Monday, December 23, 2013

MERRY X-MAS!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Walk the Plank 2013!

Folks! my Bay Area comedy competition Walk The Plank is coming to an end soon! 90 comedians entered, and we are down to the final 8 who will be competing in Oakland, California for your approval! If you are in the area, this is an event that you simply DO NOT WANT TO MISS!

Headlining the show will be Samson Koletkar, a world-renowned comedian who, among other things, was one of the finalists of the very first Walk The Plank!

and Hosting, straight off of my recent tour of the US, will be ME!

Plus, there will be lots of other surprises!

Advanced tickets are available here:
http://boxoffice.zvents.com/event/wtp2013


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

WALK THE PLANK!!!!

Next week my comedy competition "Walk The Plank" returns to the San Francisco Bay Area! If you are a comedy fan in northern California, please come out to support this year's crop of hopefuls!



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

OHIO WEEKEND!

If you are in the Cincinnati area I am performing Friday, 10/4 in Northern Kentucky!


OR, if you are closer to Columbus you can see me Saturday night, 10/5, as part of this very interesting Burlesque/music/comedy show:



That's 2 great opportunities to see me in the Buckeye state before I head to Missouri!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Voodoo Comedy, 9/30/13!

The next VOODOO COMEDY show in Los Angeles features headliner LISA LANDRY! If you are in LA, make sure you come out and support so we can keep these free shows coming!




Monday, September 2, 2013

VOODOO COMEDY part 2! EARL SKAKEL!

Folks, if you are in the Los Angeles area, please come out on LABOR DAY to my brand new show Voodoo Comedy! It's at a great venue, at a great location, and it's FREE! All we ask is a 2-item minimum from the House of Blues menu / bar to help justify our existence.

If you can't make it, please help spread the word! Based on the success of this show, we could potentially make this a weekly gig.


Our headliner: 
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xxow4v_earl-skakel-sly-stallone_fun

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Voodoo Comedy at the House Blues!

Folks, if you are in the Los Angeles area, please come out Monday to my brand new show Voodoo Comedy! It's at a great venue, at a great location, and it's FREE! All we ask is a 2-item minimum from the House of Blues menu / bar to help justify our existence.

If you can't make it, please help spread the word! Based on the success of this show, we could potentially make this a weekly gig.


Here's a preview of our awesome headliner LAURIE KILMARTIN!

Friday, August 9, 2013

On the Road: Nicci Tina!

Folks, Nicci Tina is many things, she's a drag queen, an activist, an author, a speaker, but mainly she's a 6-FOOT TALL TALKING CIGARETTE! She is also the alter-ego of Joanna Cummings, someone I was fortunate to meet on the road and now consider a friend.

And she's funny too! Check out our video together in the link below. And DON'T EFFING SMOKE!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

COMEDIANS!

This post is for the comedians in the Bay Area:

A lot of the newer comedians in the Bay Area probably don't know me as I've been away for a couple of years but I used to run a club in SF, which formerly housed the "Walk the Plank" comedy competition you may have seen me post about. 

A little history: 
I started the club as a means to increase stage time for local comics, and we did the first "Walk the Plank" in 2009, mainly to help keep the club alive during winter season, but it was amazingly successful and rewarding. Performers and audiences alike loved it, had a great time, and we felt as if we really helped contribute to the bay area comedy community. Two more years and 2 more contests followed, both just as magically as the first. We produced 2 CDs out of it, filmed multiple documentaries (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLbIELnCjL0), helped a few comedians increase their booking visibility and to this day it remains something I am really proud of. 

I don't live in SF anymore, don't have a club there, but I'd like to see Walk the Plank, as an instrument in community building continue. I've partnered with some great folks that run venues all around the bay and hopefully, if things go well it can continue as a tradition that is not dependent on a particular venue or promoter.

That depends on you, please consider signing up. thanks! The information is located at: www.drbrianking.blogspot.com/p/walk-plank.html

Friday, July 5, 2013

Your Boobs

Your boobs are the highlight of my day.
Better than a Vegas buffet,
Or a fine Cabernet, with a fruity bouquet,
They remind me that I'm not gay.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Del Valle Chronicles, Part 2: Fastest Mouth in the West.

For part 1, click here

FASTEST MOUTH IN THE WEST
3/2004

I was just barely settling into my sophomore year of high school when my life was moved from the New York City area to rural Del Valle, Texas. Although now home to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and an increasing amount of bland, suburban sprawl, the Del Valle I found myself in was a loosely held together community of ranchers, pecan farmers, and poor Mexicans. Raised with a city sensibility and a love of all things urban (I actually had an elective class called “Big Apple Studies”) suffice to say I didn’t quite fit in. The culture shock could have registered on the Richter scale.

I was a punk city kid in a school of painted-on Wranglers, shit-kicking boots, wide-brimmed hats, and long, flowing dusters. Texans.

Sometime during my second week there, my homeroom teacher read a list of names, all meaningless to me, of the students that were going to represent the sophomore class in the upcoming spirit competitions for homecoming. After listening to a boring read through and watching my classmates high-five each other after every name, she ended the list with a suggestive “and we still don’t have a sophomore signed up for the Jalapeño-eating contest.”

