25
Oct 06

Black/Sho Tour Day Eight thru 15!

BLACK/SHO TOUR BLOG Day Eight: CHICAGO
(Sho) After Cleveland we went to Chicago. There’s not much to say about Chicago. It’s a shitty little city. Not nearly as much going on there as in New Haven. Kind of dumpy. Architecturally drab. Skyline unmemorable. People unfriendly. Chicks not hot. Dudes not cool. Haha! Just kidding! The chicks ARE hot! Anyhoozlewhatsit, we played a show at The Metro. Over a thousand people. The show was really fun. I did a bit at the top where I did improv with the mic stand. First I used it as a cellphone, “I’m on the phone”! Then I pretended I was an old guy on the beach looking for gold. Then I used the mic stand as a golf club and said I was Tiger Woods playing golf…for gold. It was funny. You should have been there. We laffed, and laffed, and laffed. Black did push-ups up during his set. I have pictures of it.

(Black) Chicago has to be in the Top 3 American cities: New York, Chicago, and then YOUR HOME TOWN. You see how diplomatic I am? I am from Chicago. Was born there and lived my first four years there, so I feel a certain affinity for the town. Of course, whenever I visit Chicago, my first stop is always the stockyards, where I like to watch the animals being slaughtered.

I still have family in Chicago. My uncle and cousin live there, and my uncle met us at the theater, and then we had a fun dinner with him and his two friends. One of them is a high school wrestling coach, and I was very upset during the meal when he decided it would be funny to put me in a choke hold. i guess it was funny, but he took it a little too far, and I ended up passing out in my spinach salad in my turkey tettrazini, which was weird because I didn’t even order turkey tettrazini.

The show was really good. Chicago has always been supportive of us and we always love performing there. Showalter mentioned that I did push-ups, which I did, but he didn’t mention the fact that I did THREE of them. Because I’m fucking ripped.

(Sho) After Chicago show we crashed. And I don’t mean went to bed. I mean we crashed a funny car. There were funny car races on the outskirts of town and we…oh God I’m boring even to myself. I can’t remember what the fuck we did after the Chicago show. It was almost four days ago now and we’ve been bleary eyed playing poker in Kansas City for three days selling our bodies for money to play black jack with. Chicago. Let’s see. I do remember we went downstairs to the house music bar underneath the venue and danced our ASSES off! Michael and I torched the floor with a full on lamada exhibition! We were grinding so hard it hurt. People were aghast. Mainly cause Mike’s butt was hanging full out of his sweatpants while we were grinding.

(Black) After the show, I think we went to bed. There’s not a lot of rock star shit going on. Mostly just drive, perform, bed. Sometime we throw in some extra driving after the show and then bed. Actually, I guess it probably is kind of rock star shit because that’s my understanding is that that’s what rock stars do: you just go from show to show to show. The debauchery is mostly about junk food as opposed to fucking and boozing. I did have a three way with two Asian porn stars, but that doesn’t count. I mean, it does count. It very much counts, but it doesn’t count.

BLACK/SHO TOUR BLUG Day NIne: ANN ARBOR

(Sho) Next day we drove to Ann Arbor. University of Michigan. Great crowd. I particularly liked the fact that it was cold. Detroit Tigers won their game and are heading to the series. I made a joke about the Yankee pitcher who crashed into a building. It’s never too soon.

(Black) The Blind Pig is the big rock club in Ann Arbor. It’s pretty filthy. They’re pretty proud of the fact that Nirvana recorded an early live album there; I suppose that is something to be proud of, but I thought it was inappropriate that when they introduced us to the crowd, they said, “They’re not as cool as Nirvana who recorded an early live album here, but please welcome Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black, anyway.” I mean, what the fuck is that??? I’m a lot cooler than Krist Novoselic.

(Sho) After the show we drove into the night and talked about how great we are.

(Black) After the show we drove into the night and Showalter talked about how great he is.

BLACK/SHO TOR BLOUG: Day Ten MADISON, WISCO

(Sho) Madison is a great city in Wisconsin. They have badgers there. Michael talked about them during his set and said that badgers were scary and would grab upon your nuts if they had the chance. We drove from D.C. to Cleveland to Chicago to Ann Arbor to Madison and are now officially disoriented and confused about anything other than the fact that I like club soda and Mike likes Dr. Pepper. Being on the road is really fun but cities start blurring into one another. Now I know what Jon Bon Jovi meant when he said, “I’m a cowboy. On a steel horse I ride. I’m wanted – dead or alive.” He meant that he’s a cowboy and he rides on a steel horse and he’s wanted dead or alive. How it applies to me? I have no idea.

(Black) I actually think the “steel horse” was a metaphor for a mechanical bull. He could have just as easily said “on a mechanical bull” I ride, but I guess that’s why he’s a poet and we’re not. I agree with Michael that Madison is a great town. Very friendly and scruffy. We spent some time in a coffee shop before the show. The girl behind the counter was cute, and I thought Michael was going to try to ask her out. But he didn’t. He’s such a pussy. If I was single, I would have been like, “Thanks for the coffee, bitch. Now get that ass in the air.” But I’m married, so I settled for just saying, “Thanks for the coffee, bitch.”

I can’t even remember the Madison show at this point, but I’m sure it was good. Or bad. Or maybe it was just okay. I’m not sure. I’m not even sure we did a show in Madison.

