Here’s a set I did this Sunday at Power Violence in LA. It’s one of my favorite shows in the city. The guys that host it set a fun tone, and the audience expects something weird, typically. There’s some new stuff I’ll work on and some old stuff I’m a little tired of and some stuff that I probably won’t do again. Kevin Lee filmed.
I love and hate late night monologue jokes. I like jokes, but rarely on any talk show do you see ones that actually make you laugh. They’re fun to write though, and their disposable nature makes it OK for them to not be great. I think if people go into these jokes knowing that, it helps. The funniest part of Carson’s monologue was him saving the clunkers by making fun of himself.
So here’s some I wrote and some Hank Thompson wrote. We’ll do more every couple weeks or whenever we can get in the studio, This is about the only part of this show that I actually write.
My friend Hank Thompson works at a studio that let’s us use their nice equipment sometimes. So we made this silly video where we shit all over Richard Dawkins for saying Down’s Syndrome fetuses should be aborted. What a cool dude.
I think every couple weeks, I’ll drop in to do more of these. They’re unscripted, and generally pretty unprepared, and we are in no way experts on anything. Please adjust your expectations accordingly.
I stand by the fact that I think Richard Dawkins would be the most annoying human to get stuck talking with at a party.
Dan Ronan died on Friday, and I’ve been crying a lot since I found out. I’m crying right now. I loved Dan dearly. It’s really difficult to think of a friend’s life having an end point. I’m never going to hear his voice again even though it’s been playing in my mind for the last day. I’m never going to hear a new story or a joke from Dan. We’re never going to stay up late and talk about music, or people we hate or jokes we love or scary movies or anything. Someone’s death, especially at a young age, puts a really shitty period on what was supposed to be a really funny long run-on sentence. It also means no one new gets to meet Dan, which is a real shame. He probably would have liked you. Or maybe hated your guts, how would I know?
I just needed to write this because Dan was a comedian, and a really good one. The shitty thing about comedy is that it’s hard to do. I guess that’s what makes it special too. But it’s a hard long road that doesn’t really have an ultimate goal. Dan was really just getting started on this road, but no one really writes about people that weren’t famous or on TV or something except their friends. He deserves to have a full story told. So, here’s that.
I can hear my wife watching Frasier in the other room right now as I type this. That’s her way of coping. Which is actually really sweet. Dan briefly moved out to LA right around the time I did, as well as some other friends. The goal was to all work together on comedy out here. Shortly after moving Dan relapsed into drug use. He was very open about things like that on stage, and made fun of it. It was a part of him that unfortunately couldn’t be separated from his story. He wanted to hide it from his friends when he was here in California though. He didn’t tell me when he was using again. In fact he lied about it. It was pretty clear there was a problem though. Right before he moved back to Chicago, we spent a day walking around the city, he knew that I knew and we talked about his struggles. We just sat on bus benches and smoked a pack of cigarettes. Then we got another and smoked that one too. I brought him back to my place to be with my wife and me that night. I cooked some fried chicken and we watched Frasier for hours. He loved it. So do my wife and I. It’s oddly really nice comedy comfort food.
The next day, I drove Dan to meet with a friend who was going to put him up for a while and shortly after he moved back to Chicago to be closer to his family. I never saw him again. We talked here and there. We both are huge horror movie fans and we pitched ideas back and forth about writing one together. It was going to be pretty cool. We talked about music. He was getting into Roxy Music, he loved anything Eno did (we often talked about our love for this song and it’s ability to bring us serenity). I told him about this weird strip club in Vegas I went to where all the dancers were in their 50s and just wanted to chit chat and drink a Coors with you. I’d ask if he was staying healthy knowing full well I couldn’t be certain if he was telling the truth. I wanted to be there with him. I wanted to sit on a couch with him and watch Scream 2 or something stupid.
