Monday, February 29, 2016

The 29th Guy

Middle-to-late January, 2016, in the conference room at a local TV station...


GENERAL MANAGER: 
Okay, I think that covers everything. Good meeting everyone!

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:
Wait, we didn't go over our plan for Black History Month programming.


GENERAL MANAGER:
Oh. Well, I just assumed we'd do what we always do. Run the standard "Heroes of Black History" profiles in the same time slot we do every year.

MARKETING PERSON:
Yep, the usual 28 profiles in courage. Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King. The other ones. We're all set.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:
Have you all forgotten that this is a Leap Year? 29 days!

MARKETING PERSON:
Oh shit!

GENERAL MANAGER:
Dear God!


PROGRAM DIRECTOR:
What are we gonna do, you guys?

OLD SCHOOL TECHNICIAN:
Calm down. We're fine.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:
What are you talking about? We're in deep, serious trouble here!

GENERAL MANAGER:
Run Jackie Robinson twice!

MARKETING PERSON:
We can't do that! They'll know! They'll know!!

OLD SCHOOL TECHNICIAN:
(Sigh) I keep forgetting. Most of you weren't here four years ago. And the ones that were have apparently don't remember. But it's okay. We have a 29th guy.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:
We do?

GENERAL MANAGER:
Who?

OLD SCHOOL TECHNICIAN:
It's Bill.

MARKETING PERSON:
Oh, that's right! Bill! I totally forgot!

GENERAL MANAGER:
Who is Bill?

OLD SCHOOL TECHNICIAN:
Bill is my neighbor. Nice guy. Black. Works at the post office.

MARKETING PERSON:
That's right. We have this problem every four years. We have a standard rotation of 28 black people that we honor every year. We don't have more than that because we'd have to bump people to fit them all in. Can you imagine a Black History Month where we didn't spotlight Frederick Douglass? Talk about an uproar!

OLD SCHOOL TECHNICIAN:
So we needed somebody that's good but not too heroic or meaningful. Somebody we could celebrate during Leap Years but then skip over three years out of four. That's Bill.


MARKETING PERSON:
Bill is perfect. He's black.

OLD SCHOOL TECHNICIAN:
Bill and I have been neighbors for years. He's black. We have been using him in this capacity since the 70's. Bill is the 29th guy!

GENERAL MANAGER:
So... we're profiling your neighbor as a hero of the black community?

OLD SCHOOL TECHNICIAN:
Well, Bill isn't really a hero, but he is my neighbor and he is black. He's a nice guy, a good guy. A black guy. He goes to work, does a good job. Keeps his property nice and clean. He recycles but he isn't a fanatic about it. He's black. He gets kind of obnoxious about rooting for the Yankees when they're in the playoffs, which I don't know what that's all about since he's from Chicago but whatever. Overall, a nice, good guy though. And he is black.

MARKETING PERSON:
He's right. I've met Bill and he's okay. And black.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR:
Sounds good to me!

GENERAL MANAGER:
Me too! Okay then, now we're covered for the 3:35 AM - 3:38 AM slot for the whole month. Good meeting, everyone!

HAPPY NOW-OVER BLACK HISTORY MONTH, EVERYONE!


Friday, February 26, 2016

How to visit South Tampa!

Maybe you've heard of the trendy restaurants.

Maybe you want to see the pretty people.

Maybe nobody was around to talk you out of it.

Either way, you've decided to
VISIT SOUTH TAMPA!
Oh boy.

STEP 1: Okay, let's start by picking a restaurant...

This one looks good! The "FK stands for "Fresh Kitchen" and not an abbreviation for what you can do to yourself. That comes later. In the meantime, let's see...
Looks like there are about nine parking places. Three are for people picking up "to go" orders only, two are accessible for people with mobility issues and the ones on the south side are all for "compact cars only". In other words, we can't actually park at the restaurant itself. That's pretty standard for South Tampa!

