Monday, July 30, 2007
2. Because we can see the punch line coming from a mile away.
3. Unless it’s from a fellow comic who we admire.
4. And there aren’t a lot of comics we admire.
5. Practically none at all.
6. Maybe 4.
7. 3 of whom are dead.
8. Friends have a compulsion to email us 'funny' stuff.
9. If you’re one of these friends, please stop.
10. People tell us jokes and say ‘you can use that if you want.’ If the joke belongs to someone else, someone who actually wrote it, no, we can’t use it.
12. Female comics are not called ComiDIENNES.
13. We're just called comics.
14. Or bitch.
15. If a book says it's "Laugh out loud funny."
16. We know it's going to suck.
17. If a movie is called a Comedy,
18. People need to open a dictionary and look up the meaning of that word.
19. Socially we are duds.
20. We're not funny at a cocktail party and if asked what we do for a living and say ‘stand up comic’, people will inhale sharply.
21. We use that moment to steal hors d'oeuvres from their plates.
22. And we don’t care.
23. About your job, your family or your new shoes because in our head we’re writing a joke about your job, your family or your news shoes.
24. And it will be funny.
25. Because that’s what we do.
Friday, July 27, 2007
The above photo was taken at a wedding reception I hosted for two comedians. I designed a comedy club mock-up that went over a cake and hired McLoserstene to help me build it. The stage had a piano on it, the photos on the far wall are of celebrity comics and there's a red light and working clock on the back wall. The name of the club was The Chuckle Hut. (That's so inside I have no idea how to explain it) The bride and groom are standing in front of the microphone.
I won't begin to tell you how much this all cost me on EBay. And yes, McLoserstene is insane. Me? Not so much.
End of a model chat.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Mine is that I'm able to recognize the names of famous people who do voiceovers for commercials. I can have friends over for dinner and be in the kitchen cooking and if the TV is on and there’s a commercial break I will shout out ‘Christine Lahti!’ or ‘Patrick Dempsey!’
McLoserstene can correctly identify the music played on any popular TV show and tell you what movie soundtrack it’s from.
And you thought mine was ridiculous.
Her friend Kristin, from Ohmagah, Nebraska, can walk into a room and tell you that it smells like Barbies. Or a pencil. Stuff no one can prove, essentially.
And you thought McLoserstene’s was ridiculous.
I call it the Niche Market Business Association and even though it’s completely useless we have three members and are looking for more. Hopefully dues-paying members.
Applications now being accepted.
End of interview chat.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Or the ever metaphysical live every day as if it’s your last. How depressing would that be? You’d get up in the morning and say “Today is my last day on earth.” Then the next day you’d get up and say, “Today is my last day on earth.” If it really was my last day on earth I’d have to waste it picking out a coffin and choosing a cemetery plot instead of doing what I should be doing, having sex with George Clooney and getting high.
Women are often referred to as a clotheshorse. Did somewhere in the 6th century the horse actually put on trousers and a belt? Or was he a suspender kind of a horse? Is he just down to a saddle now? And why is a man who loves clothes referred to as a natty dresser but his female counterpart is compared to Secretariat?
You get sick as a dog. Did dogs used to run around vomiting all day long? And why would you fight fire with fire? Wouldn't water be more effective?
And how about when someone goes the whole nine yards? Why is that a good thing? Because in the NFL if you go the whole nine yards, people are pretty pissed off and would have preferred that you go the whole 100 yards.
Having all your ducks in a row implies you've got everything set up and you're good to go. Ducks? What are you set up for, a life of poverty and hunting? Frankly, I'd rather have all my houses in a row. Even the fine folks over at Monopoly figured that out.
And could someone please direct me to the catbird seat? If you’re in it, you’re considered lucky and yet no one can tell you where it is. And last I checked, you get a cat and a bird together and the shit definitely hits the fan.
