Monday, August 28, 2006

Cookin' With Gas

All right, let's get all the baby stuff out of the way first: On Friday, Aug. 25, my sister Anna gave birth to the gigantic and healthy Leo Zakary Haselmann, 9 lbs. 9 oz. It was a difficult and lengthy delivery culminating in a C-Section, but both mother and baby are doing great, as is proud papa Guy and big brother Xander. (Sisters Arden and Hadley are in Paris for the month, but they'll no doubt be thrilled by Little Leo.)


"Hello? I need a sitter for tonight..."

I trained out to Jersey Saturday to visit them in the hospital. Anna looked great, but was starving: Apparently after you have surgery, they don't let you eat anything until you've passed gas, and for once in her life, she wasn't up to the task.

Finally, she released her mighty wind and made the following announcement into the little intercom by her bed, which was broadcast out to the nurse's station:

"Hi, this is Anna Haselmann in room 612. I just farted. Bring me food."

A classy broad, my sister.

Later, I was treated to the sight of a swollen, topless Anna trying to breast-feed a naked Leo, who kept falling asleep mid-suck. Some things you only need to witness once in your life.

In all seriousness, I love being an uncle. And with the addition of Leo, I'm blessed now with four nephews and three nieces. Mazel tov to me.

And in other happy baby news, my dear friends Julie and AJ Jacobs welcomed twins Zane (6 lbs., 9 oz.)and Lucas (5 lbs. 2 oz.) this past Thursday.


Julie and AJ with their new pair of aces.
By the way... if you're wondering about AJ's
beard, yes -- it's real. He's writing a book
based on his experience of living an entire
year according to every commandment in the Bible.

It strikes me as weird that parents always announce the weight of their newborn babies down to the exact ounce. I could see wanting to know that information if I were buying heroin or something, but why do I care how much your baby weighs? It's not like I'm going to be holding a baby wrestling match.

Finally, the previous Thursday my best friend from high school, Rebecca Landwehr Olgeirson, and her husband, Ian, welcomed Asher James (7 lbs., 3 oz., which I guess means he's in the same weight class as Zane Jacobs).


"I could totally kick Zane's ass."

Rebecca and I were the two loudest students at Summit High School and used to spend countless hours driving around in my red jeep singing along with Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now." I can't believe she's a mom now. Rebecca, that is, not Tiffany. (Actually, Tiffany's a mom, too. According to her official fan site, she had a son named Elijah in '92. Weight unknown.)


"I think I'm a womb, now..."

OK -- now on to Carolines: By all accounts, it went very, very well. The place was packed, the others comics (if not I) were in top form, and the crowd laughed enthusiastically throughout. But I didn't enjoy a moment of it. I was just too freaked out, particularly when the first couple minutes didn't go as smoothly as I had expected. You'd think by now I'd be used to this; I've been MC-ing a weekly show for a year now. But it still always comes as a shock to me when I walk out, hit the crowd with the opening line, and they're like, "Ho-hum."

Part of my discomfort was, I've gotten very used to relying on crowd work to get the show started, and as I looked around the room, I recognized almost every single face staring back at me. You can't do crowd work with people you know; it requires a degree of anonymity. "Where are you from? What do you do? Where did you get that hideous shirt?," etc.

But it really wasn't bad. I had 'em going after the first two minutes, and all my insterstitial material hit home. And fortunately, I had put together a really strong lineup. That's the No. 1 comment I've gotten from people who were there: All the comics were terrific, and they were all so different from one another.

And now... the photos!


Mina Hartong, Me and Robin Fox before showtime.
I'm gritting my teeth together to keep myself from crying.


Fear, itself.


Comics in Motion: Robin Fox and I.


Karith Foster knocks one out of the park.


Kevin Meaney nibbles my ear as I expose
my giant bald spot to the crowd.


Kevin was such a doll. After the show, he was like, "Did
I do all right?" I was like, "Uh, you've won an Emmy and
had your own HBO specials and been on The Tonight Show
a million times. Do you really care what I think?


My favorite picture of the night.


Curtain call(from left): Donny Moss, Mina Hartong,
Robin Fox, Me, William Mullin, Karith Foster, Kevin Meaney


Sweet relief -- it's over.

Finally, if you want to watch me on TV (not being funny -- just being a news anchor), check out "Out at the Center," the local cable show produced by New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center that I hosted this month. You can view the video online by clicking here.

