Category Archives: Humor/Stand Up Comedy

What Donald Trump could learn from the NFL

Integrity. Colin Kapernik had the courage to use his platform to make a statement, to force us to dump our cultural denial, to start a conversation, to make things better.

The NFL brings joy and community to so many Americans. Football gives youth something to look forward to, an outlet that helps them concentrate in school, strategic thinking skills, physical fitness, and teamwork. (It needs to figure out a way to make tackling safer. I vote for touch football until 18… but that’s a separate issue.)

Donald Trump is the most thin-skinned, negative celebrity I can recall. Make America Great Again? More like, Make America Hate Again.

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Filed under Democracy, Education, Humor/Stand Up Comedy, Writing and Social Media

SNL took a cheap shot at Kellyanne Conway

The skit is gut-splitting hilarious — Kate McKinnon portraying Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President of the United States, as a Fatal Attraction nympho coming on to CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper (portrayed by Beck Bennett).

But the next morning I had remorse. I see Kellyanne as a working mom, a relentless competitor, and a brilliant campaign strategist. She also strikes me as someone who could pose as the poster child for the sheltered class — lacking empathy yet swimming in stock options.

I’d like to see Kellyanne and those like her take a sabbatical like the journalist who authored Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. Barbara Ehrenreich documented what it’s like to survive on the salary from jobs slightly above minimum wage — almost impossible to maintain one’s health and all discretionary time disappearing in the struggle to survive.

Alternative facts
We are becoming a society that can’t tell a news story from an editorial. We have citizens who would not have voted for Donald Trump had they known that Obamacare was another name for the Affordable Care Act.

In three short weeks, Kellyanne defended the misrepresentation of facts regarding attendance at the Inauguration by calling them “alternative facts,” referred to a non-existent Bowling Green massacre, and used her presidential platform to sell shoes.

Why couldn’t the show have made fun of her cluelessness?

Cheap shot
I doubt Kellyanne is a member of the DJT School of Christianity, whose First Commandment must be, “Do unto others to benefit only yourself, and your corporation.”

When Saturday Night Live takes a cheap shot at Kellyanne, they give the greedies, the dehumanizers, the opportunity to turn themselves into victims.

Saturday Night Real
For many Americans, the economy has never been the same post-2008 Recession. Since the last presidential election, many in the U.S. live in fear. Civil rights are at stake, the planet is in danger of dying, and hostility is replacing diplomacy.

We need skits that address the farce that we are living. For example, there is a campaign to allow resident doctors to work 24-hour shifts. Are they supposed to piss in coffee cups as they monitor patients?

Does Trump not care about destroying planet earth, because he is investing in condos on Mars?

Will Saturday Night Live get real, or will another show fill the void?

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Did addiction claim yet another creative — Scott Weiland?

“Half the world is on Xanax,” Carson Daly commented recently during his morning show on AMP Radio as his producer Angie read the list of drugs found on Scott Weiland’s tour bus, which TMZ described as “a pharmacy on wheels.”

Half the world… Why not the whole world? Xanax must have been invented by a lazy drunk. No storing bottles, no washing wine glasses, and no mixing drinks. Xanax works on the same receptors as alcohol, but all you need is a sip of water and a tiny pill — you can get “drunk” in one simple swallow. Actually, you can get better than drunk. Xanax erases your anxieties and leaves your speech and motor functions basically intact sans the telltale scent of alcohol.

Xanax, Valium, and Ativan are benzodiazepenes, a.k.a. benzos. These minor tranquilizers are highly addictive, have few side effects, and let you achieve the land of no worries in 20 minutes or less.

Taking benzos is one certain way to advance a career in addiction, whether the career path be via drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, binge eating, overspending, or any other compulsive, destructive behavior.

If you struggle with anxiety, bipolar, or bipolar depression, as a bonus, benzos insure that you will never have to learn how to identify your triggers or explore effective coping mechanisms such as deep breathing, meditating, or weeding out the toxic people in your life.

I am sad and angry that we lost such a prolific, highly original artist. ( interviewed Scott Weiland two weeks before his death and published a eulogy.)


Filed under Humor/Stand Up Comedy, Mental Health and Addiction

How to Teach Your Children Apathy

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May 3, 2014 · 1:07 am

Performing Stand Up

“You do stand up? That must be so hard.”

Trying to get a publishing deal is hard.  Trying to get your television show made is hard.  Getting on stage and making your audience laugh is not hard.  All you have to do is lose your ego.

It is fun to laugh.  And laughter makes you relax.

I became a stand-up comedian, because I was so frustrated by the writing game.  I didn’t have the time to promote my fiction or shop my treatments, but I could perform stand up comedy 10 minutes from home.  When I was just beginning I could bring my two children to many of the open mics and shows.

