Keeping It Moving

Greetings from Northern California! The Bay area is a friendly land of opportunity because I have never been thrown out of any bars in this area (although I’m giving it everything i’ve got…). After wrapping up two weeks of stand up shows over this way, let’s roll the highlight reel.

Oldest Bar BoozecomaFirst night was in Oakland and among the people in attendance was my buddy Wally. I have known this guy for 20 years but he will always hold a sense of reverence with me after scaring the shit out of Howie Mandel with fireworks on national TV. Wally knows how I like to run and gets me started quickly after getting paid by bum rushing the oldest bar on the West Coast down on the docks. The floor in this joint sank 5 feet in one of those pre-internet earthquakes. The amazing news here is, since this place has shifted far enough to dictate that trucks are required to use low gear, any freshly ordered drink tilts directly into your mouth while still on the bar. Now, you might deduce from this piece of information that no one would ever leave. However, this venue employs one of those horrid maritime jug bands, maintaining constant open seats.

Mickeys BoozecomaNext stop-a TRUE dive bar that serves 40oz bottles of Mickey’s Malt Liquor. Mickey’s has been an evil pleasure of mine since the days of standing outside the carry out lassoing any guy that smelled like hash to buy beer for us. If you are not familiar with the “big bottle” lifestyle, it’s like drinking from a gas nozzle. And since California has a “no topping off” policy, I was capped at a gallon.

 

Laughs Unlimited 3Next on the schedule, the excellent Laughs Unlimited in Sacramento for 2 shows Friday and 2 more on Saturday. I can tell when I am working an excellent club, based on the number of emails I get from other comics asking me to help them get work there and my inbox blows up every time I’m here. Friday, I wore a red jacket to disguise the Oakland aftershocks of my face. One of the hidden bonuses of working several shows in one venue is chance to make adjustments to my set. Without sounding like a braggart, I was proud of the work I did Saturday night-weaving in new material, interacting with the crowd along with the jokes that are in the show. I would also like to welcome all the new fans of the Facebook page and the email list from from those shows and the Easter Sunday performance in Santa Cruz!

Modesto 2 CropTuesday night I rolled into Modesto California for a show at a cigar bar run by a fellow comedian. After the first few jokes, I lit a cigar and said “I’m going to tell jokes until this smoke is finished-if you want more jokes, I’ going to need more cigars…” While that sounds pompous, I did an hour and twenty minutes at Cheroot Cigar Lounge and smoked and drank with the audience like I was in the Russian Army. Easily my favorite performance of 2017.

Wrapped up my run here with some good shows at Comedy Oakland and a surprise visit from a friend from my home town. If you have any photos from any of the shows-feel free to share them here or on the Facebook page.

Extreme Takeover

Chinese NewspaperI haven’t had a lot of luck with getting press lately so I thought I would interview myself about the X Games.

Boozecoma World News: Have you been watching the X Games?
John McClellan: I do like to watch the X Games because it’s the only sporting event, other than the hot dog eating competition, that every single contestant has a real and legitimate chance to die. I root for every contestant’s death to the point when a guy stumbles after a jump and is able to finish his run, I feel a little cheated.

BWN: After a contestant actually died a few years back the focus has on been the stories behind the competitors.
JMC: Good stories are not what the people want anymore. There is a real desire for something that ends in tears and maybe some eventual rule changes to compensate the grieving energy drink sponsors. You really can’t understand how hard these stunts are to perform until some shag-head is pinned between a dirt bike and a blood soaked snow bank using his last breath to apologize about running away from home.

BWN: As a parent that would be devastating to watch.
JMC: I’m pretty sure most of these kids are products of broken homes. Who else would bankroll the parade of totaled dirt bikes it takes to perfect these tricks other than a weekend dad trying to buy his son’s love?

BWN: What do you like about watching the events?
JMC: The Winter X Games are built around the idea of so-called “extreme” athletes who on purpose perform mid-air skiing and motorized vehicle tricks. This had to be invented by accident by some drunk Wisconsin yahoo when he lost control of his Polaris. It’s literally like watching security footage at last call.

BWN: What would you change about the games?
JMC: Make me the announcer. I would invent the names of the tricks on the spot to sound like dirty sex maneuvers. “Oh! He came off the lip into a Scottish Phone Booth and completed a near perfect Cuban Science Exam! We were expecting to see the Double Fudgehammer but he just went with the flow on that run.”