Well shit, eating was something I was pretty good at. I’d never had a hallo-peen-o before, but, seriously, how bad could it be? I raised my hand and had the homeroom teacher sign me up to eat jalapeños for the sophomore class. As soon as my name was committed to paper, I suddenly found myself in a press conference fielding questions from the cowboys and Mexicans in my class. “Duuuude, you sure you can handle it?” “Ain’t they got peppers in New York?” “You know they’re hot right?” “Son muy calientes!”

That homeroom discussion was the last I heard of the contest for the rest of the week. I went back to living an outsider’s life of relative anonymity. I went to my classes, navigating the now familiar halls and unpaved roads that led to the “temporary” buildings that housed the art rooms where I spent a lot of my free time. Nearby, students were grooming livestock for competition and most others were getting excited about homecoming, sporting the school colors and practicing whatever they had to contribute. I noticed the girls started walking around with ridiculously Texas-sized mums pinned to their shirts, dragging trails of ribbons and charms behind them. I didn’t feel any school spirit, I didn’t care about the sophomore class at all, but damn if I wasn’t going to eat me some jalapeños…

As it turned out, Texas homecomings are a big deal. Huge. Each day was a celebration not only within the school but also in the community. Parents, alums, dropouts, and all sorts of people showed up to the events of spirit week. I was amazed as I looked up at the sea of faces assembled in the gym when I took my position for the contest.

To my left was the freshman: a short, rotund, dark-skinned Mexican stuffed into tight western clothes. He looked like he had been eating jalapeños since birth and I could tell from his breath that he probably had a few that morning. To my right was the junior: a tall, pale-skinned, red-necked cowboy decked out from hat to heels including a giant rodeo belt buckle that strained to hold back his massive beer belly. Looking back, it seems odd that a high school student would have a beer gut but that body type seemed fairly common then. The senior was standing to my far right and was less memorable than the others; just a goof off that didn’t seem to be much competition. The senior class, I later learned, never took spirit week that seriously.

The rules were simple: each of us would be given a bowl of peppers and then we’d have sixty seconds to eat as many as we could. For each pepper we downed, we would save the stem and the person with the most stems at the end of the minute would win. Cakewalk.

The judges then opened up an industrial-sized can of giant ass-kicking jalapeños and proceeded to dump a bowl full of the little bastards in front of each of us. I got my first whiff of the fumes and, as I felt the chemical burn in my nose, I realized that I had inadvertently signed up for some serious punishment. Hell, I was someone that considered salt a spice and the most intense flavor I’d ever experienced until then was probably ketchup. Yet there I was, an out of place New Yorker, standing between two intense iron-stomached southwestern eating machines, about to subject myself to gastrological torture for the sake of a sophomore class I didn’t care about in a school where I didn’t fit in.

“GO!”

The start of the contest caught me by surprise, but I quickly grabbed my first jalapeño by the stem and shoved it into my mouth. I bit the end and tried to swallow it whole, thinking that if none of the juice escaped onto my tongue I’d be okay, but it was too big. I bit it into two and swallowed both halves along with the burning juice, trying hard to shuffle my tongue and all of its sensitive taste buds to the side of my mouth and away from the poisonous fluid I had just released. As my right hand lowered the remaining stem into my empty bowl of completes, my left hand quickly stuffed my mouth with another.

My system seemed to be working. As long as I got them down my throat with minimal contact on my tongue, the peppers weren’t that bad. I broke out in a sweat, spilled juice all over my shirt, and felt nauseous as I frantically stuffed pepper after pepper into my face but at least my mouth wasn’t on fire. What’s more, I seemed to be keeping pace with my competitors. One after another I swallowed whole jalapeños, sans stems, and did what I could to ignore my increasing level of discomfort.

As the clock ticked, I could feel a burn creeping into my mouth. Starting with a match and a little kindling, it soon progressed to a full three-alarm fire just behind my gums. It took everything I had to keep myself from crying as I continued my regimen of forced-feeding.

“… and…STOP!”

I was so relieved to reach the end of one of the longest sixty seconds of my teenaged life. After the contest, I was spitting flames which I tried in vain to dowse with water as the judges counted up each contestant’s stems. I stood there, sweating in agony as I noticed the others didn’t seem to be as effected by the peppers as I was. Figures.

When the final counts were announced, the judges determined that I had eaten 27 full jalapeños in a minute. I won. Hooray for the sophomore class. The Mexican came in second, followed by the cowboy and neither had eaten anywhere near my number.

After the contest, I had to go clean up and arrived late to my homeroom class where I was greeted with a round of genuine, enthusiastic applause. And it didn’t stop there. For the rest of the day I was congratulated, pat on the back, high-fived, and otherwise acknowledged by my new peers. I made new friends and found myself being invited to all sorts of parties and events. Sure I felt ill, and my mouth was still in pain, but for the first time since leaving New York, I felt accepted.

It wasn’t a rodeo, but I had competed with Texans, in one of their games, and won. In just sixty seconds I had made the transition from outsider to cowboy and all it took was a few hot peppers.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On the Road: Great White North

On tour earlier this year I spent some time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a land of yoopers, pasties, and lots and lots of snow in April. Also, it's pretty much Canada up there.

