Let's be frank.

People amaze me. People baffle me. They embarrass me. Impress me. Delight and depress me. People can be demanding, selfish and stupid; and the next day: patient, generous and, well, still stupid, but that innocent, lovable kind of stupid. I'm inspired by [and envious of] the intelligence some people possess. I'm disappointed by the glut of self-absorption that seems to spread and linger like some dreadfully cliched STD I can't recall at the moment, but it's on the tip of my lips.  I can easily turn this into a bullet list of negative human qualities, but I'd like to concentrate on one in particular: insincerity.

I was on the road recently, and the other comedian wanted to go to a strip club. No, thanks. What can I say, I'm not your typical male. I never got into sports, buffalo wings or date rape. [Hmm, should I ask the girl behind me if "date rape" is hyphenated? Probably not.] Anyhoo, I've been to about three strip clubs in my lifetime, and it wasn't until now that I delved into why I dislike them so much. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't appreciate naked, coked-up 'nursing students' or 8-dollar Miller Lites, it's the insincerity I can't tolerate. 

In high school, I was dorky and invisible to women. Fine. I get it now. Confidence is sexy, and I had about as much as Dennis Franz in a Speedo. [zing! take that, Sipowicz, you bloated, out-of-date reference!] So by default, any attention I receive from a pretty gal today may be somewhat inexplicable in my skewed self-perception, but it's welcome and long overdue...with one caveat: said attention must be genuine. Paying a woman to pretend she's into me is like having the teacher's edition of a math book. It's cheating. You gots ta earn the privilege to sneak a peak at those 8008s --that's upside-down-calculator-speak for BOOBS. Technical jargon. Just forget it.

What I find most appalling is how insincerity is easily recognized, but overlooked and even accepted in our society.  Politics especially. Does it not bother anyone that politicians hire speechwriters? It's widely believed that they just tell us what we want to hear to get our votes, and still, we allow and enable their hollow promise-making. Either that, or the general public is easier to dupe than Dane Cook fans.

Recently, in an effort to offset the annoyance of long lines, my bank put out Otis Jizzmeyer's cookies and hired "greeters." Sugar topped with syrup. More tellers would be nice, but that would be too costly and logical. Now, as much as I adore good manners, I'd rather be politely ignored than to search the room for the two faces who shouted the bouncy-but-disingenuous welcome. I just don't buy it when affability has an agenda. 

Furthermore, my banker, Angela, told me how cute my shirt was--which is only funny if you know sign language, and even then, certainly not cute--and I asked if she knew what it meant. Sheepishly, she told me she did not. Well then, Angie...shut your fucking mouth. Anyone who knows me knows I would never say that. But thanks to my choice of wardrobe, I didn't have to.

The ability to be abrupt is a human quality we all covet, but seldom practice. It's why we secretly revere t.v. characters like House or Dr. Cox from Scrubs. We don't just love them for being witty pricks, we admire how they bitch-slap the elephant in the room and stomp on eggshells. Too bad more real people weren't like this...we're running low on social messiahs. 

Insincerity is a lie in disguise, and we play the game despite our instinctual reluctance. No one wants to be lied to, but no one likes the truth either.  I think about how much further along in life we'd all be if we simply said what we meant and meant what we said.  In the decade I've been doing comedy, I should have colon cancer from all the smoke blown up my ass, and yet, I persist. I've pissed away years of my life in relationships either stringing girls along or getting tripped up by girls who did the same to me.

We waste so much time being misleading, deceptive or phony.  So pretty please, with unpopped cherries on top: let's all be frank. Sincerely.

p.s. the insecure voice in my head asked me to clarify that I do not have herpes. Repeating: Mario does not have herpes. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends know people with herpes. [a nod to Doug C.]

p.s.s. Doug C. does not have herpes.


Gas Money

(this occurred a while ago, but i never posted it.)

Well, it was bound to happen. I've heard that some headliners won't let the feature sell his/her merchandise after the show, but it's never happened in the nearly three years I've been on the road...until now.

Why do some headliners seem to forget how tough it was making ends meet as a feature act? The best analogy I can come up with is the waitress with the asshole manager: she gets promoted, then quickly (or conveniently) forgets what it was like to be a waitress with an asshole manager. It's a low-rent power trip thing.

For those who don't know, the average pay for a "middle" or "feature" act is roughly $500 a week. Some clubs pay more, some actually pay less. Not so bad, you say? Well, factor in gas, food and possibly a hotel on the off nights, and you might come home with $150. Merchandise has allowed me to make comedy a fulltime gig, and I'd like to think I give people a high-quality, well-packaged item. I'm also not a high-pressure salesman after a show. I figure if they want the books, they'll find me. And HUGE hugs and hickies to those who have found me in the past.

