Sunday, July 31, 2005

Here comes the neighborhood

This weekend, I checked out Brooklyn's latest and classiest comicbook establishment, Rocketship. Not only is it friendly and inviting with a fine selection of comics (and a particular focus on independent publishers), but it also has the benefit of being right down the street from me. Sweet.

Check 'em out if you're ever in's a pretty snazzy joint.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

All You Need Is Cash

My birthday is September 4th. Anyone with a few extra hundred thousand dollars lying around are more than welcome to do some advance gift shopping. Anything from the this auction would be greatly appreciated. Especially if it's the hand-written lyrics to All You Need Is Love. Thanks in advance.

John Lennon Memorabilia to Be Auctioned
By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 26 minutes ago

Money can't buy you love. But a few hundred thousand can get you a piece of Beatles history. A collection of John Lennon memorabilia valued by auctioneers at more than $2 million is being sold in London Thursday.

The sale includes youthful paintings and handwritten lyrics, jackets, eyeglasses and even furniture from the late former Beatle's home. The most valuable items have been gathered over 25 years by one anonymous American collector. Auctioneer Cooper Owen, a company which specializes in music and film memorabilia, says it constitutes "the most definitive collection of John Lennon memorabilia ever assembled."

The centerpiece of the sale at London's Hippodrome nightclub is handwritten lyrics to "All You Need is Love," salvaged from Lennon's music stand after The Beatles' final TV appearance in 1967 and estimated at between $870,000 and $1 million.

Cooper Owen director Ted Owen said the manuscript was "the Holy Grail of Beatles lyrics."

"It's probably one of the few remaining Beatles lyrics in private collectors' hands and one of the most important musical manuscripts in existence," Owen said. "It was the anthem of the peace movement ... the anthem of 1967."

The sale includes other items that loom large in the history of the 1960s. There's the Vox Continental organ that Lennon played during The Beatles' famous Shea Stadium concert in New York in 1965, expected to fetch more than $350,000.

The tunic of a World War One military band member, worn by Lennon for a 1966 Life magazine photo shoot — and a possible inspiration for the group's martial look on the cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" — is valued at least $175,000.

The bedspread from Lennon and Yoko Ono's 1969 Montreal "bed-in," embroidered with the message "all you need is love," carries an estimate of at least $53,000.

While Beatles memorabilia is among the most coveted by rock collectors, past auctions have sometimes been disappointing. Last year an autograph Lennon signed shortly before he was shot and killed outside his Manhattan apartment building in 1980 failed to reach its minimum price of $143,000 at a Cooper Owen auction.

But Pete Nash, a memorabilia expert with the British Beatles Fan Club, said many of the items in Thursday's sale were special.

"It's lovely, lovely stuff," Nash said. "There are some real museum pieces. It's not the usual run-of-the-mill memorabilia."

He said the most expensive items, beyond the reach of most Beatles collectors, would likely go to "about 20 heavy-duty collectors in the world who seem to have unlimited funds."

Owen said pieces like the "All You Need is Love" lyrics were worth every penny.

"They're part of our history now," he said. "In the British Library, opposite the Magna Carta, are three sets of Beatles lyrics next to Beethoven and Bach."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


And you thought you might have had a bad night...

Here's to a safe and speedy recovery for Matt Clement!

Monday, July 25, 2005

googling for fame

We all want our 15 minutes of fame. And for some, that 15 minutes can stretch pretty far. For others...not so much. While by no means scientific, I think the longevity of someone's 15 minutes can be seens as being directly proportional to how many times a day they are googled.

For a few weeks, google searches for 'Lauren Bergfeld' sent hapless googlers to this here site. Sorry, fellas. Checking the recent stats, google searches for Lauren Bergfeld are WAY down from a few weeks ago.

And so fades the brief-but-shining star of yet another reality television supah stah.

Your 15 minutes is up in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Get me a book deal STAT!

Some publishing company somewhere should be giving me massive piles of cash to write self-help relationship books for chicks. I mean women. Sorry. Womyn.

