Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lame Entry


This is a lame entry, save alerting you to a good dating blog; some good stuff. I am super busy right now. I am in the process of possibly setting up a new book, revamping the book's site, getting some posters made up for some bookstores, speaking with some PR places for possible representation, and so forth. Here is the site of a really good dating blog, though; check it out.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Latest Article

Here is my latest article:


It is geared toward meeting people in Chicago over the summer but it is applicable pretty much anywhere. Good luck finding love this summer! Happy hunting, if nothing else.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fuck... "Last Comic Standing" is Back

I’m sitting here trying to get some work done (writing my “Lunch is Not a Date” column for July and answering interview questions for a Chicago magazine) and I have the TV on; I like a little background noise. What’s on? Last Comic Standing. This is without a doubt the stupidest thing that has happened to standup comedy since that whole alternative comedy movement (alternative to what? Apparently being funny). I am happy for comedian-turned-writer KP Anderson, who I worked with a few times years ago and who is one of the writers for the show. (A reality show for comedians with writers? Hmm, something is amiss.) But the show is horrible. There is one huge, gigantic, fucking major problem with it. I’m not talking about all these minor problems with it:

It has nothing to do with standup comedy. Comedians build their shows and develop their talents by traveling and working their asses off. Those are the ones that headline all over and of them, a select few do sitcoms and even a smaller number move on to movies. You don’t get funny by hanging out in one city like Los Angeles, hoping to get mic time. You don’t get funny by standing in line outside a club for a day.

The acts that do pretty well in the show are depicted as being new to comedy. Most have been doing comedy for ages. In season one, Ant did pretty well. He was doing comedy years before I started in 1990. Kathleen Madigan, from season two, had been on the Tonight Show previously and is well known in comedy (she’s also very, very funny).

The show doesn’t care about comedy at all; it cares about getting interesting characters into the house. Ant is a huge thief. In season one he got called out for doing a joke right out of the movie The Boiler Room by judge and fellow comedian Joe Rogan (host of Fear Factor). Joe was right; the bit was word for word out of that movie. It wasn’t just a similar concept, it was word for word the same bit. Ant played dumb. Despite his the blatant stealing, he advanced. He returned in season two and made it into the house, because he’s a good character to have living in the house. Forget that he’s a thief (that’s far from the only joke he’s ripped off), he’s good for the house. (NBC really fucked up by not having Ant in the house in the first season along with Rich Vos. That would have really created some good fireworks. Maybe the station thought the viewers would forget he was a thief by season two.) More evidence of pushing less funny acts over more talented ones was exhibited in season two, when, despite the overwhelming votes for certain acts by judges Drew Carey and Brett Butler, other acts won. Brett walked out while Drew complained that the network was using their names to get people to watch the show, then not using their votes. Gotta love Drew and Brett; they're never afraid to standup for something.

The fix is in for contestants. The season Drew Carey hosted, Monty Hoffman and Kathleen Madigan advanced. They were both repped by the same management company as Drew Carey. In fact, most of the contestants in general and some of the others who advanced were repped by that management company.

The show has writers. Writers for comedians? What are they writing? The comics’ acts, in part, I suppose.

The show makes comedians do stupid things that again have nothing to do with comedy, like performing comedy ad lib at a laundry mat or auditioning in front of three judges and no one else. These things will make you funny and prove you are funny if you already are, for sure…

The idea of the show is to bolster the winning acts’ comedy careers by getting them sitcoms and other such media roles. Jay Leno does a great job every season of pointing out, “Does anyone remember who the comedians were? Where are they now?” These season, former contestants are judges for the show. (I find hope in this; that other, bigger name acts not associated with the show declined to take part.) In fact, the only thing that contestants find different about their careers is that they get spots on future seasons as hosts, judges, or commentators. So much for bolstering their TV and media careers.

The show now gives you setups for old jokes. You call in to get the punchline and pay $ .99 for this call. (That’s the sign of a show that’s doing well; desperately reaching to sell something and having you call. It’s like you know a movie is going to be bad because in the commercial they talk more about who did the soundtrack than anything else.)

No, I’m not talking about those minor problems. I’m talking about this one major problem: Last Comic Standing kills standup comedy. That’s right, it kills it. It’s not funny. It’s not funny to watch a bunch of wannabe comedians audition with bad jokes. It’s not funny to watch a talented comedian perform for three judges. It’s not funny to watch a bunch of thirty second clips of comedians’ acts. It’s not funny to watch comedians in a house together. When you pitch a show about finding the best in standup comedy, viewers assume they are watching the best comedians in the biz on TV. When they don’t laugh, they figure, “Damn, if these guys aren’t funny, the ones at comedy clubs must be really bad.” Less people go to comedy clubs. When people don’t see these acts advance in their careers, less people go to comedy clubs. Don’t believe me? Comedy clubs are dying everywhere. They have comedy less nights of the week. They have closed many. In Chicago alone, there is Zanies. That’s it. There used to be the Laugh Factory, the Improv, The Funny Firm, Last Laff, The Comedy Womb, Wacko’s, Barrel of Laughs, Funseekers, Who’s on First, two Funny Bones, KJ Riddles, the Comedy Cottage, the Comedy Jam… get the point?

