Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Promotions...or I Couldn't Do A Talented Post Right Now

Okay so this is a tide-me-over-until-the-New-Year post because I've been running around like crazy trying to set up all my dominoes for 2009 (which I am super-excited about, as supposedly it's my good year). I was planning on blogging abroad (and by that I mean from my parent's house in Brooklyn) but I forgot my damn power cord and my laptop - wonderful piece of machinery that it is - fails to recognize that I have a battery that can charge. So, I have a ton of hand-written notes about Christmas, numerology, and story-telling that I can't transcribe and translate into writerly gold right now.

But I am doing a lot of stuff tomorrow so I figure "Hey while I have the spike in site views, let me slip in a little promotion." After all I am a Rat person (so says my unofficial numerologist) and we Rats love self-promotion (but ironically not cheese). So here's my Tuesday Biz:

I'll be on 99.3 The Joynt, tomorrow at 10 AM talking about the wackest moments of 2008 (and believe me there were a LOT of 'em - personal wack moments excluded). If you have internet, stream this ish!

At 2:30 PM, I'll be seen on QPTV (Queens Public Television) hosting a comedy show. Hey, it'll be my first television appearance all year so if you're free please come by the studio. Lisa Harmon runs it and she's an excellent comic and producer. Here's the address if you want to be in the studio audience: 41-61 Kissena Blvd., Flushing Plaza, 2nd Floor.

Finally at 8 PM, I'll be performing at the last show of the year for Del's "Comedy For The F&*% Of It" at Alibi Lounge (116 MacDougal Street between West 3rd and Bleecker Street). After this, she's moving the show to Eastville Comedy Club. I don't know if I'll go with it, but you guys are more than welcome to follow her there! Seriously, she is one of the best hardest-working comics around and I saw her kill it at Comix (with laughter not cyanide).

So feel free to stalk me and I'll totally tell you about spending Christmas with the fam, and by that I mean Christmas with On Demand (thank you Santa for the gift of Premium Cable!!!).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Free Comedy Show Monday Before Christmas

I have a lot of stuff going on in 2009 that I'll be super-promoting soon but let me get the basic stuff out of the way. Tomorrow, I am hosting the President Jackson Show and, since these are the last two shows of the year, it would be great to end the year with a good laugh (or a good audience). Details below:

TITLE: President Jackson Show
PLACE: 326 East 35th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave)
DATE: December 22nd (Monday)
TIME: 9 PM - 10 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: 2-for-1 on Well Drinks and Select Draft Beers
FEATURING: HILARY SCHWARTZ, PAT LAMB, CHRIS LAKER, AND KEN PERLSTEIN

Hope to see you guys there, and if not, then I hope your work week flies by fast so you can enjoy Christmas. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

George Bush - The Third Destiny's Child?

I feel like I should do something about this. You must not have electricty (or access to a newspaper) if you missed this but President George W. Bush was attacked by footwear while speaking to the Iraqi press.



Now I'm not even going to try and comment on the political or comedic ramifications of this journalist's act, nor will I condone or condemn this behavior. But is it just me or does President Hamid Karzai's face look far too reminiscent of Beyonce and Kelly's face when that Destiny's Child fell on stage during that live performance? You be the judge.


Destiny's Child Fall - More free videos are here

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

No, Not Amy Winehouse

I was on a crowded train looking over a passenger's shoulder at his AM New York when I saw the headline "Kiss and Sell" about Amy Winehouse. Normally, I would have dejectedly rolled my eyes, but the actual article was about how her husband (Blake McEnglishman or whatever) was going to write a tell-all book about Amy's life if she didn't fork over $1.5 million. And I was thinking "Really?" Is there even more to the story?

I mean, what don't I know about her that TMZ, Star, and the rest of the gossip columns haven't told me? I know she drinks a lot, misses concerts, loves cigarettes, smokes crack, does heroin, snorts cocaine, has five teeth left, gets violent when she's on stuff (which is all the time), says randomly racist things, elected not to go to rehab on several occasions, has permanent lung damage from her partying lifestyle and has a tattoo of a naked woman. At this point, his book would be a tell-more, and even then he's out of ammo. The only thing he could say that would shock me is if he wrote about snatching off Winehouse's beehive and finding out she's actually a man. And even then I wouldn't be too shocked; it looked like she was sporting a bulge at the Grammys.

Monday, December 08, 2008

My Current Comedy Bio

[Don't laugh. Or rather do laugh wherever you think it's appropriate.]

Calvin Cato is a New York native with the distinction of being the only black person he knows who can gentrify any neighborhood. He got his comedic start in the Wesleyan University stand-up comedy troupe Punchline, then transferred his unique brand of humor back to the Big Apple. He's performed in comedy clubs, off-Broadway theatres, coffee houses, the backs of bars, and even a beauty salon. His credits include the Game Show Network and the critically acclaimed Naked Comedy Show. Come catch a high-energy act that promises to never be the same show twice!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Nouveau Poor Comedy/Music Show Tonight!

Addendum: I was recently informed that I was mistaken about the December recession thing. Oh well, the snark still stands.

Last minute plug (and a desperate hope to boost the google count on Nouveau Poor - yeah, I taking it back!), come see the big comedy/music show tonight!!!
-
As of December 1st we're officially in a depression. But you don't
have to hop a freight train for excitement though! Calvin S. Cato
(Game Show Network, Stand-Up New York, Naked Comedy Show) presents a
wonderful blend of comedy and music in a cool Moroccan venue. One
gander at these fiercely funny flappers and Felixes gracing the stage
and you'll forget all about your unemployment woes. Oh and everyone is
free to exchange resumes at the show.

Featuring:

Liz Miele (Live At Gotham)
Becky Ciletti (Time Out New York's Joke Of The Week, Naked Comedy Show)
Carolyn Castiglia (VH1, MTV's White Rapper, Chicks and Giggles)
Joe Pontillo (Zombies!, New York Underground Fave)
Meg Cupernall ("The Lighthouse," Comic Strip Live)
Stacia Jensen (Comedyland, Astoria for Obama)
-
DETAILS:
LOCATION: Tagine Dining Gallery - 537 9th Avenue (just south of West
40th Street)
COST: Free
DATE: Thursday November 20, 2008
TIME: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: Yes! Sangria discounts!
TAGLINE: 100% Talent, 0% Health Insurance

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Advice on Open Mics...or Humiliation, Where Do I Sign Up?

Yesterday I did Del's showcase again, which is always a pleasure! I didn't realize that one of the audience members was actually actually a comic. I saw her on the train home (as I'm stupidly reading urban legend stories...listen the only box of books I have access to right now are the deadhead ones, okay?) and we talked really briefly about the show and careers. She asked me what mics I usually check out. And...I didn't really have an answer.

She then asked if I do mics or if I graduated up to showcases now. I have largely stopped doing open mics with the same fervor than I did a year ago and it's weird to think that I somehow graduated "up" from open mics; I guess the change was so subtle it flew past my head. I'm certainly not saying that I'm "bankable" or even that I'm too good for open mics, but I've been slowly phasing open mics out of my life.

Frankly I don't even know which open mics I do on the regs anymore. I've tried numerous times to create a list and I can't get it together. Why? - because all open mics are different. I could say that this place is great and this place blows and blah blah blah but what works for me doesn't work for Comic X.

In all honesty, you grow as a comic by checking out as many varieties of clubs/venues as possible. And each mic hones a different skill set. You can go to alt-mics to hone your persona, or strictly comic rooms to work on your writing. There are mics that you use to increase your confidence, mics you do because you need to be taken down a couple of pegs and mics you go to only to network (make sure you bring your A game). I've done mics in three different bouroughs, mics that were mostly music, mics that were all poetry, mics with a slant in ethnicity or gender and everything in between. And the variety really helped me to learn how to connect with an audience and use my wording efficiently.

So my advice is to go to as many different kinds of mics as you can, and if possible, NEVER go to mics where you know everybody there. Familiarity breed contempt (as well as lazy writing). Build up a core group of friends/collaborators and go to different mics but be realistic about your friends' laughs. Are they "Hey I'm your pal" laughs or genuine guffaws? Whenever you get to an open mic, have an idea of what aspect of your performance you will be working on today. At first, you should be going to get a feel of the stage but once you feel comfortable, establish a goal for your next mic. Say to yourself: "I have to work on riffing or learning how to get rid of my verbal tics or learning how to bomb gracefully" (yes, you can use open mics to do that). Especially in New York City, open mics run expensive and it's your money! Get something tangible out of your experience.

If you do want a list, on the right sidebar check out Slava Yaryshkin and Gigglechick; they have great listings.

I hope this helps! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Yuengling - Ironic To Like Now?

Of all the inexpensive beers I've drank in my life, nothing is more enjoyable than Yuengling. My friend was recently telling me that Yuengling is set to replace Pabst Blue Ribbon (affectionately called PBR or Peeber) as the new working-man's drink imbibed by non-working pseudo-artsy 20-somethings. I didn't want to believe it but I came across this Salon article from months ago that confirmed it.

First of all, may I be the first to say "Noooo!" I've liked Yuengling ever since high school (I mean I totally didn't drink in high school because that's not even legal, but I smelled an open bottle once and it seemed enjoyable) and my affair was rekindled when I graduated college (it's legal now; it's just wrong to indulge before noon). I like the taste, the color, the body. I even like the green bottle. And best of all, it's inexpensive without being cheap. At any bar (in NYC at least) you can find a Yuengling for $4-7 and not feel like a cretin.

I'm not rich by any means but I just can't stand PBR. It's watery and tasteless and not even that carbonated. I hate the fact that it comes in a can so cheap you can taste the metal flaking off in your drink. I hate the people who drink PBRs - snobby types who cry "Poverty!" but always manages to have a baggy of drugs. PBRs just feel dirty to me. It's like seeing that constantly unwashed guy who somehow manages to get laid despite having a bad personality. I look at PBRs and go "What the hell?"

I already get enough flak for being a hipster because I have a messenger bag and use polysyllabic words in conversation (much like that last sentence), but I'm just learned. And the last thing I need is for waif-thin trust fund babes to take Yuengling's (one of the last vestiges of urbanite coolness) and invalidate it by appropriating and cannibalizing it. I don't want to hear a crew of people make up insipid pet names (by callng it a 'Ling or a YL or a Double G) and then talk really loudly at the bar about how they're so poor that this beer is all they can drink and then swap dealer numbers. Blech!

