Greetings friends, frenemies, comedy fans, comedy fanemies, and anyone else who checks their Spam folders on a regular enough basis to have found, opened, and read this e-mail.
As you who had been fans of the late, lamented, and forgotten Hollywood Hotel edition of my Tell Your Friends! show, I thought you might be interested in two free – FREE! – events coming up in the next couple of weeks.
And if you aren’t, here’s a live feed of a Kitten Rescue nursery you can look at instead:
No matter how cool and above-it-all you think you are, I dare you – literally, dare you – to watch for more than three minutes without getting completely sucked into these cats’ lives. Only, watch it with a safety buddy who can pull you out when you start commenting with baby talk.
As for shows:
One is a new FREE MONTHLY SHOW (where I will be buying FREE BEER and SODA for the audience – and it will be soda and beer of the FREEest possible quality) called “LIAM McENEANEY’S RED HOT INDUSTRY SHOWCASE. This happens THIS THURSDAY, June 14th, at 9:30pm, with Aparna Nacherla (Netflix, Corporate), comedy magician El Ropo (The Magic Castle), and The Comedy Store’s own Luke Schwartz (The Improv).
The other show is a FREE SCREENING of Tell Your Friends! The Concert Film! On June 22nd, 2010, I threw a super-sized concert version of my TYF! show in Brooklyn and invited some of my very best comedian friends to perform. Comedians like Reggie Watts, Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal, Christian Finnegan, Rob Paravonian, and Leo Allen. On June 22nd, we’ll commemorate the eighth anniversary by having a little outdoor screening in Highland Park. Learn more by clicking on that picture above.
As for everything else, I still live in H’wood, CA. I’ve officially passed the honeymoon phase, and have transitioned into being a full-time resident. I think it’s tough to explain to people who don’t live here exactly how unglamorous Hollywood life is. As a rule, there aren’t too many celebrities on Hollywood Boulevard. In fact, if you see someone you recognize in Hollywood, first be sure that they aren’t the out-of-shape posing-for-money-in-front-of-the-Grauman’s-Chinese-Theater equivalent of that celebrity. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference; if you take their picture, and they try to punch you when you refuse to pay them twenty bucks for it, they’re either a fugazi look-a-like or the real Sean Penn.
I live in a pretty nice section of Hollywood, but if you see a celebrity where I live something has gone drastically wrong in their life. Like, I feel very fortunate that I live in a great apartment in a happening neighborhood exactly where I want to be. But if I saw Adam Sandler shopping at my Ralphs, I’d think, “Poor guy, I hope things pick up for him.”
To be fair, I’ve been told that celebrities shop at my local Gelson’s (for New Yorkers, Gelson’s is a supermarket chain that sits on the quality scale about halfway between D’Agostino’s and Fairway – it’s not that nice, but out here in the land of the goyim…). But I’m actually not tremendously good at recognizing people, in person, that I only know from the TV or movies.
Also, I find that it really grounds me to do all of my grocery shopping at Ralphs at 1:30 in the morning. It’s where you realize that the opening scene of The Big Lebowski is pretty much a documentary:
Sure, Gelson’s caters to the “we might as well close at midnight because our customers are responsible adults whose careers demand they show up at the same time every morning, preferably with a minimum of face tattoos and brightly colored outfits that make them look like what a Marvel supervillain thinks a circus clown should be” crowd.
But what will profit a man doing his grocery shopping at 8:00 so he can be up for his job designing Adult Swim billboards, if it costs him his soul? Not to mention that there’s a tremendous sense of gratitude and equanimity to be gained in surrounding yourself with people who have made way worse life decisions than your own. Be honest: Buying your ten dollar bag of grapes in line behind the second lead from Supergirl will never fill you with an immense and lasting feeling of gratitude for the fact that you decided to say no to trying meth.
Maybe the Gelson’s-at-10pm crowd has “control” over things like “the amount of controlled substances one should ingest at any given time.” But there’s something tremendously bourgeois about the fact that when you hear an announcement over the in-store PA, that’s a voice you can be 100% sure that everyone else is hearing, too.
At 1:30 in the morning, Ralph’s becomes a true egalitarian paradise – nobody is better than anybody else, everybody is equal in the understanding that there’s more to life than conforming to society’s traditional standards of success, or hygiene, or acceptable public behavior. Everybody is gathered together in celebrating all that is freezable, microwaveable, and filled with enough salt to mask the chemical compounds that make up your dinner’s basic ingredients.
Much like worker paradises like the former Soviet Union or the current North Korea, you may find yourself standing in line for far longer than one would expect, living in the civilized West, to buy toilet paper. But the people there have character. They have rich inner lives. They’ve lived, and lived fully, and every minute of every year is written across their faces. Sometimes literally, with the tattoos, and sometimes metaphorically, with everything else.
And that, kids, is how I met your mother.