Give a warm welcome to your next comic

I’ve been fascinated by stand-up comedy for a very long time. As a tweener (a label that didn’t yet exist in the early 70’s), I’d repeatedly listen to George Carlin’s first album, “Take-offs and Put-ons.” I was familiar with the acts of the most prominent comedians of the time, intuitively felt their POVs, and even tried to write jokes tailored for some of them. But because the fax machine had not yet been invented, I was never able to get them to Johnny Carson.

With a mix of existential dread and some seemingly happy moments, I see the world from many angles at once, always attempting to make a salient point or a dirty joke, or best of all, a combination of the two. As a teenager, I saw how artists like Carlin and Richard Pryor could do this. And despite my best efforts to be serious, I have always peppered my speech with premises and punchlines. A natural comedic cadence was there, and I sought consciously to hone it. Humor is a skill I utilized to keep myself emotionally afloat, and also to make other people feel good, which, in turn, enhanced my own sense of well-being. I don’t think I would have given myself permission to be such a consistent wiseass, though, had my life not been touched with early tragedy and sadness. Loss can be turned into a gift.

And so it is with great interest that I observe the many individuals flooding the field of stand up comedy over the past half dozen years. They reveal the trauma of their lives in their acts, and and as a result we are watching a never-ending soap opera with a million characters in its lineup, many of whom are quite compelling.

Social media has done a great deal to encourage the flood. I’ve always felt there’s room on the stage for everyone; all acts have something to offer. But with this glut of talent, it’s hard to see the special trees within the forest. It’s like a big, rich porterhouse steak of potential out there, with concentrations of the especially gifted marbled throughout, and those are the tastiest morsels to which most people are drawn. I’d like to think that I’m somewhere in those lush streaks, maybe in the gristle, and that I’m going to enjoy the journey without worrying too much about my fat intake.

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Pickup lines for the advanced of age

“I have no heirs.”

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“My left nipple is starting to become inverted, and I need someone to help me pull it out. Interested?”

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“I would drive at night for you.”

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“Let me tell ya, girl [cough, cough]… for you, I won’t need Viagra.”

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“If you rear-ended me, we would definitely exchange information.”

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“My drooling for you is not entirely stroke-related!”

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“You’re the kind of gal who makes me want to die with both boots off, but one sock on.”

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“That bodacious bod is giving my heart an arrhythmia.”

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“My oral skills improve exponentially once these dentures come out.”

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I haven’t seen you around here before! Mostly because I am vision impaired.

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I hate boasting but I’m sporting the largest size of Depends.

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Bits of Minefield

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find “safe” topics in stand-up comedy, so I’m going to start making climate change jokes, because either you’re smart and believe in climate change and realize I’m kidding, or you’re a moron and will get upset and I don’t care. #LighterSideOfClimateChange

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Polar bears are finally taking long overdue baths. #LighterSideOfClimateChange

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At least we never made displaced animals fill out any address change forms. #LighterSideOfClimateChange

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Ivanka Trump has a new couture line featuring creations in a hue she’s dubbed “Nuclear Winter White.”

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I don’t understand why more respect is not given to Third Lady Melania Trump.

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Met a new Chinese American comedian who at first I thought was very nice but now I think is a leal reech.

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Stop trying to be so fucking PC all the time. Jesus called them cripples to their faces. Or maybe he only did it behind their backs, which would be technically the earliest form of Christian cattiness.

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I love when middle aged women complain about dryness issues, especially when they drink a lot. I always want to ask them if it at least keeps their hollow leg moist.

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HIM: I’d love to be in a relationship with you but I have too many problems right now.

HER: It’s OK. Just don’t tell me about them.

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Say what you want: despite his lack of eloquence, Donald Trump has not yet uttered any malapropisms. Perhaps he is saving those for when we all really need a laugh.

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Folks saying for years that Hillary Clinton has no sense of humor. Of course she can take a joke! She’s still married to Bill.

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You are given an antibiotic before some dental procedures but I think it’s a good idea to take Motrin before sex.

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Old sluts spread their legs in pre-existing positions.

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When I was young, “Look Ma, no hands!” was something you never heard coming from a Thalidomide kid.

grace-on-way-to-club picture by Helga
Photo credit: Helga Magi

Two Major Geezer Peeves

Take note, whippersnappers!

1.  It’s annoying to elderly folks when they’re telling someone a story from their lives, and how a certain historical event was the backdrop, and the person they’re talking to immediately is searching the net on their phone to determine if the dates line up.  Further, the instant lay-librarian is not too shy to tell old Aunt Marge “That didn’t happen to you that year!”  So, not only does the story get derailed and geezers are dehumanized that much more, but it’s also evident this new generation of faux historians has no interest in talking to actual human beings.  I extrapolate this phenomenon to the point where I picture a bunch of old folks on a porch, lined up in rockers with iPhones, arguing over dates important stuff happened in their lives.  “You did not have your hysterectomy the year JFK was killed.  I remember you told me you were so depressed, you got knocked up right after it happened.”

2.  It seems like there are more and more TV commercials that are intentionally made to seem similar to the program being broadcast.  So, old folks sometimes get confused and wonder who these new characters are that suddenly showed up.  And then they’re gone just as suddenly as they arrived.  But no matter:  between the dementia, delirium and the apathetic relatives, old folks are used to people dropping in and out of their lives quickly anyway.

geezer-lady-cell-phone