what i learned from performing stand up in an amphitheater for six Bolivian people – Michael Karlik

I was about one year into doing stand-up comedy. Naturally, I thought I was doing well (I wasn’t). Naturally, I thought I should be on more shows (I shouldn’t have been).

So when the Craigslist post said “Performers wanted: all types,” I responded immediately.

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it looks like a freaking TORNADO hit!!!

Did one of your parents ever have a phrase they’d say when you made a huge mess in the house? Something like: “It looks like a PIG STYE in here?!”

I feel like everyone has a parent who says one of those phrases. My mom would always walk into a room and go: “Je-sus Christ! It looks like a freaking TORNADO hit!”

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bottle openers

Last year, my sister went to the Wimbledon tennis tournament. You know what that is? It’s a tennis tournament. And she brought me back a keychain bottle opener that says “Wimbledon” on it. Which essentially says, “I’m a douche who is prepared to party” which is redundant.

And last year when I graduated college, my mom got me an antique bottle opener, which was cool except I couldn’t use it because I didn’t have any antique bottles to open.

Now, my mom is moving away from my hometown. So, to commemorate the place where I spent the first 18 years of my life, she got me…a bottle opener! I don’t know what it is about me that makes my family think I really need to open bottles. They must think I just have thousands of unopened bottles stashed away in my apartment or something…

But this one is not just any bottle opener, because it has the name and the exact geographical coordinates of my hometown on it!

Which strikes me as the ultimate drunk survival kit. Because you can use it to open up all the beer you could ever want and it also says, “If found drunk and passed out, please return this person to 41.7947 degrees North and 88.0169 degrees West. Someone there will recognize him and will know what to do…even if they haven’t seen him since high school.”

If someone found me in that state, it would be like, “Wow! How’d you get all the way to New York City, fella?! These coordinates are in Illinois! This is gonna be one hell of an Uber ride.”

 

The featured image is the aforementioned bottle opener with the coordinates of Downers Grove, IL.

jokes that only i think are funny

One of my favorite things is telling jokes that only I think are funny and nobody else thinks are funny. Which is, like, fantastic for stand up – I know.

I just think that there’s something hilarious about somebody thinking something is the funniest thing ever and everybody else just being like, “No, that’s not true. That is NOT funny. At all.”

That happened to me in real life once recently. 

I was on the train listening to a podcast in my headphones and then something funny happened in the podcast and I started laughing out loud. Like, really hard.

And then I looked next to me and I saw that this really old woman who was sitting next to me had just fallen off her seat on the ground.

And then I realized that everyone in the train was looking at me like I was some asshole because they thought I was just laughing my ass off at this old, injured, helpless lady who was sprawled out on the ground of the train.

And that just made me laugh even harder! Because they didn’t get the joke. They didn’t get why I thought it was funny. And at this point I was laughing hysterically, so I couldn’t just be like, “No, people…you don’t understand: my podcast is funny.” So I thought, “Okay, fine. I don’t care. I’m just make this even funnier for me.”

So, I just went with it. I pointed at the lady on the ground and went, “Ha, she’s old! She’s old and she fell! That’s hilarious!”

And then I got up…and I started kicking her. Real hard.

And then I pulled out my switch blade and I went, “STAB! STAB!”

And then I grabbed some of the blood and I was like flicking it on peoples faces all around the train.

And they still did not get the joke. They did not think that was funny. At all.

Except for one guy who was laughing. But then I realized that he had headphones on too, so he was probably just listening to the same podcast that I was.

You people get it though, right? That’s FUNNY. You get it. You’re totally on my side.

The featured image is a mural of Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza from the TV show Seinfeld that I found somewhere in Bushwick.

Yelp is racist

I was lucky enough to have Christmas in Hawaii this year. But, before I got there, I spent a couple of days in Los Angeles at my sister’s. One of those days she was very occupied with her boyfriend’s birthday plans, so she said, “Take my car and go visit your friend in Santa Barbara.”

So I was like, “Cool.” And I did.

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gentleman and a scholar

People are always complimenting guys saying, “He’s a gentleman and a scholar.”

Those are two things I’ve never wanted to be.

If I want to compliment someone, I say, “He’s a pimp and he runs a charity.”

That way, you can’t even be jealous of him. All you can say is, “He’s a great guy…he deserves all those hoes.”

 

 

The featured image was taken in the East Village. It’s a mural of Robin Williams, who was a gentleman and a scholar.

what if unicorns were real and one was like Francisco?

What if a unicorn just walked into a wall…and got stuck there. Forever. Do you ever think about that?

Like, I know unicorns aren’t real. But what if they were?

That means that they must have been evading us pretty darn effectively for thousands of years. So if they did exist, they’d have to be extremely brilliant, magical, and elusive creatures that have totally outsmarted us dumb humans.

So what if they did exist and there was one unicorn that was really, really stupid. And one day it just…walked into a wall. And got stuck there. And ruined it for all the other unicorns. Because a person found it and that’s how people found out that unicorns were actually real.

