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February 19, 2008

"How Not to Date" at Pete's Candy Store

Here is me doing a little reading from How Not to Date.

Ever since we started videotaping these Pete's shows, I have had to buy a new $12 breast-enhancing shirt at Strawberry every Monday.

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February 11, 2008

Monday Evening Stand-Up: our latest video

From the Monday, January 14th show at Pete's, starring Jess Wood, Rena Zager, Lisa Kaplan, Rebecca Ciletti, and Will Franken.

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January 21, 2008

Monday Evening Stand-Up at Pete's

Last Monday's video features Melissa Surach, Brooke Van Poppelin, Tom Myers, Dave O'Gara, and Brad Aldous, as well as me reading my piece, "A Representative Pastiche of the 61 Replies I Received to My Room-Rental Offer on Craigslist."

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January 12, 2008

"Ballin......going home in white strecthes"

I occasionally read a discussion list about comedy in New York. Recently, someone posted this finely-crafted prose about the comedy industry; I found it quite astute:
I havent written in while ... But dont only difference between cats who have been doing comedy for a while and me is because I come out there and say "I am the CEO" On no bull shit... Putting on $20,000 watches I will be damned if some bull shit comedy manager dictate who I am what Ive become. People in here thought I gone mad with all that I shit I spit a few years ago. But Now I am doing what I set out to do. Fuck all "I need a favor" "Can I get 5 minutes on the set" Nah fuck that..... Just doing my thang in NYC and Santa Barbara and still going to school with 18 credits and charging people $40000 for people to be on my shit. Dont erase cause some people need to hear this shit. All of you guys are talented but dont have your hand out waiting for a deal. There is a reason I got the 4 bedroom 3 bath out there in Cali and tall light skin chicks and all the niggas that wanted me banned from this site cant do a shit about it. Stay away from funny n**** and remember you are the CEO of your life. No bringers ..... and stupid ass comedy managers in their 400 sq foot manhattan apartment. Straight ballin
Lest anyone think I reprinted this just to comment on its grammar, I'd like to begin by saying that I agree enthusiastically with the spirit of this commentary. I reiterate: being pathetic is not going to help your comedy career!

Now, I am not certain if the author here means "ballin" in the sense of basketball; in the sense of sexual intercourse, which peripherally involves balls; or in the sense of garnering greater levels of social and economic power, which could be metaphorically referenced by either basketball or intercourse; but I am behind the message regardless. After any of these things, a ride home is required, and why not in a white stretch limo? It is nice to have one's vehicle coordinate with the economic stratum of one's timepiece.

I think that this writer makes significant reference to the laws of supply and demand and the balance of power inherent in the comedy industry. If you always "have your hand out waiting for a deal", or are begging just to get on stage and do a five-minute set for free, you will be perceived as someone who has little to offer and little power to wield.

Having marketable non-comedy skills -- and a $20,000 watch, and tall, light-skinned chicks -- does wonders for conveying to others that one is not desperate, and that the balance of power is more equally distributed. If Cali still desired to perform as a stand-up comic after having attained economic success in an unrelated field, I imagine he would find the power dynamic to be agreeably different. If only there were a way to broadcast more readily that I am the owner of several dozen pairs of brand-name high heels, obtained through entrepreneurial acumen, and meticulously arranged in their display case.

"Fuck all 'I need a favor'"! Why have I never before expressed that thought in such a concise and perspicacious manner? You can rest assured that I will say this to others several times today, throughout the week, and at unspecified points in the near and far future.


December 9, 2007

Dec 3rd comedy show at Pete's Candy Store

I have come to understand that, in our modern media age, that which is not recorded, edited to perfection, and broadcast to as many people as possible didn't really happen. Thus, your grandparents never existed, and "The Hills" is the pinnacle of Western Civilization.

In deference to this brave new world, I have arranged for a small crew of attractive young becamera'd men to follow me around and put shows like this one on the internet, in attractively abridged format, for your viewing pleasure and consequent laughing.

December 3rd at Pete's: Starring Paul Oddo, Raquel D'Apice, John Knefel, RG Daniels, and Cody Hess.

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September 30, 2005


At one point, I had some jokes in my comedy act about moving to New York, including a bit about homeless people, and how it would really help if they were cuter, because that's what matters for endangered animals.

In the process of making that point, I commented "When I first moved to New York, I was really disturbed by all the homeless people everywhere. But then I went through a six-month Empathy Adjustment Period, and now I could give a shit like the rest of you."

I like making people feel bad for laughing.

Piled in my to-do pile is an article I tore out of Big News, that newspaper that homeless people sell on the subway for $1. Persuaded by the "this gives us a job and keeps us from asking for handouts" speech, I bought one, and was absolutely confounded by an article therein.

The article, by Toby Van Buren, is entitled "A Guide to Homelessness." Here is the introduction:
When I was suddenly homeless in Mamaroneck, New York, in April, 1996, I knew that I had to quickly get out of there -- it's no place to be homeless!" New York is where I knew I had to go, the homeless capital of the world, where you can blend in with people & get things you need. Even though I had my last $600 or so on me, I wanted to get where I knew I'd eventually have the basic necessities when my money ran out.
Now, I know conservatives are busy ragging on gays and Muslims right now, but during various periods (for instance, the Reagan years), conservatives have been preoccupied with vilifying the poor. Mr. Van Buren -- who goes on to talk about living on the streets for five years because he "hated the idea of shelters," and instead loitering at McDonald's and Barnes & Noble, and using the internet in public libraries -- is just giving them ammunition. He seems to be saying that the more social services we provide, the more marginally poor (and, apparently, lazy) people we will attract to homelessness!

