Category Archives: Quick Question…
Where I pose a question about life as a stand up comic to some of my comedian friends.
I live, breath, eat and sleep comedy. Movies about comedy speak to me. From the flawed Punchline to a classic like Annie Hall, I love movies about comedians. The best movie to capture the essence of comedy in a small town doing a one nighter has got to be The Godfather of Green Bay. But my all time favorite is Funny People. People knocked it, but I love it. My nightmare is that I’ll end up friendless like Adam Sandler’s character. I try really hard to be nice to everyone, but I know sometimes I piss off my friends and that makes me feel terrible. I need my them. Anyway, I asked my peers what their favorite movie about comedy is. Check it out:
Brad Austin: Comedian. (Mike note: An essential documentary for every comedian to watch.)
The third chair…the great Pat Francis: Mr. Saturday Night.
Comedians often joke that comedy is the easiest job in the world because we work an hour and a half at night and that’s it. That’s not really the case. I believe that comedy is a job you do every waking hour of your life. You’re constantly trying to think of new bits and getting gigs. It’s a tough and time consuming job. Video games and movies are fun ways to escape your brain for a little bit. And believe me, I need to escape my brain as much as possible! My favorite video game has got to be Red Dead Redemption. The story and the look of it were unbelievably epic! It has to be the best ending of a video game I’ve ever played. I asked my fellow comedians if they blow off time with video games and if so, what was their favorite. Check it out:
Mike Brody: Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
PJ Jacokes: Batman: Arkam Asyslum
Erik Kitter: My favorite video game is probably final fantasy 3. It’s the first role playing game I ever played. I spent weeks playing it at a friend’s and put sooo many hours into it. I never wanted it to end but when it did it felt great.
Ricarlo Flannigan: Hitman Silent Assassin (I always wanted to shoot someone with a silencer on the gun, it so soft and quiet).
Garri Madera: Tetris
Ky Miller: Favorite video game of any platform is probably Mario bros 3. The game has more replay value than the Big Lebowski. I also found my wife and mother of my children by playing that game. I had been working a bar job and didn’t know anyone in the area. A coworker invites me to a party for employees… Upon arriving I plop myself on the stained and run down thrifty couch of this over stuffed one bedroom apartment. So much commotion was going on that I spotted my escape, the old school NES. I turned it on and found myself instantly lost in nostalgic memories. Just as I was finishing the third level of world 1, the love of my life, then a stranger, asked if there was room for Luigi. We have been together ever since.
Brad Austin: Metal Gear: Solid
Digg Johnson: Assassin’s Creed 2
Mike Green: Zelda Ocarana of Time. I really loved the problem solving and the way you had to bounce back and forth between the future and past. Plus is was the first game my son ever beat he would cry and have to stop playing it when he got to the boss. It took him 6 months to finally beat Ganandorf but when he finally beat it I will never forget the look on his face.
Marty Smith: The last time I had a favorite video game was when I graduated from Pong to Ms. Pac Man. Yes, it marks me as old.
Darnell Anderson: Final Fantasy VII
Mike O’Keefe: I can play any of the NCAA’s at any time.
Mikey Mason: Favorite video game? Ugh… Final Fantasy 8? Star Wars Battlefront? GTA San Andreas? Probably the GTA series. I like a sandbox game where you can run around and explore and don’t have to follow a story line if you don’t want to. Kind of like my act…
Lauren Uchalik: Mortal Kombat for the Super NES
Germaine: Favorite video game: Pokemon Snap, what can I say, I like taking photos, even if they aren’t real photos of creatures that are also not real.
Jeff Ford: My favorite video game is Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. I like fighting people on there lol. (Mike note: I knew there was a dark side to lovable Jeff Ford!)
Allyson Hood: The original Mortal Kombat for Sega Genesis. First video game I ever beat on my own. I’ve got a soft spot for it.
Sal Demilio: I love the bar video game Big Event Golf. I usually am playing it after my sets.
