Second City Envy
A native New Yorker like Joshua, who only grew up only 30 minutes north of Manhattan in the suburb of Edgemont, NY, should never have been jealous of the Second City in Chicago but he was. The Second City in his eyes, was a tougher city, given birth to Isiah Thomas, a huge theater town staging David Mamet plays up the wazoo, the Improv training ground for Belushi, Farley, John Candy and the Midwest muse for screenwriter director great John Hughes in addition being the breeding ground for electric blues, slide guitar greats who all inspired Jimi Hendrix to jack his guitar like there’s no tomorrow such as Muddy Waters, Albert King and the Buddy, I made a guitar down south growing up as a share cropper’s son out of fucking, busted porch door wife. Also, let’s not forget Joshua was a hardcore Knicks fan, so every winter growing up, he was left with no choice but to look up to MJ and Scottie Pippen in enraged awe as they lit up the Garden like the tree at Rockefeller Center every year, despite New York bred thoughts from Jamaica Queens such as Anthony, deltoids strong Mason, manhandling them in post whenever they took the ball to the hoop strong with all his, I can wrestle 20 NYPD cops to the ground, without breaking a sweat while resisting arrest might.
The late great Bernie Mac hailed from sweet home Chicago, who Joshua admired for his hardcore suck up your ego jobs like driving a Wonder Bread Truck throughout the south side of Chicago when he was an aspirational stand up comic, who hadn’t won the Miller High Lite Amateur Comic competition just yet. In particular, Joshua loved how Bernie Mac didn’t limit his joke slinging to just the mere open mike stage, turning the bus or subway in Chicago into his own performance space the way Dice would launch into his act before movies started playing in Westwood by UCLA, proving the “world is your stage” like Shakespeare said back in the day. Joshua adopted a similar approach since becoming an unplanned stay at home comedian, using his Do It All Dad Year Podcast, as a platform to perform his topical jokes on how Michelle Obama claims it was racist to flee the South Side of Chicago, acting as if the South Side of Chicago, always the city’s most violent part, was only 1 crepe food truck from Gentrification. Joshua would add, “Gentrification, you know liberal talk for less black people. The other day, I’m driving on the Deegan past the new Yankee Stadium and I point to my daughter, “Look Matilda, the new Yankee stadium, the house that gentrification built.” Joshua would also never shy away from sampling jokes at the local post office, where Joshua picked up his mail, aiming his comedic blasts on the Mayor of New York City, Mayor De-Blasio saying, “Did you know Mayor De-Blasio’s wife used to be a hard Park Slope Lesbo yet were supposed to believe Garlic Breath converted her? Also, the Mayor eats pizza with a fork and knife. So, you can really see Big Bird burying his beak into wife’s slippery snatch with such sloppy abandon. It sounds like a plausible theory to digest. Now, thanks to Mayor Putz Face, you can be fined 250 thousand dollars for using dehumanizing language on an illegal alien such as, “No speak English.” Whose translating these insults for Juan exactly? Now, an illegal alien in New York City gets a NY license to vote and a hate speech translator to bankrupt Apu at a Bodega in Flushing. And enough with banning ICE. Because homeland security was so weapons of mass destruction years. Last, on the anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death, has Minnesota congressional rep Baby Face Omar referred to the even has something happened to beehive, horn hiding, Benjamin Lover who exploited the great Palestinian song book for all it was worth. Can I a holla for a big time raising the roof, because I’m just getting started and you can only hope to contain him Challah?