COME SEE ME HOST THE ELECTRO SHOCK THERAPY COMEDY HOUR THIS SUNDAY, SEPT. 3 AT 10 PM, WHEN MY SPECIAL GUESTS WILL BE DARLENE VIOLETTE, ROB DRIEMEYER AND ERICA WATSON!


AND MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW FOR THE NEXT "ADAM SANK'S GAY BASH," TAKING PLACE ON WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 6 AT 9:30 PM AT CAROLINES ON BROADWAY!

DETAILS ABOUT BOTH SHOWS ON MY WEB SITE.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Something Strange is Afoot

The following email appeared in my in-box yesterday, via my web site:

Hey Adam, Love your comedy! Also, i read your blog and always get SO excited when you talk about your *feet* Small or Big, it don't matter to me. . . You are a hottie and I would love some hot foot play with you. Hmm, let's see, like after a long set with you on your feet, come on home to me and I'll take care of those barking dogs for you! Woof!

I don't get it: First there was my stockinged stalker, lusting after what he mistook to be my socks (in a photo that actually showed Lily Tomlin in man-drag). And now this other guy wants to get busy with my "dogs." I seem to have tapped into a hitherto unknown segment of society: Gay Comedy-Loving Foot Fetishists. The irony is, I don't know the first thing about feet as a source of sexual pleasure. What are you supposed to do with feet? The kinkiest thing I've ever done with mine is get them pedicured. (And sadly, this is a luxury I can seldom afford.)

For the record, I am not interested in "foot play" of any kind. But so as not to disappoint my fan base, here's a photo of my freakishly small, rather homely hooves, juxtaposed against my sparkling new ceramic tile kitchen floor. (Just in case there are any ceramic tile fetishists out there as well.)


Cue the theme from "My Three Sons."

In less sole-ful news (nyuk nyuk), I am totally freaking out due to a confluence of events:

For one, my sister Anna, known to long-time readers of this blog as "my hairy sister," is due to give birth to her second child any minute! While my family anxiously awaits his arrival, I'm also waiting for two other close friends -- Julie Schoeberg Jacobs and Rebecca Landwehr Olgeirson -- to deliver their babies. As Julie's having twins, this makes for a lot of impending babies. It's a race to the finish... stay tuned.


Artist's rendering of what any of these babies will look like.


Secondly, my "Gay Bash" at Carolines is in five days. FIVE DAYS, PEOPLE! I am beyond stressed. My last two Therapy shows have gone exceptionally well, as did a set I did at Erik Rivera's "Latino Laughter" show at NY Comedy Club. Never one to believe a good streak will last, I'm almost hoping I bomb miserably this weekend so that by Wednesday I'll be back in the groove.



At the very least, I've gotten some nice pre-show publicity. Next Magazine ran an item in their "Week Ahead" listings, and HX ran a really terrific feature by Ryan Doyle, which you can read here.

And my episode of "That's Kentertainment" is finally up on BroadwayWorld.com. For those who want to watch it, a couple caveats: It's by and large a PG-13 production. But Ken did include one joke from Therapy that's rather "adult" in nature. (Though if you made it through the foot stuff at the top of this blog entry, you'll probably be just fine.) Also, make sure you stick around for the closing credits, which include outtakes and bloopers. They're my favorite part. Watch it here... if you dare.

Speaking of TV, I'll be hosting "Out at The Center" on Channel 34 (in Manhattan) at 10 PM this coming Thursday, Aug. 24. I'll put up the video link when it's available.

As if all of the above isn't enough to send me reeling, news of the capture of JonBenet's possible killer threatens to push me over the edge. I have been fascinated with the case from the very beginning -- don't ask my why. Last night I fell asleep watching Chris Cuomo's Primetime special on the recent developments... and proceeded to have vivid, haunting dreams all night about JonBenet! In my dreams, she looks good -- not all tarted up like she did in the pageants -- and she tells me that freak in Thailand is not her real killer. When I ask her who did it, she points to an elderly black woman.


I always suspected that bitch.

That's it for now... check back soon for news of impending births, bombs and boys who like feet.

COME SEE ME HOST THE ELECTRO SHOCK THERAPY COMEDY HOUR THIS SUNDAY, AUG. 20 AT 10 P.M., WHEN MY SPECIAL GUESTS WILL BE KELLY PRYCE, GREG WALLOCH, ERIK RIVERA AND STEVE HASLEY!

THEN COME SEE ME HOST ADAM SANK'S GAY BASH ON WEDNESDAY, AUG. 23 AT 9:30 P.M., WHEN MY HEADLINER WILL BE THE LEGENDARY KEVIN MEANEY!