(Sho) After we finished Madison, Wisco. We drove to Dubuque in the middle of the night because we heard they had a casino there. We started making lists of our Top 20 Songs of All Time.

Black’s list so far…
(In no particular order)
1. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” Simon & Garfunkel
2. “Come On Eileen” Dexy’s Midnight Runners
3. “Let It Be” The Beatles
4. “Buckets Of Rain” Bob Dylan
5. “Under Pressure” Queen & David Bowie
6. “Life In A Northern Town” Dream Academy
7. “1979” Smashing Pumpkins
8. “Exit Music For A Film” Radiohead
9. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” G’N’R

Sho’s utterly NOT comprehensive or well thought out TOP 20 ALL TIME SONG LIST (it has 41 songs on it)

1. “Wave of Mutilation” Pixies
2. “Pride (In The Name Of Love) U2
3. ”Bridge Over Troubled Water“ Simon & Garfunkel
4. ”Purple Rain“ Prince
5. ”High Fidelity“ Elvis Costello
6. ”Dee-do-do Dee-da-da-da“ The Police
7. ”Dance This Mess Around“ The B52s
8. ”Tears Of Rage“ The Band
9. ”Scenes From An Italian Restaurant“ Billy Joel
10. ”Lay Lady Lay“ Bob Dylan
11. ”What’s The Matter With You“ Split Enz
12. ”The Seed 2.0“ The Roots (w/Cody Chestnutt)
13. ”Somebody Up There Loves Me“ David Bowie
14. ”Reunion“ David Poe
15. ”Ship Building“ Elvis Costello
16. ”Doors Of Your Heart“ The English Beat
17. ”Paper Bag“ Fiona Apple
18. ”Waiting Room“ Fugazi
19. ”Slide“ Goo Goo Dolls
20. ”I Never Changed My Mind“ Jesse Harris
21. ”Last Goodbye“ Jeff Buckley
22. ”No Such Thing“ John Mayer
23. ”Cherry Bomb“ John Mellencamp
24. ”Down To You“ Joni Mitchell
25. ”King With A Crown“ Matisyahu
26. ”Try A Little Tenderness“ Otis Redding
27. ”So Lonely“ The Police
28. ”Everything In Its Right Place“ Radiohead
29. ”Wild Horses“ The Rolling Stones
30. ”Beautiful Child“ Rufus Wainwright
31. ”Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)“ Squeeze
32. ”52 Girls“ B-52s
33. ”My Old School“ Steely Dan
34. ”Sign, Sealed, Delivered“ Stevie Wonder
35. ”You Only Live Once“ The Strokes
36. ”Don’t Do Me Like That“ Tom Petty
37. ”Two Hearts Beat As One“ U2
38. ”Redwood Tree“ Van Morrison
39. ”The Black Angels Death Song“ Velvet Underground
40. ”Only In Dreams“ Weezer
41. ”Radio Cure“ Wilco

(Black) The problem is, I have a hard time committing to any particular songs. Some songs I’m into right now I might not be into later, and I hate to put them on my list if I’m not going to like them in a few weeks/months. Consequently, there are many song that I know I love, but I’m hesitant to permanently engrave them onto my list. Because once it’s out there, it’s out there. Now I know I’m going to get flack from people who are like, ”Black’s taste in music sucks. ‘Life in a Northern Town?’“ To them, all I can say is, ”Suck my dick.“

(Sho) So we get to Dubuque. There is a casino. No poker. They had a small poker room that wasn’t open. So we went back to our hotel and crashed (as in went to bed.) I put the TV on Sports Center and passed out.

DAY ELEVEN: POKER in KANSAS CITY

(Sho) We drove from Dubuque, Iowa to Kansas City, Missouri and went to play cards in the Ameristar Casino. They have no-limit poker. We got in around 9pm and played til late. I’m fairly sure I lost money. No, I’m sure not fairly sure. I totally sure. They had a really good bbq buffet though. I got pork loin, brisket, some weird green beans and like Rice Krispies thing, corn bread, mashed potatoes, collard greens. I was really hungry. Michael got a HUGE plate of baby back spare ribs and literally SMOTHERED it in spicy, tangy bbq sauce. He might as well have just poured that spicy, tangy bbq sauce on his face cause that’s where it ended up. I can tell you that much for sure.

(Black) God bless casino gaming. Not only should every city have casinos, every block in every city should have casinos. I love them. Of course, my game is the slots. I like to sit in front of the slot machines for hours like a zombie, mindlessly plugging nickels into the machine’s gaping yaw. That’s fun for me. Watching the wheels endlessly turn and occasionally spitting out fifteen or twenty cents. There’s nothing depressing about that at all. In fact, it’s what I like to call a ”good time.“

We didn’t play that much poker. Maybe six hours.

DAY TWELVE: MORE POKER in KANSAS CITY

(Sho) We woke up in the morning, headed over to the casino, and played all day. We’re kind of little two Depression Era hobos covered in bbq sauce, shoes untied, craws unshaven, rumpled, sitting at a card table for hours frittering our lives away. Actually, I’m really just describing myself. Mike’s shoes are tied and he craw is shaven, not rumpled. I think I did all right that time. We drove to Lawrence, Kansas for our big show at Liberty Hall. A beautiful venue. Everyone there was really cool. The show was great. Michael does an impression of me in his set. He imitates me doing my ”Duck with a penis“ bit. He purses his lips and pops his eyes out and makes his voice higher and sort of nods his head in weird way. It’s a pretty funny impersonation. So lately I’ve been coming on stage when he does it and doing my impersonation of him which is that I talk like an oaf and clomp around saying, ”I’m Michael Ian Black and Cracker Barrel gives me diarrhea.“ Then he impersonates me again talking about Akeelah and The Bee and so then I come back on stage and impersonate him doing his ”It’s a Nazi Party!“ routine. It’s fun.

