A long time, ago, I wrote about some live shows I attended and I decided to collect the entire trilogy in one go. In fact, I decdided to lump in my meeting with Mick Foley – specifically because I felt my inability to post pictures hindered the article a bit. So without further adieu, here’s the entire live show saga from seeing Bill Cosby to meeting Mick Foley:
When I saw this show, it was practically a necessity. I was living up at Kent State at the time. It was the weekend after Halloween which I can assure is kind of a big deal up thereâ€¦ for most students at least. Halloween always ended up being a letdown for me. But because it was such a big deal, I always made a point of coming home the weekend after (the one time I stayed on campus the weekend after Halloween, it was practically a ghost town).
But that time, I really needed a trip home. I could probably write another sob story about what happened that weekend, but if you want the short version, listen to â€œThe KKK Took My Baby Awayâ€ by The Ramones.Also, Rock Band 3 was out, and I was still obsessed with playing Rock Band atthe time. So yeah, this trip home was calling, and I think Bill Cosby would bethe perfect antidote to my blues.
When my mom and I went to see Cosby, I was surprised by one thing â€“ my mom and I were two of the only people there who werenâ€™t eligible for AARP! It was off-putting to see so few people my age there, but who cared, right? I was going to get see Cosby live. I had actually been a fan of Bill Cosby since I was in middle school. Iâ€™ve been a fan for so long I remember listening to one of his albums on cassette! I own the DVD Bill Cosby Himself, and some of my favorite routines include â€œBuck-buck,â€ â€œRevenge,â€ â€œKill the Boy,â€ â€œHisParents,â€ (Those last 2 are from Himself) and of course his â€œNoahâ€ act. Not only am I fan of The Cosby Show, but I even enjoy his oft-maligned sitcom Cosby.
I was surprised when Cosby came out for two reasons.First, he used a screen. Iâ€™ve seen Penn and Teller live twice, and they do a trick where that involves a screen (A trick I actually figured out how itâ€™s done). But during said trick, Penn talks about how when thereâ€™s a screenon-stage, you end up looking at the screen instead of whatâ€™s on the stage. And I thought about that a lot during the show becauseâ€¦ Well, heâ€™s right! I did end up looking at the screen instead of the stage. But then again, which would you watch â€“ a screen you could see clearly or a small dot on stage? Besides, Bill Cosby at least has an excuse as he does use his face a lot.
By the way, I have pictures with them too:
Second, he was sitting down. Fair enough â€“ The man isnâ€™t exactly a spring chicken, and he was on for an hour and a half. If I went on for an hour and a half, Iâ€™d probably sit down too. And you read right, the man performed for an hour and a half. I was really surprised that all the material he did was new â€“ or at least new to me. And when you consider how much of Cosbyâ€™s material Iâ€™ve listened to, that is saying something.
And was the new material good? You better believe it. The absolute funniest was his story about his parents thinking he got agirl pregnant. It was kind of a lengthy story, but I was laughing all throughout. I also quoted this exchange to all my friends:
â€œDad, whatâ€™s plutonic mean?â€
â€œIt means youâ€™re not getting any.â€
â€œNot getting any what?â€
â€œGood, you wonâ€™t miss it.â€
In a way, this show was also an inspiration for me. I was only about two months removed from starting my own standup â€œcareer.â€ So watching Cosby perform was a bit of an influence for me. I remember feeling accomplished when I filled up my first eight minute routine, and here was someone who performed the length of a movie. Bill Cosby has been and always will be one of my favorite comedians, and seeing him perform live was an absolute treat.
Michael J. Fox
I have no shame in admitting Iâ€™m a fan boy for Michael J. Fox. Need an example? A lot of kids were traumatized by the deaths of Bambiâ€™s mother and Old Yeller, I was traumatized by Foxâ€™s death in Mars Attacks! Knowing there are a lot of Phineas and Ferb fans around here, I should point out that Iâ€™ve been using Netflix to catch up on episodes. Despite being on the first season, I IMMEDIATELY jumped to the third season as soon as I found out Fox was in an episode. (Also Michael Douglas and Anna Paquin were in the same episode so it was like the cherry on the sundae.) And for the record, the episode in question is the “Curse of Candace.”
Iâ€™m sure a lot of you can imagine my elation when I heard he was speaking close to my home. In fact, I was so excited, I did something naughty. I had an evening class at the time, and well, I skipped it. But have no fear, when I told my teacher about it after the fact, she said Imade the right choice.
