Sunday, 5/1/05
Sunday 1 May 2005 @ 11:19 pm

- I wake up around ten to find Jen getting ready. Harley and she are going to grab some Jerry’s in the Valley and pick up her new glasses. I tell her I wanna go too, and jump in the shower. I get dressed, we collect, Harley, and we’re off.

- We eat at the crowded Valley Jerry’s, then head over to the Riverside Mall where Jen gets her glasses. She looks amazing, but I’m predisposed to dig her new look, as I’m soooooo into a cute chick in glasses (witness Brandi at the start of “Rats”, Serendipity in “Dogma”, Justice in “Strike Back”, and Maya in “Jersey Girl”). While mall-ratting, I grab some new running sneakers (to cut down on the blisters I’m nursing from the treadmill) and Harley plays at the indoor playground for a bit, before hitting a few of the fifty cents rides. While Jen picks up some Harley summer outfits at the Gap, Harley and I hit the Disney store, where we load up on Stich barbecue stuff for me and Violet Incredible bathing gear for her. Jen finds us and we take off for the nursery down the road, where Jen picks up a gift for Cookie’s birthday. While I wait in the car, Mewes calls me to let me know he’s going to get a tattoo.

- As we’re heading home, I’m overwhelmed by the sudden shit I have to take. I drive like the Bandit to get to the house just in time to let ‘er rip into the bowl.

- I get back to my room and Harley’s already taken up residence in our bed, watching “SpongeBob” and coloring. I join Jen upstairs in the kitchen where she’s smoking, checking email, and watching a disc from the “Raymond” season three box set. I have a bit of low-carb ice cream and make a pitcher of decaffeinated iced tea. I down two glasses while getting caught up in “Raymond” (I don’t understand why his wife doesn’t just fuck him all the time; but I guess their lack of sex is what most of the show’s best jokes are predicated on), then embark on a pantry-cleaning mission that’s infectious enough to recruit Schwalbach as well. It becomes her gig, so I make some chicken salad and watch “Raymond”.

- Jen decides she wants to go to Bristol to grab some sushi, but I decline, as I’m feeling like round two of my colon-blow is on its way. She brings Harley with her instead, and I sift through the dvd’s in front of the bedroom tv, looking for something I can white-noise in the background while I update the online diary. Eventually, I settle on TiVo, and go back to watching that really bad SNL from 1980 (Christ, is it bad).

- Jen and Harley return, and Quinnster takes the tv over again. We watch “SpongeBob” while I post. Jen’s calls down from upstairs to tell me to get the camera ready, as Mewes is coming home with his new tat.

- I’ve moved from the bed to the now-empty couch (as Jen’s upstairs still) to continue blogging when Jay arrives. We head into the bathroom to remove the bandages and see what the new tat looks like.

It looks like this…

I intercom up to Jen who comes downstairs for the unveiling to Harley. Harley is captivated. Both she and Jen coo over the spine-length tat of her moniker, and suddenly my forearm tag of “Harley” seems a bit low-key. I take some pics, re-bandage Mewes, and he heads off, having completely stolen the hearts of a pair of chicks in their pj’s.

- I post the tat pics, then check some email before Jen reminds me it’s 7:15. I get dressed and head out to Imrpov Olympic on Hollywood Blvd.

At the Poetry Event, Jeff Garlin (who most folks know from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Daddy Day Care”) invited me to join him at this show he does every Sunday night at Improv Olympic, a small comedy club a few blocks from my house. It’s a stand-up show that’s generated by the audience: there are three comics who get up and talk a bit about themselves, then, someone in the audience suggests a topic, and one by one, the three comics on stage take turns on the mic, making with the funny based on the suggestion.

Jeff maintained it was something I could do in my sleep (based on having peeped “Evening With”), so I took him up on his invite. When I show up at the joint, I’m not so sure. I’m not a comic; what am I doing at a comic’s club NOT sitting in the audience?

I greet Jeff backstage and he goes over the program, then introduces me to the third in our party tonight: Andy Dick. As I’m a huge “News Radio” nerd, I’m delighted by this. I think about doing the fan-boy thing and doing Matthew’s “Little Billy” lines from the “Talent Show” episode back to the guy who played Matthew, but think better of it and let the man eat his Baja Fresh dinner in peace.