Please hipsters, keep away from making Yuengling the new symbol of irony. There are tons of shitty beers you can make into your mascot instead. What about Schlitz, eh? It's making a comeback...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Stick A Fork In The Economy, It's Done

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research and Wikipedia apparently, as of December 1st, the United States economy has officially entered a recession. The millions of unemployed and underemployment responded by saying: "No shit, Sherlock!"

I guess it's nice to know that a bunch of people in an ivory tower have mercifully decided to pay attention and call a spade a spade before things spiraled out of control. I mean, I thought everything was going so well, with the tons of layoff stories popping up online and the inability of people with Master's Degrees to get a job, but according to the NBER, Americans were sitting pretty until this Monday.

I have a good mind to e-mail all the staff members on NBER and thank them for all their muckraking and research. Better yet, why don't you readers help me out? Here's the link; just click on a name and send these earls and duchesses an e-mail. And for any NYCers, there is a New York Office so hit them up for a job too, assuming there isn't a (gasp!) hiring freeze there too.

WaHei

Well, you'd think I'd forgotten about the bloggity blog. I've actually been doing the writing-by-hand thing for a while, what with the limited access to internet and the life breakdown and all that. I did move to Washington Heights (although, I'm being optimistic so I'm calling it WaHei) and now I get nothing but stank stares. And I'm 3 steps away from unemployment - how'd that happen? Okay I get it; I can only hear "We don't want you here" in so many languages before it gets old! Spanish, Creole, Chinese...calm down I am not bringing down the property values nor does my Izod sweater mean that an influx of leggings-clad hipsters are coming to displace you. Oh well, you just have to plod along.

I guess this is the point where I start bemoaning my state of affairs, but I don't have anything to complain about. In fact, I like it that way. I'm actually having fun and looking at things more positively. And I have shows to plug. I invite you guys to come and stalk me (especially if you're an agent!; don't come if you're psycho or have a predilection for knives):

MONDAY: President Jackson Show @ Pinetree Lodge - 9 PM
Hosted by Joe Dixon, America's resident black atheist. I'm still down with God though (hedging my bets).
ADD: 326 East 35th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, New York, NY

TUESDAY: Comedy For The F$&% Of It @ Alibi Lounge - 8 PM
Hosted by Del, who has to be the funniest, most hard-working-est comedienne you should know about.
ADD: 116 MacDougal Street between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street, New York, NY

THURSDAY: Nouveau Poor @ Tagine Dining Gallery - 8 PM
Hosted by me! Featuring a Recession Day Special! With Liz Miele (Live at Gotham), Carolyn Castiglia (MTV and VH1), Joe Pontillo (Zombies!), Meg Cupernall (THe Lighthouse), and Stacia Jensen (Comedyland, Astoria for Obama).
ADD: 537 9th Avenue just south of West 40th Street, New York, NY

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Couple of Plugs

HEADS UP BUNKIES: (SUPER-HYPER-SHORT-NOTICE)

I won't be able to make this tonight but if you're free, check it out.

Fine And Dandy Show (great mix of comedy and music)

Wicked Willy's - 149 Bleecker St, New York, NY
November 19th, 2008 @ 8 PM
Drink specials!!!!
Featuring comedians: Mo Diggs, Matt Nagin, Dan Fontaine and more...
Featuring musicians: Nadsat Fashion
Hosted by: Tim Montoya (not Inigo's brother)

Please support these guys; they work hard so you can exercise your laugh muscles.
**********************
Also, I may or may not have some new projects in the works (possibly even a second show in the works); I'll keep you posted. And hey if you like what you read, feel free to e-mail me: catocals (AT) gmail.com. Or better add, link to me on your blog (this would be where I'd put a helpful HTML code where you can automatically do it, but it's not there yet so instead you're getting this awkward parenthetical clause here).

Maybe I'll see you tonight; if not then tomorrow!

This Is Arta!

Those last couple of posts were a little schizoid; I've found some sort of grounding so there will be less of the doomy and the gloomy. Seriously thanks to all my friends I've talked/whined to this past Monday and Tuesday, I'm lucky to know you lords and ladies. So because I have to...

SHOW PLUG THIS THURSDAY!!
Calvin S. Cato (Game Show Network, Stand-Up New York, Naked Comedy Show) presents a wonderful blend of comedy and music in a cool Moroccan venue. We have comedians who've been featured on MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and top comedy clubs in the city as well as musicians who've played at the top indie venues in New York City. Plus, there's belly dancing and hookah afterwards! Check out the only show that's like Casablanca in Technicolor.

TITLE: Nouveau Poor
LOCATION: Tagine Dining Gallery - 537 9th Avenue (just south of West 40th Street)
COST: Free
DATE: Thursday November 20, 2008
TIME: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: Yes! Sangria discounts!
TAGLINE: 100% Talent, 0% Health Insurance

Featuring:
Eric Andre (Live at Gotham, Stand-Up For Diversity, Geico Caveman)
Boris Khaykin (Sirius Radio)
Harris Bloom (Gotham Comedy Club)
Joe Dixon (God Tastes Like Chicken, Pinetree Lodge Show)
Del (Caroline's, BETJ "My Two Cents", Comedy For THe F%&* Of It)
Nasry Malak (Comix, So You Think You Can Roast)
...and surprise special guests

I hope to see your smiling faces!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Late Late Movie: The Boys & Girls Guide To Getting Down

[NOTE: This was a post that was supposed to go up August 13th. And if you get a chance please check out Paul Sapiano’s MySpace and website. I had an (unfortunately) incredibly brief e-mail correspondence with him and he seemed pretty chill.]

This was back in the days when I had free movie channels. I was up ridiculous late on a work night and I caught the last half of this independent film called "The Boys And Girls Guide To Getting Down." Basically, the “plot” is a typical night on the town in LA. The movie is overdubbed with a man and a woman giving a “how-to” guide for surviving the party scene including how to find out about the afterparty, what drugs to take and not take, who to hang out with, when to take off the beer googles, and how to get the person you just slept with to leave as quietly and smoothly as possible.

You know something, the movie is really spot-on about 90% of their stuff. And what makes it feel so real and relatable are the casting choices. Sure it’s an independent film made with people who aren't the well-known stars Americans are used – but these people can all act, and do it really well. Admittedly, most of the cast is pretty hot, but it wasn’t like anyone was overblown hot or looked freakishly anorexic or muscular or orange-tanned. Maybe it’s just art imitating life but I could really believe that these are young adults acting like young adults.

I was really surprised at the frank portrayal of recreational drug use. And the distinction between sketchy and safe drugs…sooo true. I really liked how the movie spelled out drug dealer time in a way that was so painfully accurate it was embarrassing. The whole “I’ll be there in 20 minutes” extending to two hours of customers nail-biting and making multiple calls to the dealer (especially with that second call going straight to voicemail) is freaking hilarious if you’re in the know. Or the scene where a fool and his drugs are soon parted. And “The Next Morning” chapter: that was just fun. I know how that feels when it’s 10 AM and you have sleep mouth going on. You go outside in that bright sun and see that perky jogging guy walking his dog on the street and you just want to punch him in the face.

What made it amazing was that the movie could have easily taken the “we’re glamorizing our 20s lifestyle” or the “oh my god, what the hell is wrong with these kids” routes but instead it goes for a more honest, more cerebral routine. This is the strength of using the how-to guide as a frame. It’s a nice way to analyze the character’s actions without being overly preachy. Not to mention, the humor was funny and clever without descending into the toilet. Seriously, there was some good writing behind this.

The only downside was the T & A, which really gets gratuitous after a while and sometimes isn’t even in context. Perhaps it’s a ploy to retain audience attention but it gets grating. E.G., why does a study of the effects of moisture on cocaine involve a woman shaking her ass for 1 minute?

Totally minor nitpicks aside, this is one of the better indie films to come out of 2006. And Mr. Belding is in it as a cameo! You can’t not love Dennis Haskins! Cato rating: 7 out of 7 Cs!!! And I for one will be spending 30 minutes on Google and eBay figuring out how I can purchase this sleeper classic.

You Can Love Obama But Not Be In Love With Obama

I'm definitely glad that Barack Obama is now our president, not just for the historic value, but because I can finally stop getting e-mail for me to "do X for Obama."

Case in point, about 2 weeks ago my co-worker, who is an Obamaniac (or some sort of Obama portmanteau), found an article online about people who were fasting for Obama. The group, cleverly named Fasting For Obama, was comprised of people who refused to eat until Obama was president. And my co-worker was convincing me that that is a great way to show support. Newsflash: no it isn't. Do you want to know how I supported Barack Obama? - by voting for him in the election.

Seriously people, this is a democracy and not a cult. I'm not going to starve for Obama, or get circumsized for Obama, or drink the Kool-Aid for Obama. This isn't Obama's gate; it's an election to be US President. I show my support by walking to the booth and pulling the lever. Bam! Three minutes worth of support. Again that's how democracy works.

I wish people would stop being fanatic converters. Is this just written in our genetic code that whenever humans see a charismatic leader, they feel a need to go to extremes to praise him or her? Why do people have to go "I love XYZ so much that I'm going to be a blind follower/jumpsuit-wearing nutcase?" And the sad part is that quite a few of the people who are Crusaders for Obama probably didn't vote for the election because they caught some illness from Standing In The Arctic Circle for Obama or their organs shut down from doing nothing but Drinking Water for Obama.

All I'm saying is this: Barack Obama is a wonderful person but he is NOT the Messiah. Just because both he and Jesus have hair like wool does not mean Obama is turning water into wine. Calm down Super-Dems. Just. Calm. Down.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fact or Fiction

I'm running out of options.

There's a logic rule about how unemployment works. It's something along the lines of "the longer you're unemployed, the harder it is to get a job." It's ironic but it is true. You lose your job, and then you send out resume after resume in the vain hopes of getting a callback. You go through unemployment and underemployment until finally you score an interview, five months after your last permanent job. You come into the office dressed in recently dry-cleaned attire and the first question to come out of your employer's mouth is "Well, why have you been out of work for so long?"

This is the most humiliating question any human being can ask another human being, especially when it comes to entry-level. What do you say? Can you respond bitterly? Can you quote statistics? Can you tell a joke, a lie, the truth? What's the point of that question? There's a bad economy, you're living off spaghetti and Ritz crackers because your college degree that was supposed to set you ahead of the pack now places you squarely in the middle. You compete with snide late 20-somethings possessing Master's degrees, trust funds, and parents with summer homes. Hell, you compete with bratty 18 year olds who have mapped out their life to the age of 57, where they'll die of a jogging-induced heart attack.