I'll now address the inane arguments from headliners that other features have shared with me:

1) "I lose sales when the feature also peddles his merch." You greedy, insecure fucks. How does your need for extra cash trump mine? You're already making AT LEAST TWICE as much money as the middle act. Besides, most folks in the crowd will forget the feature act by the end of your set...that is, if you've done your job properly. I've never had an HL tell me at the end of the week that he made half as much as usual in merch sales thanks to me. Never. In fact, most people who DO buy stuff, buy stuff from both of us.

2) "Hey man, it happened to me when I was a feature. Deal with it." Priceless logic. I certainly hope you weren't molested as a child. I'll defer back to the waiter/manager comparison. Since you KNOW how much it sucks, and how unfair it is, why the hell would you treat someone the same way? And besides, I'm guessing when most HL's who pull this shit were feature acts, gas wasn't $3.00 a gallon and clubs paid the middles twice as much as we get today.

3) "I don't want it to look like a flea market in the lobby." You know, I understand this to a degree, especially if the feature act is trying to sell a self-burned CD with no label or proper packaging --sorry guys. a lot of my buddies do this and I really don't think it's fair to the folks who are paying for it...especially since (most) paid a cover to get in and bought two drinks, then reached DEEPER into their pockets to support the comics by purchasing product. Don't sell 'em crap.-- BUT, the alleged "flea market" argument is a simple fix: features, set your shit up further away from the headliner...and common courtesy dictates you give the HL the better real estate. Oh yeah, I've also worked with plenty of HL's who charge $20 bucks for a homemade CD. So not cool.

4) "It's my show, motherfucker." This is the bullshit reason I got tonight. And surprise, surprise, she (yes, she) is one of those headliners who has never "made it." Guess what, no one knows who the fuck you are--and with just reason--they came out blindly to a comedy club. It's not YOUR show, it's OUR show. And even if you are the reason people came out, they're going to buy whatever you're selling because they are loyal and ardent fans.


Funny, too, it always seems to be the pandering, hacky, no-name veteran comics who kick up a stink (according to other features who've experienced it). I will, however, give proper thanks to the following headliners for being decent human beings, in no order whatsoever: Clinton Jackson; Tammy Pescatelli; Mitch Hedberg; Al Madrigal; Chad Daniels; Rick Gutierrez; Josh Blue; Johnny Sanchez; Slade Ham; Kevin Naughton; Greg Fitzsimmons; Michael Winslow; David Allen Grier; Robert Mac; Pete Johanssen; Andy Campbell; John Bush; John Morgan; Kevin Downey Jr.; Bob Zany; Ron Shock; Rob Little and yes, even Pauly Shore.

I'd like to hear about other headliners who've been cool...hit me up in private if you want to trash someone, though...i'm not trying to start a hate-thread despite my words, here.

I'd also like to mention that management here had nothing to do with the decision. In fact, they sympathize with my circumstances. It's just too bad that it's not their decision to make.

Soooo, the big question is, who in world am I working with this week? Who could possibly be such a solipsistic cunt? (five points for stringing those two words together). Well, like I said, I ain't naming names.

I suppose the only real solution is for me to hurry up and start headlining more clubs.

Christ I'm pissed off. Does anyone have any weed?

fuck, fuck, FUCK..........mario

Why Last Comic Standing is a Joke

I'm not easily offended, but Last Comic Standing has been sincerely pissing me off for the past six seasons. This one, however, takes the bacon. Nothing but amateurs doing their "impression" of comedy. My question is: Who will be...The Last. Person. Watching.

I'm fortunate enough to call myself a working comedian and I've always thought LCS does an immense disservice to comedy/comics everywhere. i only tried out for the second season, but figured out quickly that the "funny white guy" quota gets filled up in a hurry. like many viewers have already guessed, they cast this thing like a Benniton ad, and has very little to do with talent.

I watch the show because it's my profession, and it's frustrating as fuck to see my friends get passed over for the hot chick with 4 mediocre minutes or the Dane Cook wannabe who's all frosting and no cake.

This show should be for guys/gals who are ALREADY headlining full time, but could use some national exposure.

I've worked with nearly all of the genuinely funny comedians you've seen on LCS. Most are strong, competent headliners that no one really knows about...Robert Mac; John Evans; Robert Hawkins; Dale Jones; Dan Naturman; Jimmy Pardo; Doug Benson; Chad Daniels; etc etc. I implore all of you to go out and see any of these headliners if they come through your town...unlike the contestants who've made it through, these folks will NOT disappoint you. and though i've never worked with them: Andi Smith; Erin Foley and Mary Mack are very left of center and very funny.

