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The Comics Lounge

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Night 1 JFL Montreal.

I headed out early to see a 7pm show as I had a spot at 9pm, but walking through the crowds and feeling the excitement in the air here I started to think it's a bit far away.  

The first show was at the Katacombes its a Metal venue really cool with skulls all over the pillars, Last year the door guy recognised me from Pegazus. So I rock in, I have an Industry pass so I can get in to most of the shows free. $5 PABS at the bar and I'm set. I was hanging to see this show It has a few of the same elements as a show i have been writing for the MICF.

This show is called The Goddamn Comedy Jam a mix of music and comedy each show has 3 acts get up do a set then tell a story then sing a song with the band. It starts with a band and the singer/Emcee Josh Adam Meyers a very good comedian from Baltimore, Maryland. They play songs but sing them in a funny way taking the lyrics literally while roadies are rocking out with the band and really getting the room pumped up.  Then Josh does some stand up and then bring on the 1st act.

First up was Kyle Kinane he has been to JFL a couple of times but been around for ages and he was awesome! The whole room were laughing hard! Great jokes and story before the band joined him for Sweet child of Mine. The guitarist has a flying V violin and starts. And they all go off! They really get the crowd up and going with a crazy intensity and energy. The roadies are jumping around the audience then during the solo the guitarist hangs of the balcony playing the violin then running through the crowd.  

Next up was Brent Morin he plays Justin in the sitcom Undateable they are all here for the awards show later in the week. He has done this show a few times and like Kyle he was awesome too he got stronger towards the end.Then they jammed out to Are you gonna be my girl by Jet. Fucken Hate that song! Fake as! But anyway, he and they crew just rocked out hard on it! It was very funny and entertaining everyone is going off on stage the roadies are going nuts and the crowd are loving it.

Then Josh announces that they had a special guest Bill Burr but he has had to split early to film something, But we have a special guest coming up instead one of the biggest rockstars in world Dave Grohl! And everyone goes off! It's Bill Burr with a wig and a pair of sunny's on and he launches into a brilliant set, everyone was pissing them selves laughing from start to finish. He is a freak! How can you get much better year after year? To be better than the best year after year and you are the best! My face was hurting! If you know Bill Burr you know he love's playing the drums so they blast out on some Foo Fighters. I couldn't believe it this is the first show I see and was I going to go to that gig now? Fuck No! So I bolted to see Duncan Trussell he was right in the middle of the main strip a 5 minute walk.

Duncan is awesome I saw him briefly in LA and he did a lot of the stuff he did at the store but he had tweaked it so it was a lot more punchier. his show has a lot of turns and if you Duncan he has a soothing voice and nature that he can really take you anywhere and you will go.,And his closer is awesome I don't really want to give any jokes away so I'll just say when he comes to Australia in November go see him.

Then I raced back to the Katacombes to see Tom Segura, I have been wanting to see him live for ages and he was amazing! He smashed the room was rocking with laughter, Like a packed comics lounge with Pommy Johnson destroying. He is heaps funnier live his mannerisms and looks he gives add so much to his like ability.

The whole night was Stand up Comedy at a different level there is a polish to the jokes and a naturalness to these guys from 10-20 years of really hard work. 

Lessons 

If my jokes don't get the same response they are not finished. They can its just a matter of hard egoless work.

Acting out, everyone does it and does it right!

This is the best festival in the world, if only the Melbourne festival would spend some of that crazy money they make from open mic acts each year and spend it on this level of comedian it would inspire and raise the bar in Melbourne. So we all get better. 

Political correctness is way too over the top in Australia the things that get said here are full on and hilarious!

Don't be afraid to go further it might be where you find your voice.

This was one of the best nights of comedy I have ever seen. 10/10 

Be Cool 

Flemo

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Alt dot Comedy Toronto

This will be a quick post and I apologise for the vagueness with the names but this morning I can't remember much maybe Kim pulled a Bill Cosby on me. Or its still jet lag.

I arrived in Toronto yesterday and tonight we headed into the centre of Toronto to check out a show at the Rivoli Alt Dot Comedy Lounge. There were about 100 people in the audience and the room has a really cool vibe we got in during the Emcee's spot. 