Quick backstory:

Late night.
Roof deck.
Copious amounts of alcohol.
Ladies. Lots.

As always, the conversation turns pseudo-serious into "what women are looking for." Obviously, personality/emotional compatibility and sexual chemistry are musts. But one particularly honest lady put forth that - for a long-term relationship to work - money is also an essential component. So, for a good relationship to flourish, you need to have the ability to relate to one another on an emotional, psychological, and sexual level AND you need to have some sort of financial security. Leading me to brilliantly proclaim that the three key ingredients for any successful relationship are:


I anxiously await the call from Random House to publish my sensitively titled book: What Chicks Dig.

*Note: Not so insightful in the sober glow of daylight. But still.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Saturday Morning rules

Rule #1: The mailman is not allowed to ring the buzzer before 9 AM. Ya hear me? No deliveries before 9 AM! And that goes for anyone out there who's thinking about ringing my buzzer before 9 AM on a Saturday morning.

It's downright unAmerican.

And that's it. That's the only rule.


So. Last night was interesting. I'm not even sure if I want to blog about it - I feel like blogging about it may somehow diminish the moment. Yet...I have a blog. I should say something about what happened. I guess.

A guy got shot last night in front of our bar.

In the shoulder. In the West Village.

We never saw the actual shooting - it happened in the street, away from the bar. It was the jarring experience of witnessing how others were reacting to the situation that really made the evening surreal.

An athletic black man in a sleeveless shirt and jeans stumbles to the door and collapses on the stairs outside, clutching his bleeding wound, looking more pissed and inconvenienced than hurt.

Commotion at the door. Some chick yelps. The door slams shut. The bartender cuts the music. Someone's been shot. Did anyone hear a shot? No one heard a shot. Someone's shot? Call 9-1-1. Call 9-1-1! I'm hopping up from my chair. One of the guys I'm with has grabbed his mini-CPR kit. I'm running through my head the basics of how to treat a shock victim. Not hearing a gun shot concerns me. It must have happened farther away. Stunned silence gives way to morbid curiosity. Some cooze assures her friends that its best to leave him outside because bringing him in is "bad for business." Her boyfriend verbally bitch slaps her. "Bad for business? There's a man bleeding on the steps! Who gives a fuck about anything else?" A spark of humanity.

A crowd of people stood and stared.

Give him room. Keep pressure on the wound. Keep his head above his heart. Elevate his legs. Keep him talking. Police arrive immediately. Props to the NYPD. Ambulance on the way. Everyone get back. He knew the guy who shot him. Doesn't know his name. He can describe him. Sirens wail. It happened down the street. He was on the way to the store. I'm wondering if he got shot over some dame. I'm wondering why I'm thinking in 1940s pulp terminology. I know the answer. Out comes a stretcher. The guy stands up and sits himself down on the stretcher. The evening resumes. A round of 'shots' for everyone, on the house. The gallows humor is lost on no one. The cooze and her friends leave. Her friends are looking at her a little differently now.

Everything's back to normal. But now we all know who we are.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Thursday Geek Out

The other night, I caught a late night episode of an old Justice League short from the swingin’ 60s which has one of my all time favorite Superman quotes ever.

Chasing an extra-terrestrial fugitive to Earth, evil aliens dispatch a “magno-missile” to our planet and pull the Earth out of its orbit (you could do that back in those crazy days). As the invading aliens prepare to attack, the ever-vigilant Justice League springs into action! Taking decisive action, Superman quickly barks out commands:

Superman: "Flash, you and the Atom take care of the magno-missile."

Flash: "Check."

Superman: "Hawkman, you take care of Valkar."

Hawkman: "There's no safer place than by my side."

Superman: "You hold off the invading army, Green Lantern. I'll go push the Earth back."

“I’ll go push the Earth back.”

