Posts tagged 'The early years of pursuing stand-up' (4)

Environment he performed in during his first few years

It was at the end of the show after the other comedians were done. The audience was walking out. It was not an easy atmosphere. But I figured: I'm going to learn something every time I get on stage.


I didn’t want to offend people in the crowd because I was afraid to get heckled. Also I wanted to make sure that I knew how to make a joke before I started talking the way I really talked.
Comedy is the weirdest thing in the world. You can’t practice it in your bedroom. You can’t explain timing. You can’t explain any of it. But it was the late, great Patrice O’Neal who said to me back then, “Dude, that’s not you up there.” I was like, “I know, I know.” Then all of the sudden I started telling my real stories and talking the way I really talked and people were saying, “What is he doing? He’s blowing it.” Twenty-six years later …
I was doing five, six open-mics a night, grinding it out, and then I did a show one night and got noticed by one Amy Schumer. I bombed, but she goes ‘hey, I liked that one joke you had, do you want to open for me at the Atlanta Punchline?’ And I was like ‘Oh my God, I’ve never been on the road or opened for somebody.’ She asked if I had about 30 minutes of material, and I said ‘sure’—meanwhile I had about eight, and the eight wasn’t good. But I said yes to it, and then I started thinking about it and I was like ‘I don’t know this girl, do I have to hang out with her? I don’t have thirty minutes of comedy.’ I wussed out and called her and told her I couldn’t do it because my parents were com...