5 questions with comedian Holly Lynnea

23 Feb

Holly Lynnea is a comedian, writer, actor and dancer from Louisville, who has performed comedy across the US and Canada.

She will be appearing on Feb. 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Four Pegs Beer Lounge in Germantown along with comedian Tim Northern. Tickets are available at louisvilletickets.com

Holly recently answered five questions from Creig Ewing of Louisville Is Funny.

You’re from Louisville. So first question is what school did you go to? 

Holly: Fern Creek High School

You are coming off a couple weeks of shows in Colorado. How did those go? Do the clubs have a two-edible minimum?

Colorado shows were great! I performed at Comedy Works a couple of times and at LOTS of breweries and bars in multiple cities. All shows we’re packed venues, even in a foot of snow!

Two edible minimum? Thank God, they don’t!

What are some of the writing and TV projects you have going on?

I’ve got a pilot I just started. I’m really excited about it, and some acting collaborations in the works. All Hollywood hush hush.

Not only are you a comedian, writer and actor, but you also have a background in dance. How does that help you on stage?

Teaching ballroom in group settings and using humor to take the sting/awkwardness out of uncomfortable situations we all deal with … tapping into that, is how dance has played a role in my stage show.

Tell us about a really bad show you remember.

It was a show in a church basement, there was clouds of weed smoke in the air and plenty of liquor on the tables. Let’s just say, that show did not go well. I was less than two years in comedy and I did not get a lot of laughs, but a whole lot of teeth sucking.

Find out more about Holly on her website: hollylynnea.com


Leslie Battle: Comedy veteran

9 Jan

Leslie Battle is a rising comic from Columbus, Ohio, who got a later start on her stand-up career after serving in the Army.

Battle will be headlining the Momics! comedy show on Friday, Jan. 11, at Butchertown Pizza Hall in Louisville. That show that features a lineup of comics who are also mothers.

Tickets for Momics! are $10 in advance and are available here. Admission is $15 at the door.

Battle works as a dealer in a casino between gigs and is a single mother with kids ages 25, 22 and 18. Her oldest son passed away of meningitis. She recently spoke with Creig Ewing about her comedy career dating, kids and more.

On dating

I think I’ve kind of given up on it. It’s been a lot of frustration. But I think it has to do more with my personality because I’m not very passive. I haven’t met the guy who can handle a woman who’s not going to take his shit.

A lot of times there isn’t even genuine interest there. It’s just, ‘Hey, I’m opening this conversation. When are we going to get in each other’s pants?’

Evidently, my standards are too high. That scares me a little bit but it also says, ‘Well, I’m not going to settle for what I know is not going to work.’

Hero status

I really don’t do a lot of material about being a veteran. That’s also on my to-do list for this year.

For the majority of veterans, the humility from being a veteran is just what we did. It just seems normal.

Sometimes my kids will say, ‘Mom is like a hero.’

I’m like, ‘What? No.’ And they say, ‘So who else in the PTA fired a grenade launcher, Mom?’

‘Oh, yeah. I did get to do that one time.’

A comedy veteran

So many times I get from people, ‘You served?’ I look and me and I’m like, ‘Why is that hard to believe?’

It’s really interesting. I was doing a contest show in Go Bananas (in Cincinnati) and the kid after me – bless his heart. In a bit I say people who seem to not like me mentioning I’m a veteran are always 20-something white male comics who have never served.

This kid decided to call me back. It would have been beautiful but he took it too far. He goes, ‘Well, I’m a white male comic, so I didn’t really care for those veteran jokes.’

Annnnnddd you just lost the crowd.

First of all, buddy, you’re in a club. If you’re going to follow a black woman comic who is also a veteran with some shit like that, it’s not a good move.

Some say you only tell people you’re a veteran so you get some free applause. And? Isn’t that what all of comedy is? Until you start getting paid, that’s literally what you’re performing for.

Race material

I do some material that centers around race, and I think there are a lot of people who are just uncomfortable with the word race now. Some assume that if it has anything to do with race it’s racist.

My children’s existence is not racist.

That fact that my children have a white father and black mother is not racist. If you can handle me talking about my children being biracial, that has so much more to do with you than with me.