Now I won't give names out because there were so many acts on doing 10-15mins each I didn't remember names and there was no list. The opener was very strong he was very funny and very polished as were 90% of the acts on this bill, there was that same fast smooth rhythm that I saw in the states. The second and third act weren't as good but I could see that they used that rhythm to not give the audience a break, there was no silence on stage just one gear. It really stood out as to why so many acts would adopt this approach. 

The next act was Pete Zedlacher he was awesome and really funny, he is doing the Sir Patrick Stewart Gala at Just for laughs this year and really showed why he is on that bill. Then there was a drop off for a couple of acts they had that same rhythm but not the tags along the way. So lets say a tag didn't hit they were already talking or going into the next bit so there is no silence. 

The next few acts were really good an older guy screaming a lot he ended his spot well a guy in a flannel shirt he was the best I can't find his name but he would kill in Australia. A blonde lady she was also a great act funny all the way. All up there was 14 acts on with no break so it was a long show. The final act only did a few minutes he wasn't going too well so maybe he bailed.

Lessons learnt,

The whole faster rhythm thing really started to become clear to me at this show. 

Keep them entertained with sound or movement so if it's not so funny at least you are stimulating other senses.

It is a bit of a trap because you need laughs along the way. I asked Dan Connell about his style of slow story telling and he said he used to talk fast incase someone yelled out something during his set or heckled but that isn't his true voice and he has slowed down and it works perfect for him cause thats what he is really like.

The smiling thing a lot of the acts in the US and here smile a lot from start to finish which makes you more welcoming and a friendly face is a happy face. 

Tonights gig

So tonight I have a spot at Yuk Yuks which is one of the biggest clubs in the world. But I have no idea what to do fast pace my normal pace it's a room that is know for saying what you want with no limits which makes me think maybe my early material will work lol. 

I do have a new bit i want to try this isn't a pro night so its more important to learn what works here for me that trying to impress anyone that will come down the track. 

Dig it the most from coast to coast.

Flemo

 

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The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store

Last night I met up with Australian Comedian Monty Franklin at a legendary club The Laugh Factory. This is such a cool old school looking club with a historical vibe. Monty was hosting or Emceeing the show which had a lot of older acts on some good some not so strong. Monty was great right off the bat talking about being an Aussie in Hollywood and the crowd loved it.

First act on was Mindy Rickles the daughter of comedy legend Don Rickles, Mindy wasn’t the strongest act! Then Brian Babylon hit the stage he has a new with Hannibal Burres on Comedy Central starting this week. Brian started off ok but then got better as the spot went on. Next up was Erik Griffin who plays Montez Walker from WORKAHOLICS he was great off the bat too very funny and he just looks like a funny guy I’d check him out again for sure. Mark Schiff was next he is old school he opens for Seinfeld on the road. Mark did a lot of old stock jokes but the crowd didn’t notice some were laughing but it wasn’t a strong act like I have been seeing. Then a special guest the great Dom Irrera, Start away he started banging out Mark saying that was the best gig he has ever done, He’s finally getting it he’s gonna make etc. He was very self deprecating and he did a lot of crowd work, it was awesome to see such a legend showing you how it is done!

Then we headed over to the Comedy Store we went out the back past Mark Maron, Fitzsimmons, Al Madrigal Bobby Lee was on but it was full again. Jodi Miller came up and said hi Monty introduced me I did meet her last year but I don’t think she remembered me. Jodi made it through Americas got talent last year she is a strong act. So we just hung out and chatted in the front bar for a while. Monty was heading off so i went upstairs to the Belly room for The Urban Show.

This show was cool as there was one white guy on he wasn’t very good but some of them were awesome its a completely different gear the Urban style and when the audience go they really loose their shit its great to watch and be a part of. I can’t remember the names there were too many on but ill try catch another show like this before I go.

Tonights Lessons 

My good buddy and mentor Brad Oakes always says you need gears in comedy great acts can change gears at any time. They have gears here but for the most part in 15min spots they just keep a relentless pace hitting the audience hard. But the gears between the shows were very different. Its just what they are used to.

