In The Closet (Adventures In Podcuddling)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
One of the more common questions I get asked is: Are comedians a supportive community, or are they just a bunch of selfish, drunk, stoned idiots who have nothing better to do with their time than sit around and bitch about other comedians behind their backs?
Um, both. Duh...
I mean seriously folks, does it need to be one rather than the other? Of course comedians can be bitchy about each other, but that shouldn’t really surprise anyone. Comedians are Professional Bitches. (As opposed to Comedians are Professional, Bitches... which is a completely different sentence. Ah the power of the comma.)
But I digress.
Comics are bitchy for a living. You need bitching skillz to pay the billz. (Yes I am the whitest man on earth. And possibly overusing parenthesis this early in my blog.)
If you don’t believe comedians have the itch to bitch, check out this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvHXzP2SpLA Ah Mr Gervais, your balls are so huge there are currently NASA astronauts orbiting the planet looking down and saying: “Wow, those are some massive testicles!”
Anyhoo, bitching about celebrities, politicians or the remarkably inconsistent quality of food served on airlines is what puts hopefully a better quality food on the table at home. So it’s no surprise that in their spare time they might use some of those finely honed bitchy powers to amuse each other.
I have sat at tables with other comics literally wetting my pants beneath the slanderous Algonquin round-table. And not just with laughter, often because I don’t want to leave the table to go to the bathroom lest I be the next one in the line of fire.
That said, when the shit hits the fan (literally sometimes if Micky D is involved) there is no better bunch of men and women to be around.
The recent floods in Australia was a great example.
I’ve been living in America during the last three months, so have had to watch the tragedy unfold from a distance, which is always an eerie feeling. But the thing that has made me feel so connected is following my fellow comics online.
On Twitter comics like Meshel Laurie (@Meshel_Laurie) have been tireless keeping the people in Brisbane in touch with what is going on- everything from emergency services to clean undies- and right around the nation benefits have been organised and auction items donated.
That’s something I have always really dug about the comedy community, charity gigs are not the exception, they are the norm. Everyone does them. Everybody tries to make time for them. Even young comedians who sometimes don’t have that much themselves are happy to put their hands up.
Sometimes I have seen the look on the face of the charity representative when the cheque is handed over, and their eyes are saying: “Um, maybe you should keep this, you look like you need it more than we do!”
Even here in the USA the Aussie comedy community has got together to do their bit.
Eddie Ifft, who I am sure a lot of you know, a very funny US comedian who spends a lot of time in Australia (http://www.facebook.com/eddieifft) is rallying all the Australian comics who are here to get together for a night to raise some funds for those back home. At this stage it looks like it will be at the Hollywood Improv on January 29, but I will let everyone know the line-up and details when I know them.
Which finally brings me to what I really wanted to talk about today: How I found myself in a closet, surrounded by ladies shoes, being shouted at by two men... in other words a podcast called Walking The Room.
Now if you aren’t familiar with Walking The Room it is a hilarious podcast by US comedians Greg Behrendt (@Rippedlikejesus) and Dave Anthony (@daveanthony).
(If you aren’t familiar with podcasts it’s like a radio show you download from the internet and you can say clever things like “fuck” without getting in trouble or having to then throw to the new one from Nickelback. If you aren’t familiar with the internet then you are probably not reading this so I may be over-explaining.)
So how I did find myself in the closet? (Make up your own jokes here folks, I have provided all the ingredients here you need.)
Well a couple of months ago while Charlie and I were recording our podcast TOFOP (30 Odd Foot Of Pod) http://tofop.libsyn.com/ one of our listeners put us onto Walking The Room as a podcast we might like. We liked it so much it became our sister podcast. (If our sister lived in America and was even dirtier and louder than us, and to be honest put it out there a bit.)
So when I came to do some shows in the USA, Greg and Dave were kind enough to extend the arms of the international comedy community to invite me into the cupboard for a podcuddle. And what an amazing experience...
While Charlie and I tend to record our podcast in the spare room of his house complete with dog wandering in and out, Dave and Greg record in a walk-in closet, filled with fancy duds, that looks less like the gateway to Narnia and more like the gateway to Armania.
It’s a stunning location for what is essentially a recording of shouted obscenities. The juxtaposition is perfect. Kind of like finding Kevin Bloody Wilson inside your wedding cake. If you want to listen to what actually happened you can find it here: http://walkingtheroom.libsyn.com/
So I think I have banged on for long enough, thanks to Greg and Dave for the cuddle... and yes, for the record when we were done we did sit around and bitch about other comedians for a while.