DETAILS FOR THESE AND OTHER SHOWS AT MY WEB SITE.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Oh, What a Night!

So if you've read any of the other blogs on this page, you already know that the Up-and-Comers Show at Therapy this past Sunday was pretty freakin' great. I must admit, I had no idea going in whether this experiment -- having nine straight (save for one) comics in the lineup, most of whom were unknown to Therapy's audience -- would work at all. In the end, it didn't just work; it rocked. In fact, it was the arguably the best show we've ever had there.

The crowd played a big part. Many of the comics, particularly Al Wagner, brought their friends and family to see them perform, and this resulted in a lot of fresh faces and new energy in the room. And the performers themselves all brought tremendous excitement to the stage. It showed in their sets.

And finally -- yes, I must admit it -- I was pretty much at the top of my game. Everything just felt right. I was in the zone. I had spent a good deal of time preparing my opening set in advance, but I can't take credit for the ad-libs and crowd work that seemed to flow out of me; they were gifts from a higher power.

My proudest moment: When flirting with one of Al Wagner's (straight) teaching colleagues from the stage, I noticed the guy was wearing a cast on his hand, and I asked him how he had injured himself.

The Guy: I hurt it in a tug-o-war.

Me: Really? Is that what straight guys do in their spare time? They just stand around playing tug-o-war?

The Guy: Yes.

Me: OK. Gay guys play tug-o-war, too. But we don't use a rope.

I can't even tell you how the crowd reacted because at that moment I stepped outside of myself. I distinctly remember hearing my voice say that line and thinking, "Where the hell did THAT come from?"

It was a pretty amazing experience for me. I know better than to think it's something I can just reproduce at will, but it's certainly something to strive for -- that ability to write successful jokes on my feet. I hope and pray I can do it on the 23rd, when I host my first "Gay Bash" at Carolines.

As for that opening set, I delivered it pretty much word-for-word as written. I reproduce it here for my readers for two reasons: 1) It will succinctly explain the competition aspect of the show. 2) I'll never be able to use any of it again, so I may as well get maximum bang for my buck:

Welcome to the Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour. My name is Adam Sank. And if you're looking around the room right now, youre probably wondering, "What the HELL are all these straight people doing here?" Lets hear you clap if you're straight. Some of you who are clapping right now, I don't know who you think you're fooling. But to the gay people here, don't panic  Therapy is still just as homo-licious as ever. We're just doing something a little different tonight. I have invited nine comics from the web site "ComedySoapbox.com" to come perform for us tonight. They are comics& they are also bloggers. They all maintain a blog on the site. And how it's going to work is, we're each of these comics are going to go up and do exactly five minutes each. It's going to be fast and furious, much like the anonymous sex I had last night.

Now, the comedians you're going to see tonight are all at various stages of their careers. Some of them are just starting out. Some of them are pros who perform at clubs and colleges across the country. But they all have one thing in common: They all hate me. Seriously, if I wasn't giving them stage time tonight, they'd each try to throw me down that flight of stairs. It's funny cuz it's true.

But what these comedysoapbox comics don't know is, this isn't just a showcase. It's also a competition! God, I feel like Oprah. I feel like the gay Oprah  well, that's redundant. She and Gayle are just friends. Friends who like to shower together. But anyway, after each of these comics have done their five minutes, we're going to have an audience clap-off. Which is appropriate, because many people in this audience have had the clap. You're going to vote for your favorite comic, and the winner is going to become one of our regular stable of performers here at the Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour. In comedy, we call this passing. It's not like passing as a tranny  that's totally different.

And then, after we vote, we have a special treat tonight, Robin Fox, the mother of all standup comics, is going to close the show with a headline set. So stick around, order some cosmos, they're only $5. We're going to keep this show moving quickly. One last word of warning: There are three black guys who will be coming to the stage tonight. They are not all the same person  I know it's hard for some of you white people sometimes to tell them apart  but pay attention. Also, for you gay men in the crowd, there are three straight women performing on stage tonight. They are also not the same person.

And that last thing you need to know is, I asked each of the comics to write their own introductions tonight. I have not changed a single word. So are you guys ready for your first performer?

