Try To Stop Saying These Things


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Have you ever had a conversation with someone and all of a sudden, you begin to notice some of the repetitive words or phrases they continue to use? For example, you continuously keep hearing the other person starting their sentences with the phrase, “I mean”. “I mean, that’s how I feel about it. I mean, am I wrong? I mean, what would you do?”

Is it me, or is this not noticeable to the masses? Does any sentence need to start that way? If the thought is going to your brain, then to your vocal cords, then to your mouth, then audibly out of your mouth, I believe the assumption is that this must be what you “mean”, isn’t it? Must you preface your statement with the phrase, “I mean”? I mean, right? It seems like such a waste of words. Is this perhaps, the comedian side of me thinking this way? After all, brevity in comedy is everything. The shorter the distance from the set up to the punchline, the more laughs per minute I’ll get. I feel this way about the words, “Well” and “So”, or “Look” to start a sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I do this too, but I annoy myself every time I do it. I think I need help. I mean, do you think I need help?

How about this one? “In my opinion…” I hate using that one, but I use it a lot. I think it is fair to say that anything I say, that is not backed up by discernible facts, is my opinion, so why state the obvious? Maybe it needs to be stated so that the other person doesn’t fire back with, “Well, that’s your opinion.” Of course it’s my opinion! It came out of my mouth and originated from my very own brain, thank you very much! And why do you have to start your sentence with, “Well”? Just tell me it’s my opinion and be done with it.

Well, I’hope I’ve confused you all enough. Look, I only say things to entertain. I mean, that’s what I do, right? So, I guess that’s it? You can stop reading now.

Stereotypical Basketball


This comedian totally stereotypes the game of basketball and the audience lets him get away with it! Even if you don’t like sports, this guy NAILS it!

How To Tell That You Are Still A Momma’s Boy


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I’ve always been a Momma’s boy and I’m not ashamed of it! I remember that my friends used to make fun of me when they found out that I would shower with my mom. I remember the last shower I took with my mom. I got out of the shower, all upset and was like, “Mom, I don’t think it’s a good idea that I shower with you anymore. My friends are making fun of me!”

My mom was like, “That’s okay, mijo, I understand. You’re getting older. Now hurry up and get dressed or you’re gonna be late for work.”

Here is a top ten list on how to tell that you, or someone you know, is still a Momma’s boy.

10. Mom not only still irons your clothes and lays them out on your bed every morning, she chooses what you wear.

9. Your mom parks her car by the curb because she’s converted her garage into your bedroom.

8. Your Mom calls your boss when you’re feeling too sick to work.

7. Mom Still gives you an allowance at the same rate it was when you were a teenager; $20.

6. Mom still buys your concert tickets to go see Motley Crue and drops you off at the show.

5. You’re using mom’s second car so that you don’t have to buy your own.

4. Mom knows your Facebook login information.

3. Mom refers to the woman you’re dating as your “little girlfriend”.

2. Mom accidentally walks in on you and your “little girlfriend”, while in your garage/bedroom and rather than walk out, says, “Do you have any dirty clothes or underwear you need me to wash, mijo?”

1. You blog about your Mom.

Here I Blog Again. The Top 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned


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I have learned a lot in my 43 years on this planet. The following 10 nuggets of advice will steer you in the right direction for a long and happy life:

10. You can still write a check to Domino’s Pizza even though you don’t have money in your bank account. Sure, you may have to pay the bank some large insufficient funds fees, but you won’t go hungry.

9. Ignoring your unsecured credit card bills will eventually cause them to go away. You may have to field a few credit collection agency calls, but you can always change your phone number, and getting a new phone number is always fun and exciting.

8. Periodically change your phone number because that is always fun and exciting.

7. Going to the doctor will only assure that they will find something wrong with you. You may not live to the ripe old age of 80, but you won’t have any huge medical debt either.