Joshua also took Improv acting courses at Second City when he lived in LA, and got to inhale Harrison Ford’s assistant practically whole at a bar dark lit, bar in Korea town before David Chang got to drop f bombs for a living on the Food Network, coming off as super deep, enlightened cool in the process. Easily, Joshua’s most sexually arousing Karaoke bar performance was at local Karaoke joint down the street in Korea town, was when he performed the song Soul Man by Sam and Dave, getting the random girls in the audience quite sticky steamy in process, to the point where they were gyrating and shaking to his best Wilson Picket Man and a Half “it’s the other half, that knocks woman out. That’s why I’m a man and a half”, impression. Prior Joshua was used to sticking with his developing Baba O’Reiley rendition, including various jump heavy but still barely leaving the ground windmill guitar strumming kicks. But the Who’s most kick ass, recognizable, teenage wasteland homage song, didn’t rouse any of the ladies at the townie valley bar the Barrell, to get their sexual dance freak on, in attempt to win over his attention before either. In retrospect, Joshua realized he had what they call in show business, “stage presence.” But back then, Joshua was just doing Karaoke to get more comfortable performing in front of strangers to make bombing in front of various open mike audiences throughout Studio City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Venice Beach a tad worrisome laced daunting. In short, Joshua was forcing himself to become a less cerebral, worrisome, Jewy, neurotic bitch, really. At the same time, Joshua getting into Karaoke, performing songs, he loved like Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi or Roadhouse Blues by the Doors was a reflection of his inner rock star, in a desperate dash to break on through to other side because like Richard Belzer, known more his poke faced, dry as cotton mouth witticisms, on Law and Order Special Victims Unit, when he said, “All comedians, “Are frustrated rock stars.”
Joshua also attended Lake Forrest College for 2 years on the north shore of Illinois because he just wanted to get out of New York and trying something new, but it really came down to him hooking up with some upper classman during his trip to the college, which made him feel like a bigger baller on the rise. Joshua had an older, platonic friend, Shannon who a place in downtown, Chicago, and enjoy getting his puff on with his other hippie buds there, yet what he really longed for the city life in bars and clubs such as Walter Payton’s, which closed at 1:30, which sucks out loud for any native New Yorker. For all the talk about how progressive LA is, the last call is even earlier at a hard 1. Plus, all the girls in Chicago, look like prettiest faces from Indiana, which is fine, but failed to give Joshua sustained stiffage during his time his Midwest either. The energy of Chicago wasn’t on par with his dear Manhattan, not even close. It was impossible to not feel like an outside when Joshua when to college for 2 years in the Midwest, knowing it was the 1st time it developed a heightened awareness, to Jews being a miniscule minority in this country at large while most preferred to keep it that way. And boy good those Midwest girls drink. He used to party with these girls who would haul a case a Bush light on each shoulder before hitting the bottle of Beam in honor of Kid Rock as the clock truck midnight and Joshua was no lightweight, accustomed to closing down bars at 4 in the morning back in Manhattan with his old school high school crew, never running out of breath as they maintained a steady, rat a tat steam of busting balls throughout. Still, did Joshua love Kayne West? Yes, but did he envy his soulful, cinematic powered, lyricism on par with Notorious Big, not even close. Did Joshua love Harold Ramis films like Ghost Busters and Ground Hog’s Day? Yes, but he’d watch most Woody Allen films before he learned he kept polaroids of Sun Yee in his top sock drawer, because the Time life photo of her wasn’t enough, in a New York Minute. Did Joshua revere bands from who hailed from Chicago like Smashing Pumpkins. Pearl Jam? Yes, but he revered bands such Kiss, from Queens and the boogie Bronx even more. Bernie Mac was great in Joshua’s eyes, but he was no Chris Rock, Eddie, Dice, or Kennan Ivory Wayans for that matter. Overall, Joshua loved his New York heroes more because they exuded superior style, gravitas and larger than life charisma, only the Island of Manhattan engenders the most. The prettiest, sexist, most diverse collection of ladies, populated the streets of SOHO, the West Village and parts of the Lowe East Side in NOHO in his eyes. The only city he ever wanted to live in was Manhattan, not Chicago. Still, Manhattan could feel like a very lonely place at the bottom and Joshua wasn’t a big shot macher just yet. Still, Chicago represented the American heartland, which was important to Joshua, especially knowing that those working artists who strived and thrived in the Second City, compared to their more uppity, elitist New Yorker yenta breaths were tougher than the rest.