All the other unicorns would be like, “Francisco! What are you doing?! You’re freaking magical! We’ve been avoiding walls for thousands of years, Francisco! All you had to do was NOT walk into a wall. That was literally your only job…You can fly. And you don’t even have wings! How have you not mastered avoiding the wall?”

Well, I think about that a lot.

So, if you ever see a horse with its head against a wall like this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 4.25.41 PM

You better give that horse a little tug. You better give him a little tug, tug, tuggie-poo. And you better make sure your name isn’t Sir Charles Darwin, because you might have just discovered Kevin.

 

The featured image is a mural somewhere in Bushwick. If you liked this post, please like and share below! You can also follow the blog through Twitter, Facebook, or by joining my mailing list.

15 reasons not to date a comedian

I saw this fun little list come up somewhere recently: 15 Reasons to Date a Comedian. And I read it. And it made me think, “eHarmony definitely does not have any comedians on staff.” So, I decided to dispute each of their 15 reasons to date a comedian, hopefully providing people with many more (more realistic) reasons why not to.

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how to look like a serial killer

My room used to be all white with totally white walls, all white furniture, and white bed sheets. And I just recently realized that that is not normal.

So I called up my friend on the phone who is a photographer and I said, “Hey, why don’t you send me a picture so that I can put it up on my wall.”

So he sends me the picture, and I open it up and see that what he sent me is this giant print of…what looks like an empty, white room.

The only thing creepier than having a totally white room with all white walls and white furniture is having a totally white room with all white walls and white furniture, where the only thing on the wall is a picture of an empty white room.

Trying to seem less serial-killer-y, I decided to pin up my comedy notecards on the wall, too. Not that weird, right? After organizing them, I realized that all of the notecards are white as well. And they have the names of all my jokes on them. And the more you look, the weirder they sound, especially because you’d have no way of knowing why I wrote the phrases on these notecards without asking me.

“Make someone care about you?”

“Shower Ritual”

“Bill Cosby Cover”

“I think State Farm is there”

Normal people do not write these things on their wall.

I also acquired a new mattress. Not knowing what to do with my old one, I shoved it against the inner wall of my closet, thinking “Oh wow, I bet this would totally sound-proof the closet.”

Stop! Stop being a serial killer! How does being boring make me so creepy?! An all white room, one artsy photo, joke notecards, and a mattress are just boring things!

Maybe I should just embrace my inner serial killer and buy some tarps and an axe in preparation for my American Psycho-esque meltdown. The only problem is that I have no idea where they would sell axes in New York City.

You know, it really doesn’t make sense how having a really white room makes you seem crazy. It would just be way harder to clean when you do axe-murder someone. Just saying.

 

Greenwich Village Comedy club is in the heart of the West Village on Macdougal Street, just down the street from the Comedy Cellar. It’s where I’ve had my worst set: a grueling five minutes of complete silence. So it holds a special place in my heart. That’s what the featured image is about. If you liked this post, please like and share below! You can also follow the blog through Twitter, Facebook, or by joining my mailing list.

why i’m never going to be on SNL

Pretty much everybody I know who knows that I do stand up comedy has at one point said something to me like:

“Wow, wouldn’t it be something if I saw you on SNL one day?!”

Or, “Maybe if you work hard enough, you could be on SNL! Wouldn’t that be cool?!”

Or, “Hey buddy! You on SNL yet?! Ha!”

And I’m like, “Haha! Yeah! Whatever!”

Because everyone outside of the comedy world thinks that SNL is The Pinnacle of All Comedy. Which is totally fine to think; don’t get me wrong, I think SNL is fantastic! But it’s a very specific style of humor with a very specific format. And I don’t think that either the style or format is really right for me.

What I’m thinking in my head when somebody says one of those things to me is: “This person clearly doesn’t understand my comedic sensibility! Even if Lorne Michaels begged me to be on the show…I’d have to think twice about it!”

What I’m saying is that SNL probably wouldn’t ever want me anyways. It’s just not the gig for me. And that’s fine; I’d want to do other styles and formats of comedy that I would enjoy more anyways.

But, if I’m never going to be on SNL, I realized that I’m guaranteed to be a failure in the eyes of pretty much everyone that I know. Which is totally refreshing, and 100% takes the pressure off. I can do whatever I want! It’s SNL or bust. And I am choosing bust.

It’s like if you were to go into a test knowing that you weren’t even going to answer any of the questions. And then after you fail the test, your teacher and your parents and the school are all like, “Why’d you fail the test, Stu? You’re not very smart.”

And you’re like, “Trust me: I’m smart! The test is stupid.”

 

The featured image is a picture of the Freedom Tower taken from 14th Street and Avenue of the Americas, right down the street from Bunga’s Den. It’s nowhere near 30 Rock, but it’s still cool. If you liked this post, please like and share below! You can also follow the blog through TwitterFacebook, or by joining my mailing list.