14 December 2005

Random Thoughts Not Punctuated By Bullet Points

The bullet points are tired, and they just never "look" right for some reason.

Anyway, so I'm officially a moonlighter, having gotten a job across the street from my current one. I'm a cashier now at Barnes and Noble for seasonal work- in other words, right back to my old high school job. It's a short ladder of life for BSMemorial, folks.

So yesterday, I left my apartment at 8 AM and returned at 1230 AM, two thin slices of bread around a crap sandwich of compensated labor. Let me just tell you, the term "compensated" is used loosely where the B&N job is concerned. Regardless- I was naturally really, really tired this morning. I woke up, struggling to actually open my eyes (ever get that tired?), feeling the kind of achey that's disconcerting when you're 24- the bones in my legs hurt (who knows why), my feet are still tired. I flip on the water to the shower, brush my teeth, and start wondering literally how I'm going to carry myself through the day.

So I finish brushing my teeth, I hop in the shower... hold on. I should also mention that I don't drink coffee. In fact, I haven't had coffee since 6th grade when, after the entire class got a different Central or South American country to do an interactive report on, and someone got the country from which coffee is plethorated (well, it's a word now...). She brought coffee in for us to drink, and it tasted so bad that I loaded it up with sugar until it was like, a fucking solid. I had to chew the coffee, and grit the sugar in my teeth. Therefore, the shower is my coffee. My wake-me-up.

So I get into the shower, and pretty much instantly, the fog starts to clear, and I'm awake. My first thought is, "ok now- I'm back, baby." Then, out of nowhere, 100% involuntarily, "(Here I Am) Rock You Like a Hurricane" by the Scorpions starts to play in my fucking head, like I'm a phoenix washing in the Arizona before I rise from it. It's not like, my voice singing it to myself, either- it's like some sarcastic asshole hopped on the brain-jukebox and flipped it on just to astound me with his wit. My brain has a mind of it's own. The little guy in my head is a real toolbag.

So yeah, I've been working with this girl at B&N- first, let me say that she's a really nice girl, and that's cool.

But she just won't shut the fuck up. She's fat, has a Long Island accent, and she's one of those people that gets almost visibly frightened when there is a lull in conversation- to the point where she'll just sort of tell me shit about herself. The other day, we were the only two people standing behind the registers, and after I heard about how much her cats (shock- she has cats... I bet she also has calendars and sweatshirts and tube socks with said cats on them) like to snuggle up to her, I didn't mind taking a mental breather and thinking about Kate Winslet naked. It warmed me up (cold out yesterday!).

But no- she sort of stammered out of the silence and said- I shit you not- "you know... it's funny, my grandmother, she's coming for Christmas, and we're Scottish. Of course, you're sitting around by the fire, drinking with family, and they live in Scotland, so as we say- when the Scotch goes in, the Scotch comes out. [laughter]"

Now, besides the obvious fact that this doesn't even represent a viable tangent from ANYTHING we were talking about, what in the fuck am I supposed to say to that? Really, in the comments section, I want to hear what anyone would have said to that. "Sure, sure... the scotch coming in... goin' out..."

Well, as it turns out, we were talking about our neighborhoods, and TA DA!, she lives near me. Near me enough, in fact, that we have to take the same train home. HOOOO-Rayyyy! So instead of passively acknowledging it, she says, "oh, this is great, I have someone to ride the subway home with. I hate it usually, it's so boring."

No, you're right, useless small talk for six hours is like fucking whitewater rafting though. Endless thrills. Please though- no "oooh, the B&N lady is sweatin' the B-S-M." She actually went to the trouble of making up a boyfriend and naming him Pat for my benefit, lest I try to make a move on her.

Well, being at Barnes and Noble has afforded me the pleasure of being around a lot of books, and with the death of Richard Pryor, my brother being a semi-active stand-up, and my ongoing obsession with the medium, when I saw a book by a Bona Fide(TM) stand-up comedian I just had to pounce. Which one? Git-R-Done by Larry the Cable Fellow. I mean Guy.

Well besides his chapters on poo, fart, erection and car-oil changing jokes (oh wait, that's the whole book), his insistence on his own stupidity, his brilliant Darwinism denial chapter, and his racist screeds detailing the evils of everyone East of Germany, he had a chapter talking about- believe it or not- Official BSM Heroguy David Cross (I just mean that I really like him- legally, we have no association except that our farts probably smell similar).