How dare they? - you think in the lack of privacy of your apartment that you share with four people, a dog and a cat. Think about that: 7 living animals and only one bathroom. You are living with seven things excreting all sorts of gases, liquids, and solids and you think "How dare these people cut ahead of me in line for this position." Who are these 20-somethings with no heart and even less mettle, who probably won't stay the year at company X? And then you flash-forward to the interview, to this employer who asks you "Why have you been out of work for so long?" You look at the floor, at your resume, at the potted plant in the corner, leaves brown at the edges. There isn't an answer. You're out of options.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Nouveau Poor - Tagine Dining Gallery Show Tonight @ 8 PM

We have a new president and a bright future ahead of us. What better way to celebrate than to check out some diverse comedy? So come on down and check it out. An dif you don't you'll make Obama cry.

Calvin S. Cato (Naked Comedy Show, GSN) presents a wonderful blend of comedy and music in a cool Moroccan venue. We have comedians who've been featured on MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and top comedy clubs in the city. Plus, there's belly dancing and hookah afterwards! And there may be a tarot card reader too - it's something for everybody! Check out the only show that's like Casablanca in Technicolor.

TITLE: Nouveau Poor
LOCATION: Tagine Dining Gallery - 537 9th Avenue (just south of West 40th Street)
COST: Free
DATE: Thursday November 6th, 2008
TIME: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: Yes! Sangria discounts!
TAGLINE: 100% Talent, 0% Health Insurance

Featuring:
Diana Saez (Sarah Palin Vlogs, MTV)
Jonathan Powley (Semi-Finalist – NYC’s Funniest Comedian Contest)
Maria Shehata (Comedy Central’s The Watch List)
Donny Mitchell (Brooklyn’s Best)
John Wells (Organic Funny, opened for Robin Williams)
Angry Bob (Last Comic Standing)
Kyle Bostic (Broadway Comedy Club)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! GOBAMA!

Oh. Mah. God. If I were a [more] emotional person I would be moved to tears. I have been up since 5:45 AM, I haven't showered and I just got home and finally took off the clothes I've been wearing for two days straight. I did a casting call for NBC's Stand-Up For Diversity and I didn't get it. My phone broke, my internet wasn't working, I've spent 5 hours on public transportation, I've been to 3 boroughs, I've been sick as a joke.

But it all DOESN'T MATTER. BARACK OBAMA WON!!!!!!!

And it happened in my lifetime! Finally, even if it's just symbolic, there is a non-white WASP as a president! Yes!

And I can remember where I was. I was in Astoria at a beer garden, supposed to do a showcase and I saw it live. I heard it live. It happened right in front me. History. I took the bus to get home; it went through Harlem and everyone was cheering. Together! All races, all colors, all creeds, all genders. I'm not even saying it to be poetic; I saw an actual VARIETY OF PEOPLE, who were outside celebrating together! It's just so beautiful right now. I, I honestly have no words.

I don;t want to hear jinxes or anything. Not this week. The people voted for something different. And it gives me hope.

And on a petty note, for the McCain campaign (and especially Sarah Palin), here's a little diddy from Bananarama (temporarily re-titled Obamarama). You know the song:

Banarama - I Heard A Rumor

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween 2008

Even though I was sick and spewing yellow-green Exorcist bile from my nose, I actually went to the Halloween Day Parade. And I've re-learned a lot of things I forgot about New York City parades.

(1) Parades are a lot of fun if you like being shoved around by cops and stepping over puddles of urine and vomit. Seriously, I've never seen so many congealed body fluids in one place before.

(2) No matter how narrow or crowded a walkway is, tourists will always manage to hold a throughway up by taking a picture. And worse, tourists will section off entire swaths of sidewalk to do this. Listen Mrs. Normal Ohio, you're not Annie Leibovitz, okay. You don't have to create a "perfect layout". The only people who are going to see these pictures are the people you force to view your boring slide show.

(3) Parades are also cool because you get to be gated in like cattle. I know that nothing feels more worthwhile than being treated like livestock for 3 hours.

(4) Police officers are NOT THERE TO HELP YOU. Ever. Apparently, their job is to yell at you whenever you ask a question.

Example:
Me: Which way is the exit?
PO: Move it along before I mace you!
Me: But I can't go anywhere.
PO: I don't have time for you!
Me: But I just want to get out of this.
PO: RARWWRWAAARWAARARW!
Me: Did you transform into Sasquatch?

ASIDE:
New York City is the only place where you can't tell whether people are actually dressed up for Halloween or just crazy. Case in point, I saw a guy wearing a Litle Bo Peep dress, fake eyelashes, opera gloves, and fishnets. I shouted "Hey great costume!" To which he responded with, "Oh no, I'm just a prostitute." Which made a lot of sense since he was giving out price quotes on handjobs.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
There were a lot of skanky bees out that night. More so than sexy police officers, sailors, angels, and devils. Of all the "sexy" costumes out there, why would you dress as a sexy bee? Insects don't even have breasts. It makes no sense.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monsoon Working

I just got caught in the downpour, and to be fair I'm not in my nicest clothes, but still I don't want to be wet and working. I got out of the subway station today to prepare for the crosstown sojourn/final leg of my commute. And as soon as I got up the stairs, my umbrella broke! At this point there's an onslaught of rain coming down so hard you'd think God's water broke.

So much for the shower/combing/Axe body spray session. I knew I looked bad off when my co-worker gave me that look like I was a zombie who just crawled out of a swamp. No one actually rocks a wet look like you see in music videos. It's more like the wet dog look. Blergh! And I ran into an ex-co-worker of mine (who I didn't even know worked here) in the elevator. And here I am, looking all shitty in front of her. Double blergh!! A writer once said that life is a series of small humiliations piled on top of each other - and right now I'm kind of hoping that this is the lowest point right now. I need some good karma - STAT!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Funderemployment: Work Irony

While futzing around on the internet today at work, I found an article entitled "7 Easy Ways To Get Fired." Surprisingly, one of the ways wasn't "Wasting 10 minutes reading this list instead of doing your job."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Four Food Groups Again!

Wow, I just cashed my paycheck and I treated myself...to diner food! No joke, I watched my "server" bring out a cheeseburger with French Fries and my mouth started watering. I treated my meal like it was fancy ballroom dinner - I had the whole napkin-in-the-lap deal and everything.

I haven't had real meat in a while and let me tell you, dead animal is good! I'm sorry PETA, but nothing compares. Maybe it's a poverty thing, but I've been so used to having starches and water with the occasional fruit on the side. I remember the halcyon days when I chose between chicken and beef, as opposed to now where I choose between the value dollar fries or the value dollar pies. Of course, I'm still broke. But my finances are going to be in the black soon...and I finally had a decently cooked burger instead of some fast-food meat patty job with "mechanical separated animal parts" (what is that? It sounds like a cyborg came and ripped the poor animal apart like a Fatality. I just imagine the poor cow wobbling about and then someone in the background yelling "Finish Him").

Finally, temping offers me a positive! Now if only it could offer me benefits...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do NOT Go To John & Tonys West Pizzeria

Okay, about a month ago, I just finished a comedy show that some of my friends came to (you guys are awesome by the way). Afterwards, the four of us (all minorities) decide to go somewhere cheap to grab a quick bite to eat. That's when I came upon this empty pizzeria restaurant:

John & Tonys West Pizzeria: 547 Ninth Avenue between West 40th and West 41st Street.

First of all, all the slices had that plasticky jaundiced look that you see from food sitting out for days. Then, my friend had asked for a pepperoni pizza and he said he "could not make any more." (err...how can't you? You just put pepperoni on a pizza! Plus he already had a pepperoni and sausage pizza out). My friend Warren did not have a good feeling about it and neither did I, but my other friends Heather and Danielle said they'd try the place.

I was like "Fuck this guy, I'm buying a soda." Because I know that can is sealed and was not made by his hands. We're talking at normal volume and then he starts yelling at us "You're making a spectacle of yourselves. You're disturbing the business. Please be quiet." Ummm...we were the ONLY people in there. Heather starts looking around like "I know he's NOT talking to us" but we said "Okay we'll be quieter."

We lower our voices and continue talking and then he says "You're scaring away the business. You scare away my customers." Oh hell no! I didn't realize that too many minorities decreased the property values! I didn't know we formed a dark eclipse that made the restaurant unbearable to be in. My friend got so mad she was about to curse this guy out; she didn't even finish the overpriced slice. At this point, I said "We need to leave." I saw Do The Right Thing; I'm not about to go the Radio Raheem route.

We barely made it out the door before we start shouting all kinds of obscenities and made our vow never to eat there again.

But wait, there's more...

Two weeks later, I do the comedy show again and Warren, Heather and I decide to walk past and glare at the place through the window. As we work up the glare, Warren sees a mouse strutting through the area where the food is kept. Not running in and out, he's strutting like he's on a catwalk. And then two other mice came out into the area too. Needless to say my first thought was "EWWWWWWW!!"

How the hell is he going to chase us out when he has at least 40 health code violations?! He's going to complain about our "classlessness" when he has Fievel putting his paw prints all up in the flour. These were not cute Disney mice; these were mice that look like they were from the mean streets! It was like a ghetto Ratatouille going on in his oven. Disgusting!

We were telling passersby not to go in and pointing out the mice to them. The same owner came outside wanting to know what the fuss was about. We starting going off on him and pointing at the vermin running around in his shop and he...JUST SHRUGGED! He had the nerve to shrug! What?!!?! Were these rats helping him pay the rent? Is this the verminous version of Friends? Because I don't care; I do not want to support a small racist-owned business with rat droppings everywhere. Feces does not equal decoration and mice do not equal ambiance, sirrah.

Moral of the story: DO NOT EAT THERE. Not just on principle (he was so racist!), but also because you might catch bubonic plague from eating a cheese slice. I don't even want to know where the man gets his "pepperoni" from.

Free and In NYC This Thursdee (Thursday)

NOTE: I just wanted to rhyme in the title. Anyway, plugs for my comedy/music show this Thursday. It's free-ah and there's sangria. (Okay I'm no Shakespeare, I get it)

TITLE: Nouveau Poor
LOCATION: Tagine Dining Gallery - 537 9th Avenue (just south of West 40th Street)
COST: Free
DATE: Thursday October 23rd, 2008
TIME: 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: Yes! Sangria discounts!
TAGLINE: 100% Talent, 0% Health Insurance

"Calvin S. Cato (GSN, EVL, Naked Comedy Show) presents a wonderful blend of comedy and music in a cool Moroccan venue. We have comedians who've been featured on MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and top comedy clubs around the country as well as musicians who've played at the top indie venues in New York City. Plus, there's belly dancing and hookah afterwards! Check out the only show that's like Casablanca in Technicolor."

