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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in The_Sad_Clowns' LiveJournal:

Saturday, March 24th, 2007
11:07 am
[stevetassie]
Espozas Desperadas
According to the CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Oddities/070323/K032321AU.html) a Brazilian housewife was just convicted of killing her retired police officer husband, cutting him into over a hundred pieces and frying them on her stove.
(BEAT) Remind me never to go to a pot luck supper in Brazil.
The case first came into the public eye when camera crews from the Brazilian versions of Cops and Desperate Housewives collided at the same address.
Neighbours became worried about the fate of Officer Soares and called authorities when they woke up one morning convinced they smelled bacon.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
9:58 am
[stevetassie]
What's that, Lassie? You're in the witness protection program?
According to this article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6478235.stm) at the BBC, Malaysian mobsters have put a hit on two police dogs whose highly trained noses recently sniffed out $3 million in pirated DVDs. (BEAT) These gangsters must not actually watch the movies they're pirating, because if they did, they'd know that you can kill as many people as you want, but you kill ONE DOG and you have lost your audience!
Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
3:03 pm
[stevetassie]
Fascinating new business opportunity...
My wife and I are cursed. That's the only explanation I can come up with for why there's a five alarm blaze going on at Sassafrazz restaurant right now. Let me explain.
In September 2001, my wife (then my girlfriend) and I took our first vacation together. We left on September 7th. Then September 11th happened. We hadn't taken another vacation together until our honeymoon this past October. We got engaged in July, 2005, with plans for an October 2006 wedding and a honeymoon to New Orleans. Well, a month after we'd decided to visit the Big easy, hurricane Katrina paid her visit. So no New Orleans for us. We still went on honeymoon, but instead we went to Niagara Falls. While in Niagara Falls, not only did baseballer Corey Lidle crash his plane into a New York city high rise (for those keeping score, that's 2 vacations and three planes crashing into NYC skyscrapers), but the Buffalo/Fort Erie/ Niagara Falls receives a devastating, unseasonable snow storm which downs trees and power lines and closes airports.
What's this have to do with Sassafrazz catching fire? I'm glad you asked.
Tomorrow is my wife's birthday. As a wedding gift, her work gave us a substantial gift certificate for Sassafrazz, and I had made reservations for a nice dinner for two to celebrate the birth of my lady love. So what happens? The towering fucking inferno, that's what!
So where does the business opportunity come in? I'm glad you asked that, too.
I am hereby offering up the services of my wife and myself, to resort and travel destinations worldwide and local dining and entertainment establishments. What services? Disaster avoidance consultants. You simply pay us one dollar a day, every day for the rest of our lives and we will NOT make plans to patronize your restaurant or book holidays in your fair town, burg, hamlet or resort. We will protect you from natural disasters, acts of terrorism, war and idiot sports professionals.
So please, if you know anyone in the hotel, resort or restaurant business, please pass on our email address nodisasters@stevetassie.com
Surely $365 a year is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of your establishment and your paying customers?
Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
8:55 am
[stevetassie]
TV titles
Have you noticed that TV is full of shows with titles like Missing, Vanished, Without A Trace and Lost?
I predict that next year's Fall line-up will include:
Misplaced
Not Where I Left It
and
Honey, Have You Seen It? Damn It! It Was Just Here A Minute Ago!
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006
1:20 pm
[stevetassie]
The front page of today's Toronto Star has an article about a study that proves people's health is related to their neighbourhood. "Rich neighbourhood = good health, poor neighbourhood = poor health" proclaims the study. How many of our tax dollars do you suppose were spent on this study? What's next for Stats Canada's Department of Obvious Conclusions? They're looking in to whether most of our wheat comes from the prairies - THIS JUST IN: Over 99% of all pregnant people are women! The younger you are, the less likely you are to know how to perform brain surgery! Sweet, zombie Jesus, don't we have anything to study that we couldn't find out by asking a five year old?
11:42 am
[stevetassie]
Rant about Religion
I can't believe how many people in this day and age treat the bible like it's gospel or something. I mean it only took a few months to figure out James Freys 1,000,000 Little Pieces was a fraud - and that was on Oprah's book list - so why has it taken over 2,000 years for people to figure out that the bible shouldn't be taken literally? The logic is that the book was written by god, and is therefore infallible.

