Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New blog

Well, it's been fun blogspot, but I'm moving on. My new blog will be at Lawsoncomedy.tumblr.com Go there and please subscribe to my new blog.

Friday, January 7, 2011

First Battle Scars of Stand Up

I would post the video of this, but oddly enough my flip broke right before this, so none of this was caught on tape.

Last Tuesday at Bar 4, one of my favorite venues to perform at, I ran into a bit of resistance during my set. Bar 4 is a music mic, and while the musician that was playing before me was onstage, a group of about 10 very loud and obnoxious women entered the bar. It just so happens that they were all lesbians.

It's Park Slope, what are you gonna do.

But this was nothing new to me. It it's a loud crowd, it's my job to keep them in line. When I got onstage though, they had quieted down, and so I felt fine to go straight into my first joke. About halfway through it, they start talking loudly again. So I stop and address them directly. Nothing harsh, I'm being friendly and nice about it. I ask if they haven't seen each other since high school or something, if that's why they're talking so much. And one of them yells out, "No mate, you're right shit, actually." Now at this point I ask if she's joking. She says she's not, and I call her a bitch and tell her to fuck herself. I'd been onstage for a minute. I wanted to rip her apart even more, wish AIDS and a sad lonely death upon her and her family, but I don't. I want to explore her accent, and shit on wherever she comes from (probably Australia), but I don't. I plow through. None of the other lesbians scold her for what she did, and that annoyed me. The audience didn't really take my side against her, despite her being an obvious cunt. But, she leaves, I continue on.

I get some laughs here and there. Then I get to my gay marriage joke, a joke in which I DEFEND gay marriage. The joke starts out though, with me saying, "We can't let the gays get married." And then after that I say things that lets the audience know I was being sarcastic. On this night however, when I said, "We can't let the gays get married", a chorus of boos came from the mostly lesbian crowd. I decided to wait until the boos stopped, sensing that I would win them over once I continued the bit and they would see that I'm defending gay marriage. But before I could continue, one lesbian on the right side of the stage crumpled up a napkin and threw it at my face, hitting me between the eyes. Had there been ketchup on the napkin it would have made me look Indian.

Now, I'd like to say I played that off cool and made it fun for everyone. I'd also like to say that I have a big dick. Neither are true. I didn't play it off well. I need more stage experience I guess. I basically reacted in shock like, "Did you really just throw a napkin at me for that?" She said, "It was a napkin" and shrugged. I replied, "I don't care what it was, I'm ONSTAGE. Do you understand that you're derailing my fucking performance here?"

It was weird, guys. Neither of these events had ever happened to me before, and they both happened during the same set. Now to any comedian that's reading this (why would you be? you should be doing spots), I know that you have worse stories. I've heard a lot of really bad stories. People crying, people throwing a bunch of shit on the stage, people wanting to get into fights...again, I'm inexperienced. I just realized that I have a shitty blog I update rarely and that this probably deserves to be in it.

By the way, a lot of people say that doing stand up is "The hardest job in the world," which definitely isn't true. But if people believe that, how are there still hecklers? People have no respect for a job that's supposed to be hard? When I picture a heckler, I picture a person walking by a burning building, and stepping on the fireman's hose to decrease the flow of water through it.

...Hecklers and douchebags, is what I'm trying to say.

Saturday Stand Up Video

Every Saturday from now on I will feature a new great stand up comedy video on this blog. I want to feature videos from a wide range of comedians, not just the big names. I will try to keep them short, below 5 minutes, unless they're good enough that they deserve to be up anyway. Now you might be asking, "Lawson, are you going to feature your own videos?" No, I don't need that ego trip. if you want to see my videos just go to youtube.com/Lawsoncomedy. Everything will be there.

But for now, enjoy TJ Miller! (guy from "Cloverfield")

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top Comedy DVD's of 2010

I can only pick 9 of these, I'm not as big on DVD's as I am albums. But these are my favorite comedy DVD's of 2010.

9. Lewis Black, Stark Raving Black

While not as strong as Black's previous specials, Black's full performance showcased on the DVD is stronger than the special alone. In this DVD Black talks about his aging, his parents and shares stories of performing after some acts that were impossible to follow. His take on aging is especially good, as he also deconstructs the idiotic things people say around him, such as "60 is the new 40," and as Black says, "60 is not 40. 60 is 60 and 40 is 40, THAT'S WHY THEY'RE DIFFERENT FUCKING NUMBERS!"
Favorite Bit: Black rants about Twitter for about 30 seconds. Concise and brilliant.

