Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm Back

My heart's like an open book
For the whole world to read
Sometime, nothing keeps me together
At the seams

I'm on my way, I'm on my way
Home sweet home...

--Mötley Crüe

Yes, I'm back to the blog, at least for the moment. But I'm also BACK -- as in back in NYC, back in Hell's Kitchen, back to my own apartment, back to hosting a weekly show. None of this (except perhaps the last part) should come as news to anyone remotely acquainted with me, yet lately, I keep running into people who seem genuinely shocked to see me. 

"Ohmigod, you're back?"

"Uh, yeah."

"For how long?"

"For about a year now."

"Wow! So how long are you here for?"

"For good. I live here."

"Cool! So where are you living?"

"Here. In Hell's Kitchen. In my apartment."

"Awesome! Where in Hell's Kitchen?"

"In my apartment. The same apartment. The one I bought 10 years ago."

"Oh, really? So when do you go back to L.A.?"

"I wasn't in L.A. I was in San Diego. And I'm not going back."

Etc. etc.

It's exhausting. In spite of what my family believes about my oversized ego, I am aware that my whereabouts and activities aren't of primary concern to most people. Nor should they be. But if you know me well enough to know I was ever gone, you should know by now that I'm back. I haven't exactly kept it a secret. I guess it shouldn't surprise me as most times it's other comedians with whom I have the above conversation. (See oversized ego.)

Anyway, here I am, as 2010 draws to a close, right back where I started. In so many ways. It's surreal. And terrifying. And strangely comforting. On the one hand, I feel like I should be at a whole new place in my life. Like I've regressed instead of progressed. But on the other hand, it's taken me so long to get back to where I was before I decided to blow up my entire life -- back to a place where I feel safe and in control and like I actually know how to get stuff done -- that to finally be able to push the reset button feels like an incredible relief.

OK, enough naval-gazing; I can sense your nausea. On to some news:

As mentioned above, I am back to hosting a weekly show. It's called "That Sank Show," and it's happening every Wednesday night a few hundred yards from my apartment at Bar-Tini at 8PM. It sort of fell into my lap rather unexpectedly (and due in large part to the help of a certain individual who shall remain nameless but who knows who he is and to whom I will be eternally grateful). The first show was this past Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve, and it went well. Not perfectly, but well enough for a first show. (Anyone remember my first Therapy show in 2005? Egads.)

Back in the saddle, sweating bullets. Nov. 24, 2010.

I forgot how much work and stress go into hosting and producing a show. The booking, the press releases, the constant writing of new material, selecting music, all of it. But I have to admit I've missed it a lot. It feels great to be holding my own mic again.

Lexi Cullen-Baker opened the premiere show. She was adorable as always.

Paul Case went up next. I would tell you he was very funny -- and he was -- but it will mean a lot more to him if I tell you he looked thin.

The amazing Vanessa Hollingshead headlined.

Then it was time for the debut of my new game show, "Are You Smarter Than a Homo?" Competing were drunk straight guy Donny (who won) and despicable vulgarian Brad Loekle (who lost.) Here were the 9 questions I asked. See how many you can get right. (Answers at the bottom.)
1) Which U.S. President served only 31 days in office?
2) On the Periodic Table, which element is represented by the letter "H?"
3) In the movie "Tootsie," what's the name of Dustin Hoffman's female alter ego?
4) Spell [the German word meaning delight in the misery of others].
5) What is the largest country in South America?
6) Who's the starting quarterback of the NY Jets?
7) Name the first Broadway show for which Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics. (Loekle got this one wrong!)
8) Who wrote "The Sound and the Fury?"
9) Listen to this line from HBO's "Sex and the City" and fill in the blank. This is Carrie talking to Samantha: "You broke up with James because he was too small. This guy's too big. Who are you, ____________________?"

Did you get most of those questions right? If so, come to the next show this Wednesday, Dec. 1 and compete for fabulous prizes! Speaking of the next show, I was thrilled that Time Out NY's Gay section ran this listing for it, complete with a big photo of moi! Sadly, the photo is only in the print edition, but here it is:

 Toothy, ain't I?
(Photo by the thin Paul Case)

Gay City News also ran a listing, God bless 'em, but they went with an ancient head shot of me -- the notorious Pit Shot -- rather than the new pic I sent them. They also decided that Rachel Butera's name should be spelled Racgek Bytera. Which is how I'm going to introduce her from the stage.

While I'm self-promoting -- and when am I not, really? -- here are two newish comedy clips of me you may not have seen yet. They are parts one and two of a set I did at "Stripped Stories" back in July. The show was professionally recorded, so the sound and video quality are pretty amazing. And it was a strong set, if I may say so. But WARNING: I TALK ABOUT ALL KINDS OF DIRTY GAY SEX STUFF! So this video is NSFW, and also NSF parents, friends of parents, minors, miners, former kindergarten teachers and anyone else who reads this blog and doesn't want to picture me with a dick in my mouth. Consider yourselves warned.

Part 1

 Part 2

If you enjoyed this video, please repost it and forward it to your friends and loved ones. It makes a great Christmas gift. Also, if you're not already, please follow me on Twitter, and friend me on Facebook. Or become my fan on Facebook. Or just ignore me altogether.

What else is going on? Oh, yeah -- I'm doing another installment of my show, "Inside the Comic's Studio" at the gorgeous Dixon Place theater space in January. This is the show in which I do on-stage interviews with the comics after their set. It's really fun, and I have some AMAZING people lined up. Just trying to firm up the date right now -- it's either going to be Jan. 27 or Jan. 29. More details to come.

Had a very nice Thanksgiving with the family back in Jersey (plus my dear friend, the camera-shy Jeff Hardy). Took lots of cute pictures, but here's the best one:

All my nieces and nephews. Ain't they cute?

Still working at the day job. Nothing new there.

Still single. Nothing new there.

And I think we're basically caught up!

A deep and profound gratitude to all the wonderful people in my life. More to come.

Homo back.

P.S. Don't forget to attend the second installment of That Sank Show this coming Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 8PM sharp at Bar-Tini! No cover charge, no drink minimum, loads of fun!

Answers to "Are You Smarter Than a Homo" Questions: 
1) William Henry Harrison
2) Hydrogen
3) Dorothy Michaels (I would have also accepted "Emily Kimberly.")
4) Schadenfreude
5) Brazil
6) Mark Sanchez
7) West Side Story
8) William Faulkner
9) Goldi-Cocks!