Some of those jokes go over really, really well with some audiences. Other times it’s, ‘Mmm. That’s too. I can’t. What are we? No.’

There has been many a time that I have been at a rural show and I’ve been the only brown face in the room and my stuff kills.

As a comic, it’s almost beneficial for me to do more of those rooms because that’s the most they’ve heard a black person talk who is not on TV in forever.

The idea that I’m a veteran and that I’ve raised kids, is ‘Oh, she’s really not that different from anybody!’

Kids and comedy

My children have seen me perform. They have seen me perform at clean shows. I am not doing dating material in front of my kids.

I think they are more attached to the idea of me being a comic. 

My oldest expressed distaste. Could see where coming from. I did some jokes about his step-dad. He has seen me since and he knows how important it is to me.

Basically, me having comedy is keeping me out of their hair.

They are like, ‘Yeah, mom, do all the shows. Do all the stuff. Just don’t get yourself killed, because we’re emergency contacts.

He’s all Team Mom that I find a boyfriend so he doesn’t have to be my emergency contact.

Starting out

I’m glad that people like the things that I say even though I feel like I can be a little edgy sometimes.

When I first started I was like, ‘Ain’t nobody going to care what a 40-year-old woman has to say. Get this out of your system and go back to being a regular, an adult.’

But I found, and I’m still finding, that more and more people like my perspective because not everybody is a 20-something dude. Especially when it comes to the corporate gigs and the club gigs and stuff, the audience is going to look way more like me than they are going to look like Chad.

Those things all take a back seat to whether or not I am funny. I am really grateful that people find me funny because I think I’m hilarious at times. At the worst times.

Melissa Doran talks comedy, kids, being a mom and gives me a hard time

15 Oct

Melissa Doran is a single mom with two sons who has been doing stand-up comedy for about 10 years. She is originally from New Jersey but has been in the Louisville area for several years and is known as a tough-talking comedian who is not shy about mixing it up with the audience.

Doran will be among the comedians who are also mothers appearing in Momics on Sunday, Oct. 21, at Cabel Street Bar above Butchertown Pizza Hall. She recently did a 30-minute clean set at the Bonnycastle Club with Louisville comedy legend Mark Klein. Klein was the headliner at The Caravan comedy club when Doran was first paid to host for the week.

She talked with Creig Ewing over chicken wings and Miller Lites at The Back Door about being a comedian and mother of Brodie, 19, and Ty, 15. Brodie is a musician, and Ty wants to be an actor.

“So, we’re forever going to be poor,” Doran said. “God forbid someone wants to be an accountant or a lawyer. No. They’re very good at what they do. They’re very gifted kids.

“The coolest thing I think in them choosing to explore their passions instead of the safe road is probably me doing the comedy.”

Click here for more information and tickets to Momics.


You do material about your family. Do you run it past your kids first?

Doran: We have a pretty open relationship. I’ll tell them, ‘Hey, I think this is funny. This is a joke I do.’ Nine out of 10 times they’re not offended. They just don’t think it’s funny. Which is fair, because it’s usually not.

They use key words. My younger son is more of a pop culture kind of kid. He’ll say things like, ‘That’s cringey.’ And I’ve heard that a lot in the past year. ‘That’s cringey. You do that?’

I’m like, ‘Yeah. No one has called it cringey before, but the median age at my shows is probably 50 and they don’t know that that is.’

Luckily, they’re developed emotionally in a capacity where they don’t want to be comedians. Because they don’t need to fill that void, so I think I’ve done a good job in that capacity. I want to basically steal their humor because they’re not using it.
Do you have an example?

I have an older car, a beater car. I’m known to be very frugal. I’m a single mom. We were at a red light in downtown Louisville a couple months ago. My car and six other cars at a red light, and a homeless person came up and asked for a ride.

I said, ‘No.’ I’ve got the kid in the car. I can’t be irresponsible with his safety. We pulled away, and I was like, ‘Man, there were six cars stopped. She didn’t even try to ask anybody else.’

My younger son, without even missing a beat, goes, ‘Maybe by the looks of your car she thought you guys were going to the same place.’

