As the old saying goes, “Anything can happen, and it usually does.” This is a story of how my brain sort of works while I’m at my job as a stand-up comedian.
Gather around and let me tell you about the gloriously weird-ass day I had at work last night. It started with a sold out early show, and ended with me talking a guy into showing the late show crowd a picture of his bruised penis.
Before I continue, let me preface this story by saying that of course I have pre-written material that I do on stage. But… I do love to go off script and see what else the audience and I can come up with in the moment. It’s a wondrous slice of infinity that lets the crowd feel like they’re in on a secret, because they are. What’s happening in that fundamentally discrete space in the universe cannot be duplicated again.
And that brings us to last night’s curious, unique, horrific events.
As I’m waiting behind the curtain to go on, the middle act, who is still on stage, overhears a guy in the front row tell his date, “Stop touching it! You know I have a bruised dick!”
Having just received the light (the signal to wrap up your set and get off stage), the middle act makes brief mention of it and finishes his set.
Backstage, I can barely contain my glee for this manna from the heavens. I smile like child who has ripped a small corner of the wrapping on a gift the night before Christmas to discover it is in fact the PS4 Neo for which he has been waiting.
Just like that, I’m Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room, interrupting the regularly scheduled programming. I interview the victim. I reenact scenarios in a simulator. I solicit experts.
These are the moments I cherish.
Truth be told, if I didn’t jump on this information, the audience would sit there uncomfortably the whole show, thinking to themselves, “Is he really going to pretend he didn’t hear about that guy’s mangled dong?”
So I ask, I prod, I find out exactly what the audience wants to know. And hopefully I elicit other information the crowd didn’t even know it absolutely had to know.
Even the jokes I came armed with suddenly take unplanned detours and pay respect to his defeated manhood.
Good times were had by all. Even this poor guy. Let’s call him “John”. (Not not his real name.) In his own post-show words to me, “When you sit in the front row and talk about your bruised dick, you gotta play along.”
John smashed his dangly bits on a ladder (hard to explain). John took pictures of it and showed it to a hundred strangers. John is a good sport. Be like John.
Anything can happen at live comedy shows. And that’s why I love it.
One more show tonight in Sacramento at Laughs Unlimited, 7pm. Don’t miss it.