Category Archives: Shows

Homework, Clubwork, Brainwork

The important shows are always different. A little money used to be important.  Then big money became  the most important show on my calendar. Then it got to be the big opportunity. These days, the important performances are personal. Like the first time back at a home town comedy club or a speech at my daughter’s wedding.

I’m preparing for an important show later this month. (Details below!)  A gut-clenching, nerve-racking, nail-biting important show…in my hometown. The audience will include people I attended school with, played ball with, and practiced my fledgling funny bits on.

Those people who “knew me when” are going to spend their hard-earned money to see perform. I want to make sure I’ve come a long way—in the right direction—since my wise-cracking high school days. That means I’ve been writing and rehearsing a lot of new material in the last few months to prepare.

Ironically, my cruise ship and corporate gigs don’t really allow for workshopping new material. I can squeeze in a new joke or a different twist to a stage-ready set, but if I really want to work out new material, I need to hit open mics. And with less that a week until my hometown show, I needed to Hopmonk Tavern’s open mic last night.

That’s me in the photos with my notes in hand. (Let the younger comics read from their fancy smartphones. I prefer old-school paper and pen.) Thanks a million to the Sebastopol audience for their laughter which will help me fine-tune the material my chums will hear next week. Special thanks to hosts Jon Lehre and Jefferson Mars for making the mic work for all the comedians who take the stage.

I gained a bit of confidence last night which calmed down the butterflies in my stomach. In comedy, there’s a crazy balance of writing and performing, and of ego and anxiety. Sometimes all you need to carry the day (or night) is just believing you can do it.

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If you’ll be near St. Helena or Santa Rosa, California on January 25 and 26, get tickets here. If you missed my radio interview on The Grind, give it a listen!

New year, new plans

2019!  I like the optimism of making new year’s resolutions—a promise to yourself to make positive changes in the next twelve months. The start of the year is a great time to do a bit of personal accounting to tally up what we have, what is still to be gained, and what we can doContinue Reading

Performing (and relaxing) on Edge

For my last blog entry of 2018, I want to share an amazing first: I was the first comedian to perform on Celebrity Edge, the newest Celebrity Cruises ship. The ship’s name is no accident—it’s on the leading edge of innovation. (And I have performed on enough ships to know!) This new ship was coveredContinue Reading

I was my own opening act!

Using comedy for the benefit of others is a force multiplier for good. Sometimes I’ll perform pro bono for a cause I like or for friends (and causes they like). Other times nonprofit organizations hire me to put the fun(ny) in their fundraising events. Sometimes, I’ll split the difference and give a smaller nonprofit myContinue Reading

Peter Paull and…Steve!

Many years ago, the ’90s, (yes, last century!), I was booked as the emcee/opening act for a variety show at the Catch a Rising Start comedy club in Las Vegas. This series of shows had a singer in the middle and a comedian headliner. It was one of those opportunities where I got everything possible:Continue Reading

Live from The Laugh Cellar

Performers have a word for the non-show biz people who attend a show for the first time: civilians. Some civilians like what I do at that first show and want to come see me again. That makes ‘em fans. (In comedy, people rarely give you a chance to disappoint them twice.) Now these civilians areContinue Reading

The devil is in the details

MY COMEDY SPECIAL WAS RELEASED ON VIDANGEL LAST WEEK!  (Yes, I am shouting.) VidAngel is a streaming entertainment service with a twist: it lets customers with Amazon Prime, HBO and Netflix choose to skip or mute content that might be disturbing to some viewers. Their slogan? “Watch however the bleep you want.” In addition, VidAngelContinue Reading