I’LL GO PUSH THE EARTH BACK! Dude! Forget the fact that Green Lantern - in all his glorious bad-ass splendor - holds off an entire ARMY of alien invaders – Superman pushes the Earth back into its orbit. The entire planet Earth. And he says it so casually, like he’s taking out the garbage. Of course he’s going to push back the Earth. Of course. Duh.

How can you not love comic books and cartoons after that?!

And the best part: nobody thinks this is out of the ordinary. Like, the Flash never thinks, “Hey, pushing the Earth back, that sounds pretty hard.” Nope. He and the Atom rush off to destroy the poorly-named magno-missile. The Atom never even takes a moment to reflect on the insignificance of his powers next to the overwhelming might of Superman. Hawkman is cool just chillin’ with his new homey Valkor. Everyone just sort of plays along, as if baby-sitting some whiny alien refuge is the same as juggling planets. It doesn’t even occur to them that really, Superman doesn’t even need their help; he’s just giving them some busy work to keep them occupied. He wouldn’t want them to feel bad while, ya know, he pushes the Earth back! He’s just that kind of guy. It’s just one more of his many powers; the power of being super-cool.

And just because Superman is powerful enough to put ol’ lady Earth back in her place, don’t think he doesn’t know how to sweet talk the ladies. While doing what appears to be a super-hand-stand as he pushes the planet back into orbit, the Man of Steel grunts, “Don’t … fight me … Mother Earth.” That’s right, Earth. The Man of Tomorrow is just trying to do right by you. So let him do his thing so you can do yours, baby. He’s doing it for you, sugar. All for you. Shhhh. Don't fight it. Just relax. Shhhhh.

In the span of 90 seconds, the Earth is back in orbit, the alien army defeated, the galaxy is protected, and humanity has been saved once more. All thanks to … the Justice League. But mostly Superman.

Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have to go push the Earth back.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Plugging along

I'm at the Tank tonight.

The Tank @ chashama is located at 208 West 37th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Rally Caps

All right boys...let's snap this losing streak. Let's get Johnny started on another 29-game hitting streak. Let's take back the 1st place spot in the AL East. We're down right now...and that's how we like it. Let's go out there and win one for ol' Lady Yawkey tonight!

In Loving Memory: 29 Games

Monday, July 18, 2005

You know it's not going well with a girl when ...

Actual conversation this evening at a bar, before a show:

Her: What did you say your name was?

Me: Benari.

Her: Bernard?

Me: Benari.

Her: Oh, Benard?

Me: Ben. Ari.

Her: Benard. That's so funny.

(slight pause)

Me: It's - -

Her: That's what we call my brother. His name is Ben, but we started calling him Benard and it just somehow became Benard from then on. He hates it.

Me: What was your name again?

Her: Libby.

Me: Oh, THAT'S funny. Because Dick Cheney's chief of staff's name is Libby - Scooter Libby - and I hate him.

Her: Oh, no, that's a different Libby. His Libby's on the other end.

Me: (thinking) I am never going to get laid again ever.

'F' the Train

Packed tighter than an e-bay shipment, our crammed train departed sans air conditioning this morning 17 minutes behind schedule and chugging along at a jerky pace slightly faster than a jog. Now, I have no idea why only one “F” train showed up in a 30 minute time frame – I can only imagine that some unforeseen occurrence caused a bit of a back-up and forced what was obviously the city’s most uncomfortable train to shoulder the heavy burden of transporting bleary-eyed New Yorkers to their Manhattan destinations this fine early-morning rush hour.

As we maneuver ourselves into the cars in Tetris-styled contortions, my vision begins to blur as I find myself covered in a bitter film of sweat, a salty sea of electrolytes flowing forth from my pores. Oh, the minor inconveniences we endure to enjoy the world's greatest mass transit system. Sigh.

To add insult to injury, we hapless straphangers jammed into the grimy walls of the overcrowded cars are forced to stare at the ineffectual claims from the transit authority that they’re working hard to improve subway service!

