DC Comedy Is Not New York Comedy

For my day job, I’m going to be in Washington DC every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night for the forseeable future. Before accepting this role, I checked to see that DC had some sort of comedy club show or random open mics going on during the weekdays. I was pleasantly surprised to find a whole website listing the on goings of the comedy scene in DC and Baltimore that seemed to be regularly updated.

I found a Monday mic online, emailed the contact person, got confirmation that it was still going on every Monday and so I went to it. I got there 10 minutes before show time (which was 20 minutes later than the email advised) and 4 other comics were waiting outside. The place was closed. Welcome to DC.

 And of course, this is the only mic in DC on a Monday night…

In other news, I know I owe everyone a week’s worth of performance critiques. I didn’t go on vacation, I was just too busy performing to upload and critique my videos. Maybe missing this mic will let me do that right now.

The Alabama Road Trip

I’m a huge Rutgers Football fan, so my buddy Chris and I road-tripped down to “lovely” Birmingham, Alabama for the bowl game. Here are the highlights:

Bowl game

  • At the Pep Rally, they had a Papa John’s representative speak. This led to the single greatest non-sports heckle of the 21st century. As the rep gets up, Chris: “Boooooo! Papa Johns, Booooooo! (pause) You suck! Boooooo! (pause) Support your local pizza places!”
  • Accidentally walking into a packed gay bar on a Sunday night, and finding out there were actually 5 gay bars in Birmingham.
  • Having one of the nice gentleman in that bar refer to the civil war as “the war of northern aggression” in full seriousness.
  • That same gentleman admitting he voted for McCain/Palin although he’s gay – that’s like a slave voting Robert E. Lee for president – if they had been allowed to vote.
  • Next time you’re bored, here’s a fun game: Try to see how many different (hotel) objects you can use to open a bottle of beer. The iron was our favorite, although the TV remote came in a close second.
  • Three strippers were supposed to show up to the Rutgers Pre-Game Bar to dance on tables. Shockingly, strippers are not the most reliable of people and only one showed up. So the nice local girl working the front door got up on the bar and started dancing with the stripper. 
  • I specifically checked that the local strip club was open til 3am on a Sunday before 9 of us, including 2 girls, caught cabs there at 12:30am. As we pulled up, everyone was leaving and the place was closing. That is the single worst business decision of 2008. Worse than all that mortgage lending.
  • Chris drove 2200 miles in 70 hours. Both trips started at 7PM and ended the next morning. The 16 hour return drive back was referred to as “The Trail of Tears” or the “Nunna daul Isunyi” in Cherokee.  

Suffice it to say I’m glad to be back in NYC. Have a Happy New Year!

Why I Won’t Be a Professional Snowboarder

I’m pretty good at snowboarding. In fact, at this current moment, I’m much better at snowboarding than I am at stand up comedy. Last year, when I was frustrated with my day job, I thought about becoming a snowboarding instructor. I even looked into the certification process.

Ben getting some air

The snowboarding instructor idea is now dead. For my Christmas vacation, I spent 6 days snowboarding. The last 3 days of the trip, I didn’t want to get out of bed or get on the slopes. Especially the last day, when I got upset that the weather got better and we were going to go to the lifts. I learned that my maximum tolerance of snowboarding is 3 days.

Which brings us to Big Ben’s Big Law #62: Don’t consider turning a hobby into a career if you can’t do it for 10 straight days.

I’ve done comedy for 10 straight days and not been tired of it (tired of the lack of response at the open mics, yes, but not tired of comedy) so there’s hope…

Have additional questions on this or other topics? Click here to learn about my mentoring services.

Other Comedy Tips:

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Philly Knows How To Riot

So I was in Philly last night when they won the World Series. And based on my 4 hours of riot observation, Philly knows how to party! Some high lights:

  • A guy running with a large orange construction barrel towards the riot police
  • Looting taking place at an Italian Restaurant that closed
  • Rioters rocking the police bus and almost tipping it
  • Random dumpster fires with 10 foot flames
  • 100 people climbing on a firetruck and celebrating
  • Guy climbing the traffic light, hanging there for 20 minutes and then jumping
  • Ten different people trying to knock down the holiday liberty bell light display hanging on the corner and ten different people failing to knock it down
  • Bank window getting smashed (they had some nice bullet proof glass though, as it didn’t break, just had a HUGE spider web)
  • Lots of beer bottles getting smashed into the ground (and a few being chucked into the crowd / at the cops)
  • Me deciding that a wooden, ten foot, police “do not cross” board would make for a great championship belt to parade through the streets. And not seeing the cop three feet away from me. Good thing I know how to talk to cops or I’d be posting this from jail!*
  • Me spilling my coffee this morning as I was sorting through my riot photos

I just hope Rutgers riots this good when we win a football national championship!


*My conversation with the police officer went something like this:

“What are you doing?”
“I don’t know”
“You don’t know?”
“No ma’am”
“Well you better put that back”
“Yes ma’am”
“That’s not how it was”
“Sorry maam. Let me fix that. Have a nice night.”
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