[Portland's funniest funny guy IAN KARMEL has graciously agreed to allow Blogtown a peek into the life of a touring comedian with this new series, "Comedy Tour Diaries." Travel along with Ian as he brings laffs to some lucky people in Philly, Minneapolis, Austin and more!—eds.]
Texas Tour Diary
April 26th 2pm —To be a touring comedian is to live a life of blaring monotony spiked with moments of intense and brilliant fucking spectacularity. I know that spectacularity isn't a word. I know that because I typed it into Merriam-Webster's website and they were like “Did you mean 'spectacled bear'?” and I didn't know that I did, but I did. I did mean spectacled bear. Thank you, Merriam. Webster can fuck off, I know he didn't have anything to do with this crazy love-thing we have.
Anyway, to be a touring comedian is to live a life of blaring monotony spiked with moments of intense and brilliant fucking spectacled bear. It's an awesome life, but so much of my day is spent in the hotel room in various states of illogical nudity. If you were a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, and could “behold the viewing globe!” into my hotel room, most of the time you'd just see me watching Man vs. Food, wearing a hat, one shoe and a t-shirt riddled with grease stains.
Some of my friends have been going through shit lately where their significant others don't trust them on the road. They think it's some sort of giggle-fueled fuck party. It's not. I'm sure there are comedians who fuck around on their girlfriends all the time, but these are going to be the same people who fuck around on their girlfriends at home. Controlling a room and making everyone in it laugh can be a powerful aphrodisiac, but often the very circumstances that gave us that power also made us too shy, docile or awkward to use it. It's like if when Peter Parker got bit by that spider, it also gave him a crippling fear of heights.
4pm—Earlier in this series, I talked about the “Fallacy of the Cheesesteak”, and you can go ahead and put Texas BBQ on that same list. I went to this place called the Iron Works with Moshe Kasher (HOPE YOU SAW HIM WHEN HE WAS IN PORTLAND, PORTLAND), W. Kamau Bell (HE'S GOT A SHOW COMING OUT SOON, PORTLAND, WATCH IT) and Sean Patton (HE'S A GREAT GUY, PORTLAND, LETS ALL REFLECT A MOMENT ON FRIENDSHIP). It was good BBQ. It was great BBQ, even! It was really, really,really fucking great. Obama ate there, George W. Bush ate there, Boz Scaggs ate there—all the greats! It was delicious, but it wasn't remarkably better than what I've had back home. Maybe I'm just being defensive of food back home, but I get tired of going out to eat, enjoying a wonderful meal, and then having some blowhard go “No, this food is angry diarrhea. If you want real ______ you gotta go to _____ and order the ______.” I will continue my search for the regional food dish that actually shames other city's version of that dish, but I am not optimistic. Next week I head to Minneapolis, where I will cook and eat an entire blonde woman named Peggy.
10:30pm —I did a show with The Amazing Jonathon! If you don't know who he is, he has an act that is equal parts dumb magic tricks, corny jokes and cocaine references. I don't mean any of those remarks to be disparaging. He's totally self-aware, and he plays those old Vegas magician tropes like a finely-tuned instrument. It's easy to get jaded about comedians who've been around a while. You want to reject someone you laughed at when you were younger the same way a toddler doesn't want to do something because “that's for babies!” But this guy cut through all that shit and I was giggling like a 4th grader. Hocus pocus, Moontower is the dopest.