I’ve been doing comedy for a while now. I’m not going to tell you how long because then you’re brain will go, “Wow, Mikey. That long and still not a celebrity?” So I’m doing you a favor because I wouldn’t want you to have a black heart on Black Friday, while you read this waiting in line to get 40% off a digital camera. Let’s just say, I’ve been doing it a while. And yes, I still love it.
In fact, I’ve managed to learn how to maneuver an audience pretty well. Except for lesbians. I don’t know why, but when they gather in a room together, they only mildly like me. I have my team working on cracking that formula.
This past week I had a new hurdle in my quest to be a comedian for all occasions. A child. Due to the needs of my siblings to form small clans, I have had ample experience with the youth. Yes, I realize I sound like an old man when I say “the youth.” What I realized early on was that, sad as it may be, presents = impressions. So I became a master gift giver. From treasure boxes of fun to baby’s first cash-filled wallet to a remote controlled car specifically made for little girls (that’s a prime one by the way).
Last week I used such a present to win the affection of a friend’s daughter. I should have broken out the present earlier because I was struggling. I had already deemed the present as not worthy anyway. It was simply a belty thing that attached to her wrist while the other end attached to a sippy cup to keep her from dropping it. I didn’t pick it out. It was one of a group of them my boss had asked me to donate to the nearest thrift stop. I thought, hey, why not give one to my new little pal.
She loved it. She loved it so much she’s worn it every day since. After a few minutes of enjoying her new sippy cup savior, she approached me with books. She wanted me to read her a story. Read? I speak a lot in public. I don’t necessarily read a lot in public. When you ask Joan Rivers who that guy was who spent a couple weeks fumbling over jokes and reading too fast in her Fashion Police writers’ room, she’ll say, “I don’t remember his name, but can someone please get him some speech therapy?”
Four other adults awaited my recanting of Dora the Explorer, because I’m on stage all the time, so this has to be good, right? Wrong. First of all, do you know how hard it is to slip a lube joke into a reading of Dora? Not to mention slightly inappropriate. The only one who was not anxiously giving me full attention was the child! And it was my fault. While I read through every cardboard page, she repeatedly lifted her sippy cup and dropped it to make sure the strap had kept it from hitting the floor. And lifted. And dropped. Lifted. Dropped. Again. And again.
I was dying on stage. For a few seconds I actually longed for the receptive ears of lesbians.
I powered through it. I finished the book, actually two books in one, tricky parents! As performers, we know that no matter how brutal, you finish your set.
The little one has no clue I even read her a story. She remembers I brought the magical device that keeps her cup from hitting the ground. Then it occurred to me. Gifts do cure everything. Even bad talent. Even Oprah didn’t do a solid show every time. The audience doesn’t remember her fucking up though. All they remember is that was the day they left the Oprah show with a BRAND NEW CAAAAAAAAAAAAAR.
love and sippy cups,