The skinny: Danielle and I live in a warehouse (for the next 11 days anyway). James wants to have a birthday party for himself and his friend Jeff (previously mentioned) and have it be a comedy show. We agree it should be the writing circle performing it. To sum up: Birthday Party/Moving Out Party/Writing Circle Showcase/Comedy Show.
Line up: James hosts. Jeff and Paul do 5 minute guest spots. Danielle and Solomon do 15 minute features. I headline for 30.
This is my biggest set yet. Plus it's for friends and friends of friends so the pressure is higher than the shows I've done before. Plus there's a lot of set-up, I have rehearsal that day, no time to prep, tired as fuck... here we go.
James is a great host. He has a lot of presence and charisma on stage, perfect for hosting. His bits land awesome. He has the honor and privilege of being the birthday boy too. He does great.
Jeff does his set. This is his 3rd time performing and he does incredible. I would define his jokes as mainstream, which is not to say they're not good because he has great angles and a terrific delivery. He's someone you could easily see on Comedy Central or Leno (I will probably never be on Leno). He worked his material with us earlier, took some advice, then trumped it with his performance. It was great.
Paul. Fucking. Destroyed. As solid a 5 minutes as I've ever seen. I hate him. He could write his ticket right now if he wanted, he just doesn't go out that much. I'll put him out there if I have to break his arm doing it. Amazing.
Guess what? Solomon killed. You're shocked, I know, so am I. He opened up with the Nword Krunk song. Don't ask, just know that I sing back up. He's got a really powerful 15 minute set. I hate him because he has one of the best call-back line ups I've seen (since Bill Hicks). I'm worried because our space isn't insured.
Danielle did awesome as usual. Everyone loves her and everyone always will. She did awesome crowd work and busted out the "candy" bit which will go down in history. She also had our friend Jody she got to fuck with. She was loved hard... HARD.
It felt really good. For being my longest set I feel like I had everyone most of the way through. I started and ended with my strongest material. I experimented with something new in the middle that lost people for a bit, but I brought 'em back. The set is as follows
[Uh-oh, the setlist and my memory of it are gone. There is videotape somewhere and when I see it I will put it up]
The only time I lost 'em is when I tried a brand new piece I thought of that day. How weird that it didn't work. It was a "found item" piece, where you share something ridiculous you find with the crowd. In my case is was Christian propaganda that fronted as a informational postcard on the Space Needle. The mind boggles. I'm sure there's legs to it but maybe I shouldn't have presented it this night. I accidentally dropped 80's (on accident) and Porno (on purpose). No big deal.
I got a lot of positive feedback after the set. Some of the local comics showed up and said very nice things. A lot of the people I didn't know who were there really liked it. It's to big and weird to calibrate. We had our own show. This is some kind of benchmark we had been working towards and it happened. Jesus where do we go from here? Where's the next benchmark?
Lesson: Whatever we're doing, it's working.
Back-up lesson: If you want to do a show, just do it.
Additive to back-up lesson: Don't put more effort into doing your own shows than being funny. That way madness lies.