6. You don’t always have to pay your taxes. The IRS is pretty good about making payment arrangements anyway.

5. Don’t be so overprotective of your Social Security number. If you have followed my advice so far, if anybody steals your Social Security information, chances are, your credit rating will improve.

4. When reviewing your utility bills, keep in mind that the ” Due Date” listed is just a ploy to get to your money quicker. The real due date is the date listed on the Disconnection Notice you will receive within about seven days of that last bill.

3. Delay going to college. When you struggle in life, you can always tell your kids that they should go to college because you don’t want them to suffer like you had to.

2. Watch the championship match between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior at least one time in your life. It’s free and it’s on YouTube.

1. Don’t drink and drive.

Life from the Perspective of a Security Guard

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While I’m in between jobs, I got a gig as a security guard. I basically stand around all day and watch people come and go. At a recent post, at a grocery store, who’s name shall remain nameless but rhymes with Galbertson’s, I learned a few things:

  1. The reason kids leave the store empty handed is because, as their moms put it, “You see what happens when you don’t behave?”
  2. Wearing pajamas to the store will never be in the “In” thing to do. No shirt, no shirts, No DIGNITY.
  3. You’d better take a cart or a basket in with you. If you don’t, you’ll eventually stumble back to the front of the store with your arms full of groceries you didn’t intend to pick up but now need a cart or basket to carry.
  4. You can’t tell which employee is the manager? It’s typically the one with the tight pants and brightly colored shirt, carrying a walkie talkie, which nobody else apparently carries; not even the security guard carries one!
  5. No, that donut display is not fresh. Those donuts have been sitting there the last 3 days I’ve stood here. But they’re on sale, so you can’t beat that!
  6. No, I don’t care that you’ve worked as a security guard before. Judging by the grocery cart full of food, I can tell you’re doing much better for yourself now. Why are you even talking to me? Can’t I just enjoy my miserable job in peace?
  7. There are more men than women that buy a bouquet of flowers. Most of the men buying these bouquets always have a guilty look on their faces. Sorry to break this to you man, if you think apologizing with flowers is gonna get you out of the dog house, you might as well give ME the $6.99 you’re going to spend on flowers that your lady will throw away the instant you give them to her.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Yoga pants are not for everyone. I know it should be obvious, but some things just are not. Yoga pants should come with an obvious label much like a bottle of bleach that warns you: “Don’t ingest bleach”. It should be something along the lines of: “Objects in these pants may be stranger than they appear.”

Performing For A Bunch of Lawyers


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Tomorrow, I have a gig performing in front of a bunch of Insurance Litigation attorneys. I will also be delivering a short Motivational message before doing some stand up. After the stand up portion, I will be Emceeing their White Elephant Gift Exchange. This should be a blast! Okay, now on to this blog and my purpose for writing it. I have been performing for corporate audiences for about a year now and I have learned that the best way to connect to these type of audiences is to prepare, at the very least, 5 minutes of custom material. The following is what I have written so far. Some of it will make the final cut and some of it won’t. This is where you come in. I appreciate the fact that you take the time to read what I put out there and would LOVE input from all my readers! If you like a particular joke or even have one of your own you wish to throw my way, I WOULD LOVE TO READ YOUR SUGGESTIONS! Okay, here we go:

  1. Wow, when I first saw all these white guys in suits in one room, I thought I was at a Mormon Convention. But then I saw some Latinos in here with suits and it felt like I was at a Quinceañera.
  2. I’d like to thank (XYZ Law Firm) for inviting me here today. It must be so cool to be a lawyer! Lawyers get to practice in the confusing world of Civil Litigation. Or the brutal world of Criminal Litigation. Or the most exciting of them all; Insurance Litigation!
  3. I can only think of a few things more exciting than that!
    A Dentist appointment. I LOVE when someone makes my gums bleed! I pretend I’m Dracula.
    A Parade. Who doesn’t love standing in the cold for hours?!
    A Prostate Exam. You may go in to see the doctor, but you leave having gained a friend.
  4. Practicing law in a Latino city like El Paso must be hard.  I was recently down at the courthouse and saw 2 Latinos, dressed in suits. I couldn’t tell which one was the lawyer and which one was the defendant? Then one of them spoke up in the courtroom and said, “Thees is a travetee, jour honor!” That’s when I realized, THAT’S the lawyer! Hey, ‘Travesty’ is a pretty big word.
  5. Insurance law firms have such great commercials. “My attorney got me 2.2 million dollars. I may be missing my arm, but now I can buy a new one!” Then the lawyer appears on the screen and says, “If you’ve been hurt in an accident, we can help. We are the Strong ‘Left’ Arm of the law!…or whatever limb you happen to be missing. Call us today! If you are missing both arms, then have someone else help you CALL US TODAY!”
  6. I like that your law firm didn’t go for a name to describe your tenacity. Some firms go for such intimidating names like:
    The Lion
    The Tiger
    The Bear
    Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
    Law firm names are never stereotypical. I mean, I would jump at the chance to hire; THE WEASEL! Hey, the weasel is a quick and clever creature. I hired “The Bulldog” for my divorce and my ex-wife’s lawyer made him look like, “The Puppy”. The Weasel would have at least got me my X-Box back.

    Okay readers, that’s as much as I have written so far. I might add a few more here and there, based on your suggestions. Remember a few things though; this is a corporate audience and the material has to be clean. Let’s try to stay away from the sexual or race references. Although I make Latino references, they are typically clever enough not to offend audiences of any kind. Oh, and I’ve taken those bits for a spin in front of corporate audiences before, so they are well tested. LUCKY FOR ME! Okay, have at it readers! I hope to read some good stuff here!

SEE YA!

I’ll Scratch Your Back, You Stab Mine


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Okay, okay, maybe the title of this blog goes a little too far. What I wanted to blog about today is the common courtesy that should exist in a business like stand up comedy. As any stand up already knows, stage time is king, and if you have trouble getting the stage time you’d like, it would do you well to help others get the stage time they are looking for too. In stand up, we are all connected with a show producer, a comedy club, a promoter, or anyone else that has the ability to book someone on a stand up comedy show. If you find it difficult to get stage time at other clubs, bars or venues, you have to find a way to network with other comedians who have those connections that will help you help you get your foot in the door.

It’s been my experience that not every comedian will play by these rules. I’ve been asked, “Hey, if you can somehow get me connected with the owner of (such & such club), I can help you get booked at places I perform.” Then, what sometimes happens, you help them get booked, then you go back to them to see if they’ll return the favor and you’re either ignored, or told that there’s not much the can do for you right now. Sometimes, they’ll even direct you to contact a booker or producer they know, who has absolutely no idea who you are. Most of those contacts will ignore you long enough for you to just give up.

There are times, however, when the process works as smoothly as it’s supposed to. You’ll help a fellow comedian with a booking and they will immediately return the favor. That’s the way it should work! Now, maybe some of these comedians don’t have the “pull” they need with a club or booker and they’re really promising something they can’t deliver on? Whatever the case is, the intention should always be to return the favor. One of the hardest things to do is to stick your neck out for someone and take the risk that you might even burn that bridge for yourself! The following list will give you things to consider when helping a fellow comedian out:

  1. Promise to return a booking favor ONLY IF you have the ability to do so. Don’t make a promise that you are not in the position to make. NEVER assume that by the time the other comedian helps you out, you’ll have made some connections along the way. Make sure you are able to deliver on what you promise after your fellow comedian delivers on their promise.
  2. Understand that you take a risk every time you suggest a performer to a booker or club that you do business with. Having said that, make sure that the comedian you are asking help from, is a comedian that you feel would do well at the venues you will be putting in a good word for them at. Don’t just pick someone that has the connections but no act. In that case, you both bomb!
  3. Offer to help them FIRST. Look at this way; if you already have the connections, your offer of assistance puts the ball in their court. In this instance, trust can be blind. Make sure you have a good rapport with the comedian and take the calculated risk that they can return the favor.
  4. If you do not have a quality booking to offer in return, DON’T EVEN BOTHER! There is nothing worse than offering someone a quality booking, that pays well, then in return, get booked at a place that pays nothing or next to nothing. I don’t think I need to elaborate further.
  5. Remember that stand up comedy is a business and THERE ARE NO FRIENDS IN BUSINESS.