Just what I want to see as I'm being crushed by disgruntled New Yorkers and their overpowering aromas: a little man in a hard hat shoveling bullshit at me. The New York MTA: Shoveling bullshit for the next hundred years!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

This is apropos of nothing, but...

Michael J. Fox was on Capitol Hill today, urging lawmakers to lift the President's 2001 restrictions on stem cell research. And it made me wonder:

Does anyone other than my mom refer to Michael J. Fox as just Michael Fox?

I don't know if she's just against using the middle initial on principle or if she thinks middle initials are pretentious ... I don't know. But every time she talks about him (surprisngly, rather frequently) she refers to him as Michael Fox. So there ya go.


Special thanks to my buddy Baron and his very lovely friends Chanel and Bridget for a fun time at Galapagos last night. Following the show, a very heated and passionate debate over the nature of stand-up comedy and the value of art erupted. Hilarity ensued. Yes, alcohol was involved. Yes, I will refrain from posting our brilliant observations. But know this: they were BRILLIANT. Also, the L train is always more fun when you have the entire car to yourselves...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

From the ol' notebook

Okay. So I don't actually have any old notebooks. Most of my comedy bits and set lists are scrawled on the back of bar napkins. As it should be. But, as I was trying to generate some new material, my thoughts drifted back to some of the old bits I used to do.

Wow whee.

Every once in a while, you need to dust off some of those old bits just to remind yourself of why you no longer do them. Here are some oldies but goodies* from the ol' vault. And yes, I actually performed these "jokes." Onstage. In front of an audience. Often, to laughter. The world was different then...

*please note: jokes may not be older than 5 years and they may not be "goodies." Mileage may vary. Some restrictions may apply. Not applicable in Montana.

"If the commerical goes, 'Don't push a friend, push a Push Pop!' then following the same logic, for a Blow Pop...."

"Watching a Beck's beer commercial and they have the tagline: 'Beck's. What Germans do best.' Now, I'm no historian, but when I think of what Germans do best, beer's a little further down the list. Maybe they should just be more accurate and change their tagline to: 'Beck's. What Germans do second best.'"

"I have a problem with bi-sexual girls. I know I should love them, but I can't. It's like they want to have their cake and eat it, too."

I'm doing a set tonight. None of the above material will be used. Details below.

Tuesday, July 12th @ 10PM

Drop by and say 'hi.' Uh, and let's never speak of those old bits again. I'm glad we had this talk.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Rove-ing reporters

It's not often you see the press colectively grow a sack. But it happened today. Maybe it's because now one of their own is sitting in a jail cell...

Via Raw Story, a partial transcript of today's White House press briefing:

QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.

QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?

QUESTION: Do you stand by that statement?

MCCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that, as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation, we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.

QUESTION: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you've decided not to talk.

You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?

MCCLELLAN: I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said. And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation...

QUESTION: (inaudible) when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?

MCCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish.

QUESTION: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything.

You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?

MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

MCCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.

QUESTION: You're in a bad spot here, Scott...


... because after the investigation began -- after the criminal investigation was under way -- you said, October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this," from that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.

MCCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization. And I think you are well aware of that.

We know each other very well. And it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation.

And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this. Because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States.

I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that.

QUESTION: So you're now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore and since then you haven't.

MCCLELLAN: Again, you're continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation and I'm just not going to respond to them.

QUESTION: When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you pin down a date?

MCCLELLAN: Back in that time period.

QUESTION: Well, then the president commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?

MCCLELLAN: I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking them, but you have my response.

QUESTION: Well, we are going to keep asking them.

And they did.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Random Fridays

Getting on the subway this morning (no dirty terr’st is gonna tell me not to take public transportation), I was comforted in seeing that an increase in the terror alert actually translated into an increase in visible security around the stations and in the subway cars themselves. So, I just wanted to extend my thanks to the NYPD and the entire NYC security team for an excellent response to a heightened threat level.


