Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Doug Jaeger took some really cool pics of me, here's one of them:

He took even more than that but these are a couple he sent me already.

And for good measure, Ms. Kristin Sloan of thewinger.com, female counterpart of Mr Jaeger, asked me once to write an essay for this thing about "Your First Performance" for her site. I don't think it got selected, and looking back at it it's kinda sloppy writing so I don't blame her ... but nonetheless, here's my story:

Making jokes is something I've been into since my earliest memories. Everyday in pre-school I used to stand behind a tree on the playground with my friends Nicole and Laura while we took turns saying any fun bad words we knew. It was during that time in pre-school I was also selected for a special early reading group. I remember the pride I felt sitting there as a fancy reader. I remember seeing the open book before me. I remember drawing on the people in the book and making them say funny things. I remember being kicked out immediately.

This was only the beginning of a pattern I would see for the rest of my youth.

By the time I reached third grade, I decided it was time to take it to the next level. That year, I had a different character I would be for each day of the week. One day I was a fisher price kid, a reference to popular commercials at that time. Another day I was a California Raisin, which involved wearing a blue sweatshirt, pulling the hood tightly around my face and shouting "I'm a California Raisin! I heard it through the grapevine! Ahhhhh!" Fortunately my teacher Mrs. Derenthal, who looked kind of like Mary Poppins, embraced these behaviors. When I asked her a special favor she said yes.

Only bits and pieces stay with me about that day but I do remember the way the carpet squares looked against the bright green grass. It was summer. The sun was in my eyes. I asked everyone to gather on their carpet squares during recess because I was going to perform a standup comedy show for them. And that was the first time I ever did standup. I remember it happening again. I also remember doing many imitations and voices, something that is not included in the standup performances of my adult years.

Unfortunately my later years had far less Mrs. Derenthals and far more detentions. In fifth grade I was fortunate enough to be placed in the "gifted and talented" program, an environment not terribly conducive to naughtiness or tom foolery. On one very special day my fifth grade teacher instructed me to sit in the center of the room while the rest of the class sat in a circle around me. The topic of discussion was "Why is Heather so bad and what are we going to do about it?" Exhibit A was Playtroll magazine. This fine periodical was published via my dad's home office copy machine with some willing troll dolls. I would draw sexy underpants on them and include substantive articles highlighting the Playtroll lifestyle. My teacher was not interested in becoming a lucky subscriber and instead she shut down operations on what was the first and only publication dedicated to sophisticated and edgy troll of the early 90s.

I will always be thankful to the few authority figures who saw my jokes as creative rather than disobedient and shameful. My parents were strangely and wonderfully supportive, suffering through the phone calls and disciplinary meetings. The constant reprimands juxtaposed with my male classmates' "boys will be boys" slaps on the wrist did not deter me. The class clown is forever in my heart (no matter how much penis envy it has to get through to pump through my veins).


Last Night I was in the studio audience for the pilot of "Michael Ian Black Doesn't Understand". I think this will be very successful. It was funny because his jokes referenced all of these mainstream things that you know he doesn't care about at all - but his delivery and presentation made it smart. So his show is exactly that- delivering easily accessible mainstream jokes with intelligence. It doesn't blow me away because I normally like my comedy a bit more weird - But nonetheless, it's good. I noticed John Mullaney was a writer who is also very funny so that's good. Michael Showalter was a guest and Zak Orth was really funny in one of the bits- his bit was my favorite part of the show. Also in the show: Nick Kroll and Andrea Rosen. I love that lady.

And one other interesting thing was that my comedy partner Adam Newman has an awful lot of similar mannerisms and vocal patterns as Mr. Black. Something I never noticed before because I never really saw his standup, I almost always have seen him doing things in groups or with Stella.

Michael Ian Black really impressed me though and showed signs he could really be an iconic, long lasting comedy star for our time - like Carson or Dangerfield or something.

PS- John Rambo trailer.

And a new pic of Heath Ledger as the Joker:

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