STEP 2: Drive around and look for a place to park that's still within the zip code of the restaurant we picked.

STEP 3: Again.

STEP 4: Again.

STEP 5: Again.

STEP 6: Again.

STEP 7: Again.

STEP 8: Again.

STEP 9: Briefly consider parking in one of the lots nearby, where there appears to be plenty of parking available.

STEP 10: Remember this happens all the time as discussed here previously.

STEP 11: Say "fuck it", give up and go to Wendy's.

Thank you for visiting South Tampa!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My pals are a bunch of jerks

One of the most surprising things I've learned since I started doing stand-up comedy is how generally supportive comics are of each other. I expected it to be much more cutthroat than it is. That element does exist, because it is a competitive pursuit. Also, there is a very small handful of shitty, insecure, small individuals who need to be kept at arm's length because they can't be trusted. But they're the exception and for the most part, it's a really nice little community of people who are happy to support each other... even if they have a funny way of showing it sometimes.

Last night I helped fellow comic (and my original comedy mentor) Tony Gaud with his event, "Pizza and Pineapples", a live comedy show held at the Dubliner that was recorded for the purpose of making a documentary film out of it. My job was to work the front door. It was a free show but there was also a VIP list. So my responsibility was to greet people when they arrived and see if they were on the list.
"Did you reserve your seats in advance? Because if you did, you can just go right in. You didn't? Oh, okay. Well, then you can just go right in." - me



The event went well and Tony got some feedback from other comics this morning on Facebook:
"Great show to Tony Gaud, Sloan, Goldie, Chris Matson, and Rafiq Shaheen. Thanks for having Julie and I at the show Tony. We had a great time. And for the record, that was the ugliest ticket girl working the door I've ever seen..." - Todd Stimmell


 "She's got a great personality though.." - Mike Morris

"Thanks Todd. She had a nice ass though." - Tony Gaud

"Tony knows what's up." - Mike Morris


What a bunch of dicks.
Man, I love those guys.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Thank you!

(Don't bother reading this if you saw what I posted on Facebook last night. It's basically the same thing. Or go ahead and read it if that's what you want to do. I'm not hear to crush anyone's dreams. This has pictures, though. Do you like to look at pictures? Well, then sure, go ahead and check it out!)
"Sob, whine, boo hoo (not really)"
Well, the stand-up comedy tournament at Side Splitters is over for me. I was defeated last night by the hilarious Kyle Ruse and will not be making the jump from the Elite Eight to the Final Four. I feel as good as I possibly can after "losing". I did my best and Kyle was great. That's really all there is to it and I can't ask for anything more.

But how much fun was that?!? Come on! I mean the whole thing that started way back in August up to and including tonight. I'd have to say this entire experience, every single aspect of it, has been the coolest thing I've ever been able to do. I'm thrilled that so many of you got to share it with me. If I haven't already thanked you individually, I'm going to make an effort to do so over the next few days.

I do want to single out a few people here, if I can ask your indulgence one more time...

My unbelievably supportive co-workers. Thank you. I truly love my Amalie Arena Family.


Leslie Moselle and BT and everyone at Side Splitters. Thanks for the opportunity.


Jared Waters, JB Ball, Cam Bertrand Thanks for welcoming me into this family, your support and encouragement and for just being around at Side Splitters through this whole thing.


Vivienne Brown. Thank you for being in my corner. That means everything to me.


Thanks again to everyone who came out to one show or all the shows or who just offered encouragement. Let's all get in bed together and watch movies and eat ice cream!
Some of you are probably lactose intolerant, so maybe not.

Until whatever is next, that's my time, you've been great. Don't forget to tip your server.



PS:  I forgot to mention that if I had won, I was prepared to use the $500 to fly each and every one of you to Hawaii. Oh well, guess that can't happen now.
(I don't have a good grasp on what stuff costs).

