Comedy Comes to Worcester

By R.A. Bartlett
jamescreelman.wordpress.com Intern
There’s a lot of funny business going on in Worcester, and comedian James Creelman couldn’t be happier to perform. He is booked on the Tuesday September 25th show at Bull Mansion as a part of WOOtenanny, a comedy festival running Sept. 24-29. Producers Bryan O’Donnell and Shaun Connolly have lined up a great week of comedy and Creelman is the icing on the cake.
JC is a comical man who has done a bunch of stuff including releasing a sizzling album entitled Live at the Rofl House. Tracks from the album get played on Siruis XM radio and instill the listeners with happiness on their drives to and from work. He has also met Conan O’Brien on two different occasions. 
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R.A. Bartlett: How long have you been doing comedy and where did you get your start?

James Creelman: I started comedy 8 and a half years ago in Providence, RI.

 

R.A. Bartlett: What is comedy in Providence like?

James Creelman: There is a wide variety of people doing comedy in Providence including people with diverse ethnic backgrounds and different world views.

 

R.A. Bartlett: How excited are you for your WOOtenanny show at the Bull Mansion? How did you land the gig?

James Creelman: I am very excited. Bull Mansion usually has open mic the last Tuesday of the month. They are hosted by Nikki Luparelli and always a fun time.They award a gift certificate to the best comic of the night and one time I won! When there was an announcement that the September open mic was going to part of the festival and be EXCLUSIVELY for past winners I jumped right on the opportunity by messaging and saying “I would like a spot, I won before”. The person running the Bull Mansion Facebook page responded with “Ok”.
R.A. Bartlett: How long have you been doing comedy and where did you get your start?
James Creelman: I already answered that. I started comedy 8 and a half years ago in Providence, RI. 

 

 

R.A. Bartlett: Should the fans expect an new material at the show?

James Creelman: Well that depends. If it is a contest for a gift certificate then absolute not. I will be sticking to the tried and true stuff. I will open up with the dangers of drinking and driving (They should call em DUI YI Yi’s!) and work my way up to my big closer about the heroin addicted blind musician who has a cooking show (Rachael Ray Charles lol). If it is not a contest than I may SLIP IN my joke about how Superman was pulled while driving. He was in the Lois Lane! I may also do a joke about how a LITTER of kittens is much cuter than a LITER of kittens, if time is allotted.
R.A. Bartlett: Haha those are funny.
James Creelman: Thank you.
 
WOOtenanny Schedule

Hot Dog! A Stand Up Sideshow! Featuring Kathleen DeMarle, Allison Dick, Ryan Ellington, AJ O’Connell, Katie Qué and Zach Russell, 8 p.m. Sept 20, George’s Coney Island, 158 Southbridge St., Worcester.

Dear Worcester featuring Will Martin, Mike Dorval, Bill McMorrow, Jeff Landry and Kathy Lynch, 8 p.m. Sept. 24, Nick’s Bar and Restaurant, 124 Millbury St., Worcester.

Addicted To Laughter featuring Zachary Brazão, Jack Burke, Jimmy Cash, Kindra Lansburg, Wes Martens, Laura Severse, Sean Sullivan and Eric Taylor, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25, Brew on the Grid, 56 Franklin St., Worcester.

Comedy Open Mic hosted by Niki Luparelli, 8:30 p.m. Sept. 25, Bull Mansion, 55 Pearl St., Worcester. Featuring festival highlight James Creelman!!

Boston Comedy Chicks featuring H. Deb Farrar-Parkman, Kindra Lansburg, Erika Rettman Welch, Chloé Cunha, Tooky Kavanagh, Katie Qué and Emily Ruskowski at 7 p.m. and Lansburg, Mairéad Dickinson, Deb Farrar-Parkman, Sarah Blodgett, Laura Severse, Jess Miller and Niki Luparelli at 9 p.m. Sept. 26, Nick’s Bar and Restaurant, 124 Millbury St., Worcester.

Pick A Side Stupid! hosted by Shawn Carter, 7 p.m. sept. 27, BirchTree Bread Company, 138 Green St., Worcester.

Weeding Out The Stoned hosted by Alex Grubard, 8:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Bull Mansion, 55 Pearl St., Worcester.

Dan Boulger with Andrew Mayer, Paul Cyphers, John Flagg, Connor McGrath, Nick Ortolani and Katie McCarthy, 7 p.m. Sept. 28, Ralph’s Rock Diner, 148 Grove St., Worcester.

