I answered an ad to appear on a public access show called "Are You A Star Or Just Bizarre?" - it was billed as public access's answer to American Idol. If that's the answer, I think they need to throw out the question (as my sixth grade teacher used to do with test questions if everyone answered incorrectly).
Since they already had enough comics for the weekly competition, the producer asked me to be a guest judge. Cool, thought.
But when I got to the studio, I had second thoughts... What if I knew the comics I was judging? I'm kinda known for being brutally honest....How honest was I gonna be?
I had third thoughts (similar to my second thoughts) when I was in the waiting room and saw a middle-aged guy wearing an unbuttoned flannel shirt walk through as if this was his living room.
Then I saw the list of comics performing. Shit! I knew a few of them. What to do...
So, as the show is broadcast live on Time Warner Channel 56, they started exactly at 11 PM. The studio audience consisted of comics performing, and a few people who look like they needed a warm place to sit for a few hours.
The host introduced me as a "successful comedian." I later found out my name was written on screen as "Harris Bloon."
I've done some shows with the first comic. I was hoping he'd do okay as it woulda been awkward to criticize him and then travel with him for two hours for a show. He did a decent enough job...I was able to praise his efforts. Phew!
The next two comics were horror shows. Both black, one actually combined impressions of Tony Montana, Forrest Gump and Ray Charles in one joke. All that was missing was him saying "I'll be back!" like Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is exactly what he said when one of the judges said he'd like to see him again. The other wore a fur coat and fur hat combo that Snoop Dogg woulda found ridiculous.
I'm gonna have to re-watch the episode to see what I exactly said to these guys but a few quotes (paraphrased)...
"I've heard versions of your magnum condoms and bad breath jokes, but I've never seen a version of that coat and hat!"
"I've seen hundreds of comics do Michael Jackson jokes. I'm hoping that with his passing, so will the jokes."
"I think it's funny that you say 'f**k the kids' on TV, but instead of 'dick,' you said 'wee wee.'" (1)
"Those impressions have been done over and over again. You need to do others. And your Ray Charles impression was god-awful - you made him look and mentally handicapped (Okay, I didn't say that...just thought it.)"
The best part is that I said these things after the other judges spoke, and they all loved the acts. I was basically the bitchy British judge on the panel, but from Queens, NY. I need to start drinking out of an oversized Coke cup, as a friend said. I think some of my comments even got booed.
During the show, I texted with friends and Josie, who were watching. Some of the tests received...
"watching this is painful."
"this is beautiful."
"you should go on tour with the guy wearing the fur coat/hat."
"i really wanna kill the guy off-camera who introduced the host."
"i wanna kill the douche to your right" (same guy)
"this station is a little staticky"
"ouch!" (after my commentary)
At the end, they allowed another guy to get up and tell a joke. I say "guy" since I'm pretty sure he wasn't a comic. His stutter was so pronounced he couldn't get one joke out before the host interrupted him to declare a winner. (2)
The winner was...a TIE between my two least favorite comics - I was outvoted. Exactly what I expected.
When I got home, Josie's first words to me were, "You are so mean!" which kinda relieved me, as I was worried that I came off as too nice. (3)
I actually had a great time, prolly cause it's a chance to tell people what I really think of their comedy, instead of just doing what we all do, tell everyone how amazing (I've come to really hate that word) they are and talk behind their backs. (4)
I will be on the show again. Stay tuned!
(1) - After the comic said, "F**k the kids!" you can hear me ask, "Are we still on the air?"
(2) - His joke started with, "I saw this girl walking, she had such a badonkidonk butt, I wanted to climb in..." - I didn't get a chance to critique him, but I woulda said, "I recommend staying away from words like 'badonkidonk.'"
(3) Video to come.
(4) I actually don't do that. I mean, I do talk behind other comics' backs (I don't trust any comic who doesn't), but I don't tell everyone how amazing they are...even if they are amazing.