Featuring:
Angry Bob (Last Comic Standing)
Hilary Schwartz (Time Out NY's Joke Of The Week)
Emily Epstein (HA! Comedy Club, Laugh Lounge)
Joe Pontillo (East Coast Comedy Tour)
Scout Durwood and Alyssa Wicks (MTV's A Shot At Love)
Jessica Delfino (London’s Soho Theatre, Village Voice’s Best Of Award)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nine Ways A Employer Can Cause A Temp To Quit "Unexpectedly"

Hey Employer Man! Do you always wonder why you hire temporary or permanent employees who suddenly quit without warning? I know you think that in these economic times, anyone should be happy to work $10 an hour Xeroxing documents and fiddling around with Excel, but sometimes you may do and say certain things that "unwittingly" let your temp know how much you really value their time. Here's a list of 9 ways to drive a temp running into the foothills of unemployment:

(1) Constantly calling your new temp by the previous temp's name.

(2) Talking within earshot of your temp about a contingency plan in case he or she quits.

(3) Having a one-on-one "meeting" with your temp to explain the difference between dry and wet trash after falsely accusing him of throwing out a paper cup in the wrong bin.

(4) Asking your temp why he or she feels the need to have bathroom breaks longer than 2 minutes.

(5) Telling your temp a 10-minute-long story about hanging out with a rapper, then concluding the story with "I never thought I'd have so much in common with someone so...urban. You know what I mean?"

(6) Explaining to your temp that his or her current task involves a lot of math and then inquiring about his or her "adding skills."

(7) Talking to your temp about a relative who's marrying a black person, then expressing worry that their future child will have "to deal with that difficult black hair...no offense!"

(8) Responding to your temp's "Good morning" with "uh-huh" and then slamming your office door.

(9) Saying "Oh I didn't realize you were a reader!" in response to finding a novel on your temp's desk.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Funderemployment: Comedy Shouldn't Come From Pain

My feet hurt. Badly. I'm currently working at a place with an actual dress code. I have to wear real grown-up shoes, and like a retard the only footwear I have that fits this code are "interview shoes." These are the kind of shoes that are meant to be worn because they look nice when meeting with HR and shouldn't be on your feet for longer than 15 minutes. But no, I wear these things for at least 10 hours (8 hours at work and 2 in travel time, not counting any stray comedy shows I do) and I feel like I'm binding my feet. My feet hurt so bad that I'm shuffling through my house like I'm wearing genie pants and I'm trapped in a harem.

I'm tired of walking around dressed in a sweater vest and super-pressed slacks like a McCain supporter. Why do we have office dress codes? I sit in a back room huddled within three pseudo-walls. The only people who are looking at me are my co-workers and my boss; I don't need collar stays to enter data or answer phones. If I'm on the phone, people don't hear hints of denim in my voice. Frankly any dress code more strict than "Please don't come into work with a hypodermic syringe hanging out of your arm" is ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Funderemployment: Day 5

So...I'm temping again. Of which...more to come. But I do hate one aspect of my job. People complain about the annoying paper clip, but you know what's a more annoying office icon? - The Adobe Acrobat guy.




He looks like a super-gay temp with a half-flattop. Honestly, what is it about converting files to PDFs that causes any sane person to leap around and flash jazz hands? Anyone working in an office who ever acts like the guy in this picture should be strait-jacketed and checked into Bellevue. Also is it breezy in this office, what's up with the fly-away tie? Is the Central Air on too high or something?

This is the kind of douchebag who says things like "Someone has a case of the Mondays." Which is a dumb phrase to say. Whenever people say that to me, I just stare at them and say "No, I have a case of the Everydays. I have a case of the I Hate This Jobs. You know what'll cure that? A case of the Huge Severance Packages."

Finally, where is he going? It's like he's the Paul Revere of software. "Lo and behold mighty temps I have found a way to make a document into a pseudo-picture. Rejoice for I have saved you minutes upon minutes of time. Now you don't have to respond to e-mails from people saying 'I can't open this file. Can you save this in another file extension?'" Apparently he's following an arrow somewhere. You know where that arrow's leading to? - A dead end job, that's what.

Calm down, Buttonless McNoZipper. Get a grip, sit at your cubicle and browse Craigslist for better jobs like the rest of us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Argh! Distracted By Internets!!

I'm ashamed to say that I've been doing some final edits on an article that's a little overdue and I was somehow drawn to the Snorgtee's page. Though, I'm starting to see the appeal of ironic hipster Tees. There is something almost moronically funny about a person who can wear a shirt with a contrived saying on it and keep a serious face. It's like the white version of that odd trend where it was cool for black guys to wear pink. It's a statement that says that a person is so beyond judgment that his outerwear doesn't matter. How interesting. I probably won't write a thesis on it, but it's a seed to think about.

Either way, this is a fun way to waste time. Come on, you can't not like this shirt!!

And this one's pretty funny, too...

NOTE: Well aware of the fact that his taste in humor was flagging, Calvin decided to gracefully bow out of this blog and stop procrastinate. Let's hope he doesn't navigate to Wikipedia. Then it's game over.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Superheroes I Like: Ms. Marvel

[NOTES: I wrote a review of Secret Invasion #6 at least a month ago but it was so distressingly negative that I can't post it until I find something of note to say about that comic. Needless to say it's hard. So instead, you're getting a review of Ms. Marvel #31 (admittedly not the best thing I've written in a while).]

Ms. Marvel #31 - When Comics About Women Are Written Well

I'll be honest; I've wavered a lot on the Ms. Marvel series. The whole "Ms. Marvel fights her classic alien nemesis" arc was OK, the Warren Traveller stuff was odd, and the two-part Rogue issues were just not good. I was one of the few who actually liked her Civil War arc, but I understand that watching someone beat up another superhero in front of her kid doesn't sit well for a lot of people. But once she got her own task force (and the offensively pornographic Greg Horn covers started to get tamer), things really picked up for me.

Ms. Marvel is a solid well-done comic featuring a powerful superhero who wants to be the best at what she does and doesn't want to settle for C-List status. With the wrong writer, this premise could lead to whiny stories; but Reed has done consistently well by making sure Ms. Marvel's altruism is at the forefront of her actions. I stuck with the book for so long because it is such a relatable premise. As a struggling writer/comedian, I can really empathize with many of the issues this book raises about what it means to be somebody and get one's act together.

Far too often, female hero leads descend in levels of T&A that are downright embarrassing. But Reed manages to avoid throwing in cheesy cliches and misusing feminist notions. It's a book about a person doing her job - which involves saving people from menacing robots and freaky sorcerers.

Which brings me to Ms. Marvel 31 - arguably one of the best comics I've read this year. If you haven't checked out this book, this is a great point to get on board. Why?

One - because the character's backstory is so extensively and efficiently recapped. Trust me, her origins are more than a bit complicated, but the recap was done so well! Hell, I found out more about Ms. Marvel's past in 22 pages than I ever did on Wikipedia. And there weren't tons of captions and strange shadowy people littering the panels (yes, Wovlerine: Origins, I'm talking about you).

Two - For once, we have a superhero who actually checks in with her parents. Here is a woman who saves the world on a constant basis but doesn't have the time or energy to call mom and say "I'm doing fine. Don't worry about that Fox News segment of me getting hit in the face with a Volkswagon." It's a great way to incorporate a real world issue into a fantasy genre. And the reintroduction of Ms. Marvel feeling out of place with her family because of her mental assault worked very well with the story.

Three - There was no gratuitous violence! It's someone in plain clothes hashing out issues with her mom and trying to say goodbye to her dying father. No cackling villain shows up hurling bombs. No time-travelling conqueror kidnaps anyone to be his mate. Nothing! The story's simple, straight-forward and warm.

There isn't really much more to say about the book, other than it's a solid well-drawn piece of work. Please support this book if you have money to spare (I know the economy's in the toilet, and my own personal finances are perilously close to the red zone, but still you should shell out $2.99 for this)!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Night of 1,000 Pauses

Don't worry about the title; it's an inside joke that so far exclusive that I don't even understand it. If it helps, it has something to do with noise.
...
[NOTE: This was the final part of Multi-Borough Open Mic Tour (which was written about a week ago). I accidentally hit save instead of send (a common problem I seem to have nowadays) so I effed it all up. The point is that I booked a show at Botanica Bar and only 2 real audience members were there. Read this entry with a grain of seasoned salt!]

Multi-Borough Comedy Open Mic Tour: Botanica Bar

Technically this wasn't an open mic, but as there were only two legitimate audience members (and one of them was my ever-lovin' brown-eyed roommate), things kind of devolved into workshop room mode. That being said, the room was actually a lot of fun and I learned a lot about my fellow comedians as well as a lot about why I should never leave my joke book at home and think its a good idea to wing it.

I think I'm done with this tour (plus, I only went to one other borough - and there wasn't even an open mic there). I can honestly say that I do a lot better with real audience and less cynicism.

On a Duncan Sheik high (don't hate), here's some stuff you should check out for next week's Multi-Neighborhood "Booked Show" Tour.

MONDAY OCTOBER 13TH: MURRAY HILL
President Jackson Show @ Pinetree Lodge
326 East 35th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue (New York, NY)
TIME: 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
I'm hosting and Joe Dixon's headlining. Who's on it? - Funny people that's who! Check it out!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

CSC: YouTube Sensation?

I did this YouTube video a little bit ago with Joe Dixon and Andy Kleiman. I'm Thug #2 from the left in the audience (which means I'm a weekend-day player).

Black People Have The Darndest Names!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sometimes I Like Mainstream Things...

In the interests of staying positive in the face of adversity and mediocrity, I am putting up a link to a funny South Park episode. Conveniently, the clip also befits our current election: South Park - Douche and Turd.

I think we could all learn something (funny or serious) from that episode...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Plugs N Hugs - Free Comedy/Variety Show @ Tagine Dining Gallery

Are you free October 9th (this Thursday?!!)

Come celebrate autumn with a wonderful blend of comedy and music in a cool Morrocan venue. We have comedians who’ve been featured on MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and top comedy clubs in the city as well as musicians who’ve played at the top indie venues in New York City. Plus, there’s belly dancing and hookah after the show! Think of the show as Casablanca in Technicolor. Oh and did I mention that everyone who attends gets a free resume?

