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    Saturday, October 6, 2012

    By Lisa Harmon

    This week’s we’re discussing shows we’ve done with friends, family or coworkers in the audience, hence the theme “when worlds collide.” 

    Here is the worst thing that ever happened to me when my Mom was in the audience once (when worlds collided): 

    “Lisa, what is a fluffer?”  My Mom asked me after a comic said ‘fluffer” on stage.  It was very awkward for me and my Mom!

    Other than this once incident,  I don’t have anything else!  I really have never had any other negative repercussions from having family, friends and/or coworkers in the audience.  Thankfully all the people in the “other world” – the not-comedy world, are very supportive and have good senses of humor!

    Either way, I never worry about people coming to my shows.  Before I get onstage, I don’t really know what material I will be doing.  I just get up there and start talking.  I talk.  I listen.  Wherever we go, we go.  That is determined by the audience and me.  I don’t avoid certain jokes, I just go to the material that comes naturally out of the stuff we’re talking about.  I also usually find a place to stick in my new stuff, because that is my favorite stuff to do.

    I don’t know if other comics are concerned about who may be in the crowd, but maybe this just doesn’t bother me because of my background.

    A hundred years ago when I became a comedian, I somehow hooked up with this man who put me on these shows – in churches.  I had been a comic for just a few months.  Now I found myself having to do fifteen minutes, squeaky clean inside these church halls.  These audiences were comprised almost entirely of really old ladies plus and an old man or two and usually a priest thrown in.  And did I mention, we were in a CHURCH!?!?!

    We know the mantra – stagetime, stagetime, stagetime!  So I did it.  I performed for these church ladies for months!  I wrote a whole new set for these ladies!  I clearly could not do my regular act, which I had been doing mostly at Stand-Up New York.  It was not filthy but not clean enough and probably a little too hip for the church ladies.  I wrote a new act just for them that mostly centered around an argument over a Laverne & Shirley lunchbox.

    Did I mention I was killing at these things?  I was.  Plus I was getting paid $2 a performance!

    Since those days I’ve worked tons of clean shows and rooms and I’ve even done some kids shows, believe it or not! 

    So I really don’t care who is in the audience.  I do my act as clean or dirty as I feel the occasion warrants, and I generally get a good response.  I’ve never been accosted after a show and accused of being un-funny or worse, offensive.  I’m sure I have offended people but no one has ever gotten in my face about it. 

    But, if someone were to do that to me, I already know what I would say.  Because I have thought about it.  I know there have been times on stage when I have probably offended people.  I have said things sometimes that I regretted saying.  And I rake myself over the coals for things like that sometimes.  How could I say this?  How could I say that?  But you know what, here’s what I would say, and this is the truth:  It was a joke.  If I hurt your feelings I am sorry.  But I was just trying to be funny.

    I have always maintained that putting your foot in your mouth is an occupational hazard in this business.  We can’t let that stop us!  We are the last holdouts against hypocrisy, lies and misinformation, and that’s one of the most important jobs there is!

    Oh, and none of us should feel too bad about what we say onstage, because none of us could ever top that Miss Teen USA contestant.  Remember her?

  2. 3 comments:

    1. I confess. I had to google FLUFFER. For those who may not want to admit not knowing and not want to bother looking it up, here it is:

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      This article is about the pornographic film crew position. For other uses, see Fluffing (disambiguation).

      A fluffer is a person employed to keep an adult film star aroused on the set.[1] These duties, which do not necessarily involve touching the actors, are considered part of the makeup department. After setting up the desired angle, the director asks the actors to hold position and calls for the fluffer to "fluff" the actors for the shot. Fluffing could also entail sexual acts such as fellatio or non-penetrative sex.[2]

      In popular culture

      The 2001 film The Fluffer was about a film buff, with a crush on a porn star who is straight, for whom he wound up working as a fluffer in gay porn.[3] A 2003 release also entitled The Fluffer was a four-minute short comedy film.[4] It can work for both sexes as well.

      This usage, in pornography, as a hired member of the crew of a pornographic movie whose role on the set is to sexually arouse the male participants prior to the filming of scenes that require erections[5] became a more popular one as result of the film.[citation needed]

    2. Anonymous said...

      So you can see why its awkward, right? lol

    3. At the moment, yes. But after you told her, she was probably the hippest one in her circles, knowing all this stuff. lol

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