Streams of soap sensually slid down the small of my back as I rinsed the urban silt from my skin. Sorry. I guess we can skip the details of the shower.
Being Saturday night, I decided that I would reserve a table and bottle service at a hot club for me and my cosmopolitan friends and dance the night away with the Olsen twins and Miss USA. Then I remembered that I don’t have time for that shit.
My actual mission that evening was to check out some of NYC’s finest comics so that I could talk myself out of a career in stand-up comedy by realizing I could never be as funny as Paul Lynde in the center square to block, Peter.
Peter Marshall: Paul, Snow White...was she a blonde or a brunette?
Paul Lynde: Only Walt Disney knows for sure...
But I digress. I would need some food first and agreed to meet a friend for dinner. We’ll call her Wendy in honor of the late, great Wendy O. Williams. We’ll also call her that because it’s her name. As far as you know. We decided upon Little Italy and would meet up at the Union Square station. Being the savvy traveler, I swooped into the subway, loaded up my MTA card, swiped it, and went through the turnstile to the E-B-V line. After double-checking the system map, I then realized I needed to be on the #6 line so I went back out the turnstile and swiped another savvy $2 to get on the right train. I eventually ended up at the Union Square stop, connected with my buddy, and then we took another train to another stop and somehow ended up on an unending street of Italian restaurants. They were all unfamiliar but it was a nice evening so we kept walking until we found a table near the street. I told her things are okay with me these days, got a good job, got a good office, got a new wife, got a new life and the family's fine. And it’s still rock n’ roll to me. The veal was good enough such that I didn’t feel too guilty for ordering it, and the people watching was spectacular. I got caught up on her career moves, her travels, and life in general, and then she asked me how my recent bout with cancer had been discovered. I’ve told the story several times before, so I went into autopilot and told her how I found a lump that the doctor had originally thought was a genital defect. As soon as I said it, I stopped. Something was different about the story this time.
Peter Marshall: Paul, is there such a thing as a female rooster?
Paul Lynde: Yeah, they're the ones who just go "a doodle doo!"
It took a second to realize exactly what I had said, after which I just busted up while she asked if I perhaps had meant “congenital?” The outside seating was rather close, so I’m wondering how many other tables enjoyed hearing about my genital defect over some gnocchi and Chianti.
Last time I was in NYC I got shut out of the Comedy Cellar since it only holds about 80 people and was sold out, so I ended up milling about the sidewalk like a clueless dumbass. Being much older and wiser, this time I made a reservation and started the walk over to Greenwich Village. About 15 minutes before show time our line was escorted through the crowd of dumbasses lining the sidewalk who weren’t smart enough to make reservations, and we were seated only about 20 feet from the stage but with a buffer of one row of tables in front of us. Perfect. Any closer and you’re part of the show, and I wasn’t prepared to explain to an audience of 80 people why I was on a date without my wife. It reminded me of the time I was at a conference in Philadelphia and we decided to catch a Philly game one evening – I ended up sitting next to a female coworker and was terrified they’d put us on the Kiss-Cam, because, hey, what chick would be able to resist an opportunity like that? Now that I think about it, when I went to the Sox game last month, my wife and her classmate took off for some food and left me there with his wife. And of course, that’s when they fired up the Kiss-Cam, again leaving me ducking under the seats pretending that I was looking for the condom that fell out of my wallet when I was paying the beer man. Imagine how awkward it would have been to have them come back and find us making out and blaming it on some silly scoreboard operator hijinx. “Sure you were on the Kiss-Cam….” But I digress. The lineup for the night’s show:
MC - Keith Robinson: He said “fuck” a lot, but it didn’t seem forced and he was fuckin’ funnier than most MC’s I’ve ever seen (including Hammer with those silly pants).
Lenny Marcus: The generic dorky middle-aged white guy routine, but he pulls it off better than most. His only credits on the schedule included MTV, but I’m wondering if that just wasn’t as an audience member of TRL.
Lisa Landry: Chicks aren’t funny. Next.
Just kidding. Kind of. She mostly joked about being fat, drinking too much and being married. Some good bits in there, and her set ended right before it became too tiresome.
Dan Naturman: You know how when you go to see a band and the opening act usually sucks, but every once in a while you get one that doesn’t. Dan is the one that I didn’t expect too much from, but ended up hitting it out of the park. I’m not sure everyone else “got” him, but that made it even better.
Sherrod Small: I liked his style. Very casual. Like he was just making shit up. And the gay hurricane impersonation killed. I’d like to catch another set from him.
Greg Giraldo: Last year Dave Attell did a comedy tour with three other dudes – Dane Cook seemed to get everyone’s attention before they all realized they thought he was funny only because everyone else thought he was funny. That lasted about as long as after-party at an Amway recruiting meeting and now there is a stampede for the bandwagon exit doors and not even a starring role opposite Jessica Simpson in Oscar contender Employee of the Month can save him. But after everyone dusts themselves off after tumbling from the Dane Cook Express, they can check out Greg Giraldo. Good stuff.
Dave Attell: I’ve seen several of his specials on TV and was a fan of his Insomniac series, so I was pretty psyched to see him live. If you don’t know Dave, here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
Attell's material is what one would consider "blue". His point-of-view is that of the everyman, yet slightly imbalanced. He has an affinity for the bizarre, such as midgets and odd sexual encounters.
Attell often begins a joke in a relatively tame way, but then gets progressively stranger and ends in an obscene non sequitur. For example: "Sex is not important. What's important is that afterward part. When you're both naked and it's warm and you're watching the sun come up in the windshield. You look in her eyes, you look in her one good eye and help her strap on her leg and you know: you just fucked a pirate."
(For more Dave, click here.)
I enjoy a good sexed up pirate or dick joke as much as the next guy, but seeing him at the Comedy Cellar was both interesting and a bit disappointing. When one has an “affinity for the bizarre” you can imagine not quite everything gets processed the same as the common folk. So to me it was fascinating watching him throw every shade of blue against the wall to see which ones were masterpieces and which ones needed to be painted over. At the same time, I was a little disappointed it wasn’t a Best of Dave set, but the more I think about it the more I think I enjoyed seeing him work.
Peter Marshall: It is the most abused and neglected part of your body-- what is it?
Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused but it certainly isn't neglected!
After settling the tab, I was politely given exact instructions on which train would get me back to my Pod without ending up looking like a lost tourist in Harlem at 2 a.m. Only one drunk/stoned hippie dude on-board, but otherwise a rather uneventful ride. I fell into bed, but not before setting my alarm for Sunday’s activities.
Peter Marshall: Paul, for a thousand dollars and a tie game, according to psychologists, do most people sleep better in their street clothes than in their pajamas?
Paul Lynde: Yeah, we call them winos.