I was mad, but it’s so funny I can hardly be mad. Plus, he’s right.

Do you try to make your kids laugh to try out your material?

I could never wait for them to laugh; I’d have no set. I’d have like two minutes. I have to forge ahead with my cringey material. I respect their better taste. It’s fair.

When you’re on stage, you work the crowd more than most comics.

I do crowd work. Yes. Do you want to know how that developed?

Yes. How did that develop?

Let’s ask you this. Do you feel like I’m good a crowd work?

Yes. I think you’re good.

I think that’s how you should say it. First kiss my ass. ‘You’re very good at crowd work. How did you get so good?’

You’re very good at crowd work. How did you get so good?

People will ask me that because for the last couple years especially. People will say, ‘Your crowd work is good. People talk about your crowd work.’

They do? That’s weird! You get that way from being really bad for a long time.

I like crowd work. I like people. I’m quick. And that’s kind of what I’ve got. I can on the spot do stuff. There were times at the beginning that were brutally bad. I would go in and I wouldn’t have anything. I would get lost and that would be my whole set.

You take that blow. You take that loss. I take comedy losses very hard. And you just kind of sharpen your tools. You look back and go, ‘What did I do wrong? I got nervous or I wasn’t thinking.’

I remember this one. We were doing Mason City, Ill. Me and Rich Ragains, who is a Louisville comic who has been doing this for a long time. Funny, funny dude. I was early in comedy and he took me out to do a guest spot. He was like a rock star in this little city in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois. Everybody knew who he was.

I was stoked, thinking, ‘This is going to be good.’ I go out there. I’m from Jersey. I’m just freshly here of the boat. This place made Louisville look like New York City. I go out there and it’s a sea of John Deere hats. Fifty-year-old and 60-year-old farmer dudes. I just tanked. It was eight minutes of a painful interview. Worse than what’s happening right now.

I went to two couples in the front row. I asked, ‘Are you married?’ ‘Yup.’ ‘How long?’ and they answered. ‘Kids?’ It went like that for eight minutes. Four minutes per couple. I was trying to dig for something funny. But these people have been in the same place their whole life. They got nothing to tell me. It was brutal, brutal, brutal. You learn from those mistakes and keep pushing ahead and that’s how you get better.

Have your kids seen you perform?

Ty has never seen me. He does not ask to see me. He does not want to see me. I’ve asked him in the last year, and he’s like, ‘No, Mom.’

My older boy has seen me twice. Ever. That just started last year.

(Doran explains the first time was a club in Bowling Green, Ky., with comedian Stewart Huff as the headliner – ‘I adore what he is able to do,’ Doran says of Huff. Doran was on stage and is doing crowd work on two couples up front).

It was mild. Two couples wearing flannel. I said, ‘Oh, did I miss the memo, Flannel Club?’

Brodie is losing his mind. ‘Oh my god. Why is she being so mean to them? They’re just sitting there. Why does she keep talking about them? Who cares what they’re wearing?’

I don’t heckle my kids. I don’t do crowd work with them. He has never seen this side of me. He has no idea why I’m being this way.

Stewart is in the back going, ‘Your mom knows what she’s doing.’ He’s gotta coddle him. ‘It’s OK. They don’t mind. They’re laughing. Look. They’re laughing.’ Brodie was not having it.

Stewart goes on. He does phenomenal like he always does. Everybody loved him.

We’re going in the back, I say to Brodie, ‘Why do you seem so nervous? What are you so freaked out about?’

He says, ‘I need you to go say sorry to those people.’ I go, ‘What?’

He said, ‘Just go over and say sorry. I don’t know why you had to be mean.’

And they were loving it. They were laughing.

I went over and said, ‘My kid was here. It was our first show. He was very disappointed that I was mean to you guys.’

They were, ‘No you weren’t. You were great.’

He saw us make good, and I think he felt better about life after that. Now at 19, and a year of college he’s a lot more grizzled. I don’t even think he would care now. Good. Get ‘em. Get other people too, why don’t you?

You have a tough demeanor on stage, but you show yourself to be vulnerable in your act.

