I got an email from my Agent telling me this last weekend I was to be heading back to Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey to host 4 shows at Bananas Comedy Club. It's a well-run club but it's a little out of the way. Not to worry. It's a good thing I like buses. and people from New Jersey...
That Friday, I had lunch with my friend Tom Gammill before we went into Esquire Magazine to pitch to the new Cartoon & Humour Editor, Bob Mankoff. It was an odd meeting, but then nothing Tom and I end up doing together isn't odd. We had one last wine at Columbus Circle to plan our pitching strategy going forward before we both lurched forth into the cool breeze and parted ways.
I was headed to the home of infinite joy and wondrous smells (The Port Authority Bus Terminal) when fellow comic, Anthony LeDonne texted to say he was within beer distance so I stopped in at the Smith on the Upper West Side to brace myself for the onslaught, before jogging downtown through peak hour sidewalk-dawdlers to board the happiest vessel on Earth: The #163 to Hasbrouck Heights.
I was the last to board, so I was squeezed snuggly between a tattooed gentleman in a tank top and a septuagenarian with a scorching case of halitosis.
The trip lasted about an hour longer than anticipated on account of a car accident on the highway. Everyone seemed to have a cold of some kind, so it was like a symphony of sneezes and snorts the whole way there. Bless.
Upon arrival, I checked in with the booker and got my meal voucher before trying out the new seasonal "Pumpkin Martini". A warning: Never ever do that. Ever. It was repulsive. I would have rather eaten a soggy clump of Autumn leaves.
I met the feature, Sean Morton, at the bar. A hilarious comic who will be headlining the Borgata for all of Thanksgiving week. He had to change his shirt after each of the 4 shows as the lights on the stage were so blisteringly hot he sweated out my entire body weight in water.
The headliner, SNL's newest cast member, Chris Redd was insanely funny. Out of Chicago, he had a Second City improv background, which really showed when he went to crowd work. Masterful stuff. He even managed to dig himself out of an anti-Trump chunk in a crowd of vocal Donald Devotées. Quite the sight to behold.
I snuck back into New York on Saturday for a cheeky lunch with le wife before galloping back to the Heights for the final 2 shows on Saturday night. It was great fun hosting -this time I was way more successful than last time, so I came away with my head held high, instead of slumped like a schlub with a herniated disk.
Before jumping on the bus Sunday morning I stopped in at my least favourite diner in America -Fisher's Restaurant for a dose of good old American cholesterol. i got the American Flag pancakes, which were topped with Strawberries (Red), Cream (white) and Blueberries (Blue.) Doesn't get more patriotic than that...
On the F-train home, I looked up and saw a guy who was on my train on Friday. he reminded me of the guy in Half-life who walks around mysteriouslyfor the whole game. He creeped me out.