Enjoy!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

On the Road: San Diego Mardi Gras!

With my tour schedule this year, unfortunately I was unable to make it to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras celebration, so I had to make due with a west coast alternate. I've always heard that San Diego has the largest celebration out here, and now that I live down in southern California, I grabbed my friend comedian Dave DeLuca and headed down to join in the festivities.

Let's just say it's no New Orleans. I knew that going down, but San Diego has an area downtown similar to the French Quarter called the Gaslamp District. It's a few city streets lined with old buildings housing bars and restaurants, and this night a block party in the streets. Plus there's a shit-ton of Mexicans down there, and where there are Catholics, there is lent. I figured we'd still have a good time. 

San Diego's Mardi Gras is NOTHING LIKE NEW ORLEANS. The only similarity is that there are lots of beads being worn, but the beads aren't being thrown from parade floats or balconies, they are being passed around by marketing teams and included corporate logos or sold by street vendors. A lot of people, myself included, recycled beads from Mardi Gras past, but just walking around wearing beads does not make a party. Flashing boobs for those beads helps, and I saw maybe one pair of boobs (well, barely - there was an attempted flash that exposed a little bit of nipple).

The bulk of the block party was an expensive street rave that most people seemed uninterested in. It cost about $40 to enter and looking through the fence it seemed that very few people in San Diego had forty bucks to spare. Mardi Gras techno party, yeah that's a tradition right?

Dave and I got duped into eventually shelling out some cash for a so-called VIP ticket to all the area bars, which included free drinks (1 shitty drink per bar) and VIP access to get in. The problem was it seemed as if EVERYONE who did not pay for the rave bought the VIP package to the bars so the line to get in was just as long as the regular P line. AND the free drinks had to be purchased before some stupid hour, I think eleven, so basically we wasted money trying hard to not waste money. 

Fuck San Diego Mardi Gras. Next time it's New Orleans or nothing. 

I did manage to get some horrible video of the night, enjoy!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Del Valle Chronicles Part 1: You Can Never Go Home Again

Apparently there's a reunion of sorts coming up for my old High School, which reminded me of this old piece of an unfinished project:

YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME AGAIN
2/20/2002

Last week I was flying out of the new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which was built on top of my old neighborhood the closed-due-to-military-budget-cuts Bergstrom Air Force Base. That fact in itself is still hard to get used to. I mean, it is a fairly common experience to have a house torn down to make way for new development; it is quite unusual to have an entire community removed to make way for an airport. Anyway, I had some time to kill so I decided to turn the corner over to Del Valle High School (ah, the sweet memories) because I heard it has been renovated.

Driving there from the new airport, while still trying to figure out exactly what stretch of runway used to be my house, the first thing I noticed was a large fence surrounding the school grounds, behind the fence was a recently demolished vacant lot full of construction vehicles removing the remaining debris. Del Valle High, at least the one I spent four years of my life skipping classes from, no longer exists. Actually the only remaining structures were the dilapidated football field and the entrance sign, which now read “East Highland HS.” Apparently Del Valle High as an entity was gone even before the building was leveled.

I'm no nostalgia buff, and I definitely don't look back on my time at Del Valle with any degree of fondness, actually it was quite horrible, but this was just weird; totally unexpected. For those of us who spent our formative years on Bergstrom and attended Del Valle, all remnants of our entire community have been wiped clean. Too bad the same can’t be said of our memories. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

On the Road: Stalking Honey Boo Boo

If you've been following me for a while you probably know that last year comedian Erin Loftus and I met the family of Honey Boo Boo in Georgia. You may remember this photo of me and Mamma June:

Well, if you weren't following closely you may not know the whole story behind that photo. Here now is "Stalking Honey Boo Boo"




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Viral Stand Up

In March, I posted a video of a set I did at the Nutt Street Comedy Club's open mic in Wilmington, North Carolina. The video quality sucked, but it was a great short set in front of a really great audience.

Unless you are famous or there's something particularly unique about a clip (like bringing a heckler on stage) most stand-up clips don't get that many views. Hell, I can't even get my parents to watch one when they visit me and I turn it on for them. So you can imagine my surprise when, while celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Savannah, Georgia I started to notice an unusual number of views on my video. And it kept climbing! Every time I checked it seemed there were 50,000 more views! Either that, or the green beer was especially potent.


A viral video is to a comedian what an endorsement by Oprah is to a book. You can imagine my excitement when I realized, even when sober, the view count was climbing. Ultimately I broke 300,000 views which is nothing compared to your average cute cat video, but still ranks pretty high in my list of personal achievements.

Enjoy:


Monday, June 17, 2013

On the Road: True Ballers

Recently someone referred to me as a "1%er", which is flattering but just a slight overestimation of my net worth.

I may not yet be part of the 1%, but I am a TRUE BALLER.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sure, I'll accept your LinkedIn request...

...But you've got to realize it's a pretty boring site.

I really do enjoy social media. LOVE it. As I travel all over the country it is one of the primary means in which I maintain a sense of connection to my social life. Also, it really helps when meeting new people on the road. It's great. Plus, you get to see what I'm eating on a regular basis.

