I loooove karaoke. And I’m thinking of entering a karaoke contest at a seedy local bar within the next two weeks. Am I good? Ever hear of Celine Dion? Mariah Carey? Whitney Houston? Yeah. I have to. Anyhow, can I sing? Yes….I.…can. I have vocal cords and everything. But the tricky thing is………..song choice. Will it be Hungry Like the Wolf? Again? Mmm Bop? Or a really emotive delivery of Careless Whisper, complete with desperate clutching of the air in front of me? And swaying? Lots and lots of swaying? It’s a tricky, tricky, game. You have to balance the crowd-pleasin’ jives and your ability to hit the notes, to tunes you can really, really, get down to. Is it about the voice or the performance? The voice or the performance? My chicken-dancing self says……..performance. And by chicken-dancing, I mean, really freakin’ hot gyrating followed by well-timed arm swings. Not like Elaine Bennis. But more like…Elaine Bennis with a hearing aid. (No, not really, I actually sizzle on the dance floor. *tssss* Hot!!) But the point is, I will enter said contest, and I will need to select my song carefully, in order to please the voting audience filled with lots of picky drunks. So……very much like a comedy club. Which leads me to the perfect segue to tonight’s show. The ousted comics are back, with everything riding on the choice of their material and the way it’s delivered. I have this to say: they have all whittled their comedy into fine little pieces of carved mahogany laughter. Is laughter always comparable to mahogany? When it comes to hardwoods, yes. The point is, they have all honed their material, in an effort to win your vote. Were they successful? You be the judge, in this heavily summarized, kind of straight-man style recap. Straight-man because well, the comedy is already present (sometimes) in the show tonight, it’s basically wall to wall stand-up, and there’s no need for me to be sticking any bitter yard gnome tirades in here. I’m not saying I won’t. Just that there’s no need. And fyi, I didn’t vote. So there will be no bias contained within this recap. Pfffft….yeah.
Tonight we’re at the Alex Theater, where Jay Mohr opens the live show, looking very beefy and jerky. Beef jerky. Ha! That one was just for me. Anyhow, I just mean he’s THICK, and he’s really twitchy. And he tells us things we already know. Should I tell you? No. I will summarize. Five people will perform. They will have a cute, comedy-related phone number scrolling under their act, which you will dial. (This time, it’s 1-866-FUNNY. And the phone lines are closed, btw. Don’t dial it!! If you do, you’ll be put on hold where you could potentially hear me sing Hungry Like the Wolf. Okay, not really, but wouldn’t that be kind of cool? To me? And as that question is posed to myself, I shall answer: yes.)
Anyhow, jerky Jay lets us know that the comics get only four minutes to perform, after which their mics will be cut off, no exceptions. “Life’s tough, wear a cup,” he repeats from last year. People laugh, and he mocks them for being tricked into falling for the joke again. Appropriately ashamed, the audience’s laughter falters and dies. Yada yada you can vote in a myriad of ways, via phone, text message, internet, and via telepathy. (Those last votes typically account for the advancement of idiots, though, so be forewarned.)
Right now, get ready to launch into comedy. Up next, is the big mow through the comics, where I’ll be summarizing, sometimes quoting, and likely leaving out your favorite bits. Maybe because they’re not mine. Maybe because I’m tired. I could transcript the whole thing. Heck, I could even act it out in a little attached video box in the corner of your screen. Maybe I’ll even do the chicken dance for you. Okay, no. So you’re getting a summary.
Jay launches into his little bit of pre-comedy comedy, where he talks about second chances, and moves into how everyone wishes they could have do-overs in life. He gives the example of his wife coming home with a new haircut, and him saying, “wow, look how big your head is!” According to him, men would need do-overs the most, but it's confined to kidlets, as you stop getting them when you hit driving age. The only adult of driving age that has received the lucky bonus of do-overs is Billy Joel, and he impersonates, “Oh wait, I drove into your house again? It just jumped out in front of me! I meant to take a left at the kitchen." Annnd he's done!!
Competing tonight: Bonnie McFarland, Todd Glass, Corey Holcomb, Ant, and Jay London. Not performing in that order. It’s just the way I wrote ‘em down.