Friday, February 19, 2016

One more plugola before Sunday night's show

2015 Tampa Bay Comedy Tournament
We began the tournament with 64 comedians.  Now we are down to the Elite 8!  Tonight's show will have two sets of competitors facing off for your votes to move on to the Final 4.   The comedians will be working hard for your votes for a chance to compete in the finals for cash and gigs on the road!


Sunday's competitors:

Clark Brooks (aka Me) vs. Kyle Ruse
Jeff Jones vs. Jeremy Hittel

Show Details

When: Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 7:00 PM
Ticket Price: $10.00 - $12.00

Restrictions: 18 & over
Two items minimum

Side Splitters Comedy Club
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Violence is never the answer

Don't bother clicking the arrow; there's no video here. But there is one below.
Do you know what is the answer*?
Coming to see me Sunday night at Side Splitters and voting for me as I compete in the 2015 Tampa Bay Comedy Tournament Elite Eight (Part 1).
Because if you do, I will love you at least as much as I love this Spider-Man pinata. I'll demonstrate that by giving you a hug and not hitting you with a stick until candy comes out of you.
THAT is my solemn promise!

Sunday, February 21 7:00 PM
Side Splitters Comedy Club
12938 N. Dale Mabry
Tampa, FL
(Buy your tickets online and use the promo code CB for the crazy-ass discount price of just $3.74!)









* Please don't ask what the question is. It's rhetorical, which means "shut up".

Monday, February 15, 2016

On behalf of my pal Johnny Fonts and the fight against NF2

John Fontana is the Editor-In-Chief over at Raw Charge, where I am employed as writer/columnist/slacker, which means he is my boss. More importantly, he is my friend. As I approach the 10th anniversary of this humble page, there are very few bloggers out there who have been at it as long as I have. John's had Raw Charge up and running for 12 years now. That's the record, as far as blogs I know about.
"Today's the 12th anniversary of the founding of the site that became Raw Charge. I started writing a site called Boltsmag (named for a Rivals.com site that went by the same name) in part because of the lack of a current Tampa Bay Lightning web presence. You could find web sites from the late 1990's and the ultra-brief competitiveness of the club from 1996 / 1997 (Geocities and other ultra-early free web host sites) and that's about it.  It was easy to be exposed (via league-wide message boards) to the common stereotype of the time: how Tampa Bay didn't deserve hockey, how no one attended games and blah-blah-blah. That was another reason to show fans actually did exist." - from John's article at Raw Charge, link provided above
That's not the only reason he started the site:
"Around the time I decided to put together a web log devoted to the Bolts in February 2004, I was learning to walk again and physically rehabbing after multiple operations in late 2003. Web design was a way to pass the time while I got things back in physical order. Losing walking ability and lower body sensation wasn't caused by an accident or injury from something horrible or a petty incident of embarrassment. It was another physical complication to my life by way of Neurofibromatosis Type Two, a genetic disorder that had already slammed my life with deafness and other physical complications brought on by it." - ditto
You can support John and Raw Charge by visiting the site for all of your Tampa Bay Lightning news. You can support John and the fight against Neurofibromatosis Type Two by contributing to the Deke The Deuce campaign. All proceeds will go to AdvocureNF2.org, a non-profit organization based in Clearwater, Florida, "dedicated to advocacy and to strengthening efforts that expedite research contributing towards systemic therapies to treat and eventually cure NF2."


Friday, February 12, 2016

It's not paranoia if it's true

There's no such thing as "off the record".
There's no such thing as "behind the scenes".
Someone is always watching you...

Always.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

That was SOME halftime show!

Not only did the Super Bowl, which is apparently an actual sentient being now, let Beyoncé tell everyone to hate the police but the same half time "show" was used to make people turn gay!
Is it ironic that the same people working so hard to find these hidden themes frequently complain about other people being overly sensitive? No? Okay then.
Look at those rainbows. Look at them! Wait, I mean don't look at them. DON'T look! Shit. Too late. You're gay now. I'm sorry.

