Iron Blogging is done for the time being, but please enjoy blogging about Iron Comic, the comedy game show won by yours truly this past Friday. It was a tough battle, as are all skirmishes in Joke Arena, but ultimately I managed to claw my way to the top. Here's how the secret ingredients worked out:
Ingredient #1: "The end of the world"
Tapan Trivedi talked about terrorism and the end of the world, and discussed the bad rap he gets as a Hindu with no bombs. Sheng Wang impressed the crowd by talking about how he thought it was sad how anyone's efforts to improve the world or do anything inevitably involved making people die, then added, "I meant to say that funnier."
I chose to focus my two minutes on the theory that the end of the world will resemble the film Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The end of the world will be really long, way longer than it needed to be. It will involve incomprehensible mythology about pirates. Keith Richards will be there, because that motherfucker is never going to die. The end of the world will not make any sense. And yet, against all logic, the end of the world will be attended by millions of people, willingly, because they went to the first part and they're curious how everything wraps up.
Ingredient #2: Alberto Gonzales
This topic was almost "Parking", or even specifically "Parking in the Castro". The crowd reacted to this topic with hostility. And with good cause! It was an attempt by some of my companions to circumvent the Iron Comedy process by choosing a topic I'd just written a new joke about. Fortunately for the integrity of the competition, we chose a different topic.
Sheng Wang discussed the extreme negativity in topics so far. Jeff Applebaum theorized that Alberto Gonzales had played shortstop for the Giants in the late '70s, then repeated his joke about Univision and cell phones. Mike Meehan had a good riff on this topic, but I don't remember it because I was staring at my notes.
I decided to take a break from the Gonzales-bashing. I discussed my admiration for his tenacity. Gonzales would not resign even if you wiretapped all of his conversations, deleted his old emails, held him without trial in a secret prison, even if you tortured him, within a loose set of parameters designated by executive order. Nor would Bush fire Gonzales, for a few reasons: It proves Bush is loyal, that Bush won't bow to political pressure, and that Bush knows a Mexican guy. Finally, I speculated that a Texas Supreme Court judge is equivalent to the "hanging judge" depicted in old westerns - only because it's the Bush administration, the hanging judge would be the majority shareholder in a scaffolding business, and his brother would own a rope factory, while his best friend made coffins, and his wife lobbied against the use of horses in public hangings.
Ingredient #3: Bike messengers
Oh, poor bike messengers. Usually, they don't take this kind of abuse in the Mission. But everyone had some mean things to say about their hygiene, their drug use, their casual disregard for automotive traffic. Tapan speculated that bike messenger services would soon be outsourced to India ("We've got the bikes; you've got the messages!") Host Nato Green even had some material on working as a car messenger.
I discussed an old bike messenger service we used to have, Special-T Delivery. Special-T is an example of why you should be careful of business with intentionally misspelled names. I once asked a Special-T employee if the name "Specialty" was taken by someone else. He responded, "No, why?" (Old Pleasant Hill hair salon and Tino's Pizza neighbor Shear Majic had the same story - no rival "Shear Magic" forcing them into an alternate spelling.)
Ultimately, what were their special-Ts*? Bicycling drunk, leaving court documents in a puddle of spilled PBR and bong water under an outdoor table at Zeitgeist, and rolling up one pant leg to knee level. You see that look in two places: bike messengers' klegs and in the yard at San Quentin. Coincidence? I think not.
(*note: exaggerations present.)
Mike Meehan probably did better than me in the lightning round, but I hung on to take the title. Officially, my prize was an Amstel Light and something else unappealingly funny, which I can't remember right now. Meehan's prize for second place was to "open for Carlos Mencia".
As for the featured performers, Nico Santos and Kris Tinkle drew rave reviews from my sources in the crowd. (Check out Kris Tinkle at the Heuristic Squelch Comedy Experience on September 5th in Berkeley!) Host Nato Green did well, but the buzz in the crowd was about how h-o-t he looked. Maybe it was the stylish Iron Comic t-shirt. Watch out, Mrs. Nato Green!
If you would like to see more Iron Comedy, you are in luck. Iron Comic comes to The Punchline on Monday, August 20th, hosted by Ali Wong. That hot stud Nato Green will be battling, not just hosting, alongside an all-star lineup of comics including Chris Garcia, Drennon Davis, Kevin Camia, and Alex Koll. (Check out Chris Garcia and Ali Wong at the Heuristic Squelch Comedy Experience on September 5th in Berkeley!)