Pride On My Side

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”
Marcus Aurelius

Pride has nothing to hide like Kayne’s MAGA hat, Taylor Swift’s lick it up lollipop stick legs or Joe Rogan’s defense of intellectual joke property theft from Carlos Mencia. The only problem I have with pride, is when my pride morphs into full blown conceited vanity. Because it’s never a good look using your IT recruitment agency office to xerox copies of your It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia spec script, “The Gang Gets Outsourced.” No matter how funny or creatively jacked you proclaim it to be. Still, pride prevents mediocrity. And I never would’ve dared to attempt banging out an Always Sunny spec script between IT recruiter staffing agency jobs again. Without pride in my ability to either match the funny in the show or exceed it in my own unique way. Hellbent on proving to myself, I’m not an entitled, delusional hack but a capable funny man scribe slinger on the rise. Who belonged in the WGA in Rape Wood after all.
Without pride, I don’t take the next step and have my friend Jay in LA share my script with Glen Howerton. Who plays Dennis in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. For some reason Dennis wasn’t being invited to Adam Sandler’s basketball games in Malibu or to Gary Shandling’s hoop gatherings with David Duchovny and Greg Kinnear up in the Hollywood Hills just yet. As a result, Dennis from Always Sunny, only 2 seasons back then, ended up playing pickup basketball games with my friend Jay and his younger brother’s Persian friends in the Sinai Temple gym on Wilshire Blvd instead. Believe it or not Dennis went out of his way to kiss my friend Jay’s ass over letting him play in their little horseshit pick-up basketball game. Outside of Jay playing in the Maccabi Games, the Jewish Olympics. Nobody from the Persian nation had game. Scoring employee discounts from working at Armani Exchange the summer after college, doesn’t count. Dennis took the script from my friend Jay but never came back to play ball at Sinai again. My friends back east thought Dennis jacked the episode idea. I was flattered. He didn’t. But without taking pride in my writing, despite my own mother telling me months later, she didn’t respect my decision to pursue a career in comedy. I never would’ve been in striking distance to go for knockout shot.

Without pride, I never would’ve never taken on the open mike at Bar 4 again in Park Slope 3 months after I died on stage there.  Pride motivated me to dig deep, write more jokes, do more mikes and go after the Bocce ball playing hipster hacks in attendance for my triumphant comeback return. It was a packed room and I killed. Killing on stage is still the best feeling in the world, I know.  I  get why Roseanne was ballsy enough to admit killing on Carson was a happier moment than the birth of her own children. After my killer set I pas  a hippie in a Dead Head shirt I chatted with earlier. His eyes dance in dark as he says. “You’re my hero.” At this moment, I assumed I wasn’t the only Dead Head in attendance. Who thought the Indie music rock which infiltrated Brooklyn around 2004 as a whole sounded like hushed, garbled, folk rock for hobbit massage parlors.
I don’t hit on my wife on Barry Diller’s balcony overlooking Central Park without funny man pride on my side. I was doing ad sales for CitySearch and had no business being on Barry Diller’s balcony in the 1st place. Mr. Burns from the Simpsons is based on Barry Diller’s mogul persona, allegedly. Which isn’t the most flattering portrayal of the man who greenlit the Simpsons, Married With Children and In Living Color as the head programming mogul at Fox. Diller also signed Andrew Dice Clay to a 3-picture movie Deal with Fox but had to buy out his contract after all the protesting from woman’s activist groups over the release of Dice’s big movie premiere, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. Dice just stared as Lady Gaga’s doting, Limo driver dad in a Star is Born. So, he’s no longer such a comic clown monster after all. But by boss at City-Search liked me so he invited me to Barry Diller’s after work party on his balcony 40 stories above Carnegie Hall. At this time, Barry Diller was running IAC, which was a collection of internet companies he purchased such as Citysearch, Expedia and Ask Jeeves which was a poor man’s Google. Despite the rich man’s butler logo branding on it.  When I met my future wife on Barry Diller’s balcony, I was developing my 1st Family Guy spec script. Just to be clear, a spec script, is an unproduced sample episode of your own making, nothing more, nothing less. Spec scripts or TV pilot episodes of your own making are your portfolio samples used in the Biz to help you can an agent and ultimately staffed on a TV show on network or cable TV.