However LinkedIn, the "professional" social networking site, is not a part of that. And why would it be? It is structured to be job-related. Jobs don't change frequently enough to warrant posting and as a result the site has been encouraging somewhat annoying interactions between its members. All of which are really, really, really boring. Dr Brian says he knows how to use SPSS, do you want to endorse him on on this skill? You do? Whoo hoo! That was a blast, thanks LinkedIn for giving us this opportunity to interact. Wow, and I never knew that you had observed me doing statistical analyses on my laptop.

It is true that who you know is important to your career, maybe even more important that what you know. That social network is really important when it comes to job and business opportunities. This serves as a rationale for LinkedIn, and seems to make sense on the surface. But the reality is your social network is who your friends are. The people that you go to happy hour with after work, the people you call up on the weekends, the people who listen to you complain about work. Not all the people in your cubicle farm that don't know how you really dress and you never talk to despite working in the same general space together for a few years but will occasionally make awkward eye contact with as you pass each other in the common areas.

That is not a social network that is going to produce the desired results behind networking. If we've never met, never done business together, never shared a laugh or high-fived over a three-way then why would I think of you when I hear of an opening? Hell, we don't even have to know each other in real life to create a bond. Thanks to other social networking sites like FaceBook and Twitter, I've got plenty of online only acquaintances that I'd be way more willing to do business with than 75% of my LinkedIn connections. If I've never seen pictures of your kids, or you've never liked one of my many status updates or retweeted me then you are pretty much guaranteed to be outside of the consideration set when I am hiring or passing on business information.

So that said, quit trying to be my colleague and lets be friends.

Brian

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Speak No Evil...

Today the 3 wise monkeys made an appearance in Los Angeles.



Played by Ryan Seacrest, Stevie Wonder, and Bill Clinton respectively...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Throwing Water In The Fryer

From the vault, 10 years ago...

Throwing Water In The Fryer

Almost everyone knows that water boils at a much lower temperature than oil. That is one of the reasons oil is good for cooking; it can take the heat without evaporating. Oil is also lighter than water and settles on the top when the two are mixed. Anyone that has ever cooked with oil must also know what happens when a small bottom layer of water evaporates into gas and bubbles up through the very hot top layer of oil. It isn’t pleasant. The bubble pops and scalding hot oil is thrown all over. I have suffered a fair amount of burns because of this.

Years ago, in what now seems like someone else’s life, I worked for the fast food industry. I use the term industry instead of mentioning specific companies because I literally served time at most of the big ones. For a period of about three years I made just about every piece of fast food on the market: hamburgers, fried chicken, pizza, deli sandwiches, even Mexican. I worked drive through, took orders, made deliveries, and even managed a little. However most of my time was spent in the kitchens. Grill was my usual station, and I was damn good.

Overall, it was a horrible way to support myself during my first few years of community college and I’ve probably blocked most of my memories from that period as a coping mechanism. However there are a few things that I’ll never forget including one very important lesson that I learned while being trained for my very first job:

“Never put water in the fryers.”

Almost every fast food franchise has a fryer for something. Foods like French fries, chicken, hush puppies, fish, donuts, and other bits of un-identified batterables all get dunked into big vats of oil that are maintained at insanely high temperatures and cooked almost instantly. (A side note: once a co-worker threw a hamburger bun into the fryer for a minute, took it out and covered it in powdered sugar. “Here, it tastes just like a donut” he said and surprisingly it did. I lost all desire for donuts after that.) Water, or other drinks, should never be kept near the edge of a fry vat. If a few drops of water are enough to make a big splattering mess of your stovetop, imagine what a full cup of soda would do in a 50-gallon fryer. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

So I learned that I should never, ever put water in the fryers. Sometimes while working the grill at that lousy high-paced, low-wage, dead end job in my uncomfortable polyester uniform I imagined, even fantasized, about what exactly would happen. I pictured myself, standing as far from the fryers as possible, throwing a cup or maybe a plastic bag full of water into the fryer. I imagined the first few seconds would be quiet and then under the immense heat the water would begin to boil, rapidly bubbling out of the fryer and spewing forth scorching hot oil all over everything in the vicinity. Anything nearby would be burnt; the stacks of cups and other paper goods would be ruined, melted by the heat. The entire fry station would be damaged. The store would have to close. It would be a glorious disaster.

I hated working fast food. I joked to myself that on the day that I finally quit I would indeed throw water in the fryer. Of course, I would never really do something so destructive especially when it could potentially harm many innocent people. Instead, I quit like a lot of fast food employees do: I stopped showing up.

Ever since I have used the phrase “throwing water in the fryer” where others would use “going out with a bang”, or “burning bridges behind you”. One last “Fuck you” as you slam the door closed behind you and never look back. A friend of mine threw water in the fryer when he exposed his bare ass to his entire school and community during a graduation speech. Even Bill Clinton threw water in the fryer when he surprised the American public with his questionable series of last minute presidential pardons on his way out.