Hosted by: Calvin S. Cato (Game Show Network, Naked Comedy Show)

Featuring:
Jessica Delfino (London Tour, was recently denounced by the Catholic League...oooh)
Danny Rouhier (Animal Planet's The A-List)
Susannah Perlman (Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad, Last Comic Standing)
Matt Daly (Los Angeles Comedy Festival)
Julia Weldon (Nightingale Lounge house musician)
...and possibly a surprise special guest!

DETAILS:
Tagine Dining Gallery - 537 9th Avenue (just south of West 40th Street)
Cost: FREE
TIME: 8:00 PM
DRINK SPECIALS: Yes! Sangria discounts!

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Multi-Borough Comedy Open Mic Tour: Maui Taco?

Yesterday's leg...well I was there and it...was. I did get some helpful advice (which I always appreciate) and I got to hear a comedian who equated not laughing at his jokes to ejaculating on his child's face (hmmm...). I had screwed up the set-ups to two of my jokes though (two jokes I've told onstage without flubbing). Sometimes, going to an open mic is like trying to have a cookout on an airplane runway.

So maybe you'll catch me at Maui Taco's tonight OR maybe I'll just cut the tour off early and collect that paycheck I so desperately need. Or, I could play Super Mario Bros. 3 (I got my Nintendo to work for a day!). In case you're stalking me, Maui Taco's is at 330 Fifth Avenue (couple blocks south of East 34th Street). "Show" starts at 8 PM.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Multi-Borough Comedy Open Mic Tour: Village Lantern

That's right. The first leg was shaky but this tour is gearing up to be...something... Last night, the only major laugh I got was about Girls Gone Wild having a soundtrack ("What's the point to having a soundtrack? No guy is looking at Girls Gone Wild and going 'Wow, who scored that film, Danny Elfman?'"). Stalk me at the Lantern (167 Bleecker Street between Sullivan and Thompson Streets).

If you can't, stalk this show! Sadly, I'm missing this but you should see this if you're free tonight (it's hosted by Matt Nagin):

INTERMISSION, A NEW COMEDY SHOW @ COMIX'S OCHI'S LOUNGE STARTS 2MRW NIGHT!!! AWESOME LINEUP!!! NO COVER (ONE ITEM MIN SUGGESTED). 14th st and 9th Ave. downstairs. (7:30 PM SHARP).

FEATURING:
BOB BELL
MO DIGGS
MURDERFIST
ELIZA SKINNER
MUSICAL INTERMISSIONS BY JOE YOGA
AND MIKE DOBBINS!!!!

HOST: MATT NAGIN!!!!

HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Multi-Borough Comedy Open Mic Tour: McGee's Pub

I'm on a multi-borough Comedy Open Mic Tour again (Greyskull, give me strength...)

First stop: Don't Touch Me There (this one's actually nice, but then again I don't want to jinx myself) at West 55th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. Come stalk me!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weird Word War

One word that never sounds right spoken aloud is "psychotherapist." For some reason I always hear an implicit pause between the "psycho" and the "therapist." And there's a very important difference between a psychotherapist and a psycho therapist. One will fix my brain; the other will put an ice pick through it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bringing and Barking: The Comedian’s Scylla and Charybdis

I’m in my sophomore year of comedy and I’m in a bit of an odd position. For some reason, younger comics are asking me how to get ahead in the game and I in turn am asking seasoned comedians about how to move along. The answers I keep giving and receiving boil down to this. There are two Greek tragedies that 99% of new comedians have to face: bringing and barking.

Barking is the comic’s Charybdis. It involves a comedian standing on a street corner and cat-calling potential patrons, not unlike a prostitute. He now has to spend upwards of 2 hours dealing with hundreds of people walking by him who are alternately annoyed and harried and don’t have the time or energy to listen to you talk up a comedy show that he and a bunch of people they’ve never heard of are a part of. The constant street rejections sucks him into a vortex of self-doubt and rage that is nigh impossible to swim out of. By the time he makes it to the stage, he’s so pissed off that he rarely gets a chance to perform at his peak.

Bringing is the comic’s Scylla. This involves a comedian begging his friends, family, exes, old teachers, co-workers, and classmates from elementary to pay $40 to see him perform. Now this comedian has slightly resentful people in a room with other equally resentful acquaintances of the other comics. He now has to perform in front of a multi-headed attitudinal mass of strangers unwilling to listen to you or entertain your opinions because they were dragged to an expensive club. The comedian then realizes that he has brought in $300 worth of business that he will never see. And the multi-headed monster harps on about how overpriced the show was, how overrated the performers were, and how rude the wait-staff acted.

The major question is “Are these routes worth it?” The short answer is “I don’t know.” Considering the fact that most fledgling comedians end up not getting passed at a club in this way, I would say “No.” Considering the fact that it is a foot in the door provided you talk to the right people, I would say “Yeah, maybe once.” There are small advantages to both.

Barking lets a comic flex his creativity muscles and teaches him how to sell himself in 20 seconds or less. Personal example: I now know I can sing in a high falsetto as well as a deep alto about why a passerby should pay to see me perform. And I can do it to the tune of Beethoven’s No 9. Also, most clubs are fond of good barkers. By barking, a comic can potentially get up 6 times a week in front of a live audience (which is a vast improvement on doing open mics in the city, which may have at best 1 real audience member).

Bringing is a great self-esteem boost if the comic’s material is strong enough and if he can work a room (even one with an embittered crowd). As long as he does well, he will receive praise from his peers and water-cooler bragging rights for a week.

A comic’s mileage may vary with either choice but remember that comedy is an odyssey and like Odysseus, a comedian has to choose what to sacrifice, either his friends or his dignity. I can’t make a preference choice for anyone, but for all the young ladies and gentleman out there, whatever route you take, make sure you don’t lose the whole boat in the struggle to negotiate the two evils.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two Jokes I Said Verbatim On Stage

I'm feeling a bit insecure these days because I had to do a quick shave for a show and now I have really bad razor buumps. I went on the interwebs to see if there are any home remedies and I come across this article that says that razor bumps are a major problem that affects African-American males. See, I thought that was interesting because I thought a major problem affecting black men was racism, but apparently not.

I dunno, I just don't believe you can call razor bumps a major racial problem. There's no such thing as a "race problem" that can be solved with witch hazel.
-
I'm not a "drug person" at all. My friend keeps pushing me to try acid. I've only had one bad acid trip in my life, but that was because I slipped on some orange juice and fell on my face (geddit? see cuz orange juice has ascorbic acid and...well fuck you guys...)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Funemployment Day 1: Now With More Plugs!

I did a multimedia article (read: article and slideshow) that appeared on the www.inc.com website. Check it out!

7 New Technology Marvels!

In other news, I'm officially on Day 1 of being an unemployee and I've been keeping busy. I did take some time to play a little Megaman X (which kicks @$$)! Really random aside, I used to call @$$ "a and change" as a euphemism for ass. Then again I use a lot of portmanteaus and weird phrases. As of yesterday, I now call my game show host voice "Pat Sa-black." Ironically there's no Vanna White in my act.

Another aside, this is the problem of being a personal blogger and a comedian. I end up strip-mining my life for information, to the point where my memories feel like an exploited territory. No wonder the pro memoir-ists are liars.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thank You Audience And Fans!!!

Serious thank yous to everyone who came out to support the first Skeleton Crew show! It was a mega-success and I'd like to keep it rolling! Also thanks for the people who actually picked up my resumes. Jeers to the people who used them as drink coasters though! Fie on you, fie!

More Plugs:

President Jackson Show (326 East 35th Street bet. 1st and 2nd Av)
My other baby; the show is going down this Monday! We've got wonderful comics and 2-for-1 drink specials. The summer's almost over, and I know some of you are thirsty!

TIME: 9:00 PM

Skeleton Crew: Tagine Dining Galler (537 9th Avenue souht of West 40th)
The next show is September 4th and the show is biweekly. If you're a comic, musician or poet, please e-mail or contact me. Note: when you e-mail me take the dashes out and put in the @ symbol (it's a spam thing).

c-a-t-o-c-a-l-s-[at]-g-m-a-i-l-.com

TIME: 8:00 PM (NOTE: It's in the basement)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Old Jobs, New Tics

Now that the end of my magazine stint is on the horizon, I've been thinking back on the terrible temp jobs I've had. I remember working at this one place for 2 weeks. The boss would have me sit at a really old busted-up computer and type printouts into a computer (which makes no sense, I mean if you're printing it out, doesn't that mean the files are in the system already???!). The situation wasn't helped by the fact that 3/4 of the office was made up of temps and they all HATED the place! Seriously, one woman had a running list of ways to murder the boss that she'd minimize whenever he approached. It was dysfunctional.

At one point, I came in, sat down, and waited for the boss to give me something. And of course, he waited until 5:00 PM to give me a huge stack of loose papers to alphabetize. The process took 3 hours of my life I can never get back, and when I was done, he gave me a $5 Starbucks card. A $5 Starbucks is your way of saying "Thank you?!!!??!" Have you been to Starbucks?! What the hell am I going to get for $5? A coffee bean and three ice chips? I kept wondering what he would give as a Christmas present. "As a bonus, here's a $2 gas card. It's just enough for you to drive around the gas station. Also, here's a $10 airline ticket coupon."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jokes From A Notebook I Filled 6 Months Ago...

I hate it when I get too drunk at a party, because then I wake up the next morning with a Hangover Dilemma. That's the problem where you have to crawl to the bathroom and figure out how you're going to pee and puke in the toilet at the same time.
-
I once did temp work at a place where my co-workers were having an argument about the best way to beat their kids. One co-worker said she liked using a newspaper because that doesn't leave a mark. She then asked me about how I'd beat my kids. I said "I don't know; the only time my my mom ever beat me was at Scrabble." To this day, I can't look at seven-letter words the same way.
-
My friend posed a hypothetical question to me: "If you were a crackhead, would you rather suck dick for crack or have anal sex for crack?" Isn't that a stupid question? I mean, if I were a crackhead, I would rather have crack. I don't think I'd really be making a value judgment on what I'd do for a substance I'm addicted to.
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In the news, there was a story about a guy who was arrested for raping an innocent woman. In order to take suspicion off of himself, the guy decides to murder the woman. How did he make that leap in logic?! That would be like me cheating on my taxes and then, as soon as I get audited, throwing off suspicion by robbing Fort Knox.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The H Word

I’ve been an open-mic/free show/alt venue/barking veteran for two years and this just dawned on me today: I am a bona fide Class A hater. Whenever I leave a comedy venue, I take the Hateration Express to my apartment in Hatelem, go to my refridgerhater, microwave some hater tots, sip on some Hatessy and start hating. Then when my electrolytes are out of balance, I get a tall glass of Haterade and continue hating. Then when I think I’m done, I crack open my hatesaurus so I can find new words to use for my hate-tirade. And right before I pass out from all the haterology, I say a prayer to Hatey McHaterson, god of all hate. I. Hate. Too. Much.