I saw this one with my brother Nick. He picked me up in Kent, and we had sort of an adventure of our own. We went to the mall because he neededâ€¦ something. My brother always needs something, and he usually needs me to pay for it. We treated ourselves to dinner at some steakhouse. Then we made it to the University of Akron where he was going to perform. The anticipation killed me, but then he finally took the stage.
Even though I was dying to see this, I did have to keep my expectations in check. I had to remind myself â€œThis isnâ€™t Bill Cosby. Heâ€™s not doing standup. This is going to be a serious discussion of Parkinsonâ€™s.â€ I figured he was going to have a very serious discussion about life with Parkinsonâ€™s and how stem cell research was good â€“ with a joke thrown in here and there. But who cares? I was going to see Michael J. Fox in person!
Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. It actually turned out to be the opposite. He shared a lot of stories about his life â€“ mostly from his two books. He talked about meeting his wife, growing up, working on Family Ties. Having read his two books, these stories werenâ€™t new to me, but I refer to the end of the last paragraph. He did have a few serious moments, but he had some really funny lines in there.Here are some of my favorites:
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œTaking up golf at my age is abnormal. Taking up golf at my age when you have Parkinsonâ€™s is just insane.â€
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œThey wanted me to play this embittered drug addict on Rescue Me, and I asked â€˜what part of this character makes you think me?â€™ And they told me, â€˜well, youâ€™re paralyzed from the waist down.â€™ â€˜You know I canâ€™t stop moving, right?â€™â€
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œOne of the lesser known symptoms of Parkinsonâ€™s is that is causes you to be unable to make facial expressions. People thought I was being rude to them, but no! It was the Parkinsonâ€™sâ€¦ most of the time.â€
-Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œBy the way, going to an auction with Parkinsonâ€™sâ€¦ itâ€™s expensive.â€
I really respect that he had such a good sense of humor about his condition. After the show, he had a Q and A session. I really wanted to ask a question, but my brother talked me out of it, saying, â€œLet the people with Parkinsonâ€™s ask some questions.â€ I couldnâ€™t help but resent him as plenty of people without Parkinsonâ€™s got to ask a few questions â€“ including someone who sure as hell didnâ€™t have Parkinsonâ€™s who got to go on stage and takea picture with Mr. Fox. Then again, I was so bashful about asking a question, not to mention I couldnâ€™t really think of any good questions, so I suppose this wasnâ€™t too big a loss.
After the show, I noticed a crowd building near the exit. It didnâ€™t exactly take Greg House to figure out that these people were waiting for Michael to come out. I desperately wanted to join them so I could maybe see him. It was still a small crowd. Unfortunately, Nick didnâ€™t seem up for that. I had to coerce him into staying. Even after I talked him into staying, he wasnâ€™t willing to just go back right away. He had to get his cigarettes! So we made the journey to his car. By the time, we got back, the crowd had grown.(Someone actually offered me their spot in line, but I was too stupid – I mean generous to accept.) Then, Fox finally exited the building.
Before I continue, I need to explain something. I have both of Michael J. Foxâ€™s books, and I thought about bringing them. I decided against this figuring it would be rude to ask for an autographâ€¦ for reasons I assume are obvious. But then I found out, he totally was signing autographs. Those who got theirs were generous enough to leave, and I was jockeying for position like nobodyâ€™s business. But despite both of those, I was always one step behind. It didnâ€™t exactly help that I was trying to get him to sign my program and he was vehemently biased towards media related to him (books, movie posters, etc.). And it wasnâ€™t like before he got into his limo and rode away. Of course, Mrs. J. Fox to offer mesomeone elseâ€™s sharpee. So I guess that’s something.
I do want to point one thing out. A lot of people I told about this incident thought Fox was being rude by blowing people certain people. Well, as my brother put it, he does have a crippling illness. So the fact that he even bothered to sign autographs at all was saying something.
Figuring I might as well make the best of a badsituation, I did get a picture of him while he was signing other peopleâ€™sautographs. How close was I to him? You tell me:
Funny thing about the picture â€“ I always showed it to people without giving them the context. Only one of my friends recognized who it was â€“ and thatâ€™s because I seriously talked it up to her. Because of this two people â€“ including MY OWN COUSIN â€“ thought I was showing them apicture of yours truly. (I remember my other friend asking me, â€œWhat were you doing last night?â€
Oh well, I suppose I should look at the positive side. I did get to see one of my icons in person and get a picture of him. Plus, it was a fun night. Iâ€™ll admit Iâ€™ve wagged my finger at my brother for having to get his cigarettes (donâ€™t worry, I havenâ€™t been too hard on him for it), but I still feel bad that I missed out on getting that autograph for being too dumb to bring a book and too generous to cut in line. (So if anything, Iâ€™ve been harder on myself.)