Yeah. I’m like a linebacker first off. Physically, and my vernacular. I’m not exactly like a wallflower. But because my humor is self-deprecating, that’s the vulnerability. I’m very willing to say, ‘Look. You may be very intimidated about what I have to say about you, but rest assured I’m saying it about myself. I’m not impressed with either one of us.’

So many people how told me recently, ‘I’m intimidated by you.’ Maybe because of the tone and the sarcasm on stage?

People say they’re intimidated by you? Other comics?

I haven’t had just random people come up on the street and say that. I guess that’s good.

No. I mean people in the audience or comics?

Sporting events. Church. Just anywhere. People come up and say, ‘I gotta say I was really intimidated by you.’ … Comedians. Other comedians.

Comedians were intimidated by you?

Probably the sarcasm maybe. Probably too because if I’m not in the mood to be fake nice I’m just not, and that probably looks a certain way.

What’s your comedy highlight?

I love doing benefit or charity shows.

Anytime anyone has ever come to me that has had a really hard go at life and they go, ‘Hey, you made me laugh tonight for 20, 30 minutes, whatever. Thank you because I had a really bad week.’ I love that. That’s really cool to me.

Some shows are tougher, like some bar shows.

Sometimes bar shows can be cool because I don’t mind a rowdy crowd. But sometimes they’re really difficult because bar shows can be very loud. They’re very distracting. They’re drinking – too much drinking is not cool because then you can’t get their attention.

They can be a challenge. You’re just kind of boxing your way out of there. It’s not just enjoying the show. For performers, they really grow you. You learn how to do rowdy bar gig, you going to learn something about commanding the stage and commanding the presence and handling a crowd. That’s invaluable. You have to do them. It’s going to give you such a poise when you’re at like a club. That will be like a cakewalk.

This Momics show will be a show by moms with a crowd likely to be a lot of moms.

I love doing shows for moms – so to speak moms. A lot of times after my shows that will be the people who come up. The moms, the wives. Moms are amazing, amazing people. The multitasking. The shit they have to deal with. All the things they have to balance. They’re such multifaceted people and such no BS people. A mom crowd is — if you’re not funny you’re not going to get away with crap. Because I have a long week and why am I here? It’s a challenge, but it’s super rewarding.

You’re talking about people who are extremely strong, funny, down-to-earth. It’s a mom, bro. Are you kidding me? I get excited when I get asked to do this type of thing. It’s very rewarding for me. And they work hard. Especially nowadays. Lots of times moms are running around with jobs and all the things they have to do. So, I love for them to have a night where they are just laughing. Maybe having a couple of drinks and chilling out.

I take it very serious. They’re not getting out as much. Well, if they’re a good mom, you know what I’m saying? Some moms are out all the time.

This show is all female comics. Women in comedy tend to have a rougher time …

Only in comedy. In everything else they’re doing well. In comedy it’s rough… (She said saracastically.)

Being a female comedian there are a lot of stereotypes or judgments. I don’t know how many people I have had tell me in the past 8-10 years, ‘Wow. You’re funny for a female comedian.’

Or ‘I usually don’t like female comedians, but I found you to be really funny.’ And I think that’s hilarious.

I’ve never looked at it like it’s a challenge. Like, ‘I’ve got to take this on because I’m a female comedian.’ I always look it like, well, a lot of the dudes that I have done comedy with I might be impressed by some of the stuff that they do, but they’re not smarter than me.

Now it’s such a cool time in the world because gender is becoming so less important about the substance of what someone has to say. I think that’s really exciting.
Now, if you can just have a level playing field where it doesn’t matter what genitalia you have because funny is funny. What does it matter? That excites me a lot.

The other cool thing in this industry that’s really, really cool – and can you actually use other words in place of cool when you write this? I’ve used cool 20 times. Say anything. I just want to look like I have a better vocabulary.

Anyway, what’s really cool is you watch people watch do comedy and you go, ‘They’re all right.’ And you see them, and they work, and they hustle and 4-5 years later and they’re like so good. And that’s cool. If you do have something and you know in your heart it’s worth pursuing, do it.

This is one of those things where the more you do it the better you get. I’ve seen guys go from OK to phenomenal. I like watching that. It’s very rewarding to watch people get so good.

