Tuesday, August 9, 2016
In March, I received an email from some wedding planners asking if I would be available to perform at a wedding in Santa Fe in August. It took me a few hours to respond, unsure if I should take the gig or not. But, I'm a comedian, and rarely turn down gigs. It's how I make my living. So, I emailed back and said that I would be available. At first, I thought, it was probably someone I knew, so I asked who the couple was. They told me that it was a couple from California, and they saw my video online and really liked it. That made me even more nervous. Performing at someone's wedding, one of the biggest days of their lives, and not knowing anybody at all at the wedding, I was nervous as soon as I said yes to the gig. Luckily, I had several months to prepare.
From April-July, I talked on the phone with the bride, Emily, who was very friendly, and you could tell she had a great personality and a good sense of humor just communicating with her on the phone. She provided a lot of information about her and Alan, so I would have enough material to roast them before doing my set. So, I began the writing process.
July 21-23 I was scheduled to perform at Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle in Royal Oak, Michigan. I was supposed to be at Snickerz in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the week prior, but it shut down, so it screwed my routing up a bit. I drove all the way to Detroit from Albuquerque, giving myself a couple of days to get there, stopping in Oklahoma City and Memphis, to visit some friends and do some comedy along the way. I had a blast in both cities! I really like the comedy scene in OKC, everyone is so friendly there. And they have a lot of great comics. I also got to see my old friend, Stan Silliman, it's always nice running into him. In Memphis, I got to hang out with my friend, Hillary, who played my daughter in a movie we filmed in June, called Cloud Gamez: The Road to the Chronathalon. She played my daughter, even though, she's a couple years older than me. That's how great of an actor I am, folks.
I left Memphis pretty early on Thursday, luckily, I didn't realize that Detroit was in the Eastern Time Zone. It was about an 11 hour drive, but I got to drive through a bunch of places I had never been before. It made me realize how much shittier it is being a road comic living in the western part of the US. In those 11 hours I drove through Nashville, Louisville, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo. All cities with comedy clubs. The drive was very enjoyable, minus the road construction in Ohio.
There wasn't much time to get ready for my show, so I took a quick shower at the hotel and then headed down to the club. As soon as I got there, I met the manager, Bill, who was super friendly. And, of course, I got to see my old friend, Nathan Timmel, who was headlining. I've known Nathan for about a decade, we worked together at Laffs Comedy Club in Tucson several years ago, where he and Mike "Big Deal" Merryfield nicknamed me, Stabby McKillahoe, because I was reading "Catcher in the Rye," and watching tv shows about serial killers all weekend. It was nice knowing that I would be working with Nathan for the weekend. It was my first time ever working the club, and it's a little nerve-wracking working at a new club for the first time. That definitely helped ease the situation. Had a really fun show the first night, and Bill seemed to really like me a lot. The opener, Tonya Murray, a local, was super funny, too, and very friendly.
Friday morning, Nathan took me to lunch at Panera Bread, the first time I ever ate there was with him in Colorado Springs. During lunch I started getting a really sharp pain in my abdomen, and it wouldn't go away. I decided to leave and go back to my hotel to see if the pain would go away. It wasn't going away and I was nervous that it might have been appendicitis, so I decided to go to the ER. It was already 4:30 by the time they were checking my vitals, so I knew I was going to have to miss the show that night. Nathan was cool enough to talk to the club for me while I was in the ER and they found someone to fill in for me. I was at the hospital until almost midnight. Luckily, it wasn't appendicitis, it was a kidney stone. The doctor told me it was the size of a grain of sand. It's crazy how something that small can cause so much pain. Also, while I was waiting around in the hospital bed, I decided to google Jack Kevorkian, because I knew he was from Detroit (hence the name, Stabby McKillahoe), and it turns out that he died at the same hospital that I was at.
