Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rex Ryan born to do stand-up

Sorry - found this article and got pretty excited about it.. (always good to start a post with an apology).

This is just one more reason to love the Jets and their new head coach Rex Ryan. My dream is that someday someone will say (not sarcastically), "should this whole Stand-up comedy thing not pan out for Andrew, he would make one heck of a head football coach for the NFL".......Its good to know that the two correlate.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Broken Pipe

It was a cool fall Saturday afternoon. I was in my junior year of High School and I was the man. Just kidding, I just thought I was. Like most Saturday afternoons during that time period I was getting ready to go to my friend’s house to smoke some pot (yes, this friend was Trevor). I put on my black zip up hoody and got my favorite blue and yellow glass pipe from its not so secret hiding spot behind the books on my bookshelf. I placed the pipe in the right side pocket of my hoody and headed downstairs. As I was leaving I ran into my parents in the kitchen and they asked me where I was headed (they always seemed to be standing there when I was trying to leave and do something they would not approve of). I told them that I was going to Trevor’s house to hang out, which my entire family probably knew was codeword for smoking pot. I was not slick.

I proceeded out of the house and walked onto the driveway where my brother was shooting basketball with one of his friends. Being the cool, athletic older brother that I was I told them to throw me the ball so that I can take a shot as I walked passed them, towards my car.

My brother tossed me the basketball and I shot a fade away jumper. Just as the ball went flying out of my hands, my glass pipe went soaring out of my hoody pocket. In what seemed like slow motion, I saw my glass pipe go spiraling through the air, land on my concrete drive way, bounce once, and shatter. The basketball I shot went nowhere near the basket. At that exact moment my parents came out of the house and saw the entire event go down. I am pretty sure time stopped for a good five-minutes.

I tried kicking the remains of my shattered, glass pipe into the bushes, but it was too late, my parents already saw everything. I tried playing dumb and acting like I had no idea what this glass object was. My parents weren’t buying it. My brother and his friend were laughing hysterically as my parents stood by the garage door stunned and angry.

My parents summoned me over to them. “We know what that was, Andrew.” I guess my dad saw a glass pipe or two while he was at Woodstock even though he claims (to this day) that him and his friends were the only people there who were not doing drugs.

I followed my parents into the house and my dad asked me how I think I should be punished (because handing out punishments is a group effort in a Jewish household). I looked down at the ground and in a last ditch attempt to get off the hook replied with, “Well, my pipe is broken, so I think that is punishment enough.” The room was silent for at least a minute and a smirk came across my dad’s face. “Yea, I guess you are right.” Amazed that this tactic actually worked I quickly headed back outside, got into my car, and drove off to Trevor’s house to smoke a joint and tell him how my pipe broke.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recession Jokes

I just read an article about how it is not only OK to do recession jokes in stand-up, but that people are actually welcoming them.

I made the below recession joke about four months ago:

“You know who should bail us out of this recession?.. Darfur.. They fucking owe us!”

To which I received some nervous chuckles from the audience and someone shouted “Too soon!” Now, this isn’t the best joke ever created (and certainly has its financial flaws), but I think it is funny enough to receive some non-nervous chuckles, or maybe even some nervous, actual laughter. But, as I said, that was four months ago and maybe it really was too soon. I guess a lot has changed in four months and we have begun to accept the state of our economy and have actually gotten settled into this cozy recession (and I guess the only thing left to do is make fun of it). So, I am bringing the recession joke back as of today. I will let you know how it goes.

DON’T TRY AND STOP ME! (or go ahead and try to try and stop me.. but make sure it is before 8pm tonight or it will be too late)!

Please see article below confirming that it is now OK to do recession jokes..

Recession Joke confirmation article

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Burning Down The House… OK, Just The Garage.

When I was in middle school my friend Trevor and I enjoyed filming videos. We would often take his parents’ video camera and film fake talk shows or random scenes inspired by whichever movie we had recently watched on HBO, all of which usually ended with one of us getting hurt or pissed off before the production was complete. For example, we once filmed a talk show where the backdrop fell on Trevor and since he was so skinny and weak he could not get it off of himself. So there are five minutes of film somewhere with Trevor stuck under a corkboard yelling about how he is going to kill me if I don’t help him and me laughing so hard that I can’t move.