Army Green Christmas Trees and the Lure of a non-Sexual Threesome
The first comic on stage is Corey, and he gets an American Idol-type lead-in, complete with a special little film clip. He says being the last one voted out hurt like a mo fo, and he didn’t say mo fo, but it’s better than saying, “he hurt like a sad, little clown”. Which may have been true, but I’m not using it. He says he worked hard, he expected to win, and was shocked when he didn’t make it through. The Wild Card has motivated him to come up with new material and tonight…he’s gonna KILL (in a non-injurious way)!!
Corey's stage act: Holy cow I have no idea how to summarize this stuff. So, my best shot starts…right now!! He says he likes to talk about real stuff like relationships, and launches right into a bit about the irresistible crunch of freaky people. Even if they’re low-quality, man you want to keep them around. He talks about one of his girls who nags and complains, and says, “but she’s into sports, and she can kiss her own breasts, and that’s a quality I can’t let go.” He talks about how if he had a rich woman, he would be the best boyfriend…EVER (without using this inflection). He says she can even have another boyfriend who lives in the house with them, who can bring all the sensitive stuff she needs. Corey can make love to her, and the other guy can waltz in afterwards and talk to her. Later, they'll shoot hoops together. I swear that I’ve heard this bit from someone before, but the audience laughs merrily. He talks about the necessity of updating marriage vows, and then launches into an updated version sprinkled with: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to unite this fool’s bank account, into this woman’s possession, if anyone objects, speak now or forever say it behind his back.” He continues on with scorned women, low-self-esteem and future enemy-hood. He suggests he’s cynical because he grew up so poor. On Thanksgiving they had turkey flavored toast, and on Christmas, they covered a coat rack with a green blanket and “shopped” through the house. Things would come up missing, and you’d open your gift on Christmas day and say, “My shirt! Who got me this? Now unwrap the TV before the game comes on!” He finishes with yet another sleezy plea to the laydays in the audience to let him know if they’re interested. He doesn’t care how you look, because he’s got drink money.
I am going to usurp spegs number system without the cleverness, and give him a 3. Out of 5. For okayness. The last bit about the Christmas gifts gets a big 10 for me. For offensiveness, he gets less shun-points than I would have given him last week, and for dressyness, I say he gets a nice, round, 5. He looks clean, his beret is not askew, and he looks shaven.
Being a Feminist Means you Buy your Own Jagermeister
Bonnie is up next, and I deflate, like a little wilty balloon. Only without the high pitched "eee" sound. Not in particular because of Bonnie, but because as the show trudges on, it’s apparent why these people are not in the top five. Essentially, what we’re doing tonight, is voting the person through who will come in sixth. It's a little like being picked last in a game of Red Rover. You know you're getting called over to be successfully smashed by the abnormally stocky kid who smells like pizza sauce and paste. You're a patsy. Bonnie's clip details her shock at losing to John at the challenge. No...really? Shock? She thought she could kick his ass. But 94 percent of the audience said, "umm...NO," and made her feel unloved. Finding out about the Wild Card was zesty, until she thought about it being another chance to lose.
On Stage: She starts out with a bit shout out to her fans, “where are my six percent at?" She’s admittedly jaded about love, and says whenever she sees an elderly couple being really affectionate with one another, she thinks, “they just met, sneaky bastards.” She then says old people have super powers, because just when she thinks they’re never going to get anywhere at their slow pace, wherever you go, there they are. She then talks about people watching, and her game of, “lesbian or Midwestern,” and immediately eliminates 90 million votes from her tally. She says she doesn’t know how to walk in high heels, and that if a pervert accosted her, she’d give up immediately simply because she couldn’t run away. She talks about having moved recently, from a place where she didn’t know her neighbors, and mourns, “when am I gonna find THAT again?” She talks about being poor with the small talky talk, and when a neighbor asks, “hot enough for you?” she answers with, “my mom hates me.” More bits about how everyone dislikes her, and then equates meditation with napping. And she’s brushing up on her language skills by taking Spanish from 7 to 9, at least until the construction is finished on the house next door. Bonnie has honed her material, and it shows, but it’s still not enough to bring home the funny to the non-chortling audience. She continues with hating to cry at work, because it’s such a girl cliché, crying because you’re drunk. She’d be a feminist, but she can’t seem to pay for her own dinner and drinks. She finishes with bits about selling her half guzzled drinks to ugly girls, and jogging naked at night to make the perverts think she’s already being chased. And we are done!! Yes!!! Two down!! Three to go! *I take a swig of Gatorade.*
Spegs points: her hair is shiny. Like..so shiny I want to know her ancient Chinese secret. Is it egg whites? The lights in the theater? A magical concoction of mustard, teriyaki sauce, and wasabi? She gets 5 full points for improving, or trying to. The audience appears to give her a .1.