Bob Phillips: Pong
Bill Bushart: Space Invaders
Jeff Conolly: Probably my favorite video game is Final Fantasy 7, as I have played it multiple times, beat the emerald and ruby weapons, and still drool over “Knights of the Round” and “Omnislash”. Yep, I used to not get laid.
Steve Lind: Warhammer 40,000 (PC game) or Call of Duty
Stu McCallister: My favorite video game as a kid was probably Double Dragon. I got to the point where I could beat it with one quarter. Of course it took hundreds of quarters to get to that point but it was worth it. I got to avoid so many girls as a result…
In light of a situation where an older comic kept using the word “Oriental” to describe Asian people even after I explained to him that “Oriental” describes property, not people, I got to thinking about words that both me in comedy. I hate that word in addition to the word “retard”. Not only is that word hurtful, but it’s just such a hacky word to throw out to get a guaranteed laugh. Anyway, I asked a bunch of my peers which words they don’t like when used on stage. Check it out:
Mike O’Keefe: “In any context, I am not a fan of ‘bitch’. “
Garri Madera: “Really”.
Ricarlo Flannigan: “Seriously”. Very annoying.
PJ Jacokes: “Bitch”.
Jeff Conolly: “Faggot. It’s like cooking with truffles. Only the best chefs can do it because the flavor is so potent and easily off-putting if mishandled. “Faggot” is the same way, only the best comedians can handle it properly. Also, truffles sound pretty gay.”
Paul Gilmartin (Mental Illness Happy Hour/Dinner and a Movie): “ I can’t think of any word in particular, but when they use the same phrase over and over because they’re afraid of silence, I get annoyed.”
Quick plug to my friend comedian Mike Brody. He is the “Official Comedian of Beyond Reality Events”. In fact, if Deadpan takes off and we get to do a second season, it’ll involve hopefully either Mike Brody or a character based largely on Mike Brody. Maybe we’ll call him Brody Michaels. Hm.
To kick things off, here’s my spooky story. I was at the notoriously haunted and historic Holly Hotel doing a Christmas party a few years back. Normally the comedy shows are in the basement, but this private party was on the top floor, which is supposed to be where the “stuff” happens. I was delighted and making jokes about the ghost, when a large painting fell off the wall and freaked everyone out. So I changed topics and went back to my normal nerdery. It made me jump though!
Jeff Dwoskin: I once was doing a show at Holly and it started out great and then everyone stopped laughing. To this day I swear it was because of a super-natural intervention of some sort. I swear this stuff usually kills!
Andy Pitz: I’ve never experienced paranormal activity at a show or in lodging. I have been creeped out by several club owners though.
I feel like I worked with Tony Deyo shortly after this great story happened to him. It’s one of my favorite comedian stories: I was performing at a college in Albion, MI. They had me staying on campus at a 150 year old place called Belmont Manor. First of all, any place with “manor” in the name is haunted. I joked about staying in their haunted Scooby Doo mansion at the show. Afterwards, the opener asked me if he could come over and check out the place b/c he had been into studying the paranormal for about 10 years. When I had checked in at the mansion, I thought other people were staying there too, but when we got there after the show, no other cars were in the parking lot. I realized I was going to be alone that night in the creepy mansion. We walked around the place, and he told me that his fingers were getting a little numb in one room, which probably meant that someone had died of a heart attack in there. As we wandered upstairs via the giant spiral staircase, he told me that that’s where I might see a ghost in the middle of the night. At this point, I was still under the impression that I might actually spend the night. All the doors upstairs were locked except for mine, so as I was walking back downstairs with him, he noticed a door that went to the basement. He couldn’t find a light switch, so he went down with just his penlight on a keychain. I did not follow. He came back and told me that a lot of people had died down there… and that they were killed. That’s when I told him that he was staying with me for 5 minutes while I packed up my stuff and left. I never knew if there was a ghost there for sure, but I wasn’t about to find out.
My favorite roast jokes are the ones told about me.