As an Aussie Comedian find the funny differences between the states and Oz they love it.                                           Talk slower and articulate your words so they can understand you we do talk fast.                                                        Be universal Monty said to an audience member your from Interstate? They had no idea what it meant which was fine for Monty cause he made a joke about it. But it easy to forget what words are slang and what are english.

One thing with the not so strong acts is when a much doesn’t hit they just move on with confidence you wouldn’t even know they show no weakness.

And Monty is a legit gun his Aussie set is great but his US set is even better and he is an awesome guy Im really grateful he got me in and took me around last night.

Tonight ill hit the store and pay for a ticket It doesn’t always pay to be a comedian.

Be cool Stay in School.

Flemo

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The Icehouse and Hollywood Improv

I caught an Uber to the Icehouse Pasadena to do a spot my first one on this trip. The show was in the front room there was about 60 people in attendance. The first guy was really good i enjoyed his set. I went up about 4th in and started with a joke about how Ice is what we call meth in Australia. So you can imagine my disappointment when I got here and Its a comedy club not an Ice house! It went well then i went into some material and didn’t get much along the way chuckles along the way and a few people up front were into it. Ari told me on the drive home that they were all Comedians so I can’t tell how it was really its like home comedians don’t give you much.

I didn’t hang around to see Joe Rogan the show was sold out so Ari gave me a lift back and invited me to the Improve for the main show.

This was an awesome show everyone was a killer act like Daniel Tosh he had the audience falling off their seats with hit after hit after hit.

Now for an edit.

I forgot to mention when I got in the security said your a comedian right I said yeah he said just go sit in that booth with the reserve VIP on it, Cool. So I’m watching the show and some old guy with two hot!!1 girls come over hey I’m ….. I can’t remember but he sounded Important, He said you’re a friend of Jeff’s? Did he seat you here? I said nope and just kept watching the show. About 20mins later Jeff Ross come over and started chatting to them. So now I’m thinking oh shit I’m in his private VIP booth! Then he left to do the show and he was at the security for 10mins pointing at me freaking out while I was pretending not to notice by watching the show but nobody would come over. I gave it another 5mins then moved to the next booth 10seconds later Larry David comes and sits in my seat hahahaha. 

Jeff Ross was even better tonight than last night. At the end of his set he does a spit roast where he gets audience members on stage to be roasted and I heard one of the greatest roast lines ever! The crowd lost their shit big time everyone was on their feet!

Brett Ernst is very cool he is a good friend of the Comics Lounge and I love his stuff cause its a lot like what Doug Chappel does and thats talk about crazy things that have happened in their lives. His rhythm was different to the rest which was cool he stood out completely.

Dane Cook was the special guest headliner Im not a big fan of his but he had some killer stuff and i learnt heaps just watching his presence on stage.

I learnt a lot tonight as far as my spot goes i wanted to just run material and see what happens. Crowd work would have been a better option but its not what i went into the show to do so its cool.

The same as the other nights nobody really lacks confidence on stage weather the material is good or not.

Roasting we need it in Australia its a pity because people would want it stopped back home because its not safe enough for them. These guy go hard to the place you would stop and a mile further it is really funny.

Pretty much all of the acts tonight were performing on stage as though they were being filmed, it was a bit weird make it is for practice or it is a stage trick I’m not sure but ill find out.

There are over 3000 comics in LA from the best to the worst spots are limited so in Australia we shouldn’t complain about spots there are enough spots and we can make more if we choose.

A huge thanks to Ari Mannis for helping me out with spots and driving me back to Hollywood this guy is a very cool Dude!

Tonight I’m off to the Laugh Factory to catch up with Monty Franklin I saw his US set last year it was super strong so I’m pumped for that. Then he is taking me to the Comedy Store to meet with the manager so i can pop in when i want and not look like a freak.

Be good stay down with the hood!

Flemo

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Night 3 The Comedy Store

Ill start by saying I am Very spaced out today so sorry if this sounds like a lot of rambling!