That's all right. If it's that easy to be turned gay, it stands to reason that it's just as easy to be flipped back. And since it's the rainbow colors that turn you gay, it also stands to reason that absence of color will make you straight.

Well, that's a simple fix! Just start a regimen of classic black and white MGM musicals and you'll be back to normal in no time. Because I think we all know that there's nothing gay about Judy Garland movies.
Judy with the c-block

Monday, February 08, 2016

My review of the grand and glorious spectacle of Super Bowl 50


I didn't watch it.
Sorry.

Please don't misinterpret this as "hating" (more about that later). Football's not my favorite sport but I do enjoy a cartoonishly over-the-top spectacle as much as anyone and I don't want to try to crap on anyone's enjoyment of the big game. If you watched it and enjoyed, it that's great! The Super Bowl has been more than just a football game for a long time now and I don't have a problem with that in itself, but for me, it's taken on such a life of its own that if I don't have a rooting stake in the game, I'm not interested in watching it. Here's why...

THE COMMERCIALS

It's not because they were better when blah blah blah, it's because the people who make them have become aware of just how big a spectacle the Super Bowl is and how big a part of that the commercials are. More than half the fun of these ads was being surprised by something funny, clever or (ideally) both. Now, you can watch all of them a week ahead of time. Talk about a spoiler.

THE HALFTIME SHOW

It doesn't matter who it is and what songs they play, people are going to hate it. Even if the you enjoy the show itself, listening to semi-professional haters who don't know the difference between snark and actual wit and who think they ARE the show weigh in on why it sucks is a complete downer and not worth it. You really want to avoid Twitter during this time. It's all the shitty people who feel it necessary to chime in during awards shows PLUS shitty sports fans PLUS shitty music critics forming an unholy and really shitty alliance. This applies to all aspects of the game but really comes out during the halftime show. It's really tedious and tiresome.

THE GAME ITSELF

Like I said, I'm not much of a football fan. That's fine if you are, but even the most diehard football fan has to admit that the championship game is a dud more often than not. More so than in any other sport, pro football's championship game is rarely as exciting as whole handfuls of games played during the regular season. I'm a hometown guy, though. That means if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in it, I'll get excited and make a point of watching. That also means I'm not liable to get excited and make a point of watching any time real soon.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Tickets available NOW!

Hi there!
Two plugs in one day?
Yep. It's double plug day. But this kind of qualifies as breaking news...

Tickets for the next round of the tournament at Side Splitters are AVAILABLE NOW.
The reason that's breaking news is because it just happened. It's important enough to merit a second blog post because the last round sold out and people were actually turned away. The same thing is liable to happen again this time.
Don't be this buffoon.
Also, when you buy your tickets on line (link below), you can use my initials (CB) as a promo code and unlock the obscenely low price of just $5. You can't see a single Star War for that!

2015 Tampa Bay Comedy Tournament Elite 8 Part I
"We began the tournament with 64 comedians.  Now we are down to the Elite 8!  Tonight's show will have twosets of competitors facing off for your votes to move on to the Final 4.   The comedians will be working hard for your votes for a chance to compete in the finals for cash and gigs on the road!"

Tonight's competitors:

Clark Brooks vs. Kyle Ruse
Jeff Jones v. Jeremy Hittel
Sunday, February 21
7:00 PM
Side Splitters Comedy Club
12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa



Once more unto the breach, dear friends

Over the years, I've used this blog to chronicle my own personal efforts to fight cancer. I've tried to have some fun and hopefully entertain with these exploits but it's not without losing focus on the big issue, which is lending support to those fighting the monstrous disease itself. Whether it's people with it, their families and friends or buffoons like me, I feel like we're on the same team, using the weapons at our disposal. My weapon of choice is fun.

It's been a while since I've campaigned for a muffin to be named after me and even longer since I've been the captain of a Relay For Life team but the battle rages on, unfortunately. Un-unfortunately, I've been invited to participate in an event that will once again use fun as a weapon.