Live at the PopUp! featuring Shaun Connolly, Wes Martens, Jeff Smith, Kate Procyshyn, Nick Chambers, Jesse Burlingame, Will Abeles, John Paul Rivera, Dave Williams and Terence Pennington, followed by comedy and karaoke by Bryan O’Donnell, Abeles, Paul Cyphers, Trent Wells, Benjamin Bosunga, Katlin McFee, Angela Sawyer, Josh Ramirez and Ryan Staples, 7 p.m. Sept. 29, Worcester PopUp, 20 Franklin St., Worcester.

Email R.A. Bartlett at jamescreelman.intern.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter @rabartlett

Mega Tour

I released an album. I figured it might open some doors and it is better to have something to show for my comedy efforts than to not have anything. Also I wanted to have something to sell on the road besides silly stickers. I have had it in my mind for a while now that it would be fun to have a “Mega Tour”, a tour that relies solely on public transportation services like Mega Bus. Fares are super cheap if you buy them in advance. My first trip was from Providence to NYC and it cost 5 dollars for the ticket. 5 dollars! Less than the cost of meatball sub.

In New York I stayed with Rob Greene and John Porch, two of my comedy buddies from the olden days. They put up with for 8 days and I hope I didn’t get on their nerves. I did five shows. two where good, three had almost no audience. Actually pretty good for New York standards. I did my merchandise pitch on one of the shows (its funny to try to sell things that people have little interest in and also I really like money). One guy just gave me 5 bucks for the album but didn’t want the album, just because he thought I did a good job. Which is nice but also kind of insulting that he has no desire to listen to me again – Laugh Out Frickin’ Loud. I played in something called the Pinball Super League and didn’t do very well but it was fun. You can look up my ranking on IFPA.com if you have nothing better to do with your miserable life.

After NYC I went to DC on a Greyhound for ten dollars. More than I would have liked to spend but it was all that was available. I didn’t do much comedy in DC because I didn’t want to beg the main head honcho comedy booker to do his unpaid shows. The man is god like because he chooses who gets to perform comedy skits for the drunken dumbdumbs.  I did beg another guy to do paid shows but he didn’t get back to me. 😦 Not sure if he thinks I suck or if he was just already booked up. Oh well, his loss. I stayed in a Hostel for one night called Hostels International. The place was fine except the ceiling are infested with mice. It had those square white drop ceiling tiles and the mice ran along the tiles all night long, skittering around inches away from the peoples faces in the top bunks. They where playing games, chasing each other back and forth, mocking the poor saps below. One guy in the top bunk would punch the ceiling tiles whenever they ran past. His misery was comical to me.

The next two days I stayed with my buddy Pete in Maryland. I meet him a few years back at an open mic and later found out he also is a big pinball fan. When I am in the area we usually hook up and go play some of dat silver ball. We played a tournament at a spot called Crabtowne. I came in fourth place which I am happy with considering it was only the second I have been there.

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After Maryland I cheated and took an 80 dollar flight to Orlando. That is the same price I paid for the Sega CD game Snatcher is the year 2000 (which was also a very good investment).In Orlando I stayed with my best good friend Michael and had some classic fun. Got to go to Disney and Sea World for free. I wanted to do a comedy festival there but unfortunately am not talented enough. I went to the movies and ate popcorn out of the trash instead. Also did a bunch of thrift shopping, found a Deranged / Motel Hell DVD as well as a John Waters Polyester / Desperate Living combo DVD. Also got to see some funny dogs. Just took a 9 hour bus ride from  New Orleans to Orlando which sounds like a nightmare but think of all the money saved. It was FIVE FREAKIN fucking dollars. Less than the price of renting roller skates! My  comedy schedule is a lot more active for the next month. I will be In Atlanta for a week,New Orleans for a week, then Austin for two weeks. Maybe other places after that. I have been cheating on my wife Clarinet with a young lady named Molly and I must say that I miss my mistress.

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Pinball Rudy started the Great Chicago Fire.

