Eyes of The Comedy Booker
Any wannabe paid set comedian, who created an email address such as email@example.com like Joshua did 15 years ago never outgrew his insatiable need to dominate on stage and finally deliver the elusive, teasing, killer laugh wave set from start to finish for 5 minutes straight. When Joshua told his dad about his new showbiz hued email address, his expected reply was, “I’d create a new email address, that sounds more professional because any employer will think you’re crazy. I don’t even know how we’re related. Killerset@gmail.com, is a good email address if you’re joining a sex cult in Waco, Texas, genius.” But Joshua was way past giving a shit about acting in accordance with so called bounds of normalcy within the eyes of hiring sales managers and HR humpbacks littered throughout corporate America because becoming a professional comedian, who got paid to write funny or perform the funny you wrote on stage, was a giant fuck you to the straight, corporate hack, professional world, versus the world of entertainment, which rewards you for being excellent at getting your funny man freak on for a living.
It brought Joshua tremendous joy and prideful satisfaction to impress major comedy big wigs with his writing such as headliner great Nick Diapalo, who Joshua fondly remembers always laughing the hardest from out of all the Comedy Cellar comics on Tough Crowd, which he used to get stoned and watch with his Ithaca bud JT who had just moved down to Hermosa Beach nearby back in the day. The same JT, who made tasteless Holocaust jokes, who peed himself constantly, but he was a solid drinking, weed smoking buddy, who had a shit together enough to end up graduating from Babson and score a job in SAP finance at Raytheon in nearby Redondo Beach. Joshua tolerated the occasional Holocaust jokes, because some Gentiles are more tasteless degenerates than their fellow Jewish friends, who weren’t blessed with the funny Jew bone either, so they can’t discern what’s really funny versus truly tasteless either. JT and Joshua would love blasting the Motley Crue album, Too Fast For Love, together, after they got their drink on at the Poop Deck in Hermosa Beach after work with some other buds, right off the strand, where everyone would get picture of cheap lager beer for 4 bucks each, and you were allowed 2 pitcher each, so the amassment of pitchers grew quite large if they were 10 deep that night at the Poop Deck. During one of those nights, pounding cheap beer, soaking up the joyous youth of their mid-twenties, no longer freezing their balls off back east, JT tells Joshua, “Your short term memory is embarrassment to your people but you’re a social genius man.” Another of one of their drinking buds, who was a Marine, once told Joshua, “You can be the next Larry David man.” And Joshua wasn’t even that funny back then or even grown the ball sack to try being funny on stage yet. Joshua missed his friend JT. They passed out at a 311 concert together in Long Beach, only 10 minutes in. Last he heard, JT got stone cold sober, after his ex-roommate and friend Jerard died from cancer at 32. The same good guy Jerard, from Indiana, who booked our hotel room at the Marriot by Times Square, insisting, he was always wanted to celebrate New Years Even in Manhattan, the place of Joshua’s birth, despite getting drunk and sluty desperate in the city for New Years being yesterday’s news for Joshua at this stage in his life. It was impossible to not think of dear Gerard, when Joshua finished writing his script for America’s Hard 100 at Viacom Headquarters blocks down from the same Marriot in Times Square, where he saw his jubilant, edge free, rock solid, good guy face ever again. It was Greenwich Village, which held a longer lasting, special clasp on his heart than Times Square ever was, regardless if it being the site of his TV writing break, which was 12 years in the making or not.
