New jokes that will be old soon

Screenshot 2014-04-28 12.51.54Paul Simon and his wife were arrested after a domestic dispute yesterday. It took him a while, but Paul finally found that tricky 51st way to leave your lover.

Question for Clippers owner Donald Sterling: if you hate black people so much, why buy a basketball team? Why not hockey? Or musical improv?

George Clooney just got engaged to a British lawyer. And we’re all wondering: what first attracted her to A-list movie star and multimillionaire George Clooney?

Movie star George Clooney is engaged to a British lawyer not in showbusiness. She’s also defending George against charges that his whole life is pretty much ripping-off “Notting Hill”.

I’m an inventor now

Screenshot 2014-04-28 11.17.22

I’m an inventor now. I invented something this morning. This is my invention:

A notepad for the shower.

We all have our best ideas in the shower, but how do we capture them? Introducing, THE SHOWER GENIUS. It’s a hi-tech dry erase board with oil based pens that don’t smear under hot, pressured water. It attaches to your bathroom tile with super powerful suction cups (probably with a cool lever).

I am NOT going to Google this idea to see if someone else thought of it already. Because if they have, then I’m not an inventor, I’m just a loser who had the same idea as another, smarter guy, a little bit after him. Burst my bubble? No thanks. Inside this bubble, life is pretty great right now. I’m rich, I’m famous, I’m on TV (I do my own commercials).

I’m never going to actually DO anything to make THE SHOWER GENIUS happen. That would require hard work, trial and error, and, well, that Googling thing. Not going to happen. But in MY head, until I forget about the whole idea, I’m Steve Jobs.

Think Different.

(I just googled it and it’s been done. I’m so disappointed.)

Gary Gulman is world class

Is there anyone better at wringing new truth out of well-trodden territory than Gary Gulman? I think that is the tell-tale sign of a comic getting very, very good.

[hulu=http://www.hulu.com/watch/626936]

 

Political correctness

Screenshot 2014-04-02 14.51.20I quite like political correctness. It just seems like good manners. Being conscientious of other people’s feelings or preferences isn’t a burden, it’s a gift. It builds trust and comfort. And like all good manners, a dash of debonair respect helps a good time swing. But critics of political correctness have one decent point. If we get obsessed with it, heightened language-awareness becomes stuffy and dull. Like the table manners expected at Buckingham Palace. Yes, we’re all correctly using the precisely appropriate salad fork. But are we having fun? Hell no.

Chicken

I don’t like that I eat chicken. I feel awful for the chicken. But chickens eat bugs when they can, and don’t seem to feel bad about it at all. So show me a chicken that doesn’t eat bugs and I will pledge to never eat him. The only way vegetarianism will ever suit me is with some sort of unilateral cross-species pact, with an inspection regime, like the US and Russia did with nukes. Trust, but verify.

The most popular thing I’ve ever written

Screenshot 2014-04-02 14.37.31A week ago, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced they were splitting up. The UK’s Daily Telegraph (their biggest broadsheet newspaper) emailed me out of the blue. I’d written for them in the past, but not for a few months. They asked if I could turn something around in an hour: they already had an American woman’s perspective on marrying a British man? Could I give them the opposite viewpoint? I bashed it out, happy with most of the jokes. I sent it, and promptly forgot about it. They ran it.

And it blew up. It hit their front page. Last time I checked, it had been shared over 19,000 times on Facebook. It didn’t change the world or anything, but it put me on the map with a few important people. That’s a big win for me.

There’s a weird lesson in here. Opportunity visits in strange ways, and at odd times. You may not recognize it when it arrives. But if you are always working hard, always honing your craft (pitching, thinking, meeting, performing, challenging, writing, and RE-writing), you will get your chance to shine in front of a large audience. If you are in a creative profession, it can seem like most of the time, you’re just WASTING your time: writing stuff no one reads, telling jokes no one hears. You are not. You are constantly improving. And when opportunity knocks, it will be the anonymous failures that prepared you to succeed.