Last night my girlfriend roped me into going to a benefit comedy show for the dog shelter she volunteers for, an outfit called Mighty Mutts. I was persuaded mainly due to her promise to buy me dinner at Noodle Bar (if you’re ever in the West Village, go there. Seriously delicious pad thai and lo mein).
Wanting to have something material to show for my time at the show, I donated an extra ten dollars at the door and got a T-shirt. The guy at the door handed it to me in its plastic wrapper and joked, “the wrapper will cost you an extra dollar.”
Looking back, this should have indicated the standard of comedy I was in for.
Now, I know it may seem heartless to tear apart a BENEFIT comedy show, but I’m gonna do it anyway. They could have just had a benefit screening of Dumb and Dumber or some other movie with a marginal connection to dogs and I would have been happy. Instead, I was left fuming at the overabundance of self-pity and jokes about online dating and owning cats. It was just a procession of late thirty to early fortysomething women with low self esteem and access to a microphone.
Who was the only funny comedian? Predictably, the one guy in the lineup. Do I feel like a huge sexist for saying it? You bet. Am I now starting to sound like Donald Rumsfeld describing a terrorist threat? Possibly.
The guy was funny, though. He was really flamboyantly gay, recently had his arraignment for being arrested at Occupy Wall Street, and he told us a funny anecdote about fighting with lesbians at the Park Slope Co-Op when they ran out of kale. As a hardened three-month veteran of Park Slope, I could relate.
Anyway, the ladies who performed violated a couple of my rules for comedy, namely “Don’t feel sorry for yourself on stage,” “Maybe don’t make a joke about owning too many cats if the three comedians before you did,” and “Never, EVER, tell a joke about how you used to work in a vet’s office and put dogs down, in the process comparing the dogs’ ashes to a bagged lunch, to an audience at a benefit for a dog shelter.” We ended up leaving early after that last rule was violated. It was painful.
After the show my girlfriend also told me she’d been eavesdropping on the couple in front of us — an enormous, grey haired and impressively mustachioed man in a leather jacket and his equally biker-ish looking wife. After a joke about blow jobs, the wife leaned over and asked him, “I give the best ones, right?” to which he happily responded, “Oh yeah, best ones ever.” So I was left with that mental image for the rest of the night. Overall, it was a nice little Monday.