When I arrived at the club the next day, the staff was very friendly, everyone asked how I was and they really made me feel very comfortable. It quickly became one of my favorite clubs that I have ever worked at. They even paid me for the show I missed, I was contacted by them a few days after I had left, and they wanted to send me a check, I was blown away. Not many clubs would do that. I got to meet the owner, Mark, also, very nice guy. We had a couple of great shows on Saturday night. Nathan talked me in to driving to Iowa that night, he was heading home, he lives near Cedar Rapids, and I was heading to Ankeny to stay with my cousin, Devon, for a couple of days. I had a hard time staying awake and was still experiencing some pain, so I ended up sleeping in my car for a couple of hours. I got to Ankeny around noon on Sunday and slept while my cousin was at work. When I woke up I was going through some of my stuff and realized that I was missing a few things: my favorite Iowa Hawkeyes basketball shorts...and a joke notebook. The notebook had all of my roast jokes that I had written for the wedding, along with some new material that I had been working on. Luckily, all of my new jokes were saved on my phone, but the wedding stuff I hadn't copied down anywhere. I had to start over.
So, from that time, up until the wedding, I was freaking out a little bit. I wanted to be very prepared for this since it was such a big occasion. I woke up on August 6th, super nervous. I remember being pretty nervous when I got to open for Jim Norton, but definitely not as nervous as this. And then, of course, I had some abdominal pain to go along with the nervousness. I'm not sure if it had to do with my kidney stone or if was just me stressing myself out even more. I took some pain pills and that helped a little bit. I went and picked up my friend, Niki Mangin. She went to the wedding with me, she loves weddings. She was crying almost the whole time, then we got to the wedding. Haha, just kidding. She did cry a lot at the wedding though. We sat with some friends of Emily's at the wedding, and they were all very friendly. As soon we got to the venue, all of my nerves went away. It was such a beautiful ceremony, and it was a lot of fun. I could tell that the couple definitely had a great sense of humor during their wedding vows.
I took the mic at 9:30, they introduced me as the next "toaster." So, everyone just thought I was going to go up and give a quick toast. That's when I roasted Emily and Alan, or "Marjorie and Albert," as I called them. The crowd was very receptive to the roast portion of my set, I had no idea how it would go. Especially, not knowing anyone there, and roasting people who I had never met before. It was difficult, but I just went up there and had fun, and it went well. I roasted them for about 10 minutes before going into my material. I was so relieved when my set was done! I had such a great time, and several people talked to me afterwards and said that they really enjoyed it. And the wedding planners, Liz and Krissie, were great. They did an amazing job with the wedding.
Thanks to Alan and Emily, and I wish them and their new family many years of happiness and laughter. Thank you for an amazing experience.
AUGUST 18 CAREFREE, ARIZONA
AUGUST 19-21 LAUGHLIN, NEVADA - EDGEWATER CASINO
AUGUST 22 PINETOP, ARIZONA - HONDAH CASINO
AUGUST 26 BURBANK, CALIFORNIA
AUGUST 29 BOULDER CITY, NEVADA - BACKDROP SPORTS PUB
SEPTEMBER 16-17 SHAKOPEE, MINNESOTA - DANGERFIELDS W/MARC YAFFEE
OCTOBER 5 COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - LOONEES COMEDY CORNER
OCTOBER 6 DENVER, COLORADO - SUSHI HAI
OCTOBER 19 TAOS, NEW MEXICO - MESA BREWING
NOVEMBER 3-5 PLANO, TEXAS - HYENAS
NOVEMBER 10-12 FORT WORTH, TEXAS - HYENAS
NOVEMBER 17-19 DALLAS, TEXAS - HYENAS
DECEMBER 8-11 DENVER, COLORADO - IMPROV
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
I hadn't really started writing any material up to that point, and I was probably too hammered to remember it anyway, so I got up on the microphone and just started talking some shit. I don't remember anything I said, but I remember just roasting everyone basically and getting a lot of laughs. That's when I knew that I could give it a try. I did some research on the local comedy club, Laffs. They held their open mic the first Sunday of every month, so I picked August. I gave myself about four months to prepare five minutes of material. I talked to my good friend from Iowa, Matt Evans. Matt was and is one of the funniest people I've ever met in my life. I asked him if he had any ideas for jokes, I had no idea how to write a joke. So, Matt would send me joke ideas and some bits that he came up with. Most of them were kind of long, and I wasn't comfortable telling longer bits. When I wrote my own stuff it ended up being a lot of one-liners and shorter jokes. I did try some of Matt's jokes out, they were funny, but didn't really fit with the style that I wanted to do. I ended up using some of the funny lines and just shortening the bits. Matt finally got to see me perform a few years ago in Fort Dodge, Iowa. If it wasn't for him I would have had a really difficult time getting started.