End of a messy chat.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Brynn and Phil at that 1997 party
I remember the funny parts of Brynn and Phil because they were both hilarious. Once I was on the road in Alaska and it was my birthday. I called home and she and Phil had left a Happy Birthday song on my machine. Brynn sang it as Delores Hope, Bob Hope's wife, because she did Delores better than Delores.
And she was the only person I knew who loved Dean Martin as much as I did. And admitted it publicly.
Phil tried to help me with my career more times than I can count. I knew so many standups who never lifted a finger to help me in L.A., outside of Larry David and Michael Patrick King, but Phil was constantly trying to hook me up. He once made Dennis Miller come to my gig at the L.A. Improv to see if I was right for his show. Dennis had a sick child at home outside of L.A. but made the trip anyway. He figured if Phil thought I was funny, it was worth his time. I got a second audition but Dennis's show got cancelled. But I never forgot what Phil and Dennis did for me.
At Phil's 45th birthday party, he told Jay Leno to book me. He had more confidence in me in those days than I had. Jay did not book me.
Brynn used to go to New York once a year and come back with an entirely new wardrobe. She had two friends who were struggling at the time, me and her bff Judy. She would take all her one year-old designer clothes, all the freebies they got in gift bags and lay them out on her bed and then invite me over to pick out what I wanted. She said she always asked me first because she knew how hard I struggled and how little money I had. (Knowing Brynn, she probably told Judy the same thing) Sometimes I would try something on and she would say, "Oh God, I'm not giving that away, it's too fabulous. Ahhh forget it, it really looks better on you." She was a tall blond beauty who was a size 2. I wasn't blind. She was just that generous of spirit.
I still cry every time I think of her taking care of me like that. And for Phil risking his formidable reputation for me.
There are lots of stories out there about what Andy Dick did or did not do at that Christmas party. I will just say this, only her girlfriends know the truth about what went on in that marriage and we ain't talking. I do know that Jon Lovitz was completely devastated by the loss of his best friend so anything he does in Phil's honor, I understand.
We are often defined in life by one mistake. One episode that can't be erased or taped over. We've all had a moment that can't be returned to sender. I wrote about this because I didn't want all this press over the Lovitz-Dick fight to overshadow the real lives of the Hartmans. They have two children out there who remember their parents with love. And so should the rest of us.
End of chat. I mean it.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
In 1989 Denis and I were photographed in New York for the magazine Men's Guide To Fashion, which I think was just full of pictures of men in tee shirts wearing black socks and sandals.
The only true statement under this picture is that we were at Catch A Rising Star and we were comedians. We were not Up and I can promise you that we were not Coming.
End of chat.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
But since I'm a fashionista I was hooked immediately. The Brits always trump us in fashion icons. See Princess Diana, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Naomi Campbell. Just keeping up with Posh's dizzying display of sunglasses was an effort. And the shoes. Lord, the shoes. Some of them made me cry they were so incredible. And the way she tied that scarf around her neck when she met with Perez Hilton? Genius.
The best part of the show, for me, was the segment taken at my friend Suzan Hughes' house in Beverly Hills. Suzan is the former wife of Herbalife founder Mark Hughes. She's the one who had the Beverly Hills Ladies Lunch. Suzan is a Scorpio, like me, and very funny although she's still in denial about all the plastic surgery she's had. When Posh walked into Suzan's overdone, and not in a good way, house you could see she was as shocked as the rest of us have been when we've been to Suzan's. She lives in an 8 million dollar home and if there was more gold or gilt, Louis XVI would come out of his grave to marry her.
UPDATE: When I first posted this, Suzan's assistant called and asked me to take out the parts about Suzan's plastic surgery. He said he had worked for her for 4 years and never seen a HINT of surgery. I guess he needs his eyes checked. I've known her for over 13 years and hello? I have EYES. The assistant said I would be invited to all her End Of Season parties. I was not invited so guess what? Seriously, honor your word or get the fuck out. 1/25/08
The Hughes Family picture from one of their annual Christmas cards and before all of Suzan's plastic surgery.