When I first started, I thought comedy was about love. I had a whole Rhoda meets Cheers fantasy where I’d meet some nice people in hip threads and throw my hat in the air a lot and have wacky hijinks involving jukeboxes and saving bars from closing down. And I was warned that comedy would be hard. I heard people say “Comedy is lonely and bitter and difficult. You will see things that will piss you off. It’s not a brotherhood [sisterhood? bristerhood?]” I remember hearing comedians talk smack and I'd go, "WTF? How can you be such a hater?" THeir response: "You'll see."

I do now; I too have become that guy. If someone gets a 5 second talking head spot on VH1, it’s “Who’s dick did he suck?” If someone gets a free club spot: “If she wasn’t friends with the producer, she wouldn’t have got that spot either.” If someone gets a small-venue spot that pays $50: “I bet the owner only auditioned 3 people. If I were there, I would have snatched that spot.”

The reason I’m having a crisis is because I’m afraid of becoming a Hypocrisy Hater. These are the haters who you see talking so much shit about a comic that they need a breath mint after they’re done spewing. But when the “hated” comes into view, the tune changes. Ex: “Who the hell is this asshole? How the hell did he get a spot? I can’t believe people think his shit is funny. I bet a retarded monkey wrote his jokes.” [Hated walks in] “Oh my God! Hi, how are you? It’s been sooo long. I saw your spot on MTV. How was that? Are you still in touch with the producers? Are you doing any shows I can be a part of?” [Cue sucking and slurping noises].

I was talking to my non-comic friend about this and he was the one who pointed out my change in character. I became that aggressive spot-chaser who doesn’t slow down to appreciate what he has and what he can do with what he has. I became that person who has to spit barbs to stay on top. And that’s not me. Rather, that shouldn’t be me. Comedy…hell entertainment in general shouldn’t do that to me.

I started listening to myself when my hater-herpes is flaring and I realized: How is this helping me? How is this healthy? I spend more time hating on people than I do working on my own act. I cough up all this venom and yet all it does is poison me. Perhaps the questions I should ask are “How did he/she hear about these spots? Did you get it through an agent? Do you have any advice for someone who’s un-agented?”

So, this is me making a conscious effort to purge myself of the bile and start being positive. If I have nothing nice to say, I won’t say anything at all... Okay that’s a bit much. How about this: I promise I won’t say anything about anyone’s mama. What? – I can’t just quit cold turkey!

[PS: Watch me renege on this idea in 3 months. But I swear to you, concerted effort!]

One More Thing...

I will doing Pete's Candy Store again on September 8, hosted by the famous and fantabulous Jen Dziura. She is up there as one of the nicest comedians to work with, and a pleasure to see.

Check out this blog poster:



Please check out Jen's site to find out about where she is and what she's doing. I know there is a sidebar link already (look at me using bloganese), but do check it out. And also check out Thu Tran, graphic deisgner extraordinaire!

P.Jackson Show and NEW NEW FREE SHOW!!!!!

I don't have an organizer...I got a free one that was a school year organizer and not a real year one (i.e. January to December), so I got a little screwed there. I have another organizer in my house, but ironically I lost it. (ASIDE: This is actually true, and not a joke. And yes I am aware that as a joke, that two-liner is one of the oldest around. In fact I own an Archie Double Digest which has that joke in it. (ASIDE 2: Whatever happened to Archie Comics? I feel like I rarely see them anymore. Bring that back to the waiting aisles at the supermarket. I miss Archie and Reggie and Betty and Veronica and Moose and the token black guy who seemed to be good at every single sport...what was his name?)

Anyway, here's some shows I'm doing. I'm getting the word out since I sent in my stuff a little too late and I probably won't get listed. I did Facebook 2 bajillion people (which means 5 people will show up) but I'm hoping to make it a show of 15. The important show is next Thursday! Please please come!

MONDAY: President Jackson Show
326 East 35 Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenue)
9:00 - 10:00 PM
This is FREE and it's Joe Dixon's baby! I'm not the father though (I went on Maury and I'm 50,000% sure). I'm hosting and Nasry Malak (Comix), Nick Cobb, Shane Webb (Boston Comedy), and Pat Lamb are on it. Oh and there's 2-for-1s.

THURSDAY: Tagine Dining - 537 9th Avenue (right off West 40th Street)

The Skeleton Crew:
Date: August 21st (Thursday)
Time: 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Cost: Free

Calvin Cato’s out of a day job but at least he’s got friends! Come watch him host an eclectic mix of stand-up comedy and music where he'll be giving out stuff he can’t pawn. Donations are accepted and all proceeds will go towards the Interview Suit Tailoring Fund. Oh, and did we mention that everyone who attends will get a free resume? Come see the Skeleton Crew: the only show that doubles as a job interview.

Esteemed guests include:

Scout Durwood (MTV's A Shot At Love)
Chris Griggs (NY Underground Comedy Festival, The PIT)
Boris Khaykin (UCB, Sirius Radio)
Del Harrison (BET, Hot 97, Caroline's)
Keith Alberstadt (Last Comic Standing, CMT, Sirius Radio, Time Out's Joke of the Week)
...and surprise special guests

For serious, come to both. They're FREE!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Oh...So...Awkward

One of my most favorite English phrases is “Don’t be That Guy.” And whenever I say it, I usually get asked “Who?” Well, That Guy (or alternatively That Girl or That Chick) is the lone person who manages to commit the biggest faux pas at any event or gathering.

Exempli gratia: you are at a house party and everything is winding out. People are slowing trickling out, people are relaxing on couches. Then, the host’s ex-girlfriend shows up, yelling and crying. She awkwardly wambles over to the stereo and knocks over some irreplaceable vase. Everyone groans in disgust, averts their eyes, and gets up to look for their stuff so they can leave. The ex-girlfriend is “That Chick.”

Or...there’s a guy at your favorite concert standing in front of you wearing the band T-shirt with a Mohawk so tall you can’t see past it. He’s yelling along with the band (though he thinks he’s singing in key) and now you can’t see or hear the band. This asshole would be That Guy.

Or you’re watching The Dark Knight Returns. And at that critical battle between Batman and the Joker, some woman’s cell phone goes off. Even though she shuts it off and yells “I’m so sorry!” she is totally, utterly, completely “That Girl.”

Sometimes, there doesn’t need to be a large gathering. There are times when even though I’m by myself, I know I’m That Guy. I’ve eaten a day-old sandwich wrapped in tinfoil sitting on my desk. That is something that That Guy would do. And moreover, me admitting to it my blog really REALLY makes me That Guy.

The universal thing to keep in mind is that That Guy/Chick is the one person you would NEVER want to be. Ever. Because That Guy is an Awkward Bomb. And no one wants to catch embarrassment; that stuff is worse than herpes. And you can’t treat awkward with a cream.

I hope this moment has been more informative than Urban Dictionary (which has some of the strangest and obscure terms I’ve ever seen...really?...but anyway). Remember kids: be safe, be cool, and don’t be That Guy. The More You Know!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Post 100! - Anti-Climax

Okay, I can't be around leftovers when I'm drunk. Seriously day old Chinese food is the new crack. I ate 3 chicken wings and a Styrofoam full of fried rice in 8 minutes flat. I'm surprised I'm not comatose. Or my blood hasn't become pure MSG.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Found + Sinister Dexterity

Rejoice: The joke book has been found!!! Thanks to Josh from the Fine Anddandy Showcase (the show goes on the last Wednesday of every month and is awesome!). It's a mix of stand-up, sketch, music, and short movies.

Which leads to my next segue: I was in Josh and Tim Montoya's short film Sinister Dexterity. A piece of my routine is in there so you should check it out! The short stars: Tim Montoya, Dan Fontaine, Sue Funke, and more... Below is part one and part two. And when I learn how to embed videos, I will do so (I really have to step up my HTML...son). Werd!

Sinister Dexterity Part One

Sinister Dexterity Part Two

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No More Hiatus

I am officially back to doing comedy again (I'm not really ready yet but during my "hiatus" I did 4 shows and shot 2 comedy web videos so it really ended up being the lousiest break in history). I did write some new material and re-formulated my voice (err...I don't even know what that means but the pros say it).

Anyway here's a tentative calendar of places you can see me perform. You can also check my Myspace calendar, as it will be soon updated (yay for fans...fan??!).

FRIDAY, SATURDAY: LOL Comedy Club 8 PM, 10 PM, 12 AM (August 1, 2)
7th Avenue bet. West 50th and 51st Street
I'm doing 8 - 10 minutes o' time. The place just opened up and I'm not sure what the cost but it is really cheap! The 8 PM may be free if you buy 2 [cheap] drinks. Take advantage of it! You'll see me in a club and you can pay reasonable club prices.

MONDAY: Pinetree Lodge 9 PM (August 4)
326 East 35th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenue)
I'm back to hosting again! And this show is free. And there are 2-for-1 drink specials.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Haydie P's Wake Up Call Addendum

Addendum: You'll note I did not include a link to Haydie P's album. That's because I'm not going to; I will not actively support people viewing this song. Ever. I will link to Youtube and have you search for it yourself.

Hayden Panettiere's Album: Wake Up Call or Terrible Snooze Alarm?

I recently had the "pleasure" of watching Hayden Panettiere's newest single/music video "Wake Up Call." Quite frankly, it's just bad. And not bad in a "this-is-a-horrible-train-wreck" bad. It's 2000s bad - where there's just too much flash, generic-ness and culture co-opting going on.

The video: We start with a classic face montage/slow walk that seems to be all in the rage in female pop videos. Then she's holding a mic and mouthing...er...singing about some boy she's pissed off at. He's hitting on chicks and she wants him to stop. Her big plan is to...air grind around on a dance floor in tight black outfits. Oh and flirt with him while dressed as other girls.

And then, there is the gangster scene. Where Haydie P [yes I'm calling her that, she's gangsta now!] dons the tightest hoodie known to (wo)man and psuedo-raps while flailing her arms, hardcore style (TM).

