Hope everyone is good. I have a couple of local shows coming up if you are in the LA area. Tuesday, Aug. 21st, I am doing the last of a series of workshop shows at The Trepany House at The Steve Allen Theater. I will be doing a live WTF there on the 28th featuring Dave Hill, Aries Spears, TJ Miller, Jake Fogelnest, Mike Bobbitt and Jim Earl. Should be wild. Come out if you are in the neighborhood.
Thank you, Victoria, BC. I never thought in my life I would be able to say that I performed in a curling rink. That’s all changed now because I have. I was at The Blue Bridge Comedy Festival and I played the Esquimalt Curling Club. So, mark that off the life list. I had a great show up there on Saturday night at The Upstairs Cabaret and I want to thank all of you who came out.
On Tuesday, I will also be appearing on Jeffrey Ross’s show "The Burn" on Comedy Central. I had mixed feelings about doing the show. I don’t think I am very good at roasting or mean comedy. I’m generally only insulting out of spite, defensiveness and insecurity of some kind. It is something I try to keep in check, not embrace. When Jeff asked me to do it I was apprehensive. I didn’t want to come off as mean, angry and unfunny. My only experience with this type of comedy was The Chevy Chase Roast, which despite how it looked on TV was one of the worst nights of my life. I was scared and too intense to pull off the funny in my mind. So, when Jeff asked me to do his show I had to overcome fear and learn how to be mean with the warmth necessary to make it funny.
That is the difference. It’s the delivery and where it comes from. Insult comedy is very specific and it is completely detached from hate and even opinion if it is done well. That is why it seems insensitive and wrong-minded to some people, because it is. That is its intent. The laugh that occurs in reaction to mean, insult-style jokes is the laugh of shock and the release of the wrong. Whether it affirms or reinforces what people consider wrong in this world depends on how any individual processes the joke. Its intent is diffusion through the extreme embracing of taboos like impoliteness, political incorrectness and cultural/personal immorality. It releases something in the psyche that I would argue is rarely the affirmation or reinforcing of wrong thinking but the opposite. What I found in writing jokes for the show on my own and with some of the writers was that there was almost no attachment to the subject matter other than to find the juice of wrong in the situation or event; to rip it open for the effect and the shock of embracing emotional and moral bankruptcy through an intentional lack of compassion and a turn of phrase to pop the laugh. The trick of it is to deliver it with a warmth and humility that belies the heart and intended harmlessness of the joke. It’s a delicate balance. It is its own form and when done well is hilarious.
That said, after the taping I felt a little dirty, but I had a good time. I shared the dais with Gilbert Gottfreid and Russell Peters. They were fun to spar with and it was great to see them.
So, that’s that. On the show this week, the host of "How Was Your Week" and author of “I Don’t Care About Your Band” Julie Klausner hangs out in the garage on Monday. We chat it up. On Thursday, Jack Black and Kyle Gass jam a bit and talk about themselves and their band, Tenacious D. Are you ready to rock? Be ready.
Good week. Be well.