Also, if you looked closely at Suzan's guests, you could see the still gorgeous Marla Maples, Donald Trump's second wife, at that party. No plastic surgery and unbelievably, no man in her life. This is a tough town.
End of chat.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
I decided to have people autograph my bathroom door just so I wouldn't actually have to do stand up, I could just pretend I was in a green room somewhere waiting to get paid.
In the beginning I was having anyone who came to my house sign it, just to fill it up. Dan from UPS signed it and my plumber Ray M. Why didn't Ray put his last name on it? Is he afraid his wife will find out? Ooooooh, there's trouble. Then there was Kike from Best Buy. He delivered my HDTV and thought I was going to kill him when I said, "Follow me" and ominously handed him a pen. "Death by Sharpie, film at 11." In all fairness to Kike I do have a deep voice and could at any time be confused with a repo man. And they kill you, right? Or want to? Is this thing on?
The only rule is no one I'm dating or have dated or might date can sign the door. Who needs that drama?
As I'm sure NONE of you will be surprised to hear, McLoserstene refuses to sign it. Because she's afraid that whatever retarded thing she writes will be there for eternity and people can mock her forever. I keep telling her that's the point of the door.
End of chat.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The mics are a personal favorite because I've been using them since my first professional gig, when I was 15 and fronting a band. The answer to your question is "We were in France, that's why." I'm half French so I say this with love, the entire country is tone deaf.
The mic that is partially cut off at the top, mainly because I'm obviously not that great a photographer, is a working lamp. That one and the one next to it, called a Bullet Mic because of its shape, have been loaned out to music videos and movie sets.
The round medallion hanging off the Joan Rivers books on the left is an old lapel microphone. They must have had some incredibly serious lapels back then.
This is a closeup of some of my favorite mics. The KAVN is made by Avon, shaped like an old mic and is still full of the Wild Country After Shave that it was filled with. Over the years Avon has variously packaged that cologne into a miniature 1936 MG, log cabin and other replica cars from the 30's and 40's. It doesn't even smell rancid which I think major perfumers need to look into. Hello Quadrille by Balenciaga. Call me?
The mic on top of the red box, which is a child's sing-a-long toy from the 60's, is molded wood and fits your hand like a glove, something metal mics don't do. The little picture is me performing in 1983 at the first comedy club that passed me, Comedy U on University Place in New York. The frame has all the New York tourist hot spots on it, including the twin towers.
End of broadcast.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I went to a souvenir shop on Hollywood Boulevard one day and copied down the name of a postcard company whose sticker adorned the base of a stand. I requested their catalog (I actually had to take time out from my very busy schedule of sitting by the pool and place a call to these people. Again, how I - and we all - survived this antediluvian ritual escapes me) and eventually ordered a rack. It's one of my favorite things and people need to stop picking cards out and then putting them back WHEREVER THEY WANT. What are we, savages?
And the stand revolves! Like the bolts in my brain! Wheeeeeeeeeeee.
End of chat.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
For some reason I couldn’t wait to get rid of the toy cars. I would look at them and think, “Who is going to love these cars now that my Dad is gone?” That is one thing you learn when someone dies. The things that they loved become the stuff that you can’t wait to unload. You know you shouldn’t feel that way but you do. And then you look around your own house and know that some day, someone will be combing through your prized crap thinking the same thing.
I gave the bigger cars that were still in their original boxes to all of the doormen in my Dad's building, most of whom had children. Some cars I sold through a local thrift shop. The only two that I kept were the Jeep and the little green and white car that are in this picture. I kept the Jeep because Dad was in the Army and that replica cost $55.00. (He kept all his receipts) The Army replaced Jeeps with Humvees long ago so it’s a memory of times past, when we were the good guys in the fight and the world loved us.
