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My brother is insane. I don't mean that in a humorous way. He is literally, not right in the head. That doesn't mean he does crazy stuff. He just isn't good at analyzing situations. He'll beat a few of his friends at racquetball, and challenge me to a game for $100. I told him, "Dude, I've been playing for 25 years. You've been playing for a year." He insisted. And I took his money.

He once bowled a good game, something like 240. He was then convinced he could become a pro bowler, and spent hours each day practicing. This was when he was in his mid-20s, and didn't usually score anything close to 200.

There was a year and a half, where he was convinced he would become a famous stand-up comedian. And, I immediately thought of the line from Swingers, when Jon Favreau explains to a girl, "I flew out to L.A. to become a comedian. So many comedians got their own TV shows, I just thought they were handing them out at the airport."

At one party I crashed, someone said "You aren't related to that Board that is a comedian, are you? He's the worst I've ever seen." I almost wasn't going to own up to it, but I did.

He gave up that pipe dream, but I'll never forgot one conversation I had with him months into his attempt. I asked what his main goal was. He said to be writing for Leno or Letterman within a year. I tried to tell him that they have a team of 12 writers and that every comedian working, would like that job. I also asked if he could pick up a newspaper, and just write jokes from the stories he sees. He got kinda mad, and the subject changed.

In the late 80s, when I got my first job at a radio staiton, I wrote bits for the morning show. It was fairly easy to come up with stuff, but when I'd go thru the USA Today and Union-Tribune, it was harder making jokes from the news. I imagine with a team of writers that these late night shows have, it's easier to bounce things off each other and brainstorm.

When I was in line to donate blood today, I saw a bunch of stories that seemed perfect for material. But I had problems even thinking of jokes that were actually LOL funny. There was a story about those astronauts, with the title saying "Astonauts finish cleaning, lubing solar-wing joints." Now, there has to be a joke with that headline. I mean, the word "lubing" has probably never even been in a headline before.

And the story, which you've probably heard by now, was even funnier. They were working on a device that would recycle urine. Apparently, the "urine processor shut down after operating less than three hours."

NASA wanted to test the recycled water before anyone just starts gulping the urine.

I tried to think of a joke for that. Something about an astonaut saying it "tasted too Tangy." Nah, not that funny.

I thought maybe a joke about that astronaut that drove across country to attack a woman that was dating her man. Maybe she wore a diaper, because she was recycling her poo. Nah, that's too gross. Damn, I need a team of writers!

There was a headline about Ford topping the list of safe cars. And I thought there has to be a joke there. Maybe they are safe, because nobody is buying them, which means there are less of them on the road.

Nah...people losing jobs and companies going bankrupt, isn't funny. I'll work on that one, though. There's something there. Even if that means I have to go all the way back to the Ford Pinto.

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Comments
9

Hey, I actually laughed at the Ford joke. Shows you what a heartless mofo I am.

Nov. 26, 2008

The Ford Pinto and alternative fuel. Pinto Bean? It's a gas? Uh oh. Dangerously close to "fart humor!" Man, it IS hard to just come up with jokes! Your brother had a lot of guts to get up on stage and try to make people laugh. And I laughed at this - "I mean, the word "lubing" has probably never even been in a headline before." That's the kind of stuff Leno says that gets people chuckling. Not so much out and out jokes, but funny observations.

Nov. 26, 2008

Well,...I agree. I would hate getting up on a stage and doing that. I had no problem getting in front of a classroom of Cub Scouts, before later giving them a tour of the radio station. But in front of adults, that are sitting there thinking "if you aren't funny, I'm going to boo"...or heckle you. I mean, look how much it rattled Michael Richards!

But, the main problem with my brother was that he wasn't doing comedy because he "loved it". He was doing it because it was yet another scheme he came up with, that he thought would make him rich and famous.

If you do something because you love it (acting, singing, comedy), that's fine. You hope to become rich and famous, but you'll keep doing it even if that alludes you. Because you love doing it.