It has been over ten years since I last worked fast food. Now, after surviving the debauchery of college and the horrors of graduate school, I have landed an office position. I work at a desk with a computer screen staring at me and a phone that occasionally rings. Sometimes, my work involves accessing shared files; large files stored on mainframe computers that I have never seen located somewhere in the basement. The closest fryer is the one at the chicken place two blocks down. For two years, another individual with similar education and skills as my own but far more experience has occupied the office next to mine. Two months ago he and I began working on a large project together and divided up the task so that I would handle the presentation and he would manipulate the proper files. One month ago our company decided it needed to cut back a bit and he was handed his notice. Yesterday was his last day.

We were never friends. In fact, I really didn’t like the guy. I never discussed my personal life with him and discouraged him from sharing with me (the little bit that he had shared was either borderline offensive or just plain uninteresting). Sadly, he was one of these people whose absence could go completely unnoticed. That is, unnoticed until I tried to access some of the files related to our project and found them conspicuously missing.

I don’t know how he did it, but he had deleted everything relating to the current project from our mainframes just before making his exit. All attempts to reach him have been unsuccessful. His telephone is disconnected with no forwarding information and the only address we had listed was one he moved from over a year ago. With an approaching deadline, it will now cost my company almost three times the estimated costs to complete this project. He threw a whole lot of water into a very big fryer. For the next few weeks, I am going to have to bust my ass with unpaid overtime just to make up for his sabotage and get the project completed on time.

It will be hell, but for some reason I can’t stop smiling about it.

Toothless Justice

Another one from the vault, this time 20 years ago...

Toothless Justice

On Tuesday April 16, 1993 I had to appear in court. No big deal, I thought, I've been to hearings before. However, this was to be one of the most bizarre mornings of my life and it went a little like this:

First of all, the court was in some tiny spot on the map between Houston and Austin, and I had to be there at 9:00 am. I am never anywhere at 9:00 am, so this was going to pose a problem. It was a hearing about a speeding ticket that I had pleaded not guilty to. I had gotten the ticket on my birthday, January 2, coming back from a disastrous day of being lost for four hours among Houston's highways but that's another story. Anyway, my offense was going too fast, obviously not fast enough because I still got caught. I was going 97 mph in my friend's car. We had just gotten pulled over 10 minutes before for his third ticket of the day and decided to switch off for the next one (sort of a lets-take-turns-getting-busted game). I remember my arresting officer very well, he had a great sense of humor and laughed out loud when he saw our three previous tickets on display on the dash board. He said something like "damn boy it's only been 10 minutes since your last ticket, and only 5 minutes between these two!" I said, "No sir, those are his tickets, we are taking turns." I realized that there was no way I could hope to explain going 97 mph in a 55 mph zone at 2:00 am on a foggy night, so I just took the ticket and said thanks. I threw it on the dash with the others and asked my friend if it was a local cop or a state one. It was state, and I knew I'd actually have to take care of this one. (There are, no doubt, warrants for our arrest over the other three tickets but we'll never go back to Houston)

Anyway, I had to be at some small town courthouse at 9:00 am. I figured that if I woke up at 7:00 and left Austin at 8:00 I could do it, if I speeded. I only scheduled this thing because I had heard that a lot of the time at hearings like these, the witness against you doesn't show up (cops must live such busy lives) and you can get off. This is what I was hoping for. I drove down the highway from Austin and thought about how ridiculous this whole thing was. Why didn't I just buy that radar detector I was going to get? It would have undoubtedly been a hell of a lot cheaper for me than this. I could barely afford the gas for the trip down there. I found the town with no problem at 8:50 am. Now all I had to do was find the court. I decided not to waste my precious remaining minutes by driving around the country and getting lost in a field somewhere, so I stopped at a gas station to ask for directions.

A toothless old man walked up to my car. When I say he was toothless, I'm really just exaggerating as I tend to do. He had teeth, three of them as a matter of fact, it's just that they must have been pretty useless to him with one being in the upper right corner and the other two in the lower left. I couldn't understand a word he said. Maybe he was drunk. Maybe he was stupid. Maybe he was just toothless, I don't know but he did look at me like I was an alien with a third eye or long green tentacles or something. At least he could lift his arms, I'll give him credit for that. He did manage to make some sort of motioning gesture as he was grunting and I figured that was about the best I'd get from " ' him, so I took it and followed the street he waved at.

Four blocks down I found a building with a cop car in front of it. This couldn't have been it. I've been inside bigger Taco Bells. I mean this place couldn't possibly be a courthouse. I kept driving and realized that there was absolutely nothing else down the street so I decided to check it out. I walked in at 8:59 and was told that the judge was busy so I should wait in her office for my turn. She would come out and get me when she was ready. Right here I feel I need to give a little description of this place. It was like something right out of a movie like “Deliverance” (actually I've never seen “Deliverance”, but I hear it's pretty good). The place was so Andy Griffith-ish, it looked like the whole town was built for a Twilight Zone episode, I mean how could people live in a place like that? Did they even have running water? It was just so damn weird. Being a former New Yorker, I think my opinion of the place may be a little culturally biased, but there was this other guy waiting for the judge too. He looked pretty consistent with the local ambiance, cowboy hat, missing teeth, limited gene pool, and bright red arms and he started a conversation with me with the opening "damn, now this is a hick town!" It was so surreal, so Beverly Hillbilly-esque, so backwoods I couldn't believe it.