On a side note, after what one of my teachers told me, I may be choosey about when Iâ€™ll complain about this situation. You see, my music teacher actually had tickets to see Jimi Hendrix live. Unfortunately, it was kind of late in Jimiâ€™s career â€“ too late. Before my teacher got to see the show, Jimi checked out. When my teacher told his brother about the tragedy, his brother said, â€œIâ€™ve seen Jimi Henrix liveâ€¦ When my school went to see th eMonkees, he was the opening act.â€ I think my teacher left out the part aboutthe copious amount of crying â€“ because I know thatâ€™s how Iâ€™d reactâ€¦
I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve kept any big secret about how much I like Monty Python. In particular, I even shared my review of Monty Python and the Holy Grail with a lot of you â€“ which is one of my all-time favorite movies. When I heard there was a Broadway show based on the movie, I wanted to see it so badly. It became up there with The Producers in terms of Broadway shows Iâ€™d love to see. Iâ€™ve yet to see The Producers, (on-stage anyway, I have seen the movie in theaters) but I have seen Spamalot.
(Edit: Ever since writing this article, Jersey Boys has been added to my bucket list of plays I must see.)
To be honest, unlike the other parts of this trifecta, thereâ€™s not much backstory to seeing this one, but it is part of the story. It was December â€“ the week before finals. During my time at KSU, I rarely went home on the weekend before finals. Iâ€™d be home for a month, what was the need? But for Spamalot, Iâ€™d be more than willing to make an exception.
Unfortunately, something happened that threw a kink into my plans â€“ my friends were throwing an end of the semester Christmas party. It really wasnâ€™t a question of whether Iâ€™d go to the party or Spamalot. It was a question of how Iâ€™d do both. Eventually, I decided to come home for Spamalot, then go back up to Kent for my friendsâ€™ party. Is there anything else to say about the events leading up to Spamalot?
Ooh, I had my fourth standup show before I left for home. Yeah, I was going to the Stone Tavern â€“ a place where I had previously gone down in flames. But I had some new material that I really wanted to tryout. Unfortunately, when I cut the stuff that didnâ€™t work from my last act (particularly a dated Taylor Swift-Kanye West joke), my bit was kind of skimpy.So I sort of threw together whatever I had on my mind. Hereâ€™s the video (Warning â€“ Language):
Some of you may have watched that before â€“ ever wonder why it sounds like it was strung together at the last minute? Thatâ€™s because it was. I was writing my routine pretty much up to the night of the show. On the bright side, my stream of consciousness-style humor did give meone of my best bits â€“ Bob Dylan porn star.
Like I said before, I had wanted to see this show for the longest time and it did NOT disappoint. The show really captured the flavor of the movie. Want an example? Just like the movie, the program has gag credits. So I was laughing even before the show started. Naturally, a lot ofthe humor is taken from the movie. But there is enough new material that itâ€™sstill worth the effort.
Some scenes are expanded to fit a musical â€“ like asong called â€œNot Dead Yet.â€ Some songs spoof Broadway traditions such as â€œThe Song That Goes Like This.â€ There are also a few Monty Python cross-references.â€œAlways Look on the Bright Side of Lifeâ€ is featured, and the afore mentioned â€œNot Dead Yetâ€ alludes to the â€œLumberjack Song.â€ Also, just as Holy Grail used the art of film to its advantage, Spamalot lampoons the mechanics of a Broadway show. I wonâ€™t give away how they did the Killer Rabbit,but it was one of the biggest laughs of the night. There’s also some crowd interactivity, but that would also be giving too much away.
May 4. This was a big day for yours truly. As a former KSU student, thatâ€™s normally a big day of mourning. Itâ€™s Star Wars Day (I celebrated that the next day). And it was the day The Avengers came out. But all of those paled in comparison to the evening I had planned. When my brother told me Mick Foley was performing up in Cleveland, I knew we had to get tickets. Despite the fact that it cost a pretty penny, my brother and I threw in the extra money for the meet and greet tickets.