One summer day me, Trevor, and another friend of ours decided to film ourselves doing stunts. It was around the time the MTV show Jackass came out, so performing and filming idiotic stunts was the thing to do. It is also worth noting that we were teenage boys, so we greatly enjoyed playing with fire. We decided to film small “stunts” in Trevor’s backyard that involved lighting things on fire. The first few were using Trevor’s jungle gym. One involved setting the monkey bars ablaze and Trevor climbing across them. Another involved me pouring lighter fluid on a Styrofoam bike helmet and setting it on fire as I wore it to go down the slide (pretty bad ass, I know).

Eventually we decided that the lighter fluid we were using was not creating a strong enough effect for us. Trevor realized that there was a can of gasoline in his garage, which would certainly create a much stronger flame than the pussy lighter fluid we had previously been using. We figured that would look way cooler on camera and being the pyrotechnical experts that we were, we decided this was the only logical progression. Yes, what can possibly go wrong there?

We moved the production into Trevor’s garage, quickly located the gasoline and cleared a space on the garage floor. We started off by pouring a little bit of gas on the ground and lighting it and then snuffing out the fire by throwing a large wooden board on top of the flames. This worked out fine. We then advanced to making small rings of fire and filming each other light it and once again snuffing them out by throwing the wooden board on the somewhat controlled flame. We took turns between making a design with the gasoline on the garage floor and lighting it, and filming and snuffing the fire out with the board. Things were going surprisingly well.

It was finally our other friend’s turn to make a design with the gasoline and light it. He took the canister and poured an abnormal amount of gas on the ground. Like if he were a bar tender, the gas was Vodka, and the garage floor was a martini glass, there would be no room for the olive and that olive-less martini would have fucked you up. Trevor and I both looked at each other knowing that there was way too much gas on the ground. But, at the same time we were kind of curious as to what was going to happen. Plus, we were filming this and if things somehow managed to go well this superb pyrotechnical effect might go down in history and could even be our big break.. or at the very least, it would be a cool video to show to our friends and brag about. So, our friend lit the gas on the garage floor and a huge flame came shooting up at us.. crap! We later watched this event on video and all you see is a huge flame come shooting up and then the camera drop and shutoff (so after all that we barley even captured it on film). Trevor attempted to throw the board on the fire to smother it, but this time it only helped kindle the flames (like wood does), so instead, we ran out of the garage in a panic.

As soon as we got out of the garage Trevor’s sisters noticed the blaze and came running outside. Trevor’s grandma who was staying with them for the week soon followed carrying a small cup of water to throw on the flames (at least she tried). Then Trevor’s dad noticed the commotion and came running outside screaming like a 12-year-old girl who just saw a mouse.. at a Britney Spears concert, “Trevor, Trevor!!” Trevor’s dad is a big black guy. He looks a little bit like Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish, but much more intimidating (at least I thought so when I was younger). When a big black guy gets so worked up that he sounds like a prepubescent girl, you know something is wrong.

We all worked tirelessly to subdue the flames. Everyone was in a panic. At first nothing was working. The water we were throwing on the fire wasn’t doing much. We tried to use the fire extinguisher, but it was empty from its prior use as a movie prop and from putting out the grease fire that Trevor had started in the kitchen just a week before (He tried to make French fries on the stove, but set the kitchen cabinets on fire instead).

We ended up throwing baking powder on the flames and borrowing a fire extinguisher from one of the neighbors. We were able to get the garage fire down to a small campfire-like blaze by the time the fire department got there. Once the fire department arrived our other friend and I ran off. Basically we left Trevor to suffer the consequences on his own (what good guys). After an hour I made my way back to Trevor’s house, partly because I felt bad, but mostly because Trevor's parents had already called my mom and told her what happened. I got back to his house and Trevor’s dad yelled at us for about 20 minutes before my mom drove me home where she and my dad yelled at me some more. A few days later the fire department called my mom and asked if she wanted to send me to juvey, or put me in some crazy kid program. Thank god she declined. THANKS MOM!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Return of a champion: Dave Chappelle back in action?