What’s the future look like for you?

I remember when I started looking at people later in the game and going, ‘I will never be that.’ I mean, this is fun and all, but I will never be that. There is a point where you fall so in love with it, comedy and — I can’t really be I’m saying this. I want to punch my own face. I’m grossing myself out now – comedy and my sons are the only things I’ve ever been committed to, and that’s real sad.

I think I’m going to do a lot better with the other two – the sons. I think they’re going to bring me much more joy. But comedy, without realizing it, I fell in love with it in a really big way.

So, at this point if I didn’t have it, or I didn’t do it, or I didn’t know comedians, or I couldn’t do a gig, I don’t know. And that’s me saying it. I’m not exactly Sarah Silverman with a show on Netflix.

I’m just a chick doing it in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s a sick thing. It’s a sick thing. It’s almost like smoking. If you haven’t started don’t because you can get addicted.

Comedian Sam Tallent: On the road and in the basement

10 Feb

Comedian Sam Tallent, known for his whip-quick wit and rollicking improvisations, will be in Louisville on Wednesday, Feb. 12, performing in a basement at the Dog + Mouse House that will be filmed as part of a special.

Tallent is one of the sharpest, most original rising talents in comedy today. He has been called “the absurd voice of a surreal generation” by the Denver Post, and, has worked alongside many of the biggest names in comedy, including Dave Chappelle, Doug Stanhope, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress and TJ Miller. Kyle Kinane called him “the Fugazi of comedy”. He’s the real deal.

His writing has been published on VICE.com. He lives in Denver with his wife and his dog where he sits on a throne made of fish bones.

Wednesday’s show is $5 or pay what you can

Doors at 7:30 and showtime at 8 at Dog + Mouse House

BYOB and there will be an open mic after the show.

Sam answered some questions from Creig Ewing while on the road.

Question: I read your article in Vice with the subhead, “The horrible, depressing life of a traveling comedian.” This week you are headlining in a basement. So how are things going?

Tallent: As good as that piece is (I’m still immensely proud of it), Vice edited it down from 4,500 words to 1,200. Seems to be their editing process is “remove anything redeeming until it’s a bleak glimpse into the psyche of a truly broken man.” I’m proud to work for them and to have been published on their site, and that piece is still the thing people ask me about the most, but the original article was not about me teetering on the edge of the abyss. There was some gild on the cactus but they stripped it to all thorns — probably so they could make the title click bait (they gave it that name, not me).

It sucks when people think I was complaining or painting myself as a martyr. I’m incredibly grateful for my career and a positive guy. After Montreal, Big Top Productions offered me some money to film a special. I’m filming 14 or so shows across the country in my favorite rooms and the basement at Dog+Mouse is one of the shows. Things have never been better career-wise. I’m glad I get to do cool shows like this one. Spaces like D+M allow the comics to be creative without the boot of a two-drink minimum on their neck. We can get weird in a basement and I’m glad I can get that weirdness on film.

You are known for riffing and working with the crowd. What’s a time that’s went wrong?

Most comics have a tendency to focus on the people in the crowd who are not smiling as opposed to the ones who are. Twice I’ve asked a sour dour bummer person in the crowd “What’s a matter y’all? It looks like you’re celebrating the anniversary of your son’s death.” And both times that person did in fact have a dead son. I have the worst kind of telepathy.

What’s your top suggestion for comics on the road?

Quick hits: Drink lots of water. Bring a clean pillow case. Go to the park and walk around (besides the highway system, public parks are the jewel of American infrastructure). Marijuana is still a crime in some states. It’s easy to lie your way into museums by telling them you’re a visiting artist (which is a lie because comedy isn’t an art, it’s a craft).

If you booze, single tall vodka sodas are your best bet. Always tip, even when the drinks are free.  Don’t forget about vegetables. Go to the grocery store and make meals. It’s not what you make, it’s what you save. When crashing at someone’s house, make your bed in the morning. Always say thank you. An eight pack of toilet paper makes a nice gift. Use protection. Have fun and stay clear of the needle. Call home on your sister’s birthday.