For those of you who donâ€™t know, Mick Foley is one of my favorite wrestlers. Heâ€™s known for his bloody brawls and his work on the microphone ranges from visceral to laugh-out-loud funny. Outside the ring, heâ€™s no slouch. Heâ€™s written multiple books, and Iâ€™ve read three of them. Not only is the man funny and insightful, but heâ€™s a good guy too. Not only is he an outspoken feminist, but heâ€™s done volunteer work for Make-a-wish, toured with the US soldiers and did volunteer work in Sierra Leone.
All day at work, my mind was racing with thoughts of Mick Foley. Unfortunately, on the drive home, there was some trouble. While I was driving, a car in front of me passed. I was confused about this until I noticed something else. There was a car stopped dead on the road. Since there wasnâ€™t a ton of room to pass on the right, and since passing on the left would have been extremely dangerous â€“ not to mention illegal â€“ I did the best thing I thought I could and stopped â€“ figuring that would give me a moment to assess the situation. Big mistake.
Not long after I stopped, I heard a thud â€“ a sound that was hard to mistake. Someone had hit me from behind. Then I heard another thud. All I could think was that I had somehow caused an accident. Before I caused any more trouble, I decided to get out of the way. I decided to pass on the right â€“ which probably caused some pretty nasty damage to my tires. I got out to talk to the guy who hit becauseâ€¦ um, thatâ€™s what youâ€™re supposed to do?
But while I was out, I got a good look at the car was stopped on the road. I kind of wonder what happened to this person becauseâ€“ I kid you not â€“ the front end of the car was smashed. Sort of put what happened to my car in perspective. I approached the guy who hit me, and I asked if he was okay. All he told me was â€œGet out of the way.â€ I guess he didnâ€™t feel like discussing his failure to maintain safe distance.
While it was hard to figure out at the time, hereâ€™swhat I think happened: I stopped. The person behind me tried to pass. But the person behind him wasnâ€™t so patient and hit him. This knocked the other guy into my car. I assumed this is what happened because only my left tail lightwas smashed.
I finally got the vindication I needed as everyone Italked to said I was in the right including one important group: The insurance company! As my brother put it, â€œany time someone hits you from behind, itâ€™stheir fault. Itâ€™s failure to maintain safe distance.â€ However, I loved the example one of my coworkers gave me â€“ â€œSuppose a mother goose and her geese were crossing the street and you had to stop suddenly. The people behind you should be keeping safe distance to stop.â€
Upon arriving home, I delivered the news to my family. And they traded news with me. Specifically, my brother Nick had his license suspended. So I would have to drive up to Cleveland â€“ despite not having much highway experience, despite being really shaken up about myaccident. Seriously, I was so shaken up, I couldnâ€™t even eat my supper!
Fortunately, Nick and I bribed a friend of ours to give us a ride. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have worked up the nerve to drive on the expressway, but after my accident, I really didnâ€™t feel like doing it. But before we left, I had to make a grab for something importantâ€“ my copy of Mick Foleyâ€™s book, Countdown to Lockdown. You see, I learned something from my experience with MichaelJ. Fox! (I just wish I didnâ€™t have to learn it through Michael J. Fox.)
So we hit the road, and I did start to feel a little better. I finally had the opportunity to talk about things other than my accident which helped get my mind off it. I also finally got to visit Nickâ€™s Â house. Nick moved away back in December, and it was kind of hard for me to accept. Oddly enough, it happened the same day Ihad my first accident. I mean I had a lot on my mind that day â€“ my first accident, my brother moving out, trying to beat Metal Gear Solid 4. Then again, if I feel bad about him moving out,I should look at this way. It was sprung on him without warning. (He planned tomove in January, but his roommates forced him to move in December.)
We were on the road. I had to pay for gas on the promise Iâ€™d be paid back. However, on the way, our friend David made an unusual request. Since he didnâ€™t have tickets, David was bringing his copy of Dune to read. However, he insisted we take it to Mick Foley and get it autographed. He has now vowed to get his copy of Dune signed by Mick Foley and Karl Rove.
So we arrived at the Grog Shop, and there he was â€“Mick Foley. He was sitting and talking to fans. I wanted to rush over and meet him. But I had to be patient. This wasnâ€™t like Michael J. Fox where it was every man for himself. Iâ€™d get my turn. So those other people went on theirway. I finally approached Mick Foley. And he asked me, â€œAre you wearing a DrewMcIntryre shirt?â€
For the record, I was wearing my Hangover One Man Wolfpack t-shirt. Hereâ€™s a comparison.
