Friday, January 29, 2016

How I'm spending my birthday this year

Yep, my birthday is coming up. Next Saturday as a matter of fact. And how am I spending my special day? I'm soooo glad you asked! I'm doing two things...

THING #1: Storm Cheerleader tryouts

"Are you auditioning to be a cheerleader, Clark?" Ha ha! No. You jackass. No, I'm going to be a judge, assisting in selecting the squad for the Tampa Bay Storm, our local Arena Football League team! I did this last year and that looked a lot like this...

I'm not qualified to judge dancing and tumbling and such but I'm awesome when it comes to interview questions. I sure hope the young ladies are up on theology and military history because those are two areas I plan to hit hard. I also have some suggestions for a halftime show with a Battle of Antietam theme, so there's a natural tie-in. I think Storm fans will really enjoy that.

From there, it's off to...

THING #2: Hosting "Humor to Help", a fundraiser to benefit RELAY FOR LIFE
Sorry, you can't join me for Thing #1, but you can totally come out for Thing #2, which is a comedy show with Spanky Brown and Johnny Beehner to raise money to benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. It's only $10 and there's an opportunity to win tickets to see Katt Williams at the Sun Dome later that same night! Laugh, fight cancer, laugh some more and help me celebrate my birthday? That's a pretty sweet dea, if I say so myself! And who else would I be saying it for? Exactly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The stupid is everywhere

Sometimes, I, just like you and everybody else, have to deal with big groups of stupid people. Lots of 'em. So, so many. I try not to judge people, but it's hard. Some people are stupid and that's just the way it is. That's actually not a judgment, but merely a fair and accurate assessment. And it's not like I think I'm better than anybody else; all the evidence available at this time indicates clearly that I am at least as stupid as the smartest stupid person. To try to pretend otherwise is just false and serves no purpose other than to obscure the truth of the matter. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

What makes it hard to handle is when you really take stock of just how many stupid people there are, how deeply stupid they are and how spread out they all are. It's overwhelming, really. In fact, when you take all those factors into consideration, it's something of a miracle that there isn't more stupidity-driven mayhem happening at all times than there already is. I mean, these are people who vote and prepare food and operate machinery with gas and electricity. How is it possible that things aren't worse than they are?

Just going by the numbers and what's involved in getting society up and running every day, drawbridges should be flying up and down, launching cars into rivers all over the world. Somehow, airplanes don't always just fall out of the sky. How are traffic signals not lighting up as red, yellow and green at the same time? Given the level of pervasive stupidity surrounding us every minute of every day, all kinds of things should just be exploding all the time. I don't know why that isn't the case but I'm glad.

So, yeah, you know. Positive thinking.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dale Jones is coming to town!

Starting Thursday night, I'll be hosting at Side Splitters, seven shows over four days, and the headliner will be Dale Jones! Check him out here...

And then check him (and also me) out LIVE by getting tickets HERE!

Dale Jones at Side Splitters
(With your host, case I didn't mention that enough already)

Thursday, January 28 8:30 PM

Friday, January 29 8:00 PM and 10:15 PM

Saturday, January 30 6:00 PM, 8:00 PM and 10:15 PM

Sunday, January 31 7:00 PM

Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, 33618

Friday, January 22, 2016

Impending doom!

"The last Piccadilly Cafeteria restaurant in the Tampa Bay area closed its doors permanently after dinner on Sunday, management confirmed today." -, Wednesday, January 20

This is terrible news. Where am I supposed to find food like Jello with carrot shavings in it or baked fish with almonds on top? I mean, I don't eat that shit because I'm not 87, but I'd kinda like to be at some point. And when that happens and that's the kind of stuff I suddenly crave, where am I gonna find it? Also, creamed corn, those dyed green or red apple rings, cottage cheese with pears and cake with powdered sugar instead of frosting? How am I supposed to survive my Golden Years shuffling around the mall without subsisting on food that makes me wish I'd killed myself several years ago?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I'm going home

I've been invited by my high school in Benton Harbor, Michigan (that would be Benton Harbor High School) to come back and attend AND PERFORM AT the annual athletic banquet and I'm going to go and do that.
This is going to be weird, and maybe a little emotional, for me. I've lived elsewhere much longer than I lived there, but it's my hometown and being born and raised there is a pretty big part of who I am and how I think about things. Secondly, I haven't been home in a very long time. Third (and this might be the biggest, weirdest thing), I will be performing! I posted in a Facebook forum for comedians and asked for advice, and these are the replies I got...
  • Tony Gaud (my mentor): "Make sure everyone knows you're a big deal. #dochollywood"
  • Todd Stimmell: "Nothing to worry about Clark, I'm sure they will welcome you back to Bedrock with open arms. Mr Slate might even let you do a corporate gig while you are there."
  • Anthony R. Mack Jr.: "Talk to your family first and let them know you are coming to perform.. and get them talking to the town for you. And let them know you are a big deal. They will be the best word of mouth advertising you will have. Also arrive one day early so you can go out with your family in your town and let them introduce you around town to their new and old friends when you get there. That will reinforce your name in your town for a great show."
So I should go back to a place where pretty much anyone who knew me when I lived there decades ago is dead (ie: my family) and present myself as a big deal with the hope that my prehistoric cartoon boss will get me some stage time. Awesome. Thanks, guys. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Grateful (to be among the) Eight