BWN: Will you be performing any Double Fudgehammers anytime soon?
JMC: Check my website for upcoming shows

Gimme Danger

john-mcclellan-dangerousWhen I first saw that the web search engine Bing declared that my Boozecoma.com site “might be dangerous” I thought “FINALLY! The recognition I deserve has been bestowed upon me!” However, before proper celebrations begin, what exactly makes it dangerous? Most likely all the really dirty shit takes place on Yahoo and Google keeping me in Safety Town with that crew. Bing is for Windows users and anyone watching Russian snuff films is doing it on a Mac to keep from getting the viruses (so i’ve heard) and resulting pornado that come from repeated viewing of unsavory foreign fluffing. On a danger scale I feel I’m ahead of the curve based on having a definition actually REJECTED on Urban Dictionary. But getting flagged by the Sbarro’s of web browsers makes me wonder.

You see people, dangerous isn’t that dangerous anymore. Danger got lazy. We don’t rob folks on the street any longer, it’s done from your Aunt’s basement on the internet from guys that learned hacking skills during lunch instead of eating because their milk money got peeled on the school bus. What is really scary to you chronic smart phone holders is actual confrontation. That is why Yelp is so popular. It is a one way conversation that allows you to complain about minute bullshit without the hassle of being interrupted by facts and logic. As I have said before-All it takes is one guy at Dunkin Donuts to reach across the counter and snap your head back on your latte boated ass to set the universe back in the right direction. In reality, danger is where the flavor is. As an example, let’s use the death of Carrie Fisher. There was an outpouring of sadness when she died, and rightfully so. Yet, it was mostly from Star Wars geeks who pined over her as she was the untouchable goddess from their youth. I never gave a shit about that movie. The Carrie Fisher that sent me floating was the pill popping, bad decision making version because frankly, those are the girls I have the most experience with. I’m not looking to rehash film scenes if I’m lucky enough to lasso a movie star, this guy wants to go off the rails and do carnal stunts that leave a scar. You only get one shot and you have to make it count. Again… flavor.

The only reasonable explanation I can surmise with the Bing thing is my website’s name-Boozecoma. I realize that this domain name may have hurt my entertainment progress in the past. I do have another, more palatable site that features my stand up at themidlifersstanduptour.com. As for the Boozecoma name, I chose it for several reasons:

  1. My thought was it was easier to spell than my last name, therefore easier to get to.
  2. It was an attempt to brand myself.
  3. Some chooch already had JohnMcClellan locked up and I would rather pay to keep my name OFF the internet than pay to put it on there…

Once something is on the internet-it is on there forever. With this in mind, let’s keep my Bing status the way it is and kindly ask Google and Yahoo to grant my site “dangerous” status. After all, there is safety in numbers.

You Must Be Mistaken

 

It used to be the end of something came when you ran out of mistakes. But on the internet my friends, you are never out of mistakes. The internet is a warehouse of enough monumental slips and errors to make your biggest fuck ups worth only 37 YouTube views. I find my social media excellent for exploiting mistakes I make on purpose. Here is a taste of some of my recent exploits:

Twitter: My account is @boozecoma and if you are not following me you should. I’m posting jokes, show dates and some extra curricular activities like this number:

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Instagram: The account is @boozecomashots and is great for capturing lapses in judgment such as this highlight:

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Periscope: Reserved for my Shittiest Bottle series where I find the worst bottle in the bar and drink it live. I first chronicled it here in an earlier post. The account is also @boozecoma but since some of you don’t have the app-here is a link to a video of my encounter with Bubble vodka.

 

Use your better judgement people…

 

Ham Radio

john-mcclellan-wfduI gotten banned from a radio station once after telling the morning show that they were so lame that no matter how bad my segment was it would still make their “best of” recap broadcast on the weekend. That was an anomaly however, as I enjoy being on the air. I’m good on the radio. I come prepared and use the opportunity to sell tickets to the show and broaden my fan base. The best shows though are the ones where you never look at your notes and end up staying for the whole show.

I had the chance to go on the air last weekend on WFDU Saturday morning at 8am. I don’t normally get up at 6:30 on Saturday morning and if I do, somebody’s husband came home early… But this would be a way to help promote a show I am doing locally on the 23rd.

Here is a quick video from the broadcast where I tell the story about opening for David Lee Roth and a link to the entire show from the station archives (I come in 60 minutes into the program) where I talk about how I got started in stand up, some other celebrity encounters and lots of talk about music with the fantastic Paul Felice.

John McClellan Live On WFDU Video

John McClellan “Hooks Riffs And Attitude” Show on WFDU with Paul Felice

The Freeze Out

Blue Ice Cream Covered TongueYou ever wake up one day and look at that person you’re in relationship with and say “I hate you” calmly and viciously? I did that today. And that person is the ice cream man.

I used to love the ice cream man. That beautiful music slowly gaining volume as he crept closer to your front yard. The menu on the side of the truck that told a magical delicious story by using only pictures. The thrill of seeing the entire neighborhood converge to the epicenter of frozen treats, each child holding their icy reward as swords after a victorious battle as the ice cream man vaporized like Merlin. And the kids that missed the truck? They ran after it like they were lawyers that run cable TV ads after midnight and that truck was an ambulance.