Dave Chappelle did a free show in the middle of Pioneer Square in Portland, Oregon, or tried to anyway. The show took place at 1:00 AM on July 14th. Dave told a few people casually that this would be going on as a seceret show and when showtime came.. over 4,000 people showed up.. Thank you twitter and facebook. Pretty fricken amazing. The show began with Dave urging people not to tell a secret in Oregon and apologizing that he was not prepared for such a large turn out stating that "I didn't know that I was still famous" and sincerely thanked everyone for coming out.. The one speaker that he used (that he brought himself) was the size of a throw pillow, so the crowed could barley hear him.. yet everyone still stayed as long as he did.. Please see article and youtube video below.

Dave Chappelle has always been one if my idols growing up and he is a big reason I got into comedy. I am just happy to see him back in action and hope to see him around a lot more in the near future...

Thousands flock to Pioneer Courthouse Square to see Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle youtube video

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My First Phone

When I was in middle school I really really wanted my own phone and phone line in my room. I begged my parents for my own phone for months. Finally my birthday came around and I knew this was the day my wish would come true. When it was time to open presents I looked for the medium sized, rectangular box and ripped open the wrapping paper.. my parent’s faces lit up with glee as I stared at the present angrily. It was a build your own phone set.

The set came complete with cords, buttons, and wires, and a cardboard casing to stuff it all inside once the assembly was complete. So, not only was my birthday gift made of Cardboard, but I had to assemble it myself... yea I was pissed! First off, if your ideal gift is a phone you are not much of a craftsman. Second off, that’s just dangerous.. “Hey, lets have our dimwitted 15 year old son build a phone out of cardboard that he will probably assemble half-assedly and then use for 5 hours a day”. Basically, nothing good was coming out of this gift. My father once got my mom a bug zapper for mother's day, so I am guessing he was the brain child behind this extraordinary gift as well.

If anything, I felt like my parents were mocking me. Maybe it was because they were laughing their asses off as I stormed angrily into my room. My parents eventually got me a real phone and it was sweet (see through casing – assembly not required).

I think the moral of this story is that I am definitely fucking with my kid when/if I have one. Because looking back on if from their perspective it was pretty funny..

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Smoke Alarm

I used to live in Park Slope with my friend from High School and his friend from college. One weekday night I was awakened at 4 am by a constant beeping that sounded eerily like a smoke alarm. I was tired so I kept on rationalizing that someone else would get it (as if it were a door bell and not a system that is made to alert us of danger).
We lived on the first floor of a 4 story brown stone and my room was in the front of our apartment. I had three huge windows, so if there actually was a fire in our apartment I could easily escape. Therefore, one of my roommates should check it out since their lives were a lot more at risk. (This is how you rationalize when all you want to do is go back to sleep). Another 5 minutes went by and neither of my roommates got up to shut off the alarm or alert me of danger. I Assumed that both my roommates were now dead (since that was the only reasonable excuse for not hearing this persistent beeping sound) , so I decided to suck it up and shut the alarm off myself so I could get some sleep.

I finally pulled myself out of bed and walked into the hall where I was greeted by a cloud of smoke. Our entire hallway was filled with thick, white smoke... (..So much for removing the batteries from the smoke alarm and going back to sleep). I made my way towards the back of our apartment to see what the hell was going on. I get into the living room and there is one of my roommates passed out on the couch. I instantly realized what was going on. I went into the kitchen and discovered that there was a mini pizza in the toaster oven that was now a chard black. I shut off the toaster oven and went back into the living room to wake up my dumb-ass roommate. I shook him 4 or 5 times until he finally woke up (he was shit-faced). He looked at me drunkenly as I attempted to explain to him that he almost burned down our apartment and that he was currently passed out drunk in a cloud of smoke. He then quickly got up off the couch, went into the kitchen, turned the toaster oven back on and then passed back out on the couch in the living room. REALLY? I honestly did not at all see that coming and was not sure how to react. Again, I shut the toaster oven off and this time unplugged it. I then woke up my roommate for the second time and explained to him that he was an idiot. Again, he just stared at me drunkenly. This time he got up, went into the kitchen, pulled the pitch black, mini pizza out of the toaster oven, put it on a plate, stared at it perplexed for almost a minute, and then walked into his room and slammed the door.