My good friend, Dennis Verrall, was very helpful, too. He gave me some jokes that he had written, when I was first kinda starting out, too. I'm such a hack! I finally talked Dennis into doing stand up several years later. He only did a handful of shows, but I got him gigs in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and South Dakota. Not bad for someone who probably only performed like 10-15 times. I think if he really tried he would be really good at it. He's a talented sumbitch.
I started to become a regular at Laffs pretty quickly. The owner of Laffs, Russ Rivas, was very helpful and took a lot of time working with me and helping me get better. As I got to know him more when I worked at the club, I realized that he never did that, so I appreciated it years later. I know there are a lot of people who don't like Russ, but he really took me under his wing and made me into the comedian that I am today, and I am very grateful.
Don Morgan was another guy who helped me out a lot. I met him in Denver just shortly before I moved back to Albuquerque a few years back. We kept in touch and I ended up living with him in Denver for a few months after my divorce. He was very helpful, he's a good friend. And he's super funny, I love traveling with him. We got to spend a few days in Iowa performing and hanging out with my family and had a blast! My family really enjoyed him, too. Especially since he made fun of uncle Melvin! I think Don will do some great things in comedy, too, he's very sharp and likable.
My good buddy and writing partner, Marc Shuter, has always been a huge inspiration throughout my career as well. I was pretty bummed when he quit doing stand up, he was always one of my favorites to watch. We started writing a script a couple of years ago and we're pretty happy with it right now, can't wait for everyone to see it! Marc's a talented fella and I think he has a bright future in writing.
The past 14 years have had so many ups and downs, but I really love the lifestyle. I have met so many people and I've had an opportunity to travel all over the country and see some really beautiful things. I have performed in 24 different states, in December I'm performing in Utah, that will put me at 25! I have done over 1,300 shows and I've performed at some of the best venues in the country. I've even got to share the stage with Jim Norton, Brian Poshen, Josh Blue, John Caponera, T.J. Miller, Theo Von, Dante, Jackie Kashian, Harland Williams, Dan Soder, Ben Kronberg, Steven Michael Quezada, Michael Malone, Robert Hawkins, Carl LaBove, Troy Baxley and Chad Daniels. I've made so many great friends in this business, too.
Unfortunately, I've lost some good friends along the way, too. My good friend, Dave Ashley, died earlier this year and that broke my heart. I find myself thinking about him a lot, he was a great guy. We hit it off right away when I met him in Tulsa. I feel so awful for his wife, Beth, who was one of the nicest comedy club managers I've ever met. Dave always wanted me to go visit them in Jacksonville and I never got the opportunity. Some other great comedian friends who have passed: Lori Callahan, Jimmy Wiggins, Scott Kennedy and Kelly Moran. I know there are definitely others, but those are the ones who came to mind right away. It's definitely a tough lifestyle being out on the road away from family, but it's what we do.
Marquee in McAllen, Texas - Cine El Rey Theater.
Me and Jack Bullard outside of Loonees in Colorado Springs.
Sold out show at The Box in Albuquerque. Maybe I should finish my DVD soon.
My first writing credit! The AVN Awards on Showtime.
TV promo for The After After Party.
Me, Marc Shuter and Matt Peterson in Angelfire, NM.
Brian Posehn show in Albuquerque at the Envy Nightclub!
I'm on TV! The Morning Brew with host Dan "I love to wear scarves" Mayfield.
Envy Nightclub in Albuquerque with Niki Mangin and Steven Michael Quezada.
TV again! The Duke City Comedy League.