What happened?

I’ll tell you what happened. He changed.

Relationships need work and Jingle Joe got lazy. This confection peddler doesn’t bother rolling down the street any longer, he just pulls his stumblebum show up to the corner, parks in front of the hydrant and starts blasting his tired carny music like a diabetic siren. And that music… it is awful. It woke me out of a solid morning sleep after a 9 tequila night. At first I thought the carbon dioxide alarm had gone off. No such luck. The sad calliope keeps going in the way that a karaoke song keeps going even after the drunks bail on the number.

We all loved the ice cream man because of the chase involved. When I was little, a kid I knew ran after the ice cream truck far enough that he had to call his parents collect from a pay phone to come get him. That’s dedication and this leather lunged youngster returned a hero. However this fat bastard on the street is sitting his deserted truck like he just got his Tinder account revoked for the 3rd time. Still the music pounds away. I can’t take it anymore. He’s next to a hydrant so let’s call in a fire!

Here come the fire trucks… time to go back to bed.

Are You Talkin’ To Me?

John McClellan AQDPI InterviewI once had a drivers license that contained a photo of me that did not quite fit into the box. I was able to evade a DUI with this ID by asking the cop if not was not the biggest and fattest head he has ever seen… It may not seem too funny now, but at the time, it was hilarious enough to skate away from a potential crime scene. The hidden point here is that as a stand up comedian you do things that you think are good at the time but really don’t stand up later. And by things-I mean interviews.

As a comedian, I get final say on what how the show will sound-they’re my jokes. But in an interview, I don’t really have a vote on how it looks or sounds. I am in no way complaining about doing an interview-If someone wants to talk about me-I have all day for that. Performers want attention. However, we worry about how things are going to look afterwards because deep inside the fragile broken artist is a ferocious megalomaniac that doesn’t want to pay for their drinks.

The hidden point within the hidden point here is that I did a video interview with Sareth Ney for his website aqdpi.com that turned out all right. He asked me some solid questions that allowed me to answer without looking like a talk show on the CW Network and the video does not included my entire head-allowing me to show this to the law the next time I get pulled over…

John McClellan AQDPI.com Interview CLICK HERE

Partyup

Prince was the FBI of music. He flipped people. But instead of ratting on your friends like the feds want you to do, he gave you to the power to sway them. Prince was so cool-he made you cooler…

Michael Jackson was crowned the “King Of Pop” but fuck Michael Jackson-I didn’t listen to him. I listened to Prince. Prince changed the way people listened and saw music. He cut across lines and spoke to even the hardest of my Rust Belt, flask toting friends… but it didn’t really take off until “Purple Rain” hit the streets.

The album was on every station and TV channel, however, the movie was only showing on the “other” side of town on the opening weekend. Undaunted, my girl and I arrived for the 10PM showing without having any idea what we were walking into. Every uptight suburbanite nightmare was in place: Only white people there? Check. Loud as fuck? Check. Oh… there is something else on the list. About to have the greatest movie experience ever? CHECK!

The theater was like a concert. Booze, drugs and sex happening within feet of us! But the movie was the star-every put down in the script was cheered as if we were down on the corner and the music had everyone rocking. This place was alive!

Midway through the film, The Time were ripping the shit out of the place and mid-song went into a choreographed team slide across the stage. The whole movie theater went dead silent for a second then FUCKING EXPLODED in a way I have never seen before or since. People jumping straight out of their seats, fireworks (yes… fireworks) exploding, drugs exchanged and total strangers high fiving each other. I have know idea what happened in the next 3 minutes as the power of the audience what was we all were focused on now.

Which brings us back to the point of how Prince made you cool. Moment after the explosion my girl and I overheard a guy talking to his date about the previous scene.
DUDE TRYING TO BE COOL: “Man… that slide ain’t shit. I’ve been doing that for years.”

GIRL THAT’S NOT HAVING IT: “Well, how come you don’t do that with me?”

DUDE TRYING TO BE COOL NOW CHANNELING PRINCE: “I didn’t want to leave you on the other side of the dance floor…”

And…… scene.

Holy fuck! That is the line of the century. He shut her up and she went back to watching the movie. That’s what Prince did, cool was his advantage and by using a little Prince swagger a regular guy can do some groundbreaking shit.

Up Periscope

Accountability is the one dream that nobody chases, but thanks to the internet’s magical power of recording everything you say after happy hour, accountability eventually finds you and makes you pay. Thankfully some shady tech heads have produced a few ethereal applications that make it possible to shorten the shelf life on our hooch fueled regressions.

