If a friend of yours ever despairs of accomplishing a task because it would be like finding a needle in a haystack, say to them, “Shit, man, let’s just buy a new needle. They’re like, what, a penny?”
As a stand-up comedian, people often ask me, “What happened to your face?” After I tell them all about The Incident, they go on to ask me what it takes to be a stand-up comedian.
First, you’re going to need a microphone. I bought my first microphone when I was 9 years old. It was a Sony condenser that ran on AA batteries that I whittled myself. Microphone stands are optional, but they are very useful if you are (1) self conscious about how others view your body and (2) thinner than a microphone stand.
Then you’ll need a stage. I build my own stages and travel with them as I find the stages at comedy clubs to be subpar in height and surface area. I like to be at least five feet above my audience, so it doesn’t just seem like I’m talking down to them–I actually am. Having enough room to wander around and stretch out for a nap if I get bored is also important.
Always carry a registered handgun, and display it openly, in case there are hecklers. You can never be too safe. The same does not apply to your audience.
You’re also going to need lighting. Rookie standup mistake: you forget to bring your lights and have to perform in the dark. The audience will be frightened by the disembodied voices emerging from the shadows, and they may turn on you. This can result in you being heckled or slain. Nothing is worse for a young comedian’s psyche than being heckled.
Remember to have a CD of the jokes you just told to sell after the show as you wait outside the club in the snow and people awkwardly shuffle past you while trying to avoid eye contact like you were some homeless schizophrenic crackhead trying to sell them a Right Said Fred album you found in the sewer. The CD should have nice cover art.
Finally, you’ll need some jokes.
Lately I’ve been calling people “Sport” and “Old boy.” It makes me feel like the Great Gatsby.
Can someone please post the recipe for Taco Bell’s “Baja sauce”? I need to poison a cyclops. Thank you.
Here are some two word phrases that you never want to hear:
Many historians (at least two) have judged history’s dictators by such prosaic measures as the number of people they killed, the amount of cultural stagnation and malaise they engendered in the populace, earned run average, etc.
But no one has had the historical balls to judge these tyrants by hairstyle.
Benito Mussolini. Prime Minister of Italy, 1922-1945.
Mussolini is most often pictured wearing a hat, and for good reason. Without it, he’s Signore Potato Head.
Verdict: He should have gone with plugs, or perhaps had a giant bleeding eyeball tattooed on his head. He might have seemed more fierce that way. Instead, he was Hitler’s kleine kartoffelkopf.
Adolf Hitler. Führer of Germany, 1934-1945.
This monotesticled monomaniac ruined the Chaplin moustache for everyone. It is well known among scholars such as me that Hitler combed enormous dollops of petroleum jelly through his hair using a gutted halibut. His mother should have told him to stop that, but she’s the one who taught him to do it.
Verdict: Holocaustic. Shameful. Remorseless.
Joseph Stalin. Premier of the USSR, 1941-1953.
What a coif! Too bad it’s actually a beaver pelt.
Verdict: Beaver pelt.
Pol Pot. Prime Minister of Cambodia, 1976-1979.
From the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge to the Marxist, Maoist dystopia of Year Zero in Democratic Kampuchea, this guy had dumb hair. And judging by this picture, one ear.
Verdict: More like Pol Not!
The rebel Fashionistas of Pot’s neo-agrarian paradise should have staged a coup against his hair, but they were too busy starving.
Kim Jong-il, Dear Leader of North Korea, 1998-2087 (estimated)
Does he know he looks like that? Is the entire country just afraid to tell him? Answers: no; yes.
Verdict: Perhaps he’d look better with more forehead. That’s what the editor of Kim’s wikipedia page seemed to believe. (Note: the image below on the right may have been removed due to fascism by the time you read this.) Or perhaps he was just a big fan of This Island Earth:
Fabio. Supermodel for Life of Italy, 1987-Present.
The most ruthless of them all, Fabio has killed over 15 million Italians, primarily with his killer abs. Italians learned their lesson with Mussolini: never again [will an Italian with such a horrifying hairstyle, or lack of hair, rise to the rank of genocidal dictator; however, anyone possessing hair like Fabio’s should immediately be declared Supermodel for Life, for what could possibly go wrong?]. Fabio’s hair is made from the same material as unicorn horns, starshine, and rainbows. (Gold.) The word perfecto was coined to describe Fabio’s hair. Also, he has written more than half a dozen books that apparently feature him as the protagonist.
I bet no one has ever said this:
“I wish Arsenio Hall were here. He’d know what to do.”
This is because, regardless of the situation, he would probably interview Vanilla Ice.
I don’t think any reasonable person can watch this clip and come away believing that 1991 actually happened.