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January 28, 2005: Studius Impromptus

Well, that was unexpected. Unexpected, but very, very cool.

I moseyed down to the Comedy Studio on Friday night, just as a 'civilian'. I wasn't scheduled to perform again for another couple of weeks, but I had some time on my hands and wanted to catch some standup, so I headed over. Just in the nick of time, too -- when I arrived the last song on the 'warm up the crowd' soundtrack was playing. The show would be starting in just a couple of minutes, so I said 'hey' to a couple of people I knew and looked for the waitress to grab a beer.

That's when Rick, who runs the joint, walked over to the group of people I was standing with and started pointing. 'Okay, guys -- here we go. You're number six, you're on second, and you -- you're on first.'

Me? First? I just came down for a couple of beers and some fried rice.

(The Studio operates in the attic of a Chinese food restaurant, by the way -- the Hong Kong Restaurant in Harvard Square. Don't think that there's some sort of illicit fried rice trading going on in the back rooms of comedy clubs, or that 'fried rice' is some sort of code for anything. Maybe that shit happens, but I wouldn't know -- I'm not allowed in the back room of anywhere.)

Anyway, Rick took me by surprise, but the rules for an aspiring standup are dead simple: you don't pass up stage time. And you sure as hell don't pass up stage time on a Friday night at the Studio, with forty or fifty people packing their asses in the seats. I'm new to this biz, relatively speaking, but I'm not stupid.

So, I worked out what I could fit into five minutes -- some of the same bits I've been doing for the past few weeks, so if you've seen those, then this probably won't help you much. Still, what the hell else could I do -- I had something like four minutes to prep for the set. So step off, there, Skippy. Cut me some slack.

Happily, though, I managed to pull something together, and had a blast up there. And maybe I showed a little something, too -- apparently, Rick likes to put new faces on the spot occasionally, to see what will happen, and I didn't fold. So that's something. On the other hand, I never got around to ordering my fried rice. But all in all, I'd call the night a big fat 'win'. Thanks, Rick! (And Erin, who hosted the show and gave me a really sweet intro.)

So have a look, if you like. This is also the first -- of hopefully many -- of my sets pulled off the Studio's new digital camera-to-DVD burner hookup. So the file sizes aren't quite in line with the other clips, and I don't have a Windows Media version available (yet, at least). *** UPDATE: Now I do! Woo hoo!

But the production quality is superb. I'm not saying that my filming jobs with my little video camera were 'crappy', mind you -- I'm only saying that they're 'crappy by comparison'. Just so we're clear. Look, just watch the damned thing, okay? Stop making me crazy.

Clip of 01/28/05 Set --
Comedy Studio, Cambridge, MA (4 minutes, 41 seconds):

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