TV once more! The After After Party with Steven Michael Quezada.
Vinny Oshana, Matt Peterson and me at Loonees in Colorado Springs.
My cousin, Devon Green, Don Morgan and me at Patty's Pub in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
2/12 Idaho Falls, Idaho - The Peppertree Lounge (feature)
This was the first gig of the week, and I had done the show before. This place is pretty notorious for being a "shit gig" for comics, but I actually did pretty well my first time there five years prior. This show got started pretty late, but I did pretty well in the feature spot, it seems like it's always a little rougher for the headliner. People start to trickle in to the bar not realizing there is a comedy show going on and they just started talking louder and louder as the night goes on.
2/13 Billings, Idaho - The R-Club (feature)
I had a cold, so, of course, I lost the hearing in my left ear. I know it probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but when you're a comic you definitely need to be able to hear what these yokels are saying. Needless to say, it wasn't a fun gig for me, my timing was off, it was a strange show.
2/14 Miles City, Montana - The Trails Inn (feature)
Hey, good news, I could hear out of my left ear again! Bad news, couldn't hear out of my right ear. This show went a lot better than the Billings show, especially once they turned the microphone up. I really liked the people that I met at this show, a lot of cool folks in this town.
2/18 Denver, Colorado - Blush & Blu
Back in Denver and I had the pleasure of performing at Blush & Blu, a pretty cool little bar on Colfax. Had a nice little 10 minute set and then had to head over the Deer Pile for Too Much Fun.
2/18 Denver, Colorado - The Deer Pile (headline)
Showed up at the Deer Pile and the headliner couldn't make it, so they asked me to do it. Had a really fun set, great crowd, a lot of talented comics, too. It's always good to see Sam Tallent, Nathan Lund, Chris Charpentier and Bobby Crane. If any comics pass through Denver on Wednesday night, I would highly recommend trying to get on this show.
2/20 Boulder, Colorado - Amante Coffee (headline)
Got to headline at a little coffee shop in Boulder hosted by Jacob Rupp, who is super funny. It was another fun lineup, had a couple of comics from NY on the show as well. It was a tiny place, but it was pretty packed.
2/26 Indianapolis, Indiana - Morty's Comedy Joint
Flew in to Indianapolis a day early to catch Mike Merryfield at Morty's and ended up getting a guest spot. Unfortunately, it was a pretty light crowd for such a kick ass lineup. Michael Malone popped in for a guest spot, too, and the feature act, Raanan Hershberg was great. I didn't get to see Merryfield do his full show, but it was still fun to see him, he's one of my favorite comics, he also has one of the few podcasts I listen to.
2/27-2/28 Fort Wayne, Indiana - Snickerz Comedy Club (feature)
I had a really fun weekend featuring for Alex Ortiz at Snickerz in Fort Wayne. I hadn't been to the club in over 5 years, so it was nice to get back there. The crowds were really fun all weekend, and Alex was really nice to work with. I ended up getting snowed in and had some travel issues getting to Iowa. Someone tried to commit suicide at the Greyhound station in Indianapolis and then I got delayed in Chicago and had to sleep at the bus station.
3/4 Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Penguins Comedy Club
Don Morgan flew in to Iowa and we drove to Cedar Rapids and did the open mic night at Penguins Comedy Club. Had fun checking out Cedar Rapids, I hadn't been there since I was pretty young.
3/5 Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Club Basix
Did another open mic in Cedar Rapids, but spent most of the day in Iowa City walking around the campus, go Hawkeyes! Iowa City is one of my favorite places, it's a cool little college town. It was pretty damn cold that day though. I got to see the hospital where my mom was born, that was pretty rad, it's right across the street from Kinnick Stadium. Also got to have lunch with gay comedian, Nathan Timmel, one of my favorite gays on the planet. The open mic was pretty fun, it was a gay bar, was surprised to not see Timmel there making out with some guys. I did get to hang with Tom Garland a little bit, I met him last year in New Mexico while he was touring with Bill Blank. Super funny guy, check him out.
