Stay At Home Comedian reveals the birthing of Stand-Up Staffer beyond Hermosa skies.
Being a native New Yorker I always detested the putz in front of me who ordered a roll with butter at the deli. It was always hard to restrain myself from yelling, “That order, never went out of style, a roll with butter. Then again, that order never had style.” My attitude is either order an egg and cheese at the deli or not, although I still got grief at the deli pre-COVID whenever I’d order an egg and cheese without specifying the inclusion of crispy, crackling, bacon or not, before I became a full time practicing Koshertarian Comedian. Deli guy asks with bemused matter of fact disgust, “That’s it, just an egg and cheese, no bacon? I snap back with, with equal matched pissed, ball busting fervor, “Yeah, egg and cheese only. Is my hangover order not manly enough for your standards, Dominick I Ain’t Fag Scholanti? And why don’t Italian Guidos get credit for being the original metrosexuals of their day? My people the Jews, didn’t keep Tanning Beds R Us in business throughout the eighties and nineties, no did we dare spike our hair, in pink polos in candy necklaces on spring break in Cancun, until Guido nation made it popular first. Eighties Guido Italians ruled the fashion scene back in the day. Even tough guy sounding Italian Jews like Andrew Dice Clay would pronounce in the eighties loud and proud in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden, “Anna Wintour, I fucked her, oh. Who cares if she looks like an albino ET in a wig and Stella McCartney shades? Oh, I can’t take no more.”
The everlasting allure of delis for New Yorkers, isn’t the random, mishmash salad bar, unless you’re a colorless, hipless, Research Analyst for JP Morgan Chase who’s never passed out on the couch without brushing her teeth first. New Yorkers native or adopted, don’t love their bodegas or delis for their normally bland, too chunky, mayo-soaked chicken cutlet on a day-old Kaiser roll either. New Yorkers love their delis and bodegas, New York lingo for 24/7 open degentrified delis in reverse, because of the revered, never taken for granted, egg and cheese order, without having to specify roll ever or sandwich. Unless you want to be a totally tubby bitch and overcompensate for not eating bacon anymore and ask the pretty chesty, Italian Deli owner, in Duchess, County, who matches your flirty gaze every time, to make your dare I say egg and cheese sandwich on a sesame loaded hero, role with 2 slices of American cheese, salt and pepper, no ketchup, but some hot sauce on top and I’m in heaven, inhaling it with ravenous delight in my car 2 seconds later, at one with this ingenious breakfast start me up creation, wanting to shave with it, if I still shaved on a regular basis, feeling it’s presence nearer, as we press cheek to cheek, Irving Berlin lives, holla, thank you very much.
Last night, I spotted a leftover brioche roll and decided to make my daughter an egg and cheese sandwich this morning to earn her respect and appreciation for the holiest of holiest NY Institutions, no not UCB or the People’s Improv Theater, but a bomb egg and cheese, which makes commuting to the city a tad more tolerable and exciting, despite Manhattan being deader these days than Kurt Cobain’s shot at still winning father of the year. Post COVID or not, not every major retail institution in Manhattan was bound to go under sooner or later such as Century 21 by Ground Zero, still can’t call it the Freedom Tower Memorial Square Park, sorry. But it would get fucking super weird fast, if all the delis and bodegas in NY started dropping like flies. New York City running out of delis and bodegas to order an egg and cheeses is like McDonald’s running out of soda or BLM running out of excuses to riot or commit more hate crimes like killing happy spewing Asian sex workers in Atlanta because white supremacy turned our cities into safe space sanctuaries for Thugs Lives Matters most, got it.
Understand, I’ve already gotten my 2 boys into the egg and cheese, yet my daughter has been less an enthralled because my versions have been too “eggy” for her taste. So, this morning, I became determined to win my daughter over with the everlasting allure of the scrumptious, cheesy, mac daddy, egg, and cheese. The Egg and Cheese is so New York, Weird Al would’ve given it a plug in the Eat It Video, if he didn’t grow up in Downy, California, where your only breakfast grub options are breakfast burritos, which don’t tumble onto your plate in an avalanche of disorganized smutz if you’re lucky. And good luck finding a deli or bodega of any kind in LA that makes an egg and cheese past last call at a hard 1 in the Land of Blue Balls Strained Dreams. Sure, I can wait 5 hours to be seated at an airy, sunny, brunch spot, around guys twice as good looking as me who never struggled to fit into a size 34 in their life, only to blow 15 bucks on an egg and cheese with freaking arugula, spicy mayo, more Italian fontina freaking cheese and extra thick cut Berkshire bacon, but I’m not a working actor in SAG or a sitcom staffed TV writer in the WGA either just yet, so that fantasy equipped with a personal trainer to help me slip into a pair of semi tight, grey jeans with a 34 waist for more killer stand up sets at Improv on Melrose isn’t happening tomorrow for me either. And our comedy clubs even open in LA these days? Imagine Dave Chappelle drop by the Comedy Store on Sunset, scan the crowd for a second and blurt out, “I’ve been selling out the Apollo since I was 19, what’s this 50 percent capacity shit? Who do you think I am, Cedric The Entertainer? Holla, thank very much.”
