Aaaah, the late show. In comedy, it’s either a blessing or a curse and it’s usually 40/60 to the curse. If you’re in a comedy club doing 2 shows a night, the late show on Friday is either very drunk or very underattended. I’ve seen some for comics (Gaffigan, Maron, Benson, Carolla) that are just as packed as others, but usually it’s 30-50 people who are either just out and about, or out and asleep.
No Time 1:
I accepted a good-money gig for a fundraising auction on a Saturday night. Everything was fine except the start time, in comparison to the time we went on-stage. See, if you give people in their 30’s-50’s 3 hours to mingle and drink before they have to sit and do nothing but try and pay attention… after drinking… and eatin’… and spending money… it’s tough stuff on the attention-needers (me).
The group was awesome, don’t get me wrong. They were all very cool people doing a great thing for their community, this time not involving a small-caliber rifle and rodents. So I was happy to be part of it and help out any way I could, which was just to draw a few more in with my comedy skills and local F-list Celebrity status. (F as in “who the Fuck is this guy? He’s Funny, at least.”)
So they have dranks and noshing happening for about 3 hours, and an auction, and the results of the silent auction (Pat & Marty Boudoyn took home the 8-lb chocolate box AGAIN this year, $300), AND the Dessert Dash. AND awarding a scholarship to a local student. AND then it was time for the first comedian, an hour after we were supposed to go on. Why would this suck so hard?
Well, we get paid either way. Regardless, it’s way more fun when the crowd is into the performance. And by then, they were way more into trying to sober up enough to get home before the babysitter went to $20/hr. I understand it. So the 250 people quickly dwindled (walked) to 200 in the first 10min of the show. By the time I went on, I was working with about 80.
And I basically mentioned it as such, really important to fortify the remaining people and give it all ya got to make sure they enjoyed it. It’s a one-off, so I won’t be back next year, but I don’t want to leave anybody thinking they should have left and got more hammered in their garage like they WANTED TO BUT THEIR HUSBAND WOULDN’T LET ‘EM.
So we did the thing and got the money + a little tip which was nice, and a lot of high-fives and hugs on the way out. Not even close to the worst show I ever did. That’s another time.
It’s always a sign of how things went when your closing line is “Thanks so much everybody, I hope you’ve enjoyed watching me fill my contractually obligated time, get home safe!”
The OTHER “No Time” entry is this: I have been doing stand-up comedy for a solid 12 years now. So when I get a text from a booker for a low-$ gig in less that 24 hours with a >100mile round trip, to open for a comic I wouldn’t stick around to watch? Well, I guess I’m beyond being anybody’s booty-call at this point.
Unless Jessica Biel texts me up…