Sunday, November 09, 2008

He hates your guts

Tonight was a fun night.
Due to several factors (finances, age, motivation, among others), I don't really get out too much when it's not the concert season (that being the summer generally), so it's nice when I do get out and it turns out to be a lot of fun.

Val and I had tickets to go see Jim Norton at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick.
Our tickets were for the early show; one of 5 shows of the weekend (at least 4 of them sold out).
We got there at about 5:50 PM to wait for the 6:00 PM opening of the doors. There were maybe 30 people or so ahead of us. Not a problem, because we easily got our new favorite table which is such a location so as to accommodate my "generous" build.

Since there's still almost 2 hours until show time, we ordered some food. It should be noted that the Stress Factory is a comedy club, not a restaurant, so the food is...well...edible. We played it safe and ordered the Improv Sampler, which consisted of 2 mozzarella sticks, 2 chicken fingers, 2 jalapeƱo poppers, and a handful of curly fries. Val doesn't care much for the poppers, so in return I let her have the one really good curly fry (you know, the one that looks like a potato slinky).
After the sampler and one or two Yeunglings, we decided to each order the one thing that is genuinely tasty at the Stress Factory, and that is the hot pretzel. At $3.75 each, they ought to be good. :-)
After the obligatory "funniest home videos" on the screens, followed by 5 minutes of panning and scanning the room with the in house camera and zooming in on random patrons complimented by text "remarks" on the screen (for example, when we went to see Bill Burr a few months back, the camera zoomed in on me and the text came up saying, "Needs Viagra"), the show started promptly at 8:00PM.
As always, club-owner Vinnie Brand started things off as MC. After his opening monologue, on came the opener, a very funny gentleman named Melvin George. We had never heard of him before, but he was very funny and entertaining. If I had to guess, I'd say the only thing keeping him from being more of a rising star is that he wasn't topical. His act was obviously entirely rehearsed, and he pretty much didn't say anything about the election (or anything really related to current events). Sure, it was only 4 days ago, but that's the point. A truly good comic would have come up with something pretty quickly.
Again, he was very funny and everyone obviously liked him. I'm only speculating as to why I haven't really heard of this guy.

He did about 40 minutes, and Jim Norton came on shortly before 9:00PM. Jimmy, as always, killed with his unique brand of politically incorrect humor. For any of you who may not have heard Jimmy's act (be it on stage, screen, or the airwaves with Opie & Anthony), just imagine the bastard child of Richard Pryor and George Carlin.
Jimmy did about a 90 minute set. After the show, Jimmy was selling and signing his new book, "I Hate Your Guts". I didn't stick around because I already have and read the book, and I didn't feel like waiting in line. How about that...I even lack motivation as a fan-boy. ;-)

Val and I then went to Marita's Cantina (two blocks away) for a nightcap of nachos and beer.
There was a live local band playing tonight, so there was a $5 cover charge to get in. We made that up when we got inside because Val had a friend behind the bar that gave us the first round "on the house." We ended up getting an order of nachos, two beers, and a shot for $20, which included a 35% tip.
We didn't stay long, because it became apparent very quickly that we could easily have been the subject of a "what's with the old people?" comment from just about anyone else in there.
After hearing the band play a Beatles cover, a Santana cover, and (what they referred to as) a Metallica cover, that being Bob Seger's "Turn The Page" (and yes, I know Metallica popularized that song, but these guys called it a Metallica cover. It's not. It's a Bob Seger cover. If you're a bar band and you play "I Shot The Sheriff," you would not be doing an Eric Clapton cover. 'Nuff said.), Valerie made the observation that her and I were the only ones in the whole place that were older than the music. Although, we were suspicious of one of the guitar players which may have been the others band members' dad. ;-)

So anyway, it was a fun night, and I would recommend that you go catch Jim Norton if you can, and buy his book.

Mark - Smober for 3 Years, 6 Months, 24 Days, 20 Hours and 46 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 181 Days and 5 Hours, by not smoking 52195 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $14,202.78.