If an audience member catches on fire, as one did last night at the Purple Onion, you might want to stop the raffle at the end of the show and at least acknowledge it. Just a thought.
I had just finished my set and was walking to the back of the room. Another comic was speaking in my ear when out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash. When we both turned, we saw the flame from a candle shoot up the back of a girls head. Her long black hair was like a fuse. The people closest to her started patting her head. In seconds, everyone was around her hitting the back of her head with their open palms. I got there a heart beat after everyone else did. The girl, Ell seemed confused as to why a group of people spontaneously began hitting her. All I could think to do was just say, "Your heads on fire."
You know, to explain. Wouldn't you wonder why at the end of a comedy show complete strangers went all Ike Turner on you? I thought I was being helpful.
I am the guy you want in an emergency folks. The guy who can show up just a bit too late to be of any real use but will then plainly state a fact you are probably painfully aware of already. You know, like CNN.
For my comment, "Your heads on fire" I was rewarded with the greatest no shit look ever! Heres the thing I find second funniest in all this.
While a group of 5 or more people composed of comics, door man and assorted other patrons rushing over to the table to help, our host kept on plugging future shows and doing a raffle oblivious to what was happening. How that is possible is beyond me, but it happened!
A chours of, "are you alright?" was drowned out by the sound of a comic handing out prizes for the person who drank the most. How about a prize for the person got the best jokes? WTF!
Do we really need to encourage the idea that stand-up comedy can best be enjoyed while drunk?
It only came to his attention that an audience member had recently been on fire when he went silent and then asked the crowd,
"What is that smell? "
What is that smell? Dude, it's the chic whose head was JUST on fire!
less than 10 feet directly in front of you!
The crowd all pointed in the direction of the now very drunk and pissed off woman who was just on fire a second ago. His response, "Oh. Thats why I smell burning hair."
Now I could give the no shit look.
After confirming that she was now indeed, put out, he then resumed the sales pitch much to the astonishment of the crowd.
It was awesome!
He had prizes to give damn it, and nothing was going to stop him! OK, you lost a crowd before, but never to fire!
It was like watching some mad general march on to battle in the face of grim odds. Could be a brave man adhering to his own code of conduct, or a fool.
But it was damn funny!
There are very few rules to comedy. That is it's eternal curse and astonishing beauty. But I do know this; When a member of the crowd is burning, the shows over.
As we all patted her head and offered condolences, the cocktail waitress quietly walked over to all this commotion and nonchalantly blew the candle out before walking away without a word.
Oh yeah! That might be a good idea too!
That made me laugh. You have to love that though. The host is going on at the mic hawking his CD and telling everyone about up coming shows, "...Your alright then? Well then, Mark Pita will be here next week followed by..."
In the middle of all this the waitress just blows it out and walks away as if this happens all the time. The group that had gathered around her all just sorta looked at each other as if to say, I was about to do that.
Sure you were.
At least I was attempting to be informative with out providing any real help.
Shes fine by the way. A bit pissed of course and more than a little drunk, but OK. She was drunk. In fact she won the contest for having the most drinks that night.
I don't know about you, but if a person in your show catches on fire, chances are they were the one who drank the most. There is our lesson in this latest adventure friends, if you are ever handing out prizes for the audience member who drank the most and a girls head suddenly goes up in flames, just give the prize to that person.
Trust me. It's her.
Oh and the show, it was OK. I have to be honest though, I was pretty depressed at the small turn out. It was an Onion sponsored event! I had my own add in the paper to promote the show along with the Booker's separate add and we still only had 20 people. It is so discouraging. When I complained to the crowd about this a woman said, "Maybe people don't think it's a real add."
Oh my God! That is the most logical heckle ever!
It makes sense too. The Onion is fake news so it stands to reason that people might see any add and think it was fake too.
Like statistics on FOX News.
I don't know about you, but that was worth the $15.00 cover and two and a half hours of show on a Wednesday night!
"How was the show last night?"
"A ladies fuckin' head caught on fire! It was pretty awesome. Oh, the comics were OK I guess, I don't know."