And now, the photos:

http://adamsank.com/images/SoapboxGroup.jpg
Soapboxers in a gay bar. Not to be confused with Snakes on a Plane. This picture was taken about
20 minutes before the show began. Note that Greg Manuel (back, center) is drinking the first of several "Psychotic Episodes."

http://adamsank.com/images/JeanneNollHusband.jpg
Meanwhile, pretty Jeanne Noll and her frightened husband remain
at their own table in the corner.

http://adamsank.com/images/SoapboxJudging.jpg
After nine fantabulous sets, the judging begins. From left: Me, Darius Douglass, Hoopachoo,
Shaun Eli, Al Wagner, Greg Manuel, Amy Patrick, Pat Breslin, Jeanne Noll and Rob Driemeyer.

http://adamsank.com/images/SoapboxJudging2.jpg
Tension mounts as the four finalists brace for the results of the applause-o-meter.

http://adamsank.com/images/DriemeyerWins.jpg
Driemeyer is crowned the winner and thanks his adoring fans.

http://adamsank.com/images/RobinFoxSoapboxShoq.jpg
Competition over, Robin Fox takes to the stage (but not without her
cosmo, stage left) and rocks the house with a genius headline set.

http://adamsank.com/images/SoapboxFinalGroupShot.jpg
Soapbox Class of '06, minus Josh Homer and Kelly Shannon, who deserve special credit for
coming out to support their site-mates. This year: Therapy. Next Year: The World!

A couple of other happy things going on for me: I've been asked to appear in another segment of the "Ryan & Caroline Show" on ClearChannel's Pride Radio, just a month after I taped the first one (and just in time to promote Carolines -- woo hoo!).

And I've been asked to host the August episode of "Out at the Center," a monthly half-hour TV show produced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of New York City that airs on Channel 34 in Manhattan and can be seen online when it airs on Thursday, Aug. 24 by clicking here.

Finally, the case of my stockinged stalker resurfaces in a hilarious (faux) letter in the "Ask Mary" column of the Aug-Sept. issue of Out in Jersey magazine:

http://adamsank.com/images/DearMary.jpg
http://adamsank.com/images/DearMary2.jpg

COME SEE ME HOST THE ELECTRO SHOCK THERAPY THIS SUNDAY, AUG. 13 AT 10 PM, WHEN MY SPECIAL GUESTS WILL BE MARLA SCHULTZ, JEFF MAC, ALEXIS REHRMANN AND -- IN A RETURN VISIT FROM ONE OF LAST WEEK'S FINALISTS -- HOOPACHOO!

AND DON'T FORGET TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW FOR ADAM SANK'S GAY BASH, WHICH DEBUTS ON WEDNESDAY, AUG. 23 AT 9:30 PM!

DETAILS ON THESE AND OTHER SHOWS AT MY WEB SITE!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Me on TV! (And Note to Soapboxers)

New Yorkers, set your DVR's! This Thursday, Aug. 3 at midnight (which is actually Friday, Aug. 4, if you want to get pissy about it), I'll be featured on "That's Kentertainment" the delightful and popular weekly cable show hosted by Ken Kleiber that airs on Channels 34 and 107. If you're outside NYC, you can still watch the episode online beginning tomorrow Friday (8/4/06) at broadwayworld.com.

After linking to the site, scroll down and to the right where it says "BroadwayWorld TV." Below that heading, you'll see "BWW TV: That's Kentertainment." (Currently airing is the episode featuring the cast of "The Drowsy Chaperone." Mine comes next.) Click on that. You'll now be at a new screen. Scroll down to the little TV icon and click on "Click Above to Launch Video Player," and voilá! C'est moi! Complicated, I know -- if and when I can provide more direct video link, I will.

A reminder to all Soapboxers performing at Therapy this Sunday, Aug. 6: You must check in with me upstairs at the DJ booth by 9:30 p.m. or risk losing your spot to one of the alternates. Also, please contact me ASAP if you know you can't make it. And finally, please email me via my web site what you'd like me to say (2 or 3 lines) in your intro. Specifics are appreciated (e.g., "In addition to performing comedy, Hoopachoo enjoys fan dancing and origami.")

In other news, weather.com reports that the temperature in Manhattan at this hour is 96 degrees, with a heat index of 107.

A lovely preview of things to come for those of us spending eternity in Hell.


Having a ball, wish you were here.


Tuesday, August 1, 2006

A Deer in the Footlights

I blog today from an undisclosed location, much like Dick Cheney. Because of events happening overseas, my day-job has sent me to work outside our normal office building for the week. I can't tell you where I am, but I've never had a more spectacular view.

