Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Of Mice and (Wo)Men

Under the heading "How NOT to be a good a M.C.," this past weekend I was performing at a comedy room in Manhattan. The host was an African-American comic whom I'll call Sherwin Williams. The headliner was a woman I'll call Marlo Thomas.

You with me so far?

I'm standing in the corner with Marlo, who was going on first because she had to get to another spot. After a rather weak warm-up, Sherwin introduces Marlo thusly:

OK, you ladies in the audience ready? Because we got a female comic coming to the stage! Please welcome Marlo Thomas!

Marlo turns to me and says: "And of course, you men in the crowd aren't going to laugh at all." Then she goes up and delivers a great set.

On the way out she grabs the booker -- who is standing next to me -- and says, "If I ever have that guy on a show I'm hosting, I'm going to introduce him by saying, 'Are you black people in the audience ready? Because we got a black comic coming to the stage!'"

And the thing is, she's absolutely right. Why do so many (straight) male comics think there's something descriptive about pointing out to the crowd that a woman has a vagina? As if all female comics were interchangeable? Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Lisa Lampanelli, Margaret Cho, Mo'Nique, Sarah Silverman -- they're all exactly the same? And only women find them funny? It's bullshit.

Speaking of bullshit, or actually mouse shit, my apartment is full of it. Like Marianne Sierk, I'm dealing with a major mouse problem. Unlike Marianne, I'm not dealing with just one mouse, but an entire colony.

Mice Capades.

They are all over my building -- a building that until this winter had never seen a single mouse. Then a nearby building began construction, and poof! Mouse City.

In my apartment, they come through an opening in the back of the cabinet under my sink. Once inside the cabinet, they rout through my garbage and recycling cans, piss and shit.

Occasionally one gets stuck in the glue traps I leave under there, and I come home from work to find it, caught, wriggling, screaming in that hideous mousy way. Then I get to drop it into a plastic Food Emporium bag, whack it against the oven as hard as I can to break its neck and drop it down the garbage chute.

What's more fun than that at the end of a long work day?!

We have tried everything. An exterminator visits weekly. Poison and traps are positioned across the building. All visible holes are stuffed with steel wool. And still, they come.

On the advice of a coworker, I purchased a can of special expanding foam from the drug store. I used up the entire can, spraying it into the opening at the back of the cabinet. In a few hours, it was as hard as a rock. And for one glorious week, not a single mouse entered my house. (I know this because I no longer smelled mouse piss the moment I walked through the front door, and there were no droppings anywhere.)

Click to enlarge
Not an actual photo of my apartment.
Camera is still broken.

Lo and behold, on the seventh day, I opened the cabinet and discovered some droppings, along with small hunks of hardened foam. THEY HAD PUSHED THROUGH A FOOT OF ROCK! And the next day, an enormous (possibly pregnant) mouse was stuck in the glue trap. Delicious!

It's hard to explain how distressing this is. I feel like my life is falling apart. Please, if anyone has some bona fide advice for ridding one's domicile of rodents, please let me know.

So I got my mother this flowering bonsai tree for mother's day. It looked really pretty online, and I figured better to get her something that would last, unlike cut flowers.

What mother wouldn't love it?

So my mother calls me the day it's delivered.

Mom Sank: Hi, Ad. I wanted to let you know that I absolutely love my rhododendron...

Me: It's not a rhododendron. It's an azalea...

Mom Sank: Oh, well it looks like a
rhododendron. Anyway, the thing is, it came with instructions that said I have to water it every day. And that's a real problem for me. I mean, how am I going to find time to water it every day?!

Me: Yes, because that would cut into your busy schedule of constant disapproval.

Mom Sank: (Silence.) I don't think that's funny.

Next year she's getting a flaming bag of poo.

Finally, my Gay Bash Thursday night was tremendously fun, with great sets by Murray Hill, Karith Foster, Greg Walloch, a newly svelte Robin Fox, Brian Barry and the gorgeous Anne Neczypor. I didn't do too shabby myself.

Curtain call (from left): Murray Hill, Karith Foster, Greg Walloch, Me, Brian Barry, Anne Neczypor, Robin Fox

I know I've said it before, but Comix is the truly the best comedy club in New York. Don't believe me? Check it out yourself at my next Bash on June 21. (Holy shameless plug, Batman!)

Speaking of which, come see me host a special Memorial Day edition of the Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, May 27 at 10:00, when my special guests will be Susan Prekel, Brian Barry and Shawn Hollenbach! Details here!

