May 22nd, 2013 by theurbanerma
If you have strong feelings about whether we stand in line or on line then you may not want to read this. But I think you’re up to the challenge. I think you can handle me using the terms interchangeably, letting colloquial usage win over grammatical correctness. Welcome: This is how a former English major walks on the wild side.
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May 14th, 2013 by theurbanerma
I got an email from someone I didn’t know telling me that Martin’s memorial service would be on Saturday. Martin? Martin who? But deep down I knew. I just didn’t want to know. I emailed back and said, “I know several people named Martin. Can you give me a last name?” This was a tad disingenuous. Chalk it up to preemptive denial. There are only four Martins in my address book and I can’t remember who three of them are. The fourth Martin? He is unforgettable.
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May 8th, 2013 by theurbanerma
Happy Mothers Day, Mom. I Love You
Back in the day I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: The Warrior Princess. My friends knew not to call me when those shows were on. I’d be ensconced in front of the TV watching Buffy and the Scoobies patrol the Sunny Dale Hell Mouth. And who, I ask you who was more bad ass than Lucy Lawless? Perhaps in her case I’m just biased towards women with alliterative names. Lucy Lawless. Leighann Lord. You see, I can always find a way to make it all about me. That’s my gift; my personal superpower if you will. Pardon me while I put on my cape.
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May 1st, 2013 by theurbanerma
I got a chance many years ago to work with one of my favorite political comedians, Barry Crimmins. It was an honor. I had gotten ahold of his comedy tape, Don’t Shoot the Messenger (you heard me, I said tape) and damn near wore it out. Wore it out I tell you. The pleasure of working with him was compounded by the fact that he was a nice guy who didn’t mind talking to a comedy neophyte. We were having a lovely conversation until I innocently asked that if he’d started in comedy clubs, why didn’t he play there more now? Continue Reading »
Apr 11th, 2013 by theurbanerma
Stand-up comedians aren’t normally on the list of folks who work for tips but it happens. It’s a nice, unexpected bonus considering that we don’t always get paid for performing. In fact, early on, it is often we who have to pay for the privilege. Getting a cash tip then is actually a step up.
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Apr 3rd, 2013 by theurbanerma
On March 31 I celebrated my stand-up comedy anniversary. I won’t give you a year, but let’s just say, it’s been a minute. And so to commemorate the event, I am reposting a piece I wrote back in 2009.
I received an email from two gentlemen who were teaching a stand-up comedy class to high school students. They asked me for some advice to share with their aspiring young comics. I asked if it was too late to urge them to choose a different career, something safer, like a fireman; easier like a brain surgeon; or more stable, like a mortgage banker.
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Mar 20th, 2013 by theurbanerma
(*In honor of spring, I’ve reaching into The Urban Erma archives and updated an article that I first posted on the blog in March 2007. And by updated I mean removed the references to my Palm Pilot, BlackBerry, and MySpace.)
Weighing in at over 4,000 personal and business contacts, my address book is officially out of control. It’s the electronic equivalent of the mafia: once you get in, you never get out. I’m reasonably friendly and outgoing, but I don’t think it’s humanly possible to personally know 4,004 people. In real space that’s a 22-pound Rolodex. One shouldn’t have a phone book the size of the phone book. So, it’s time to do a little spring cleaning.
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Mar 13th, 2013 by theurbanerma
Rob Base is not dead. But I thought he was. Here’s what happened. After doing a joke about old-school rap, an audience member came up to me after the show and said, “Did you know that Rob Base died?” What? I was flabbergasted. Joy & Pain Rob Base? It Takes Two Rob Base? No. I didn’t know. To be honest I really haven’t been right since we lost Heavy D.
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Mar 6th, 2013 by theurbanerma
I recently performed in a one-night only production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues! The play was first done Off Broadway in 1996 and aired on HBO in 1998. This collection of monologues covers various aspects of the female experience including “sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, and orgasm” not necessarily in that order. This play has been performed worldwide as part of V-Day events that have helped raise over $75 million dollars for women’s anti-violence groups. It was an honor to be invited to join such a prestigious sisterhood. Quite frankly, they had me at Vagina.
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Feb 21st, 2013 by theurbanerma
They say getting old is a privilege because not everybody gets to do it. Well, not everybody gets herpes either. Where’s the privilege in that? In our youth-obsessed culture, growing older is the true Original Sin that if you’re healthy and lucky you can’t help but commit. Most of us despise getting older given the loss of agility, mental acuity, freedom... Yeah, I’m so not seeing the upside. We realize getting older is not all it’s cracked up to be at around the same time we stop counting half birthdays. Remember being nine and a half? Yeah well, nobody says they’re 39 and a half now do they?
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