Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The "Comedians with Disabilties Act" this Friday at Sacramento Comedy Spot!

I think it was around March of this year when I went to check out the monthly open mic at Laughs Unlimited in Old Sac.  I hadn't realized you need to bring audience members to get stage time . I was still pretty new to comedy and didn't know the local ropes yet.  So I wouldn't be getting on stage there that night (good news is that now, months later, there's a cartoon of me, autographed by me, framed behind the bar at Laughs, so I did eventually make my mark there), but I wanted to check out the HUGE pile of comics that were fighting for mic time that night (I counted 24).  Some of them I knew from other open mics or from comedy shows I'd seen around town.  Others I was seeing for the first time.

Steve Danner was one of the latter.  Steve, a little person comedian, completely blew me away with his performance.  Great stage presence, crack comedy timing, fantastic writing.  I liked his work even more because he was doing a lot of what I was doing - talking about the thing that made me obviously different - and he was doing it so well, telling the truth from his experiences, not pandering or going for the obvious joke, and owning the crowd.  When you're a comic and you see another comic you really dig, the first thing you think is "Man, I totally have to work with that guy/gal".  That was my thought with Steve.  That was just because of his comedy skill.  But after that, it occurred to me that it'd be a really cool pairing if he and I did a show together due to both of us being "different" comedians.  I thought, further, that a show with a trio of us "special" people would be awesome and unique.  A title for the show even popped into my head - "The Special Needs Comedy Tour" - but I didn't go much further with it.  I didn't know of any other challenged local comics, save for a couple of NorCal wheelchair guys (neither of which I'd seen perform at the time), and I felt such a show should only have one wheelchair guy in it anyway.  I remember thinking at the time, "If only there was a blind comedian we could use...".

Cut to early fall.  I got a text from Keith Lowell Jensen.  He was at a comedy show, and had to let me know about this fantastic young comedian he'd just seen.  This comedian - Eric Mee - was blind.  And due to that, Keith got the idea that he wanted to put a show together with the two of us.

Oh, destiny.  How tasty you are.

I told Keith about Steve, and the rest fell into place, with Keith putting the show together and booking it for the Sacramento Comedy Spot.  My first time meeting Eric - a college student who lost his eyesight two and a half years ago when he was stabbed down by the river - was a couple of weeks ago when we all met at the Spot for our photo shoot with photographer Cynthia E. Jones.  I understood immediately why Keith liked him.  And his comedy skills were apparent just from chatting with him for a while.

So this Friday is the debut of the Comedians with Disabilities Act (my new title for the show that I liked better), and we're doing it at one of my favorite venues in town.  The media blitz is in full swing, even though we're competing with Thanksgiving.  The three of us did a radio interview together this morning on Capital Public Radio on their show "Insight", hosted by Jeffrey Callison.  You can listen to that show here:

We close out the show, so our bit starts right at 39:00.  This Friday, the day of the show, is the double TV/print whammy.  First, Steve and Eric will be appearing to promote the show on Channel 31's Good Day Sacramento show (I won't be appearing because I just appeared on that show recently, and there's a rule about that), and the Sacramento Bee will be publishing a story on Eric that also plugs our CDA show.  We're hoping that the saturation brings in some Black Friday shoppers who are tired of fighting the malls and would like a little comedy to brighten up their day.

And we would love to see YOU there!  This should be a fantastic night of comedy, made more special (but the normal kind of "special") by the hosting of Keith Lowell Jensen.  The show info is as follows:

Earth's Best Comedy Show Presents:
8:00 PM
Sacramento Comedy Spot
1050 20th St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
916 444 3137

Tickets are $12.00 for the show, and you can use the link to buy your tickets in advance if you prefer.

Be sure to check the Bee on Friday, watch Good Day Sacramento, and come on down to 20th Street (between J and K) to see the show live!  WARNING:  all the good parking spots will be taken up by the performers.  HAH ha.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meet the Press

I always meant to post up the scans of my Sacramento Bee article from back in April.  Never did.  I just remembered.  So here they are.  Click each for the bigger image.  Ah, the memories.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Keith Lowell Jensen and Michael O'Connell Storm Pacific Northwest 11/17 - 11/21!

The Pacific Northwest jokefest of Sac's own Keith Lowell Jensen and Michael O'Connell is coming!  Oh, they THINK they know what annoying displaced Californians are like up there, huh?  WAIT and see...

