December 06, 2006
I can't get myself up to writing a column this week. I'm still sitting Shiva for my New York Giants. Their coach Tom Coughlin is every overblown, loudmouth dopey high school gym teacher I ever had. My favorite part of every game is when the Giants, the most undisciplined team in football, commit some stupid foul and the camera moves to the sidelines and there you see Coughlin with a vacant look in his eyes shaking his head from side to side.
Last Sunday I realized where I had seen that exact same look. It was in the movie King Kong when Kong is up at the top of the Empire State Building and these planes are coming by and shooting at him. Each time he gets hit King Kong looks hurt and pathetic seemingly saying, "Why me." I have more sympathy for the big ape than I have for the big jerk who's running and ruining the Giants. Here's a column I wrote a few years ago. It was the last highpoint of my wretched life.
MY COMEDY ACT
Last week, for charity, I did a stand up comedy act at Caroline's Comedy Club.
I have never been so frightened in my life. I was terrified. I wouldn't allow my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht, or anyone I knew to attend the show because if I was going to die I wanted to die alone.
I also couldn't stand the thought of getting a mercy laugh.
It's one thing to attempt to write funny but it's another thing to get up on stage with a few hundred strangers staring at you and saying to themselves, "Make me laugh!"
The other two corporate types who took part in the show were James Liebenthal, the famous Tax Free Bond Expert, and Carl (I can afford to buy a sense of humor I'm a Billionaire) Ichan.
Liebenthal went on first. He's a lovely man but the crowd was deadpanned and quiet during his entire "act."
This scared me even more. Now there was a good chance that I would get up on the stage and either vomit or wet myself out of fear.
Then I heard them call my name and I stumbled on to the stage to face hundreds of strangers.
I delivered my first line and they laughed.
"Hey," I said to myself, "this isn't so bad."
I talked about The Football Giants. "If they played so hard and dedicated themselves to beating the Washington Redskins when their wonderful owner Wellington Mara died the week before the Skins game, should we consider whacking a Mara before every game until we get into The Super Bowl?"
It got a big laugh.
Then I talked about advertising. "Was I wrong in proposing a slogan for Feminique vaginal spray: Feminique is not the best thing in the world — It's next to the best thing?"
Crude stuff but they were laughing and applauding.
Here's the closing part of my act.
"Now the only reason I'm up here embarrassing myself is because it's for charity. I hope someday Caroline's will hold such an event for my favorite charity. I've written a commercial that you'll all soon see on television. I have that famous bleeding heart, depressive Sally Struthers.
"She whines, 'Hello, I'm Sally Struthers. For years I've ruined your dinner by coming on television for some dubious charity and showing you starving children. Now I'm here for an even more serious appeal. Today I'm here to urge you to give to JEWS WITHOUT SECOND HOMES.
"'You see them on the weekends lunching at La Goulue and having dinner at Sette Mezzo. Jews with no place to go. Wandering among the German and Italian tourists . . . going to boring independent films about pregnant shop girls in India at night . . . Saturday . . . Sunday — the hours drag. Mothers who have to admit to their children, 'I'm sorry your friends are not around this weekend. If you're lonely go downstairs and talk to the doorman.'
"'Jews who don't have that sad confusion of wondering which house they left their heavy coat in. And those shoes that would be perfect with this dress are out at the Hamptons? Why are the clothes you want to wear always, always 120 miles away?
"'Jews who will never spit out their Saturday morning coffee with milk that went sour because it was left on the counter of their second home all weekend. Jews who will never know the joy of waving to their friends on a Saturday night at Nick and Toni's or The Palm. Jews who will never be able to say, 'I have to go now my phone doesn't get service between exits 53 and 55 on the Long Island Expressway . . .
"'Jews who are the hopeless victims of a rapidly shifting economy. They must be helped. Do they not have a second home because they don't want to buy at the top of the Hampton bubble? Or worse, did they sell their homes before the bubble started and can't get back in? Jews who sold their second homes on the ocean in Southampton for $800,000 in 1987. Now when they drive past it they break into tears.
"'Jews who cannot look at the real estate section of this newspaper without having heart palpitations. How about those poor Jews who sold because in 1995 their children were under the influence of some sadistic private school coach at Dalton or Spence who called for soccer and hockey practice on Saturday mornings. Now their kids have left home and these poor people are reduced to being houseguests of people they frankly can't stand. When you go to your second homes this weekend think of those who only have one kitchen, just five bedrooms. Only one Viking stove. Only one Sub-Zero Refrigerator.
"'I'm Sally Struthers urging you to reach into your pocket and give a donation to JEWS WITHOUT SECOND HOMES.'"
The applause was incredible.
I felt like Sally Fields at the Academy Awards. I wanted to shout, "You like me. You really like me!"
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