By partaking in Last Comic Standing, comedians are killing their own industry. They aren’t getting funnier by sitting in a house with other comedians, they get funnier by traveling and working the road; by seeing things that inspire more material, by working in front of real crowds, large and small, and in different areas with different tastes. The problem with the show is that comedians are killing standup comedy along with a network. The best comedians don’t do such shows; instead, they’re out on the road working in front of crowds, doing what they love. It doesn’t matter how good you do on the show, when you get in front of a live crowd, you need to be funny. They will eat you alive if you’re not. The club won’t have you back if you’re not. Other clubs, all three of them, will not have you at all as word of your suckiness (that’s a word) spreads. I think, if I have the time, there’s an idea here to put together an anti-Last Comic Standing tour together… that’s if Ant doesn’t quit the show and steal the idea from me first.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Payback's a Bitch, Sis

I have two sisters. If you've read God is a Woman: Dating Disasters, you've read about the older one. You haven't read about the horrible things she did to me as a child, though. Unlike most people I know, whose siblings are within a few years of them, my older sister is six years older. Every younger brother or sister knows what that means--yup, I had no chance of defending myself and she could talk me into doing just about anything.

"Hey Ian, wash the dishes while I watch TV."

"No! It's your job to watch the dishes."

"I'll count and see how long it takes ya."


"Hey Ian, stand under this tree that's really wet from last night's rainfall."

"No! You'll shake it and get me all wet."

"No I won't. There's a dollar under here, better beat me to it."

I did the dishes. I got soaking wet. Okay, I wasn't the brightest kid on the block, or apparently even in my house. The worst thing she did to me, though, was dress me up in her doll's clothes when I was a tot. Why is that so bad? Mom's take pictures of that nonesense and her acts of cruelty have been immortalized.

Ah, but with lots of patience and a little ingenuity, payback is inevitable.

This year marks the return of the Cicada. I don't mean the Cicada that returns annually, I mean the 17-year Beast, which returns only every seventeen years, in huge numbers. My sister, who now has three kids, stupidly had two boys, ages 10 and 4 this year. Foolishly, she has let them hang out with me a lot, even sleep over. The tykes look up to me. I let them play with my Star Wars figures from back in the day, legos, take 'em to the beach, the zoo, teach them baseball, football, hockey, let them stay up watching scary movies when they sleep over, and so forth. It's all part of my plan of payback, an elaborate scheme that involves the return of our friend, the 17-year Cicada.

Yesterday, I took my nephews out to the forest in the burbs, on a Cicada Safari. My sister was fine with it, not realizing the oldest snuck his "Grand Bug Hotel" with him, at my suggestion. Here are some pictures of the grand event. The first one is just a little branch of what we saw. The second struck fear in my sister as I told the ten-year-old to make like he was about to eat a cicada. The third almost made her pass out as her "baby boy" almost chewed up another cicada at my prompting. The fourth is actually a picture of the oldest freaking me out. He caught a bird. Can you believe that? A bird in his butterfly net.

"Hey, Uncle Ian, I caught a bird!"

"A bird? No you didn't."

Sure enough, he had.

"What are you going to do with a bird?"

"I don't know."

We let the bird go, only because I couldn't figure out how to get it home in the car and let it loose in my sister's place, where it would fly around, harrassing her.

The last picture is the best and my sister's expression was priceless--my two nephews proudly holding a container of their new 107 pets... Payback's a bitch, sis!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Too Small For The Job

I was going to post a new story today, one which I intend to include in another book down the road. The book will contain stories of being a comedian and working on the road. Unlike God is a Woman: Dating Disasters, it won't include my dating and sexual misadventures. Plenty of funny things happen on the road that have nothing to do with sex and dating. They are hilarious stories, of course.

Instead, Legal Pub tells me that he's getting hits on his post which includes a blurb about my condom story from God is a Woman, where the condom is embarrassingly too big and I am embarrassingly too small. I've received some emails asking me about the story, too. So, instead of posting up the new story, which I'll do later this week or next Monday, I decided to put up the condom story, excerpted from the book. This will answer the emails and explain Legal Pubs post better to his readers. You'll have to read the whole book to find out what "Bounty Breasts" means... Have a good week!

While their customer service was great, the hair-restoring products the Asian girl’s office sold sucked. I found a new place, where I found myself attracted to an African-American. She, too, was attracted to me and we flirted constantly. I had no idea why these women at the hair clinics liked me. It probably had nothing to do with me and more to do with the fact that I had by far more hair than anyone else they saw all day. To them, I was Bon Jovi.

Her name was Aretha. She was average-figured with Bounty Breasts and a pronounced butt. She had a strong sarcasm and feistiness to her that I liked. We went out on a date to dinner and then to an elegant pool hall. We had planned to play pool for a few hours, but instead only played one game before hurrying back to her studio apartment. We sat on her sofa, me trying to figure out my move. She didn’t want to wait. She lay on her back and pulled up her sweater; there was no bra underneath. Her big breasts had nice, big nipples.