(Black) We are sick fucks. There’s no other way to describe our behavior. We literally woke up and sprinted to the poker room. There was no game going yet, so we sat at the blackjack table for a couple hours waiting for them to open up a game. It took FOREVER!!! Finally, they opened a game, and we sat there until we absolutely had to leave to go to our show in Lawrence. Had canceling the show been an option, I’m sure we would have done that. They have 12 Step programs for people like us. But the first step, of course, is acknowledging you have a problem. I’m unwilling to say that spending sixteen hours at a poker table without stopping to pee or eat or drink is a problem.

I liked Lawrence. It seems like a cool town. Lots of aterno college kids in this cool little liberal enclave in the middle of Kansas. Every red state needs a town like that. And every blue state needs a stadium-sized Megachurch. The show, again, was good. A great old theater.

(Sho) After the show we got back in our car and sped back to Kansas City to lose more money.

DAY THIRTEEN: MORE POKER in KANSAS CITY

(Sho) Yeah. Um. Not much good to say about DAY 13 other than that I got some more bbq.

(Black) We have two days to get to Austin, so rather than do the responsible thing, which is to break up the drive into two days, we decide to spend the first day playing more poker. We are truly assholes. But at least we made up for it the next day.

DAY FOURTEEN: DRIVE TO AUSTIN

(Sho) Mike and I knew we had a long 700 mile drive to Austin so what we did was, we drove from about 11am til 6pm, stopped at a casino and played poker until 2 in the morning. We’re really smart like that. So at 2am we drove until 4:30am and Mike stopped at a gas station and bought: Sno Balls; Dr Pepper; Trail Mix. It was an official all-time low. Oh, I almost forgot. After we played poker at this random casino in the middle of Oklahoma for 8 hours we went into the parking lot and COULDN’T FIND OUR CAR! We were so worried. We searched the parking lot high and low for half an hour. We checked everywhere. We were starting to get really nervous because we have lots of valuables in the car. Finally, we found it and we celebrated with cheering and smiles and talked about how relieved we were. It’s that thing where you get so happy about NOT losing something. It reminded he and I of the time that we were tripping on acid in the Badlands (with Ken and Joe) and got lost in the canyons and it got dark and we were starting to having bad trips and it was like that episode of The Brady Bunch where Bobby and Cindy Brady get lost in the Grand Canyon and store the beans and hotdogs in their flashlights except we didn’t have beans or hot dogs or flashlights and it was pitch black and cold and rainy and we were really scared that we were gonna get eaten by wolves or something. Long story short we were about 10 yards from our car the whole time huddling together like buffoons thinking we were lost. When we found the car we truly REJOICED! Finding the car in the parking lot of this casino was a similar feeling of happiness.

(Black) You know you have a problem when you are so excited to get into the casino that you cannot remember where you put your car. When you are so focused on sitting down at a card table with nine strangers that you cannot even remember where you placed the vehicle carrying all of your belongings, thousands of dollars in cash, and the computers on which you have stored pictures of your children. Somebody should really spank us.

DAY FIFTEEN: AUSTIN DAY #1

(Sho) Michael and I played poker again last night. Michael had a funny conversation with someone at the casino. It’s the kind of conversation that he said makes him feel awkward and sad. It went something like this…

The characters are the dealer, Michael Black, and The Kid. The Dealer asked Mike, ”Are you that guy?“ and Mike said, ”Yeah.“ *
*(It might be worth noting that at 3am when Mike’s in a backwoods casino playing poker in Louisiana with degenerate gamblers (of which he is one) the last thing he wants is to be recognized.)
Upon hearing the dealer The Kid, 20s, speaks up. He says, ”What do you do?“
Black says, ”I’m an actor.“ He says that, naively, hoping it will end the conversation.
The Kid says, ”Oh yeah?“ then ”Have I ever seen you in anything?“ This is an annoying question because even though Michael and the Kid have a very good relationship, he’s not familiar with what TV shows or movies the Kid has seen.
Black says, ”I doubt it.“ Again hoping to end the conversation.
”You ever been on CSI?“
”No.“
Pause.
”What about The Shield? You ever been on The Shield?“
”No. I really don’t think you’ve seen any of my shows. If you had you would know me.“
”Entourage?“
”No.“
”What was the last thing you did?“
”The last one was called Stella.“
”So if I went on IMDB it would be on there?“
”Yes.“

Another interesting moment from Mike’s poker table.