Well, I was flipping through Leviticus the other day, just for kicks. You know Leviticus, right? It's the book of the old testament that says shaving, vegetable gardens and bunny rabbits are abominations against god. Any way, in the section on abominations is a long list of birds and right smack in the middle of the list it says "bats". So according to the bible, not only are bats an abomination against god, they are also birds.

Is it just me or does that little tidbit throw a little reasonable doubt on, maybe, THE ENTIRE REST OF THE BIBLE? Isn't it maybe possible that the bible (and the torah, koran and all the other ancient texts we hold so reverend) were actually written by men - well meaning men who were doing the best with what they had, but men who simply didn't have all the knowledge we have now? I think of the guys who wrote these texts as dads trying to give advice to their kids. Everybody knows no teenager listens to dad, so dad comes up with the bible and says some other guy wrote it and suddenly all the kids are doing what "god" says.

You just know that if the bible was written today, it would contain passages like "Incur not the wrath of god and anoint thyself with the sacred SPF30, lest ye suffer the plague of the red, peeling skin." or "Drinking and driving be the path to damnation. Pious is te way of the taxi and blessed be the designated driver. Carry always the Quarter of Salvation, so thou canst call thy parents for a ride in an emergency. Amen."
Monday, October 23rd, 2006
12:38 am
[stevetassie]
Belated show report
So, Thursday night.
Yeah.
Boy was I mediocre.
Rusty.
Fumbled my words and messed some set ups and punchlines because of it.
Thursday's show drove a point home for me. My first introduction to acting and comedy was improvisation, but as a comic I cannot improvise. I've been doing a lot of work with the Men In Tights ( www.menintights.ca ) lately and that is a very "go with the flow sort of show. It's a lot more scripted than the casual audience member will ever notice, but it's not the sort of act where every word and gesture is sculpted and timed to perfection. As a result, I've been in a very improvisational head space of late but my style of stand-up doesn't blend well with improvising. When I write jokes, I think hard  about how they should be structured, where each word should go, timing, etc. I don't think I'm good enough at the craft yet to truly use the term "wordsmith", but that is what I aim for. My energy and delivery style are not like those of Ryan Belleville, Robin Williams or Deb diGiovani: I don't ramble well on stage.
As for the rest of the show, the audience was smallish, Fraser Young did a good job hosting and the first couple of comics (Andrew Young and Peter Fulton) had as rough (or rougher) a tim on stage as I did. Todd Allen and Evan Carter had much better sets. I was in a bad mood and left without seeing the headliner.

Steve
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
11:05 am
[stevetassie]
Fallout from the Comedy Rumble
So last night I did Darrin Rows' Comedy Royal Rumble 2 at the Living Well in Toronto. I didn't win but it was an interesting thing in which to participate.
The format works like this:
Ten comics draw numbers to see who will be the first four on stage.
The first four take turns telling jokes one at a time and the host, using audience response as the criteria, kicks off the least popular comic and brings on a new one to replace them. This keeps going until there are no more replacements and the audience has whittled the comics down to one winner.
Very challenging format since no one comic has enough time with the mic to build up any rhythm or head of steam with the crowd, In a normal show, if a joke doesn't do well, you can come back from that with a piece of gold and win the crowd back. With this format, unless all the comics have duds at the same time, a bombed joke kicks you off the stage.

I was booted from the stage with joke number five. I think the joke still has potential to be funny as it got good laughs during the set up, but the punch line fell flat. So here's the joke (I've indicated where the audience laughed)

"Celebrity fragrances are a big deal these days. Even David Beckham has a fragrance... because every man should smell like a sweaty soccer hooligan (LAUGHS). I think we ought to just pass a law that EVERY celebrity has to have a fragrance. I mean who wouldn't buy O.J.'s "Acquittal" (LAUGHS) or Ben Affleck's "Coattails"? (VERY FEW LAUGHS)"

When I told my wife about the joke I had to explain why I thought coattails would be the name of Affleck's cologne. If you have to explain a joke, clearly it isn't funny. So the question is, what's a better punch line? (I wanted to use "Paris Hilton's Shame, but I did some research and that useless bitch already has a perfume on the market.)
Should I list three fake celebrity perfumes, since three is the magical number of comedy?
The OJ line got laughs, but when I was writing I figured that it shouldn't be the punch line since it's a pretty out of date reference.

