Just for Spite II went off without a hitch in Montreal. No problems, no ugly stories and not even any spite to be honest. Quite the opposite. Sitting around in the Hyatt lobby bar slouching spread-legged with a cocktail on my chest, smiling to the happy chaos of the Just for Laughs after-bar reminded me how much I love comedians. I love their energy, their sensibilities, the simple lack of ego I feel around them.
Yes I said "lack" of ego.
A comedy festival is a far different animal than the back of a middle-America comedy club open mic. First of all, the overwhelming presence of industry of every level lends an almost imperceptible undertone of a common enemy that brings comics together - not in any ugly fashion but in a lighter sense that you might find in a convention of taxi drivers and dispatchers. They certainly co-mingle but find a common bond in shit-talking the other when drinking in a private corner.
Festivals like (the former) Aspen and Montreal differ from Edinburgh in that they end up mostly in one place at the end of the night and it has a feel of a high school reunion where all of your classmates took the same path.
Tom Rhodes, Duncan Trussel, Alonzo Bodden, Ed Byrne, Danny Robinson, Mike Macrae, Frank Chevrier... everywhere you look an old friend with another one over their shoulder. Only now you're only looking to make sure you don't miss a chance to say hello. I shuffled around Louis CK like I was a simple fan who didn't even know him. Bingo shone as bright as she did in the 4th of July parade. It was a great weekend.
Another old friend was all over the festival and her name was drugs. I haven't gotten to do many drugs over the last few years. Tweak seems to be the drug of choice in the town where I live and I never leave the house when I'm home to see if there is anything better. The drugs I like only show up on the road and there's no time to do them and still make your 6 am flight to the next town. So, aside from the occasional bump before a show, Montreal was like old home week for stimulants and hallucinogens as well.
Surely I could have done my own alternative after-party to go along with my alt-fest but I'm sure I'll have other chances to have 7 dudes sharing enough drugs for two in my non-smoking Days Inn room. Don't forget to jam a towel under the door, alt-partiers.
A nice queer flew out from Vancouver for the show and found his way onto whatever rooftop we were on, front-loading narcotics with the Sausage Army. He introduced himself as a pre-op transsexual but he still had a beard and mustache - hardly a surgical procedure. A tranny with my own poor work ethic.
Since it was a roundtable of cock and ecstasy, I suggested that he should take the opportunity to blow a guy. And a guy stepped up. Nobody I knew, just one of local crew who was keen to make an out-of-town lady-boy feel welcome. Just as it was about to become an actual blow job, Johnny Legend squeals like a tourist "Wait! Let me film it!" making everyone recoil, rethink and ruining the whole fun.
For every great clip on Youtube, there are one hundred stories that never happened because of Youtube and you dismal, low-rent Zapruder buzzkills with cheap cell-phone cameras.
Just for Laughs is what it is and if you care like I cared, you know it or you'll figure it out. I had no idea why I bothered doing Just for Spite a second year except for maybe liking the name but I'm glad I went. I even made nice with Bruce Hills - the JFL grandmaster - although I stopped short of blowing him on a rooftop for kicks.
Thanks to the people who came to the shows and performed at the shows, Howard Dover and the rest who may not want to be named for fear of reprisal.
I've been pretty much out of the comedy loop for about the last 5 years and as much as it's paid off going a different road, I miss you guys quite a bit. Fuck a waitress and fire an agent for me and if you're ever coming through Bisbee, I have all the comforts of a comedy condo waiting for you.
The Relapse Theater show on August 8th is BYOB!
The sight of a whole room full of you sots trembling with withdrawals would run me out of the business. Load up at your local discount liquor store and take the money you saved to buy lottery tickets and hash.
There's nothing like offering to buy a girl a drink and then making it out of Ziplock bags in your fanny pack.
Remember - I read all your email even if I never get back to you and I try to get back to as many as I can. We're starting to plan out 2010 while I can barely recall this much of 2009. So please feel free to lend your input to our routing. I'll be doing a few comedy clubs, a lot of rock n roll joints, some theaters, hopefully Canada and Australia as well as Scotland and some other UK spots we missed this year.
I don't do much tv or radio so keep spreading the word or these shows will eventually become as incestuous as prison swingers.
I gave Bernard Aarrongarron a shitload of old footage of all sorts of shit and he's set up a Youtube channel with just the beginnings of it. Have a look and we'll be adding more every week or two as it gets digitized.
Before you cry "hypocrite" for my earlier condemnation of Youtube, understand the difference.
We'll be taping in Wilmington, NC on August 11th for a new CD and then later this year for a DVD. Stay tuned.