Tales of a Scumbag #25

Some Awful Gigs

When you start out at a stand up comedian, you are usually taking any type of gig that is offered to you. Bobby Lee told me that when I needed to get on stage as much as possible so that is exactly what I tried to do.

The thing with this is that comics go through some really awful gigs. Here are some terrible gigs I have done in my career so far:

Starbucks Gig

So my buddy and fellow comic, Walter Hong, calls me if I wanted to do a gig for a charity. I said sure why not. He tells me it is at a coffee house. I am thinking sure, I have done open mic nights before so that’s fine. Coffee houses suck because you hear espresso machines going off and registers slamming. Its not a good time.

Well I get to the gig and find out that its at a Starbucks. More specifically, the show is outside of a starbucks right underneath a fucking parasol. To add to that, the audience was a bunch of junior high kids. This was not gonna be a good gig. I can’t free tell dick jokes to a bunch of 12 year olds. I wanted to punch Walter right in the taint at this point. But I just sucked it up and did my set. Not a single smile. The Korean parents had no idea what the hell I was saying. The junior high kids were busy talking about their algebra homework amongst each other. I took that shit on the chin. One kid was trying to heckle. I had to shut that shit down but getting heckled by a 12 year old is excruciating.

Comedy at a Bar

There was a bar in Pomona that had a monthly comedy show. I was booked there once to feature and I did well. The next month they asked me to headline. I said sure why the fuck not. I get to the gig and I saw the weirdest mix of people ever. Half the crowd was a biker gang of some sort. The other half was a bunch of Mormons. You can definitely tell that they had different tastes in humor. The opener was pretty conservative and the Mormons seemed to like it but the biker gang looked like they were pissed for paying for cover. The feature was a bit on the crass side and the biker gang started getting into it. The Mormons, however, seemed to be shocked beyond belief. When it was finally my turn to hit the stage, I made a firm decision to take it dirty. The Mormons immediately were not feeling me as they were drinking their water. The biker gang seemed to be digging my set. Then I told a bit about having sex with pregnant women. The one dude that looked like ZZ top yelled out “That’s fucked up!” I can’t believe I shocked bunch of drunk biker dudes. But my smart mouth almost got me killed when I said, “Not as fucked up as when you fuck your sister in a trailer.” Thank god they were serving beer in plastic cups. I wrapped up my set after that and went straight to my car and drove home.

Sensitive Crowd

One of the worst gigs I have ever done wasn’t at a shitty bar or coffee house. It was at an actually comedy club. I was booked for this all black line up called Chocolate Sundaes. So after some comics go up. Mike Epps gets on stage and does about 30 minutes, he then introduces me as Danny Choo. Great…. I get on stage and the audience looks like they are pissed that a “Chinese Muthafucka” is on stage trying to do stand up. I started off just talking a lot of shit. I was pissed that Mike Epps botched the intro. I was pissed that the audience already turned on me because I was asian. I said fuck it and started shitting on black folks. I said that every time I see Comic View on BET there are black comics making Ching Chong jokes so I figured to let em know what it feels like. I heard one guy say “this muthafucka is crazy”. Instead of backing down from this already hostile crowd, I kept on bringing it. I figure I had to do a 15 minute set, imma take it to the audience for the whole time. The guy that put the show together started lighting me, meaning get the fuck off stage, around the 7 minute mark. I ignored it and did all 15 minutes. Then I got off stage and I heard Mike Epps say, give it up for Connie Chung’s fat son. I wanted to get on the stage and shit on people some more but whatever. I did what I had to do. I went outside and Mike Epps ran outside and said “either you are the bravest or dumbest muthafucka alive.” I said I may be both.

Here is some advice for people starting out or planning to do stand up comedy:

You better have thick skin because you are gonna bomb and have shitty gigs. Once you bomb a few times you will know whether or not you got what it takes. Because that shit will make you wanna quit comedy in a hurry.