You Should Have Been Here Last Week

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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a stand up comic, or how some of your favourite comics got their start in the business, let me recommend ‘You Should Have Been Here Last Week, ‘. YSHBHLW is a weekly, hour long podcast, hosted by comedian Steve Purcell, that should give you some insight into what it’s like to be a road comic.

Yesterday afternoon, Steve and I sat down to record another episode of his show at ‘The Comedy Club on State,’ located in downtown, Madison, Wisconsin.

Steve is an eight year veteran of the business and he has a relaxed, easy going, off the cuff style that puts his guest at ease. The Comedy Club showroom provided the perfect setting for our open discussion on a wide range of topics, including how I got started, my worst gig ever, and the day that comedy died. Sept. 11th.

To listen to this podcast or learn more about Steve, please visit Steve Purcell’s web site.

Viva Lostalgia

p1010024.jpgMy wife and I were in Vegas last week and even though we’ve only been coming here for the past ten years, I felt a little nostalgic for the old Vegas. Not the Bugsy Siegel Vegas, but the less crowded Vegas of ten years ago.

Seven thousand new people move to Las Vegas every month, and of those seven thousand, six thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine of them can’t drive. The sign at the outskirts of town should read, ‘Welcome to Las Vegas, Where the worst drivers in the world come to rent a car.’ Sometimes I think i’d be better off renting a tank.

I usually rent a KIA because it’s the cheapest thing they have and I’m a cheap bastard. . My gambling budget for the week was three dollars on the nickel machines at Caesars. At this rate, we should get comped a free meal in about twenty-seven years.

In my act, I always complain about how good customer service is going to hell. In fact, I bet you’ld find better customer service in hell than you would on earth.

“Excuse me, Mr. Satan, would you mind sticking me in the ass with that pitch fork while lighting the rest of me on fire?”

“Why I’d be more than happy to Mr. Morton. I’ll even throw in some of our best eternal hell fire, fresh from the Lake of Fire.”

“Thank you Mr. Satan. Could you please tell me why in hell can’t I get this kind of service on earth?”

“Because the real hell is on earth Mr. Morton, that’s why!”

Well, imagine my surprise when I walked into Budget rental car agency in Las Vegas and my new good friend Kirby, upgraded me from a four cylinder KIA to a brand new, red metallic , Ford Mustang convertible! Now I’m tearing up from all the nostalgia because the new Mustang has that great retro styling that is reminiscent of the 60’s pony car.

I love the Ford Mustang! I wouldn’t want to sit in the back of one unless you bound and gagged me, but I love the Ford Mustang. When I was a kid, the Ford Mustang was my favourite car. I used to have a model of the 67’ fastback on my book shelf. I vowed that one day, if I ever had the money or a mid life crisis, I would buy a Ford Mustang. Well, it’s been forty years and I own a Ford Focus. What happened? I told you I was a cheap bastard.

As you may know, I perform at the Comedy Stop at the Tropicana which was celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. When I look at the old photographs on the walls, it’s difficult not to feel a little nostalgic. Then the bathtub in my hotel room backs up at six in the morning and starts spewing grey sludge accompanied by a strong sulphur smell and the nostalgia quickly passes.

The Tropicana hotel is so old it has its own smell. It’s not a grandmother’s house smell, but more of a stale nutty roasted smell. ( I’m guessing that’s from fifty years of cigarette smoke.) The tar from all the nicotine is probably the only glue holding the old girl together.

Actually, maybe it does smell a little like grandma. Some of the original cocktail waitresses still work there. “Here’s a tip honey. Why don’t you go buy yourself some new bridge work?”

Screw this nostalgia crap. If I was performing here fifty years ago, I wouldn’t even be allowed to walk through the casino let alone stay in one of their rooms. I want to feel like I’m living in the 21st century and not a museum. Somebody please implode this son of a bitch and put it out of its misery. Viva New Las Vegas! Sometimes, the good ole’ days ain’t so good.

Whoosh! That was the sound of my nostalgic feeling quickly passing.

Crackers Broad Ripple Review

Morton continues to delight
by Steve Carr Mar 7, 2007

Greg Morton
Crackers Broad Ripple
Feb. 28-March 4

Despite making his third appearance at the Broad Ripple Crackers since October, Greg Morton isn’t overstaying his welcome. Last Thursday, playing to a college-night room that was half empty but fully charged, Morton alternately charmed and challenged the crowd with an act whose dark edginess is masked by a goofy, cartoonish delivery that was nearly age-appropriate.

Morton, a former animator and cartoon voice actor, packs his act with the rubber-boned, insta-recovery violence that is the staple of Saturday morning cartoons. When Morton is on the mic, children usually take it on the chin. They’re beaten, scolded and humiliated for laughs. Repeatedly. Morton lives in a world where having white carpet is effective contraception.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he comforted the crowd. “I like children. I’m just saying if you want to have them … don’t.”

Opener Claude Stewart was an ideal pairing: a loose-limbed, spiky-haired, high-kicking ham who kept the audience on edge with a sex-heavy, ambiguous act that answered the question, what would Andy Dick be like if he had hair gel and a home gym. As Carrot Top is to Gallagher, Claude Stewart is to Andy Dick. Horny midgets, industrial sex toys, Mariah Carey and Drew Carey all made cameos.

“You’re all staring at me like I’m an Amish person at Radio Shack,” he admonished a crowd that was befuddled, but not so befuddled they couldn’t laugh.

Morton closed the night with his two signature bits, lightning fast recaps of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings followed by a montage of musical impersonations that included full costumes and eventually revealed that he took the stage in three pairs of pants and a double-dose of underwear. That alone was worth the price of admission.