Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THIS poor bastard

Another week, another my-life-behind-someone-else's-vehicle post.

The other day I found myself looking at the back of this truck:
In case you don't follow sports, the logo on the left side of the tailgate is the Buffalo Bills of the NFL and the one on the right belongs to the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball. The cities those teams play in are about 700 miles apart but still share a common thread. While both teams are kind of mediocre now, but beginning in the '90s and continuing into the '00s, it was The Best Of Times and it was The Worst Of Times.

  • 1990 - Buffalo Bills win division, beaten in Super Bowl 20-19 by the New York Giants.
  • 1991 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Minnesota Twins in World Series, four games to three.
  • 1991 - Buffalo Bills win division, beaten in Super Bowl 37-24 by the Washington Redskins.
  • 1992 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Toronto Blue Jays in World Series, four games to two.
  • 1992 - Buffalo Bills qualify for playoffs as a wildcard team, beaten in Super Bowl 52-17 by the Dallas Cowboys.
  • 1993 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies in League Championship (one round prior to the World Series), four games to two.
  • 1993 - Buffalo Bills win division, beaten in Super Bowl 30-13 by the Dallas Cowboys.
  • 1995 - Atlanta Braves win division, beat the Cleveland Indians in World Series, four games to two.
  • 1995 - Buffalo Bills win division, beaten in playoffs 40-21 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1996 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the New York Yankees in World Series, four games to two.
  • 1996 - Buffalo Bills qualify for playoffs as a wildcard team, beaten in playoffs 30-27 by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • 1997 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Florida Marlins in League Championship (one round prior to the World Series), four games to two.
  • 1998 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the San Diego Padres in League Championship (one round prior to the World Series), four games to two.
  • 1998 - Buffalo Bills qualify for playoffs as a wildcard team, beaten in playoffs 24-17 by the Miami Dolphins.
  • 1999 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the New York Yankees in World Series, four games to none.
  • 1999 - Buffalo Bills qualify for playoffs as a wildcard team, beaten in playoffs 22-16 by the Tennessee Titans.
  • 2000 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten in playoffs by the St. Louis Cardinals, three games to none.
  • 2001 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Arizona Diamondbacks in League Championship (one round prior to the World Series), four games to one.
  • 2002 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the San Francisco Giants in playoffs, three games to two.
  • 2003 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Chicago Cubs in playoffs, three games to two.
  • 2004 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Houston Astros in playoffs, three games to two.
  • 2005 - Atlanta Braves win division, beaten by the Houston Astros in playoffs, three games to one.
You might look at that and say, "Wow, that's a lot of winning!" and you'd be right. But you might also look at that and say, "Wow, that's a lot of heartbreak!" and you'd be even more right. Because out of those 22 entries, only one yielded the ultimate prize of a championship.

1995 - Atlanta Braves win division, beat the Cleveland Indians in World Series, four games to two.
Lots and lots and lots of coming close, lots and lots and lots of not quite closing the deal.

Listen, part of being a sports fan is inevitable disappointment. We all know it and still sign up for it. Still, this guy was the victim of more "almost"s in 15 years than anybody should ever experience in a lifetime. So if you see this truck driving around, give the driver a hug or maybe buy him a drink because he's been through it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Busy, busy, busy week this week!

Hi!
How are you?
I'm asking because I'm about to take the next few minutes telling you how I'm doing and it just seemed like the polite thing to ask you first. You're good, right? Gosh, I hope so.

Me? Well, since you asked...
I am super busy this week!
When you're this busy, who has time to take reasonably-sized bites, right Ben Affleck?


TUESDAY
First up, it's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins. We're one win away from winning the Eastern Conference again and returning to the Stanley Cup Final and we can do that Tuesday night at home and without having to go back to Pittsburgh for a Game 7. If you don't know who to root for, just remember that when we (the Lightning) score, we fire off actual lightning bolts inside our arena...
Bad ass!

 And when they score a goal at their arena, their scoreboard farts.
Passing gas
Anyway, I'll be writing the post-game recap of that game for Raw Charge.