The Mesmerizing Lure of a Pillow of Hair
Jay London is up next, and looking very, very, fluffy. Like, his hair is so poofy I want to pat him. Pat him like a cuddly little snuggles bear. I do not, since I am not there. But I only barely listen to his clip while I sit, mesmerized by his bobbing caveman beauty. He says that getting eliminated was an earth shattering experience. To me, nothing will match the demise of the gnome, but I GUESS that’s close. For Jay it was heartbreaking to be acknowledged and then ousted. The Wild Card show gave him a new life, and sent him back to the drawing board. Having the entire nation vote for him, a nerdish schlameel, would be the highest honor. In the distance, I hear Laverne and Shirley, "we're gonna make it after alllllllllllllllllllll....da da da DAH!" Wait, that's Mary Tyler Moore. But it still applies. I would looove to see Jay twirl, and toss a little beret in the air.
On stage: He walks out, people cheer immediately, and he comments that he doesn't have to say anything. Then off he goes with his three thousand one liners. I will include SOME. Are you ready? *takes deep breath* Here…we….go!! He plays scrabble with alphabet soup, the other day he had a vowel movement. The doc told him he had acute appendicitis, he wants to know how the doc knew. Do you think the Motel 6 in Amish country leaves the light on? What does he think about euthanasia? He’s only concerned with the adults. He went in for an Aids test, the doc told him to think positive. If he gets into the movies, he’ll do the sequel first. He bought an Olympic sized pool, he’ll take a swim every four years. He’s thinking of joining a support group: welfare. And lastly: “Flowers, $25, reluctant. Wining and dining, $150, catastrophic. Trying to get to first base, unattainable. For everything else, there’s masturbate." Annnd he’s done! The audience goes wild, and we all feel warm and cuddly inside.
The points: he gets an extra 2000 for spotting “the” ‘do of the night. He looks like a pillow. A happy, caveman pillow. *happy sigh* The comedy was okay, and I give him an extra 3.2 million points for the number of years ago that his look was “the rage” around the mastadon din din.
Through Gnome-Colored Glasses
Ant is starting to look cuddly to me. And he’s up next. Now before you all chase me with torches, I think you should know that I’m suffering from gnome separation, and he looks small on the screen….and…and…well I can’t help myself. I don’t know if it’s the jagermeister, or the fact that one of my neighbors has a dirty wheelbarrow in his front yard, but I can’t help but feel a slight affinity for Ant’s small, pocket-sized stature tonight. It doesn’t last long, but part of the edge of yuck is removed. But only tonight. For the gnome. It’s all for the gnome. In his video clip, he tells us that after being ousted from the house, he had a really good night’s sleep. We have no idea how hard it is to keep the many plates of deception spinning. He wished he hadn’t gone into his challenge so stressed and wished he'd had more fun. He’s jazzed about the Wild Card, though, and says he’d be flattered to be sent through in the Wild Card round.
On stage: he says his name is Ant, like the bug, and I pretend he reads my recaps and usurped that name, because it’s just not POSSIBLE for anyone else to make the huge, genius-leap from Ant to Bug. But I digress. I will mow through and summarize, just like the rest. Annnd…ready!! He wonders if we all noticed that the night he was voted off, it was sponsored by Terrminex? No I did not know that, or I would have been all over it in my recap!! Dangit!! He says he lost 31 pounds. The secret? Atkins and crystal meth. He talks about a 20 question test you can take to see if you’re an alcoholic, but he thinks they’re trick questions and answers three or four. “Has alcohol affected your ability to sleep? No, it was the cocaine that did that. Has alcohol stopped your sexual relations? Stopped them, it was responsible for ALL of them.” He then talks about the foolishness of parental units warning you about getting a mickey slipped in your drink and being romanced unwillingly. Ant doesn’t believe this to be true, as he’s left his drink out everywhere and nobody’s screwed him. He does jokes about his Greek mother being from the Isle of Lesbos but not calling herself a lesbian, and how his brother hates gays because according to him, gays hate sports. Ant uses the been-done-before joke to insist that gay men invented sports, and gives the boxing example, i.e. where else will two men dress up in silk shorts and fight over a purse and a belt? He finishes with his brother comparing women to sandwiches, and he says, “a sandwich is just a sandwich, but a manwich is a meal.”
