It’s been a while since I’ve done a stand up comedy post. This mostly has to do with me thinking that blogging about something I’ve only been doing for (at the time of this writing) seven months is all kinds of pretentious. But here’s a story I think you’ll dig. It’s about a recent show at The Comedy Store:
April 2, 2015
The Comedy Store in Los Angeles is one of the most famous comedy clubs in the world. Long story short, it’s hallowed ground for comedians. They (we?) hang around the grounds like construction workers at the Home Depot telling and sharing war stories, having drinks and hoping a big name celebrity drops out and leaves a spot open.
One day I was performing on The Main Stage of The Comedy Store. It was a “bringer” show, (that is, though I was performing I was responsible for “bringing” audience members to the clubs to enjoy said show). Still, I love performing in the Main Room. Though the crowds for my particular shows aren’t sellouts, I like to pretend I’m some big time comic when I hit that Formica stage. I was ready to go on stage to do my thing when the producer grabs the mic…
“Ladies and gentlemen. Please welcome a really funny guy, Marc Maron!”
In a perfect sitcom moment I start heading to the stage. I then stop. My first reaction was “Who?” But then my brain slapped me silly: “Bro, this guy is famous!”
Like very famous. Like has his own TV show and podcast famous. My heart skipped a beat and I headed back to the green room area and listened.
What I heard was a laugh. Then another. Then more after that. Before long I was hearing the “stop, stop you’re killing me. My sides hurt” kinds of laugh that can in no way be fake. Maron was killing it!
And all of a sudden, I wondered if my jokes were good enough. Panic set in, as I tried coming up with brand new material on the spot (it’s a knee-jerk reaction, but like most reactions of this type it is totally ill-advised). My jokes felt like homemade toys and what I was hearing was a HASBRO commercial!
“Mom, I need that punchline with the kung-fu grip.”
After about 10-15 minutes or so, Maron slid off stage. Back to our regularly scheduled program. My name was called and I slinked on stage.
“Hey everybody,” I said, grabbing the mic off the stand. “Put me after Maron, why not? But no fear, am I right?”
And with that, I went into my set. Was it perfect? No, I flubbed a line but the show ended up being one of the better ones. Very rarely do I have a show that garners a lot of laughs AND I’m happy with my performance, but given the circumstances I was pretty stoked.
It’s funny how that works. The temptation was there to try a desperate hail Mary to try to “outfunny” the pro who was on the stage before me. But you know what? Staying the course (and doing the stuff you’re familiar with) ultimately ended up being the right decision. Not sure if there’s a lesson in there, but it was a wild night.
Until next time,