And come see me host a special Gay Pride edition of Adam Sank's Gay Bash on Thursday, June 21 at 8:00 p.m., starring Julie Goldman and featuring Frank DeCaro! Tickets and information, click here!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Maui Fever, Part Deux

Before I finish my Hawaii saga, two news items that made me smile this week:

NBC renews 'Friday Night Lights'

And thanks to all my friends who emailed me the news...
not to be confused with my imaginary friends, above.

And the other great news:

Rev. Jerry Falwell dies at age 73

Rest in peace, baby.
And by "peace" I mean "Hell."

So back to Hawaii, which now seems so long ago that I'm having trouble remembering details. Let's see...

Oh, one day in Maui, I went bike riding down a volcano. Back when I was 16, I had done a massive 30-day bike trip through New England with American Youth Hostels. We started out in Vermont and finished on Martha's Vineyard, riding about 40 miles a day. And though I had never been athletic in the slightest, I turned out to be one of the strongest riders -- usually serving as "point" for the group.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I found myself dead-last in Maui, white-knuckling it all the way down the mountain. In my defense, it was raining and FREEZING (yes, it gets cold in Hawaii in the higher elevations), and we were riding down the steepest, twistiest cliffs I've ever seen. I seriously thought I was going to die.

This picture is completely staged. You'll note
that I'm standing on the wheel -- which would be
impossible if the bike were moving. The guy who
looks like Paul Williams was our hippie guide.
He said stuff like "groovy" and "right on"
without any irony.
Thanks to Phil and Dave from Florida
for emailing me the pic.

The service on the boat was fairly terrible, and it wasn't unusual for two courses to take more than two hours. One waiter stood head and shoulders above the rest, though -- not because he was a particularly good waiter, but because he was painfully hot.

Meet "Cook."

"Cook" is short for some unpronounceable
Native American name. This photo doesn't
do him justice, probably because he was
extremely uncomfortable when I asked him
to pose for a picture.
Almost as uncomfortable as he was being
mentally undressed by 2,000 gay men as
he served them dinner every night.
We miss you, Cook!

Speaking of bad service, one night, to celebrate our friend John's 50th birthday and our friend Bill's 40th birthday, we ate at Cagney's, the ship's steak house, for which we had to pay a special cover charge. (The rest of the food onboard was free.)

The waiter (not Cook) came out after about 15 minutes with water and a butter dish. Forty-five minutes later, we had neither given him our order nor received bread. It was a looooooong night.

Seven hungry men.

At one point, after about 90 minutes, a large, blonde waitress appeared holding a tray of the various glasses of wines we had ordered.

"Which one's the Pinot Grigio?" I asked.

She pointed to a glass of red.

It was that kind of night.

When we had finally finished, sometime after midnight, the wine expert appeared again. "Who's birthday is it?," she asked. We pointed to John and Bill. "Well," she said, smiling wickedly, "I can sing a happy birthday song."

"Um, sure, go ahead," we stammered.

And then, like the worst Christina Aguilera wannabe at an "American Idol" audition, she began warbling:

Happy birthdayyyyyy.... tooooooooo.... yoooooooo....
Happy birthdayyyyyy.... tooooooooo.... yoooooooo....
Happy birthdayyyyyy.... dear.... what are your names again?

We were speechless.

OK, one last photo before I leave Hawaii forever:

This was us at the 70's Tea Dance.
Peter, center, looks the most authentic.
Bill, far right, has the coolest pants.
John and Michael, left, just look plain ol' slutty.
I actually look more early 80s than 70s.
But I should get some props for wearing a vintage Luke and Laura T-Shirt.

I got back the mainland to discover two rather nice(and eerily similar) press stories featuring me... one in "Gay City News," the other on the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism News Service site.

There was also this description of my Therapy show in HX:

With his new blonde mane, Adam Sank now resembles Vanilla Ice with highlights. But we love him anyway.

I don't see it.

In the next installment: A remedy for mouse infestation, why Wal-Mart sucks, and Adam's mom complains about her Mother's Day gift.

Come see me host Adam Sank's Gay Bash this Thursday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m., starring Murray Hill and featuring Karith Foster (with a special appearance by Soapbox's Robin Fox)! Tickets and information, click here!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Maui Fever

Aloha. I am back from Hawaii and ready to roll. (And by roll, I mean sleep for a couple weeks.) What an amazing place; I'd love to return sometime when I'm not being completely gouged by a cruise ship. More on that later.