I’m really only saying this stuff because if you knew Dan, you loved him and I’m sure you’d want to hear anything about him, and if you didn’t know him, you deserve to have a full picture of who he was and what he meant to people. I hate when people die and then there’s just the one photograph of them in black and white looking really handsome with dates on it. It’s too nice. It’s not real and it doesn’t sufficiently express who the person is. Someone who didn’t know that person would take one look at it and go, “Cool dates, dipshit.” At least I’m saying that in my head in Dan’s voice right now and it’s making me smile.
Dan created some of my favorite comedy I’ve ever witnessed. He was truly inspired and I’m really lucky that I got to work with him. His mind worked in a really weird way, something I’m not sure I can relate to, but he was compulsive about comedy. He would be doing 24 hours a day if that were possible. When he wasn’t doing it, he didn’t know what to do with himself. So he clearly created a lot, and honed and perfected things. A discipline I was always jealous of. We talked about that too, he always wanted to know how certain sets went, what I was working on, what jokes worked. He needed comedy, even if it wasn’t his. He stressed more over my sets than I did.
Remembering moments with Dan is really making me laugh. It’s really hard to process something like that. I just don’t want Dan to be dead. Dan was sweet, he was funny, he was a friend. I still can’t imagine him not being there. I want to hear his voice again.
I encourage everyone to go look up anything Dan has made, find videos, read things he wrote. I don’t think comedy comes through on tape very often, but this is maybe my favorite piece of comedy I’ve witnessed happen live, and the fact that it still makes me laugh when it’s a tiny rectangle on a website says something about how amazing of a performer Dan was.
I know it’s silly to address Dan like this, but just in case my website is somehow a portal to the afterlife: I miss you and I love you, Dan Ronan.
I recently brought back The Godzilla Remix Project. I’m sorry it took me so long to do this one.
I’ve been reading a lot about the entitlement of men recently, and I think if we started to become more bored with fiction that says women are a prize to be won, we’d be better off. It’s boring, tired, hackneyed and lazy. We should be pushing people to make more thoughtful entertainment by not buying the same shit again and again.
I know this won’t really happen, and even if it did, bad shit wouldn’t stop, but it can’t hurt and I’d honestly just like more movies/TV/video games that didn’t use it as a crutch. I don’t think there’s a direct line from entertainment to violence. But I know a lot of people that write and perform, and if they at least think about this one thing before they write something it couldn’t hurt. Obviously, do what you want and follow what your voice is, but don’t be afraid to challenge your first thought. Lord knows I’m a lazy piece of shit that just now had this idea. Maybe this could use a second draft, fuck it I guess?
Sorry I’m not being funny on here. I think about that balance a lot, and I guess I think this is OK to post if I do it at night? It just means I have to come up with something funny to post here soon in case any bookers look at this and think I’m “difficult.” (I realize that last comment is fantastical wishful thinking and this will perhaps be read by 3 friends.)
Anyway, this was mostly inspired by reading these more fleshed out and thoughtful pieces by Chris Gethard and Arthur Chu. I recommend them to women and men and nerds and not nerds and writers and consumers of entertainment.
I did another one of Paul Hornschemeier’s Forlorn TV shorts. And no surprise, it looks great. I love how this character looks. That haircut is awesome. I cannot recommend enough that you subscribe to his YouTube page.
I’ve always thought it was funny to talk about manginas. They are one of the funniest things I can think of. My buddy Andrew Perry and I used to write these incredibly longwinded stories about manginas when we were in college, basically making fun of spoken word art like Vagina Monologues. So this is a little bit that, and a little bit Midnight Cowboy.
I don’t have a ton of stand up videos online so I figured I might as well put this up. It’s recorded at saki Records in Chicago, January 2014.
This was recorded a few months after I moved from Chicago to LA. I came back and had very little new material in a room full of mostly people who have seen these jokes.
They were cool about it and it was a lot of fun. Topics include me not having new material and getting a cold sore.
My good friend Matt Byrne wrote this very nice thing, check it out. Yes, it is cheating that I had to have a friend write about me.