Thoughts?
Thursday, August 17th, 2006
9:26 am
[stevetassie]
What a stellar show last night
(see sarcasm)
I don't know what it is about the Living Well, but it never draws a crowd to its comedy nights, and last night was no exception. No matter who runs the room, it's never got an audience. Well, that's not strictly true. I saw one good crowd there once for one of Darrin Rows' shows, but it was primarily made of Martha Chavez's friends and they were loud and inconsiderate of the other performers.
It also doesn't attract a lot of talent (at least the shows I've seen). I'm not going to tell you who was there because 
a) I don't know most of their names
b) there's no point in slagging anybody in a public forum like this. Besides, my performance hardly left me in the position to judge anybody.

All I'll say is that I disagree with "comics" who strive to provoke any reaction from the crowd, even if it isn't laughs. As I see it, a COMIC's job is to perform COMEDY. Comedy is stuff that is funny, humourous or otherwise laugh-inducing. Telling the one woman in the room that she's walked into a rape club isn't comedy, it's being creepy. Saying that you kill the fucking bitches who turn you down for dates isn't comedy, it's a sign you need to get help. And not just with your writing.

So I'm now pleased to remind everyone that I have the dubious honour of hosting the show at the Living Well on August 30th. It'd be great if you came, because a crowd make comedy go better, and even if you don't see any actual comedy, you will have a deeper appreciation for the hell that is my professional life.

Steve

"A London business magazine just declared Dalton McGuinty the "Personality of the year" which I find odd because I didn't realise McGuinty had a personality."
--Me
Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
7:06 pm
[stevetassie]
What makes a joke stolen?
This is a subject that a lot of comics...scratch that, every comic has to deal with at some point in his or her career: stolen material.
On the surface it seems like a pretty simple problem: stealing a joke is theft and it's wrong and people who do it are bad. Right?
During the Comic Genius competition from Corner Gas, many people hurled accusations of plagiarism at lots of submissions, some more legitimate than others. Some accusations were leveled at me and some by me. I was personally offended by suggestions that I had stolen any of the material I submitted ( I know a number of other comics were also offended by things aimed at them - Charlie Currie, I'm looking at you), but recently I've been think about how you define stealing a joke. Obviously there are some black and white extremes on the subject:
a) You see/hear a comic perform a joke and at some later date you perform the some joke on stage, word for word, knowing full well where you got it, without the other comic's knowledge or consent. This is clearly a stolen joke.
b) You write a joke while living as a hermit with no outside influence. You craft each word so that the joke is the purest expression of your idea. This is your joke.

There's a crap load of room between those two scenarios.

Robin Williams has a reputation for remembering everything he hears and then subconsciously repeating it when he gets into his "improv mode". Is that theft?

If you do a joke with the same premise as a joke you've heard someone else do, is that theft? Can a comic "own" a premise or just an exact arrangement of words? Are there really any original ideas left?

If you take a set up and punchline but change the details, is that theft?
What if you take a set up that you've heard before and craft a totally new punchline?

I once saw a comic ask an audience for a bunch of random questions as though he was looking for improv suggestions and then he just moved on with his act as though nothing had happened. I thought "that's a kind of funny idea but it should go somewhere." So for a while I'd start my sets by going on stage with a pen and paper, asking for suggestions and then revealing to the audience that I'd been doing a crossword puzzle and wasn't going to improvise at all. Is that a stolen bit?

I've been compared to Dennis Miller, Dennis Leary and George Carlin (while the comparisons were favourable, I'm not claiming to be any where near their league). Does that mean I'm stealing from them? Does having a similar style of delivery and choice of subject make me a thief?

If you write a joke and someone tells you it's a joke they've heard before and they can back it up but you keep doing yours, knowing that you wrote it yourself in good faith, is that theft?

What if you write a joke but in the back of your mind there's lingering doubt about whether it's original or just something your memory is is dredging up. If you perform the joke are you a thief? If it turns out to be original are you any less guilty than if it turns out to be an old joke you forgot you heard?

Any thoughts?
Steve

"Does Dan Brown know that Angels & Demons and the DaVinci Code are the same book? Can you plagiarize yourself?"
--Me
Monday, November 22nd, 2004
6:24 pm
[ladychaos1138]
Welcome!!
Hello my non existant community memebers. I would post more but there is no one. So, have a nice day.

Current Mood: crappy
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