Last weekend I performed with Jim Breuer at the Parlor Live Comedy Club in Bellevue, WA. I’ve been lucky to get to open for comics I’ve loved and were inspired by, such as Jim Gaffigan, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Paul Reiser and yes, Jim Breuer. Jim’s energy is like a rock band, coming out to get the warm crowd notched-up for some hard riffs and big drums. It was inspiring.
It was also the chance to work in front of full rooms. Sold-out rooms, about 300 people in a space to share energy and laugh themselves damp. Incredible. And to be able to go up in front of a room like that and do really well (I can’t say that I “killed” because I have a certain standard for that and it’s not in an 18-minute set), and have zero nerves about it, and really enjoy the moment shows that I’m still in the right path here. I still have moments of silence on stage, mentally working through a bit or have a planned pause, and I like that. But this was “get in and go go go.” Also, I was asked to work “clean,” which means, to me, nothing beyond “asshole.”
Some comedians hate that. They don’t like the constraints of language. And I’m honestly on the side of free expression and speech. But also, having done a lot of clean sets, and a lot of sets with more than a couple S & F-bombs, I see how vulgarity can be a crutch. Being conscious of what you’re expressing is vital to any form of communication, which is why I try to keep my kids from saying “like” and “guess what” in the middle of sentences. Stay engaged!
Anywho, after knocking it out for about 1,000 people last weekend, I’ll be trying to get the laughs out of 150-ish folks at an Eagles Lodge in a town better known for crystal meth than comedy fame. Seems like the perfect place to record a demo tape for HBO, or maybe Dateline.