I think I waited for at least 45 minutes for that judge. During this time "Bubba" and I talked. I'm not kidding here, he told me his name was Bubba with a straight face. Bubba was there for the same reason I was and we were both hoping to get off on the technicality. As we were waiting, we saw a cop enter the building and go into the courtroom. I heard him speak, recognized his voice, an immediately realized that I had wasted my time. This was my cop. (I didn't tell Bubba this, I would've hated for him to get off and me not to). Suddenly the judge came and got me. I can't believe it! She wasn't busy, she was just making me wait until the cop got there! What about my technicality, I was there on time! It's just another way to keep liberal white guys down.

My hearing was quick, I changed my plea to guilty because of the cop showing up and then told them that I was not financially able to pay my fines. Another hearing was going to be scheduled to determine if I was indeed as broke as I said I was. I thought damn, I'll have to come back here, when the judge turned to the prosecutor and asked him if he could do it then.

The prosecutor asked me a bunch of questions about my income, my bills, my tuition and such. After declaring me broke, he suggested that I perform community service instead of pay a fine. This meant that I'd have to make several trips back to this crummy town and service its toothless community. I would have been okay with the idea if it was my own city, but really I didn't want to do work for this town. Besides it was such a small town what kind of work could I really do? I only saw maybe four pieces of litter on the street coming in. After picking that up, then what? Odd jobs for the state? Washing the police car? Picking up lunch for everyone in the office (probably no more than five people)? Or even babysitting the judge's kids? I just couldn't see it. Finally the judge put me on a payment plan to last the rest of my life and sent me on my way. I passed Bubba as I left and told him that I got off. "wasn't my cop," I added, "good luck".

I ran outside to my car, tore off my tie, changed my shirt, and got out of that place as fast as I could. I couldn't believe my morning and couldn't wait to get back to Austin.

I was doing 93 when I got pulled over again.

Monday, May 13, 2013

CHICAGO: "You Do The Math"!

A Comedy Fundraiser for "Math At No Cost"

May 21st

@ the Laugh Factory Chicago
3175 N. Broadway, Chicago, Illinois 60657

Hosted by: Dr Brian King

Featuring:
Amy Sumpter
Andy Fleming
David Philips
Jonah Jurkens
Kat Rybarski
Rich Wentz
& Ryan Walker!

For tickets, click here

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lifestyles of the Over-Educated and Under-Paid


The following was originally written in 2004, although unfortunately still feels relevant 9 years later.


“Had a PhD, an MBA, but now he's waitin' tables 'cause there's rent to pay.” – Everlast.

That is taken from the song “Ends” on the album Whitey Ford Sings The Blues. I’ve been a fan of Everlast for years and as I sit here organizing my thoughts that song seems to be playing on repeat in my internal soundtrack.

I know lots of people with PhDs and MBAs and many of them are underemployed. I don’t think any of them wait tables for a living, but I bet a few wish they earned as much as a waiter in a busy restaurant.

I will admit that some of them, despite their educational achievements, are not very talented or knowledgeable. A few others may have gotten degrees from second-rate or non-accredited universities and some received their degrees in relatively easy subjects. Finally, a tiny few pursued such obscure and highly specialized areas of study that they have developed skills for which there simply is no market. Whatever the reason, I know far too many people holding advanced degrees and struggling to make ends meet.

And that just ain’t right.

I love living in, and being a citizen of, the United States. I would rather be poor in the U.S. than middle-class in most other countries. Even our lowest demographics have access to luxuries and a standard of living that surpasses of most other societies. This is a point that simply cannot be argued with.

Sure, there is room for improvement and there may be a few places that do certain things better, but not many. The vast majority of American citizens have all of their needs met in abundance. We have so much food that we are becoming a nation of lard-asses, we live safely in huge homes, and enjoy the best entertainment while amassing such vast wardrobes that we can afford to let our clothing go out of style. In the Third World, there is no such thing as “out of style.” If you are lucky enough to own a shirt then you wear that shirt as long as it covers you. Only the privileged can afford to shop for goods they do not need.

One negative side effect to our privileged society is that our personal needs are met so well that we have to create artificial needs to keep the majority of us from being completely useless.

All a society really requires are people to produce and distribute food, build shelter, make clothes, treat illnesses, and protect the society at large. Society doesn’t need artists, musicians, actors, and the like. We enjoy them and are often willing to pay them to be entertained by their talents, but we don’t need them. Similarly, we don’t need philosophers, theologians, economists, and other abstract thinkers. We don’t need astronomers, paleontologists, botanists, zoologists, neuroscientists, physicists, biologists, or other scientists. I will not deny that members of these professions have contributed a great deal to our understanding of the world and our collective intellectual growth, but I will argue that society needs ditch diggers far more than it needs esoteric theories of ditch digging.

I personally hold a doctorate in one of the most useless sciences ever created by man: psychology. I love psychology and I have the highest level of respect for my field of study but I will be the first person to point out that almost no one truly needs a psychologist. Many can and have benefited from psychology but only an extremely minute portion of society has a real need for our services. Unfortunately for these people, psychology often falls short.

Only a fool would get a degree in psychology in the Third World, if such a doctoral program could be found. Psychology and psychologists are a luxury only privileged societies can afford.