Jeff goes out on stage and does his intro and about fifteen minutes of stand-up. Then, he introduces me, and I get my first glimpse of the house: it’s a small-ish room with two levels, that seats maybe 100 people max. I flash on the one and only time I ever attempted stand-up, back in ’91, at an open-mic night at Rascal’s Comedy Club, between the Monmouth and Seaview Square Malls in Eatontown. Though it did spawn the “You sucked your own dick” convo in “Clerks 2″ from a routine I did that night, I was not good at it. At all.

It’s always weird when folks who attend the Q&A’s tell me “You should do stand-up.” Doing Q&A is simply answering questions posed, so there’s a give-and-take with the audience; they’re really the enablers, as without their queries, I cannot give replies. Stand-ups have it much, much harder, as they’re expected to get up and just generate, without any assist.

So I launch into a Q-less A, in which I talk about my day a bit, and dove-tail into some well-honed Q&A stuff, and shockingly, I go over well. I step off the stage and Andy goes on to do his intro, while backstage, I talk to Jeff about movies and heading up to Vancouver at week’s end.

Jeff brings us both onstage. Andy and I sit while Jeff takes the mic and gets the suggestion from the audience. The suggestion is “dentists”. Jeff does a really funny ten minutes on everything but dentists, and then gives me the mic. I tag up on what Jeff was talking about (he ended with being Jewish), and do some Jewish stuff that dovetails nicely into my “Passion of the Christ” stuff, and hit on dentistry, which dove-tails into my “Lord of the Rings” stuff. I kill with both, and give the mic to Andy. Andy does a fantastic fifteen minutes on being a tour guide in Chicago at the Water Tower and masturbating behind a screen that showcases a slide-show there (I can’t do it justice), as well as a great bit about doing laughing gas at the dentists office (even funnier). He kills, and gives the mic back to Garlin, who teaches us all a thing or two about stream-of-consciousness conversational comedy.

Before I know it, the night’s over. We have to give the stage up to a comedy group called Cog, but it’s my turn up at the mic. I’ve got five minutes, and I have to follow this Garlin/Dick tandem bit about Andy’s drug problems vs. Jeff’s food-aholism which fucking killed. I can decline and let Cog come on five minutes earlier or take the mic for five minutes and risk ending our show on a less funny note than these two pros. The bar’s set pretty high, so the safe bet is to not be the closer. So, like a jackass, I get up and go for it.

And I’m so glad I did – not only because I would’ve always wondered what it would’ve been like had I chosen to not follow Jeff and Andy’s genius bit, but also because it’s the closest I’ll ever get to doing something death-defying. I have no interest in hang-gliding, rock-climbing, or parachuting out of a plane now, because I’ve known the sheer terror and adrenaline rush of trying to be as funny as two standup pros who just finished rocking the mic so very thoroughly.

I finish with some stuff about Mewes’ battle with drugs and dovetail into the bit about Jen and the Playboy spread. I go a little longer than five minutes, but I end on an insanely high note and leave ‘em laughing.

I don’t know why I feel so proud of it all, as it’s the smallest room I’ve worked in years (mind you, the average college gig is about 800 to 1000 now). I guess it’s because when I hit a stage for a Q&A, the deck is stacked in my favor, as (presumably) all in attendance are fans of the flicks I’ve done, hence are predisposed to root for me. This place, though? While some folks may have seen one or more of the flicks I’ve done, they didn’t come to see me speak about what it’s like to make movies; they just came to laugh. And I was able to make ‘em laugh, even without the deck being stacked in my favor (although years of honing that Q&A material and style certainly didn’t hurt). The whole night was fun and reinvigorating.

- Post-show, I say g’bye to Andy and walk out with Garlin. We talk about the show, as well as “Curb”, and then I turn him over to a group of his friends, get in my car, and head home.

- I find Jen up in the kitchen, emailing with the Toronto-imprisoned Chay, and we chit-chat for a bit while I make chicken salad. Angel the Hamster’s wheel is making a big racket, so I find a way to fix it with some tape, then head downstairs to throw on the woobs and grab “National Treasure” for Jen and I to watch up in the living room theater on the projection system. Halfway through, we’re both feeling kinda tired, so we head downstairs and fall asleep to some TiVo’ed “Simpsons”.


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