WEDNESDAY
It's "Comedy at the Cove"! Melissa Nicholas is now running two comedy open mics/showcases. This is one of them and I'll be there doing some jokes this Wednesday night. It blows my mind that Melissa is running two rooms because she's only 19-years-old! She is a small, entrepreneurial comedy dynamo and she is, in many ways, my hero.
Look at her. LOOK! AT! HER!
COMEDY AT THE COVE
Wednesday, May 25 8 PM
Cayman Cove
11742 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL



THURSDAY
More of me telling jokes, this time it's at Fox & Hounds British Pub in Brandon. Brandon, Florida, not Brandon, Great Britain. Is there even a Brandon in Great Britain? Who knows? Nobody cares!
G'day mate, or whatever.
FOX & HOUNDS BRITISH PUB
Thursday, May 26 9 PM
229 E. Brandon Blvd. Brandon, FL



FRIDAY
Let's head way on down south, about 20 miles, to Riverview, where you'll find me once again telling some jokes at "Gutterballs Comedy Cafe", located within The Alley at Southshore! It's the gooey comedy club center within a sweet candy bowling alley lollipop!
Clip this out of your computer screen to ruin your computer!
GUTTERBALLS COMEDY CAFE
Friday, May 27 9 PM
The Alley At Southshore
10221 Big Bend Rd. Riverview, FL
Buy tickets in advance here and use my initials (CB) as a promo code to save 20%!



SATURDAY
Nothin'
Seriously. I ain't doin' nothin'



SUNDAY
After a day of respite and repose, it's back to jokes at an ethnically-themed eat-y/drink-y place. THE Irish oasis nestled within the blighted, douched-out hellscape of South Tampa, The Dubliner! My comedy mentor Tony Gaud is putting on a showcase called "Sunday Funnies". I am either making funnies or I am one of the funnies. I'm not sure but I will find out when I get there. So will you.

SUNDAY FUNNIES @ THE DUB
The Dubliner Irish Pub
2307 W. Azeele, Tampa, FL

Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy "Maria Bamford's new show 'Lady Dynamite' premieres on Netflix today!" Day!

In honor of what I said in the headline above about Maria Bamford's new show "Lady Dynamite" premiering today on Netflix, and what I just said again about it, I proudly re-present the interview she gave me back in 2010! Please enjoy the interview and her show!

CLARK: Your comedy reminds me of Richard Pryor in that it's less about delivering set-ups and punchlines and more about telling stories, often with multiple characters. And you don't do celebrity impressions like Darrell Hammond or Frank Caliendo. Yet you're frequently associated with "doing voices". Why do you think that is and does it bother you?

MARIA: I "do voices", only about 5 or 6, and it doesn't bother me. I like doing them and it's fun to try new things; it helps change the jokes without rewriting them. : )

C: You've talked openly about dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other disorders and worked that into your material. You also furnish helpful links on your web site to resources for people seeking help with similar problems. Do you get feedback from people who see you as an advocate on their behalf?

M: I've gotten a few people write or tell me after shows that they have OCD or have been through a bad depression or had a friend or family member who had those problems and that it helped to hear that someone else out there had similar problems. The reason I put links up or talk about it is because it helps ME. Help me to help me, help me, help you, help me. It helps me to feel like I'm not alone (if people laugh at the material) and that I might be at all useful. The internet helped me find resources to fix this OCD problem I had for two decades and so, I figure, if it helps anybody, then, AWESOME.

C: Did you pick a side in Conan vs Leno?

M: Harrumph. I guess I picked Conan because Leno made a promise and the New York crew had all moved their families to LA and it just seemed so ridiculous, like, wouldn't you WANT to move on to a new format of show? And, Leno is less my sense of humor, though he's obviously really great at what he does. But, it's also business and business isn't personal to everyone. I like to know about numbers, but I hope that isn't everything. Oh well.

C: "The Maria Bamford Show" on SuperDeluxe (which is available in it's entirety in Maria's most recent album "Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome"); did you develop that concept as a web series or did it start out as someting else? I think it would have made a great movie.

M: It was a one-person show that I performed over a period of 3 years. Thanks for thinking about it as a movie. That's nice.

C: How long did it take to shoot and produce that series?

M: We made one a week, so, about 3 months.

C: How big a production was it (how many people involved?)

M: Two; myself and Damon (Jones) and then, we'd get notes from Superdeluxe, Dan Pasternack, who's now an executive at the Independent Film Channel.

C: Do you write every day?

M: I write these "Morning Pages" most every day, three pages of whatever is in my brain. I take a lot of days off and vacation from comedy and work, so in terms of writing jokes, I usually only write on work days, Monday through Friday or when I have shows out of town.

C: Do you write new material for your stand-up act exclusively or are there other projects you're developing?