Weeks earlier, before I met Natalia, my future wife, on the balcony of Barry Diller’s Tower of Love on Broadway, I was still dating this older yet petite Pilipino gal. She asks. “What’s going to make you happy?” I reply. “Writing a Family Guy.” Understand, I got a job now doing new business development for Citysearch in Manhattan. Sure, my territory was Philly. They paid for my Amtrak trips, wasn’t complaining. Sure, I was living at home again because I was so broke my Hebrew name was under judicial review. But I could’ve had 5000 grand in the bank and my own studio apartment in the East Village on St. Marks at the time. I still would’ve been miserable because my pride prevented me from mediocrity, from becoming an average nobody. Pride drove me to write a Family Guy spec because it challenged my comedy ego. Similar to when I forced myself to bang out specs for Curb, American Dad, Louie, Eastbound and Down and most recently Silicon Valley.  Pride at this moment in time drove me to will my Family Guy spec into existence despite never even attempting to write a spec for any animated show prior.

 

So, when I met my future wife on Barry Diller’s balcony because she was working an  Executive Assistant for his VP in charge of Mergers and Acquisitions. She told her boss to pass on My Space. I invite my future wife downtown for a drink in Tribeca. Now during our August stroll in downtown Manhattan on Cobblestone streets, I had a Family Guy script in progress to discuss with her. Plus, I was able to emote about how I was finally able to score some laughs at open mikes in Manhattan after bombing for a whole straight year in LA. Without pride in my comedy writing development,  I would’ve had nothing interesting to share with Natalia when we met besides me working on hitting my quota at Citysearch. Without pride, I couldn’t have delivered a B- joke about how Citysearch is the number city guide in Manhattan, primarily used by gay men. To search who in New York City along Christopher Street gives the best facials. My joke writing has evolved since obviously.
Pride has provided me with more life affirming victories than ego deflated injury. Does it suck to get fired in Corporate America? Yes, but you become desensitized the more it happens like being indirectly called a moron for trusting the business instincts of a President working for free. Who revitalized the Wollman Rink in Central Park. Donating its profits to many charities such as the one for  gay men groups during the Aids epidemic in 80’s. When other jealous resistor baby boomers were making a living back then selling jars to Potomka Pickles, no offense Dad.
Roman Emperor philosopher Marcus Aurelius was correct. “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” In my case, the him, whose done more harm than good, isn’t pride but my Vanity Vagina. My Vanity Vagina is my spoiled, oversensitive diva inside. Who makes it impossible to hide her disdain for jobs she hates on her face. Vanity Vagina will play the part she’s paid for. But lose her zest for pretending to give a shit 4 months into the job as usual. Before working on her own side projects to prove how much better she is than her current job lot in life like Laura Dern in Mike White’s show Enlightened on HBO. Despite my Vanity Vagina never holding a position of power prior with direct reports in the form of an even assistant to screen my calls either.
Becoming a father of 3, 2 being unplanned has helped keep Vanity Vagina from becoming a self-destructive c word again for the most part. But the thing is, when you become a father of 3 kids,  you become 3 times more sensitive to insults and shows of disrespect. I’ve applied for a wide range of jobs since baby Samuel was born, even dreaded agency IT recruiter positions again. So I could prove to my wife, I’ve got Vanity Vagina under control this time. Still, no interviews since I fucked up the one promising one, I had going with IBM which I created out of nothing.

 

The job wasn’t very defined, it involved digital marketing. It was my understanding, IBM was looking for some much needed edge to make IBM come across as not your dad’s IBM anymore. My expression for the record. So, I sent not just my recruiter there some unasked for jokes but to every head of HR at IBM through email addresses I acquired from Fox Hunter.com. All these jokes got mad love on Twitter by geeks everywhere. I freaked out IBM big time with this unasked for material.  My thinking was too different, too edgy and way too in their face. Vanity Vagina couldn’t understand what was taking IBM so long to schedule a follow up face to face interview after my 1st phone interview went so well. I must have scored at least 12 laugh out louds during my 1 hour phone interview alone. So, I bombarded the entirety of the HR at IBM with the totality of my humor pushed upon material because Vanity Vagina is an oversensitive, career sabotaging bitch. End of story, oh!

 

Kayne West says “The best form of revenge is success.” So if I can manage to go through life before I’m six feet under without reverting into Vanity Vagina again, I can die a resounding success. Knowing, I conquered my main root of bad karma contamination.
Pride is on my side, not Vanity Vagina. Pride is on my side because it takes pleasure in a job well done. It take pleasure in what rave reviews my 3 kids haven gotten so far due to my involved parenting on the stay at home comedian dad front. Pride is on my side because it takes pleasure in weathering 2 winters and 2 summers back to back with no grandparent babysitting assistance whatsoever. Pride is on my side because it helped me produce 57 podcast episodes in a less than a year. Resulting in 70 hours worth of A minus comedy material. John Lennon wishes he was this productive during his stay at home dad years.  On nights mama works at the hospital. Pride is on my side when my baby boy Samuel tucks himself into our bed at night as we listen to my podcast on my smartphone by my bedside.

The End

By,
Michael Kornbluth

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