The Egg and Cheese is a NY Institution like 24-hour Greek diners frequented by your little Greek Landlord and pick up street ball games where the brothers call fake news fouls only against less athletic white boys when the game is on the line. In short, I’d fail as a proud New Yorker Dad for letting my daughter give up on the egg and cheese so soon. It would be worse than me letting her tune out Nasty NAS on Illmatic, his 5-star masterpiece according to the Source, the hip hop Rolling Stone, after the album starts a tad snoozier slow than you recall like the start of Spies Like Us, despite those killer rhymes being tougher than Dice, holla, thank you very much.
In the end, I fried up an American cheese omelet in a non-stick pan, always the best, plopped it between a fried-up brioche roll in butter with some semi-generous sprinklings of Frank’s Hot Sauce, the training wheels of hot sauce on top and my work was done. My daughter was sold on rock steady allure of the greasy, bustling, NY Institution classic. Egg and Cheese Merchant institutions in the forms of last standing delis and bodegas in NY City, my city, who come in all colors and sizes, will never die like the Goonies, unless they do some shitty remake with Juno playing the lead for diversity dividing sake.
Remember your dad taking you sledding? Yeah, I don’t either. I do recall the red flying saucer sled, which never achieved anything close to resembling manic speed, compared to my 4-year old’s son new Snow Screamer, which is slicker than Michael Jackson’s moon walk before we learned how he got away with murdering kids age of innocence like a smooth criminal. Also, if Michael Jackson were alive today, how would he defend himself against his Neverland accusers exactly? All the Beatles royalty points in the world, can’t buy me love.
I shared video of my son Samuel Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo, sledding down a huge hill on a local golf course on his new Snow Screamer with my mom who lives Arizona, with the headline, winter loving, having a blast. Sometimes, I can’t help being a passive aggressive c word to my mother, knowing her standard line this time every winter in February is, “How are you handling the cold Scoops?” Growing closer to my 3 Koshertarian comedian children the more laughs and yummy dances I get, yeah, yeah, yeah. Also, doesn’t my mom realize it would be in equal poor taste, if I were to text her this summer, “How are you handling melting to death in the Arizona August sun again mom? Have you fried up a Chorizo egg scramble on your side patio tile yet? Is it hard to block out the smell of burning rubber from your Nike flip flops, mask on or not?”
My mother’s reply to the sledding video of her grandson whizzing down the golf course hill at ridiculous speed, was, “He’s fearless”, and she had no clue about the Peach Linzer Tart Hardcore Hunga Treat Trophy I got him afterwards in honor of his obvious bravery and his hardcore edge knowing he wasn’t wearing any Freezie Freakie Gloves and only wearing a thin a layer of pajama pants on to. I was in a rush to get all 3 of my kids to the golf course for a rapid barrage of sled runs before darkness fell because I still had to buy some canned pineapple later for my planned Koshertarian Chicken Fried Rice Dish soon after, so the pajama pant oversight on my part, only enhanced my 4-year old’s hard-core appeal in the end. Fearless, but my mother hates her grandson’s need for a Floatie in their Arizona Estate Pool, whose gone on record how she refuses to erect another netted pool fence in his honor ever again, for our next annual Arizona visit. That’s right, the pool fence is an eye sore. You’d think the pool fence my parents got temporarily installed to prevent their grandchild from drowning to death resembled the barbed wire fencing on the cover of an Elie Wiesel novel. Still, the slight danger element to sledding or when doing Improv in front of a live audience for your graduation show at UCB, where you ended up playing a gay swamp monster and received howls of approval in return, got me thinking about the importance of never being too married to whatever your initial dinner dish presentation was without leaving room to make last minute adjustments, instead of being held hostage by fear filled, sealed in stone failure forever.
It doesn’t matter what my original vision of my dish was, which was to make a Koshertarian Chicken Fried Rice dish using pineapple, green onions, and cilantro for some diversified springy adornment crunch on top. What matters was keeping myself loose enough on the cooking stage to make a last-minute adjustment, if I were to ever reclaim my kids respect as a star powered Do It All Dad Cook again. Whenever you’ve done stand-up comedy or Improv, you become consumed with self-lacerating fury whenever you don’t get laughs. Do It All Mom’s also wear their dejection on a sleave and become progressively pissed off at their kids, if their dinner dish, made with love or not, is received with nothing but sneering disdain from their kids, especially if there was a grand vision and a significant semblance of preparation and excessive chopping involved. Whenever my kids reluctantly slog through eating another obligatory bite from one of Mama’s quicky thrown together, Instant pot dishes, where the stems on the Cauliflower are thicker than Joe Theisman’s ankle after Lawrence Taylor almost snapped his entire leg off back in the day, mama will always attack her dinner table audience for not appreciating it’s nuanced, eccentric wonderfulness. All of a sudden, insisting our 3 Koshetarian comedian children are a bunch of ungrateful, unsophisticated, twats, unworthy of such exotic rounded goodness. But when my wife does this, she divorces herself from any form of self-correcting awareness along the way, which only sets herself up for increased, repeated failure and further depreciation of her cooking skills brand again and again.