3/6 Fort Dodge, Iowa - Patty's Pub
Don and I got to Fort Dodge a day early and my cousin, Devon, was able to get me a spot on a show at Patty's Pub. A rockabilly band from Des Moines, Rumble Seat Riot. They were cool enough to let me tell some jokes and promote my show at the Laramar the following night. They were great guys and a lot of fun to watch!
3/7 Fort Dodge, Iowa - Laramar Ballroom (headline)
This was definitely one of the best nights of my life, sharing the stage with my good friend, Don, and getting to perform in front of tons of family and friends. It was a special night and it wouldn't have happened if it weren't for my cousin, Devon. He put in tons of time promoting the shit out of the show and setting up the room. It was cool to see people that I hadn't seen in almost 20 years.
3/10 Denver, Colorado - Comedy Works
Got back in to town and did New Talent Night at Comedy Works with a ton of great comics. I didn't have the best set, started off kind of slow and wasn't very prepared. I ran into a lot of comics I hadn't seen since the last time I was in Denver.
3/11 Denver, Colorado - Improv
I showed up at the club and saw Troy Baxley was there, one of my all time favorite comics! He was one of the first comics I ever opened for at Laffs back in 2003, so I've known Troy for quite awhile. I was excited knowing that Troy was on the show, until I saw the lineup and it had me "headlining" and following Troy. I was only expecting to do a five minute set somewhere on the show, but they had me do seven after Troy, but I had a solid set. It was a lot of fun working with Troy again, too. Also got to see Leslie Henning, who I worked with at Laffs a long time ago as well.
3/13-3/14 Tucson, Arizona - Laffs Comedy Club (feature)
Almost didn't make it to Tucson, but I'm glad I did. I got to work with Vince Morris, who I had never seen before. I saw him handle a heckler better than I've seen anyone handle a heckler, and it lasted for probably 25 minutes. It was pretty magical. The crowds were really amazing for all four shows, and I got to see some friends that I hadn't seen in awhile. Can't wait to go back! Laffs always feels like a home club when I'm there.
3/18-3/21 Colorado Springs, Colorado - Loonees Comedy Corner (feature)
Went up to Loonees a day early to check out the open mic night, they let me close the show so I worked on some new material, some of it went pretty well. The shows went really well, too, I worked with Vincent Oshana, who was a really cool guy and very funny, the crowds loved him. My good friend, Matt Peterson, from Albuquerque, was the mc for the week, too! I love working with Matty. This was also my second time celebrating my birthday at Loonees! Thanks to Erik and Loren and the staff, you guys rock!
3/28 Goodyear, Arizona - Austin's (headline)
Drove out to Phoenix for a show at Austin's, which is a cool sports bar in Goodyear. They block off one of the sides of the bar for the comedy show, which was really nice, it was a good set up for a show. The crowd was a little older, but I had a really good time. Also had a couple Albuquerque comics on the lineup, Mikey Mayes and Keith Breckenridge.
4/1 Mescalero, New Mexico - Inn of the Mountain Gods (feature)
This show was a lot of fun, I always enjoy going down to Mescalero, it's a nice little drive less than four hours away from Albuquerque. The hotel is gorgeous, too. The crowds are sometimes a little light, but we had a nice crowd for this show. Waylon Wilcox was doing his first comedy set and brought a lot of people. He hit me up on Facebook probably a month before the show and told me he was going to do his first set. It's always exciting to see comics do their first sets, it always reminds me of my first time ever going on stage. He did a nice job for his first time, had good stage presence. The headliner was Dom Pare from Canada, he's super funny and a really nice guy. He also has a cool mustache.
4/2 Bernalillo, New Mexico - The Stage (feature)
Here's another show I was looking forward to for quite awhile. It was nice being back in the Albuquerque area, I was able to get a lot of friends to the show. Matt Peterson opened the show, too, and killed it! It was my first time featuring at The Stage and it was a blast! Definitely my favorite show that I have done there. Dom Pare headlined the show and we got to hang out a lot afterwards, I hope to work with him again sometime. Thanks to everyone for coming out to the show! I did get some pretty terrible news after the show, I found out that a good friend of mine, Dave Ashley, died. I was hoping it was a bad April Fool's Joke, but sadly it wasn't. I'll miss you, buddy, you were one of the good ones and way too young. You'll always have a special place in my heart, Dave.
