I’d like to share a conversation I recently had with Peter Gwinn (Founder of Baby Wants Candy, Emmy Winner from Colbert, no one special). He is now back in Chi and plays in only 1 improv show, with 3033 a team he used to coach before he left Chicago and I asked why?
His response (paraphrased): “I’ve learned that it takes about 4 years for an ensemble to become GREAT. I got to experience it with BWC in Chicago and then at the UCB and BWC in New York. Those guys got really good. I mean REAL GOOD. Sure I can come back and drop in and play but I just can’t put in that time to become great with another new ensemble. I’m married and I’ve got kids. This show  is easy. I know these guys, worked with them and Sundays are just fun, relaxed, no pressure and actually, in tonight’s show we started clicking in that way again…”
This made me think. If someone like Peter Gwinn and the cats he’s working with take that long to achieve ONE great ensemble, where does that put me? It’s hard to watch amazingly talented people (and teams) and want to be there, NOW. But I realize there’s really no short cut to it. It’s work. The good news is, is that the work seems to pay off so for everyone out there who’s feeling frustrated or going through the woeful “ improviser’s valley” - hang in there. It gets better. Then worse. Then better. Then worse. Then great.
Introducing: Wong Simpleton. A software engineer @ Google. Makes $212,000 a year and is clinically depressed. His therapist urged him to write jokes about anything and everything that make him sad. Here they are, through his voice, enjoy!
Real News, real jokes, real silly.
Real headlines, twisted punchlines. Some aren’t even news items; just good ol’ silliness to break up your day. Enjoy!
Splitting my time all week between Old Town, Wriggleyville and Uptown, I find myself on the CTA Red Line quite often. Mix incenessant construction with Cubs traffic and a rush hour exodus from the Loop and you get a consistently overcrowded, smelly and loud (if not violent and criminal) train ride.
Today, amidst the special concentration of Thanksgiving weekend, I was in a more agitated state when I heard the unholy screeching of a demonic child thrashing around in her stroller. We were too tightly packed in for me to swing my fat head around to identify and psychically scold the devil babe. So I stood there, cursing myself for not bringing ear phones and cursing the mother that bore this hölle kind.
Then I started thinking - Why do mothers NOT shush their children? I don’t get it. I understand the need to raise your children with less boundaries to promote experiential development, but come on! Shush your fucking kid! I started to become angrier at the mother than I was at the child. The kid doesn’t know better, how would it? It’s a stupid baby, a moron, no sense of right or wrong. But the mother does! Shush your kid! What is she supposed to learn from this? That you can act like a fucking asshole on a train and get away with it? That’s not life! That’s not how it works sister; if you don’t want your daughter to grow up to be a horrible, spoiled little twat, SHUSH YOUR KID!
Bing Bong, the train doors slide open at Belmont to let out a stream of commuters. I turned around to face the duo responsible for my excited state of train-rage. And that’s when my face flushed with so much heat, I thought my head could explode into a bloody geiser. There she stood, the mother, wearing a cheap polyester track suit and a ponytail, defeated, pushing around a child of an age no younger than 12. That’s when I knew I had some serious anger issues. I was enraged at a mother trying to cope with an unruly, developmentally challenged tween, in a fancy wheelchair.
She started to thrash around and scream. Mortified, I turned my gaze quickly stared sharply into the corner. Then something fucking amazing happened. A man walked into the car and notices the commotion and comments, “Oh, first time in a carriage, huh?” The mother, without ever making eye contact, “Nope.” Bing Bong.