(Black) It’s always nice to come down to the New South where you can see black and white really do co-exist in harmony. For example, we were playing poker there was a large white gentelman at our table and an even larger black card dealer who sat down to deal at our table. When he did the friendly white guy made a joke about how the two of them could be ”bookends“ because of their respective sizes. The baseball World Series is on TV and less than five minutes later friendly large white guy turns to fellow white man, Crusty Codger, also playing, and makes a remark about the baseball game.
Crusty Degenerate Gambler Codger says, ”I ain’t never watched a baseball game in my life.“
Friendly guy is surprised, ”Really?“
Crusty Borderline Alcoholic Degenerate Gambler Codger says, ”Yeah, I never liked baseball or basketball.“
Friendly white guy, within earshot of the dealer, who happens to be black, who is sitting next to him, says in a conversational tone, ”Basketball – that’s been overrun with jungle bunnies.“ I’m sitting farther away from him than the deale is, and I can hear him clearly, so obviously the dealer can hear this. Then he continues, ”Now football is going that way too.“
Crusty Borderline Alcoholic Degenerate Gambler Codger who needs a good hairwashing says, ”We gotta get some good white players.“
Friendly guy says, ”Well, they’re the best players so what’re you gonna do?“ End of conversation. Naturally, I was outraged and did what any good liberal would do – I said nothing.

(Sho) I won a bunch of dough. Which isn’t saying much because I lost a bunch of dough before. And when I say dough I mean cookie dough which is useless when you’re in a casino. Cookie dough gets in your clothes. Worst of all it was lemon cookie dough and I don’t even like lemon cookie.

(Black) When casinos starting paying out in cookie dough is a real mystery to me. I can’t say I mind it, because the dough does make excellent cookies, but when you’re touring the country you don’t necessarily have easy access to an oven. As a result we had to buy a mini-fridge to store all that cookie dough. We tied it to the roof of the car, but I’m afraid we didn’t tie it very well because as we were driving, it flew off the roof and crashed into a car behind us; I’m pretty sure it killed the driver. Oh well.

(Sho) So we drove in to Austin from our degenerate casino jaunt. The Austin Film Festival is in Austin this week and we’re on a bunch of panels. The first one is ”Making An R Rated Comedy.“ David Wain has flown in from New York to join us for the weekend. Tonight there are two screenings of The Stella Shorts at a really cool art house theater in Austin called the Alamo Drafthouse. We’re hosting the screenings and doing Q & A and stuff. So anyway, we get to the panel ”Writing An R-Rated Comedy.“ The other panelists are the guys that wrote ”Wedding Crashers“ and Jake Kasdan who made the movie ”Orange County“ and was a director on ”Freaks & Geeks“ and many other things. The panel was fun. We all talked about how great we were.

(Black) There’s not that much to say about writing an R-Rated comedy other than you should put in tits. That’s pretty much it. Other than that, they’re pretty much like other comedies. The ”Wedding Crashers“ guys and Jake Kasdan all seemed nice. We didn’t hang out afterwards. But we did shake hands, which seemed like the right thing to do.

(Sho) The Stella Shorts screenings were fun. Fun is my new favorite word. It’s fun to use. Seeing the Stella Shorts all at once is an interesting experience. The recurrent themes: dildos; extreme sadistic violence; fingering oneself; sodomy; gails of laughter; angels; looking at the camera, etc. It’s fun to watch them together. The people at the Alamo Drafthouse couldn’t have been nicer. It was good to see Dave. Mike and I at this point are not sure where we are, what’s up, what’s down. Etc.

(Black) The Austin crowd definitely supports Stella. We did two showings of the Stella Shorts, and they were both sold out. Very heartwarming to see so many people come out. I hadn’t watched any of those shorts in a long time, and I was kind of shocked by them. They’re pretty extreme. Very funny, but really fucking out there. The one with Zak where we tell him to dance and put on a little fuck music is very funny. But the one that really made me laugh hard for the first time was ”A Day Off“ when all we do is run around with a golden retriever for three minutes. I was really laughing hard at that; just the pure stupidity of that I found hilarious. We really are great.


21
Oct 06

Check out my radio interview with TimeOut NY!

Click Here For My Time Out New York Interview with Allison Rosen!


14
Oct 06

Black/Sho Tour Day Five & Six

DAY FIVE AND SIX: BALTIMORE/D.C.

(Sho) I picked up Mac’n’cheese (again, this is my little nickname for Michael Black) up at Grand Central at noon. I was REALLY proud because I was right on time and I packed 8 boxes of Stella DVDs into the rental car all by myself. My secret was that I dropped the boxes out the window of my apartment and just hoped they wouldn’t break. So far so good.

(Black) Jim picked me up at Grand Central Station for the drive to B’More. He was two hours late. On the train ride into the city I watched “The Forty Year Old Virgin” starring Steve Carrell. That dude is SUCH A LOSER!!! Imagine being forty and never dipping your candle. I would be like, “MY NADS ARE GONNA EXPLODE!!!” Needless to say, I thought the movie had a lot of genuine warmth and heart.

(Sho)The drive to Baltimore was pretty smooth sailing. Mac’n’cheese was sleepy so he napped while I drove. Don’t tell him this but I put sneeze powder in his toiletries container while he slept. Tee-hee. Tee-hee-hee. Heh-heh. Heh-heh-heh. Tee-hee-hee. Heh-heh.
Heh-heh-heh. Tee-hee-hee.

(Black) Jim kept talking while we were driving. I don’t even know what he was talking about: the Mets or some shit and how he’s “kicking so much ass” in his football pool. Before I knew it, I was sound asleep.

(Sho) Otto Bar in Baltimore is a great venue. There’s a small balcony area that hangs over the stage. You feel like you’re performing among the audience. It’s a very intimate vibe. Almost sexual. Like you and the audience are sweaty and slow dancing and your mouths are moving closer together and your tongues are peeking out, twitching, searching for the other tongue. Yeah, it was kinda like that.

