EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT STAND-UP FLYER, PART 2
All art done by Erik Bergstrom
EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT STAND-UP FLYER, PART 2
All art done by Erik Bergstrom
EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT STAND-UP FLYER, PART 1
The Death of Yam Girl
“You wanna what???” he asked with a grin that suggested no matter what she said he would not take her seriously.
“I…” she timidly began, “I just wanna sit next to you and have lunch.”
He laughed loud enough it garnered the attention of the rest of the cafeteria. Heads turned. The hum of gossip and jokes and stories and songs all quieted down. They all looked at her. She didn’t know what to do. She promised herself at New Years she’d be braver this year, unafraid, willing to take risks, like walking up to Harvey and asking to have lunch with him.
When he caught his breath he noticed she retrieved a yam wrapped in foil that was placed in a plastic bag already torn three times from the previous days of the week she carried her lunch in it. She poked her fingers into the top of her baked sweet potato, broke it into two pieces, and offered Harvey one half. He laughed. Hard. She looked up at him.
He towered over her and took the half she broke for him. The cafeteria was silent and weird. He gripped her offer and slowly said, “I wouldn’t eat lunch with you if you were Michael Jordan and every time you farted cash came out of your butt-hole. You’re odd. You’re…you’re…
You’re Yam Girl.”
The laughter in the cafeteria was like jets. Her ears began to ring and she lowered her head as she began to recall every horribly embarrassing moment that had ever taken place in her life up to that point. Harvey stood and watched her. She turned and very carefully tried not to trip as she darted from the cafeteria with half of her lunch that she’d throw away because her appetite disappeared.
She ran all the way home, passing the trees and the barking dogs and the stop sign and the mailman and the neighbor who always waved to her and the candy store that burned to the ground last year and the Kinko’s where some guy asked if he could Xerox her face and the street with the house where it was discovered that a young couple were raising baby kangaroos and training them to fight because they “could no longer trust Congress.”
When she went inside her parents were drinking Jasmine tea in the kitchen. The TV was on. Dr. Phil. She watched them watching TV.
“Mom?” She asked with a trembling chin.
“SHH!” Her mother replied.
“This guy Harvey called me…”
Her father stood up and stepped into the kitchen garbage can and pulled the lid over himself.
Her mother said, “Now look what you did! It’ll be hours before her comes outta there!!”
She turned and walked upstairs. Her brother’s bedroom door was open. She peeked her head in. She meekly muttered a “hey”. He was playing a video game and ignored her.
“Um, this guy called me ‘Yam Girl’ and everyone laughed and my ears felt really hot and I ran home and I feel really silly and—“
“QUUUUIIIIIIEETTTTTTT!!!!!” her brother roared, controller in hand as a rainbow of flashes sputtered on the television screen. “CAN’T YOU SEE I AM PLAYING MEGATRON BLASTOID HEADLESS CLOWNS 4???????????” He was out of breath. His eyeballs had no pupils and the corners of his mouth were caked with spit and 7 Up.
She walked to her own bedroom. She played a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song on her iTunes. She stood in front of the mirror, staring, wondering if she’ll live alone when she’s old. A lobster appeared on her shoulder. She gasped and became very still with the fear the lobster will pinch her eyes out of her sockets.
“Hello,” the lobster said waving a claw, “My name is Wendel.”
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Are you gonna pinch my eyes out of my sockets?”
“What do you want?”
“I just wanna sit next to you and have lunch.” He reached behind him and brandished a brown paper bag with his name scrawled across it. He poked his claw into it and took out a yam.
“You like yams, too?” she asked.
“Yes. I love yams. They taste like gold and make me feel like dancing,” he said as he shook his tush. She giggled. “Wanna be my friend?”
The two new friends bonded by laughing and singing and quoting “Edward Scissorhands” and driving fire trucks real fast and giving out lollipops to people at the post office and playing dodgeball with Blue Man Group. It was a fun day. When it was over, Wendel went home and she went to sleep.
The next day she went back to the cafeteria and everyone began to chant “Yam! Girl!” in unison. Her belly filled with dread, but then her feet began to tingle. Then her legs. Her arms. Her head felt like helium. She thought of Wendel. She smiled real wide. She leapt into the air, clenching her fist above her head, and just before reaching outer space she bellowed:
“I am not Yam Girl! My name is…
When she landed, everyone in the cafeteria was cheering and whistling. They stood on their feet and music played. Everyone danced. Subhah smiled, walked past Harvey, and sat down at her own table that was made of peppermint. He tried getting her attention, but she ignored him because she was enjoying a delicious baked sweet potato.
Fred sat down next to her. He pulled out a plum. “Hey,” he said, “want half of my plum?”
“Thanks, but I already have my lunch.”
“Ok. How ‘bout I give you half of my plum and you give me half of your sweet potato?”
She agreed. They exchanged. Fred and Subhah sat in the cafeteria munching on their food and looking into each other’s eyes as everyone in the cafeteria danced around them (except Harvey).
Sports fans can be obnoxious, loud, arrogant brutes with no consideration for others around them. This is not why I like sports.