Look, I used to be guilty of blaming the audience when they didn’t laugh at my jokes either but sucking to the core, forced me to dig deeper and work harder at making it impossible for the audience to resist sucking off my new and improved, material next time around. Another valuable lesson I received from taking UCB 101, is to spend more time actively listening to your scene partner, versus force feeding any predetermined shtick, which never gelled, because it didn’t arise naturally from the scene being created in real time, which is supposed to be a conversation rooted in your rapidly developing made up reality, versus a wrong way, cringe inducing monologue U Turn about your rage issues directed toward your mother who called your desire to write a screenplay back then as being,“Too ambitious.” I’ve applied these hard-earned lessons to how I innovate in the kitchen with my 3 kids, which explains why I generate more yummy dances galore than Mama does, because I don’t blame my kids for being stupid hicks for not loving her brown shit looking black bean soup, thereby allowing no room for any last-minute improvisational flourish to help win back her kids interest in giving a shit about what momentous free création mom put together next. In other words, you don’t grow as a comedian or cook if you’re constantly blaming the audience for their sucky reaction to your creations again. More importantly, if you care about killing in the kitchen to, don’t become fixated with sticking with your dreamy, grandiose, sure fire hit creation in your mind, when it doesn’t get the immediate, all consuming, loving reaction you envisioned it would receive. You think God was overjoyed with T.J Miller’s fake news standup special on HBO? No, so he got him fired from Silicon Alley, forcing him to write some funnier jokes or act outs that don’t involve egging himself on stage like a poor man’s Carrot Top, minus the six pack of abs, residency in Vegas and more hilarious hidden gem treasured bits up his sleeve.
Even good old honest Abe once said, “The voice of the people is second only to God”, which means, the audience will always tell you what’s working and what needs work by either their lack of emotiveness or crushing disappointment worn on their face. After one bite of my Koshertarian Chicken Fried Rice with bit of scrambled egg, green onion cilantro and pineapple, my daughter’s face froze up in disgust. All of a sudden, her face was completely motionless, as if she was doing everything in her power to hide her shock of disdain for her Do It All Dad’s latest bust creation but failing miserably to conceal the perplexed, jaw dropping, abject horror eating up her soul alive. Granted, my daughter Singing Rose Kornbluth, expects me to deliver the goods and you only get good at anything, when you possess a passionate, all-consuming desire to keep your hardcore fans happy in addition to a burning, manic urge to constantly outdo whatever you did before with over-the-top fearless relish, like any self-respecting fearless maniac would.
So, I took one final look at my daughter’s face, which screamed, “You’ve got to be kidding me with this shit dada. I had to wait till 7pm on a weekday for this slop? How does it take so long to just plop bits of chicken into some oatmeal with some canned pineapple thrown on top? If this rice were any mushier, you could make it into a Jennifer Garner movie about rebounding from her breakup with JJ Abraham’s on the Hallmark Channel.”
So, thank God, my UCB improv training kicked in to full gear as I took my 1st bite out of my Koshtertarian Chicken Fried Rice bust, thinking, “My daughter isn’t a know it all, teen bitch in the making after all. I better get creative to save what remnant of respect my daughter has for my Do It All Dad cooking prowess immediately. Then, I dart into the kitchen to grab some sweet chili sauce, which I introduced my kids to recently over some frozen egg rolls mama got from Trade Joes’ to give the standard, cheap, starter appetizer some much needed oomphy zing. In the end, the last minute improvised add on addition of much needed sweet chili sauce saved my dish from dying a premature, depressingly dreary death. Plus, my kids regained faith in their Do It All Dad’s improv chops once again, proving I’ll always get by with a little help from my Koshtertarian comedy friends.
So, like Adam Sandler’s character Donny Berger says to his friend Vanilla Ice in the hilarious movie, That’s My Boy, “You better stop, collaborate and listen.” And if your kids are less than enthralled from your latest and greatest creation, there’s a reason. I wouldn’t want it any other way, because Koshertarian Comedians will never rule if they remain nothing more than cry, cry, babies.
Is it me or does Michael Rapaport still sound like he’s auditioning for the role of wigger number 3 in the Jump Around Video? It’s too bad Louie doesn’t have a show anymore for him to play a loudmouth asshole in such convincing fashion.