Sunday June 3rd - Colorado Springs, CO
My first weekend of this tour was an unqualified success. The club owner gave me the only compliment that matters, he told me he'd rebook me right away for 8-12 months hence.
He also asked me to sign a dollar bill for him to hang above the bar, as he does with all comedians he doesn't hate. Even better, he agreed to provide the dollar I was to deface. I'm definitely a rule follower, so I don't love committing a federal crime by rendering this bank note "unfit to be reissued." Fortunately, I don't think the feds will have any way of figuring out who did it.
After the jump, a joke about a "Make-a-Wish" kid goes surprisingly awry...
Monday, June 4th - Denver, CO
I haven't talked much about the actual content of the shows, so let's rewind to Saturday. Both shows went fine, but I was pretty frustrated with myself after the first one. Again, the show went fine and I've already been rebooked, but I tend to beat myself up over small things.
Doing live comedy provides hundreds of split-second decisions. Respond to something yelled at you or ignore it. Try the new part of a joke or cut it short. Include the weird joke that loses an uptight audience or stick with the high-percentage stuff.
None of them are life and death, but put together a streak of mistakes can make the whole night feel off. I'm going to the mistakes I made at what was the best attended show of the weekend. It's pretty self indulgent, but I'm almost positive that's what Al Gore invented blogs for.
 I made fun of the comic before me for being short. Normally, not a big issue. He made fun of himself for being short and the mic stand was way too low for me, so I wanted to say something as I adjusted it, something like "I didn't know it was mini-comedian night." Not harsh at all. But. BUT! But. When the audience loved the diminutive comic, I look like a jerk who's lashing out at their new best friend.
 I did a joke about a Make-A-Wish kid too early in the set. Look, I'm not a monster; it isn't a joke about childhood cancer. It's about an annoying kid at the zoo and I say that he shouldn't be allowed to behave that way if he's on a Make-A-Wish. It's harmless in most cases, but since they're already not sure about me because I picked on the child-sized comedian. Just hearing the words make and wish in that order changed a good laugh line to an "awwwww." A lot of comics like getting groans. I don't. I want the audience to like me, and once they do, I can get away with stuff I couldn't otherwise.
 I told a new joke that wasn't ready for prime time. If I'm already in a hole with this crowd, why would I go to untested material? What could possibly have made me think that I could be a hero and win everybody back all at once with a joke that isn't done yet? Why would anybody do such a stupid thing? No idea. It just happened. Maybe it was panic, or the distraction of doing a B+ show when I'm used to being an A-, but I just woke up and was halfway through the joke and couldn't do anything to avoid it.
I'd like to stress that NONE OF THIS MATTERED AT ALL. Everybody, including the headliner, told me it was a great set. But just like the decision to go to untested material when things weren't going well, the decision to let tiny mistakes eat at me isn't one I make consciously. I'm hoping that telling the Internet about it makes it easier, but who knows. Maybe the germ of self doubt will continue to grow on my brain like a tumor on a 7-year-old shooting hoops with Michael Jordan for the day. Damn, there it was again. I really hope you liked me already.