Ps. Claire and John from Baltimore made us a great mix CD and we listened to it alot all the way on our drive to Cleveland. Thank you Claire and John. Best Track was number two. The Avalanches: Run DNA.

(Black) If you’re wondering if we ripped Baltimore a new one, we did. The show was good, and afterwards we did what we always do after a show. Go to sleep. (Not with each other) (Also, not with anybody else.)

(Sho) Mac’n’cheese and I drove from Baltimore to D.C. in the morning. Our first stop was to visit my sis, who lives there. She wasn’t home though so we stopped at a Starbucks and played poker for a few hours. We were both feeling somber because a pitcher from the Yankees crashed his airplane into a building back in New York and that reminded of us of the time when two airplanes crashed into the twin towers and all of downtown Manhattan became a giant graveyard. Still, we have priorities so we soldiered on and continued to play cards.

(Black) There was some shit on the radio about something or another. It reminded us of the time Saddam Hussein ordered Al Qaeda to invade America. Thank God we took that Mofo out. The Starbucks in D.C. as AMAZING!!! They had so many beverages to choose from. Showalter ate twenty one orange scones.

Eventually we made it over to my sister’s house and goofed about with my adorable and rambunctious niece and nephew, Evie and Jack. They’re the best. I love being “Crazy Uncle Mike.” I’m like a magical hobo who breezes in every few months and eats sandwiches and lies down on the couch and half naps/half rough houses with them and talks in a funny voice and plays the “Toe Monster” game. “Toe Monster” is a monster who likes to eat toes. I think my Dad invented this game. I guess that would make me Toe Monster Jr. If I ever have a son who plays the Toe Monster game then he will be Toe Monster III. In any event, it was a lovely visit. Michael Black made a horrible impression on my sister and her babysitter Hillary by lighting his farts to entertain the kids. You’d think he’d know better than that considering he’s got two of his own. Then again maybe that’s why his sons bangs are singed.

(Black) Jim’s sister made a pass at me. I didn’t want to say anything to Jim at the time, and I’m even a little embarrassed writing about it now, but it happened like this: after we entered the house, Jim excused himself to go to the bathroom. I told Jim’s sister how lovely I thought her home was. We chit-chatted about that for a couple minutes, and then she said, and this is a quote, “Can I get you anything?” I was too stunned to speak. “Can I get you anything?” I mean, I don’t know if Jim put her up to that or what, but honestly, I just stood there stammering, and finally I said something about a glass of water. I mean, I didn’t know what else to say! The sexual tension was palpable. Thank God Jim came back in the room, because if he hadn’t, I’m pretty sure her shirt would have been off within seconds (Which would have been okay because she was wearing two layers and it was a little stuffy). Her children are adorable and we had a great time visiting.

(Sho) The D.C. show was great. Sold out. Whatever. I was kinda nervous having my older sister and her friends in the audience. I wasn’t sure how she’d react to my photograph of a teenage Smurf masturbating to internet porn but she seemed okay with it. I was also a little worried about doing some of the same material because Eugene Mirman, Leo Allen and I had done a pretty big show there in May and I was doing a bunch of the same stuff. I opened my set by saying, “I need to know how many people were at the last show because I’ve only written two new jokes since May.” Pause. “That was one of them.” Pause. “That was the other one.” It was really brilliant. I’m amazing.

Black’s show was an unmitigated disaster. His “Lampshades Made out of People” bit drew loud raspberries from the crowd. That’s not true. He killed. He was arsome. That’s my funny way of saying – awesome.

(Black) I am really embarrassed because I’m realizing that I’ve been calling Showalter “Jim.” I don’t know how I got that confused, considering we’ve known each other twenty years. His first name is not Jim. So I apologize for that. It’s Mitchell. Mitchell was great. His stuff was very funny, even the thing about the Smurf jerking off to Internet porn, which was incredibly graphic and offensive. I didn’t care, but I could tell the audience was upset. There were two girls in the front who were crying and holding each other during that bit. I think they asked for their money back. It was tough to get the audience back from that (putting it kindly) disaster, but Mitch did a great job of keeping it contained.

(Sho) After the show we hung out a bit in the bar downstairs. For the most part, everyone is really friendly. For instance this one drunk girl came up to me at the bar and I’d like to relay that conversation to you. First she comes up to and stands at least half-an-armslength too close to me causing me to step backwards causing her to step forwards causing me to step backwards again causing her to step forwards and before you know we’re doing the TANGO! I don’t like “close talkers.” I’m very persnickety about my personal space. Anyway here’s the convo as best as I can recall. I don’t know if she was gay or straight but she looked like a butch lesbian.

Girl: So, I hear you’re a comedian, huh?

Me: Yes.

Girl: Are you funny?

Me: No.

Girl: I heard you did a show upstairs.

Me: Yeah.

Girl: I heard it went all right.

Me: Yeah.

Girl: You seem depressed.

Me: I’m not.

Girl: That’s too bad.

Me: No, it’s not. It’s good that I’m not depressed.

Girl: I’m Sarah.

Me: Hi. Sarah.

Girl: And you are?

Me: Michael.

Girl: My friends and I are gonna do some blow and explore D.C. Wanna come?

