't, it's because I'm not being rerun right now. But check back....

  9. If Bossy thinks Long Beach is white, try the entire state of Vermont!
    I would definitely be a greaser, no matter how many people would think I would be a poodle.

  10. Why is it that I can't get the image of you in a poodle skirt out of my head?

  11. Anonymous6:59 PM

    gm, yeah, I would have put you as a poodle but am glad to see that I'm wrong, as I often am in life. Sigh.

    D2,THAT IS SO WRONG. STOP IT. NOW. Or I'll tell. Someone. Something.

  12. The President of the Audience theory is fascinating (and scary, as someone who has thought about trying standup...). Sorry for retiring you early, btw. :)

  13. Anonymous10:09 PM

    Diesel, everyone should try and do standup. As I've said before, we just make it look easy.

  14. I liked your Lady Shriners report & Pix. Thanks for puting the link to Shriners Hospital for Children.

  15. Anonymous7:17 AM

    These crazy ladies in their retro getups are darn cute, but I want to see you! On stage!

  16. I hope you weren't paid like it was the 1950's.