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December 13, 2004: Gearing Up at the Cantab

Folks, some venues call for your 'A' game. There's a certain pressure, a charge in the air, an atmosphere that demands you stand and deliver the laughs. And that if you can -- if you rise to the challenge -- then all things are possible. Some rooms just have that electricity.

The Cantab is not one of those rooms.

But let me explain that, lest you get the wrong idea. (Or the right idea, for the wrong reasons, which might be even worse.)

The Cantab is actually a great place to play, at least for me -- it's a few blocks from my office, they've got cheap Guinness (bottles only, though... enh), and with mostly comics in attendance, it's cool to try out new jokes. It's a great place to experiment, to push the envelope, and to get loaded with other comics... but not necessarily in that order.

The only minuses to the Cantab are really out of anyone's control -- the stage is in a stark, black-painted basement, are hosted on Monday nights ('cause that's what's available), and there's no advertising budget, so few people outside of friends and family will ever make it to the shows. It's not the 'Improv', but it's what we've got right now.

(And come to think of it, at least two of those points apply to just about every other place I've played, too. Or they would, if you substitute 'Monday' with 'Wednesday' or 'Thursday', and 'basement' with 'attic' or 'demiliitarized zone in Dorchester'. Welcome to my world, folks. Ouch.)

Anyway, I'm just screwing around here -- Amanda runs a fantastic room at the Cantab, and I always see friendly faces -- comedians and civilians -- when I go there. And this Monday was no different. In fact, there was a fairly sizable crowd there, by Cantab standards. And once I got through the first few fumbling lines of my set -- in my defense, I debated which bits to do right up until the show, so I wasn't exactly Joe Smooth starting off -- they seemed to dig the material.

So check it out, if you like. There's some stuff here that's not yet on tape anywhere else, so I'll definitely be watching it to gauge how it went over. So I'm stuck with it, and as they say, 'misery loves comedy'. Or at least, they should say that. So join me in a viewing -- it's the closest you'll get to a dingy dark basement in Cambridge in your life, folks. If you're lucky.

Download Clip of 12/13/04 Set --
Cantab Lounge, Cambridge, MA (5 minutes, 37 seconds):

Charlie in comedy mode
(Click photo to enlarge)

MPEG Format -- 30MB
RealMedia Format -- 9MB
Windows Media Format -- 4MB

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