Me: No.

She walks away annoyed. Just another night in our nation’s capitol.

(Black) I did some blow with this chick Sarah and fell asleep around dawn.


11
Oct 06

Black/Sho Tour Day Three & Four: Boston/New Haven

DAY THREE AND DAY FOUR

(Sho) Boston. Home of the Boston Red Sticks. Oops. I mean Red Stacks. Oops. I mean Rod Stocks. Wait, what? Oh. I got it. Rod Stewart. Boston, Massachusetts hometown of the great baseball team Rod Stewart. Mac and I (I call Mike “Mac”. He hates it but I don’t care because I think it’s really HI-LAR-IOUS!!!!!!) So anyway, Mac and I drove into Bean Town and set up shop at a Starbucks where we typed away at our computers and didn’t speak to each other. It was another beautiful day and the fall leaves were in full bloom, like a blooming onion.

(Black) Boston is my town. I grew up there, of course, and have fond memories of sculling on the Charles. It’s worth mentioning that I did not grow up in Boston, and have never been sculling. Moreover I am afraid of water. Boston was founded in 1958 by Mormons looking to escape persecution, and it still retains it’s old world charm. For example, I noticed that several of the shops used this spelling: “shoppe.” Very cute. Michael and I spent the day at Starbucks tip-tapping on our computers and looking at pedestrians. Michael ate nineteen mixed berry scones.

(Sho) And Black ate his boogers. It’s true. I saw him sneak some into his craw.

It was a really packed show. Michael Ian Black’s name was high up on the marquee and my name was…n’t.
So, that was cool. But it’s okay because I love my friend Michael and was really excited to see his name up in bright lights.

Many colleges were represented including: Northeastern, Harvard, BU, BC, and of course Brandeis. I predicted that the BC and Brandeis kids would have a religious war after the show.

There was a heckler in the crowd. I do a bit about getting candy at the movies and he screamed out that I should order “balls.” I assumed he meant “Whoppers.” After a heated exchange we agreed that I’d put my balls in his mouth but in a nice way. Michael dealt with him too. He’ll tell you all about it.

(Black) The heckler was obnoxious with Showalter, but at least coherent. By the time I got on stage, he was just shouting syllables that sometimes were words and sometimes not. For example, during my set he started yelling noises. When I asked him what he was yelling, he said something, which I eventually understood to be: “You suck otherwise!” Normally, this would hurt my feelings because I’m sensitive, but then I became confused. Otherwise what? Other than this show? In which case it’s okay because he likes the show but hates every thing else I do. Or did he mean that I just suck? But if he meant that, why the “otherwise?” We talked about it a little, but he wasn’t making sense. Finally, I told him to “shut up,” which was my witty way of saying “shut up.” Amazingly, he did shut up, but I found out later it wasn’t because I scared him but because security threw him out.

Otherwise (that word) it was a good show. Great crowd. Lots of attentive and attractive people. Afterwards we signed a bunch of DVDs and said hello and then I went back to the hotel and watched “The World Series of Poker” for eight hours. I wish there was a way to beat off to “The World Series of Poker,” but there isn’t. I’ve tried, and it doesn’t work.

DAY FOUR: NEW HAVEN

(Sho) We had some time so we drove to Black’s house and spent the day at his beautiful country house on 174 Newbie Street, in Skilling, Connecticutt. He’ll be pissed I gave out his address but fuck him. He stole my iPod and claims it’s his when it so obviously isn’t.

New Haven is where Yale is. As such, there’s many smart people shuffling around in sweaters and scarves with backpacks full of books and cups of coffee. Michael and I threw drive-by water balloons at them from our rental car and had a grand time.

The show went off without a hitch: unless you consider my computer going dead in the middle of my set and me stopping for five minutes while a tech guy crawled on stage and tried to fix it a hitch. (He fixed it.)

Afterwards we signed lots of DVDs, including two sets of heaving breasts, and took a bunch of pictures.

We went our separate ways. I to Brooklyn and Michael to Connecticut. Next day, we will meet in NYC and drive to Baltimore.

(Black) Our New Haven venue was weird. It’s called Toad’s Place, and it’s run by very nice people, but there were some annoying and strange things about it. First of all, the floors were sticky. Not regular sticky like you expect when you go to a place where people spend a lot of time throwing up, but extra sticky. To the point where I was wondering if they mopped the floors with tree sap. I thought maybe they were trying to figure out a way to freeze us all in amber so that millions of years from now scientists could discover us. Even the stage was sticky like that. Why was the stage so sticky? Every time I took a step it sounded like I was unfastening something made from Velcro. It was terrible. The other annoying thing about that place is that there is giant fence in the middle of the room. I am not being metaphorical when I say this; for all ages shows, rather than give people bracelets or whatever, they erect an enormous fence in the middle of the room so that the drinkers and non-drinkers are separated by a giant metal barrier. This is in no way at all a fire hazard. Giant metal fences are not necessarily conducive to great comedy. They are conducive to segregating large segments of people from each other, and on that front they succeeded. I was hoping that we could play “Border Crossing,” but nobody was up for it. As far as my performance goes, I did not do a very good job. Sniffing all that model airplane glue before the show probably did not help matters.

It was great, however, to spend the day with my kids. They kept calling me “Larry.” I don’t know why. I asked my wife if somebody named Larry had been coming around the house. She said she had no idea what I was talking about.


