The Delicate Balance of Life: An Analysis by Bill Crawford

May 22, 2009

I did a show at Olive or Twist Wednesday night for N3 (Naughty Networking Night), which is an all men networking event scheduled once every six weeks and happened to be an extremely unreasonable setting for a comedy show. It was sort of a “get away from the wife and kids and network with dudes” kind of night. There were bartenders and waitresses donning trashy lingerie and walking around passing out cheese balls and spinach puffs.

So just to recap: ALL DUDES networking and pounding drinks for two hours and chicks dressed like hookers shelling out finger foods… and then a comedy show.

What could go wrong?

When we walked in, I heard one guy say to another guy something that just about summed up the vibe:

“She loves cock and he has a cock, so it’s all gonna work out!”

Swear to god. After that I began to cross off material from the set list in my head; anything highbrow was out.  Dick jokes were king.

The MC was honking announcements from the shadows with a cordless mic and after he got the room down to a dull roar, Jeff was up. The abortion had begun.

Jeff is up there doing jokes about Theodore Roosevelt to guys who have been exchanging their favorite porn sites for the last hour and a half. The cacophony of douche bag noise was so loud that we actually sent one of the girls up to quiet them down before he brought me up. It was very awkward, but he finished up and then introduced me.

I had their full attention for about 35 seconds and then I lost them for 35 minutes.

The only joke that killed wasn’t even in my act. They were getting two strippers after the comedy show (oh yeah forgot that) and I said, “Stick around after the show guys, they have two strippers coming up and there is about 100 of you, so those are pretty good odds.”


“You will have to wait in a Kenny wood line to get a lap dance, but I think it will be worth it. Sure you might have to wait in a line like it’s the Steel Phantom on Italian day, but then you get some titties in your face.”

Right after that I lost them.

My role in the evening became clearer as the show disintegrated: I was the warm-up act for the strippers. The stark revelation of a comedy fluffer. I was cock-blocking the audience’s night and they ignored me. This was the worst Viagra commercial ever.

I learned a valuable piece of information last night: without women to make men behave, they won’t. They were like a pack of wild animals, except wearing shitty cologne and dress shirts from Filenes Basement. I learned that women provide the balance in all social settings. They anchor down the men who would otherwise be telling each other racist jokes and the vilest and most foul shit they would do to women they work with.

The bar tampered with the ecosystem and upset the balance dramatically.

The fact that the girls present were dressed like they were headed off to a Rock Of Love elimination ceremony basically discounts them as women. They traded in their integrity for some fishnets and of course dudes want chicks to dress like that, but you can’t look to them for guidance. If women start letting men dictate how they act and how they dress, I am fairly certain humanity is going to hell in a bedazzled hand basket.

Nobody paid attention, which is actually worse than heckling, because it is a complete indifference.

They didn’t even think enough of the show to boo it or heckle it; they just had loud conversations with each other while I fumbled through my material like a clumsy sideshow clown. After every joke I said, “Did I mention that it was good to be here?” It got some chuckles.

It was a total nightmare. And not in the vague sense, I have actually had that exact nightmare before; I am performing a karaoke rendition of my jokes, screwing up the set-ups, missing the punch lines, sweating and cursing at a bunch of people that aren’t paying attention.  The only difference between that dream and last night was that I was wearing pants.

I sat down at one point just to further illustrate that nobody was even watching me and some guy emerges from the douche bag pile and says. “Give me the mic! Give me the mic.”  The nerve of this mongoloid was almost unbelievable.

I stood up and told him to sit back down.  He said I looked tired.  I responded that I was tired…of people not paying attention. Not funny, but true. Then he recoiled and said I was doing a good job.

“Well coming from a guy that has been talking the whole fucking time and just sat down 2 minutes ago, I’ll take your word for it.”

The fucking nerve of this turd was by far the most insulting part of the night. This guy thought he was going to come up cold with some e-mail jokes and steal the room! He thought that the x factor on why this show was in the shit can was because paid comedians couldn’t get the job done and he was going to come up there in a black shirt that failed the tide test and a collar that looked like dead dog and kill for 20 minutes. The implication of that move is the reason I woke up pissed off this morning. Everything else was pretty funny to me.

Rodney Dangerfield is laughing in a parallel universe somewhere far off.

I see Jeff signaling to me to wrap it up, so I waste no time and go into the closer, which for this show was my Airport joke. The noise was still at Bus Station level, but I was determined to plug my way through the joke and give it 100 percent. About half way through the joke I lose the whole crowd. And by whole crowd I mean the 10 people that were watching the show. They were all looking to my right. So I look over and I see three girls on a pushcart doing body shots off each other’s tits! I say, “Wow guys, seriously? This is how this fucking show is going to end?”

It was the physical representation of the night side by side: Dude telling jokes about history and three whores licking salt off each other’s pubic bones.

Guess who won the all men crowd over?

I ended the show by saying, “Doing a comedy show for this event is kind of like having a retarded brother… you love him, but he’s a fucking retard. Goodnight.”

I got off stage with a sudden craving for gunmetal. Even off-stage I was bombing. The waitress comes up:

Waitress: Can I get you something sweetie?

Me: Ah, do you have a 9 millimeter?

Waitress: I’m not a bartender, but I will ask. What’s in that?

Ashton Kutcher is laughing in a Punk’d trailer somewhere close by.

Then two strippers came in, escorted by a meat pie with a 53-inch neck. They began dancing for the wolf pack and we were trapped in the corner. Venturing out into the sea half-hard corndogs was too risky.  The last thing I needed after a set like that was to walk through a boner gauntlet and bump into someone.

Now this was the worst Viagra commercial ever.

Then two of the Rock of Love Tour Bus girls come up and ask me to do a body shot with them. I thought the night was giving me a moment; they were being really flirty and then they say 10 bucks. “Get the fuck out of here. First of all body shots? We are not in Cancun, this isn’t spring break and that scab where your belly button ring used to be looks infected, so I will have to pass.”

I have to look my daughter in the eye on a fairly regular basis and paying 10 dollars to get hepatitis C isn’t something I want to explain to her.

This night represents is what it means to be a comedian.

Balanced crowds of men and women are laughing in a comedy club somewhere in the near future.

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