The Resurrection and Stand Up Comedy


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There are plenty of Christian comics out there and the material they perform is often times, squeaky clean and non-controversial and there are other Christian comics out there whose material isn’t quite as clean. Although I don’t use curse words in my act, some of my material can be interpreted as less than Christian-like.

When I decided to do Stand Up, I decided to share the good, the bad and the ugly with my audiences. As a follower of Christ, I admit that I am a sinner and need salvation. In fact, for those of you that think that churches are full of self righteous people, allow me to give you the right perspective on that. I’ve heard it expressed this way before, “The churches are all filled with sinners.” I’ll add to that, Biblically, you cannot come to a faith in Christ unless you’ve admitted that you are indeed a sinner and are in need of a Savior, who has taken your place in the punishment that was supposed to be yours to bear, but has been paid in full by Jesus. This does NOT mean that you STOP sinning! It only means that you recognize that fact and that as you strive to live as He would want you to live, every day He helps you deal with all of your weaknesses.

I will not get into a sermon but, I wanted to express how I could say the things that I say on stage and still consider myself a Christian. As a comic, I’m putting it ALL out there! Humor comes from the reality of life and some of my experiences resonate with audiences because they too can relate. I’ve decided to reach deep inside my life and take out all the garbage and put it all out on display in a way that we have no choice but to laugh. I’m not proud of some of the things I do or did in my life but, the humor that results from it not only makes people happy but, keeps me grounded. I will never claim to be more ‘Righteous than thou!”, but I believe that one day, my life will serve as a testimony to others that Christianity is more than just dressing up in your Sunday best, going to church, singing some praise and worship tunes and tuning out the Pastor’s message as you contemplate what you’re going to eat at Furr’s Buffet!

When people discover that I am a Christian and then question my faith because of what they see on stage, I can confidently say that I will have an answer for them. I’m prepared:

1 Peter 3:15

… Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

Who knew that Stand Up would be a springboard to getting a deeper message across?

HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

Omar’s Patreon Site. Pledge your support!

https://www.patreon.com/omarcomedian?ty=h

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.”

It’s Over…


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I am seriously considering leaving Facebook. I’m slowly starting to realize that, far from being a promotional tool to get the word out on my stand up comedy journey, Facebook is nothing more than a public stage open to anyone and everyone. How in the world is someone supposed to get noticed that way! I’m trying to do something that very few people can do, and that’s stand up on a stage, where 100% of the audience’s attention is on me and no one else. Their ears hanging on every word that proceeds out of my mouth. I’m alone up there and my voice is the only one that can be heard creating all the laughter in the room. No one there is laughing at anything else. When I’m up there, it’s all about me, me me!

Let’s face it, that is exactly what Facebook is. We login and read the Newsfeed, which is filled with countless of posts begging us to “Like”, “Share” and “Comment”. There is also a barrage of posts including funny quotes or lines that are often times not original. I think that’s what annoys me the most. Try this, next time you see a post with a funny joke or quote, which the person seems to be taking all the credit for, cut and paste the entire line to your Internet browser and watch how often it is duplicated as a search result will discover several sites containing the same line! What’s even more frustrating is that when other people comment on those posts, the person posting it continues to take all of the credit! Comments such as, “Oh Paul, you always make my day with your hilarious posts! How do you come up with them so often?” Then Paul will reply, “It’s not easy but you’re very welcome!” UGH!!!!!! Cutting and pasting IS VERY EASY!!! I hate to sound like an attention whore, but honestly, at least for me, if I am trying to stand out and represent myself and what I do as a stand up comic, then I need to think of original ways of doing so. I can’t rely on a social network where originality is thrown out of the window. Succumbing to the temptation of visiting my Facebook makes me no different than everybody else. I can’t keep doing that if I hope to one day create a following that admires me for what I do and how I do it. Yes, I’m looking for that admiration but even more so, I’m looking to STAND OUT in a day and age where everyone else already does….

Signed,

The Underdog Comic

Rape Jokes…Do the Two Words Really Fit Together?


