Mark Wiberg Does Stand-Up Comedy

A post (finally) just to keep my account active. And I see WordPress has a new dashboard with this quickpress feature, so let’s try it!

Mark Wiberg (me) did several stand-up comedy shows in the past month or so.
1. early November, crowd about 70 at the Grange Hall in SLO, CA – did well – new jokes, etc.
2. early November, crowd about 80-100 at Level 4, in Paso Robles, CA – did alright – started off great, then proceeded to space out! felt bad about being paid.
3. early Dec – did well, not spectacular (weird crowd) – a couple of new jokes performed at the Grange Hall in SLO, CA.

I have a half dozen new jokes but having difficulty figuring out where to put them in the set. We’ll see.

Things that amuse me lately:
-Summer Heights High, on HBO – this show is hilarious. I would like to see Chris Lilley’s stand-up comedy act.
-Grand Theft Auto IV – what a fun time waster. I finally got my copy and PS3 and have been busy stealing from and/or killing Liberty City residents, and wrecking vehicles.


Review: Do You Believe in Gosh – Mitch Hedberg’s new CD

The new CD of Mitch Hedberg material, Do You Believe in Gosh? was released on September 9, 2008. Mitch Hedberg and the new CD are discussed about in this New York Times piece which came out last week. No, as one friend asked, Mitch is not the stand-up comic version of rapper Tupac, releasing material from the Great Beyond. Instead, this material was compiled from a few performances at the Ontario Improv, not intended for release. Who knows if anything like this by Hedberg will be released in the future, but hopefully so.

A burrito is a sleeping bag for ground beef!
Mitch Hedberg: "A burrito is a sleeping bag for ground beef!"

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Listening to the material this evening, there is a lot of great jokes, of course. Some material is obviously stuff he’s trying out, but there’s plenty of clever one-liners to satisfy Mitch Hedberg fans. The first track or two is slow-going and I was a little worried that it would ramble all the way through (like, be really unpolished), but once the one-liners get going, you forget that this was not intended for commercial release because some of it is gold. The material was still being worked on, still finding its way into the world of Mitch, but a lot it easily matches up against his previous albums’ polished set of material. And even when joke doesn’t work, Mitch sometimes admits or just lets it fade out. It’s a good example of how seemingly successful (I’d call him successful) comics still have to get on stage, try new material, and see how it works.

My favorite so far is the set-up/punch-line for the inspirational physically challenged Lola, the typical, physically challenged person who is supposed to inspire the world by not knowing the word “can’t.” I won’t spoil it, but Mitch Hedberg has a bigger concern about Lola.

There are 13 title tracks but Mitch Hedberg fans know that this means there’s probably 15 other topics discussed in rapid-fire, curious one-liners and thoughts about nearly everything, from burritos to ESPN Classic to heavy belts.

Yes, I recommend it, of course. Hopefully, this isn’t the last album of Mitch stuff that will be released. If there is a Gosh, of course, then more will be released.

As with the other albums, there’s occasional harsh language, but the subject matter is everyday stuff.

road tour, part 5, transcript.

So, i’m on the road, finishing up OR – great people, I don’t care what Idaho says about them. I thought I’d share a transcript of tonight’s show, even though it hasn’t happened (hey, that’s how showbiz works, man):

Transcript: (dated 8/7/08):

(MC brings me on stage, gets my last name wrong).

Hi. Hey, thanks MC for getting my name wrong. Good one. There is no L in my name, moron. What? No, I’m just saying, you got my name wrong. No, don’t come back up here. No, don’t. Okay, I didn’t mean anything by it. Just, please don’t get my name wrong again, if you don’t mind. I’m sorry. I said I was sorry.

(to audience): Good to be here, Chicago!

Ahhh, just kidding. Or j/k, whatever. What’s up with Portland? Are there enough bridges here, or what?

Could it be any duller here? Hello? (to audience member): What?