Anyway, it all stemmed from a feud that started when David gave an interview to Rolling Stone calling Larry's comedy "racist" and appealing to an "it's fun/ cool to be dumb" crowd (my words, more or less). Larry had a problem with that. I could detail his issues with that, but outside of their being wrong (he is racist, and his whole book is a promise ring of stupidity- and chastity, I bet), David sums it up rather nicely in his retort, a must read for a Cross fan. Notice also the Dane Cook shot he takes, which might have to do with Cook's blatantly stealing at least three of Louis CK's bits, or stuff like this:

The dream that I had in 7th grade is about to become a reality. I've been asked to host Saturday Night Live! December 3rd! I did this with my stand up comedy. Not a tv career or a film career. I did it because I was a good guy with great intentions. I never got caught up in anything beyond the simple idea of bettering myself at this craft that I love and respect. More than anything I am doing it because my fans are some of the sharpest, coolest comedy fans on this planet and you got behind me and never left.

When I was a young boy I wanted to be a comedian. I had an instant respect for all types of performers in that field. In 7th grade I watched SNL one night and Martin Short was doing Ed Grimley. I was laughing my ass off and suddenly realized this show was my goal in life. To be on Saturday Night Live.

In 1996 I had the chance to audition for the cast of SNL but passed on even auditioning because I knew I was not ready. I did not have the chops or the confidence. I never regreted it but every once in a while my brain itched wondering if I missed out on something.

I went out and earned a fan base on my own through the years by being true to my sense of humor. I always talked about the things that mattered to me and made my friends and I laugh. And I stayed upbeat and honest.

Last year again SNL came calling and for a little while there was talk of me coming onboard. I flew to NYC and did a show for Lorne Michaels (the night Steve Martin was there and we had an amazing chat about comedy ... you can find that on my myspace blog). The problem in my mind was I already was so busy and had a massive following. Did I want to move back to NYC? What about these other commitments? The talks ended but I had more respect for Lorne and the show than ever before.

After you guys put me on top by supporting my CD/DVD RETALIATION my life changed and more than that my career hit new heights. So many things have come to me and I am picking and choosing the things I'd love to create and things I desire to share with you and entertain the crap out of you with.

It's 4:55 am and I'm wide awake thinking about the full circle that just came to a close after 20 years of dreaming. My mom is so proud of me and that makes me feel fucking wonderful because she is my biggest fan and has always supported me without pause.

The things you dream can become the things you have. The things you have should always be shared. I share this with you guys because, well, you've become part of this ride. We can all enjoy this together.

I'll fess up- when I first saw Cook years ago, I kind of liked him. He had a couple decent bits. But every time I saw him, he got a little louder, and a little less funny. I never thought he was groundbreaking- just kinda funny. But after reading him in interviews, where he's this bizarrely sycophantic worshipper of his fans (like the Backstreet Boys), he's stealing bits, he's not as funny the second time around... getting a little sick of the Dane Cook.

But anyway, back to Larry the Cable Guy. Actually, that's the end of my Larry the Cable Guy stuff. I would just like to point out that when you're a stand-up, and you're schtick-y, you have a short shelf life. See also: Top, Carrot. Gallagher, [null]. I GUARANTEE this is how Larry the Cable Guy is recalled. Who knows, maybe Erin will like him as much as she likes Gallagher!

What all this has gotten me thinking about (more than usual) is stand-up. I love stand-up. I loved writing some material for Mike. I love watching it, obsessing over it, being elitist about who I think is funny, and who's a hack. Here, for instance, is Patton Oswalt (very funny) answering all sorts of questions from fans (which is then later continued here).

I figured- hey! LIST TIME! (not the last one in this post, either!)


  1. Jerry Seinfeld

  2. Dave Chappelle

  3. Andy Kaufman

  4. Bill Hicks

  5. David Cross

  6. George Carlin

  7. Rodney Dangerfield

  8. Richard Pryor

  9. Zach Galifianakis

  10. Bob Odenkirk

  11. Lenny Bruce

  12. Steven Wright

  13. Bob Newhart

  14. Louis CK

  15. Steve Martin

  16. Woody Allen

  17. Bill Cosby

  18. Albert Brooks

  19. Roseanne

  20. Patton Oswalt

  21. Chris Rock

  22. Sarah Silverman

  23. Don Rickles

  24. Dave Attell

  25. Ellen DeGeneres

  26. Greg Fitzsimmons

  27. Jonathan Winters
  28. Gary Shandling

  29. Nick Swardson

  30. Bernie Mac

  31. Jim Gaffigan

  32. Larry Miller

  33. Eddie Murphy

  34. George Wallace

  35. Gilbert Gottfried

  36. Patrice O'Neal

  37. Bobcat Goldthwait

  38. Norm MacDonald

  39. Dana Gould

  40. Larry David

Now- as for some explanation. First, in theory, there were no "qualifications" save for being a stand-up, during history. But there was some hairiness- do I include Carson and Letterman, for instance? Since it sort of cluttered up what I was trying to "accomplish" with the list, I left them out.