She leaves the club with her friends when she "confirms" his eye-wandering, in a different jacket than the one she had on (go continuity!).

First problem: The gangster scene. Listen: Haydie P IS NOT GANGSTA! At all! Let that chick go to the South Bronx and she'll be calling for some heroes. Plus, what's with the arm flailing? It's like she's doing a flamingo mating dance. Ugh!

Second problem: The song theme. So her boyfriend may be cheating on her and her solution is to...consider cheating on him and then pretend to be other girls and hit on him? Because, that's totally sane. Oh yeah that's a totally rational plan. "Maybe he's cheating, what do I do? Should I directly ask him? Or should I kiss some random guy and uber-stalk my boyfriend in a disguise and a mini-skirt?" This is the kind of advice I'd expect from Sweet Valley High books or Miss Cleo but not from an alleged mature adult.

Third problem: Lousy writing! What really makes my soul cry is the fact that she's not even rhyming words well. For Pete's sake, she rhymes "cheat" and "me." She rhymes call and comfortable (cutesily pronounced "comf-ter-BALL")! Good Lord, she rhymes through and roof! That's as grating as Umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh. What are you doing Haydie P, free verse?! Because, I don't think you've learned enough of the basics to break the mold. Honestly, not even bothering to rhyme on a shitty reggae beat is the same as crusty nails on a chalkboard.

Fourth problem: The borderline pedophilic T & A. I saw at least 30 seconds of pure butt-shaking. Does this really add to the song or have any context? Going back to the alleged adult statement, this girl is 18. And she has nothing better to do than shake around and stare poutily into a camera?? Are we supposed to admire or lust after her? It's a sick 2000s dichotomy created between the artist and the audience. I'm only 24 but I feel like a 40 year old suffering from a sex drought looking at this video. It's like "To Catch A Predator" creepy.

I'm ashamed to say I added 4 viewer hits on YouTube trying to understand what the hell is going on in this video. I'm more ashamed to say that I spent 30 minutes writing about this. But if this post helps at least one person, my ears won't have dulled in vain.

Haydie P, I like you in Heroes. Please stick to acting and being a fanboy's fantasy. Don't venture into badland scarcely-a-triple-threat territory. It's for your own good.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In Shameless Advertising News...

Here's a link to all the articles I wrote for the Wesleyan Argus. Quite frankly, I'm prouder of the earlier stuff (before I graduated and got all maudlin and pathetic), but there are some choice ones in there.

Bounce around and read the stuff I got there if you have a chance!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hiatus + Bad Reads = X

As some of you may know, I took a hiatus from comedy (for about a week). I have since broken that fast by doing a show on Tuesday and a web video on Monday. The show on Tuesday...well it wasn't bad. I could say I did my job and I got to try out some newer stuff. But I still blanked on some of the things I want to do. Best line: "Hello my name is Calvin. I eat balls for a living" (thanks Richie!).

There were some really fantastic people there. Del was the (always) hilarious hostess and there were some really good sets there by Liz Miele, Ken Perlstein, Todd Lynn, Dan Hirshon and Giulia Rozzi. See these people if you get a chance! I may be back up to running a show again and I've got some stuff in the works. In the meantime please go check out President Jackson show! (326 East 35th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave). Every Monday (9 PM – 10 PM)
---
In other news, I know I owe somebody another review of Marvel's "Secret Invasion" after that test, but I'm just too tired. The sad part is that I WANT to like the storyline sooo bad, but I just can't give a shit about the bad pacing anymore. I read Secret Invasion #4 a couple of days ago and I had so many problems with it, I wanted to set fire to my entire collection, which isn't much...hell it consists of a shitload of bad Wolverine comics and some of Fabian Nicieza's Gambit (which you should read if you ever find it...it was actually one of the better mainstream books to come out in the 1990s).

In theory we're at the halfway mark of the damn story, and...nothing has happened. Seriously, I’ve read 4 main issues and at least 8 tangential issues and like an hour has passed in story time. And all the tie-in back-stories are starting to suck the life out of the whole storyline and they make less than zero sense (Mighty Avengers #16?? New Avengers #42??! How can you even reconcile these issues with what readers have read before??!?!?!). I'll try to get enthused again but it's so clear that the writer doesn't give a shit about characters or continuity or basic logic and motivation, only the plot and his agenda. It's like watching a movie where characters keep pulling ridiculous "Shhhh, it just needs to be this way" excuses to do retarded things for the sake of the story. And in general, if you have 22 pages to tell a story and 10 of those pages are devoted to ugly, muted fight scenes, you aren’t doing your job.

Ugh, I am so past done with Brian Michael Bendis and his nonsense and his penchant for "big explosions" and "mysterious people" who never seem to DO ANYTHING. And what’s grating is watching him contradict himself in HIS OWN STORIES. I mean, he does the plotting and his new stuff is contradicting stuff that HE HIMSELF WROTE like 6 months ago.

That being said I'll probably still write the reviews. And then buy the rest of the series. And then bitch about wasting $60 that could have went to student loans. And then finally write that test comic book script I was planning to write two years ago.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nothin' But The Rent

In current events news, congressman Charles Rangel (chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee) was discovered to have four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem. In fact he was using one as an office. Finally, he was told that he had to give up the office space apartment.

Was I the only person in New York City who hit CTRL+F to find out the exact address and fill out an application to live there? If I can get the place at that rent-stabilized price, I'll happily pay a broker's fee or give money to Rangel's campaign.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Harsh!

For my birthday, my mom told me I have no real career goals and then said she filled out an application for me to get food stamps and is mailing the document for me to sign - "for my own good".

She may as well have attached a card that says. "Sweetie, I love you, but you have no future, so here's some government cheese."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Seriously??!! - Sometimes Culture is Effed Up

So...Girls Gone Wild has a soundtrack??!

Ummmmmmmmmm...kay. Who's buying this? Do the people buying it realize that it's a CD?!?! Meaning that you can't SEE anything? Are the songs overdubbed by moans? Does the CD come with a fleshlight and lube? Will the music give ou an ear infection? Why does the CD cover say Girls Gone Wild Music Uncensored? Doees the non-editing of curse words make it sexier? I have so many rhetorical questions!

As a side note, people who bought the CD also bought "The Essential O'Jays." Which totally seems like someone bought the damn thing and then tried to play cover-up. Or that a total perv has the same music sensibilities as my grandfather. Either way, gross!

Wesleyan Alumni Magazine

This is more job- and future-related than my usual posts. But thanks to a really wonderful editor (seriously she's a super-sweet lady who understands that when life gets pukey, grab a bucket and keep going), I am back to writing the Wesleyan Alumni Magazine's class notes (it's basically a collection of small blurbs about what everyone's been up to and what crazy fun times people are having). If there are any Wesleyan alums who read this blog, please get in contact with me and let me know what you're up to. Find me on Facebook and drop a comment!

And now to fulfill the comedy portion of this entry, here is the letter I sent out (I changed the class year to keep my age mysterious...wooooooooo):

Dear Class of X

I am in charge of writing about the class of 2006 for the Wesleyan Alumni Magazine and I need some notes and quotes from you all concerning what you are doing with your lives. Reply and say ANYTHING (even if it's "I don't have a job, please leave me alone.") Or you can give me an outline of what you want me to say and I will word it in a sophisticated manner.

Here are examples of things you can e-mail me:
ex. 1: I have no job. Make this fact sound funny.
ex. 2: I am auditioning for Girls Gone Wild but please put down it's an independent film.
ex. 3: I am researching tampons--please make this sound more medical.
ex. 4: I have just set up a non-profit organization that benefits elephants in Antarctica (I highly doubt you’ve done this…but if you have, that would be awesome and worth noting)

Remember this is a space you can use to make shout-outs, so if you are an aspiring FILL-IN-THE-BLANK and you want to promote something, here is your chance.

Please respond and get back to me by Tuesday July 15th, or you’ll be reading 800 words about my life, and no one needs to read about that…

Thank you and best of luck with everything,

Calvin S. Cato

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Want You To Want Me

Okay, I'm new at this blogging stuff and frankly I'm surprised I even have that many postings. But what's up with the spam comments? Does that mean I'm actually popular or is it just a matter of seniority - in the same way, that all the junk mail starts pouring in 3 months after you start using credit cards?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fast Company: What Would Bill Gates Do?

It's shameless, I know, but I was mentioned in an article about Bill Gates on Fast Company. If you're planning on becoming an entrepreneur, or if you like business and are a little tech savvy, then you should check the site and peruse the magazine if you see it on the racks. Also, you should check out Inc. Magazine too.

Here is the article: WWBGD

Have a happy Fourth of July!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Recipes for the Anorexic Poor

Recipes for the Anorexic Poor #1:

STRAWBERRY SHORT-OF-CAKE:
Take one cup of vanilla pudding, crush a strawberry and a tomato in it and eat. No crust, no carbs, no calories. Serve with lots of alcohol. (Because that's safe, and it'll taste real good)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Show Line-Up For This Week

Turn down the sun and turn up the funny. It’s my birthday on Tuesday and this is my birthday comedy week. Come out and support by laughing, because I said so in a pleasing baritone.

MONDAY, June 16, 2008 – 9:00 PM
President Jackson Show (with Joe Dixon)
326 East 35th Street
Featuring Trafton Crandall and Margie Kment. Introducing Jason (Horatio) Lewis!

TUESDAY, June 17th 2008 – 9:00 PM (BIRTHDAY!!!)
Five Spot (Hosted by Dave Lester)
Myrtle Avenue & Washington Ave (in Brooklyn, take the G Train to Clinton-Washington Avenue and then walk north on Washington Ave)

THURSDAY, June 19, 2008 – 7:30 PM
Family Hour @ Ochi’s Lounge (Hosted by Sara Benincasa)
353 West 14th St. just east of 9th Ave.
New York, NY
Cost: 1 bar/menu item
FREE COOKIES!

Featuring: Matt Goldich, Robin Gelfenbien, Cousin-in-Residence Kambri Crews, Joe Powers, Sheridan Botros, Leslie Goshko, Maysoon Zayid

SATURDAY, June 21, 2008
Birthday party over…somewhere…I’ll get back to ya on that one.

MONDAY, June 23, 2008 – 9:00 PM
President Jackson Show Super-Special
We’re doing a feature-length show as epic as 300. Okay maybe not that epic. Featuring Matt Daly, Blanca Dominguez, Nasry Malak, and Dave Rosner.