Yeah, I think he was kidding. (Of course, it could be worse. I remember having a beard when I wore that shirt, and my teacher said she thought I somehow had a t-shirt with myself on it. That was the day I decided to lose the beard.) Either way, I was finally getting to meet Mick Foley. I gave him my copy of Countdown toLockdown which he signed. Then Nick gave him Davidâ€™s copy of Dune.
â€œWhat is this? Do I have some kind of relationship to this? Why does he want me to sign this?â€ Nick and I struggled for any kindof sensible answer. Nick and I got our pictures, and we returned David his copyof Dune. Hereâ€™s hoping he can getKarl Roveâ€™s autograph for his book.
The show started. And I noticed one thingâ€¦ I really had to pee. But I ignored it. If I could sit through the entirety of Grindhouse without answering the call of nature, I could handle this. Before Foley went on, there were three performers.They were mostly hit and miss, but they hit enough that they were enjoyable.
Finally, Mick Foley came on. When I met Mick Foley,he did most of the talking, and I was somewhat grateful for that. The way I saw it, if he did most of the talking, it would keep me from saying something stupid like â€œWhen the Undertaker threw you off the Hell in the Cell, did it hurt?â€ Why am I glad I didnâ€™t say that? Because he did an entire routine about how heâ€™s sick of people asking him about that. But because heâ€™s good-humored about it, he still had a lengthy discussion of it. In fact, it lead to one of the biggest laughs of the night. He claimed that after he fell through the cell, the Undertaker came to him and said:
â€œHey, Mick! Are you okay? That was one humdinger of a fall you took!â€
He had some other funny stories. He talked about the stereotypical white guy voice and how the only person he ever met who actually talked like was Tiger Woods. I also liked his solution to terrorism. Havebusomy women motor-boat terrorists and then take it away from them. They would tell you ANYTHING to have that again. Overall, it was a pretty funny show, and well worth the money.
As soon as the show ended, Nick made a B-line towardthe menâ€™s room â€“ smart move. Mick Foley had to go back there for the backstage area. So he got to meet him again. Fair enough â€“ Nick got to meet him twice. I got an autograph. We also said congratulations to the opening acts. Nick let me in on his philosophy of saying good job to performers after a show. I have to agree. After all, I might be in their shoes some day too. It especially seemed like the good thing to do since we were skipping out on the headliner. Seriously, if they wanted us to sit through this guy, he should have gone BEFORE Mick Foley.
The show ending did have one positive. I could finally see a man about a horseâ€¦ or so I thought. Nick, who also had to answer the call of nature, informed me that the bathroom was packed. So we made our exit. After all, there were plenty of places around to go to the bathroom, right? Guess again.
Nick and I looked everywhere for a John. The CVS was already closed, the restaurants probably wouldnâ€™t let us in without buying something, and some places just didnâ€™t have them. Every time I saw a tree, Ijust moaned â€œMust resist urgesâ€¦â€ Nick tried to relieve himself on a wall, buthe lost his cool after a car passed. I wasnâ€™t a very good lookoutâ€¦ (And if Richtv is reading this, yes; I totally referenced â€œThe Parking Garageâ€ episode of Seinfeld.) On the bright side, we did find a novelty shop that sold retro toys and games. I feel like a kid in acandy store any time I enter stores like that.
After a while, Nick and I swallowed our pride,returned to the Grog Shop. We were hesitant because we thought it was rude to leave before the headliner, return just to pee, then leave again. But you know something, when we finally relieved ourselves, we didnâ€™t feel bad! We decided to stop by a sub shop because Nick doesnâ€™t get to eat there much. I protested,but then I realized I was pretty hungry from skipping dinner earlier. And Nick did steer me right because those subs were good.
I donâ€™t mind admitting something, between my accident, having nowhere to pee, having to pay for everything, I was kind of annoyed by the way the day went. In fact, I vividly remember saying â€œToday was supposed to be the best day ever, but instead meeting Mick Foley was just an awesome thing that happened in the middle of a shitty day.â€ But looking back at it, I think I was just being melodramatic. Yeah, those things sucked, but I met Mick Foley! And he was every bit as awesome as I imagined he would be. If nothing else, the day was interesting.