The most important advice is to be funny. If you’re not funny, the people who came to see your show won’t come back to see the next show and the show is soon canceled. There are a lot of people who are a comedian the same way people were a bass player in 1999. They’ll do stand up on the road so they can tell their grandkids they were a comic once. Or they do it so they can have something to show their parents when they ask for the next rent check.

I know THE ROAD is cool and romantic and COMICS DO THE ROAD and you’re A COMIC but for the love of god if you’re not funny yet, have some awareness, have some pride. No one wants to tell you you’re not funny so be honest with yourself (he said to the most delusional group of people alive). Stay home and get funny before you burn the room in Amarillo. They worked hard to make that show good. Remember that if someone books you, they’re doing you a favor and not vice versa. Don’t shit on their kindness by eating it for 30 minutes. And drink water.

What’s something you love about stand-up comedy?

My friends are literally the funniest people alive and wherever I go I get to hang out with the funniest people in that city.

What’s something you hate?

Comics who pitch their merch for the last ten minutes of their set.

What’s the difference between someone who makes it as a stand-up comic, and someone who doesn’t?

What does “making it” even mean? Doing a late night set to 35,000 viewers? Featuring at clubs for $500 a weekend minus travel and lodging? A Comedy Central half hour special is aired ONCE and it pays $20,000. Once managers and agents and lawyers and Uncle Sam get their cut, that $20,000 becomes maybe $5,000. Is that success? $5,000 for your first good half hour? $5,000 for what amounts to years of hard work? Is your life’s work worth $5,000?

No one knows what success is in this business. It’s the blind leading the blind. I think “making it” is paying your rent off of doing what you love, not having a boss, waking up when you want to, laughing as much as possible. Ten years ago I would have said the keys to success in comedy are hard work, commitment to craft, mental toughness and being funny.

Today the key is Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers. It’s cannibalizing your sets into 60-second clips and putting subtitles over the videos so people can watch you with the sound off. It’s doing a podcast long enough that you’re not embarrassed about having a patreon. It’s destroying enough hecklers to get on Joe Rogan.

I did Montreal this year, and all I learned is no one has any idea what works (besides Andrew Schultz. Everyone should copy Andrew Schultz). Television is dying. Credits are obsolete. Most agents and managers are a vestigial tail who have to pretend they’re important so they don’t go extinct. I don’t have an agent or a manager and I’m doing fine. I’m not satisfied with where I’m at, but I’m not disappointed. I could do what I’m currently doing (working good clubs, doing cool indie rooms, turning out unique shows nightly, garnering the respect of my peers) for the rest of my life and as long as I keep getting funnier, I’d be happy.

There is no playbook, people. It’s all a ruse. Success is a mirage. As Tim Dillon says: “There’s no there there.” DIY, fake it til you make it, live free or die, don’t tread on me. And drink water.

What’s the key to a good show?

Low ceilings, 50 people who want to be there, me headlining.

Follow me @samtallent on Instagram.


Johnny Watson: An oxymoronic comic

23 Oct

Johnny Watson is a veteran comic and an oxymoron. His comedy is hard to pin down. Reviewers have said that he’s “goofy edgy” and “obliviously confident.”

The New Jersey native has been touring the country as well as acting and doing voice work. He even had a podcast with his mother. Johnny makes her a prominent part of his act.

Watson, who headlined a club in Ocean City, Md., this summer, recently became engaged to Casey Findley. They plan to settle in the Louisville area.

Watson will be the headliner at the Louisville Is Funny Live! Show on Friday, Oct. 26 at Cabel Street Bar above Butchertown Pizza Hall. He spoke with Creig Ewing recently. For more information, go to http://www.louisvilleisfunny.com.

You do a lot with your mom in your act. And you do a podcast with her?

We had one for a lot of years. It’s on hiatus. She’s more politically incorrect than me. She says whatever is on her mind. She has no filter. We have completely opposite opinions on things. That’s why we started doing a podcast.

How would you describe your comedy?

It’s hard to label yourself. ‘Obliviously confident’ is what one reviewer said.

I try not to get too much into political stuff. I kind of let people know that. My act is not going to change your life. It’s not going to make your political views any different.  It’s pretty much try to keep it as light as I can. Anything that’s provocative is relationship stories and things that have happened to me growing up.