He had only his "last $600," and his solution was to become homeless? I mean, I know plenty of comedians who get by, non-homelessly, without ever having $600 on them at one time, except perhaps the day before the rent is due. Does it occur to them to live in the park? Park-bench living makes it difficult to keep the corners of one's headshots from crinkling. So, no, those down to their "last $600" crash on a friend's couch, or rent a room in a bad part of town, or move back in with relatives. $600 is not an insubstantial sum of money. I moved to New York with less.

Mr. Van Buren's article contained a passage about the value of spending time in nature, as public parks are free and "very healing." So, someone down to his last $600 (in a town that almost certainly offered more reasonably-priced housing than New York) was so attracted to park space and free food and blankets (with no job-hunting requirements) from charitable organizations that he actually elected to move to the city and become indefinitely homeless.

Good job, New York! You have made homelessness aspirational.

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September 21, 2005

the lady luck of lettuce

I am really having trouble just dealing with the sheer excitement of my life right now.

First of all, I just read this article in the Times about "dewy go-getters" moving to the city and becoming sad, embittered, impoverished urban underdwellers.
E. B. White, in his famous essay "Here Is New York," wrote that no one should come to New York unless he was willing to be lucky. But not everybody gets lucky. You can make a slip, and then another, or somebody else can make a slip, and then ... the city swallows you up, like an ogre in a fairy tale.
Reading this article (which ends with an anecdote about a once-beautiful old lady who has been reduced to foraging in the garbage for discarded heads of lettuce) prompted me to decide on the spot that I am basically just never going to complain again. I have a good life, and one in which a small but eminently likeable group of people are wearing Peeps t-shirts.

Once upon a time I was stuck in Virginia, running a company I had put my whole life into and which eventually tanked catastrophically and sort of broke me. And then I moved to Harlem, which I'm not sure I would've even managed if that nice girl at the coffeeshop in Norfolk hadn't bought my juicer from me at the last minute for $150.

Anyway, today I received a personal email from Neal Pollack! I was very flattered. He asked me to perform in "Bad Sex with Neal Pollack" at the 215 Festival in Philadelphia, to which I thusly agreed. (Any readers in Philly? October 8 - save the date!)

I'm heading out to LA soon to finish up this egg business. Hoping to meet some comedy peeps out there, maybe at least hit an open mic or something. You know, while helping a gay guy make a baby. It's good to multitask.

The next Jenny Vaudeville Show will feature fire eating, sarcastic clowns, satiric teen pop sensation Teen Tawny, and free rubber duckies.

My blogging gig with Fleshbot is still happening. Things are looking auspicious that you'll see posts by "J. Dziura" in a week or so.

I have additionally been contacted by a woman who is doing a documentary on women in comedy. And I got a spot in a comedy club showcase for a college booker. And this evening I met a lovely lady whom I contacted after reading a magazine article she wrote; when I got in at 3am or so, the very nice cab driver offered to wait around until I got in the front door.

I am enjoying all the hot fairy godmother action.

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August 18, 2005

one can only wonder

Hmmn. How interesting....


August 8, 2005

Peep shirts are well-documented

This post shall consist almost entirely of photos.

Here are official photos, by Aeric Meredith-Goujon, of the Shout Out to All My Peeps shirts which are available for sale on this site and at comedy shows:

Here are some Peep shirts featured in a real-life candid action snapshot, from after Saturday's show at the Improv! Courtesy of Brian Van:

I've been invited back to the Improv, so stay tuned for dates. Also, I have a comedy show coming up August 18 (Thursday) at New York Comedy Club at 9pm -- RSVP to

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August 6, 2005


Weirdly, I apparently auditioned for the Aspen Comedy Festival tonight and didn't even know it.

I still have my set list written in pen on my wrist. It says:
Virginia Beach
Also, while blogging this just now, I killed a bug with some of those free address labels sent to me by charity, so it's sort of like I pre-addressed a dead bug to myself.


August 1, 2005

a.k.a. "that guy from the AOL commercial" again

Here is my favorite Baron Vaughn one-liner, at least for the week or so:
"The reason I like juice from concentrate is because they really thought about it."
Check out Baron's new site.


one-liner of the day

If the ice cream man can't get it up, do you call him Mr. Softee?


June 22, 2005

if vertical stripes are slimming, maybe they should try printing horizontal stripes on condoms

In Duane Reade today, I giggled like a schoolgirl upon seeing Lifestyles' new "vibe" condom, which is actually a small, square box containing one condom and one reusable vibrating ring.

The Lifestyles website currently features an animated intro about their new "pleasure" products, most of which look kind of lame -- condoms packaged with "warming massage oil" and the same softcore "pleasure-enhancing" products that have been sold in novelty stores for decades and have yet to revolutionize the sexual lives of Americans.

The site also features an online STD test, which I must say demonstrates a serious failure in thinking things through. All of the questions involve pretty serious signs of STDs (do you have a rash?), as though to imply that people who have no obvious symptoms are home free.

Incidentally, I have a comedy bit on my MySpace page about buying condoms at Duane Reade -- it's in the clip called...
Ribbed for Her Pleasure

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