The next day I asked him how his extremely burned pizza was. He looked at me confused and asked how I knew about that..

After half scolding him for almost burning the house down, and half laughing at how ridiculous he was, I looked in his bedroom and saw that the chard black mini pizza had two big bites taken out of it… ewww

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Legend of The Bear Joke

I perform stand-up comedy and I only really.. really bombed one time (so far). It was at the Broadway Comedy club last winter in front of a small crowed of about 10 people. I blame my poor performance on my opening joke which was a 3-minute rant on how I wished I were a bear so that I can hibernate through the winter. I had never done the joke in front of an audience before, but was kind of on the cusp about whether I liked the joke or not, so, that night, I decided to try it out (how bad could it be?).

What made things worse is that my roommate at the time was there with his girlfriend. My roommate had seen me perform before, but this was the first time his girlfriend came to one of my shows. So, needless to say it was awkward when she congratulated me for an “interesting performance” and told me that she still thought I was funny even though no one laughed..

Since that show I have never even attempted to do the joke again. My roommate busted my balls about it for the next several months (and still does) and whenever we had people over he would tell me to “do the bear joke for them” and then tell them the story of that legendary night at the comedy club.

I still refuse to do this joke again in public or private, but if you are interested, I have included the joke below, complete with commentary for kicks and shniggles. Because in the end… its fun to make fun of yourself..(Plus if you don’t do it someone else will).


Setup: I hate the winter. It's depressing and cold.

Punch: Why can’t humans hibernate? .. I love sleeping… hate winter… bam perfect fit.

(Pause for anticipated laughter A.K.A confused snickers)

Setup: I was thinking about this and the only way this would actually be possible is if I were a bear.. Or at least part bear. I’m a big Jew,

(prob. where I got the biggest laugh and it has pretty much nothing to do with the joke)

So I get off of work for the Jewish holidays. If I were a bear I would have to get off for the winter to hibernate because that’s what bears do.

(Think I lost the audience around there)

Punch: its like going on a date… sleeping through it and waking up with an erection and your pants off.

(NOTE: I did not actually end up using this part in the show- thank god, but really?)

Punch: …My co-workers would be like where’s Andrew?.. Oh, its winter he’s sleeping. He’ll be back in April… fucking Jew bear… because they will be jealous because I get off for Yum kipper, Rosh Hashanah, Pass-Over.. and ALL of winter.

(I still think that parts funny.. screw ya’ll for not laughing… “and all of Winter”.. hilarious)

Setup: I was thinking about it and if I could choose what type of bear I was; I would be 2/3 black bear.

Punch: I would be a Jewish black bear. I would be the Lenny Kravitz of the animal kingdom.

(Also a good line.. I think I did get some pity laughs there though)

Punch: I can make black bear jokes and get pissed if someone says the B word. I’d fight for bear rights… we’re here we’re bear… (It’s a work in progress).

(Pause for awkward silence)

Punch: I think the only real problem is that I hate Salmon.. I hope that won’t be an issue. I like other fish.

(Always end on a zinger)

..and that my friends is the legendary bear joke.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trevor’s Guardian Angel

Do you have one of those friends that things just seem to happen to? Not good things, or bad things, but just things. I had one of those friends growing up. In fact, he was my best friend. We did everything together; made forts, giant bowls of cereal, and discovered porn. When we were young we used to get into three-hour brawls. He was a skinny biracial twig and I was a white, chubby sloth. Our brawls would consist of him getting angry and worked up over something stupid and meaningless to most normal human beings. My defense was to sit on him for three-hours until he calmed down. He had a temper and if it was not for my childhood weight I am not sure if we would still be friends today.