Saturday evening, I'll be hosting a fundraising event at Side Splitters here in Tampa that will benefit Relay For Life in East Tampa.
 It's only $10, with the proceeds benefiting the cause. Plus (and these are some pretty sweet pluses), you'll have a chance to win tickets to see Katt Williams at the USF Sun Dome later the same night. Also, somebody is going to walk away with a hockey stick autographed by Steven Stamkos.

with Spanky Brown and Johnny Beehner
Saturday, February 6
6:00 PM (cocktails and reception at 4:30)
12938 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa

Come. Laugh. Fight cancer.

PS: It's my birthday. That's not what the event is about but that's a fact.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Whoops! Rapers denied


AN UPDATE REGARDING YESTERDAY'S ENTRY:
"I can no longer guarantee the safety or privacy of the men who want to attend on February 6, especially since most of the meet-ups can not be made private in time. While I can’t stop men who want to continue meeting in private groups, there will be no official Return Of Kings meet-ups. The listing page has been scrubbed of all locations. I apologize to all the supporters who are let down by my decision." - Daryush Valizadeh, 36, founder of Return Of Kings, a men's right advocacy group comprised of would-be rapists 

See, they were concerned about their safety. The idea that someone might attack them and cause them serious harm terrified them and now they're forced to alter their plans out of self preservation.
PICTURED: Irony, in the form of a thick, sweet, delicious cake.
Oh well. You know what they say: "The best laid plans of mice and men who can't get laid often go awry”, Or something like that.

Presumably, the group's regular meetings will proceed in the usual places as is standard procedure.
At a public park or interstate highway rest stop near you.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

An event I am NOT hyping

(WARNING: Actual participants not nearly as adorable as those pictured)

I know I've been using this space a lot to plug my comedy show appearances, so the fact that I'm writing about an upcoming event is not unusual. But in this case, I'm not suggesting you attend, I'm merely informing you that this exists because I'm kind of blown away that it does.


International Tribal Meetup Day
for followers of the "Return of Kings" blog, written by Daryush Valizadeh, an advocate for "men's rights" and a proponent for legalizing rape who refers to women as "the enemy".
(No links to the source material because I have no interest in contributing to any increase in that site's traffic, but here's an article about it. Feel free to Google it if you want more info but don't blame/credit me. And take a shower afterward.)
Saturday, February 6, 8:00 PM
Curtis Hixon Park, Tampa

That's right, the creepy guys who usually congregate in the woods or in public restrooms are coming out into the daylight... for a little while. There, they will approach one other and exchange passwords, like a couple of spies in a movie...

In this case, the exchange is as follows:
"Do you know where I can find a pet shop?"
"Yes it's right here." (The organizers actually included instructions to not go to a pet shop, like they're dumbasses who might forget about raping, deciding to go buy a gerbil instead)
After which, they scurry off to the real, secret location of their circle-jerk/"bitches ain't shit" rally.

They're taking all these security measures because in spite of this being something they sincerely believe in, these shittly little cowards are afraid of being exposed in public for it.

Now, I can't go to Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday because I have previously scheduled engagements that day. But if I could, I would go down there and when I got asked "Do you know where I can find a pet shop?", I would reply (loudly), "HEY, THIS GUY WANTS DIRECTIONS TO THE PRO RAPE MEETING! DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE THE PRO-RAPISTS ARE GATHERING? HEY, WHERE ARE ALL THE RAPISTS GETTING TOGETHER TO BITCH ABOUT BITCHES AND MAYBE DO SOME RAPIN'?"
Because, you know, I like to help.
I'd also take lots and lots and lots and lots of pictures and share them online. I think that would be a different kind of helpful.

This is also supposed to happen in several different areas, not just in Tampa. If you're so inclined, you might want to find out if one of these is scheduled near you so you can help too! Or at least know where a good chunk of your local rape fans are so you can avoid that area.

Monday, February 01, 2016