Top 10 Reasons Why I Hate Doing Stand Up Comedy


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HERE WE GO:

10. Inviting friends and family to my shows knowing full well they’ve heard my jokes over 100 times.

9. I look fat on stage.

8. I hate making eye contact with the only person in the audience that is NOT laughing.

7. The comics going on after me will be 10 times funnier than me.

6. I’ll be trying a new joke that will be met with 9/11 type silence.

5. People will laugh at the set up to a joke and go completely silent at the actual punchline.

4. Sometimes I spit when I talk and I can see my spit in the spotlight as it hits an audience member in the front row.

3. I have to force a smile even though my set is tanking.

2. I’m funnier in my head.

AND THE #1 REASON I HATE DOING STAND UP COMEDY…

1. At the end of the show, audience members ask me if they can take a photo with all the comedians… Then they ask me to take the photo.

Readers and fellow bloggers, feel free to add to the list, whether you’re a stand up comic or not! I would love to read your take on it!

Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There!


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If you have been going to stand up comedy shows or performed on them often enough, eventually, you will see and hear things that make your butt cheeks tighten up and make you wanna say, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!” Well, allow me to share a few of the moments I have been privileged to witness. Disclosure: Once you start reading, you can’t look away. Okay, here we go:

1. At an open mic, I witnessed a young man take the stage and proceeded to freeze. Nothing came out of his mouth. He literally took the mic and looked out at the audience and said nothing. I don’t know if it was stage fright or if this was his “bit”, but this “bit” lasted almost 10 minutes! He just stood there… I think maybe he uttered a word or two, but they certainly weren’t memorable. The audience felt tense for the guy. We all waited for him to say something. Anything! But, nope, it didn’t happen. His 10 minutes were up, he said “Thank you” and got off the stage. I’ve never seen the poor kid up on stage since…

2. At a regularly booked show, a comedian’s set wasn’t going particularly well and he was beginning to get heckled by a couple that took issue with one of his jokes. In an attempt to “riff” (engage the audience in a monologue), the comic dug himself a deeper hole. As the minutes wore on, the couple got louder and the jokes were no longer jokes. The comic tried his hardest to win them over but it didn’t help that the comic just got more insulting and less funny. At the end of his set, the comic tried to make amends with the couple and was completely ignored. That was tough to watch…

3. During another paid gig, a comic took the stage and started off well. Within about 15 minutes, the wheels started to fall off. All of a sudden, the material went a little “blue” (a term used to describe toilet or sexual type humor). The audience was no longer digging the material and the laughs suddenly stopped. Feeling the tension, the comic proceeded to scold the audience for not laughing, (not a good way to win an audience over). The comic ended his set 10 minutes shorter than what he was scheduled for. I watched, staring at the floor hoping I would become invisible…

4. A few years ago, during a weekend show at a comedy club in Arizona, the headliner took to the stage after the first two comics tore the room up! The comic had a “low key” style of delivery and, for the most part, had good material, but on this night, the audience was already used to the high energy of the first two comics. Well, that didn’t result well for him. The comedian started out well enough, but within about 20 minutes, the room started to slowly clear out. People were leaving. That has been the hardest thing to watch. The comedian made up for it the next night and performed an amazing set! But, what a price to pay…

Stand up comedy is like that. It’s not pretty. Each of the four incidents I described above will happen to every comic. If you’re in stand up comedy, and some of these things haven’t happened to you yet, well, you just haven’t been in the business long enough. If you are in denial about the reality of stand up, quit now.