Unfortunately for many new college students in the U.S., these “useless” occupations can seem just as valid and appealing as more practical ones, sometimes even more so. For instance, early in my college career a friend asked for my advice on whether he should enroll in a two-year program to be trained as an X-ray technician or pursue a four-year degree at a college.

At the time I suggested that, although the X-ray training would be shorter, in the end the only skills he would have acquired would pertain to taking X-rays. On the other hand, the general knowledge and skills he would acquire by immersing himself in a more traditional academic setting could translate to a variety of topics. He saw my point and went to college and finished four years later with a degree in anthropology and no job.

Educated, but with no marketable skills, he worked various low-paying positions for a year (ironically including several months serving coffee in a hospital café) until deciding to do what a lot of us useless degree holders typically do: he went back to school.

I had a very similar experience in college with my psychology major. Although I knew I wasn’t going to get rich with a degree in psychology, I still anticipated being able to find a decent job after so many years of study.

I had no idea.

During my senior year I became aware that no doors were to be opening for someone with a four-year degree in psychology. This realization, along with the impending end of my time as a student, led me to write a novel called Frozen Coffee Melting about a student facing similar circumstances. The novel was not autobiographical but it did contain a lot of the frustration I was feeling with having a useless college education. However, unlike the character Vince in my book, at least one door opened for me after my undergrad years: graduate school. I continued my education and ultimately received my PhD in psychology.

However, graduate school was less opportunity and more a repeat of the previous college dilemma. Most scientists work as university professors and this was the path that my new colleagues and I were preparing to take.

We devoted long and painful hours to our studies, lived in poverty-stricken conditions, and dealt with unimaginable stress. This was all done while gaining an increasing awareness that the ultimate prize we sought, a professorship, would only be obtained after we first graduated and then worked a few years as a post-doctoral researcher or associate professor making about the same salary as a fast-food manager. Then, after close to twelve years of hard work we’d finally be making the salaries that friends with degrees in business and finance were making after only four years in college. There is a classic irony in the fact that some of the positions in a society that require the most training are among the least valued.

But it’s not to say that jobs that require little or no training are always well paid, either. I assume that ditch diggers don’t earn a lot and given a choice I’d rather be an underemployed scientist than a manual laborer. Seeing that I haven’t spotted any of my friends by the side of the road with a shovel in hand, they probably share this preference, too.

In the end, I gave up the world of academia for a corporate consultant position that has given me the chance to make a decent living in a difficult economy. With some luck and a little ladder climbing, I may someday find myself making the same salary of someone with a more useful education.

Or I could be waiting tables. 

On the Road: Tara Tinsley!

Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to be in one of my favorite cities, Nashville, TN and scored an interview with the awesomely talented and super hot TARA TINSLEY!

Check it out here:

And for more on Tara, go to her website: www.taratinsley.com

Saturday, April 27, 2013

On the Road: DONUTS!

Ever wonder why people often bring donuts to my seminar performances? Here's why:


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

YOU NEED TO MEET ME

Who am I? I'm a relatively unknown comedian. But I have a magic power. Meet me, and you'll get a TV show on Comedy Central. I can't stress this enough, simply SHAKING MY HAND will bring good fortune to anyone seeking a career in comedy.

Meet me. You want to meet me.

Here are a few of the people who took this advice last year:

Jeffrey Ross. A comedian's comedian, meaning that he's funny but pretty obscure. He was most known for doing the Comedy Central Roasts. That is, UNTIL HE MET ME.


Jeffrey Ross was just another loser hustling the circuit. Then his life changed on May 12th, 2012 because he met me. Now, he's the host of Comedy Central's "The Burn"

These two are Anthony Jeselnik and Amy Schumer, two names YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER HEARD OF if it hadn't had been for an encounter with yours truly.

Jeselnik, was just a goofy dude from Pittsburgh with an unpronounceable name who's only real asset was insanely awesome hair.
Schumer, besides occupying a huge section of every comedian's spank bank, was basically known as Jeselnik's chick.
UNTIL THEY MET ME.


Now they host "The Jeselnik Offensive" and "Inside Amy Schumer" respectively. 

Young comedians very often ask me how to make it in this business. I cannot stress this enough: 

You need to be funny. 
You need to work hard. 
But, most importantly, YOU NEED TO MEET ME.

See you at a show!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Detroit Survival Tips

Detroit is a great city with a tremendous history, but can be a rough place to visit if you don't know what to expect. I recently spent a few days in the Motor City and compiled a few tips that might help you survive your next trip to Motown. 