But first, if you've ever wondered: "Sure, Adam Sank gets a lot of attention for his blogs. But is he actually funny on stage?" (and really, who hasn't?), now you can decide for yourself.
My highlight reel is finally posted on my MySpace page. It's PG-13 rated, for any of you with young children or delicate sensibilities.

I await your attacks critiques.

So back to Hawaii. I went with five friends -- along with 2,000 other queens -- aboard an Atlantis Cruise trip on Norwegian Cruise Lines -- the appropriately named "Pride of Hawaii." Yes, Atlantis is the same company that hired me to perform for an ill-fated gig in Cancun back in 2005. This is the second vacation I've taken with them since then, and people constantly ask me, "Oh, are they paying you to perform?" To which I usually respond, "No. Actually, they're paying me not to perform."

We did have some wonderful gay comedians aboard the ship, including Alec Mapa and Jim David, whom I bumped into at Honolulu Airport shortly after arriving. That was also when I realized my beloved digital camera was broken. (Some pushy ass had knocked it out of my friend Seth's hands at Therapy the previous Sunday night. Or so Seth says.) Anyway, the only pictures I took were with a crappy Kodak throwaway I bought at the top of a volcano in Kahului, Maui. So you'll forgive the overall quality.

Pat Robertson's Worst Nightmare

Also entertaining us onboard were club diva Deborah Cox (who was AMAZING) and former "Annie" star Andrea McArdle. Andrea still sounds great, and she looks fabulous. But she seems to have acquired some big fake tits over the years.

It's the Hard Knocker Life...

Seeing Little Orphan Annie with big tits is somewhat disconcerting... sort of like seeing Mickey Mouse with a giant bulge in his pants.

Which is hot.

Mickey Mouse
'Take it, Minnie!'

Anyway, as I mentioned, Hawaii is gorgeous. All told we visited four islands: Oahu, The Big Island, Maui and Kauai. My favorite excursion was in Kona on the Big Island, where we rode on a high-speed Navy Seal raft out to a marine sanctuary and went snorkeling. UNBELIEVABLE. Thousands of indescribable fish, some of which don't exist anywhere outside of that cove. Also, one big turtle, with whom I swam until he got freaked out and took off.

Me on the raft, flanked by two unknown Marys.
Our cruise ship is in the background.
I really need to do more crunches.
Also, contrary to how it looks, I am not pleasuring myself.

I'd like to give a quick plug to the tour group that ran this excursion, because they were really awesome. So if you're ever in Kona, check out Captain Zodiac raft and snorkel company. You'll have a ball. (Or two.)

On the down side, all of the excursions cost a fortune. I don't know who was profiting -- Atlantis, Norwegian Cruise Lines, or perhaps a combination of the two -- but I went on four excursions and managed to ring up a bill of more than $500. And that's on top of what I had already paid for the airfare and the cruise itself. Yikes!

What we learned late in the week was that it was far cheaper to plan your own excursion than to fall for the cruise ship scam. For instance the last day, in Oahu, the ship wanted us to pay $100 each for a visit to Pearl Harbor. Instead, the six of us rented a car ($75, including gas) and drove ourselves to the memorial, which was... wait for it... FREE! So that's $12.50 a person. As opposed to $100. Criminal.

Us at Pearl Harbor, as photographed by Google Earth.

The ship also charged us for every soda and bottle of water we drank, despite the fact that our food was allegedly "included."

OK, enough bitching. It was still a wonderful trip. The other memorable excursion was a helicopter ride over Kauai. (Coincidentally, The New York Times Escapes Section ran a piece on Kauai in today's edition.) Shortly before our helicopter took off, the pilot informed us that two tour choppers had crashed recently, killing nearly everyone onboard.

So buckle up, kids!

I'll just say this: If I have to die, it might as well be while I'm flying over the Waimea Canyon in Kauai. I've never seen such natural beauty. And parts of "Fantasy Island" were filmed there, which adds to the kitsch factor.

The view from the chopper.
Paging Mr. Roarke.

Gotta run. Coming up in the next blog: The worst "Happy Birthday" rendition ever, and Adam terrorizes a hot straight waiter.

Come see me host the Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, May 6 at 10:00, when my special guests will be Christy Miller, Dixie Longate and Mike Drucker! Details here!

And come see me host Adam Sank's Gay Bash on Thursday, May 17 at 8:00 p.m., starring Murray Hill and featuring Karith Foster (with a special appearance by Soapbox's Robin Fox)! Tickets and information, click here!