Did a show last night for about 300 people in a large casino North of Seattle. Most everybody seemed to like me. Not everybody’s always gonna like me. Not on-stage, not on the roads, not in the aisle of a grocery store when I’m putting stuff in their unattended carts. I’m okay with that.
After my set last night, the headliner’s on-stage, and I am standing near the entrance and a guy walks out, passes me and the MC, and stops to tell the room manager “At least this guy’s (the headliner) funnier than the other two.” This is a free show, BTW. Zero fiscal commitment from the patrons. It’s all on the entertainers. Gas money. Time spent driving, etc. But apparently this guy wasn’t getting what he wanted until 5 minutes into the headliner’s act, and loved it so much, in fact, that he waited all the way through my 40min set to get up and hit the men’s room.
10 minutes later I am leaving, and the Unhappy Methadoner isn’t back yet. I bump into a group of 20-something gals who are dressed like it’s Vegas night-out, I appreciate the enthusiasm. They were in the show and thought I was “Hilarious” and “Awesome” and I think a “hella” was in there. They want a picture with me, I say “Sure” because it makes them look more attractive since I’m a mess. As we stand there waiting for a stranger to hit the button…. hit the button… just hit the red… it’s the button on the phone, here let me show you…
And here comes The Critic, strolling by our picture. All of the best critics of stand-up comedians with acts based on their microcosmic extrapolation from personal to societal ills can be spotted because they know SO MUCH about comedy and what FUNNY is, that they wear cargo shorts and socks with their tactical boots because fashion takes a backseat to breaking down joke and act structure. Guy knows his stuff. And as he walks by, we finish the picture, and the critic pauses… to say something in passing. Not even a Stop, Say It, Move On. He’s kind of walking by at the same time. And he says “You were okay, this guy’s funnier.“
My response? “Yeah? Fuck off.” That got his attention. He stopped and looked at me the way all shitdogs do, like his feelings were hurt for having had his opinion challenged. You’re free to express yourself. As am I. And that’s how I expressed MYself. He didn’t like what I had to say (contractually obligated) for 40minutes. I didn’t like what he HAD TO SAY (as if it mattered) in a split second.
The laughing reaction of a crowd of strangers tells me I did my job properly. Don’t like my act? Find something else to do IN A CASINO. If you’re at a show and hate me, you probably don’t “get me,” but that’s verrrry rare, and I barely ever intend to totally bore and offend an audience (unless I’m at the dayjob). But if you make a point to voice your negative opinion about my act, or any other comedian’s act after they had 8 applause breaks and 4 jokes with over 10seconds of laughter from 275+ people, the only punchline you’ll understand is…