Detroit Survival Tips:
  1. don't be a vegetarian, you'll starve.
  2. Stay on the other side of 8 Mile Rd. In fact to be safe, try 11 Mile Rd.
  3. Take advantage of the shitty economy and drive any time! There's no rush hour, in fact there's never any traffic. anywhere.
  4. If you find a business you like, go there a lot. Take advantage of it now because it's going out of business soon.
  5. Not all Arabs like being referred to as such. Some prefer the term "Persian", and others prefer the term "Jewish".
  6. Be prepared to have long deep philosophical conversations about Ted Nugent, electronic music, and the Insane Clown Posse.
  7. Gratiot, is pronounced "Grass-SHIT" and this is easy to remember if you ever drive down Gratiot Ave.
  8. It's helpful if you have an out of state driver's license. Local cops are too lazy to do all the paperwork necesray to write you a ticket, and you can speed all up and down Woodward Ave.
  9. Size 16 is not "plus-sized".
  10. Don't be Brittany Murphy.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Going "Pro"

A comic recently asked me what he needs to go "pro". I thought my answer might be of interest to others so here it goes:

First of all, it depends on what you mean by "pro". I like to caution all comics from focusing on money. When you start to focus on money, you get jaded and your life is filled with disappointment. There isn't much money to be made in comedy, it should always be an art form that we engage because we enjoy it. they day you start doing it for the paycheck is the day life starts to suck. Not only because it takes away from the joy of doing what you love, but the paychecks blow.

Money comes in time, focus on making yourself a marketable commodity. anyone can tell jokes and get laughs, but how many people encourage total strangers to leave their homes and take a chance on a night out in a shitty club serving over-priced drinks? until you have a following you aren't really worth anything to club owners and bookers. Talent is easily replaceable. Sure, they will compensate you for your time, but nobody can live on what you'll get paid for host / feature sets. Even if you are getting steady work, you aren't going to earn enough to pay for much more than gas.

I know people that are more than 10 years deep that struggle. The most successful "pro" comics are those that live at home or with a spouse that supports them. Or support themselves by some other means.

Basically, what I am saying is accept money gracefully when it is offered to you but don't expect it. don't count on it. and don't ever feel entitled to it.

The few "pro" early-tenure comics out there that claim to make a living in comedy, are in fact making a living by producing comedy shows. And even then, it's a meager existence. But, if you are so inclined and have an entrepreneurial streak that is the best way to go. Own your own. I have supported myself for over 5 years throwing comedy shows, and in the process got a whole lot more stage time than I would have otherwise. How to do that is going to depend on your resources and ability to recognize opportunities.
For example, I've got a really unique niche at the moment where I've combined my background in Psychology with my experience as a comedian into something really marketable, comedic motivational speaking. I get good crowds, i tell lots of jokes, and i am supporting myself because I found an opportunity.

The traditional route of working the open mics to get to host / feature and then get noticed and land that TV / Movie gig works for a few comics, but not for most. There is no standard career path for comedians. you have to create your own path.

However all that said, yes get some good head shots. yes, get a good demo video. a URL should be good enough for most bookers, no need to mail a press kit. get a good bio to introduce yourself with and network network network. then network some more. Also, invest in PR and marketing, beyond facebook. You are now a brand. Market yourself as you want to be represented.

Be good to the people you meet along the way. Asshole comics, even really funny ones, get a lot less work.

I hope that helps.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rejected Beastie Boy Lyrics

Twitter hashtag jokes are a lot like "The Aristocrats", that is you begin with the punchline and work backwards toward a set up.

I've been a fan of the Beastie Boys since their first album came out. They've got some great songs, and any fan of the group probably has at least the entire Licensed to Ill album memorized. I don't know how this got started but for some reason the idea of "Rejected Beastie Boy Lyrics" got stuck in my head yesterday and I got a little overactive on Twitter.

For those of you that don't follow my twitter, here are Rejected Beastie Boy lyrics, Volume 1:
  • White Castle fries only come in one size, so you better buy two, problem solved.
  • I'm as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of ranch dressing.
  • Got busy in Frisco, fooled around in Fresno, got over on your girl cuz that bitch will do anyone famous.
  • I've got a license to kill. I think you know what time it is, it's time to make the donuts
  • I love White Castle, cuz it's the best. Well, it gives me diarrhea actually, but it's cheap.
  • You gotta fight ... for your right ... to vote!
  • No sleep til I've yanked one.
  • My name is MCA and I'm gonna die first.
  • I'm Mike D and I get respect. R E S P E C T find out what it means to me.
  • With MCA, Ad Rock, Ricky Rubin, and me Mike D.
  • Pump it up homeboy just don't stop. Chef Boyardee tastes great when high.
  • Got arrested at mardi gras for jumping on a float. My man MCA got a beard like ZZ Top.
  • Got a peg leg at the end of my stump, never go out without my F me pump.

Monday, January 28, 2013

On the Road with Truvy Trollop!

Folks, It's good to be Dr Brian. While on the road in Nashville I ran into famed burlesque performer Truvy Trollop. You don't need any more of an introduction than that, just watch the video.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dr Brian needs a Theme Song!

Hey gang, Dr Brian is in need of some theme music. Something short and sweet that really captures the swank & sophistication of his work. Think you would like to give it a try? To paraphrase the millions of Mardi Gras parade goers "Submit me something, mister!"

In the meantime, check out a few of the submissions so far:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

On the Road: in Brian Vs Food: Chicago

This is an older video I recently re-cut to be even more awesome (or less sucky, depending on your point of view) following my exploits in the great city of Chicago!

Thanks to the always funny Richard Wentz for his awesome work on this.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Year on the Road, by Facebook Check-Ins

I spent 2012 on the road and thanks to Facebook, I have this nice record of everywhere I've visited.