C’mon Baby, Just the Tip


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As a stand up comedian, the subject of tipping comes up on a nightly basis. It’s no secret that show goers should be tipping their wait & bar staff. Most of these hard working men and women make an hourly wage of approximately $2.15 and hour and some make even less, so tips are necessary to help them keep their financial heads above water. But, are these the only people deserving of a tip? Here’s a small list of the people you should be tipping but never think to do so:

1.   The Tire Place Guy: In this case, I’m referring to the tire shop off the side of the road that operates as a Mom&Pop shop. If you frequent these places, to simply patch up or buy a used tire, you will typically be charged anywhere from $10 to $25. This is just a charge for the tire and you will typically never pay for any labor. If you’re being economical in having these guys fix your flat, throw them a bone when they’re done. If you make it a habit of ruining tires, the tire guy will always recognize you as a “tipper” and will probably offer you the best deal when you come back.

2.   The DirecTv/Cable/Internet Installers: Like servers & bar staff help make your entertainment more pleasant, your installers are doing much the same. They’re constantly trying to make sure you’re happy with their work and are trying to be as expedient as possible in getting you connected. Some of these workers are making a pretty nice wage, but are grossly underpaid in relation to the blood, sweat and tears they pour in to their day. If they have done an outstanding job for you and have brought a smile to your face knowing you are now connected to the world, then you should show your gratitude accordingly. These workers are often racing the clock to make all their appointments in time and rarely have a moment to stop by for something to drink or eat. Slip them a cool $5 to $10 and they can make their quick dash to a 7-11 or drive through to make their day easier. Plus, if you ever get the same installer back, I promise they’ll not only do the work, they’ll customize it for you!

3.   The Tattoo Artist: Look, these people may be running their own shop, but their art work carries an even greater value. Then again, not all of these artists are in business for themselves and most likely give up a big portion of fee to the shop they work for. In any case, these people are making sure that their work is the best it could possibly be and if you intend on coming back to the same artist, why not make them remember you and guarantee yourself some incredible lines each and every time?  Their work may come with a price tag, but their art is priceless.

4.   The Traveling Stand Up Comedian: What?! Really?! Yeah, really. Why not? Allow me to give you a glimpse in to the life a traveling comic, and this applies to both the Feature and Headlining acts. Chances are these two comedians work a regular 9 to 5 job when they are not on stage. Unless the comics have national notoriety in the form of Tv, radio and movie credits, they are probably living paycheck to paycheck, just like everyone else. When an act comes to town, they are probably making enough for the gig to cover travel and food expenses, and sometimes even hotel expenses for a 3 to 5 day stay. This comic is trying to make a name for themselves and when the gig money is barely helping them make it, they must resort to selling merchandise at the end of the show. They’ll usually sell DVD’s or CD’s of their act, or try to hock some t-shirts with some really funny stuff on em’. Most show goers have already spent too much on drinks and a tip to want to buy anything else, so it’s understandable when they just want to bypass the comic selling their merchandise by the door as they would if they were passing by a homeless guy holding a “Hungry, please help” sign.  If you’ve got a few dollars left, meet the comic, shake hands with them and give them the cash and let them know, “You’re worth more than that, but I hope this helps in some way to keep you going and bring you back. You were awesome!” I realize this is not done often, but I have seen it done and the gratitude a comedian feels far outweighs the laughs they worked so hard to get.

One final word on tipping your wait & bar staff; If you are at the show on a budget, for crying out loud, don’t spend it all on yourself! Set a little something aside. Your server is working under some of the hardest conditions. They are working in the dark, carrying a tray full of drinks, serving multiple tables and trying to take orders in the quietest way possible. This is more than a skill, it’s an art! Yet, people will leave a show and not tip a dime. If you enjoyed the show, make sure to tip the people who helped make it a great night for you. They’re never in the spotlight, but always help you enjoy those that are.