I don’t really feel that anyone in politics is caring about me, so why should I care about them?

Some people think comedy needs to have a message.

People shouldn’t be there to feel uncomfortable. They should be there to have a good time.

I try to do whatever I think is funny. I don’t think people come to comedy shows to be lectured on political stuff. I hope once they leave they realize that their life is a lot better than mine.

You do a lot with your voice in your comedy.

I’m so high energy. Doing so much high-energy stuff. Doing voices allowed me to slow down.

It’s more like a three-act play. You’re not just one point-of-view. If you can put all points of view in your act, the majority of the act, it’s good. You have extra layers. People get to see a whole show act out.

I’ve always talked fast with a lot of movement and animation. I’m more calculated now.

You mentioned that you starting touring early in your career. What are some of the worst gigs?

One was a bar show, opening for a biker band. When they took a break, I’m trying to do my stuff and no one is listening. There was just this girl sitting on the floor in front of me opening and closing her legs after every joke.

I’m thinking, ‘This isn’t comedy. What am I doing here?’ That type of thing.

I’ve been at places where fights start in the middle of the show. Those are the good stories, though. I don’t think you’re really doing comedy until you have horror stories like that.


Why dogs lie

28 Jun


I have heard that a dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 times or maybe a million times better than ours.

Not true.

Dogs have super senses of smell, but they mash their noses right in fresh poop that Fido left on the lawn?


Imagine that sensation if your nose worked a thousand times better. If I had that sense of smell, I’d avoid the entire street where Fido just did his business. … and maybe text Fido suggesting he add some fiber to his diet.

Not dogs. They’re always nose to nasty.

In human terms, that’s like sticking a fork in the electrical outlet every time we pass by just to make sure the electricity is on.

Eagles have great vision, but they don’t swoop down on a mouse and stick a monocled eyeball against the fur. No. They grab and go.

Dogs purposely find the smelliest stuff on the ground — probably the only thing they really can smell — and roll in it. If their senses were so darn keen, they’d roll in Febreze.

So why do dogs act that way?

It’s because dogs have been lying to us all theirs years. They aren’t really super-smelling security guards with keen senses and the ability to ward off intruders. They’re really fairly intelligent underachievers who want someone else to provide them food and housing and let them sleep all day.

Kind of like teenagers.

Cats know this, by the way. That’s why they are so disdainful of dogs.

“Hey, you stupid dogs,” says Mr. Whiskers. “If you’d learn to poop in a box, you wouldn’t have to slobber over the humans so much.”

The clues are all there.

Your dog will bark at the mailman for 2,000 straight days and doesn’t have the sense to figure out he is not going to come in and steal the silverware. Yet, you put the dog in the car and within two turns, she knows she is going to the vet.

It’s clear this stinkin’ lie hurts some dogs more than others.

Bloodhounds overplayed their hands. Now they are stuck. Look how sad they always are!

Someone escapes from prison, and it’s the poor bloodhounds who get dirty T-shirts shoved in their faces and have to take off baying.

“Hey Spike, I didn’t smell anything. Where are we going?”

“To the river, Butch. To the river.”

“Why, Spike? Are you on the scent?”

“Don’t be silly, Butch. They always run to the river. Now start barking your fool head off or you’re going to get us busted.”

Beagles have it easy. Hunters take them to the woods where they run around in circles. They frighten a rabbit, who runs around in the same circle. Hunters think they are geniuses.

Coon dogs couldn’t smell a raccoon if he burped crayfish etouffee in their faces, but they still have to play the game.

Luckily, raccoons are among the most treacherous of critters and will rat out their fellow raccoons over the slightest beef.

“Listen up, Big Ears. Rocky will be in that big oak by the river on Friday night. Make sure to bring the hunters this time.”

Dogs do pay a price for their little lie. Whenever they meet, they have to sniff each other right there while the humans are watching.

After all, a cold nose is a small price to pay for a warm bed.

Clothes make the man confused

18 Aug

Bought a pair of pants over the weekend with a “Comfort” waistband. Guys know what this means.

