Fri, Sep 24
COMEDIANS OF COMEDY SHOOTING DIARY: THE TERROR AND INSECURITY OF HIPNESS@ 12:00 AM
People smoke 'cuz they're nervous and insecure, the way I eat pretzels or Brian Posehn sets fire to railroad bums. If that's true, then the crowd at Dante's last night must have doubted its very existence.
Portland is one of the most fun cities on the planet. I'm going to end up living there some day, after making my $30 million when my sitcom, WIGGER THAN LIFE, goes into worldwide syndication. Whoever's in charge of Portland has a strong sense of visual friendliness, and everything has a cool sense of design, whimsy and beauty to it. Even the fucking water fountains. Wow. If they could add filigree and flying buttresses to homeless people, they would.
There was a huge line outside Dante's when we arrived, fresh from scotch 'n' steaks. There was an ominous warning to "fire performers" in the green room. Zach Galifianakis, who joined the tour last night and who'll be with us through San Francisco, kept a brave face despite losing his "America: Why I Love Her" torch juggling opening.
The show: "wow" pronounced like "fuck". The crowd was more brilliant than I was, most of the time. Smilin' Jim Goad (of ANSWER ME! infamy) read a new list of fun stereotypes ("Every 20th Eskimo birth results in a delicious king crab"), Brian stomped around and shouted about masturbating, Maria stayed motionless and still cracked everyone up, and Zach banged around on the piano and made it very hard for me to follow him.
After the show I was involved in several mini-reunions from various stages of my life. My old college roommate, Jeff, and another friend of mine hung out. They live in the solar world now, and had to leave, but it was great to see them. Jeff had earlier directed me to Excalibur Comics, which was a really cool store, so Brian and I were able to get well. I also had a mini-summit meeting with several of the Netjerks from jimgoad.com's Netjerk Lounge. And my old buddy David Roche, formerly of the Mash Notes, regaled me with stories about being a vegetarian anarchist and substitute teacher. I hope he makes me another mix tape. Everyone, more or less, ended up at the Shanghai Tunnel, where the Nicest Doorman In The World arranged tables for us outside so we could drink in the night air. And the alcohol.
Brian and I got up early the next morning to wander the stacks at Powell's City of Books. We bought big bags each of horror and sci-fi (I found Arthur Machen's THE GREAT GOD PAN—wheeee!) and then we loaded onto the RV for the drive into Eugene. I've been thinking, these past three days of having documentary cameramen film my every move (we have to keep clipping these bulky lavaliere battery packs to our belts). What I've been thinking is this: I now have objective evidence that Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, and anyone else on a reality show, is in fact a worthless, empty shitbag full of howling winds and crying children wandering through ruins. Being observed 24/7 is soul-killing. I really had no idea it'd be this much of a drag.
But to want to do it continuously, season after season, year after year of your life, bespeaks a narcissism with an undertow that not even light and information can escape. 90% of life is boring, unmemorable, and worthy of being consigned to oblivion. The sad fact is we're wasting more and more of our free time watching other people's worthless 90%.