Still in rehearsals and tightening/rewriting material. Ah, political comedy -- is there anything more up in the air? You laugh based on your political prejudices, if you have any, that is. Otherwise you don't laugh. You stare. Yawn. Most likely throw something, usually something sharp. That's why most stand-up is apolitical. It's a form of self-preservation.
But this crowd will be political in a very lefty/lib way, which is no guarantee for success. Lefties can be, and in my experience have been, some of the grimmest, humorless people you'll ever encounter. I've offended many rightwingers, but I've never gotten the earload of righteous anger that I have from unamused lefties.
Still, I expect Sunday's crowd to be very hip and open to my stuff. And I'm not saying that because this blog is linked to the online/email announcement of the event, which means that some of you reading this will be in the audience that night. No. I'm saying that because I believe it to be true. Call it a comic hunch.
While working on my set, I thought of an SNL bit from December 1989 where Phil Hartman played David Rockefeller speaking about the Japanese buy out of Rockefeller Center. I saw the bit only once, but it remains one of my faves. (I was once told that Hartman himself wrote it, but I have no solid proof of that.) And thanks to my pal Patrick Lonergan, who runs SNL Transcripts, I found the script, which I now share with you.
[Open on: A giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center at night. A solemn instrumental version of "Silent Night" plays in the background as Rockefeller appears]
Hello. I'm David Rockefeller. A few weeks ago, my family sold the controlling interest in Rockefeller Center to the Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan. Since then, there's been a public outcry from people who are distraught that we're selling off our architectural treasures to the Japanese. It seems there's a perception that the Japanese are some "evil empire" to be feared and distrusted. Well, I just want to reassure the American people that the Rockefeller empire is every bit as evil. Probably more so!
After all, my grandfather, John D. the First, built our family fortune on corruption, thievery, blackmail, murder, and the exploitation of common working people. Now, my father may be of interest to those of you in labor unions. Why, one time, he sent his men down to a camp of striking coal miners and they drove through in an armored car and machine-gunned the whole area, setting it on fire. Now, weren't you a little quick to judge those Mitsubishi people?
Dad hated everyone. And, if he were alive, he'd hate you. He would! I do! So, the next time the Japanese buy some institution that you hold dear, let's remember that you shouldn't be judged by the color of your skin, but, rather, by the blackness of your soul. Good night and merry Christmas and -- I'm evil.
HA: Just heard Al Franken doing a very funny bit about Pat Robertson reading a list of political enemies who should be assassinated -- in God's name, of course. When Franken does this, he's great. But soon he sinks back into the mainstream Dem swamp, and the laughs turn to zzzzzzzzzzzs.