This Week in the Mercury


Friday, June 22, 2012

Comedy Tour: Take My Fiancee, Please

Posted by Alex Falcone on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 10:44 AM

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[Editor's Note: Up-and-comer comedian/actor Alex Falcone—who you've seen perform with Action/Adventure theater, as well in the live talk show Late Night Action w/ Alex Falcone—will be furnishing semi-regular updates from the road to give us an inside peek at the real life of a struggling comic. Want more Alex? Check out his website and his podcast Read It and Weep—a funny show about bad books, movies, and TV.]

TWO FISH IN A TANK

Saturday, June 16th - Yakima, WA

During the day today, I drove down to Yakima to meet my fiancee's extended family. She was introducing me around and then, based on their reactions to me, guessing if they'll want to come see us get married next year.

"This is my future husband Alex, he's a comedian" is an introduction very few people have practice dealing with. The most common reaction is some form of "Tell me a joke."

If I told you I was a dentist you wouldn't ask me to pull your wisdom teeth to prove myself. There's also a difference between a street joke "Two fish are in a tank and one says to the other..." and a stand-up joke "Have you noticed that every time you're feeding fish they're all talking to each other…"

Since this was a birthday party (happy 90th, Gramma Betty!) I had four different people say "We should have had you entertain us." I can't begin to describe how bad an idea this would be ("So your granddaughter does this weird thing in bed..."). I've got chills just thinking about it. As a dodge, I just said that they couldn't afford me. If you read my financial report last week, you'll realize is almost certainly a lie.

If I told you I was a dentist, you also wouldn't offer to count my molars to impress me. I get that a lot too. "Have you heard the one about the fish?" Yes. Yes I have. This isn't my first party.

Sunday, June 17th - Tacoma, WA

I have this moral dilemma that probably no other comedian would give a crap about but it bothers me. Here's my issue: last night this really cool thing happened. If you've got two minutes, it'd be easiest if you just watched the following video.

Okay, Comedy Secrets Revealed time. I tell that joke every night in that exact order. I didn't magically come up with a dirty/Disney combo joke to respond to that woman; I just realized when she requested it, that it was coming up anyway and I could make it seem like I had. If you watched closely, you can even see at the end when a guy yells "You should write that down" I glance at my set list to verify to myself that I already had.

Here's the conundrum. I'm not a great actor, but I could probably fake this off every night. People usually laugh at the Disney joke and then the dirty joke, so I could always say that I can't tell which one to do next. And I bet 90% of the time somebody would suggest I do both. Then I do and blow everybody away.

Is that wrong? Probably not. I'm lying about plenty of stuff on stage. My fiancee doesn't do that weird thing in bed; I just thought it was funny. But it still bothers me more in this situation because I'm getting a laugh specifically because people think it's spontaneous and it's not. I don't like the idea that if you saw my set twice you'd have that moment where the emperor has no clothes. Right? I don't know. I'll take opinions in the comments.

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