99% of the time I tell someone I’m a comedian, the first thing they say in response is, “Tell me a joke.”
99% of the people on this planet deserve a slap in the face.
In the words of my friend Zach Childers, “I’m not a jukebox” (and guess what Zach, when people Google your name, my blog will come up, and they’ll associate you with this trash. You got served! or Punked! or something!). But it’s true. I’m not a jukebox. I do not have a slot for which to stick quarters. True, you can stick quarters up there technically, but that’s not what it’s made for. It’s made for love…and poop…but I like to think more about the love part. And I don’t glow and whirl nor do I have shiny lights and a collection of CDs stored inside my person.
Let me repeat: I am not a jukebox.
But on a more figurative leve (yes, let’s get heavy here), I do not regurgitate “jokes.” I don’t do much stand-up in the first place, though I am getting re-involved in the art form once more. But even when I do stand-up, it isn’t one liners. Why do so many people think that comedians just tell one liners, when they know full well, having seen comedy, that that simply is not true. For me to “tell you a joke” means to go into an entire routine, one that could last as long as 10 minutes. My jokes are carefully calculated stories with set-ups and tags and turns and punchlines and other such comedy jargon (we have a secret handshake too!).
Also, when someone responds with, “Tell me a joke,” it’s as if they’re asking you to prove that you’re a comedian. Like you’re just saying that to get laid. As if being a comedian helps you get laid (it kind of does actually). Listen people, I need to prove nothing to you…NOTHING!. If you work at the GAP, do I ask you to fold clothes to prove it? If you work as an insurance adjuster, do I ask you to tell me when I’m going to die (actually yes, on this one, but that’s just because it’s such a cool party trick)?
The point is, I am not here to amuse you, unless I’m here to amuse you. And when I’m in your apartment, and we’re having a casual conversation before casual sex, there is no reason for me to be telling jokes. Got it? Comedy is serious stuff.
Now I’m off to dress like a woman, video tape it, and put it on the Internet.