Friday, May 29, 2009

Overheard in Our Apartment Last Night

(As Charles Gibson reports on the Scripps National Spelling Bee on ABC World News:)

Me: Ohh, I love spelling bees!

BW: I'd rather be stung by 200 real bees than go to one of those.

And there you have it.

Homo be.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Doin' the Dirtbag

Haven't posted in a while, and people are starting to ask why. No reason, really -- nothing's wrong. I just haven't felt inspired. (The way it usually works is, I'll be struck by an idea and think, "This would make a good blog to write about." That hasn't happened, so... I haven't.)

I guess I'll backtrack to that show I did two weeks ago in Pacific Beach, since I never gave it a proper recap and some of you inquired as to how it went.

It was really, really, really, really fun. The show, at a clothing store called Dirtbag, has no good reason to be a success. For one thing, it's in a clothing store, and tiny one at that. And for another, most of the regular comics (all straight boys) have been doing stand-up for about three months. Ever watch comedy performed by people with three months under their belt? It's almost always fucking brutal.

And yet... the show is successful. In fact, I would hasten to say it's the best comedy show I've seen or performed in in this entire city. And I'm including the Comedy Store in La Jolla which... well, don't get me started on that place.

So the question is... why? The answer is simple and the same one I always give for why one comedy show works better than another: Because someone has taken the time and effort to produce it. In the case of the Dirtbag, that person is Doc, a squat muscly dude with long hair who looks like he should be driving a Harley (which he probably does). Doc has worked tirelessly on this show, holding auditions for comics, promoting and marketing the show, and creating a performance space that is cozy and unique while at the same time professional.

Before showtime, all the store's merchandise is cleared out, and tiny cocktail tables and chairs are set across the floor. The stage -- and there is one -- is professionally lit. A decent sound system has been installed. And, for the pièce de résistance, a puff of dry ice smoke serves as the red light to let comics know their time is up (something I find endlessly hilarious).

And then there are the comics -- truly some of the sweetest, kindest guys I have ever met. And also hot, which doesn't hurt. They treated me like a rock star (even feeding me Grey Goose vodka), and the best part of my set for me was hearing them laugh backstage. As I mentioned previously, they're mostly newbies, but the amazing thing is, they're really good. Funny, bright, and above all, likable on-stage, which is something you can't learn. And did I mention they're hot?

I'm returning to the Dirtbag this Saturday, May 30 to headline. A complete photo blog will follow.

Homo dirty.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Don't Call it a Comeback

Late update: It went well. I am very pleased.

Tonight I take to the stand-up stage for the first time in two months. I must admit, I have truly missed doing it, more than I thought I would. I have always regarded myself as someone who does comedy because he wants to, not because he has to.

But I can't deny I have felt of late like a part of myself is missing. I find my brain writing material involuntarily, something that used to happen a lot in the years leading up to my comedy debut. I wish my brain would do other things involuntarily, like solve the crisis in the Middle East or come up with ways for making millions of dollars. But this is what I'm stuck with; thinking up things like, "If Lady Gaga opened for the Goo Goo Dolls, they could call it the 'Goo Goo Gaga Tour.'"

Look, people, I didn't say it was good material, I just said it was material.


'Hi. I'm Lady Gaga, and this is my vagina."

I'm actually quite nervous about tonight's gig, which is at a tiny venue in Pacific Beach called "Dirtbag Clothing." (It's a clothing store by day.) Non-comics may assume it's easier to play a small room than a big room. I'm here to tell you the opposite is true; I'd be less nervous performing for 10,000 people than I would for 10 people. If I tell a joke in front of 10,000 people and only 10 per cent of them laugh, that's still 1,000 people laughing. But if only 10 percent of a 10-person crowd laughs, that's one person. Do you know what one person laughing sounds like? It sounds like one hand clapping.

Beyond that, Pacific Beach (or "PB" as it's called by the locals), could just the be the most intimidating place a gay comic could venture. Arguably the nicest of San Diego's beach communities (I don't really count La Jolla, which is like its own pretentious little city), PB seems to be populated entirely by muscle-bound meatheads and the women who fuck them. It can be a rough neighborhood at night. Bar brawls are common, and on weekend nights the streets teem with loud, drunken badasses itching for a fight.

All of which is to say that the PB crowd may not be digging my faggoty little ass.