09
Oct 06

Black/Sho Tour Day Two: Providence

DAY TWO: PROVIDENCE

(Sho) We drove from Northampton to Providence. The foliage is breathtaking. Autumn is in full bloom just like a blooming onion but different in so many ways. One way is that it’s leaves not onions. All the vibrant shades of orange, red, yellow hues, clashing together creating a beautiful quilt in the sky for me to curl up in and watch the boob tube (“One Tree Hill”) with a bag of microwave popcorn and a mug of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick in it and my old golden retriever Sally by my side.

Foliage in full bloom like an onion.
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(Black) Showalter’s golden retriever Sally has been shedding EVERYWHERE! It’s a real problem, as I am HIGHLY allergic to dander. Not just pet dander, either. Any kind of dander. Elk dander, for example. Fish dander. Any kind of dander. As a consequence, I have the worst case of hives. I also have a very bad case of chives, which is weird. Because chives is not something you normally “come down with,” but there you go. I suspect I got them as a result of the foliage blooming like an onion. As I’m sure you are aware, chives are in the onion family. So are scallions, but I don’t have those.

More full bloom onion leaves.
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The drive was brief, but fun. We arrived in the greater Providence area, and checked into our hotel in Pawtucket. They should call that place Paw Suck It, because it sucked pretty bad. But it was only five minutes from downtown. After checking in, I rubbed one out, and then we went into town to see what was what.

Hilarious shot of Black pumping gas and giving thumbs up.
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(Sho) I rubbed one out too. I rubbed out a picture from a headstone with charcoal and a sketch pad. It was at an Art Fair at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design.) Mike bought some beautiful drip art and I bought some photo albums made out of veggie paper.

The RISD Art Fair (Arts & Farts Fair if you ask me.)
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RISD students are cool if you like FAGS (or metal scultpure because that’s big over there.) We took a stroll through the campus of Brown University where I barely graduated from back in the early ‘90s when Kurt Cobain wasn’t dead yet. Then we discovered that our show was 6:30pm at not 8pm so we high-tailed it over to Lupo’s for the show. Mike held us back though because he had to take a big dump and so I waited in Starbucks for like an hour while he poo’d his brains out. That’s not true. It wasn’t an hour.

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(Black) It was forty five minutes. I had a log that required some very long and steady unspooling. It was a delicate operation and it took forty five minutes. That’s not the kind of thing you want to rush because the goal is to get it out in one, unbroken piece and any quick movements or jerks could upset the entire apple cart. But it was worth it: it was definitely worth it.

Whoever heard of a comedy show at 6:30 on a Saturday? That’s not a good comedy time. 6:30 doesn’t sound funny. Even 6:45 sounds funnier than 6:30. “World News Tonight” is on at 6:30. That’s not funny (unless Art Linkletter is reading the news. He can read the phone book, and it would be funny). Surprisingly there was a good crowd on hand. Somewhere between four and five hundred people. Oddly, it was the SAME four or five hundred people from the night before. How do I know it was the same people? I recognized them. I have a photographic memory and I recognized them. It helped things that they were standing in the exact same places. Some of them were wearing different clothes, but that didn’t fool me. The reason we had to go so early was because there was a band playing after us called “The Saw Doctors.” They had the 9:30 slot. 9:30 is a very funny slot. But I don’t think they’re a comedy band. I think they’re an Irish roots band. That’s not funny. Unless they’re drunk. Which they usually are.

The show was good. Michael tried out the new picture he drew of what a teenage boy Smurf looks like jerking off to internet porn. So that was classy. I decided to forgo my act in favor of doing an education lecture about whales. I couldn’t tell if they were disappointed that they weren’t hearing jokes, but I think I more than made up for it by the LENGTHY discussion of the eating habits of the grey whale.

Black doing his “Lamp Shade” bit at Lupo’s.
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(Sho) After the show we were invited to a monster lab by a local puppeteer from a troupe called Big Nazo. It was really cool in a “what the fuck are we doing in a monster lab?” sort of way. If I’d made a list of things I saw myself doing in Providence, Rhode Island, I can say with certainty that going to a local monster lab would not have even cracked the top five. That having been said, his creations were both funny to look at, squishy and smelled like foam. Michael freaked out when he saw the Jabba creation and forced me to snap a photo.

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I’m really happy that Michael didn’t bring his camera because that means I get to take pictures of Michael looking glum for the next three weeks. I’m SWO lucky!

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08
Oct 06

Black/Sho Tour Day One: Northampton

Tour Day One.

(Sho) I met Eugene at my house. He brought the projector and screen. He is driving with us to Northampton to see his gf. I was at the nearby coffee shop grabbing lunch. Black pulled up in our car and after loading up the car, we were off.

(Black) I picked up our rental car at Hertz in Fairfield and was a little dubious when the woman handed me the keys to a Hyundai. I asked her if she had any other cars BESIDE a Hyundai. She told me she did not. What about a Camry? She did not have a Camry. I took the Hyundai.

Showalter, annoyingly, asked me to pick him up in Brooklyn, sixty miles South of where I picked up the car, even though we were heading North to NORTHampton.

(Sho) My lunch I got was mac & cheese soup; chicken salad sammich; bag of chips; can of Coke; and, of course, pickle. I would have taken the train to Fairchild to meet Black in Conn but we have Stella DVD boxes and there’s too many to carry on the train. Black is a whiner for not wanting to come to Brooklyn.