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ImageThis past week, comedian Daniel Tosh was blasted for using material having to do with rape. A member of the audience interrupted Daniel’s set to say, “Rape is not funny!” Daniel Tosh then began his rebuttal of the heckler. He went on to say something to the effect of, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this lady got ganged raped right now? Like, right now?”

Upon reading that, you may feel the Daniel went too far. I personally don’t. He attempted to deal with a distraction that he had not planned for while doing his set. As a comic, you do the very best you can to control the situation only to ‘smoothly’ transition back to your act. The art form that is stand up comedy is supposed to be as uncensored as possible while maintaining an air of quality and talent. There is no denying that Daniel Tosh is a hilarious and great comic, but even a great comic can fall prey to having a joke completely backfire. This is the curse of all stand up comics. We try new material on a regular basis and sometimes push the envelope to touch on issues that no one dares speak publicly about. Yet, somehow, a good comic can take even those sensitive issues and share the lighter side of things. Sometimes, we fail and a joke goes terribly, and when you add a scum of the earth heckler to the mix, it can turn ugly!

If you go to a stand up comedy show, be prepared to hear the worst. Be prepared to see the comics on stage bring out the ugliness that makes us do what we do. Be prepared to either relate, identify, sympathize or empathize with us. Be prepared to hate a few jokes, like a few joke and LOVE a few jokes. Be prepared to be taken on a ride that you would not otherwise be taking if you weren’t at the show. Above all, be prepared to sit down, SHUT UP and be entertained! Remember, NO ONE IS KEEPING YOU IN THAT SEAT THAT YOU PAID FOR! Get up and leave if you don’t like the performer or the content. A comedy show is NOT you’re opportunity to be heard! The performer has earned the right to be heard because of all of the blood, sweat and tears they have had to endure to be able to grace that stage! It did not come at a small price!

Look back at any stand up comic’s controversy that you’ve seen on the news and you will find that, inevitability, there is ALWAYS a HECKLER at the root of the problem!

Remember Michael Richards, (who played Kramer on Seinfeld), and the whole racist tirade he went on a few years ago? He did what he thought he could do to deal with a heckler, but it went horribly! He should NOT have had to deal with that distraction! He is a performer that people paid big money to see. Why would anyone want to ruin it for everyone else in the room? That’s exactly what that heckler did. Why are those pieces of scum not made to face the same retribution from the public? They are more to blame than anything that was said on stage! Just once, I’d like to see one of those maggots sued by audiences for ruining what was supposed to be a night of entertainment and laughter. Just once!!

Be the King (or Queen) of What You do Best


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I’m done with humility! I’ve been performing stand up comedy for the last 6 years, and more aggressively, the last 2 years. During the last 2 years, I have gone further than I ever thought I would. In that time, I have been too shy to promote myself as aggressively as I should. That won’t happen anymore! No one, absolutely NO ONE is going to get the word out about who I am and what I do. That is my sole responsibility! If you’re reading this and are an entertainer, or do something where an audience is involved, I want to encourage you to take advantage of everything technology has to offer us these days. We have  Facebook, youtube, Twitter and the entire internet at our feet and at our disposal. We no longer have to wait to be “discovered” or to wait to get our “one shot”. These days, we have to let the world in on what they’re missing! It will take an unrelenting spirit and continuous effort to keep doing what we’re doing, all the while getting better at it. Then, when the world takes notice, BAM, our tireless work will pay off and continue to do so until we choose to stop it.

I have to recommend the movie, “The King of Comedy” starring Robert DeNiro. That movie is based on a story about an amateur stand up comic, in his early 30’s, who lives in his mother’s basement and has absolutely no social life. As Rupert Pupkin, Robert DeNiro portrays this man as an inexperienced stand up comic, who has never performed on a real stage, and has only rehearsed in his basement, in front of an audience depicted on his wallpaper. Yet, he believes he has comedic talent and will stop at NOTHING to get his message out to the world! Even at the expense of kidnapping a Late Night talk show host, played by Jerry Lewis, and bargaining to get himself to appear on his show in exchange for his safety. I’d go into more detail, but you you’ve just gotta watch!

So what’s it gonna take for you to reach your dreams? I believe we all know that answer to that, and when we decide to take that leap of faith, at the risk of everything we’ve ever worked for, then we can truly say that we gave it all that we’ve got!