This little mini-tour is composed of two shows and two cities (unless other stuff pops up while we're there, as "stuff" is wont to do).  First, we're on a plane on Wednesday, November 17th, and will be doing the first show THAT VERY NIGHT.  This is the Seattle date, a show at the Laff Hole (located at Chop Suey) where Keith will be headlining, I'll be featuring, and we'll be joined by two of Seattle's finest funnymen, Kevin Hyder and Emmett Montgomery.  Plus, it turns out...a band.  Diminished Men will be tearing it up there as well.  We'll try to tear harder, though.

And then on Saturday night (the 20th), we'll be down in Portland for the big hoo-haw, where we'll be performing with the amazing and legendary bi-partisan stallion (I just made that nickname up just now, so don't call him that, please) himself, Will Durst!  This will go down at the Bagdad Theater, and will fulfill my comedian fantasy by finally letting me perform somewhere with balconies.  We all have our little kinks.

So if you're in or around either Seattle or Portland, we would LOVE to see you at one (or both) of these shows!  Or if you're not, but KNOW people up that way, we would LOVE to see them there, even though we don't know who they are or what they look like so wouldn't actually know them if they stood right in front of us and tap danced.

The shows go like this:

WEDNESDAY, 11/17/2010
9:00 PM
Keith Lowell Jensen with Michael O'Connell, Kevin Hyder and Emmett Montgomery
(Band: Diminished Men)
1325 E. Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98122
206 324 8005
Tickets: $7.00 (advance through link above, or at box office)

SATURDAY, 11/20/2010
8:00 PM
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214
503 467 7521
Tickets: $20.00 (advance through Ticketmaster via link above or at box office)

Hope too see a few of you there!  And the rest - we'll tell you all about it when we get back.  Promise.  Bring on the rain!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"The Last Stand" DVD Taping This Friday Night!!

It goes down this Friday night, everybody!  10:30 PM, November 5th, Sacramento Comedy Spot"The Last Stand" is happening, and it needs YOU!

This evening of comedy is the DVD taping for comedian Ellis Rodriguez.  The show will be filmed and later sold to millions (or maybe dozens, but we like to be optimistic).  The 10:30 show will also include about 25 minutes of performance from me, and sets from comedians Michael Broussard and Hunter Hill.  While the three of us won't be on the DVD, we still get the awesome professionally-shot video footage for our demo reels, so this is a pretty rockin' deal for us, too.

But none of it works without--as I said, and also in all caps--YOU!  For an effective, usable performance, we need the house to be full.  Butts in seats.  ALL the seats.  So we would so, so appreciate you taking part of your Friday night and letting us entertain you while you help us make a killer comedy DVD happen!

As the poster above says, there IS an 8:00 PM show, but, frankly, I'm not in that one. :)  There are three other comics opening for Ellis in that slot, and it's their responsibility to fill it.  The 10:30 PM one is the tougher one, obviously, since it's a little later, so that's what we're really working on.  But it is a Friday night, so hopefully no one will need to get up too early the next day.  And this way you've got time to get out and have dinner beforehand, AND you'll still have time afterward to go out clubbing if you choose!  I'd say that makes 10:30 the AWESOME slot, doesn't it?  Woo hoo!

So we would need to have people there by 10:30 PM (preferably by 10:15 PM) so we can have everyone seated before taping begins.  And then, we would need to ask that everyone stay for the entire show.  I can TOTALLY understand if you'd just want to come see ME, for example, as that's the part of the show that REALLY matters (ahem), but we need that full audience for everyone, particularly for Ellis, who closes out the show and who's the actual star of the thing (though you may continue to think of me in that role if you choose).  His set will be the DVD part, so this is where your laughter and enthusiasm will make this DVD shine for the eventual home audiences, and where you will forever be a part of Sacramento comedy history!  If you've seen Ellis perform before, you know what a treat you're in for.  If you haven't?  You will thank me after.  You may even want to kiss me.  I reserve the right to be selective on who I accept this gesture from.

So please, come on down and join us for this, and please feel free to pass this invitation to EVERYONE YOU KNOW!  The more the merrier!  This is going to be an amazing show, and we all thank you in advance for being a part of it.  It all happens at:

Sacramento Comedy Spot
1050 20th St.
Sacramento, CA 
916 402 4757

The club's located on 20th between J and K, right next door to Mr. Pickles.  There's parking across the street (behind the brick building that used to be the News & Review building) for $5.  You can buy your show tickets at the door, but in case of sellout I'd advise getting them in advance online, which you can do here:

See you at the 'Spot, comedy fans!  Let's DO this!