[Editor's Note: We had so much fun with the Ian Karmel comedy tour diaries, we're doing it again! This time up-and-comer comedian/actor Alex Falcone—who you've seen perform with Action/Adventure theater, as well in the live talk show Late Night Action w/ Alex Falcone—will be furnishing semi-regular updates from the road. Want more Alex? Check out his website and his podcast Read It and Weep—a funny show about bad books, movies, and TV.]


Friday, June 1st - Colorado Springs, CO
I had two shows tonight: 8 pm and 10:30 pm. Late shows are almost always less crowded than their prime time brethren, but this one was particularly diminutive. There were 17 customers in the showroom, and while the show went great and all 1.5 dozen people enjoyed themselves, it's still a hit to the ego. It's not the first small show I've done by any stretch (I drove four hours to Sequim, WA to entertain 10 people back in April) but my high school drama teacher was supposed to come see me and I was embarrassed to be an even smaller draw than when I did Our Town.

I hate having an ego about stuff like that, but it's basically a prerequisite for people who say "People should pay to hear me tell amusing stories." I try to keep that part of my brain in check, but I also try to keep people I want to respect me away from shows that I don't think will be well attended.

Against my urging, my kid sister and her friends came to the show. She was excited to see me perform, but they were there under duress, having recently suffered through another episode of "Hey, my friend is doing comedy show tonight and we should go!" Not a sentence that usually precedes a good time. They loved the show and insisted I join them at another bad-night-indicator: "I know this bar that does karaoke all night."

Karaoke was also better than I expected because (a) fewer than 17 people were watching each singer, so my ego was saved another major blow, and (b) James Lipton was there singing Frank Sinatra songs!

I know its blurry, but he was a tad embarrassed at being recognized despite having a different color beard and shrinking 6 inches.
  • I know it's blurry, but he was a tad embarrassed at being recognized despite having a different color beard and shrinking 6 inches.

More after the jump!


Saturday, June 2nd - Colorado Springs, CO
Ask somebody what's in Colorado Springs and the two things they'll probably tell you about are the Air Force base and Focus on the Family's world headquarters. If your somebody happens to be a conspiracy theorist, she might also point out that all the mountains are hollowed out for storage of ideal genetic specimens and fake moon-landing equipment. Since the military complex and the United Nations sperm bank didn't have business hours listed on Google, I decided to check out FoF.

In case you're unfamiliar, Focus on the Family spends their time producing radio and TV shows, lobbying against gay rights, and forcing pregnant women to sit in those chairs from A Clockwork Orange and look at ultrasound images. If you've watched public opposition to gay marriage erode over the last few years and wondered, "Who's going to be the last asshole in the country trying to stop people they don't know from being happy?" odds are that last asshole will work for Focus on the Family.

I know it doesn't sound like a fun place to visit, but religious extremists can be amusing in small doses. Plus Google said there was free coffee.

The FoF visitor's center is made up of a bookstore (maybe I can pick up a copy of 50 Shades of Grey to read on the plane), a small self-guided museum about their history of assholery, and a children's play area. The "kid zone" also included an ice cream parlor with a biblically slow soft-serve machine. If you're planning on spending 40 days in the desert, order your vanilla cone before you leave so it'll be ready when you come home.

The bookstore was fascinating. I couldn't find a copy of 50 Shades despite searching hard for an erotica section. I did, however, find lots of books about raising children. For example, the excellent treatise on technology MySpace for Moms and Dads: A Guide to Understanding the Risks and the Rewards which was on clearance for 50% off. I would've expected a deeper discount since MySpace is more than 50% non-existant, but apparently you can't pay lobbyists with prayer alone.

If revisionist history is your thing, they've got a wide selection of books and DVDs. Remember when Christianity won WWII? Me neither. But some guy does and the logo on his film series uses a grungy font so you know he's a cool, edgy guy.

I was drawn towards the "Young Adult Bibles" section because I mistakenly believed all bibles contained the same text. It turns out, FoF believes that it's necessary to teach kids about Jesus while also reinforcing important gender stereotypes.

Attention boys!  Why read a normal bible when you can read one with fake diamond-plating?
  • Attention boys! Why read a normal bible when you can read one with fake diamond-plating?

Apparently when you focus on families long enough, you notice female children prefer books with pink flowers, Zs where Ss should be, and really odd capitalization. On the inside, the editorial comment boxes continue to push male/female differences. The pink one has headers like "What did it feel like to follow Jesus?" while the one for boyz had a masculine attitude: "Lazuras: What's the big deal?"

I don't like to support bigots, but I do like to support bookstores, so I was torn. In the end, I settled on Under the Sheets: The Secrets to Hot Sex in Your Marriage and vowed to only use the advice with prostitutes.

Two shows tonight and then I'm off to Denver for a six-show weekend.