 

Oh, here’s a youtube link to the full version of the movie! Gotta love the day and age we live in; Enjoy!

 

Look At Me!!


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When a comic gets asked, “Why did you want to do stand up comedy?” The majority of the answers you’ll read will be, “I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh.” And to that, I’ve gotta say “B.S.!” Although that is a nice “pie in the sky” answer, it comes no where near the real reason. I will admit, my answer to that question cannot be meant to apply to EVERY comic, but I believe my answer is perhaps the most honest approach to that question. As a comic, who tries to share real life experiences with complete honesty, I would think you would expect nothing less from me. So, why have I chosen to do stand up comedy? Here it goes…

I do it for the attention. I do it because I enjoy when all eyes and ears are on me. I don’t seek this attention in any other setting. At the workplace, or at a party, you’ll swear I’m the most quiet individual. I allow others to get the spotlight. I don’t try to stand out anyplace else. But, if I am to be recognized for anything, I want it to be for something that no one else, or very few people can do. Yes, I appreciate the laughter but more so, I enjoy making a room full of complete strangers take notice of me. I enjoy them identifying with the words that I’m saying and I enjoy watching the affect I have on them with the orchestrated way I have put my words together. Knowing that I have planned out my set in a strategic way and watching the resulting laughter is exactly why I do this. The crowd watches me hit the stage and I know they’re thinking, “I dare you to make me laugh!” Then, within a few words, BAM! They’re mine! They’ll hang on each word until I tell them I’m done. You will never understand the rush that comes from that until you’ve done it. It’s not only on the comedy stage that you can accomplish that. Do it in everything you do that no one else can claim to do better and you’ll understand exactly why it is that I have chosen to do what I do. I’m seeking the admiration of the audience, the respect of other comics and more significantly, the satisfaction of my own selfish nature. I’ll go days giving others the spotlight they seek, but when it’s my turn, when the spotlight is on me, when the words from the PA system say, “Please welcome to the stage, Omar Tarango!”, that is MY moment and I’ll be taking you on a ride you’ll be glad you got on. And when I’m done, all I want is to be remembered as the comic who deserved and earned your attention…

Hacks, Stealing Material and Carlos Mencia


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What is a hack comic? Simply put, it is a comic who chooses to use the “same old” topics that have been used over and over again by other comics in hopes of getting an easy laugh. All comics fall prey to this. It is the comic that recognizes the hack premises and immediately dumps them, that will eventually grow and succeed. It’s all part of the learning process. So, although it may be really easy to pick on the Kardashians, it is simply too overdone to continue doing it!

Many famous comics have been accused of stealing other comics’ material, and while I completely detest the practice, I have got to play the devil’s advocate on this. It used to really upset me when I heard, as most stand up comedy fans may have heard, that Carlos Mencia regularly steals jokes. The problem is, some of the jokes he was accused of stealing were jokes that were really easy for anybody to come up with! Does this mean he’s not a talented and funny comic? As a comic, I dissect the methods and strategies used by comics. For me, it is the comic that completely pulls me in unexpected directions, that I really admire and try to be like. I feel that’s the case for every audience when they have chosen to follow any comic of their liking.

Let’s get back to Mencia. As a comic, I recognize that Mencia has been performing for many years. He has performed in front of bar audiences, quiet and subdued audiences in charity events, audiences that were less than friendly, audiences that were more interested in drinking than to listen to the guy on stage with the mic, audiences that preferred to watch the sporting event on the bar’s TVs than to deal with the talking distraction in the spotlight, and other audiences too various to mention. He has endured the horrible experience of completely bombing on stage. He has had to endure the unrelenting heckling that can throw any comic off their game. He has offended people that did not understand his humor and those people have let him know about it. He has had to endure the negative comments of people around him that try to hold him back. He has even had to hear those same negative comments from those people he considered to be friends. He has put up with having to pay a fee to get himself on stage. He’s had to pay for his travel and finance his hotels before anyone knew or cared who he was.