This just in: As I type this, CNN reports that Mel Gibson now explicitly admits making anti-Semitic remarks. (Among other things uttered during his drunk-driving arrest, Gibson said, "Fucking Jews: The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.") In a new statement, Gibson is now asking for a one-on-one intervention with "a member of the Jewish community" to process issues related to the incident. Since he doesn't apparently care which Jewish member he speaks to, let me be the first to volunteer for this little intervention. Meet me at the Carnegie Deli at noon on Friday, Mel. As long as you pick up the tab; you know how cheap we Jews are. (ANOTHER UPDATE: ABC just canceled a planned miniseries from Gibson's production company. The backlash begins!)

Spent a nice three days on Fire Island, where I had the pleasure of performing with one Robin Fox at the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove. Here now, a photo-essay:


9:45 a.m. Thursday, in front of my apartment.
Robin picks me up in her Soccer-Mom-Mobile. Here she is saying, "Don't take a fucking picture of me, I look like shit right now!" After a brief pit stop at the corner deli for a stale bagel and some coffee ("None for me, or I'll be peeing the entire way!," insists Robin), we head toward the Queens Midtown Tunnel.


Noon at the Ice Palace and Grove Hotel.
We arrive after just barely making the 11:30 ferry from Sayville. It is quiet and sunny and beautiful, and we immediately go poolside. I soak up sun while furiously writing out a set list while Robin hides in the one patch of shade she can find ("I'm an albino!," etc.)



2 p.m.
"Adam Sank, stop working on your set list and chill out!," bellows the unmistakably gay voice of Brad Loekle from across the pool. Brad has a standing Thursday gig for the summer as the bartender and opening act at the Ice Palace. When I ask to take his photo for my blog, he says, "Only if I can be shirtless in the picture like you always are," and proceeds to remove his shirt and adopt a languid pose in a stunning mockery of yours truly.



2:30 p.m.
I spot a sign hanging on the side of my hotel announcing me as the headliner for the evening (which, technically, I am). This leads to some soul-searching for me. I had originally thought I should open for Robin, because I feared she'd kill and I'd bomb. But it occurs to me that if I ever want to break out of my "I'm-only-comfortable-MC'ing-or-opening-and-I'm-not-ready-to-headline" shell, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and face my fear. Robin and Brad agree. ("I thought you were really being a pussy about the whole thing," Brad confides.) By the way, that's not a Kabbalah bracelet I'm wearing; it's my room key.


8:45 p.m.
Fire Island is overrun with deer. I've never understood how they got there in the first place; it is, after all, an island. Robin reveals that she regards deer as "rats with long legs" and would kill every single one of them if she could. A passing queen remarks, "Guess she didn't cry when Bambi's mother died." By the way: How come the eyes of animals always come out looking like marbles in flash photos?


9:05 p.m.
Robin and I wait (and drink) at the bar. Right now I'm thinking, "This is going to be a disaster. I have no talent. I should quit. I suck. Feh."


9:20 p.m.
Ariel Sinclair, our hostess for the evening, emerges from the dressing room to inform us that she was just almost killed by a falling ceiling fan. Conspiracy theories abound. "Goddammit," says Robin, "another guy who looks better than I do as a woman."


10:15 p.m.
After Ariel and Brad warm up the nearly-full house, Robin takes to the stage and kills with a near-perfect 15. At one point, she makes me laugh so hard I nearly choke. "You like that one, Adam?," she asks.



10:45 p.m.

I finally take the stage, after several drag performances and an audience joke-off contest. I start strong and keep the laughs coming for most of the first half of what turns out to be a 35-minute (!) set. The second half is tougher, but not deadly. But rather than acknowledging that my set is past its peak and signing off, I keep chasing the demon. Finally, drenched in sweat and hearing Ariel insistently stamping her stiletto heel behind the curtain (the Ice Palace version of the red light), I bid the crowd adieu.

Another challenge more or less met. Next stop: Carolines.

COME SEE ME HOST A SPECIAL "SOAPBOX BLOGGER" EDITION OF THE ELECTRO SHOCK THERAPY COMEDY HOUR THIS SUNDAY, AUG. 6 AT 10 PM, WITH MY SPECIAL GUESTS PAT BRESLIN, DARIUS DOUGLASS, AMY PATRICK, SHAUN ELI, HOOPACHOO, AL WAGNER, ROB DRIEMEYER, JEANNE NOLL, GREG MANUEL AND HEADLINED BY ROBIN FOX! DETAILS ON MY WEB SITE.