“Do you like my breasts? Are they firm?”

“Yeah, they’re beautiful.”

“You can’t tell by just looking.”

She grabbed my hand and placed it on her breast. It was quite mushy. She stood up and led me over to the bed, which was against a large, front window that nearly spanned the entire wall.

“You just want to fuck me.”

She took off her clothes and I followed suit. She opened an end table drawer by the bed. She took out a box of magnum condoms, and handed them to me. “Here.”

I took one condom out. Now, I don’t know if the stereotype is true or not, but the thing was huge. I barely started to unroll it when it just fell open on its own, it was so big. I bent down to my pants and started to pull out my own condoms.

“Uh-ah. We use mine or nothing happens. I don’t trust anyone else’s condoms.”

Reasonable. Given my own similar attitude, I couldn’t quibble with that. I put the condom on. I should have slid into a Christmas stocking, it would have been smaller.
“Jesus . . . do you have a rubber band?”

She looked at me with disappointment. Now, I am by no means small. Women either complain that I am too big, or beam declaring that I am just right. A lot of them whine about sore jaws when blowing me and some can’t manage to give me head at all, as their mouths are too small. But I was no match for the monster that belonged in this rubber. I lay on the bed and she rode me. The damn condom was so baggy I could barely feel anything. The incident was very unsettling and I came in less than a minute. Stupidly, I thought if I didn’t feel anything, maybe she couldn’t either. I kept letting her ride.

“Are you done?”

I nodded, embarrassed.

“Then what the hell are you doing?”

I shrugged, “I don’t know. I thought maybe you wouldn’t notice.”

She frowned at me. We paused for a few minutes, then I was ready to go again. I put on another garbage bag and we got back to it, this time with me on top. It lasted a little longer, but not much.

“This is crazy,” I said as I got up and grabbed my own condom.
I still had an erection and put it on. Ah, a good fit; this was more like it. I got on top of her, ready to finally give her a thrill, when a huge shadow appeared outside the closed curtains of the front window. A fist pounded on the same window, followed by a voice that boomed, “Aretha! Aretha, I know you’re in there! You better answer this door, girl!”

Aretha freaked out. She jumped up and turned off the lights, “Oh my God, hide! Hide!”

“What? What’s going on?”

“Aretha, I saw that light go off!”

“If he finds you here, he’ll kill you.”

She had to be kidding, right? She got back onto the bed and pulled me under the covers with her. We lay there for several minutes while Paul Bunyan continued to yell, “Where are you, girl? I saw you turn those lights off!”

He pounded on the window some more. Then it got quiet. Then the doorbell rang twenty times. This went on—him pounding on the window for a minute, then incessantly ringing her doorbell for a minute—for a good fifteen minutes. Aretha and I whispered under the covers.

“Who is it?”

“He’s my ex-boyfriend. His wife is out of town this weekend and he wanted to get together.”

“His wife? You dated a married guy?”

“You haven’t dated a married woman?”

“Am I on the Lifetime Network? No, I haven’t dated a married woman. Why would I?”

“Aretha, you better open this goddamn door, girl!”

“He’s huge; if he finds you here, he’ll kill you. He gets pissed when I go out with other guys.”

Well, that made sense. Can’t blame a married man for being pissed when his mistress was unfaithful.

“Did he fit into your condoms?”

“Yeah . . .”

“Yeah, I don’t want to meet him.”

Based on the condoms, his penis was roughly the size of one of my thighs. I did not want to meet the man who fit into those condoms. We lay quietly until we heard his truck start and screech away. Aretha pulled the covers off us, “You ready?”


I was shaking like a leaf. Try as I might, I had no chance of getting it up again. Aretha was not happy.

“You know, this is sad.”

“Thanks, Aretha, that helps a lot.”

I got dressed and left. Aretha and I tried to date, but she was too hung up on me being white. She tried to turn that around on me.

“You’d never bring your chocolate girlfriend home to meet your mom. I’d just always be your thing on the side.”

Huh. She complained about being a thing on the side, yet she was perfectly comfortable dating a married guy, which would make her . . . yeah, a thing on the side. Hello?!

I learned three things from Aretha and the other assistant:
•Sometimes just swallow hard and ask.
•Minorities can get hung up on mixed relationships.
•Size matters.

The Asian assistant gave me so many signs, I could no longer resist my own strong desire to have her. I had no lines, no smooth moves, and most likely no chance. All I could do was swallow hard and ask, hoping for the best. The best happened twice . . . in a combined one minute, but it still happened.

Both the girls at the hair clinics had a problem handling mixed relationships. Generally, the angle on interracial dating is that Caucasians have a problem with it, not minorities. The truth is, minorities can have problems with mixed dating, as well. That had never occurred to me.

Size matters. One can be too big, too small, too skinny, or too thick. Fortunately, there seems to be a wide range that each woman can handle. Most guys fit into that range. In cases where a guy doesn’t, there are always rubber bands.