One day about two months ago I decided to just look at EBay to see if they had any cool toy cars. I found some and then found some more at the Melrose Flea Market. I paid money to start a collection that I couldn't wait to get rid of six years ago.
End of chat.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Every day this week I'm posting pictures of some of my atypical collections. Here, I'll save you the trouble; I'm not normal. And by normal I mean boring.
One day I was holding a tie clip that belonged to my Dad. It was one of a few pieces of jewelry of his that I kept after he died in 2001. Another one had his initials, HA, on it but I gave it to my then boyfriend Elvis since he was a comedian. The one I was walking around with two years ago had the comedy and tragedy masks on it. As a kid I saw my father wear it with the matching cuff links that made up the set. I always thought it was weird that my Dad had something like that since he was a Colonel in the Army and also worked for the government. I see the tragedy in those two jobs, but the comedy? Not so much.
I don't know why I was walking around with this tie clip in my hand but I have no job so maybe the two are connected. As I stood over one of my desks wondering when my phantom maid was going to straighten it up, I absent-mindedly attached the tie clip onto the shade of a lamp.
And the rest is EBay history.I got rid of the lamp last year and was left with 56 bazillion tie clips. So I decided to put them on the curtains in my bedroom. The curtains are made of black leather so the tie clips clamp on nicely. I guess the next question is why I have black leather curtains in my bedroom.
Because I'm not normal. And definitely not boring.
End of chat.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
End of chat.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I took a picture of this couple without their knowledge. Indian men do not allow (allow!!!) their women to be photographed. When they stopped the clinch and came up for air I asked the man if I could take their picture and he said no. Uh.......okay.
These boys asked me to take their picture. So I did. They spoke a little English and were the embodiment of teenagers in the U.S., minus the drugs and alcohol, bad attitude and sense of entitlement.
Two other Americans in for surgery. The one lying in bed was a real bitch.
Looking out of one of the hospital rooms. Mumbai is in serious development mode.
A double-decker bus in downtown Mumbai. The British used to have a stronghold here so the bus was really no surprise.
This cab driver drove me all over downtown Mumbai so I could see the city and S H O P. I was in the sapphire capital of the world and I was determined to find a fabulous ring and I did, only not that day. I had to wait and bring in the big shopping guns who took me to the boutique where President Clinton and other heads of state shopped. That place was dangerous. I now own a 10 inch high 22 carat gold elephant. Seriously, how did I ever live without that? And if push comes to shove, can I use it to pay my rent?
My driver didn't speak English but I was dying to ask him why he kept Ganesh and a roll of toilet paper on his dashboard. Ganesh is the God that will help you with obstacles in your life. I bought a few of them and gave one to a friend who was battling a life-threatening situation (he made it, hi Eric!) and I always keep one in my car, just like all the Indian drivers. I kept him by my bed in the hospital and the nurses used to pick him up and kiss him. I had a more beautiful hand-carved and hand-painted statue of Shiva, also by the bed, but Shiva was always ignored in favor of Ganesh.
End of Indian chat.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Me taking off in one of the ubiquitous pedicabs of Mumbai. They don't tell you that this is the best thrill ride you'll ever experience in your life. And you will discover your devotion to God in the process. p.s. neither of the men in the pedicab spoke English. That was fun.A Mercedes enters the frame of this picture against the backdrop of some living quarters of the poor. The biggest slum in the world is located just outside of Mumbai and houses over a million people. The population of India is 1.2 billion.
Okay, I HAD to go into this temple. You check your shoes with the man behind the counter.
Another temple. India is predominantly Hindu and Hindus believe in the caste system, which is why the lower classes remain oppressed.
The poor sell their produce on Juhu beach and live in those shacks.
The view from my hospital room of the Arabian Sea, which leads to the Indian Ocean. Having stepped into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and had my toes frozen solid, it was amazing to find such a warm body of water. Ever seen an American hospital with a view like that? Of course not, we build condos on that kind of property.
