The last ten weeks at Goonies have been a blast. I’m developing a routine that’s fun to perform and still makes me laugh even though I’ve been doing some of the material for more than two months. I’m learning how to be a stand-up comedian from those who already are and I’m putting this valuable information into practice each week.
Last week was the first time I performed my first set without running out of material. In fact, I had to cut my homophobia routine short when they flashed the dreaded flashlight indicating that time’s up. I didn’t do so well on the second set as I didn’t have any other material prepared, but I did try out a couple ideas that I thought were funny.
This week, since there were so many comics, we were only allowed to get up once, but we had a full eight minutes to perform instead of the usual five. The extra time was awesome. I did the five minute routine I had prepared and then I went into my new jokes. It was amazing. I was in the moment and in touch with the audience. This was beyond a doubt the best performance I’ve ever given.
I started out with my ventriloquism bit and then transitioned into my dating spiel. Then it was on to my homophobia set. I just love my homophobia jokes and am happy to announce that this portion of my act keeps growing every week. I don’t see why I couldn’t build that into an entire ten minute routine.
The segue from my homophobia jokes to my republican jokes never gets a laugh and I’m not sure why. Maybe the audiences I’ve been playing for are too conservative. Here’s what I do. After I finish my last homophobia joke, I say, “Speaking of homophobia, the Republican National Convention is coming to Minneapolis.” Nothing. Not even a snicker. Perhaps it’s too cliché. I don’t know. Anyway, then I go on to say how excited the mayor is with the anticipated, economic impact from the convention. “He’s expecting the sales of Depends and Geritol to be through the roof.” That always gets a hearty laugh and I’m sure that’s more cliché than the connection between homophobia and Republicans. Oh well. C’est la vie.
My new material went over better than I had expected. I think part of it is because the audience was happy with me and thus more likely to give me the benefit of the doubt. But, I also think I have some great new stuff. The biggest laugh I got all night was from a new joke I wrote about the movie Hairspray, Scientology, John Travolta, and Tom Cruise. They ate it up.
Five friends of mine from work, all girls, came to watch me perform. They have been coming every week for a month now and I just love their support. This time though, the place was so crowded that instead of sitting at their favorite table over on the right side of the room, they sat with me at my table. I normally sit by myself so that before I go on, I can concentrate on what I’m going to say and then afterwards, I can think about what changes I want to make. But, I LOVED having them sit with me. Being surrounded by five gorgeous, young women did wonders for my reputation.
I do a lot of gay and homophobia material and so after my set, Julie, the emcee, joked as I was walking to my seat, “Enough already, why don’t you just come out of the closet, Tom.” It was hilarious and everyone laughed. Then, she saw that instead of sitting by myself I was with a bevy of young ladies. A truly priceless moment.
One of the coolest things about the whole evening, though, happened afterward. My friends and I were standing on the sidewalk in front of Goonies and chatting when one of the other comics came up and complimented me on my routine. Then, he told me that he had a gig for me. I gave him my phone number and he told me he’d call me Monday with the details. Yes! So while I don’t know exactly where this stand-up comedy road is leading me, I’m having the time of my life finding out.