Iron Comic III was, by all accounts, a huge success. It's the first time I've done a comedy show that actually had to turn people away at the door, thanks in part to this article in the San Francisco Chronicle. We had a crowd of about 200, which probably isn't a surprise to anyone who crammed into the Make-Out Room for the big event. The very funny Nico Santos won the title. Should Nico be unable to fulfill his duties as Iron Comic, due to a cockfighting scandal or a layout in Playgirl, runner-up Brent Weinbach will inherit the crown.
Thanks to everyone who came out, especially my mom. She was sitting at the judge's table, between me and Nato's mom, and took every opportunity to lean over and tell me how she thought I was the funniest performer. Mom also shouted, "Change the subject" at Rusty Mahakian when he started talking about vaginas. Good times.
I thought the show was very high-energy, possibly because everyone was standing and the mixed drinks were extremely strong. It was also my first chance to tell my Wynton Marsalis jokes since the initial Iron Comic show. The success of that bit just goes to show that Jay Leno was right in thinking Branford Marsalis had a lot of comedic potential.
For reference, here are the secret ingredients for the Iron Comic shows to date:
Iron Comic I
1. Wynton Marsalis
2. Excuses for missing work
3. Ethnic food
Iron Comic II
2. The movies of Shirley Temple
3. New Mexico
Iron Comic III
3. Republicans in San Francisco
One downside of a topic like "cockfighting" is that you end up with five comedians telling penis jokes. Ideally, you don't want a topic that's funny in its own right. I would even venture that the funniest semi-improvised jokes come when the topics are bland, or seem impossible. The audience really expects nothing when the topic is Wynton Marsalis, so if an Iron Contestant says anything beyond, "Who the fuck is Wynton Marsalis?" or "This topic sucks", you're already gambling with house money. House comedy money.
If I ever were to feature at an Iron Comic show again, I would do more material from my Iron Comic appearance. In addition, I think it would be great if the feature comics (who perform while the Iron Comics are frantically writing for the next round) threw in at least one quick joke about the previous ingredients. I didn't think of this until I was stepping off stage, of course. Therefore, in the spirit of Iron Comedy, I now present some jokes about suspenders.
Not a lot of people wear suspenders these days. One group that does is the Amish. I never understood why the Amish were so big on suspenders, because to me, a pair of suspenders seems infinitely more high-tech than a belt. What's up with that, Mennonites?
I think the biggest advocates of suspenders would have to be kids with abusive dads. Getting whacked with a belt, that's a terrifying thing. But with suspenders, they're just so boingy. I think it would really frustrate an angry dad, as no matter how hard he winds up, the resulting impact is a big elastic "Sproing!" (This is where I would pantomine, hilariously, the ineffectual suspender beating.) And you know some dads would still try to act all scary about it. "Second time you missed curfew this week. Looks like you're gonna get suspended, young man. If it happens again, I'm getting out the buttonhook."
Suspenders also come in handy if you are a cartoon character who loses all your money during the Great Depression, because that wooden barrel you're wearing instead of clothes is not going to stay up with a belt, no matter how tight it is.