The movie "Comedian" had come out during his time, and I saw it. A great documentary following a new comedian around as he tries to make it (he eventually gets on the Tonight Show and is great), as well as following Seinfeld around as he bombs with some new material.

My brother didn't even have the desire to see it. Now, if you're trying to make it into a field, you should see/read, EVERYTHING on the subject.

He doesn't believe in paying dues, and working crap jobs. He just wants money handed to him, without putting in the work.

Look at a guy like Mal Hall locally. I once saw him perform at 101.5 KGBs benefit breakfast. He was great. He then worked his way as one of their producers (which means getting up at 5 a.m. and probably being paid peanuts). Now that morning show mentions all his appearances, which include free shows at Lestat's, $5 shows at The Bitter End.

He contacted me about writing about him. I told him I covered parties, and suggested he hit up other avenues at the Reader. Then I see Barb covered him in an events listing.

The guy works his butt off, and he'll deserve any success he gets.

Nov. 26, 2008

So is this blog to incite your bro for the obligatory argueing at the Thanksgiving Dinner at Mom Boards??

Skip politics, religion, race, that is too easy... Go right for the juggular with character assassinations. AAHHH sibling rivalry at the Holidays.

Can I come with to dinner? I am sure there will be plenty of entertainment.

Your brother is probably writing his best material just for you after reading this blog. The turkey may not be the only roast on the menu this year : )

Have a Happy Thanksgiving all!

Nov. 26, 2008

The Ford joke was good, in fact cars are quite a good subject for jokes. Here's a good space/car joke:

What do you do if you see a spaceman? Park your car in it man.

Nov. 26, 2008

Yeah sibling rivalry at the Thanksgiving dinner table is always the best. Especially since family members are already getting tanked up anyway.

Nov. 26, 2008

Well cardig, my brother hasn't had anything to do with the family in over a year. I do remember one Thanksgiving, we started talking about dolphins (not those shorts, the animals). And, he was writing down everything I said, because he wanted to use it in his "act". I said it was only funny to those that know me and him (since he was involved in the story). I also said, in a nice way, that if you need family members to come up with material for ya, maybe comedy isn't what you're gift is.

And dang it! I just went to Conan O'Briens website (I never visit websites, either). And his quote of the day is something like: Ford cars were deemed to be safest. Maybe because nobody drives them off their lots.

Not sure if that joke was in his monolog, or just a quote on the website. But, I guess it was good enough for late night. But, as comedian (and local radio host told me), often times when you are trying to write comedy, comedians aren't stealing from each other, but it's called "parallel thinking" (I thought that's what he called it, can't remember now). This was in ref. to a story he told me about writing material for The Tonight Show, and them once using a joke without paying him (someone else had written the same thing).

Julie, regarding "sibling rivalry", it's actually not. My entire family realizes he's off his rocker. Even back when we all got along, he was the black sheep, because he created those scenarios in which he was.

As Louie Anderson once said, when talking about an insane cousin: Nobody wants to admit they have someone crazy in their family. But it's not like there's some couple in Ohio having them all, giggling and saying "oh goodie, we got another one."

Nov. 26, 2008

JB wondered aloud:

"There was a story about those astronauts, with the title saying "Astonauts finish cleaning, lubing solar-wing joints." Now, there has to be a joke with that headline. I mean, the word "lubing" has probably never even been in a headline before."

You're kidding, right? Um, yeah...there's a joke there. They sell it at Dr. Love's. I'd give it a free plug, but(t) plugs are another joke altogether.

Okay, I'll say it: Astroglide.

"And the story, which you've probably heard by now, was even funnier. They were working on a device that would recycle urine. Apparently, the "urine processor shut down after operating less than three hours.""

Former child star Gary Coleman said, "After a few hours I realized that there are just some jobs that are beneath a man's dignity. Even in this economy."

Any other celebrity has-been will do. I picked Coleman for size and storage concerns. He doesn't take up much space, even in space.

:)

Nov. 27, 2008

The Coleman one was okay. But Astroglide. Awesome! I should've known I could count on you for an LOL.

Nov. 27, 2008

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