Hope to see y'all!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Gender And The City

New York City has the pickiest dating scene in the country. Only in New York can a drag queen dump his bisexual transgendered girlfriend because she’s not man enough for him.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

So I Got Lost Watching This Season Finale ...

In the interest of beating out tens of thousands of avid bloggers, I am writing a review on the season 4 finale of Lost. Take that, TiVoers! Please note I know less than nothing about the show, everything I know about the plot I got from Wikipedia. Ooh, a hyperlink! Now on with the review.

First off, tonight's finale was in three parts! Which means there was definitely a point were I kind of tuned out and started playing Free Cell. But the plot flowed seamlessly and the story was pretty well-told. To be fair, there were points where the "tension" felt so artificial - see the casket MacGuffin (why did it take 7 minutes to resolve that scene?) - but long-time viewers will be rewarded to find that the writers address at least 1/4 of mystery.

The show definitely loses points on having weird machinery which does random shit. I mean seriously, who uses a "liquid nitrogen tank" to cool down a bomb? Um, temperature bombs? - yeah, not so realistic. And the fact that the island can moved by an ice steering wheel??? Granted, I don't know that much about the show, but I definitely can't be expected to dismiss major logic flaws. There were points where the plot got so paint by numbers. Still, it was a damn good paint job.

Overall, I was entertained. There were kick-ass fight scenes and big explosions and moments that actually sucker-punched me. And Sun's storyline was actually worth following (okay, I had watched a couple episodes of Lost here or there, I had found Sun so boring that I'd have to stop and watch Family Guy reruns, so seeing what happens to her both in the present and the future made me really want to find out who she is and what her plan is). And the finale's conclusion contains an impressive revelation that can really spin-off into some interesting stories. It looks like the writers actually have a long-term plan. I may try to actively catch old episodes of this show.

Well, that probably means nothing and I may have ruined some shit for people, but really, if you were a borderline Lost fan, you'd get a lot out of this storyline. So what do I rate this? I didn't realize I needed a rating scale. 5 out of 7 Cs.

Maybe another stream-of-consciousness review soon...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sometimes, Facebook Can Brighten My Day

I'm not a big fan of Facebook anymore. I'm sick of all the applications and add-ons. No I don't want to be a pirate or a ninja or a vampire ninja who feeds on zombie pirates and plays Scrabble. I don't want to poke you, punch you, pressure point you.

But, I did find one of the funnier and most quintessential Facebook groups to join. F.I.N.A.L.S. - Fuck, I Never Actually Learned Shit. Story of my college...story of my college...

[NOTE: Yes, I plan on writing a longer (and theoretically more humorous) essay on Facebook, but that is tabled for another time]

Sunday, May 04, 2008

APOLLO??!

So, I just finished watching SNL, and I'm waiting for the cheesy start-up music of Apollo to begin so I can change the channel, only to find that there was no music. "It's Showtime At The Apollo" is officially gone. And in its place is some talking head show about the Tribeca Film Festival. I am in shock. I can't believe this.

Now, I kind of want to start a campaign to get it back. Sure the hosting was pretty lousy and some of the Amateur Acts - yeesh, you'd think these guys would have actually listened to their own act once or twice before they decided to embarrass themselves on stage. Too harsh? - whatever. But there were some good break dancers and some nice musical acts. And yeah, it was a show with black people in it. Even if I didn't watch it, I like the idea of it being on the air.

I miss seeing black people on television. So many of the shows on in the past couple of years are tired or insulting poor portrayals of black people. And I will sell my kidneys before I sit through an episode of Tyler Perry's sitcom or Flavor Flav's new show. Television is full of reality bullshit with vapid orange people spending 2 minutes staring blankly into the camera with their mouths slightly open. It's pathetic.

I don't know man. They should bring Apollo back on the air. Yeah, I'm starting a petition. Bring Apollo back to NBC! Bring in better acts. Let me host the thing. Ha, just kidding, or am I? But seriously, we need to bring it back. Blog if you love Apollo. Dude, this Tribeca show is bullshit. I'm going to Channel 11.

What?! Chapelle Show airs on the CW??!! Okay, I, uh, wow. I don't even know what the hell is going on with Standards and Practices anymore.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yes I Can Act In Online Videos!

Sometimes, people ask me if I do any acting. Here's your chance to find out in this week's edition of Honkies I Tolerate:

Funny Or Die: What's Up With Canadians?

Thanks to Todd Montesi!

EDIT: In case you didn't know, I'm the only guy in the short with a suit on. I play a black field reporter and believe me, that's all you need to know.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Picaresque: A Blog In Vignettes

I've lived in New York City for too long. While I was on the subway, a lady fell on the floor and screamed "Ow my leg!" And instead of asking "Are you okay?" I stared at her and thought "She'd better not pull this 'I'm injured' shit to cause a train delay. I have to get home and watch a repeat of The Riches on FX tonight."

...

My standards for what I deem a "good comedy performance" have plummeted. At first I thought I did a great set if the audience laughed. Then it became, I've done a good show if 50% of the audience laughed. Now it's become, I've done a good set if 50% of the audience understands English. Apparently, you don't need to laugh now to make me happy. You just have to look at me and nod. I need to do comedy in front of puppies.

...

I took an exercise dump today. It was one of those dumps where even your face muscles get in on the action. I think I lost 2 pounds expelling the log and another 3 from sweat and determination.

Anatomy Of A Bad Set

NOTE: Jokes have been omitted or edited to protect the guilty.

AT THE CLUB........

CC THOUGHTS: Okay the last was really funny. I just have to be as funny as him. Not to worry. I've got my list memorized and everything and this is going to be AWESOME!!!!!11111one

HOST: And now for the next guy coming to the stage! He's played clubs and colleges all over New York City. He's the wonderful and talented CC!!!

AUDIENCE HALF-CLAPS, HALF-GLANCES DOWN AT THEIR WATCHES

CC THOUGHTS: Alright, it's a cold crowd, but that's okay!

CC: How's everyone doing tonight?! Don't worry, we have 18 other comics coming up after me...

AUDIENCE: 6 laughs

CC THOUGHTS: Okay, not getting a positive vibe but I'll bring the love!

CC: [OPENER 1]

AUDIENCE: 5 disparate laughs

CC THOUGHTS: Okay it's just 3 1/2 more minutes

CC: Alright that's cool. I'll wow you with this one. [JOKE 2 - Filler]

AUDIENCE: Two chuckles, one cough

CC: Well I'm glad I didn't quit my day job, right?

LONE HECKLER: We already heard day job jokes!

CC: Well then what do you to hear? That my life is happy? Because I can't say that a high point is staring into a crowd of 20 disinterested white people. I feel like I'm on an auction block here.

AUDIENCE: Dead silence.

CC THOUGHTS: Oh boy, that set race relations back. MLK would be proud.

CC: Whew! I guess that should have been saved for therapy, right?

AUDIENCE: Two people cross their arms and shake their heads.

CC: Okay, well, uh, [JOKE 3].

AUDIENCE: Silence.

[WARNING LIGHT SHINES]

CC THOUGHTS: Okay, well it's almost over. I still have my drink at the table. I can just down it and leave. Oh right, I got to think of a closing joke. Let's see, joke, joke, joke, joke. Alright here's a good, nah too racist. Or maybe, no too neighborhood specific. Oh shit I've bene rambling about Egg McMuffins for 40 seconds, do something, get off the stage. Abort! Just abort!

CC: Well, this has been...us staring at each other for 5 minutes. Thank you

AUDIENCE: [Begrudging claps]

HOST: Let's hear it again for CC. [Silence]. Alright...

LATER ON IN THE EVENING.........

AUDIENCE's FAVORITE COMIC (TM): Hey good job.

CC: Well thanks, I think you did a much better job.

AFC (TM): Well, it's a crowd thing.

FAN: (To AFC) Oh my God! You were so wonderful. My friends and I were dying! Where do you perform? I can't wait to see you again. (turns to CC) Oh hey. (back to AFC) So anyway, oh my God, you were totally awesome! What's your phone number? Do you have a MySpace?! Let's be i-pals.

CC: I have to go. I'll see you around.

CONCLUSION: Go home and ponder ways to kill yourself which won't leave you disfigured and allow you to have an open casket funeral.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sometimes, People Need Too Much Attention

So apparently, at Yale, this art student Aliza Shvarts decided for her senior project that it would be a great idea to get herself pregnant multiple times in the span of 9 months, abort her babies, film the process and save the bloody sheets - and call that art. Read more here:

http://jezebel.com/380897/yale-senior-undergoes-multiple-self+induced-miscarriages-in-the-name-of-art

...Except, now it's apparently a hoax. Again, lea aqui!

http://gawker.com/381384/abortion-performance-art-actually-media-exploitatio

I have said it multiple times, but I will say it again: This is the exact reason why minorities hate white people. First of all, if you go to the first link, take a look at what this chick looks like. A hipster mess - leopard skirt, boots, tights...what the hell is she doing - going on safari in Connecticut? Oooh and she's wearing a hoodie, because that shows how much she hates being conventional. Yes, she chose substance over style. Actually she chose substance over personality.

Look little girl, why don't you get a real job, stop sponging off mommy and daddy, and stop giving handjobs to random frat guys so you can feel like you're worth something? Filming an abortion to make a statement about art and the human body is ...well retarded. And you give pro-lifers more ammunition so they can continue to make wrong-headed arguments like "See, women can't be trusted to make their own decisions. Having the right to abortion leads to women making it into art or a spa day."

And if it's a hoax, that makes it 2,000,000 times worse. Is her art that shitty that she need a desperates cry for attention like this? I bet she just smokes a lot of pot in her room and uses her sketchbook as a surface for her to cut her cocaine on as she sits around watching VH1 and thinking "God I'm so fucking smart and privileged, I don't even have to be responsible!"

Puh-leeze, I can see her future. She'll move to New York and live in a loft with three like-minded faux-artist types. Maybe she'll work at a bar twice a week but she won't hold down a job for longer than a month and she'll constantly ask her parents to put money in her account and buy groceries from Costco for her. After 4 years of living in abject poverty, she'll listen to her parents, go to law school, get married, move to Westchester and have 3 kids. In the end she'll talk about the abortion as "that silly project" and use it as an excuse to say she was a "wild child." When in reality, she's a completely unoriginal, unlikeable, sellout poser with a bad haircut.

Conclusion: this girl is pathetic. I've already wasted too much blog space hating her.