Archive | April, 2009

Oh! Canada!

6 Apr

So, our comedy tour went international at the last moment.  We left after our sets at the Edge Comedy Club in Chicago to head back to Boston.  The show was fun.  The room was really big, but the smallish crowd was seated very well, and they clearly came to laugh.  Shawn and I worked out some new material, which I think we both developed to a satisfying degree.  Hooray for writing!

Anyway, we hit the road, and the labor was split pretty evenly.  Shawn did the driving, and I napped and changed the music on my iPod every time I woke up.  At about 6am, Robot, our trusty GPS told us to take an exit on the right.  Strangely, that exit bore a sign labeled “BRIDGE TO CANADA,” which is funny because our GPS had never mentioned that we would be entering ANOTHER FLIPPING COUNTRY.  So we went, because we had to leave Michigan somehow.  The conversation we had at the border went like this (Imagine the Customs Agent with an intense Canadian accent.)

CA: What are you guys doing in Canada?

Us: Just driving back to Boston.

CA: Ookay.  Are you going to make any stops?

Us: Just for gas.

CA: Well, have fun.

We drove three hours through Ontario, passing many towns with dubiously high population counts and calculating our speed in kilometers.  Finally, we reached the border to our own country, where we sat in line for about 1/2 hour waiting at customs.  Then we had this conversation with the stoic US Customs agent:

CA: Citizenship?

Us (handing over licenses): United States.

CA: Do you boys have your birth certificates?

Us: Actually we didn’t know we were going to Canada.

CA: Well, did you figure it out?

Us: The Welcome to Canada sign and customs checkpoint were tip offs.

CA: What were you doing there?

Us: We’re comedians.  We were on tour in Chicago.

CA: Then tell me a joke.

Me: So a door-to-door salesman knocks on a door.  A 14 year old boy answers it.  The kid is wearing a cocktail dress and high heels.  He’s got a blonde wig on with full makeup.  In one hand he holds a cigarette, and in the other, a martini. The salesman, clearly flustered, asks the boy: “Uhh, son.  Is your mother home?”  “The fuck do you think?” the kid replies.  (Thanks Frank Santorelli)

CA (after five seconds of silence):  Oh, yeah.  I get it.  Well, good luck, boys.  I hope you make it.

Then a breezy 8 hour drive home!  Here we are!  Thanks for reading everyone.  I will continue to post about adventures here.  Thanks for all the love and support.

Josh (and Shawn)


Sweet, Home (After) Chicago

4 Apr

Oh boy.

Tonight is our last show of the trip.

(The Edge Comedy Club at 10:30pm)


Yesterday was lots of fun.  We ate actual snakes in the form of sausages at Hot Doug’s (thanks Tim Messenger for the recommend).

Then we went down to the Chicago Cultural Center to check out some art, and we saw “The Bean” at Millennium Park.  It’s a crazy reflective sculpture that probably causes more avian deaths than all of the world’s hunters combined.

We met up with Boston expatriates Joe and Jen for hangouts and beverages and (surprise) cupcakes and then hit the Lincoln Lodge for our show.  The crowd was mostly very cool, but some talky folks made things kind of wacky.  The other comics in Chicago are really great and funny, and the scene here is very supportive.  Here and Austin are the closest things we’ve found to the network of Boston Comedy.  Although I don’t know if they have their own softball league here.

We had burritos with an old college friend and kicked it at a late night bar before finding a Motel 6 for crashing.  Today we may pillow fight or riverboat gamble.  The world is our oyster.  An oyster potentially made of deep dish pizza or White Castle.

See you all soon!  (Or at least the part of all of you who live in Boston.)



3 Apr

Chicago is a strange and wondrous city.  Here are some of its charms and weirdnesses:

We arrived in the city and parked at a Starbucks for the purposes of internet-using. Upon leaving the coffee shop, we were waved to the side of the road by a police officer, who motioned for me to roll down the window.  Then he said: “You’re wearing your seatbelt.  Good.” And waved us along.

Secondly, in traffic news.  Last night on the way to the motel, a minivan pulled to the side of the road in front of us and rolled down its window.  We rolled down our window as well, mostly to say that we’re not jerks, but we don’t know our way around and can’t be helpful.  Then the guy (or lady), who had the kind of androgynous mullet found on alien abduction victims, gave the “You’re dead!” index finger drag across the neck.  That was creepy.  Fortunately s/he did not torture or murder us at all.

Our show last night at Lincoln Lodge was cancelled, which was a bummer, but our show there tonight is still on!  We hustled over to Iron Mic (a long-running open mike) near historic Wrigley Park.  The comics were fun to hang out with and watch.  It was a very Sally O’Briens-y vibe in that there were lots of comics who laughed at insidery stuff and were nice go guests and encouraged crazy people.  

We got to roam around on Lakeshore Drive for a few miles, which was nice.  It was like a big, sensible Storrow Drive.  Chicago is so huge.  I have literally no geographical understanding of it.  Today I hope to see museums and finally gamble on a riverboat and maybe sneak into Bill Burr’s show tonight with some friendly Chicago comics.

Wish us luck!

Pictures soon, I promise.

A Boy Named Sioux

2 Apr

Dear Friends/Family/Blog,

I am alive and well in Minneapolis.  Today we strike out for Chicago.  Here is why I did not blog yesterday:

On Tuesday, we found that I-90 was closed for a 120 mile stretch again.  Needing to get to Minneapolis by Wednesday night, we decided to take alternate highways and bypass the snow-covered route.  Unfortunately, other routes were equally caked with snow, and we spent several hours creeping along a treacherous road, we pulled off at a hotel at a reservation owned by the Crow Creek Sioux.

At the reservation convenience store, I was given free chicken tenders.  The clerk said: “Oh, just take these.  That way you can’t sue the cashier.”  Um…Jackpot.

Side note: The “reservations” that the government gave to the Indian tribes are pretty rough stuff, geographically.  It’s less “reservations” like you would make at a fancy restaurant and more like: “You want to live in South Dakota in the winter?  I have reservations about that.”

Main note: Last night we finally got to Minneapolis, and I got to do a spot at Acme Comedy Co. on a show headlined by Mary Mack, and it was ridiculously fun.  Every good thing anyone says about that club is true.  Mary was super gracious and very very funny.  Then Shawn and I did spots at a show called “Death Comedy Jam” at a bar called Grumpy’s.  It was also a good time.  Chris, the dude who runs it was great, and we’re supposed to swap road trip stories.

Hooray twin cities!


PS. We saw a bald eagle in Montana.