Michael Richards And Me
I have no privity with Mr. Richards actually. But his latest stupidity in shouting modern America's one verboten word repeatedly on the stage of a comedy club does force me to recall an instance of my past involving a comedy club and the same word. Though when you go far enough back to encounter my brief stage appearance, it was just a bad word, not "The N Word" it has become today. Let's pick the year 1985 out of the bucket of years-gone-by as the date for this one. If it wasn't that year, at least it was close thereto. I worked at a bank that no longer exists, sucked into a series of mergers as is their wont these days. And I had a friend who was a very funny guy. He decided to throw some of his material on the wall to see if it stuck at an open-mic night at Garvin's comedy club in DC. I went along for moral support.
That being as it may, the Black MC of the evening, saw in me a prime target: a fat white boy asittin' amongst the audients. He pulled me up on stage to "teach me how to be Black." I went along. He had me follow him in some struttin' walks and then asked me "Can you say 'nigger?'" Well, of course I could but I didn't really want to. So I looked him in the eye and said, "And LIVE?"
Best laugh I ever got in a public setting. And the MC even laughed on it. He then let me go knowing that I could hold my own. He then went into introducing the tyros who'd signed up. Several people that I passed as I went back to my seat asked me if I were going on stage. I had nothing prepared so, of course, not. I missed a good chance to either become rich and famous or really screw up my life completely. Still and all, that's my experience with comedy clubs and the word that Kramer The Pinhead used to screw up his life completely.
Ha. I win.