Yet through all of this, audiences took notice. They liked him. They appreciated his humor. They wanted to hear more from him. He was THEIR comic! Do you think he did that by stealing jokes? Do you think he got there by being unoriginal and a hack? No. He didn’t. He put in the work and can now enjoy the fruits of his labor. To every comic that has reached that successful point in their stand up career, I salute them. They did it. Audiences are not stupid. They recognize original talent and they reward it with their undivided attention…

The Long and Winding Road


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In the world of Stand up Comedy, you can literally write tons of new material and maybe only a few of those jokes survive! I recently wrote 10 minutes of material and only 25 seconds of it made the final cut! It’s a long road, but the laughs are worth it!

I personally like to write down some of my material as a Facebook status update. Depending on the responses I get, I can gauge whether or not I want to keep working on them. The following are just a few of some of those status updates. Some of them have made it to my act and others are still sitting on the back burner. What I really enjoy about this process is that some of these bits will actually evolve into a great bit that only leads to other great bits. I hope you enjoy them! And remember, you can go to my Facebook fan page and ‘Like’ it to keep up with whatever I’m writing at the time….

 A new billboard sign in town reads, “You Text, You Drive, You Crash”. How about adding, “Reading Billboards Won’t Help Either.”

Found a condom wrapper in my teenage son’s backpack. I don’t know whether to be upset that he’s having sex at an early age or jealous that they’re Magnums.

“Why can’t I buy a car? Your commercial said you accept Bad Credit.”…”Yes sir, but you have crappy credit. You need to improve your score by 200 points to have Bad Credit.”

I have dreams of becoming famous. I also dream that a giant tomato eats me….

Big Brothers of America has canceled my participation. Apparently, my assigned little brother did not appreciate the teasing, wedgies or bullying.

Having a cold for longer than a few days can make a person so paranoid that they start thinking crazy stuff; “Crap, this is EXACTLY how Magic Johnson found out he was HIV positive…”

As a Christian, I know I’m not perfect. I believe in the rapture, but as a stupid teenager, I sure wish I hadn’t thought the things I did….(under my breath) “Please, please, please, don’t come for your people today. This girl thinks I’m YOU!”

I just now realized why the Flinstones were happily married for so long. Twin beds…

 

Love What You Do…


I saw a commercial once of 2 archeologists out in the middle of the desert. Braving what appeared to be intense heat, both men hid under a tent to get away from the sun. One of the men, looking exhausted and dripping with sweat, said to the other, “Man, I can’t wait to retire! How about you?” The other man looked up, smiled widely and said, “I AM retired…”

That’s what it’s all about! Doing what you LOVE. I’ve heard it said once like this, “If you do what you love, you can’t call it work.” – Author unknown to me-.

Currently, I work as a stock broker and although I love the world of investing, I don’t love my job. I am also a stand up comic, but I don’t make a living at that yet. I am still working on adding more time to my set and trying to move up the performance ladder, but that will certainly take some time. In the meantime, I still have bills to pay, so off to work I go! I am extremely thankful for the job I have though and I wouldn’t want to have to work anywhere else. But, I am certainly not looking tat staying here any longer than I have to. One day, I’m hoping the hard work and dedication I am putting into stand up comedy will pay off. I’m not looking for fame or fortune, just an opportunity to work doing what I love…

 

 

Nothing to Say!


I haven’t blogged in a while and have absolutely nothing to say! So here goes some of the randomness that goes through my head.

Men have an awkward way of sneaking a peek at the ‘goods’ that a woman displays while looking amazingly sexy! Take for example, a man who is introducing his date to another man, such as friend. That ‘friend’ can’t just ‘check out’ his friend’s date. It should be kept as simple eye contact and that’s it. But noooooo! That man has no control over what his eyes are doing! First, he’ll need to make sure he looks at his friend to make sure his friend is only temporarily distracted, then he has to glance at the eyes of the woman to make sure she’s not watching him, thennnnnnnn, he’ll sneak that peek at the goods! His eyes will momentarily cock over to the side just quick enough to make sure his friend doesn’t catch him and hopefully the woman won’t either! Ah, but this NEVER goes unnoticed by the friend! We know what the other guy is doing! Heck, WE do it too! But we let it pass…. It’s the bro code….