October 17th, 2006


(Warning: morbidity ahead.)

Lately, when I shave, I find myself thinking about a section in the book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (you might recall I read it recently). One chapter detailed the author’s visit to a funeral home where she watched the process of preparing a body for a memorial service. One of the steps was to shave the recently departed male’s face, a tricky process because, as the funeral director said, “Nicks and cuts won’t heal.” They always use a new blade and the blade is thrown away immediately after. I shave in the shower (too much information, I know) and haven’t cut myself shaving in years as a result (there’s something about the steam and moisture in the air that helps). But still, every morning when I shave now, I think about that last shave I’ll ever have. Weird.

This past Friday we ended our improv show with Rapid-Fire Joke Cavalcade. As The Voice calls off each person, the person steps up to the microphone and tells a fast joke before leaving the stage. Since it was Friday the 13th, before the show I suggested we have monster-themed jokes ready. But, really, there aren’t that many monster-themed jokes. I remembered a couple from an old joke book I had read as a kid:

Q: What do monsters eat?
A: Things.
Q: What do monsters drink?
A: Coke. Because things go better with Coke!

Q: How does a monster count to 13?
A: On his fingers!

But neither of those was going to cut it. We brainstormed a little to see if we could come up with new (and better) monster jokes, but didn’t really come up with any. I particularly wanted to do an updated one if I could, themed off a modern movie monster – Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, one of those guys. But I couldn’t think of anything. For some reason, I thought of Psycho, and I came up with this one:

Q: What does Norman Bates do for Mother’s Day?
A: He shaves!

A couple of my fellow troupe members really liked it. The audience? Not so much.

January 13th, 2004


I went to a local improv show on Saturday night. The only live improv I’ve ever seen has been ComedySportz, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Turns out, it was like ComedySportz lite. I recognized every game except one. I talked to the lead feller afterwards and he said he had done CSz in Kansas City for a few years, so that explained a lot.

I’ll have to be honest – I didn’t think it was that good. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by CSz and Whose Line, but I was expecting more. There were a couple of actors who were really “getting it,” but I felt like the other ones were doing it because they thought it’d be fun to be in front of people. Again, I’m probably being critical.

I was funny once, a while back. I used to be able to hold my own at improv. So I asked the feller afterwards if they held auditions. They do — kinda. They have workshops, and then they pull people from there. I’m familiar with that system. I took workshops from CSz in Madison, WI. So I signed up for their e-newsletter so I could know when the next round of workshops were. So I guess we’ll see where it goes from here.

I’ll keep you posted.