My all time favorite is from the Darth Vader Roast when Lesley Braden said to me, “Mike Bobbitt do some sit ups before someone puts me in a Princess Leia costume and chains me to your neck.”
I asked my friends for their favorite roast jokes told about them.
Sweet Mike O’Keefe: My favorite roast joke about me was delivered like a rocket ship to my heart at Adam Sokol’s during the summer of 2010, the year of our Lord. It was my first roast and being that I am a huge Don Rickles fan and love not only insulting people but also being insulted, I was legitimately excited for it. I was also elated at the fact that this was the first time I was going to an event for our community of comics that I am very proud to be a part of.
I drove there with companion and fellow handsomite Trevor Smith. On the way out there, Ol’ Trevor and I worked up a nice joke about one Merv DaPerv and his notorious stage name. We though we had spun quite a yarn. Coincidentally, I opened with it. It tanked. I recovered by making it known that I had made sweet bi-racial love to Darnell Anderson in a New York City hostel bunk bed not a month prior.
A few comics later, Merv came up and retorted quite elegantly with “Mike O’Keefe, more like Mike O’Queefe. You sound like an Irish Pussy Fart”. Then Merv, who at the time was a full-grown man in what I can only describe as a football jersey, proceeded to make a fart noise into the microphone. The crowd, at first confused, looked to me for some sort of reaction. This mass of concerned humanity quickly saw that I was devastated by this yarn of acerbic genius and responded, politely, with a crisp and clear “faggot”. To this day, I have not yet recovered from this verbal assault and am still haunted by the sight of any and all football jerseys and any and all vaginas.
Jeff Dwoskin:My favorite roast joke. That is hard. Most are some variation of some revelation that I’m a Jew. Perhaps Bill Bushart said it best when you said ‘Dwoskin puts the ‘ew’ in ‘Jew’. Kris Peters did a good impersonation of me as well at the Ford roast – I should mention that as it made me laugh pretty hard. Frankly I’m just glad to ever be mentioned at all. If someone can take the time to sit at home and focus on a joke about me. I’m truly honored by that. Who wouldn’t be.
Germaine: At the roast of Jeff Ford, Bill Bushart said this about me “I’m not saying her snatch is hairy, but last time she trimmed it it took two Amish guys and a sickle”.
Stu McCallister: Some dick (Mike Bobbitt)at a roast said I looked like a ‘retarded Ent’ which all LOTR fans know are the walking talking trees.
Once again I polled my comedy friends. This time I asked them about their scariest experiences on stage.
Mine was that I was on stage at Club Bart very early on and was getting
heckled by a black guy with crazy hair. Growing up in the suburbs I
didn’t realize the potential racial implications of saying, “Settle down
Buckweet!” He tried to rush the stage, but the other open mic comics
formed a barrier keeping him away from me. I was afraid to leave the
stage. Nowadays I realize that faking confidence goes a long way and
gives you a lot of leeway with what you can say to an audience.
This is the week I’m working with my favorite comedian Marc Maron and honestly I’m nervous. I’ve met Marc a couple of times and he’s been really nice to me. I want to do a good job in front of him and part of me is worried that after a show he’ll say, “What was that?! Does that stuff usually work?!” I want to do my set and impress him. I don’t know why, but that’s important to me.
So this week I turned to my comedian friends and asked them about their experiences working with “celebrities”. My experiences have been mostly positive aside from the time that I volunteered to emcee for Maria Bamford and then jokingly threaten to punch her when she tried to force her own money onto me. The reason I think it jarred her is because the next day I wrote her to tell her how much of an honor it was working with her. Christine wrote her to tell her how much fun she had hanging out with her. Well, Maria wrote Christine back, but I got nothing.
Here’s my celebrity story and then onto the others:
I popped a question to a bunch of my comedian friends. What was your first time on stage? We’ll start with mine. Mine was Club Bart in Ferndale, Michigan at an open mic show on February 6th, 2003. My comedy class graduation show was on the 18th at Joey’s Comedy Club in Livonia and I was so sick with the flu that I puked repeatedly on the way there and immediately after.