Comedians spend most of their working lives in comedy clubs. Sometimes, we are asked to perform in other venues. The other night, the Comedy Cellar had the first of two annual boat rides. Comedy boat rides are a challenge because of the constant movement of the boat along with a horn blast that comes at the most inopportune times. I have learned to negotiate the waves and not drink until I finish working.
The weather was ideal, a perfect summer night. The experience included a 4-hour trek around Manhattan with two shows, the first starting as the boat leaves the dock. On a lower level, the second audience is dancing to a DJ while waiting for their show to start about 15 minutes after the first show ends. Comics hang out in a roped-off section on the stage level in the open air. About 15 of us wait there for our turn to perform, nibbling from a 10-foot hoagie and assorted fruit plates.
I hosted the first show and was the first act on the second. Both went great. The audience rocking the boat with laughter. After my work, I went down and danced to the only song that moved me−MJ’s “You Wanna Be Starting Something.” Back in the comedians area I had a couple of rum and cokes while sitting at a table with fellow comic Ryan Hamilton, enjoying the sweet summer breeze.
On the surface, one would think we have little in common. Ryan is a Mormon from Idaho and doesn’t drink, smoke, or curse. I asked Ryan what it was all about. I waited for my answer while Ryan pondered my query. Sometimes, comedians actually have meaningful conversations! He leaned back in his chair, spread his arms out to the sky, looked around and said …”this.” I took that to mean making people happy a couple hundred at a time.