(Black) Getting to B’klyn (B-Lynn, Bookline) was not a problem. Leaving Brooklyn was a disaster. It took us two and a half hours after leaving Showalter’s “house” to return to the place where I had started. Traffic was terrible and Michael was singing James Taylor songs at the top of his lungs the entire time. (Not true.) What IS true, though, is that his mac-n-cheese soup smelled like the underside of my scrotum after sleepaway camp.

(Sho) There was traffic (traf-FUCK!) on I-95 all the way from Brooklyn (in the hizzy!) to Springfield, Mass. I-95 Northbound sux dix! We took a long snack stop and hit the golden arches for some snerious snackage. I got two cheese boogers and a small fry (word!)

(Black) I got a #8 (Chicken Selects and a fry). I asked for five Chicken Selects, but I think they recognized me because when I opened my box, there were SEVEN chicken selects!!! That’s how a McDonald’s employee lets you feel the love – by sneaking you extra Chix Selex. To thank them for their generosity, I let them take turns blowing me by the fry cooker. In full disclosure, I also got a McFlurry (Oreo). How did it taste? Ah-May-Zing.

(Sho) We arrived in Northampton around 6:30. Show at 8:30pm. Doors at 7:30pm. When we got to the “venue”, at 7:15pm, there were, like, two people waiting outside to see the show, which kinda bummed us out, ‘cause we were hoping for a little more of a turnout but, as they say, “The show must go on.” That was a long sentence. Typically, Black catastrophized about it and I cheered him up, but then in my alone time, I catastrophized about it and Eugene cheered ME up. I wonder who cheered him up. The good news is that by the time the show started there were over 20 people there!

Michael Ian Black backstage playing internet poker.
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(Black) I think whiskey cheered Eugene up. The truth is, we had a very good turnout (“turnout” is also a ballet term for walking like a penguin). I think by the time the show started there were probably 400 people there. Showalter wants me to say there were 423 people there, but he has that “Beautiful Mind” thing where he needs to count to five over and over again. I have to say, the staff at Pearl St. was very good. They came back several times to ask if we needed anything. But we already had bags of pretzels and popcorn, so the answer was no. If there had been no bags of pretzels and popcorn, and somebody had come back to ask if we needed something, I might have said, “Do you have any pretzels or popcorn?” As it was, though, that question was unnecessary because, as I said, there was plenty of pretzels and popcorn. I should clarify a little bit: there was only ONE bag of pretzel and popcorn, but there were only two of us, so it seemed like there was plenty because the truth is, between us, we weren’t going to go through all those pretzels and popcorns. Some of it, yes. But not ALL of it. Maybe you think, “How could they be so wasteful?” but honestly, there’s no way to buy HALF a bag of pretzels and popcorn. There was really no choice for them – they HAD to buy full bags of pretzels and popcorn. They were really in a no-win situation vis a vis the snack foods. Anticipating your next question: I had a few pretzels, no popcorn. Showalter had both pretzels AND popcorn. Eugene, as I said, had whiskey.

This is one of my many photographs of Eugene setting up the projector and screen before the show.
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(Eugene) Before the show I had a piece of salad pizza and organized a quick rally to meet chicks. It worked. I almost stopped war! One person can make a difference, probably. Here’s an example — Churchill. Bye, everyone. During the drive up Michael and I decided to call the show we’re doing at Union Hall “Tearing The Veil Of Maya.” See you there gang!

This is a funny picture of Eugene, Michael and I at the hotel. I think we look like three husbands on a camping trip with three women who are childhood friends and we’re just a bunch of dudes who don’t know each other and are trying to be good sports about letting them take a picture. Though Black and Eug holding hands kind of gives that away.
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(Sho) Being that I don’t really drink or do drugs I decided to get “fucked up” before every show by smoking a clove cigarette. That’s really smart because I used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day so this won’t at all make me want to start smoking again after having not smoked for over four years. Not at all. I’m not playing with fire at all in any way. Way to go Sho! Way to revert back to being in high school and trying to get high off of nutmeg and magic markers.

Here’s a shot of Black doing his act. It’s a very Lenny Bruce like backlit shot.
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I rate my first performance as a solid C+. I rushed through my material. After not performing on tour for a few months, and this is typical, you forget what you’re doing and, in particular, think that all your jokes aren’t funny. I got through it though. For the most part, I just wanted to get my “sea legs” under me. “Sea legs” is a lumberjacking term, it has nothing to do with the sea or legs.

This morning I wrote a joke about how gang members should use spinach as a weapon. Maybe I’ll use in the show tonight at Lupo’s, Providence.

(Black) I question Showalter’s assertion that “sea legs” is a lumberjacking term. I actually think it’s a seafaring term, referring to the fact that on long sea voyages, sailors often used to eat their own legs to fight scurvy.

I think Showalter is being generous when he rates his own performance as a C+. I thought he was terrible. Just terrible. He rushed through his material.

(Sho) Black’s show was awesome. His act was really tight. Tight like his butt, ‘cause he’s a tightwad.


04
Oct 06

Eugene (not Mirman), Oregon Tour Photos/Jurnal (sp?)

Yeah. Eugene, Oregon. It was really really really really hot.
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And it was light out.
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Come inside…see what magical secrets we have to offer!
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The house was packed, kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid!
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