Specifically I am speaking of Periscope. Its’s the Twitter app that allows you to broadcast live from where ever you can steal WiFi. Periscope broadcasts only stay active for 48 hours then they disappear like your friends when you have a show coming up. I signed up for Periscope in hopes of becoming the kind of internet famous only the few reporters that have had bird shit land in their mouth, on live TV, could approach. Short of posting every half hour or performing some myopic self mutilation I had no real idea on how to get some attention on this platform. Broadcasting stand up shows was out. I don’t want to give away what I do for free and i’m sure as fuck not giving my phone to somebody, so I needed another idea.

It struck me that I dedicate a portion of the show to the theory that every bar in America has one bottle of booze they are dying to get rid of. It’s always a retched concoction that’s made black ops style in a slaughterhouse mop bucket and I invite the bar to pour me a shot on stage as a scam to score free booze. It always works and I felt trying to balance the sting of this mystery booze with running commentary would be a novel Periscope feed.

I have 6 broadcasts to date and a couple more that never made the internet (more on that later). I offer this as a recap of my favorites as an enticement to follow me on Periscope at @boozecoma.

MetaxaJohn McClellan Metaxa Boozecoma   A greek liquor that seems to be made from stale grandma candy and a sailor’s chest hair. This was actually the 1st Periscope feed and the longest (over 10 minutes) thanks to the other comics drinking with me and the fact that the bar has had this shit for so long they just handed over the bottle to us. To give you an idea of how bad this is, try doing a web search for this item. You get redirected to a video of an old Greek woman shaking her finger. By the way- 3 other bars have tried to get me to drink this as well…

Canadian Club-John McClellan Canadian Club Boozecoma  I knew I was in the wrong place when this was the worst booze they had. I’m looking bottles with pictures of guys working on a car or a painting of a Central American cock fight on the label. Not something Robert Goulet would drink on a limo ride to a morning talk show. This is cul de sac whiskey for guys in chinos that think drinking Yukon Jack would get them kicked out of the PTA. Unless you have appeared on a reality show and wear a biker jacket (evidence to the right…) It’s actually very smooth but after a few sips I had the sudden urge to play Toto on the jukebox.

John McClellan Wild Turkey BoozecomaWild Turkey-  If you ever wondered what the inside of a disposable lighter tastes like ask your bartender for a shot of Wild Turkey The only difference is the color of the liquid. At 101 proof, this stuff is good for 2 things: getting drunk quickly or for late term abortions. And by late, I mean last call late… I always see guys in beards drinking this-most likely because there is no way your hand will be steady enough to hold a razor the next morning.

 

Creme De Menthe-John McClellan Creme De Menthe Boozecoma This one was never broadcast on Periscope as the bar I was in was so old we were actually in a time before WiFi was invented. The only people alive that still drink this probably voted for Eisenhower. The flavor was so bad that if given the choice between having another and apologizing to every ex-girlfriend I’ve had, I would still be on the phone. I did some research and it seems Jack Kevorkian mixed Creme De Menthe with Sunny Delight to kill people.

John McClellan Moonshine BoozecomaMoonshine-  Also not broadcast since the players involved are not prone to having their faces plastered on the internet and attempt to stay in business and there may have been fresh bodies nearby. It’s customary to show you like the moonshine you’re drinking by making the sound of a locomotive whistle (Oooooh… Oooooh… OOOOOOH!). I believe it’s because you are about to get hit by a train. Conveniently comes in a mason jar so you can throw rusty screws in to clean them off.

 

Galliano- John McClellan Galliano Boozecoma Galliano was popular… Scratch that-it was never popular. It is the pinky swear of liquor. The the introduction of this liquor to a conversation will pull the truth out of you:
“Do you swear?”
“I’m telling the truth!”
“Do you swear on a glass of Galliano?”
(Makes grimacing facial expression)
This Periscope broadcast received the most hearts and comments at the moment I tossed back a full glass of this swill. I had the look of someone who had swallowed a ghost pepper with goat ass and cannoli filling.

There are more adventures with the world shiitiest bottles to come! Follow me on Periscope @boozecoma and I will see you at the bar…

Sucked In

I love being right. So I start every day telling myself “Today is going to suck.” And if it does… I’m right, and that makes me happy. If it doesn’t suck, it’s cool because I will most likely be right in the next few days. The point of this exercise in self trickery is to have zero suckery by being ready for all suckness that the high lord of Sucktown flings at me. And the point of this post is to tell you I have some new projects in the works that I am approaching with this mantra. One project is to produce my own show again in NYC with some very funny friends of mine. Instead of setting a date and planning how to fill seats from there, we are laying the ground work first with an actual plan.

One of the first things I did after discussing this with my eager partners was to watch this video again that was made by the Emmy winning video producer E2 Productions on the trials and tribulations of producing a comedy show I had in the East Village. It’s an entertaining piece (mostly because I am the star…) and a unique look on trying to get any kind of traction in the stand up world. I will keep you posted on what’s happening-thanks for supporting what I do!

John McClellan: The Story Of A Comedian Video