20230302 – The Night JonTHEBRUCE hit the lottery

Me attending the Comedy Cellar

My friend Bill Herman tells a story about visiting a club in Detroit with BB King hosting and then Aretha dropped by for a couple of songs. My brother and his lovely wife got to see Alanis Morisette live in a tiny club at the exact moment she could sell out a stadium.

I have been to New York three times, not for very long and not without multiple competing agendas. It seems like all the cool comedy clubs are far, far away. All the cool touristy stuff in the middle of Manhattan island. All the cool comedy clubs seems to be a block apart at the bottom of the island. Like 40 blocks. at least. Far.

So I found myself with no obligations on Thursday night in midtown Manhattan. I watched the Singing Hoosiers backing up my amazingly talented niece in a transcendent performance at New York Society for Ethical Culture. Dined with my amazing sister in law at David Chang’s Momofuko Noodle Bar. I should have just called it a night and went to sleep.


I got on a the 1 subway and rode all the way to the bottom of Manhattan. Arrived about 11pm. I bought a ticket to the bringer show at Grzly Pear, just in case and kept going up the block. If you have watched comedy on television or television about comedy, you have seen the Comedy Cellar. From street level, the sign is about waist high and there is a staircase leading down. The bouncer let me know that the doors weren’t open yet, but the 11:30 show was sold out. There was a standby line around the corner. So I went around the corner.

The ticketed line was already forming to the right. The standby line was eight people deep. The first person in the standby line reported that she saw/heard Dave Chappelle enter earlier. She had been waiting in line since the 9:30pm show. God Bless and keep this dear woman.

It was her, this big group of guys, Other Guy and me. So I just hung out at the front and talked to everybody until the line started to get serious. Then I went to dip back into my spot the Other Guy was gone. WTF? So I started talking the flight attendants who according to my line rules were immediately behind me. Other Guy shows back up with slices for the flight attendants and himself. Other Guy was awesome. Like a younger Keith Richards/Hunter Thompson funny, drug fueled bi-coastal probably bi-polar world traveler stories. The standby line was now down the block.

We had to bag our phones and smart watches. I ended up sitting next to Other Guy. I wish I had brought pen and paper, but it wouldn’t have worked because I couldn’t see to read or write. The Comedy Cellar is very dark, very low ceilinged, very packed. The sound system is turned up to 11. The speakers are always in compression. In other words, AWESOME. Exactly, what I expected but more.

You don’t realize how often and how useful your phone is until you need it to read a menu. If you plan a visit, look at the menu ahead of time or bring a flashlight.

The regular show was great. The highlight was Dulce’ Sloan. She has a great hunk on bad boyfriends. I am very interested in seeing her next special. It was an absolute highlight.


Dulce Sloan from the TV!

The guy from this Progressive commercial was extremely funny.

It’s frankly hard to keep track without notes. I listen to two stand-up comedian podcasts twice a week and didn’t know hardly anybody. There was a guy pretending to be Norwegian or Danish who had a lot of time to limp through some marginal jokes. Probably the next Andy Kaufman, but not how I would have spent my time.

According to the internet, a regular Comedy Cellar show is about 1 hour 15 minutes. Some percentage of the audience knew there was a buzz in the air. Apparently, not everybody got the message. About the time my butt was getting tired, more people started filtering in. A few people got their checks and left. Some dude in a Kool Mo Dee hat walked by a couple of times. I think I saw Wanda Sykes briefly. Dulce Sloan was still around.

Then the host comes up and says we have one last comedian tonight… Make some noise. Dave Chappelle. The whole room went deafening. Up on stage, was Dave Chappelle.

Sometimes I forget to mention that I am one lucky SOB.

It was awesome. After a bit, he invited Michael Che from Saturday Night Live up to join him. They riffed. Michael has a very public day job. David is very publicly self-employed. They covered a lot of ground with that dramatic tension between Michael keeping his day job. Funny.

Dave’s special guest was Posdnuos from De La Soul. De La Soul was supposed to be celebrating the rights to their music this weekend. They instead had to merge the celebrations with a memorial for Trugoy (David Jude Jolicoeur) who had passed on February 12th. De La Soul had been denied the right to share in the profits from their work for a really long time. This is an issue very close to Chappelle’s heart. Chappelle doesn’t currently have control over the distribution of the Chappelle Show.

