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    Saturday, January 19, 2013

    By Lisa Harmon

    Comedians, come on! Who is better than us??? I love comedians! I love ANYONE that has the guts and brains to question authority and then tell authority to go fuck itself. Come on! That's the fucking definition of being American.*


    I've met some comics, you know the ones higher up on the food chain. Mostly they are pretty cool except for one HUGE JERK but keep reading and you'll find out who.

    I met Jim Gaffigan and Rich Vos but they don't count, because when I got started, nobody knew who they were either.

    Henny Youngman – talk about kicking it old school. If you doubt my comedic integrity let me ask you this:  How many teenagers said this sentence “Ma, Henny Youngman is playing Queens College and I'd like to go.”? I'm pretty sure I was the only one.  We met him afterward when he autographed a book of one-liners for me. I have no idea whatever happened to that book. It was hilarious.

    Susie Essman – Met her at a club and she was unbelievably nice despite the fact they were announcing her name when I said hi to her backstage.

    I met Colin Quinn. He was easy to meet because at the time, he was at the Comedy Cellar a lot. I had seen him there before. One afternoon my Mom and I were having lunch there. My Mom was facing the back (where the comics hang out) and she said “There's Colin Quinn!” And she bolted. She's very agile and stealthy when she wants to be. She literally dragged Colin Quinn to our table and commanded him to “Tell my daughter how to be a comic!”

    Poor Colin Quinn, he must be the nicest guy in the world. He looked at his feet and started telling me his ideas on becoming a successful comedian. How much do you love that? He's too nice! Too nice! Someday he may meet someone crazier than my Mom.  Be careful Colin Quinn!

    Caroline Rhea – she was so kind as to pose for a picture with us comics and told us to stick with it and not give up! So nice, and it never hurts to hear that advice, especially from a successful comic.

    David Letterman – yes, I met him. Because my open mic is right up the block! I babbled like a dope. He asked me my name and then kissed my hand. It's been love ever since but he won't return my calls. Was I disappointed he wasn't snarky? No. I thought I would be, but I wasn't. Also, I think there is a female hormone that makes you fall in love with anyone that kisses your hand.

    Gabriel Iglesias (Fluffy) Met him twice! How hilarious is he? I love him so much! A total sweetheart – he's a sincere and decent guy! Totally think he's amazing – so funny and not mean! I wish I was funny and not mean, but I'm just too mean.

    Jeff Ross – I met him at a comedy club party. I had just seen the special about his trip to entertain the troops, so I was in even more awe of him than usual. I used some advice an old boss gave me once: “Lisa, if you want to be an asshole, just be an asshole.” This was my moment to be an asshole! I marched right up to him and flattered him and demanded he take a picture with me (it didn't come out). He's funny and he does good deeds, and he was very, very nice to me.

    Elayne Boosler & Michele Balan – I got to meet them by stalking them at a club. Both hilarious comedians and beautiful people. Both ladies were extremely kind and gracious to me.  I loved the stories they told about working as comics.

    Jackie Mason – yes he's still alive! He was SO NICE! I met him at a restaurant in Queens. He signed an autograph and said “You're a comic! God bless you!” Or it could have been “God help you!” I'm not sure.

    Tommy Davidson – I stalked him at a show. Hilarious as always and a gracious guy.

    Chris Rock – bingo! Dick time. Chris Rock was at the bottom of the stairs. I was walking down. I smiled. I said, “Chris, are you going on?” He tsked me, and turned his head away, in apparent disgust. It's OK, I'm thick-skinned. I'm a comic. I told my husband about it. He said “What kind of guy doesn't want to talk to a pretty girl?” That's the day Chris Rock reminded me why I'm the luckiest comedian in the world.

  2. 8 comments:

    1. You met David Letterman and he kissed your hand!!! That is so crazy! I'm so jealous!!

    2. Enjoyed reading this. Impressed by your mom! I find that comics, like all groups, vary. I don't love or hate them. It's an individual thing for me. Rodney Dangerfield gave me his autograph when I was a teen. Damon Wayans ruined a night out to celebrate my friend's birthday. He used the audience as a therapist, and it was so selfish. He was angry during his divorce and I guess wanted us to hate his wife. By the end, I wanted to send her a congrats card for escaping while young enough to have a life, and my friend was so turned off to comedy for quite a while that he couldn't even listen to a comedy DVD he got for his birthday. Our other friend spoke with a waitress in the ladies' room who thanked my friend for not leaving. She said he's been coming in drunk and angry and emptying the room with his "comedy." So I could not lump Wayans in with Michele Balan, for example. They both could afford therapy; one couldn't admit the need for it. I told my friend that we should be grateful none of us were married to him.

    3. Anonymous said...

      Mindy there is nothing worse than watching a comic that is just plain angry and going on and on like a broken record. They get dumped and it is all they can talk about it, and they can't make it funny yet. I know it hurts but they should stay off the stage until they get it together.

      And Julia, yes he did kiss my hand, and I nearly passed out on the spot.

    4. I didn't mean to imply Michele needed therapy. I meant we wouldn't know because she has the maturity not to confuse the audience with a therapist.

    5. We were writing comments at the same time. Yes, time is needed before pain can have a shot at becoming funny. As an audience member or just as a human being, I don't like to feel used. I really like Michele Balan, by the way.

    6. Anonymous said...

      Every time I've seen Michele she's blown the roof off the dump (to borrow a phrase from Letterman). Michele Balan is great and a pro. I don't think something like that would happen at her show! But I do love comics in general because they're not sheep. I like smart-asses because they don't drink the Kool-Aid. They call out lies and hypocrisy and that's why I love them. There are still going to be jerks in our community but I find them to be the exception, not the rule. I hope this continues even if I get more successful.

    7. Spleen said...

      Love this. That's why Jessica Kirson means the world to me -- she is so supportive and sweet and helps out newer comics all the time. And Colin Quinn is not the funniest guy I've seen onstage, but he has a very kind heart, and is beloved by many comics. I am frankly surprised at Chris Rock - that bums me out. Maybe it was just a shitty day. That's why the movie Funny People is so good -- it touches on the life of a famous comic, and struggling comics. Great post, sweetie.

    8. Anonymous said...

      Thanks Helene, maybe you're right about him having a bad day. Jessica Kirson has always been fantastic to me too. I will check out Funny People. I haven't seen it yet. Thanks for the comment!

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