Yeah, I’m getting to the jokes. Just chill out – not my fault you only had enough money for one beer. Eat some chips and check your cell phone. I’m sure you have a lot of calls coming in.

Okay, so I like coming here to Oregon cuz I like to say “Lake Oswego.’ Lake Osweeeeeeego.

Hmmmm….this seems like a good crowd. I was at a show recently in California and all they wanted to hear were jokes about celebrities. And really the only celebrity impression I do is that kid from “Eight Is Enough.” Or was it from “Different Strokes?” I dunno – I get them mixed up but here goes:

“Whatchyou talking about Mr. Bradford?” (audience groaning).

Can someone give me the light back there? (no response).

Okay, anyway. What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I’m from wine country? When I told my grandma that I worked in wine country, she said she worried about me living in a foreign land. I said, ‘it’s not like that Grandma – you should visit me’ and she’s all ‘I can’t, I don’t have a Visa’.

(audience member): LAME!

Thank you, thank you, but this isn’t a word association game. You know, I don’t hear that too often, the whole heckling thing. Nowadays, when someone feels like heckling, they just text message it to their friends. But I see you’re alone, so you’re forgiven.

—————- end of transcript —————–

ha ha ha – did you think I’d really post a transcript of my set – that’s like giving away the store, man. I’m on the road to do comedy – I ain’t out here, driving around and getting lost and too afraid to ask for directions and working hard only to just post stuff. Hey, if you want free comedy stuff, go to YouTube, where there are millions of hilarious comedy videos.

Okay, so I’m off to Washington this weekend to do a three night gig in the city. It should be a good ol grungy time. I don’t think Washington folks are tired of the word ‘grunge’ – I hope not.

mark and dat
Dat Phan and Mark Wiberg after the show in OR. Guess which one is me! Now guess which one is Dat? Dat Phan is a successful comedian who was the first Last Comic Standing on NBC. I met Dat in San Diego 10 years ago knew instantly that he would go far. But when I say 'go far' I really meant "move far away." That didn't happen (luckily for him, cuz he's doing great!)

road tour, part 2

I’m halfway to Oregon. So far, my 2008 comedy tour is going pretty well, although I haven’t performed any comedy yet. That will be tomorrow night where I will perform to a sell out crowd at an open mic at a ‘secret show’ in south Oregon.


What else? Oh – I was pulled over today by the California Highway Patrol – I was recorded doing 75 mph in a In-N-Out drive-thru lane.

Also, as you may notice, I don’t do a lot of links on this site, because I’m just too busy thinking of jokes and reading.

I’ve read some journals and articles about ‘comedians’ on the road and they all sound very fun and exciting (those crazy club managers!) but apparently, cultural identity is very important for comedians! Who knew?

In no particular order, here’s a few:

The Black Comedy Tour, The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, Axis of Evil Tour, Religious Comedy Tour, or [deleted by editor because the guy who wrote this doesn’t think things through]. It goes on and on. And I’m sure they’re all hilarious. Yep.

Lesson learned: If you want to stand out in comedy, join a group of similar comics and perform to like-minded people. Repeat after me: “We’re All Individuals”

I didn’t think of this before I left, but if I had to call my ‘tour’ anything, I would just call it “The Mark Wiberg Kickin’ Ass and Taking First and Last Names If You Don’t Mind Tour!”.