Here's the thing: when you watch American Idol (if you watch it), contestants get to show off their pipes to those three judges with no live audience, and it works to a degree...same with dancing or being a musician: if you're at least decent, it's easy to tell....comedy, on the other hand, NEEDS to be in front of a live audience. you can't tell if someone is genuinely funny in a 2-minute audition in front of two show producers.

I'd like to think people are comedy-savvy at this point in time (a mistake to think that?). this is not 1989. all these folks in the top ten are doing "impressions" of what they think comedy is. it's like when someone does an impression of Bush or Christopher Walken or DeNiro (super fresh!)...they're actually doing impressions of impressionists they've seen on SNL or somewhere.

I sooo want comedy to become cool again, and the potential is there. But as long as LCS keeps pushing these unskilled, bland, pedestrian "comics" on the public, i can't blame ANYone for choosing a movie or lawn-bowling over live stand-up. it breaks my heart, it does.

ugh. this show got everything wrong. everything.

{p.s. The current season, 2010, is a HUGE improvement.}

Queerly Beloved

Dear hypocritical, close-minded, ass-holier-than-thou conservative fucks,

I want you to think of the most horrific people in history: Hitler, Ted Bundy, Bin Laden, Puck from the Real World. What do they all have in common? All products of straight marriages. I think its time we give My Two Dads a shot.

I would now like to counter every argument I've heard in favor of banning gay marriage, because not one has a leg to stand on.

1) "Gays getting married will spoil the sanctity of marriage." This is my favorite one. Does everyone conveniently forget that us heteros continue to make a mockery out of marriage? Divorce rates are higher then ever; there are 24-hour wedding chapels in Vegas; Elected officials have countless bouts with infidelity; Jackass celebrities get hitched for a week; Who wants to marry a millionaire? Some gold-digging whore, thats who. Face it, marriage is laughable in this country, and its not showing any signs of improvement.

2) "Children need both a mother and a father" You're right, it would be much healthier for a child to grow up with potentially one or two unloving or abusive parents, so long as they're not a pair of turd-burglars or donut-bumpers. And for those ignorant, bible-thumping dipshits who believe that being gay is a choice, tell me, at what age did you decide to be straight? Was it like a Pepsi challenge at puberty? "Hmm, Im gonna go with vagina." The same God you praise and worship blindly created homosexuals. Are you suggesting that the Almighty One fucked up? And let's explore why He would create such an abomination of a human being? For starters, how about population control? To pick up the slack for all of the irresponsible heterosexuals who keep popping out kids like illegitimate Pez dispensers. Just so we're clear, a few hundred thousand straight folks abandon their children for whatever reason, and gay couples want to adopt them and provide a loving home? My mistake, those faggots are evil. Evil, I tells ya! Against abortion? Then you should embrace the idea of gay marriage, because gay couples can't have kids on accident.

3) "Homosexuality is a sin, says so in the Bah-bull" Ah, yes, the Bible. That book written by equally homophobic men. MEN, not God. And written at a time when no one understood homosexuality. You know what else is a sin? Tea-bagging altar boys while proclaiming to be a "Man of God". That must be part of the ass-rape-and-don't-tell policy in the New, New Testament.

4) "You let the gays git married, you open the doors fer people marrying their pets." Wow, I had no idea that homosexuality was a gateway to bestiality. I can't believe people are this stupid. This is the America that embarrasses me. Last time I checked, my homosexual friends were human beings who want to love and marry other human beings. Do you know who wants to marry a goat or a toaster? The insane. Mental midgets. And I'd be willing to wager that they're all straight.

Now if you'll all pardon me, Oscar and I have a honeymoon to plan.

hugs and hickies,

Hello Chumps and Crumpets...

This is my blog.

I'm a comedian, author, screen-printer. And I can play "Me So Horny" on the piano.

I'm a big fan of fragment sentences. Love 'em. Can't get enough.

Regarding this blog: There are times when I write material that may be too verbose for the stage; or only funny when read, not heard. Odd how that works. I also prefer to keep my opinions in a less confrontational atmosphere. Sometimes yous guys just wanna hear comedy at a comedy club. Go figure. So I keep it on the page, not the stage...or as i like to put it: I leave my gripes in written form, not on the large surface I stand upon while performing.

I'm not left or right or red or blue. I'm a nothing who just wants everyone on the same playing field. Common courtesy is my religion and I don't offend easily. I love the mundane and all it's minutiae. I also enjoy moonlit walks in the moonlight of the moon. I'm allergic to cats, pollen and assholes and have a crush on Joanna Newsom.

Please to enjoy my half-assed musings and mutterings.

hugs and hickeys,