First date nightmares online dating
* * * y first cruise performance, the “welcome aboard” show in front of about 200 very drunk Texans, was discouraging.
As I went into my opening joke about being from New York, someone yelled, “Pussy!
If Saul and Esther liked you, then, like a tuna sandwich with low-sodium mayo, you would be considered palatable fare for the passengers. Port’s left.” I scribbled it all down on my nautical crash-course cheat sheet. The beauty of comedy is that there are essentially no rules besides showing up, being funny, doing your time, and not getting the club staff pregnant.
The crowd was ornery, and each act struggled through their shouting of phrases like “speak up! JR led me to my cabin, which was down a narrow hallway behind a bank of elevators. But on Circus Cruises there were rules about what performers could wear (pressed dress-casual with additional options for “elegant night”), where performers could eat (the crew’s mess hall), and how to appropriately interact with passengers (no sleeping around – one of the few I didn’t have to adjust to).
Single.” Even though following that guy was like following Springsteen in Jersey, I managed to book one gig. “I guess I’m gon’ be your orientation.” “Where’s the venue? It was also freezing, with no way to turn down the air conditioner. My act had to be completely rearranged into three different half hours, one child-friendly, each one repeated once, plus a different “welcome aboard” show, not to be repeated.
It was with a cruise line that, as a professional courtesy, I’ll call “Circus Cruises.” It had the collective ambience of a floating Red Lobster. I flew into Texas where the ship, headed to Mexico, would be taking off. My act is essentially a low-budget indie film about my life in New York with neighborhood characters like “heroin dude” and “check-cashing place lady with beard eating an LGBTBLT.” I’d also been warned that if passengers complained about a performer, that performer could be helicoptered off of the ship. Cruise ships are one of the last refuges for veteran comedians to make a living doing what they do.
As the trip continued, I decided to mine the new world around me for material. The ship was absolutely mammoth – it had to be to accommodate the almost-4,000, many borderline-obese passengers, scooters whizzing by each other like pickup trucks – who consumed everything in their paths, edible and alcoholic.It was a symphony of shit-faced-ness, beet-red behemoths staggering and scooting from buffet to casino to bar, cabin to cabaret, then line-dancing back to buffet.It was as if I was watching an anti-American propaganda video.A few days into the trip, JR informed me of the unfortunate fate of a certain Yiddish-singing piano player.It wasn’t clear whether this had happened on our ship or another one, but it was back to the Catskills for this guy.
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On one tape they saw the piano player throwing the paddles overboard at around midnight. Then, during the later shows I figured I’d try letting it all hang out a bit more. Jameson, please report to the front office or make yourself known to a crewmember…” I went back to sleep.