Last night I headed back to The Comedy Store to check a huge line up with the likes of Bill Burr, Mark Maron, Pauly Shore, Steve Rannazzisi, Dean Delray, Jeff Ross, Joey Diaz Neal Brennan and many more.

I arrived about 30 mins before the show, two girls were sharing a spliff out the front they said hi nice t-shirt here pass it around so I had a brief chat and passed it round. Don’t worry I have My Medical Card Woooo! Tickets were only $15 for this show but it was in the original room which properly only holds about 90 people, the line was huge so I figured I could just head in as a comedian at the end which they are cool with like The Comics Lounge.

While I was waiting a newer comedian from came over and started chatting Al from Texas he seemed to be an encyclopaedia on Comedy this dude knows a shitload comedy facts. He was a nice guy I started to meet a few other younger open mic acts. Alex Duong he was really cool he was telling me about the scene and different shows around town. And Ari Mannis he was working the door at the Store, hey that rhymes! Ari had done some gigs back in Australia including my home ground of at The Comics Lounge on the Mad Monday show with Doug Chappel.

We headed to the back of the room where the comedians sit to watch the show then a waitress came over and asked what drink I wanted for the 2 drink minimum? I didn’t want to sound like a dick by saying I’m a comedian so I said lemonade. Then she asked if I wanted them doubled or something like that which I think meant bring them over now and get the 2 drink minimum thing out of the way. I just stared at her like a dog that’s been shown a card trick! I knew what she was on about I was just playing dumb for a goof. Then someone came over and said oh he’s a comedian you don’t have to buy 2 drinks. Great? No!

1 act in and we get kicked out to make way for the public cause its a full show! Fuck! I should have just paid for the drinks and I wouldn’t have been moved Idiot!

So I spent the next hour waiting to get back in chatting to other acts. One dude was funny as fuck Eric Carter from Mississippi he was crazy along with the full on southern accent. So I missed Burr missed Maron Delray and Shore. It didn’t bother me that much cause ill see them around this week and in Montreal anyway.

Then I saw a familiar face Justin Edbrooke,  I met Justin last year with the boys from the lounge we had lunch he’s a really nice guy.  Justin is an agent for a lot of my favourite acts from Joey Diaz to Ari Shaffir. He said come over and meet Joey Diaz and I said Fuck yes! I will come and meet Joey Diaz!  Joey is one of my favs his podcast and comedy have been a big influence on my Stand up so i was freaking out when I shook his hand. He was very laid back and friendly Jeff Ross came over and had a quick chat but I really wanted back into the room so I could watch these two in action. So i said bye and great to meet you and snuck back into the room.

It was great timing cause I got to see Steve Rannazzisi then Neal Brennan who is a great writer co creator of Chappelle Show He was great I was so happy I got to see him.  Jeff Ross was also great bagging out the audience and going hard at them and getting away with it the crowds really get it its about fun not being PC just fun. Then Joey came out and he was even better live than i could have imagined he goes anywhere without a care but you can’t help but love him. He could talk about the worse possible subjects and get away with it clean!

Once Joey finished the crowd started leaving its weird to watch cause the room is packed then the next act walks up as half the crowd walk out! I hung around and watched another heap of acts I didn’t know them except for Tony Hinchcliffe who I was hanging to see. He really didn’t do any material cause of the crowd size. I learnt that last year you can’t just go into material in a small crowd or it looks weird just lead them into a bit here and there.

By this time I was really spaced out and dragged myself home.

Lessons I learnt Buy a ticket next time $15 bucks 2 drinks killer line up haha.

When they go after the crowd they don’t hold back almost roasting them but they dig it here.

A lot of the twists in the routines you don’t see coming. The really dark stuff like a lot did bits about the shooting last week and didn’t care. Most had a great punch for it so the crowd were with them.

Don’t get really stoned b4 the show then you will remember more of what you saw!!!

Tonight I’m off to the Icehouse in Pasadena I have a spot thanks to Ari for hooking me up then Joe Rogan is on after at 10pm another one of my idols. This will rock!

Be cool stay in school.

Flemo

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