Someone like Bob Odenkirk, for example, got by on a technicality- he's not a pure "stand-up," but he has done "stand-up" (albeit in odd forms) and he happens to be my favorite comedy writer ever, so I worked him in there. Same with Larry David- not a lot of video exists of him doing stand-up, but by virtue of what little I've seen... he's in.

Now, as for the top selection- I was surprised at the lack of unanymity among my brain cells on this point. The more I thought about it, the more I was divided up by a small handful of guys. So in the end, I picked the guy who, I figured, more or less got me into stand-up in the first place. Jerry's like the Alfred Hitchcock of stand-ups- meticulous, well liked critically and commercially, a true craftsman, prolific, and someone of their medium who even the most casual of fans can identify. He's almost the face of the medium.

After that, most guys slotted into place. I still think, when he's on (which is almost always), Dave Chappelle might make me laugh harder than any other human being ever. I have often said that I didn't think, as a whole, the female public is "funny," which while harsh was something I only mentioned after a lot of observation. That said, I don't know if I totally believe that anymore, when I consider the absolute raw tonnage of abominable male comedians working. I doubt the ratio is much different across sexes- it's just not that attractive a career option to females (or they're downtrodden- boo-hoo!). I have three out of my top 40.

There were guys I "like" that I left off- Jim Norton, Neil Brennan, Andy Kindler, Brian Posehn, Dmitri Martin, Doug Benson, Paul F Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Nick Swardson, Joan Rivers, Mark Maron, Tom Kenney. I'm sure there are more. Doesn't mean I don't love their stuff, just means I wouldn't put them top 40.

Also, no, didn't forget Mitch Hedberg. With all due respect to the dead, I was really never a fan. Seemed like an interesting guy though.

Speaking of COMEDY... the "Comedians of Comedy" show on Secular Central- oops, I mean Comedy Central- is fantastic. It's basically a road documentary of the Patton Oswalt/ Zach Galifianakis/ Maria Bamford/ Brian Posehn tour. Fan-fucking-tastic. Easily my favorite moment so far? When in Washington, when Galifianakis walks up to a tour guide at the Lincoln Memorial, quietly asks for a tour map, and opens it up, looking at it. He doesn't know he's on camera at that moment, and about three beats later, he looks up, and with utter sincerity asks the guide-
"Excuse me, where's the Weezy Jefferson Memorial?"

In addition to the TV show, there was also a film made from SEPERATE material, also called Comedians of Comedy. Very terrific stuff as well- the Posehn/ Oswalt comic books trips are just incredible to watch.

So, I thought- what are my favorite documentaries of all time?


  1. Gimme Shelter

  2. Hearts of Darkness
  3. Ken Burns Baseball

  4. Hoop Dreams

  5. Comedian

  6. Mr. Death

  7. Crumb

  8. Ken Burns Presents: New York

  9. Fog of War

  10. Heavy Metal Parking Lot

  11. Ken Burns The Civil War

  12. American Movie
  13. Roger & Me

  14. War Room

  15. Capturing the Friedmans

  16. Home Movie

  17. Last Waltz

  18. Monterey Pop

  19. Lost in La Mancha

  20. Fast, Cheap and Out of Control

Pretty self explanatory. Hearts of Darkness is the documentary of the making of Apocalypse Now- trippy stuff. I have a ton of documentaries right not in my Netflix queue, but if anyone has any suggestions on good ones...

Write em in the comment section.

So while bored out of my skull today, I did what every other red-blooded work-avoider does: I googled myself. I was surprised to find (it must be new), that my name is now owned as a domain name. Check it out: TimRogan.com. WEEEIIRRDD.

Speaking of weird, he has a bunch of Bible quotes under the question- "WHAT IS ETERNITY? WHERE WILL YOU SPEND IT? HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING THERE?" I think it's a design website. Yeah.


Finally, the Boston GM search is (mercifully) over, and it was (mercifully) NOT Jim Bowden of Jim Beattie. Thank god.

Instead it was two internal staffmembers- Assistant to the GM Jed Hoyer and Director of Player Personell Ben Cherington. Great choices, both, especially considering the job the FO has done as a whole this entire offseason.

Also, as I'm sure nearly everyone is aware of by now, it appears Theo will be back in some capacity with the Red Sox- as an advisor, what-have-you. Apparently it's only a matter of time. Theo has been very active as an advisor this offseason in helping the Gang of Four (and then Three) with offseason roster construction and deals.

As the world turns...

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