Thursday, June 3, 2010

Premise Hunt

Leaving for NYC on Friday. This will be the third visit since The Project began, the first in over a month. Too much lag time. I hope to accelerate these trips over the summer and into the fall. Champing at the bit bruises my gums.

The last visit, as I reported at the time, was fruitful and uplifting. When I returned to Michigan, everything, apart from my family, seemed dead. I wanted to get back immediately, but couldn't for various reasons. So here I stayed and stewed. Writing, riffing, drinking, sleeping. The wife's been supportive, my son a source of positive energy. Henry just turned 14 and is about 6'2". He's everything I wasn't at his age -- calm, secure, self-confident. I worried about him attending a jock-oriented high school this fall, but I now realize he'll be fine. As Henry ages, my fears about him fade. Projecting my chaotic, violent upbringing on him was wasted energy. He's becoming his own man, and it's beautiful to watch.

So back I go, amid new friends and wary others. Not everyone likes my material or perspective, but then they've only seen a fraction of what I've written. There's so much more to come. At least, that's the plan. I'll be filing reports, so check this space over the weekend and through next week.

Here are some clips from a bygone comic age. The tape's a bit rough, but watchable. You'll recognize most of these comedians, including my good pal and third-base coach, Barry Crimmins. Most surprising is Emo Phillips doing political material. I don't recall him satirizing budget deficits, but this was a different time, back when my stage act consisted of debating professional ideologues and corporate journalists insisting they were objective arbiters of reality. A little Emo flourish might have eased the news to my opponents that Palestinians were of the same species. Their contemptuous laughter may not have seemed so heartless.