Athletes are greed-driven monsters blessed with the physical talents billions of people around the world would gladly trade three toes for, but who aren’t humble enough to realize this, hence the terrible attitude and careless attention to finances. This is not why I like sports.
Team owners care less about the sport and more about the jerseys and merchandise they can heave onto shoppers who, let’s face it, never needed a pink NY Yankees Eskimo hat in the first place, but because they are convinced they must pledge their loyalty, buy two of them anyway. This is not why I like sports.
In 2008, during Super Bowl XL-whatever, a team that was written off and encouraged to be grateful they made it to the championship game, played against another team that was so brutally dominant throughout the entire season, that a nation of viewers assumed the game would be over before it even got started. We were all wrong. This is why I like sports.
That game was the Giants beating the undefeated Patriots (duh!) and it is the best example I can think of to explain why I like sports so much. See, it has nothing to do with slobbering, pathetic losers who jump out of their chairs and cause a ruckus for everyone around them. Sports, like most other things, are an escape. They help me forget about bills I have to pay, girls I have to impress, and all sorts of pus-filled blisters of responsibility The Universe loves to sprout throughout my week.
Sports are unpredictable. We never have any idea what will happen, even when we think we do. From this, there is inspiration…and hope. When you hear so many times that a team or an athlete can’t do something, then watch them brandish their fangs and get it done, it’s a whole new level of believing something can happen.
Sports are fun to argue about because no matter how heated it gets, it has no impact on anything around us, except that it distracts us from the bullshit we struggle to get through day in and day out. The one moron who takes it too far does not speak for the millions of others who don’t. Idiots will always ruin a good time because these days, idiots get the spotlight.
Regardless of the people out there who think it’s funny to knock it, I will always like sports. Maybe it’s because they don’t understand. They might think it’s OK to be indifferent or apathetic or snooty or condescending or sarcastic or degrading or lazily make a comment like, “Yay, sports” when I’m watching a game. But it’s because they don’t understand. That’s generally the only reason why people like to bash something.
Me? I try not to bash anything anymore. The days are too short for that kinda nonsense. Besides, my time is better spent watching a basketball team organize themselves on the court for one last shot that may or may not win the game. So yeah, yay sports.
Poster by Bryan Brinkman and Ashley Culver
New York bar shows are a dime a dozen. From debut to demise, few last even a year. Yet RG Daniels—despite not being a prominent name and facing timeslot competition from Hannibal Buress’s Comedy at the Knitting Factory and UCB’s ASSSSCAT3000–-has managed to run his weekly show for five years at East Village venue Three of Cups. Celebrating Sunday Night Stand-Up’s November 8 anniversary as well as the release of his debut book, Ten Shows, he shares his story and spills his producing secrets.
I’m from New York. My family’s roots are all in Brooklyn. I was primarily raised on Staten Island. I hated admitting it, and I always include that little disclaimer after I say I’m from Staten Island. When I was 18 I went away to school in Pennsylvania, and when I came back moved right back into the city. And I’ve been living in Brooklyn for the past seven or eight years now.
I have seen so many come and go who are now…I mean, Pete Holmes has a talk show. I remember standing outside of the Boston Comedy Club barking with him and John F. O’Donnell. Maybe ’05, ’06; it was awhile ago. And then not too far after that Sean Patton came here, Kumail [Nanjiani] came here, Rory [Scovel] came from Seattle about a year or so after that. I’ve seen Mike Lawrence take off. New York City is where you see them come, and then it’s almost like New York is like their bar mitzvah. They become men and move on.
I did an open mic at the New York Comedy Club in December of 2002. This came about two weeks after being fired from answering phones at Carolines. And even before I was answering phones, the way I got that job was I was studying broadcasting in college and I was pursuing a job in radio. I ended up interning at this radio show called The Radio Chick with Leslie Gold, who is now on FOX business channel, I think. But the sidekick on her show was Chuck Nice. I just started writing bits for them, and this was when they were on a station that was all, like, shock-talk shows, so in the morning it was some sports show, and then it was them, and after then was Opie & Anthony, and then after them was I think Ron & Fez. It was a whole lineup of these, like, shocking comedy talk shows. I got hired to intern for her for the midday show. And before I knew it, I was submitting bits that they were like, “Yeah, we can use this on the air.”
Chuck started bringing me out to some of his headlining shows, and that’s where I saw what a stand-up comedian was capable of. I saw him go up, and I just got caught up in the whole rock-star, adulation-type thing. I wasn’t really quite sure if I wanted to be onstage or behind the scenes, so Chuck hooked me up with that job at Carolines. I lasted all of a month. They fired me, and I guess motivated by spite, I went home and just fucking wrote jokes, and I did an open mic. It was roughly a year after I graduated.
Before it was Guy Code it was called MTV Clutch, ‘cause that is dude-driven, you know? “Clutch!” But I’ve been doing that for maybe a year and a half now. I started blogging for SparkNotes around the end of 2011, and I started blogging for Guy Code maybe two months after that. So early 2012. And I just started blogging for TruTV this month.
Welp, I just learned that Mike Patton scored a movie sooooo, yeah—he moves up the ladder of my influences.