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  1. Vulgar Comedy By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Sometimes I can't tell if I'm pro-active or just foolish.

    Like attempting to comply with the directive of a comedy room booker, who was in diapers when I headlined NYC showcase clubs. My mission: get 3 people who worked at (will remain) Nameless Club to vouch for me, before she'd even look at my video.

    Feeling very get-things-done, I checked Nameless Club's website & saw a familiar moniker. I asked (will remain) Nameless Sister Comic for a simple recommendation. Her response was, Nameless Club was pretty shitty & I really didn't want to work there.

    What kept my reply from flying out of my mouth? It certainly was pounding loud enough in my head.

    "I'm on the comeback trail & need to work out material. Yes I do want to work in that shitty club, I really, really do!" 

    I'll send up a fart-fueled multi-colored flare if I can coerce 2 other "regulars" at Nameless Club to vouch for me, so stay tuned for fire works. 

    Last week I was confused by a friend's question about The Divorced Divas of Comedy Valentine's Day Show, which I headlined and BTW, was most capably produced by Mindy Matijasevic, Tuesday's She So Funny.

    Nameless Friend asked me if there would be vulgar language. She was bringing guests who were concerned. I was stymied, baffeled, perplexed... I didn't know what the fuck to say.

    Was it the coughing/achy Nyquil-resistant, almost-flu-like thing that held me in grippe; or that it touched a sore spot from my past?

    I loved the good money I made back in the day being a comedy queen in the

    I worked every week either headlining or opening for national music acts in every hotel and bungalow colony in the

    I loved the whole old-time show business history of "the mountains". The clientle had seen every big name & industry wanna-be to travel Route 17.
    What I did not like was the ever-present threat of "reports".  Every performance for this retirement- bound audience was monitered for content and ranked by the number of people who, in boredom or offended outrage, walked out.

    Catskills Competitive Conversation was a major sport with two catagories:

    1) Progeny's Triupmhant Accomplishments
    2) Major Entertainers Walked Out On.

    Mega-Successful Specialty Practice of My Son The Lawyer / Doctor certainly caused Competitive Conversation envy, but nothing shattered dining room chatter like dropping a We Walked Out On trump name; like Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield or
    Jerry Lewis

    For years my Schvartze Married to a Jew routine kept my income / laugh numbers high & my showroom walk-out numbers low. Rumors of door-bound stampedes, when Joan Rivers uttered "damn" or "fuck" even once during an undeniably hilarious performance, kept me in check.

    What could possibly derail my reign as a Catskill Comedy Queen? The impending death of the area as a vacation destination? My conflict-riddled personal life? No, it was my desire to be vulgar on stage, i.e., suggestive, ribald, risque, indelicate, saucy, adult. Talk straight from my heart about personal, social or political issues. I had self-censored myself into a creatively-depressed space with no room for improv flights of fancy.

    Here's a secret joy in what we comics do. Saying a line for the first time or going with an in-the-moment improv can be the adrenaline-sparked birth of a new stand-up bit or a lead-lined eclipse of preceding laughs, leaving cricket-punctuated silence.

    I (almost) never say anything on stage just to shock. There are plenty who lead with that, do very well & I'm not hatin'. I frequently enjoy them, but it's not my schtick. Truth is, when I'm on the mic & in the light, I never know what new combination of words will evoke riotous laughter, guffaws or groans. Hell, no comic is 100% certain how even tried & true lines will hit any particular audience.

    My Nyquil mind numb wore off. I realized my only response.

     "Would there be vulgar language?"
     "I've never seen the acts of the 3 others on the bill." 

    Did I equivocate? Got damn right! When it comes to 3 additional tickets being sold or not, I'm guilty! I went with the truth. I HAD NOT seen the acts of the comics on the bill & was responsible only for my own words.

    BTW, the Divorced Divas of Comedy show was a rousing success.  My Nameless Friend, her guests & what seemed the entire audience, were full of after show superlatives. As for me, I had a great time being a common fool, straight from my heart .

    Rhonda Hansome is an actor, writer, director & comedian. She loves working out at Broadway Comedy Club. Get your tickets HERE to see her Thursday, April 23rd in the Westchester Comedy Festival!

  2. 3 comments:

    1. wow about the language. what you wrote will help me when I'm suggested to by certain people to not use curses. I was actually once asked not to curse or make any sexual references. I couldn't believe it. I have no jokes about soup or sewing or gum-chewing. Your phrase 'creatively depressed space' really says it.

    2. loislane911 said...

      GREAT POST!!! One person's shitty club is another person's treasured comedy gym. As an ex-road-comic the one thing I truly miss is the freedom to say whatever I wanted while hanging-out on the road (*this does not apply to Bungalow Colonies or Cruise Ships where they watch and judge you with the intensity of Gladys Kravitz from "Bewitched."). I'm talking about comedy clubs in the boondocks and colleges - it was a Comedic License, a Comedy Passport. Some folks would invite me for dinner or join me at the comedy condo - and I could make shocking comments or lewd insults -- and these would be appreciated as though they were really funny jokes, (they weren't). Not saying I'm proud of doing this... but it was fun (goddess forgive me). My passport has expired.

    3. DeeWorks said...

      Absolutely brilliant! Dammit 😱😷 Let's Go Ya'll!!!!!™

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