Sunday, November 30, 2008


People always ask me why I do comedy. Obviously it's for the fame, fortune and wall to wall babes. There are other reasons however. Like a lot of comics, there's a need in me to be at the center of things, to have all the eyes and ears in a room. People always tell me how scared they'd be getting up there and, at times, it's scary as hell, but I think for me, the alternative is far more frightening.

So a big part is this need. A need to be heard, a need to be seen, but there are moments of transcendence, where I get to step out of my skin and right back into it only this time it fits a bit better. Sure it's not all the time, but those moments last which is a strange tendency in a moment.

The San Francisco Comedy Competition had us playing at some college north of the city. It was a Friday night, maybe 600 seats and they were turning kids away. It's an amphitheater and one of the biggest stages I ever worked. Having that much space can be overwhelming, but in the zone, I owned it.

It's hard to explain exactly what I was feeling, but I was on fire. From my first joke to my last I didn't miss. Some kid yelled out a heckle and my mouth started moving before my brain knew what was going on, bam, hilarious, another kid chimes in, bam, hilarious then a third and I brought the three together, got a huge laugh and shut the audience up without a shred of dickery. Each bit I was there, every shred of me was in each line. At the same time, there's this uber brain that's in another place three jokes down the line. I imagine it's what Joe Montana felt like in the last two minutes, this feeling of total control, being completely invested in the now and the next.

For those seven minutes the audience was one organism and I was its central nervous system. I could feel myself almost literally spreading out through the room, feeling the connectedness of that whole place and all those people. You know when you're having just incredible sex? When you can't tell where you stop and it feels like the two of you are using every inch of space in your room in your head and in your heart? It's a lot like that but less sweaty.

That's why I do comedy.

Currently listening:
Lovesick Broke & Driftin'
By Hank Williams III


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