I listened to the NPR Fresh Air podcast with De La Soul on the flight into LaGuardia. The first song I played while test driving MrsJonTheBruce’s new airpods was De La Soul’s “The Magic Number”.

De La Soul had an important moment in my early DJ career. They were fun, danceable, and not gangster. They could fit in a set with Arrested Development and Black Sheep and Dee-lite and Steve Miller and the Animal House Soundtrack. Back in the day. I remember my astonishment a few years ago in Hawaii when De La came on the speakers at Target. So random. A nice reminder of how wonderful their music is.

Buy this album…
Here are some additional options

Busta Rhymes was in the room too!

Busta- Make it Clap

The Guy in the Whodini hat is D-Nice

His name is D-Nice

I hate to name drop but,

There were several other DJs in the room where it happened. DJ Clark Kent, Stretch Armstrong. I might have been the oldest by a couple of years, except for those two. Chappelle was born in 1973. So he probably didn’t get to attend Swatch Watch presents New York City Fresh Festival with Run D.M.C., Kurtis Blow, Whodini, The Fat Boys, and Newcleus. My little brother did because somebody else bailed on their ticket because “take it from me mom’s just don’t understand”.

I am old AF.

So when I rolled out onto the mean streets of NYC at 3:45 in the morning I was ready to sleep, but also aware that I might be murdered at any point in time. The doorman was really tremendously pleasant and helpful. He gave me enough information to get home with a dying phone and no previous experience. I ended up getting a cab from 3rd Street to 54th and Broadway for $20 cash. #capitalism

You might get fooled if you come from out of town
But I’m down by law and I know my way around.

New York, New York
Song by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

Father’s Day Bonus Round 20210621

The Story

Conan was asked “what is good?” My answer… “To see your children driven before you and hear the lamentations.”

We had a perfect day to clean up storm damage. Friday it was 103 degrees. Today is was 72. In between, we lost the rest of the pear tree in the south field.

Last year, we lost about one third of it. This weekend, we lost the rest of it. It fell all the way down to the stump.

I loaded the saw in the truck and headed down. I made pear tree firewood for a couple of hours. I also cut a path into the woods. After dinner, Merryweather came out and pulled the tops inside the tree line. I stacked fire wood. We had a beverage.

After the sun set, we made a level line on the side of the house with lasers for a different project. Being a dad is awesome.

The Satur-Deluge Before

We were planning on dinner with Clark and Mrs. Clark. There was a big storm just north of the house. Mssrs and Mrs. Clark were wind bound. We had carry out that needed picked up. On the map, it looked like I could skirt the storm to the restaurant and pick up dinner. In reality, I drove into the storm and ended up parked on the curb of an empty building to avoid the sideways rain and hail.

On the way back, I damn near hydroplaned into the center divider on the highway. It was like the movie we had to watch in middle school. I just remember the hydroplaning and getting in trouble for laughing at the tear jerker after school movie.

Hail damage and a near death experience is a small price to pay for Pappy’s Barbecue. It’s still in my top 5. There is a location less than 15 minutes from my house.

The Sunday Before

I had rolled out the pool cover before the Satur-Deluge. It was filthy, but there was enough water on the cover to give it a good scrubbing. Mssrs and Mrs. Clark came over. The pool was used. We were heading out for dinner. We stopped and harassed Merryweather at his JOB. Our initial dinner plan was denied. We went to Salty’s Fresh Mex. instead. It was delicious.

Wait… what?

Ever been embarrassed by your dad acting up? This is my kids life. I have some how become occasionally, semi, regular fixture during the third period during the St Louis Blues home games.

The screen says Awkward Dad. I have been called, dancing dad, ugly dad, dumb dad (by my kids and people in attendance). It has been pretty awesome. I kind of love it.

The most rewarding part is the staff. They have been cheering me on since game one.

Here are my Awkward Dad getting on camera tips.

  1. Keep it family friendly
  2. Don’t stop dancing
  3. See rule two
  4. Get up and dance at every opportunity.

In no time at all, you will be embarrassing your own family at major sporting events.

Pro tip- record the game at home and then get screen captures.