Greenwich Village was another universe, within New York City, always more intimate, poetic and romantic than the now Salesforce building tainted skyline in Midtown Manhattan, yuck. Herald Square by Madison Square Garden was still a dump at large, upper east had seen better days, upper west was still for single cat depressed cat ladies, Chelsea was overpriced, bland, and nothing to write home about. Hells Kitchen, now nicknamed Hells Kitty on the outskirts of the Time Square and the Theatre District, possessed a quaint, quiet charm but never exuded a posh, I have to live here no what matter what, or I’ll die a creative failure. The Lower East Side, south of Houston on Mott or Ludlow was cool, but cramped and Ronan Farrow lived there, in one of those luxurious condo high rises so how rock and roll was the former cruising ground of William Burroughs after all. SOHO was gorgeous, the Euro trash in decked out Prada smoking American Spirit cigarettes, lingering outside the Mercer Hotel not so much. But Greenwich Village. The cobble stone street and Tribeca lofts off Battery Park were sweet, but it was impossible not to contemplate the avoidable spectator of large scale death still hovering in the air from ground zero, now replaced with sparkling Freedom Tower, as a heart crushing reminder, of America’s never ending war against terror, when W fucked up everything he touched without fail. The East Village had Jones Street and Saint Marks, where Joshua used to get his bootleg Dead tapes in college, but now all he saw around these parts were fresh of the womb, zero style, nerds, who worked as coders, product managers or UX designers for good will hoodie at Facebook. Greenwich Village by NYU outside of Washington Square Park and the Comedy Cellar and Bitter End, is what gave Joshua sustained stiffage long time, that’s where action was, to chase down open mikes, bringer shows or paid performer gigs anywhere else was nuts. All of Joshua’s comedic heroes of yesteryear got their joke hitting practice at dumps such as Bitter End and within the basement bunker known as the Comedy Cellar. Joshua was still enamored with Joan Rivers, Rodney and the new school cast of big deal clowns like Jim Norton, Chris Rock, the late Greg Geraldo, and Nick lick my white Italian nuts Diapalo, knowing they all earned their pro stripes within these hallowed, better not suck walls. The more fairy book tree lined, gas lit, stoop heavy streets of the West Village along Perry Street where Sarah Jessica Parker wrote her Sex In The City Column on HBO was and always would be magical in Joshua’s eyes, yet he wasn’t a fabulous, gay Investment banker with a personal MMA trainer at his beck and call either.
Joshua had good sets at the Comedy Cellar when he used to work as IT agency recruiter on 39 Broadway, using his office to fax copies of his Always Sunny In Philadelphia spec script, “The Gang Get’s Outsourced.” There was super cute, always perky up top Holly in his office, who he totally could mounted on top of his desk after work with real drill attack fury. They’d got out to lunch together for cheese steaks and her friends on Facebook in their early twenties compared to Joshua being a 31 at time, were even hotter, banging professional baseball players. Joshua was always into Italian gals and they felt the same. Holly even help Joshua develop his signature seeing eye dog bit at work one late night. She says in a friendly, helpful, way, “Why you don’t you try acting out the seeing eye dog on stage instead? Joshua took her advice and did his bit in front of beautiful, spastic laugh spewing Holly, “Do Blind Men get the beer googles? Assuming they do, does the seeing eye dog ever offer a second opinion? We better pass on this one Stevie. You can feel her face, but I can smell her snatch, woof, woof.” Holly finishes laughing and says, “I love you getting down on all fours. You’re going to kill at the Comedy Cellar tonight. I can feel it.” Holly was the best. If Joshua wasn’t a nice Jewish boy living with his girlfriend now wife Anna at the time, they could’ve made a hot to trot couple together. Holly even recommended Joshua write books for a living, without even reading any of his story scripts similar to his Summer wind Summer in Hermosa Beach, what a woman.
It was hard to not think of Holly as Joshua greeted Este, at her comedy club the Laugh Yanker, a new addition the Greenwich Village stand-up comedy scene, only blocks away from the Comedy Cellar, whose comedy booker was Isralie born also. Ester greets Joshua outsider her comedy club, finishing smoking her Camel Wide cigarette, Turkish blend. “Hi Joshua, you’re strutting the city like you’re in a NY groove again”, she says. Joshua says, “Your presence makes my mojo rising Ester.” Ester replies, “So I heard your comedy record, Resist This. You got it kid, very funny stuff. I just don’t know if New York City is ready for you yet. You can be a tad overwhelming. Have you ever considered writing a novel? You can let your imagination run wild and use a narrator voice, so your singular, larger than life personality doesn’t overwhelm all your senses at once the way it does on your comedy record Resist This. The seeing eye dog bit was one of my personal favorites. I see you a dreamy crossbreed of Richard Lewis, Dice and Rodney Dangerfield.” Joshua’s smart phone rings. He says, “You’re too kind Ester, just give me a second.” Joshua picks up his phone and hears, “Hello Joshua, this Pierre, the Creative Director at Porsche SUV. We loved your audition and want you to be our new face and voice for our family friendly Porsche SUV campaign.” Joshua replies, “That’s great news, Pierre, but you’ll have to talk to my agent Matilda, to hammer out all the business details.” Pierre says, “You mean you’re 9-year-old daughter? I already have Joshua, that’s why you’ll have your own comedy gold, Porsche SUV as a signing bonus as an act good faith to secure your services for this campaign. She insisted. Congrats again, or as your people say, Mazel Tov.” Joshua says, to Esther, “Feel my face, I just got my Comedy Gold Porsche SUV. Do my cheeks feel flush with untapped possibility? Still, why do I want to an open mike set at the Comedy Cellar right now and be the most patronizing asshole imaginable?” Ester says, “Sounds like you’re in the mood for a victory lap to me.”