By the way, lest anyone think I'm exaggerating, I just googled "Pacific Beach" and "fight." Among the 38,800 hits that resulted was the following video. Enjoy:


Fun, right?

One of my rules of comedy is: Acknowledge the elephant in the room. If things get awkward or uncomfortable, don't pretend they're not. So I've written some opening lines about what it's like to be a gay comic performing in PB.

One of these is my observation that while PB may be an unfriendly place for gays, the guys who live in PB look nearly identical to the guys who live in Hillcrest (the gay Mecca where I reside). Everyone in both communities is muscled up and tattooed and attired in fabulous, body-conscious clothing. In fact, I reason, if someone taught the boys in Hillcrest to fight each other instead of blowing each other, we would be Pacific Beach.

I find this hilariously funny. Will they? We shall see.

Homo anxious.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RIP Dom DeLuise


1933-2009

Another one of my childhood faves... gone.
He was brilliant in everything he ever did.

Swiney River (The Update)

For whatever reason -- either the Tamiflu or the fact that this virus has simply run its course very quickly -- I feel markedly better today. My thanks to all the many, many readers who expressed their concern. And by that I mean, Robin, Sam, Walt and Rebecca. To the rest of you, I say: "Really? Nothing? Hmm. OK."

For reasons too graphic to go into here, I've lost about 8 lbs in the last two days, and so am treating myself this morning to my very first San Diego bagel (from a place that has the audacity to call itself Big City Bagels, natch). Not surprisingly, it's terrible.


They ought to call it Small Shitty Bagels & Deli.


A brief update on the whole Melissa Rivers/Apprentice controversy, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross:

Thanks to the exit tirade by Melissa Rivers, NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice continues to cement its reputation as the best bad show in TV history. After being fired by Donald Trump on April 26, Melissa described teammates Annie Duke and Brande Roderick as ''whore pit vipers'' while yelling expletives at stunned producers. Mother Joan also joined in the fun, once again dubbing Duke a Nazi and walking off the show. For her part, Melissa tells EW that the outburst was a result of a ''personal attack'' that we didn't see. ''Something was said about me in the boardroom that was a total fabrication.... It became this huge debacle.'' (She declined to elaborate.) So will Joan be back? Trump says we'll have to tune in to find out. As if we wouldn't.

Oh, I see. The ol' "I was edited to look like a bitch" defense. I'm not buying it.

Also from EW.com:

Celebrity Apprentice Finalist Annie Duke visited Ellen today to discuss last week's epic Rivers rant, in which Joan compared Annie to Hitler, Melissa coined the term ''whore pit vipers,'' and everybody else wondered what the hell was going on. Annie mentioned how she stayed pretty classy throughout the tirade, defended poker players as being ''awesome people'' (hands down my favorite lame comeback ever), and how she, just like the rest of us, is now attempting to work ''whore pit vipers'' into her daily vocabulary.

(Only the first part of the following clip is worth watching; you can switch it off when they start talking about poker strategy.



And here are the classy Rivers ladies themselves, defending their behavior on Ellen:



I don't feel like they justified a thing. But I do like Melissa's new bangs.

So BW has become fascinated of late by a widget on my blog known as Who's Amung Us. It appears to my readers as Number of People Visiting Now (to the right of what you're reading), but if you click on it, you'll see a map of the world which pinpoints where every one of my visitors is located. And it turns out I've had people log on to Sanktastic from New Delhi, India, Quezon City, Philippines, Sudan (no specific locality), Campinas, Brazil, and, most intriguingly, a ship off the coast of Africa (perhaps filled with Somali pirates). I have no doubt many of these hits were accidental one-timers. (Like someone was trying to learn about rivers and they wound up reading about Melissa Rivers).

But it does make me wonder: Who are my most far-flung regular readers? If you're, say, the person reading me from the Northern Mariana Islands, please leave me a comment or email me. I'd love to know who you are and how you found me.

That's all for now. Oh, except to tell you I'm returning to the comedy stage for the first time in two months next Saturday. So if you're in the San Diego area (as opposed to the Northern Mariana Islands), come see me:

Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m.
Dirtbag Comedy Night
1135 Garnet Avenue (Pacific Beach)
Click here for details

Homo recovering.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I, Swine

So I've got the flu. I don't know if it's swine or non-swine, and my doctor says it doesn't really matter, because the treatment is the same either way -- Tamiflu and bed rest.

Either way, it's ain't fun.


Gettin' piggy with it.


Homo ill.