(which does not mean end of chat)
Monday, July 02, 2007
An old man named Russell Weller drove his car through the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade and killed ten people. When questioned later he said, “Well they saw me coming, why didn’t they get out of the way?” Oh I don’t know, maybe because they were sitting in the bathroom of a restaurant peeing?
I came out of my manicurist's a few days ago and noticed that my car was parked next to an SUV with a hot 20-something blonde in it. There was another blonde standing beside the SUV staring into space. Even though that’s S.O.P. for 20-somethings in Hollywood, I finally realized it was because she was cock-blocked by another car. Hot blondes could not exit parking and make it to Sunset Tan in time for their appointments. Just one of the many heartbreaking stories in Hollywood.
As I was fumbling for my keys, I saw a woman carrying a take-out coffee heading for the car that was blocking the SUV. I watched as this woman got into her vehicle and drove away. No apology. I looked at the two blondes and we did the simultaneous LA eye roll, which is superior to all other city eye rolls in that we seriously want you to drop dead and we will help you.
A year and a half ago, in January, my best gay friend, an actor, refused to accompany me to India for experimental surgery because it was pilot season, when auditions are held for all the upcoming TV shows. I only needed him for five days, I was paying for his trip and did I mention I was having surgery? In India? Which, as it turns out, is not next door.
He said he could go at the end of pilot season, in April, when all the auditions were over. Apparently he thought I was in charge of when the hospital in Mumbai scheduled surgery. I guess he assumed I would know when the doctor was in town and was keeping track of when the anesthesiologist would be free. I guess he also thought I had an intimate working knowledge of when rooms became available or when O.R.s were booked. I didn’t realize I had that much power in a city of almost 13 million people. All while sitting at my computer in Hollywood.
This was a person who once told me he would take a bullet for me. But obviously not during pilot season. So over the weekend this man called and left a message about how he NOW realized he was a terrible best friend. He quit his twenty-five year acting career 10 months after our falling out because he got no bookings all year. I can't tell you how much that pissed me off. He quits AFTER letting me down. He has a new boyfriend. And oh yes, he NEEDS me to be in his life. But when I needed him in my life, he was too busy trying to book two lines on That's So Raven. Did he apologize for hurting me? For being selfish? No. This was our third divorce, as he had fucked up twice before but I had always let him back in. Yes, I’m a slow learner. And no, he's never coming back in.
Some people equate apologies with weakness. And being wrong. And the only thing people want to be is right. You know that expression, “Would you rather be right or happy?” Turns out people would rather be right.
Take responsibility and say you’re sorry. Here’s what happens if you don’t, your friends will spread the gospel far and wide that you didn’t apologize and will tell everyone what an asshole you are. You see, Dennison Samaroo, I just did!
Here are the people who took care of me:
The flight attendants of Air India.
The guy who does any lifting or moving and a Moshi. Moshis handle all the really hard stuff like bathing you, taking away bedpans and drying your tears.
The R.N.'s. There were 8-9 R.N.'s on every floor in the hospital. In the U.S. there are usually none or 1. They rush to rooms the split second you hit your call button and patiently explained to me 40 trillion times that yes, the morphine was in the I.V. bag and yes I was getting it and to please get my hands off their throats.
The guys worked at the Best Western that I stayed in for the first 3 days I was there. They were so appalled that I had come alone that they came to visit me in the hospital twice. And brought me roses and fruit each time. The guy in the dark shirt is from Nepal and I asked him why he came to India and he said there was nothing to do in Nepal but climb Everest. (Nepal sits right above India) He had no family left and said his father died at a very old age. I asked how old and he said "59." I said that wasn't very old and he said "In this part of the world it's old." The sweetie in the middle was my physical therapist, who came twice a day for 2 weeks and laughed at all my jokes. I probably should have tipped her more. A lot more, now that I think about it.
I’m sorry, but this is the end of chat.