Photo courtesy of PW Fenton

Hey, looks like I won last night and am advancing to the next round of Side Splitters stand-up comedy tournament. There were 64 of us to start and now we're down to just eight. That's kind of mind boggling, isn't it? 
I don't know when the next round will take place,  but I'm pretty sure you know I'll let you know, right? Right.

Shout outs to last night's performers/contestants, Kyle Ruse, Tom Wise, Bryan  Harris, Mona Chiarizio, Billy Blair, Cam Bertrand and David Weingarten who were all very funny and did a great job. Kyle, Mona and Cam are advancing as well. 

Huge thanks to Jared Waters who hosted and JB Ball who had the unenviable job of closing out the show while people were distracted with futzing over their ballots. Both of these guys are well-established professional comics who have been nothing but supportive of me since I started doing this just over a year ago. Just the fact that they were both there was a source of comfort.

Last but most important, thank you to everyone who came out (especially my "coach"). I love all of you, even those I don't know.

And to those who didn't come out, well, I love you too.

We'll do it again real soon!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Now what do I do?!?

I happened to be present when a stand-up comedy novice asked a seasoned veteran about what kind of merchandise they should start selling at their shows. The veteran very tactfully explained that that is not the kind of thing an aspiring comic should be concerned about at this stage in their development. He said it's far, far more important to concentrate on writing good material and learning to be comfortable on stage. In other words, worry about your act and not the non-essential and silly things that ultimately don't matter. This would include not only anything having to do with merchandise sales but also 'wacky' stage names and stupid catchphrases. All that stuff is completely unnecessary.
It's excellent advice, but what am I supposed to do with 24 cases of these?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Plugasaurus Rex says "Rawr!"

Uh-oh. Here it comes...
GYAH! Plugasaurus Rex!
Don't move; maybe it won't see us!
Oh no! Too late!!
Hey Clark, what can you tell us about some upcoming shows?

Well, first up is...
Fuck Up Nights - Tampa Bay
Thursday, January 14th 6:00 PM
Cigar City Cider and Mead
1812 N. 15th Street, Tampa (Ybor), 33605
This event is SOLD OUT!

After that, we have
Tampa Bay Comedy Tournament Sweet Sixteen Part 2
Sunday, January 17th 7:00 PM
Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, 33618
Okay, cool. Cool.

That will be followed by
Gutterballs Comedy Cabaret
Friday, January 22nd 8:00 PM
10221 Big Bend Rd, Riverview 33578
Ha ha ha ha! You said "balls"!

From there, I will be
Hosting for Dale Jones at Side Splitters
Thursday, January 28 8:30 PM
Friday, January 29 8:00 PM 10:15 PM
Saturday, January 30 6:00 PM, 8:00 PM and 10:15 PM
Sunday, January 31 7:00 PM
Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, 33618
All right all right all right!

The next thing after that is
Fun Raiser: Humor to Help - Relay for Life
Saturday, February 6th 6:00 PM
 Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, 33618
Well, that's just t-riffic!

All of this info and more (well, not that much more) is available at

Monday, January 11, 2016

A short conversation about solving a problem

"You're really bothered, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I really am."
"Do you need a hug?"
"A hug? Seriously? Great. Sure. Go ahead and give me a hug. That'll just solve everything."
"Okay, well, yeah. That was actually pretty nice, I guess."

Friday, January 08, 2016

Let's have F.U.N. next week!

I'll be your host for FuckUp Night (or F.U.N. for those with delicate sensibilities) in Ybor next week.
What is it? Well, here's the description from the Facebook event page:
FuckUp Nights is a global movement where stories of failed projects are told, questioned and celebrated.
Heard enough success stories? FuckUp Nights are raw, authentic and liberating stories told by stellar people who fucked up royally in business at some point in their career. Three or four speakers will share their story, including what the project was, what they did wrong, what they learned from it, and what they'd do differently.
Candid stories
Expressive questions
Learning from failure
Oh yeah, and drinking some beer
What’s your story, Tampa Bay? 
The speakers for this edition are...

  • Joy Randels - Founder and CEO of NewMarket Partners
  • Joey Redner - Founder, Owner and CEO of Cigar City Brewing
  • Ian Beckles - Former NFL player, Founder of the Ian Beckles Foundation, Flavor of Tampa Bay, and Orange 62 Training. 
  • Michelle Royal - CEO and Founder of RIDG (Royal Innovation Design Group), a visual facilitation and graphic recording company
  • There will also be an "open mic" that will allow you to share your own personal fuckups with the crowd!
And as I mentioned in the very first line (because, of course that's how I mentioned it), I will be your host for the evening, on behalf of Side Splitters comedy club.