We spent a lot of time together growing up, in our teen years, mostly smoking weed. He was the type of guy who just did things his way regardless of the consequences. He knew the “rules” he mostly just chose to disregard them and make his own, and I always envied him for that.
He wasn’t a bad guy, but he certainly did not grow up with a Jewish mother. We were always getting into some sort of mischief together, which usually resulted in one of us getting grounded. But at the end of the day when I would go home high and eat dinner with my family and then pass-out in front of the TV, his adventures still continued. He would come to me with the most fantastical stories about having sex with a businesswoman on the train on the way to visit his grandmother in Boston, or meeting Melissa Joan Hart in the mall an asking her out on a date. Some stories were more believable then others.

The day he told me about the woman who claimed to be his guardian angel is a day I will never forget. We were in High School at the time and I was over at Trevor’s house for dinner on a warm, summer Saturday evening. His mom was in the kitchen preparing the food and his dad and two sisters were in the den watching TV. Trevor and I sat on the porch smoking a cigarette he stole from one of his parents. We sat there sharing drags and he told me the story of his most recent adventure. The story goes like this; earlier that day Trevor was skateboarding with a few friends. He was minding his own business, like usual, when a middle aged white woman came up to him and engaged him in conversation. The woman lived around the corner from where Trevor was skateboarding and was just out for a brisk walk. When she bumped into Trevor there was just something about Trevor that drew her over to him (My guess is that he ran into her with the skateboard). Trevor and this woman began talking about how difficult Trevor’s life was. Being a stubborn, biracial, teenager with parents who love you, but have no idea how to deal with your behavior can be hard. She told him how special he was and how she felt this strong connection with him. She told him how she wanted to buy him a car if he does well in school next semester and that if he ever needed anything at all he can always ask her. “I think I am your Guardian Angel,” she said to him. I took this tale with a grain of salt. Honestly, who the fuck does that happen to.

Trevor’s mother called us in for dinner and his family and I sat around the kitchen table and ate. I always looked forward to dinners with Trevor’s family. We laughed and joked and mainly just made fun of each other (I mostly made fun of Trevor which is part of the reason his family loved me). After dinner Trevor’s family went upstairs and Trevor and I remained at the kitchen table scheming of ways to find weed (I actually don’t quite remember what we were doing at the kitchen table but I am 95% sure that was it). As we sat there talking we heard someone knock on the front door and a woman’s voice yelling “hello”. “Stay here”, Trevor tells me. Trevor peeks his head around the corner and then comes back to the kitchen table and tells me that we need to hide. It appears that his guardian angel decided to come by the house and “save him”. I wasn’t sure what to think at this point. One, I was almost positive that Trevor was making up the story (or at least greatly exaggerating it) when he first told me about this guardian angel and two, she seemed a lot more crazy in person then when he originally described her. So, we hid in the corner of the kitchen. This was a decent plan in theory except for the fact that the front door was unlocked. I think it is notable to mention that guardian angels do not give up easily. Trevor’s guardian angel took the unlocked door as an invitation (or maybe a sign) to let her self in the house.

She walks into the kitchen and sees Trevor and me hiding in the corner. “What’s going on here?” She slurs with concern. It didn’t look good. Trevor assured her that everything was fine and that there was no need for alarm. I was a little too stunned to say much of anything, but I nodded my head in agreement. “No” she said, “something is not right here”. “And what’s going on upstairs”? As if things didn’t look bad enough, Trevor’s mom and sisters were upstairs goofing around and screaming at the top of their lungs. They were tickling each other, or having a tickling fight if you will, and to Trevor’s guardian angel, their screams sounded like calls of distress.
With this mixture of the loud, horror filled screams coming from the upstairs and the fact that she found Trevor and I huddled in the corner of the kitchen looking like frightened world war two victims she had herself a case. We moved our conversation into the front hall. There she continued voicing her overwhelming concern “I don’t know what’s going on here, but I know I was sent here for a reason”. “I am here to help you Trevor”. “Why is your friend over so late?” “This is no way to live!” No matter how hard we tried to explain that everything was ok, she just wasn’t having it. Also, her breathe reeked of Vodka (only Trevor would have an alcoholic guardian angel).