8. Dan Cummins, Crazy With a Capital F

Cummins is a great joke writer. He has a very subdued, controlled delivery and pace, but he keeps his special funny all the way through. Not to be missed.
Favorite Bit: Cummins does a bit about how impossible violence is seen in an almost charming light.

7. David Cross, Bigger and Blackerer

Again I would say that this special isn't as strong as Cross previous special/albums. But it is still good. Cross discusses drugs, religion and gets playful at the end with a couple of games he and his friends like to play. There are also some sketches at the beginning of the DVD that are great. My only qualm is that sometimes Cross' personal viewpoints interfere with his comedic flow. But he still fights through it and has some great bits on here.
Favorite Bit: Cross reads a postcard with date safety tips that reads "Remember, alcohol loosens inhibitions, so you may do something you regret...or worse." And then Cross speculates what that may entail.

6. Arj Barker, LYAO

Arj Barker has a great delivery and solid material. He remains very likable through his whole set, and his observational style of comedy is punctuated by his resounding voice. He talks about tolerance for gays, technology, and my favorite, global warming. He also deconstructs water... while talking to water. He even goes deep into a joke and then stops to tell the audience, "Ok, clearly I am not educated enough to finish this joke." It's silly and just a fun DVD to watch.
Favorite Bit: The global warming bit, as I mentioned.

5. Paul F. Tompkins, You Should Have Told Me

Tompkins is one of my favorite comedians out there, and in this DVD he gets a lot more personal, and goes into a more storyteller mode than usual. He shares many life experiences he's had and his anecdotal style is punctuated by his great comedic quips and observations. Many times he will add a "what if" scenario to the true events that happened to him.
Favorite Bit: Tompkins discusses his mother's death and funeral (can you see the hilarity?) but no, seriously Tompkins keeps it heartfelt and funny the whole way through.

4. Kevin hart, Seriously Funny

Kevin hart remains infectiously funny and upbeat through this entire set. Hart is one of the most likable people in comedy, and also knows how to tell a story. Hart isn't a dark soul or a social commentator, but he is very fun to watch and you can't help but have a good time watching this DVD.
Favorite Bit: Hart discusses watching his grandpa fall, and then mocks the way Shaq (who's in the crowd) falls during games. I don't even watch basketball much and it's hilarious to me.

3. Joe Rogan, Talking Monkeys in Space

The ex-host of fear factor and current UFC color commentator puts out another great DVD. Rogan, for the first time starts opening up about his aging ("I got gray ball hair"), and talks about the latest development in his life: becoming a father. The explosive Rogan also discusses drug use and drug commercials at length and it is hilarious. Rogan is one of the more underrated comedians working today, and is much more intelligent than is given credit for. He closes it out with a Q&A session with the audience that Rogan keeps funny all the way through.
Favorite Bit: His Mount Everest bit that he's done on previous albums but is expanded even more here.

2. Bo Burnham, Words Word Words

Bo Burnham mixes original comedic music with a tongue in cheek sensibility. He toys with the English language in numerous ways, and this is in my opinion his best work so far. He not only plays songs, but breaks down the conventions of stand up comedy and soceity as a whole. He even gets serious when he plays a song entitled, "Art is dead," which has a line in it about George Carlin that almost brought a tear to my eye.
One of the must have DVDs of the year.
Favorite Bit/Song: While "Oh Bo" and "Words Words Words" are lyrically unrivaled, "Art is Dead" is the one I can't stop listening to. As a 21 year old comedian I can relate to a lot of what Bo says in it.

1. Bill Burr, Let it Go

No contest. The best comedy DVD of the year goes to Bill Burr. No offense to the other comedians above or ones that didn't make the list, but this was an easy choice to make. In this DVD Burr attacks Mothers, stores that make you "do it yourself" and bankers. If you listen to his podcast you know he can't stand bankers. There's also a cool feature on the DVD where you get taken behind the scenes of one of his podcasts. Burr talks extensively about his girlfriend and his new dog, which he was hesitant to get but now loves. Burr's gift for description and references are at the top class of the business, easily.
Favorite Bit:
Burr closes his set with an excellent bit, about the "Old Man face." An excellent 5 minute piece of how a woman breaks a man down over the course of a lifetime.