The cool points out the window: Okay, I’ll be the first to say Ant improved just by the mere fact that he didn’t do his normal humor. But the problem is…he did other people’s. The jokes about sobriety, the boxing jokes…allllll been done before. But I still give him 10,000 for bringing back memories of Gnomy, my favorite garden friend. *sniff*
Brains, Trains, and Mean Whores
Todd Glass is the final little man for the evening. Is he little? I see all things in the gnome way, so I say yes. He talks about how weird it was losing to Tammy, and that he almost thought he’d been punk’d, *flash footage of him half-clapping for Tammy*. But he knows he lost fair and square. He’s totally tickled pink about a second chance, without saying it that way, and says that most people are embarrassed to admit they want something because then if you don’t get it, you look stupid. But stupid-up, he’s ready to get out there and win.
Todd zips out onto stage in a waltz and tells them to call in their votes now. He thanks everyone, and says goodnight. He launches into a bit about tardiness, and says no one is ever honest when they’re late. “Yeah, I’m late because I had all day to get ready and then left late.” He then talks about the way cartoon way men get ready for a fight, via pulling up their pants. He mimes pulling them up and says, “what if you pulled your pants down? Let’s go a*shole!” and he pulls his pants down fictitiously again. He does his familiar bit about how the later you’re up, the more the commercials act like you have a problem. He says that if you get pulled over by the cops, you should just stick your head out the window, roar, and say, “I’m the Cookie Monster!!” The cop can’t arrest you, what’s he gonna say to the judge? He’ll have to reenact the Cookie Monster bit and will look like an ass. He just went to his five year high school reunion (and jokes to producers by saying, “please, I play younger on TV”.) He respects teachers and all, but he looks back and realizes that they were NOT all great. Case in point, a teacher who said to him: “Mr. Glass when they were handing out brains, you thought they said trains and you said "I dont' want to go anywhere"” So he answers back, “when they were handing out personalities, you thought they said, “who wants to be a mean whore?” He says it doesn't rhyme, but it gets the point across. The audience is merry. He finishes with bits about being child-free, and how all of his childless friends think being patient with kids is a cake walk. He talks about how these same people would end up reduced to screams in a mall and impersonates: “you want a large? You cant’ have a large! Now you’re not getting anything!”
Scoring: He looks clean, he’s agile, and I can picture him doing yoga. His body just screams “Bendy!” Even with the Flintstone look. He gets a bunch of points for looking really relaxed on stage, and even more points for making me laugh one or two times. I give him…a 214!! For no reason!! I just looked at a post-it pad to my left, and that number was on it. All for Todd Glass.
*insert clever title segment HERE*
Annnd that concludes your exciting adventure into the land of second chances. The show finishes with more yammer about how to vote, which I won’t share again, and I’m actually slightly impressed that the viewers only get three God-like votes per medium. Jay pours out a few tired jokes, and we end up watching the comics file on stage pointlessly. They assemble during the credits, to uncomfortably pat one another and show false glee and friendship with their opponents. Bonnie and Todd semi-wrestle, and Ant is ignored but pretends to be busy with his hands. Jay gives him a semi-hug, and Todd tries to hug a departing Kathleen. Tammy gives a congratulatory arm grab to a very non-reacting Bonnie. And there you have it. The rest…is up to..YOU!!! Seize your power!! (Well not NOW, it’s too late!)
Up next: Results!! Results, results, results!! And a lot of filler. Which makes me glad. Because there is a chance...that I will indeed...see my gnome again.
Viva la gnome!! firstname.lastname@example.org