I’m probably going to tell this story incorrectly, but this is how I remember it:
When my friends Kevin and Jenn moved back from Scotland to the U.S. in the (early?) 90s, they brought with them a couple cassettes of Ben Elton’s stand-up comedy. I’d never heard of Ben Elton, although I had heard of Blackadder and The Young Ones, two British comedy shows for which he’d written.
These two cassettes, Motormouth and Motorvation, were a revelation. I was already a big fan of stand-up, but I’d never listened to any British comics, and Ben Elton’s left-wing humor was right up my alley. I wore the cassettes out listening to them, memorizing every line.
Sadly, I lost the cassettes in a move, and by the time I looked to order them again, it was very hard to get either album in the U.S. A couple weeks ago, nearly 20 years after losing the originals, I found a vinyl copy of Motormouth online at Vinyl Tap. It arrived in the mail today. I’m listening to it right now. It’s just as funny as I remembered, and I have a huge smile plastered across my face.
Tonight I’m falling down the YouTube rabbit hole, and I’ve arrived at this lovely clip of Billy Crystal talking about Robin Williams two months after Williams died. Robin Williams was the first comedian I ever loved. He’s why I started watching stand-up.
A couple weeks ago I auditioned for a job as an MC at Wisecrackers State College. I got the gig, and my debut is this weekend. The MC does 5-10 minutes of stand-up at the start of the show and then goes up again in between the acts. Here’s my schedule:
Friday (2/20) 9 pm at Celebration Hall
Sat. (2/21) 7:30 pm at The Ramada
Sat. (2/21) 9 pm at Celebration Hall
The featured comedian is John Romanoff and the headliner is Gary DeLena.
Please come out and support me, and also support comedy in State College. Tell a friend, too!
This Norm MacDonald performance is the second stand-up special I ever remember seeing. I saw it in a hotel room on a band trip during my senior year in high school in 1991. About 8 minutes in is a bit about weiner dogs. I’ve quoted this bit many, many times over the years. Tonight I actually saw it for the first time since 1991 and was surprised that I’d come pretty close when repeating it. The whole special is very, very funny. And I enjoyed watching it this way, recorded on a grainy videotape.
By the way, this is first stand-up special I ever saw. My friends and I watched it over and over and over when we were in high school.
Tonight I’ll be doing 4-5 minutes of material at Celebration Hall, 2280 Commercial Blvd. in State College, at around 8:30. Actually, I’m not sure what time I’ll be going up. I’m supposed to be there at 8:30.
I’ve got some notes for my short set, and I’ll just wing it from there. I’m excited!