I worked at The Red Oak Diner in Hazlet, New Jersey last night. A diner. But it was terrific. Sold out. 200 people. Jersey is great. People like Snooki give Jersey a bad name. It’s like a big Irish family, there’s always one angry alcoholic who shames the entire family.
The emcee was a one-eyed guy named Tom. Tom wouldn’t stop talking about his one eye. He wanted me to guess which eye was real and which one was fake. I told him I didn’t want to play. I told him I have an eyeball phobia dating back to fourth grade, but he kept looking at me through his one real eye and insisting. In what other business does this happen?
So I was headlining. Yes, a diner, but I was happy to do it. It’s not easy getting the headlining gigs as a chick in comedy. Comedy club owners have said, yes they have, that once they put a woman’s name on the marquee the reservations drop. Nice. Fortunately, the diner didn’t have a marquee. The feature act, who goes up before me, is supposed to do 30 minutes. He repeatedly reminds me that he is a headliner. I tell him he can headline if he’d like. He declines, then goes on and screams into the mic for 50 fat minutes about every hack premise on the planet. 50 minutes, leaving the audience mentally and emotionally exhausted.
I know what he was doing. He was trying to blow me off the stage, so that I couldn’t follow him. Well, I did – and quite well thank you.
A one eyed guy, a fat screaming hack, and a diner. It’s all in a day’s work my friends.