This should be a great event for networking, inspiration and motivation, because honestly, who learns anything from people who do things the right way the first time and every time? Screw those jerks! Come and learn from the experiences of your true peers, real people, not sainted unicorns, who have made mistakes, learned from them and have come back better and stronger as a result!
Plus, it's free!

Thursday, January 14 - 6 PM
Cigar City Cider and Mead
1812 N. 15th Street (Ybor City)

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Hey, let's go to a comedy club!

Guess what today is? It's my anniversary! Exactly one year ago today (as if you needed an illustration of what an anniversary is), I did stand-up comedy for the very first time at Jeff Rey's "Leg Up Stand Up" open mic at the Double Decker Lounge in Ybor City.

And what a year it has been! I've met some great people, had some incredible experiences and learned a lot. There have been some really good times and a few bad ones, but even the bad ones were still pretty good, at least in terms of gaining valuable experience.

I'm still nowhere near an expert at this stuff but I've picked up enough that I feel I can show you around and give you an idea of what life is like as a stand-up comedian. So...
Hey, let's go to a comedy club!

Wow, pretty crowded tonight! That's not a surprise when the headliner is a big name who has been in a successful movie.

"Well? Where ARE my pants?"
"WOO!! HA HA HA HA HA!!! He just said the thing that we heard him say in the movie!"

What a fun crowd! Looks like everyone is having a really good time, at least in the front few rows. But wait a minute...

Aw, what the hell is he even doing here? Geez, dude. Nobody wants to go up on stage and see somebody like this guy.

Ooh, look at that! A really cute girl in the second row, laughing and having a great time!

But naturally, she's with this douchebag. Because of course she is. That figures.

Check out the guy with his laptop. There's always some blogger who shows up because he thinks he can make the transition to stand-up. Forget it, buddy. That never works.

The local comics tend to gather in a group off to the side to talk shop and gossip. Let's join them and see what's going on!

"Hi guys!"
"Hey man."
"Sup man."
"Hey. Sup."

Look at the impossibly hot bartender! Do you think she has even the slightest interest in any of the comedians? No, she absolutely does not. No chance. None whatsoever.

Although, that doesn't apply to big-name headliners who have been in a successful movie.

Hey, the manager said there's some extra time to fill at the end of the show and wants to know if I'll do it. Hell yeah I'll do it! One thing I've learned is that you never, ever turn down stage time! Let's see how this goes!
"Hi folks! My name is Clark and..." 
"Shouldn't anything you put into your body be 'better than crack'?"

"I eat a lot of salad now and..."

"Basically, I lost interest in my own suicide and..."

"OK Cupid says my soul mate is probably a lesbian..."

"Gotta be kidding me."

"(Sigh) Oh well. Stage time is stage time. Thank you and good night!"

Monday, January 04, 2016

Badly explained plots of all seven "Rocky" movies

I love the character of Rocky Balboa. The original movie "Rocky" is still one of my all-time favorite films. Nearly 40 years after it came out, I feel the themes of perseverance and finding someone who truly believes in you are still as inspirational today.
I saw "Creed", the seventh movie in the Rocky Balboa saga, a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best film in the series since the original, in large part because it's the first one since the original that features realistic characters that had more to do than stand around in the background and watch Rocky be "Rocky".
With chapters 2 through 6, some of which were practically cartoons, I didn't love them but I found them entertaining at least (actuall, I really hated "Rocky IV", but that's worthy of an entire blog post of its own).
That doesn't mean that the plots can't be explained badly and briefly, like when the Twitter hashtag #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly pops up. Here, for your enjoyment, are my badly explained plots of all the "Rocky" movies, a series of movies that I love.

The love of a good woman inspires a man to let another man beat him to a pulp.

The near death of a good woman a man loves inspires him to get beaten to a pulp again by the same guy.

The love of a good man who had previously beaten him to a pulp twice inspires a man to beat up another guy.

The bitter, drunken best friend of a guy who frequently gets beaten to a pulp tries to have sex with a robot
Seriously, WTF?

Lots of guys, one married to a good woman who doesn't have much to say anymore, getting beaten to a pulp.

A pulpy old guy, whose good woman of a wife is now dead, gets beaten to a pulp once again for old times sake.

Old guy who has spent his life being beaten to a pulp finally smartens up and lets a youngster take the beatings.

You are now badly up-to-date on the plots of all the "Rocky" movies.

BONUS LULZ: Here's my #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly synopsis of "Reservoir Dogs", another movie I love:
Strangers debate employment in service industry over breakfast, spend rest of day dying.

And one for "Twister", the dumbest movie I've ever seen and that I do not love.
Scientists trying to save people from tornadoes battle evil scientists trying to save people from tornadoes.