There was a little stretch I attempted stand up comedy. And by a little stretch I mean I signed up to perform at a coffee shop that hosted an open mike comedy night four times and stood on stage with a microphone in my hand three of the times.
I had delusions of grandeur. I thought I could reinvent the boring and rusty wheel. Stand up comedy is so routine and monotonous. A guy goes up on stage and tells a long story that winds up with a punchline that usually has something to do with masturbation or Puerto Ricans.
The first two times I found I panicked on stage and had the same typical clichéd patter you see at any comedy club. The last time I performed I realized the only way to break free is to go on stage as a zany character, so when my name was called (not really my name I think I went by Pablo Chiste on that night) I grabbed the microphone and yelled out, “What up!!!”
Maybe one person screamed, so then to hype them up I yelled, “Have we got any motherfuckers in the house?”
The guy hosting the night warned me, ”There’s no cursing here.”
I ignored him and went further into character, “How about cocksuckers? Have we got any cocksuckers in the house?”
“Hey, I told you, no cursing.”
Now what I should have done, in hindsight, was continued with my act and gotten kicked out of there. I was going to ask the audience if they were a bunch of other expletives and then go into how it’s fun when you’re calling someone one of those dirty words to actually imagine the person doing that filthy act. While the host pushed me out of the coffe shop after I asked if we had any assmunchers in attendance I could have started chanting “Free speech! Free speech! First amendment! First amendment!” I could have been a modern day Lenny Bruce, but instead I chickened out and got out of character and my whole routine went flat and dead because I panicked and did routine comedy. I told some jokes, a couple of which got laughs, so I did that shtick where any time the audience seemed dead I would reference the joke that got laughs again. I left feeling dirty like a crack addict who prostituted themselves for their drug. I was just another comedy whore and so before I could get addicted, I quit cold turkey.