Also standing in the hallway was the man who drove Trevor’s guardian angel to Trevor’s home. He was a tall, middle-aged man with thinning blond hair and was presumably this woman’s husband. Through the entire interaction he stood silently by the front door with a look of awkward embarrassment on his face. I remember wondering why he agreed to drive his wife over to some strange kids house. He didn’t look like he bought into the whole guardian angel bit. I assume he was just happy that his guardian angel wife was focusing her attention on someone else for a change. I cannot even fathom the persuasion that went into getting her bashful husband to go along with this plan, but I imagine that it ended with “ Fine, I will drive you where ever you want if you please just shut up”. Either that or she asked him to make a quick stop at a friend’s house on the way back from the local pub.

This interaction in the hallway must have lasted 5 to 10 minutes with Trevor and me trying to hold back our laughter the entire time (and not doing the best job of it- yes, we kind of laughed in her face a little). Eventually, Trevor’s guardian angel asked Trevor to summon his mother downstairs. She wanted to discuss her child raising methods. Trevor did as he was told and down came Trevor’s confused mother followed by the rest of his equally confused family. “Can I help you?” asks Trevor’s mom. “Hi…. Something just doesn’t seem right here,” responds the valiant Guardian angel.
“Well, what seems wrong”?
“I don’t know, something”.
“Well, what would you like me to do to make it better”
“I don’t know something just seems not right… off”
“Well I can’t do anything if you don’t tell me what you want”
“I am concerned about Trevor” (“aren’t we all” I assume Trevor’s mom thought)
“Ok, well what would you like me to do”?
“I don’t know, I just feel like I need to be here”

The conversation went on like this for about another ten minutes with long pauses of awkward silence. Finally, the guardian angel’s husband stepped in. “I’m sorry about this”. Him and his wife exchange some glances and a few words and he somehow convinces her to leave. I don’t know if you have ever met a drunk and determined guardian angel but I assure you that this was no easy task. The man apologizes one last time before he closes the door behind them. This time we lock it. Needless to say, Trevor never received his promised car and his guardian angel never tried to save him from his tyrannical family again.

To this day this is still the strangest event that I have ever been involved in. For weeks I prayed to god, nightly, that I would never meet my guardian angel. I had a sneaking suspicion that she would end up being a meth-head.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Five minutes in weight-watchers

I was fat when I was younger and my mother’s solution was to take me to weight-watchers. The average weight-watchers participant was a 35 to 45 year-old women; I was a ten-year-old boy. Yes, I was a tad bit out of place.. I will never know what prompted my mother go to the extreme of dragging me to a weight watchers facility, nor do I know why I actually went. Regardless, it was a Saturday morning in 1995 and I found myself in the basement of a small brick building in New Jersey surrounded by overweight, 40 year old woman. I think it would be an understatement to say that I was devastated.

I believe that there is a line between being over bearing and an extreme, unnatural reaction over your child’s weight problem, and I was standing in it. Yes, I was awkwardly waiting in line to be weighed in. I stood there between the morbidly obese woman in the blue moomoo and the slightly over-weight lady who probably would have been fine with a weekly 3 mile walk and cutting out dessert, and I thought “why the fuck am I here”? It was then when I ran out of the weight-watchers building as fast has my chubby legs could take me. That was probably the most exercise I got in years (thanks weigh-watchers!). I was in the middle of some unknown town in Jersey, so I only made my getaway as far as the parking lot where I had to wait for my mom to casually follow me out of the building and unlock the car door. The car ride home was less awkward then the time a girl hugged me and felt my massive erection, but it was still no trip to Disneyland.

That night at dinner my mother and I recapped the days event to my father. My father just shook his head.

I ended up losing all my weight a year later at summer camp thanks to a growth spurt and playing a lot of sports like a normal fucking child...

First Blog

I grew up in new jersey, and at different stages in my childhood I was a shy, fat, skinny, pot head, good jewish boy..

now lets recap...