Confessions of a Bad Stand-up

by Johnny McNulty

Jan. 20, 2006
Dear Diary,
I saw boobs last night, which was the first time in about nine months, so I figure that’s a sign it’s-a time to write-a the jokes-a! May as well start with the thing I saw:

               …So, what’s the deal (he he, just kidding, I wouldn’t say that.) ….What’s up with chicks dancing on bars, huh? Have you seen this? Huh? You guys know what I’m talking about? It’s like “hey, the rest of us are dancing down here, sweetie!” and “you really look like you want to dance with somebody, but it would be really hard for more than one person to get up there, toots!”

Whew, I’ll probably have to wait a second for all the guys in the room to catch their breath from laughing. All the girls in the room will probably be really pissed off, because they know I’ve got their number on something stupid they do. Then the guys will look over at their dates, see how mad they are, and start laughing again because it’s like “WE WIN!” Fucking count it, this is fucking gold bullion. Now for the second beat.

               …right, so, I’m there and I’m sitting on the bar with my drink

Hmm…will people really relate to that? I see a lot less people these days actually sitting at bars with drinks than they used to. Maybe we’ve graduated from a surface-based drinking economy. I think the Internet has made people more restless and disjointed, so they can’t commune over a common area like a bar, they are forced to wander hither and thither through the crowd like the atoms of a gaseous medium. Maybe I’ll have that sociology masters yet.

Anyway, go for the common denominator, Jerry. Try again.

               …So, then she takes her shirt off! And everyone in the bar was cheering but me, like an idiot, I was directly under her, and everyone knows that that’s the stupidest view of boobs in the world. It’s like looking down her shirt backwards. Man, could I be any more retarded?!

(NOTE TO SELF: Make sure audience knows that’s your catchphrase before busting it out)

Feb. 23, 2006
Dear Diary,
Hmmm… today is a day for taking risks, the moves bold and the odds unknown.

               …you, you kind of look like a dork; maybe you can sympathize with me. Does it ever happen to you that people blatantly don’t believe you when you say you like rap music? You know what I mean?

               Like the other day, I was hanging out with a friend of mine, Jonesie, who was white, but he happens to know a lot of black people because he’s an athlete. Anyway, his friend Bruce drove up to us in a pretty sweet Scion B, and I heard some fast talking coming out of the car’s audio system.

               So when Bruce rolled down his window and said hi to Jonesie, I leaned in and I was like “hey, did I just hear Eazy-E laying down in there?” Bruce was all like “It was NPR. Poetry.” “Poetry Jam?” “Poetry Poetry.”

Oh God, I’m nervous just writing this at home. I need a glass of water. I think I’m going to be sick…
Ok, all better. I definitely need to beef my cred in the minority community before I start crossing some of these lines. No need to destroy forty years of progress just to be funny. I’m going to go watch Chappelle’s Show, the “lost episodes.” Maybe next year, Jerry.

Feb. 23, 2006 (Later)
Dear Diary,
I had to come back, having backed down earlier today, I am determined to shake the tree somehow today, and I’m not leaving until I write a great, moving joke speaking to the issues of the day. It is now 7:23 PM and so I begin!

It is now 9 PM. Debated getting a cat, decided that having a non-leather couch made that impossible.


12AM – Broke open some Blue Moon wheat beer. I understand that this is what the Dutch prefer. Can’t find an orange to put in it. Maybe write a joke about that, but not tonight, sacrilege.

It is now 2:23 AM and the floodgates have opened:

Have you ever noticed that all these measures the government is taking to protect our democratic and free society are making us sort of less democratic and free?

Holy shit.

I think I’ll improv it from there. Let the anger take hold, and go on a “rant” (note, think up different word for it so as not to get confused with Dennis Miller/Dane Cook. Maybe a “ramble”) something on the spot and off the cuff. I mean, all the greats did it. Pryor, Williams…David Allan Grier…

Remember to save this for the end of the act, want to get people on board before blowing their minds and challenge their personal gods. Also, don’t give out my phone number, because people will try to get me to run for office after this. I’m a comedian, not a martyr.

Be brave, Jerry, be very brave.

Mar. 12, 2006
Dear Diary,

               …in the land of the blind, you can punch people in the face and run away.

Oh man, I have no idea where I’m going to use that, but I GOT to! Ok, I gotta go watch a swim meet, that’s all for today.

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