Note to cute girls with cell phones:

We get it. You’re cute. This does not give you the right to keep your cell phone ring set to “ear-shattering.” Cell phones come with a volume control for a reason. Just because you’re cute, it doesn’t mean you’re exempt from social etiquette. Plus, your cuteness diminishes in direct proportion to how annoyingly loud your cell phone ring is. I’m glad you like the O.C. but we don’t all need to hear “California” every time Liz calls you to tell you she saw a hot guy at the mall.


Looking over my stats meter, it looks like Lauren Bergfeld is pretty popular. And apparently, a lot of folks want to see her nude.


For my Boston peeps: I’ll be at the Comedy Studio in Harvard Square this Saturday night. Drop by and say hi.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

thoughts and prayers

"It is important that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world."

"Whatever they do, it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world."

Prime Minister Tony Blair, July 7th, 2005.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Darn activist judges

So, if you don't like activist judges - that is, judges who vote to strike down Congressional laws - then you must not like judges like Clarence Thomas.

Now, I myself have no problem with so-called "judicial activism." If a law is unconstitutional or unjust, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to take action and strike down such laws. But some very vocal folks (who lean to the right) have long decried judges who are "activists." So, a Yale law professor and student have examined just who are the activists on the current Supreme Court. Here's what they found:

Since the Supreme Court assumed its current composition in 1994, by our count it has upheld or struck down 64 Congressional provisions. That legislation has concerned Social Security, church and state, and campaign finance, among many other issues. We examined the court's decisions in these cases and looked at how each justice voted, regardless of whether he or she concurred with the majority or dissented.

We found that justices vary widely in their inclination to strike down Congressional laws. Justice Clarence Thomas, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, was the most inclined, voting to invalidate 65.63 percent of those laws; Justice Stephen Breyer, appointed by President Bill Clinton, was the least, voting to invalidate 28.13 percent. The tally for all the justices appears below.

Thomas 65.63 %
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
OÂ’Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %

One conclusion our data suggests is that those justices often considered more "liberal" - Justices Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens - vote least frequently to overturn Congressional statutes, while those often labeled "conservative" vote more frequently to do so. At least by this measure (others are possible, of course), the latter group is the most activist.

I never cared much for rhetoric. I care even less for it when it's entirelyinaccuratee and devoid of any basis in reality. The idea that judicial activism is somehow inherently wrong is infuriating enough; the fact that judicial activism is actually practiced to a far greater degree by the most conservative judges is even more so. It's fine to disagree with an ideology. But make sure you're actually disagreeing with the RIGHTideology...

In the year 2012...

New York Bid Falls Short as London Is Chosen for OlympicsBy LYNN ZINSER
SINGAPORE, July 6 - In a surprising upset over front-running Paris, London snatched away the 2012 Olympics today, capping a comeback in a bidding race it seemed nearly out of just a year ago.


New York officials had been optimistic after their final presentation, which had many I.O.C. members expressing admiration for the combination sales pitch and emotional appeal based on New York's international flavor and economic power. The city's bid had also seemed to get a lift from the arrival of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday, who met dozens of I.O.C. members and seemed to charm her audiences.

But the bid seemed to have been damaged over the past months by a preoccupation with a proposed stadium on the west side of Manhattan, which suffered an embarrassing political defeat a month ago. New York's Deputy Mayor and bid organizer Daniel R. Doctoroff tried to regain momentum with a new plan centered on a stadium in Queens, but New York's effort failed to gain ground on Paris and London, long considered to be the front-runners.

Good thing we spent millions of dollars in public funding on a massive publicity and advertising campaign instead of...oh, say, putting that money into our public transit system or schools or our police and fire departments or security or something.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Let's hear it for Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Happy Birthday, America!!!

Celebrate the long weekend in style! I know I will.

In the meantime, in honor of our freedom, enjoy some uppity comedy from yours truly, taped in May deep within the bowels of Siberia.

It's split up in three sections, under my name - which they misspelled. Ah, fame. Will you always elude me? Oh, and uh, it's totally NOT work safe.

Click here to get to the funny.