One side of the stage is demanding, demeaning. Exhilarating and exhausting. Humiliating, humbling, ego-boosting. All for the laugh, the clap, the smiles. People giving enough of a shit to heckle.
The other side is cynical. Make me laugh. Tell me something funny monkey boy. Tell me something I haven’t thought of. Tell me about ninja turtles throwing baby turtles and why they wear masks. Just make me laugh.
This is going to bomb. Or not. I’ve got to try it or I’ll never know. I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t. It depends on this next joke. Okay, okay, fuck it, here goes…
What was it that guy said? It was dumb, but I guess it was kind of funny. I could be funnier than that guy. Wait, funnier? Is that a word? See, right there, I could talk about that for five minutes, easy. I don’t know, maybe funnier isn’t that funny.
I fucked up the timing, but that one was okay. I gotta finish strong. This is a good closer. Even if everything fails I still have this closer to fall back on. Oh shit, wait, how’s it go? Fuck me, how’s it start? If I start it I’m good. Fuck…
This guy is okay. He had a few moments. Just give me one more good one to go out on and I’ll think you’re funny. Just one good one.
Okay, got it, thank fuck. Now deliver. Make them laugh. Laugh at the things I say. Please.
That was good. I’ll give you that. Pretty funny stuff. Thank you for making me laugh. You held up your end, so I’ll clap for that. In this god forsaken life, thank you for making me laugh.
“Thank you.” Oh thank god they clapped. I’ll sleep well tonight. I’ll sleep tonight.
Two gentlemen meet at the bar moments later, waiting their turn. “Nice job man. That was funny.”
They sip their beers in silence. There’s nothing left to say really.