M: Right now, yes, only for stand-up. I'd like to be a part of a greater project. I am going to be in a Sony Webbisode series with the Sklar Brothers. And I think of ideas sometimes, but haven't had the desire to go out there and PITCH.

C: For many comedians, the career arc to success seems to follow a path: successful stand-up --> sitcom --> book. Is that by design or does it just seem to work out that way?

M: After you have the career, maybe people want to hear what it was like. I read Kathy Griffin's autobiography and it is FAN-TASTIC. I really enjoy hearing about the ups and downs of other performers. Steve Martin's was wonderful too.

C: Do you think the stereotype of the "sad (or angry) clown" is mostly a myth or apt?

M: I bet everyone is sad or angry or whatever all the time, but comedians talk about themselves a lot more than non-comedians and negative feelings are probably more interesting in a bar setting than joyful, happy feelings- so, I think it's slightly mythological, but at the same time creative people are supposed to be more sensitive and comedy is an isolated, high-pressure profession where you can be yelled at by radio dj's and drunks, so you might see more of the sad, angry clown in their workplace. I know the guy who works at my corner Copper Keg Liquor Store is a Sad, Angry Clown.


C: A question I ask of every person I meet from Minnesota: What's Prince like?

M: This is all hearsay, but he is tiny. Pay it forward.

C: Growing up, did you have a mentor or role model who encouraged your creativity?

M: The Theatre teacher, Mr. Blackburn, this creative kids program in grade school and my parents always were pumped for whatever we were doing.

C: Did you listen to stand-up comedians when you were growing up? If so, any that you would consider influences

M: Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy and Prairie Home Companion were listened to regularly- and we watched Saturday Night Live every weekend. I still listen to PHC and watch SNL.

C: Do you still play the violin?

M: No! I let it go six years ago; finally accepted that I don't enjoy it.

C: How important do you think utilizing "social media" is for artists in general and comedians in particular?

M: I used to send out postcards and hand them out to people and now, people can find things out through friends more easily. I think it's important, but it also depends on what your vision or goals are. Maybe you're a steampunk comedian and you only find about about your shows through the Islamic Muezzin's call to prayer.


C: You gave fans a free special performance as a download for Christmas. I didn't get you anything in return. If I had, what would you have liked?

M: A couple of chickens.

C: Many comedy clubs have "wacky" names. If you owned a club, what would you call it?

M: The Broads-way- LA's Only Ladies Only Comedy Club!


"Lady Dynamite" is on Netflix and airs anytime you want, because it's on Netflix.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

A few small but important details

Everything you need to know is on this flyer...
...except the day, date and time, which is
Saturday, May 21, 6:00PM

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Processing the passing of Prince


It's been a month since Prince died and it's still difficult to accept as reality. What's been a real surprise has been learning just how popular he was/is with so many people who would be considered "mainstream". I knew he had a devoted worldwide following but I always thought he was sort of an acquired taste, a niche artist. somebody you were either really into or didn't care for. I based some of that on how some people would react when I expressed that I was a fan. What happened to all the people who used to call me a fag?!?
Beyond that, it's not surprising that other artists like Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney would pay respect via performed tributes. But the guy who plowed a Prince symbol into his corn field?

Who knew 75-year-old farmers would be Prince fans?
"Well, I reckon that the blurring of traditional gender roles and the playful, coltish sexuality expressed in songs like 'Little Red Corvette' and 'Do Me, Baby' are two things I admire most about the feller."

Even idiots are weighing in...

That may seem harsh and judgmental, but people who disseminate knowledge via internet memes are idiots. Sorry.
I don't dispute the "genius" label (I'm a fan, after all) but I'm positive a broke 12-year-old in Minneapolis did not foresee the athletic shoe boom. Nor did a 24-year-old musician who was just starting to enjoy some commercial success predict that one certain, specific college basketball player would play a major role in making that happen.

Poor idiots. I understand. It's hard to handle.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Belly Laughs, next Saturday!

Steve Miller, Clark Brooks, Kevin Taylor, and Victoria Yepes

Saturday, May 21
6:00PM
Side Splitters Comedy Club

12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Happy National Receptionists Day!

(NOTE: What follows below has nothing to do with receptionists. At my real job, I'm sort of a receptionist, but that's not my title nor is that word mentioned in my actual job description so not really. Real receptionists work hard and they deserve a day of recognition. Way to go, receptionists! Enjoy your national day and keep up the good work!)




Happy #NationalReceptionistsDay! The best donuts have sprinkles on them, I love Jews!