Excerpts of Step-by-Step Plotlines Involving Cody Lambert

If you are not familiar with the popular 90’s show Step-by-Step, then please move on to another website.  These are all taken straight from the Episode Listing on Wikipedia.
  • Cody wins a turkey — a live turkey — in a supermarket raffle, and deals with his conscience when he is asked to have it butchered.
  • Cody (who dresses in drag) would not remain part of the act. Meanwhile, Frank tries to catch a mouse.
  • Cody is not happy with his impressive test results because he worries he will be expected to become a brain surgeon. Read More
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Assorted Thoughts on a Recent Bombing


With stand-up comedy, it’s not like a play or a movie where if people don’t like it they can go, ‘Well, we didn’t like the set, or the script, or the costumes.’  With stand-up comedy, if people don’t like it they’re basically saying, ‘We don’t like you.  You know…your personality.’ – Mike Birbiglia

The karma of comedy has an eerie way of balancing out an ego.  I’ve been living pretty high on the hog lately.  I performed in New York, featured at the Improv twice, and had my first radio spot all within the span of a month!  I was feeling unstoppable.  This weekend I bombed.  Atomically.   So like an Aikido Black Belt, the karmic cycle of comedy used my own momentum against me.

Bombing is perhaps one of the most frustrating, sad, depressing, enraging, sometimes hilarious experiences that a comedian can go through.  It is a staple of the comedy landscape.  If you’re a comic who’s never wandered through the minefield of a bad show, you’re either the best comedian God has ever created, or you’re a delusional lunatic.

This past weekend, I stunk up the joint.  I was hosting a one-nighter in the suburbs of Pittsburgh on Saturday night.  It was in the back of a restaurant and it truly was a good-looking room.  Nice sound.  Spot light.  Alas, those accouterments didn’t help me.  My set sucked so hard Dyson is looking to purchase the legal rights.

Bombing as an MC is a fairly typical occurrence though.  MC’s have three goals (in order of importance): focus the audience’s attention on the stage, read announcements (drink specials, 50-50 raffles, who’s car is getting towed), and make the audience laugh.

Unfortunately, I constantly forget that the MC really isn’t there to crush the room.  I’m there to warm the audience up, get them used to the idea of listening to someone talk into a microphone.  Then I tell a few jokes, announce that there are 2 dollar “you-call-its,” and get off stage.  But that’s not enough for me at this point.  I need to kill.  If bomb or even just have an average show, I walk off-stage feeling like a complete fraud.

We are responsible for our own actions.  So allow me to express some culpability for the bad performance: I had not written any new material in a month, I had not performed at an open mic for nearly two weeks, and I had not taken time to get focused before the show.  I figured I could just skate by and do well.  But within 30 seconds of stepping onto the cold stage, I knew that my lack of hard work was going to come back to haunt me.

However…

The person that said, “There’s no such thing as a bad audience,” was a moron.  I bought into this theory when I was a wide-eyed youngster.  All it did was make me internalize guilt for bad shows.  I’ve since realized that the audience is also responsible for the energy of the room.  It’s maybe not entirely their fault though.  They were lured into the situation with the vague promise of “comedy.”  However, taste in comedy is much like taste in food.  And you wouldn’t walk up to a restaurant that just said “Food” and expect the menu to only have Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza.

This particular audience seemed hell bent on having a bad time.  A couple came in late and sat at the front table with their arms crossed.  The guy sneered maliciously the whole time.  His face looked like he had just double-crossed me in some awful soap opera and was prepared to deliver the shocking revealation.

But what you don’t understand Jeff…is that I switched the briefcase.

One woman kept groaning with disgust at every innocuous set-up:

Me: I don’t understand people who don’t like zoo’s…
Lady (offended):  Awwww!

Me:  Shopping malls are kinda weird.
Lady (horrified):  AWW!  No!  Let the malls alone!

The lesson learned here is you can never control how an audience is going to react, but you can control your level of comfort by coming to the show focused and ready.  If you’ve done your homework and give your best, then you can leave the show and the urge to crawl into a sewer drain and live underground for the rest of your life will be minimal at least.

I’ve broken a cardinal rule with this blog post:

Never let them know you’re bombing… – Steve Martin

Spirit of the Radio

I thought a Rush song title would be the only appropriate way to share my clip from the WDVE Morning Show today:

Click here to listen.

Thanks to Randy and Val Porter for being a great audience at 6:45 in the morning.  Randy and Jim Krenn are truly the patron saints of Pittsburgh comedy.  St. Jude will be happy to unload some of us lost causes onto their shoulders.

Also Thanks to Jess the Producer, Bill Crawford and Mike Wysocki for helping make it happen.

I have to tell you, the prospect of being on the radio was frightening.  There was a small part of me that wanted to chicken out and make some excuse.  Oh my car broke down, I can’t be there.  But as with everything (especially roller-coasters), if I just suck it up and do it, I always learn there’s really not that much to be afraid of and I ended up having a great time.

Also thanks to all my family and friends who either woke up early and huddled around a radio just to hear me for a few minutes.

Reasearch and Development

 

Who is the public? What does it hold as its good? There was a time when men believed that ‘the good’ was a concept to be defined by a code of moral values and that no man had the right to seek his good through the violation of the rights of another. – Hank Rearden; Atlas Shrugged

 

Hopefully I can help them in some way. – Jared Fogle, Subway Spokesperson.

 

Dr. William Hastings & Dr. John Galt were still shaking with excitement even as they cracked open the top of their second beer.  The echoes of their elated screams still reverberated off some tiled hallway deep below the Applied Sciences Building at Patrick Henry University.

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Worker’s Comp Case Looms for the City of Detroit

(AP – Detroit, MI)  The City of Detroit has found itself yet again wrapped in legal entanglements regarding the safety of a public official.  Earlier this year, Officer Alexander Murphy was gunned down by local crime boss Clarence Boddicker in an abandoned steel mill.  Murphy was pronounced dead on the scene but a new program instituted by Omni Consumer Products (OCP) has allowed Murphy to return from the dead and back to work.
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