Monday, September 24, 2007

Day 42: That's Riffn' 9/23/07

Jesus Christ. 5 sets in 5 days... I don't think I've done that yet. It's been a fun run though.

Tonight was open mic at the Underground. I was going to try this gag set tonight, but not enough of the people I wanted to gag showed up, so I was just going to try to clean up some stuff. As the night went on I sensed a low energy in the crowd and the only thing that was landing was dick jokes. I scrapped the material I was going to use and put together a list of my dick jokes and decided to take advantage of this opportunity.

I have been wanting to practice my riffing. There are some people here that are amazing at it, and in SF I saw one guy who probably doesn't ever have to tell a joke, he can just work off of a crowd. So tonight was as good a night as any.

I started by thanking the crowd for coming and supporting local comedy, then I started riffing on a table that had a couple of new comedians. One guy had Sideshow Bob hair so I thanked him for not coming up and making the rest of us look bad. I said his buddy looked like the professor from Gilligan's Island and his other friend could do a Jack Nicholson impression with out any talking which I segued into Toby. I asked another table if they were here for comedy or friends, they said comedy and I replied "Not quite what you were expecting was it?" Segued into inappropriate humor with which I brought out bidet... then I did my impression of Solomon (who went up right before me) doing bidet, then my impression of Emmet (the host) doing bidet. I feel like mission accomplished. My goal was to resurrect the crowd and they were pretty hype by the time I was done. I can't wait to practice some more.

Lesson: When the crowd is quiet, acknowledge them.

Backup lesson: Riffing, like any other skill, takes practice, so use your opportunities.

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