Monday, May 21, 2012

Comedy vs. Cancer vs. Local News

Two years ago, I was asked to perform with a few other comics at a charity event for cancer. Well, I guess it was against cancer. Or something. It was one of those "Relay For Life" things where people trek around this high school track for hours, and I was to perform on a stage right in front of said track.

First off, I've never understood how people walking around in circles fights cancer. I understand that they accept pledges that a certain amount of money will be received if they walk for a certain amount of time, but, uh, what's wrong with someone just donating money for, you know, the cause? Are there really people out there that think, "look, those namby-pamby cancer patients aren't getting my money for nothing. Maybe if somebody sweats for me."

From what I remember, sweating was something a lot of those walkers could stand to do anyway. It's ingenious how they convinced people to pay them to get their fat asses off the couch, where they then could feel good about themselves for sending that money to the "fight against cancer".

Jeez, I sound like a douchebag. And I haven't even gotten to the story yet.

Anyway, right before showtime, veteran comic Bryan Hamilton rounded up myself and the few other comics and told us the ground rules. Basically, no cursing or adult subjects. Which basically removed about 95% of my act back then. I had to go to some very mediocre jokes, including one I had discarded long ago about how self-centered the local news is in their reporting of world events. Now, every single time I had told this joke previously,

1. I never mentioned a specific news organization, and
2. No one ever laughed.

Well, #2 remained consistent, but for whatever dumbass reason, I decided to add "you know how you watch local news, like ABC-7 or Fox 4..." to the bit. A bit that makes the anchors seem kind of stupid.

Well, guess who turns out to be a HUGE sponsor of Walk For Life? And happened to have a HUGE booth in the middle of the football field inside the track, with anchors and reporters signing autographs? Yeah, that would be Fox 4, who apparently didn't see the humor in me saying that if Key West fell into the ocean, they'd only report on how it affected traffic in Southwest Florida.

 The next day, a representative of Fox 4 called Walk For Life and threatened to pull sponsorship completely. I never knew how the conversation went, but when I imagine it, Fox 4 says "Quit hurting our feelings, or your fight against cancer can go fuck itself". Whatever was said, I got a tongue-lashing from Bryan. Oh, and we haven't been booked by Relay For Life ever since.

I love you all.  Make me famous.