Journalists have an awful tendency of asking questions in unanswerable superlatives like "What was your best show ever?" or "What was your worst heckler?" - questions that could only be answered by someone who has only done comedy for a matter of months.
But, if you were to ask me now what was my worst week in comedy, I could definitively tell you that it was the London run that kicked off this 5-week European tour. The cough that I'd left Arizona with developed into an upper-respiratory infection that left me fighting for air just walking on level ground and coughing to the point of vomiting. I spent eight days in bed, sweating through pillows and blankets and living on almost nothing but liquids and the occasional yogurt with berries, going out only to do the shows and then straight home.
Every comedian has dreams where you are on stage and can't remember what to say or saying things that don't seem to make sense and almost every show in London felt exactly like that. Worse than auto-pilot, trying to force words - any words - out of your mouth, almost delusional.
If you know me, you know that me going to a doctor is just slightly more likely than me seeking out a priest but eventually - as breathing became more and more difficult - I had no choice. Doctors disturb me in that they tend to point out things that are wrong with you that you didn't ask about or want to know. You go to the emergency room with a salad fork stuck in your skull and they say "By the way, that mole on your neck could be skin cancer." leaving you with yet another paranoia to ruin your sleep.
But in England you can call doctors to come straight to your hotel 24 hours day, 7 days a week just like whores and for about the same cost as a reasonable whore. And just like a whore, they want to get in and out as quickly as possible. For 139 pounds (about 229.408 USD), I got a doctor at 6am on a Saturday morning. He stuck a stethoscope to my chest and back, agreed it was a lung infection, gave me 3 days of anti-biotics and some worthless inhaler used by asthmatics, refused to kiss me on the lips and left. There was no mention of possible cancers or diabetes or liver malfunction, all the things I'm sure I have but would rather not know.
Calling Dr. BOMBAY!
By Monday, I finally started to feel like I wasn't going to die. I'd lost probably ten pounds which McDonald's is helping me quickly replace here in Scandinavia. It forced me to quit smoking almost entirely (again) and I couldn't tell you another week where I didn't drink more than 4 drinks at the show and was in bed by 10 o'clock every night. It was almost like rehab and fat camp rolled into one.
Picture by Shea Riggio
The UK has always been a place that spins me immediately into violent depression and I always half-jokingly talk about the incredible death-fixations it brings out in me but this time was far beyond that. It was as close as I have ever come to pulling the plug and jumping on the next plane home into permanent exile. My UK audience has always been fantastically loyal and tenacious but maybe we could meet somewhere else next time. Like Amsterdam or Ft. Lauderdale or just stop by the house and I'll be funny over evening cocktails. Because I am sure that island wants me dead and I don't want to die in that ugly motherfucker.
Norway, Finland, Amsterdam and Ireland round out the next three weeks and then I'll be home in time to watch Favre and the Vikings first game against the Packers.
The gig in Denmark was just down the road from the American embassy. Folks from the embassy called the club and asked if they could get discounted tickets - I guess just for being American. I know it's easy to say that George Bush alone made us all look like assholes around the world but as you see, it's far deeper than that.
The first couple days of the tour had photographer Shea Roggio in tow. You can check em out at www.shearoggio.com and click on the editorials link.
If you are a comic and play Atlanta - or if you live in Atlanta and want a completely unique comedy experience - you absolutely have to check out the Relapse Theater.
The space is an old church but not the ugly gothic kind that you'd picture. It is the most drab, ordinary square brick building that you would expect to find housing a low-dollar dentist or a temp-work office.
Inside, it is fucking fantastic. It has more showrooms than I ever cared to venture out to explore. It was so cool that I didn't even want to do the show. I just wanted to hang out. You'll have to let them tell you the history of the place over the last few years since I don't think they want a lot of it posted on the internet. Let's just say it was quite colorful and I wish I'd known about it sooner.
A dude from my message board strolled in with a bullet and a cartoon jug of moonshine that tasted of Apple Jolly Rancher cologne. I have had most every drug known offered to me over this odd career but never a gallon jug of toilet-brew grain alcohol.
It was my mistake to offer it around to the audience. I forget how few drunken animals in my show can ruin everything for the rest of the theater but we only had to remove one or two to get back to where we were.
The rest of the night was an unforgettable blackout. A public apology here to the poor fuck cab-driver who got painfully lost and heard the slurred wrath of a comic thinking he was being taken for a ride.
I nearly missed the show in Asheville, NC. The other comics - Paul Hooper and Carlos Valencia - came to my room to pick me up only for us to find that my hotel door was jammed shut. The manager came down and tried to open it from the outside but it wouldn't budge. The manager then came back and held up a handwritten note to the window that he'd called a locksmith and they were on their way. 8:30 on a Saturday didnt seem like prime time to get a locksmith in a hurry so I called the club to warn them that they may have to hold the show. I don't know if they believed me and I dont know if I would have believed me. "I'm locked inside my hotel room" sounds like some Guns n Roses excuse of an unimaginative junkie.
But thanks to the nice fat man in the overalls and his wife with the mini jaws-of-life contraption, I made the show just in time.
Asheville isn't that bad a place to be held captive. I'll see you again soon.
This guy got a tattoo of me on his leg. You might find that to be creepy. I wonder if anyone has ever gotten a tattoo of me and not told me. That would be really creepy.
I'd like it if someone named their three-armed freak-baby after me. It's one of my only career goals. Boy or girl, doesn't matter so long as it can draw at a carnival.
Thanks in advance.
Here's something you can do if you dont have tattoo money or a human oddity newborn.
Bring some new people into the fold. Pass some video clips around. Burn some of my shit and pass it around. Leave a CD or DVD blasting in a Best Buy and watch people's reaction.
Otherwise this will turn into comedy incest.
I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with having sex with family members - I know that could anger a good portion of my fan base - I'm just using the analogy.
Sure, you could lose some friends but those are the kind of friends that wouldn't lie on the stand or pick you up at the airport anyway. We don't need them.
I highly encourage bootlegging products I have already released. No need to write and apologize.
People tend to confuse that encouragement with filming shows on shitty cell phone cameras and putting new, unworked material on the internet before it's ready to be released. Those people get beer dumped on them by other fans and that can disrupt the show.
You are more than welcome to film me after the show while I lay in a stranger's sick and mumble about not being funny anymore. I probably need the intervention.
It's that time of year that I have to keep my word, dig down into my pocket and spring for an abortion that some underprivileged young woman may not have been able to afford.
Last year of course it went out in the name of Sarah Palin. This year I will donate in the name of Scott P. Roeder of Wichita, Kansas who recently murdered abortion doctor George Tiller at church in Wichita on May 31, 2009.
Scott P. Roeder
Congratulations, Scott! Now you have another death on your fidgetty hands. You are a dick and while I should really put that money towards the NFL Sunday ticket so I can get all the games in hi-def, instead I have to do what's right and spring for some unknown girl to be properly vacuumed in the futile effort to keep this Earth from being overrun with more party-crashers.
Sometimes folks ask me if I'm worried that one of those crazy fuckers would come after me with a rifle. I am not. But, just in case, I'm willing half my estate to the same fund. They kill me, it'll be free abortions for the whole bar.
Working on a full Canada tour and possibly Australia for 2010. If you got a venue, we're all ears.
Feel free to email any other suggestions. New cities are always good. Maybe Pittsburgh and Rochester if I can find a decent venue. Montgomery might fit in as well.
Stay tuned and get on the mailing list.
I mean right now!
That was pretty easy, huh?
Anyway, I love you all, especially the ugly ones. Keep America warm for me, I'll be home soon.