I wear a size 38 waist today, but I want to keep my options open for the future.

In general, men’s clothes labels are pretty straightforward. Your waist is 38 inches and your inseam is 32 inches, that’s your pants size. Clothing manufacturers try to finesse it when guys get a little bit paunchy. Then you can buy “relaxed fit” jeans.  Which is a nice way of saying “fat ass” jeans.

Most guys don’t really worry about what size they wear. That’s why you see beefy dudes advertise their beer gut with T-shirts that say XXL on the front. And why we wear jeans with labels that list our waist size.

Women would use a flamethrower to remove those labels from their pants.

But once you get past about 46-inch waist, the niceties are gone. No more comfort or relaxed fit, it’s just, “Hey, if you want to stay legal and go outside, you have to wear pants. We had to pay three Chinese children a whole week’s wages to sew this crap together, fatty, so deal with it.”

Women’s clothes are a different matter, and I can’t figure them out. A size 3 dress could be just slightly too large for a swimsuit model, or it could be a size that fits your Italian mother. So I am guessing there is an actual size 3, and a “size 3 with a wink.”

I bet you really have to think on your feet if you work in the  women’s clothing department at a department store. “So you’d like to see this outfit in a size 3? Is it just yourself shopping or do you have a pre-teen daughter with you?”

Can you imagine if they had dedicated women’s clothing clerks at Walmart?

“Do you think these one-size-fits-all camouflage print stretch yoga pants will fit me?”

“If you can squeeze into the dressing room, they should fit. But you need to sign this waiver. If you try them on and they snap, you could lose an eye.”

Women’s clothes makers are smart to cut off the smallest size at zero to prevent anorexic models from trying to go into negative numbers.

Can you imagine?

“Do you have anything that would fit me that’s smaller than a size zero?”

“Yeah, a pine box in about a week.”


Coach Cal immortalized

19 Sep

Nice to see former University of Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall get a handsome new statue at UK.


If winning an NCAA title gets you immortalized, the university should start work on something for John Calipari.

I suggest a 3D hologram. Coach Cal will not only be remembered, he can also continue to keep talking and plug the latest “only at Kentucky” events, such as a 50th anniversary rematch of the UK vs. Duke NCAA regional final in 2042 played by robots at Rupp-Cal Arena.

Spoiler alert: Robot Timberlake bites the ankle of Robot Laettner when he steps on his chest. The ankle dent throws off Laettner’s last-second shot ever so slightly, and it clanks off the rim.






The Double Wide

1 Aug

Churchill Downs has unveiled its plans for the “Mansion” —  a place where fat-cat guests can be ushered in on red carpets and attended to by butlers.


I sense that is not going to ease the concerns of fans who for years have been complaining that Churchill is ignoring the average fan in favor of  the rich and famous.

Churchill should set aside an exclusive area for the $2 bettor. Grab some extra chain-link fence, section off a sub-prime spot and create “The Double Wide.”

Fans would relax in mismatched lawn chairs and watch the races on old-fashioned tube TVs with rabbit ears. Tellers would operate out of the windows of rusted-out pickup trucks.

Amenities include a coin-operated vending area for refreshments called “The Laundr-O-Mat” and a separate parking lot where vehicles are wedged in tight to discourage the circling repo men.

For patrons who are tapped out but have a hot tip on the next race, predatory pay-day loan kiosks will be available.

To encourage responsible wagering, representatives of local collection agencies will be on hand to interact with customers. They also will gladly take payments from guests who just hit the trifecta so that the electricity can be turned on back home.

Specials events could include “Free Admission Fridays,” when folks can avoid the $3 cover charge by slipping in through a convenient hole in the fence.

That’s curious

3 Apr

My bank — Fifth Third Bank — has a new advertising campaign pitching itself as “The Curious Bank.”


I envision curious bank as one with tellers that ask you things like:

“What are you going to spend this money on?”

“Is that your whole paycheck?”

“Does the IRS know about this?”

Curious just doesn’t seem to be a positive. But maybe I’m wrong and we’ll have a slew of similar marketing efforts, like:

The Creepy Hotel

The Indifferent Hair Stylist

The Eccentric Accountant