mark’s (mental) road tour

so i finish this one show last saturday night at the Grange in San Luis Obispo, and do well, everybody laughs (good!) and these people come up to me after the show and ask if I want to do a road tour around the country, and I’m like ‘yeah’ but then I say ‘which country’ just to make sure they’re not messing with me because one time I was asked to perform at a New Mexican nightclub and I thought they meant “a night clubin New Mexico” (the state) but it turned out they meant “a new night club in Mexico!’ and it took several People’s Courts appearances to sort it out. So, back to SLO and the people offering me a chance to tour the world. “These United States” they say and I almost hear the Battle Hymn of the Republic in the background, it’s that wonderful. So, after a couple of hours (cross the Is, dot the Ts sort of thing), it’s decided that I will go around this country, telling jokes in as many places. very cool. And I’ll be paid in very classy, commemorative collectible 9/11 bills. I was gonna argue for Pocahantas gold coins, but I didn’t want to push my luck. I’ve seen the commercials and those 9/11 bills are pretty sweet! Who wouldn’t be impressed if I rolled up to a parking valet, and say ‘keep an eye on my Honda, dude, and this very fine collectible bill will be yours.’ I’m not sure how they make change for those. All I know is that after this tour is done, I will be loaded with collectible bills that promise to increase in value someday.

So, anyway, this morning I go to work today, explain it my bosses and tell them that I can do my job from any computer and they are all ‘go for it, we’ll still pay you! Go do you want you want to do!! Just email us once in a while’ and so I leave tomorrow to cover the Northwest. I tell them about how I’m gonna be paid in collectible bills originating from Africa and they say that sounds like a swell plan because everyone knows the US dollar is down. I agree. I’m not economist, but I manage my credit card debt better than most. A lot of people I don’t know don’t have credit card debt because they don’t have credit cards so they know less than me.

So the plan is for me to take my stand-up comedy act to the Northwest states like Oregon, Washington. I leave later this week and will post all my (mental) adventures.

Stay tuned!

More Random Thoughts! Comedy

I had the good fortune of opening a show for two California comedians – Grant Lyon and Marc Yaffee in Atascadero at Player’s Restaurant last week. I know the internet and blogging is all about real time but excuse me for not being lightning fast on this – I was sick – but even if I wasn’t sick, it doesn’t mean I would have posted this any sooner. Anyway, it was a great show, and I did alright, despite not feeling well. This bit I did about editing a homeless sign to instill fear into passerby’s was a hit (ie., “family of 4” but scratch out 4 and write 3 – ha ha! isn’t homelessness funny!!!! I guess so).  Lyon and Yaffee were two I hadn’t seen or met before but both were very cool guys doing their stand-up comedy in very different styles.

Grant Lyon is younger, 23, and is silly and smart and will do just fine in the world of comedy or in whatever direction he goes into – he’s ambitious! Keep an eye on this guy!

And Yaffee – in his act he talks about looking like Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker who plaged Los Angeles in the 1980s: that’s not easy to deal with – while others were looking for dates, I was just happy to have an alibi.

Not a direct quote but you get the idea. The dude looks dangerous but he’s been doing comedy for 10 years and he has that laid back, sharp wit. Very funny.

It reminds me of when I lived in L.A. and was immediately surprised by how many funny comedians there were (and, yes, equally unfunny people too) – but so many good comedians are out there – they’ll get their chance at some point, to either make it to television, movies, or continue in a more lowkey presence and tour the country or their particular state. A comedian doesn’t have to be on television to make a living – plenty of unknowns make $ touring colleges, corporations, etc…no guarantee you can do that forever as tastes change, but there’s no guarantee that any job will pay the bills forever. And getting on television isn’t the guarantee either – it may extend your comedy career a little but anything can happen.

So, if your town has a comedy club or you see they are doing comedy at a local coffee shop or bar, I encourage you to go. You may be surprised at just how good the comedians’ acts are.  Or, if they suck, that can be enjoyable too (it’s almost-good-but-still-bad comics that make it painful). Support your local live comedy and you will feel better about yourself and you will live longer and make more money and get to do all the things you ever wanted to do, like raise unicorns or climb mt everest or date claudia schiffer. Whatever you want to have happen will happen if you support live comedy. If it doesn’t, then it’s the fault of somebody else, probably the checkout girl at the grocery store or the dudes who work on your car – both of these people know what you eat, and how little you take care of your car – that is all they need to know about you to mess up your life.