For several years all I did was write stand up material and perform.  Now I am back to writing on borrowed time and only do the occasional show.  I no longer have time to routinely do open mics, but there’s always one funny mom on every youth sports team.  I practice on her or during retail transactions. And if I still need to rehearse, there are always my two hostages a.k.a. children.

For my first three years, I would write different material every time I performed.  Eventually I learned that the best way to “write” stand up is to jot down your concept and then work it out talking.

This spring finds me at Malarkey’s on Thursday nights performing with Comedy Machine who use the room to warm up for the road.  Gina Manning’s performances always make me laugh.

Want to study funny?




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Filed under Humor/Stand Up Comedy

Budget for Lunch

This is a spec humor column I wrote … Not enough pain though to make it funny enough for Funny Times…

Budget for Lunch

“Is that all you’re having for lunch?” my friend Sylvie said as I sat down with my latte at the Grove’s outdoor picnic-style table.

“Of course not,” I responded as I extracted from my purse a peach, a packet of almonds, and a protein bar–some marketing genius’ name for a candy bar with protein powder and brown rice syrup that lets you convince yourself you’re eating healthy.

She still looked skeptical so I took a deep breath and said, “I’m on a budget.” I immediately wished I would have lied and said what is more than socially acceptable and always elicits sympathy, “I’m on a diet.”

“I would have bought you lunch,” she and our other day-tripper said in stereo.

“I know, but I’m enjoying some of my favorite things. This latte is a huge treat for me. For five bucks, I even got to tip the barista.”

Sylvie had already provided the transportation from Long Beach and the free entertainment—tickets to watch Bill Maher run through his monologue and other comedy bits before taping his show.

Maher’s conviction and delivery made me laugh so hard that I forgot all about my budget for the rest of the day. And although I am really good at it, it is hard to feel sorry for yourself when the government shutdown had closed the doors on Head Start, stranded soldiers killed in the line of duty overseas, and unemployed hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens.

Trying to shed expense is like trying to shed pounds. Unlike the government, you have to examine all of your consumption and all of your habits and be willing to change.

Two days later I met up with my friend Emily at my office, which others insist on calling McDonald’s. Emily the dynamo, a former sales manager for a national company that formerly had budget for provocative prime-time commercials, has run the Marina Pacifica Job Club for the last four years while juggling several part-time jobs.

Participating in her job club helped me land my current job. Twice a month her job club hosts speakers, conducts workshops, facilitates networking, offers mock interviewing, and provides plenty of protein bars.

Emily scrutinized her tray and said, “How did I get to seven dollars? I thought I was buying a snack.“ She lifted her burrito as if to weigh it and added, “My eyes must have wandered from the Extra Value menu.”

I sipped my one-dollar iced tea as she continued, “Leslie and I are bringing our own coffee to Starbuck’s and sneaking onto the patio to job hunt online. Isn’t there something wrong with that?

“And forget service. I don’t dare step foot into a restaurant with service. I haven’t had a professional job in five years. I can’t afford service anymore.”

“Neither can I. The only way I get service is when I bribe my kids with extra media time.”




Filed under Humor/Stand Up Comedy, Nutrition and Health

Made-for-Stand-up Alicia Guastaferro Should Host Saturday Night Live

As revealed on Dr. Phil Thursday May 2nd, Alicia Guastaferro’s life story surpasses farce. What a cast…

You might remember me from Life Swap. I mean Wife Swap.  I finally won a beauty pageant. And it only cost my mom 15 grand.  But they threw in some hairspray and a ribbon.

My psychiatrist, Dr. Dumb You Down, had me on seven prescriptions. Then he stopped showing up for appointments. He left my prescriptions in an envelope.

Now I need seven more prescriptions, because he gave me a complex. I obsess that I might be annoying. You think?

My dad is on vacation. Well, he considers prison a vacation from my mother and I.

We needed help paying the mortgage. Since I had a B.A. in beauty pageants, my mom found me a great job. High-class stripper.

Mom totally helped me. She drove me to the strip palace. She even put my seven types of pills in zip-lock bags so I wouldn’t mix up the focus pills with the sleeping pills.

The great thing about stand-up comedy is that I get to keep my clothes on.

My mother couldn’t afford to pay my father’s attorney so she set me up with him instead.  A 54-year-old charmer. He treated me to a forged license so that we could get drunk together.

For a nightcap, he took me to the rest stop off of Thruway 51 so that we could pass out together.

At least Guastaferro was willing to help out her parents pay the bills as opposed to another 21-year old reality TV personality who also recently appeared on Dr. Phil. Teen Mom’s Farrah Abraham mistakes her parents for servants and mistook a porn star for a Boy Scout.

Charisma Guastaferro does have – so now that Dr. Phil has provided her with a doctor who will sort out her prescriptions and “titrate” her off of the unnecessary ones, why not give us a chance to laugh with her while she hosts Saturday Night Live.

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Filed under Humor/Stand Up Comedy