4/3 Albuquerque, New Mexico - Comedian's Power Hour
This show was pretty insane, it was a comedy/drinking contest against my ex-wife. We also got to team up with comics from LA, I was paired with Jeff May, and she was teamed up with Adam Tod Brown. I really liked both of those guys and hope to catch their shows sometime. I ended up losing in a sudden death round, but I had a lot of fun. The crowd was pretty insane! Genevieve Mueller and Drew Wayne run a damn fun show.
4/4 Albuquerque, New Mexico - Cool Water Fusion (headline)
I did the Potential Problems Podcast earlier in the day with John Cuellar, Allen Clark, Nick Sitterly and Lucas CorVatta. You can watch the episode here. The show at Cool Water was a lot of fun, I've always had fun sets there. The crowd was pretty small, but they were there to laugh, which was nice. Danger Varoz, Jessica Osbourne and Lucas CorVatta were also on the show.
4/10 Brewster, Minnesota - Brewster Legion Hall (headline)
I wasn't sure what to expect with this show, my friend, Roger Peterson, set the show up. It was in his hometown, so he brought in a good crowd. I think we had about 80 people at the show, not bad for a town of less than 500 people! I guess I should explain the picture of that guy in the bathroom. I walked off stage and went in to the bathroom and took a picture of him just after he got done taking a pee.
4/11 Anoka, Minnesota - Legion Hall (headline)
It was Roger's birthday, so he put this show together. It was kind of a strange crowd, but I had a blast. I got to see an old friend from high school and met her husband and her friend. They seemed to really enjoy the show. You know who didn't enjoy the show? The old man sitting in the front, the only time he cracked a little bit of a smile was when I told a racist joke. Jon Stambaugh opened the show for us, he was really funny and super nice. He was also a foot taller than me. Roger did his set as Rodney Dangerfield, which is always entertaining.
4/15 Denver, Colorado - Improv
I was fortunate enough to do another set at the Improv, this time it was a five minute set and I didn't have to follow Baxley. It was another great lineup, I really like this club. And they asked me to feature the two Saturday shows, too, so I decided to stay in town for a few extra nights.
4/16 Denver, Colorado - Sushi Hai
I was supposed to do this show on the 23rd, but Jon asked me to do this one since I was heading back to Albuquerque. I was pretty surprised how big the crowd was when I walked in, it didn't look like it was that big of a place, but when you walk in there's a lot of people. Chuck Roy headlined, too, I hadn't seen him in a few years.
4/18 Denver, Colorado - Improv (feature)
This night was a lot of fun, I got to work with Chuck Roy again, and the headliner was The Ragin Cajun, John Morgan, one of the nicest headliners I have ever met. Chuck is a great mc, too, I had never really talked to him before until that night. He gave me some great advice and it really helped from the first show to the later show. It's amazing how much you can still learn about comedy after so many years of doing it. Thanks to the Improv for having me on the shows! I got to see Ron Ferguson, too, I hadn't seen him in quite awhile.
So, after traveling over 12,000 miles, doing 40 shows in 70 days, being delayed 15 hours by Greyhound, and performing with comics like Mike Merryfield, Michael Malone, Alex Ortiz, Troy Baxley, Vince Morris, Vinny Oshana, Dom Pare, Chuck Roy, John Morgan, and several other fantastic comics, I find myself back in Albuquerque for a couple of months before the big move to Los Angeles! I probably won't be doing much comedy around Albuquerque, Marc Shuter and I are going to start working on a new script. We just found out that our other script, "The Consequences of a Feeble Mind," has been selected as a quarterfinalist in the Write Movies Contest, we made the top 60 out of 1,000 scripts! Thanks to everyone who let me crash at their place or gave me rides to bus stations, airports and gigs, especially, Don Morgan!