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There is something odd about the pinball game Funhouse. Not the obvious, a game with the goal of putting a red cheeked man-child name Rudy to sleep so you can put balls in his mouth. No, not that. Anyone who has lived in a dorm room has been the victim of that classic gag. What I have uncovered is much worse. Take a close look at the artwork, all the way to the right. You will notice a sign that says the funhouse is located in Chicago. Now look at the bottom center of the image. There is an old-timey camera with the initials C.F.D on it. Chicago Fire Department. Why would the fire department be recording Rudy? Well you see, Rudy started the Great Chicago fire. I know this sounds crazy, but how else can you explain that camera? This firefighter is gathering evidence, trying to make a case, seeing if Rudy says something to incriminate himself. You are probably asking yourself, “Don’t detectives look into arson, not firefighters?” Good point, but I can explain. What Rudy did was so horrendous that this FORMER firefighter quit the department to work the case full time, but not before he stole a camera.
Rudy did something horrible. We all know this. Look again at that artwork. He is trying to use hypnosis to keep these people quite. That’s why he has that giant watch. The strong willed in the audience dare not look at him, they are fighting to stay out of his control. Two brave kids have their ears covered to avoid his spell. One can’t keep from crying. Can you blame him? Unfortunately some in the audience are in his trance. They are transfixed on the watch. They can’t keep their eyes off of it.
You might be asking yourself “What motive would he have to do this?” He does not need a motive, he is simply a monster.
The Funhouse is a sham. Its not much of a funhouse at all. You just spend all the time hanging out in front while taking orders from a big talking head. You never get to go inside. All the time at the funhouse is spent at the entrance. Have a hot dog, you sausage.

Open mics

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I was asked to write a piece about the importance of open mics for comics. I am guessing that it would be mostly comics reading this, so I am going to try to keep the preaching to a minimum. I’m not going to say that if you don’t do mics that you are lazy scumbags (which you are). I am going to tell you why I like open microphones.

First off, right off the bat; I have nothing better to do with my time. I like being on stage and will take just about any stage time available. It is fun. Telling jokes is fun. I don’t even really use open mics as a way to practice jokes. Once you know a joke works you can practice it all you want at home. For me open mics are more about becoming better as an on-stage performer. Some cats hate open mics because they say there are only comics in the audience. Well, that’s not always the case. Even if it was, I actually like performing for other comics. Audiences don’t know what’s funny, comics do. Sure, a lot of the time you see over-the-top vulgar or weird, insidey jokes work great at the mics but not in real life. As a comic, you should already know this and know your audience.

Open mics are a great way to meet other comics. Who knows? Maybe they will like you and put you on a show. They are certainly not going to book you because they where impressed with how you had to stay home and relax because you had a busy day at work. I realize people have families and loved ones they want to spend time with. People don’t want to spend all their time in a room filled with delusional idiots. I don’t blame you at all but it’s something everyone needs to do from time to time. Show your face. Let people know you are still alive. One of my pet peeves in this business is people who only perform in contests thinking they will win and it will skyrocket them to super-stardom. There are no short cuts. Either try hard and take this seriously or go away.

If you are getting booked regularly or are a seasoned vet, then maybe you don’t need mics as much as the new guys. I know a lot of comics who don’t do mics at all and are still hilarious. But just imagine if they did. I think they could take over the world. I have seen people go from not very good to pretty rad in a short amount of time simply by grinding it out nightly. I have also seen people content with what they do and not improve in years. If you are relatively new at this you should be turning up at the mics. I figure most people reading this will be in New England so I am going to go ahead and list some of my favorite mics in the area. I am only listing show up-&-go up open mics. There are other pre-booked mics and showcases that I am not going to bother to list. You can Google or AOL search engine them for more info. [www.badslava.com]

The Funny Bone – Usually every other Tuesday, check their website for exact dates. 194 Buckland Hills drive, Manchester, CT. This open mic is inside of a comedy club, which is inside of a mall. I know that sounds like it could be a disaster, but it is great. Actual audience members are in the crowd, usually between 50 and 75 of them.

Grandma’s Basement – Thursday night. 8 P.M. 1271 Bolyston St Boston, MA. Inside the Howard Johnson hotel. This is one of my favorite mics and a great place to meet some of the younger comics in Boston. This thing lasts all night. Get there early for a good spot. Get there late and its still pretty good. They don’t have shows the night of Red Sox home games.

Speed Of Thought Playhouse – Wednesday 9:00 P.M. 39 N Washington St. North Attleboro, MA. This venue has a great stage and gets a pretty good crowd. Sometimes the audiences members and host are heavily intoxicated, which only adds to the fun. They also seem to give a little extra time than your standard 5 minutes, especially if you know what you are doing and they get a mix of new and more polished comics, so you usually get a good show.

El ‘n’ Gee – Monday night 9:00 P.M. 86 Golden St New London, CT. This mic is inside of a punk/hardcore/metal bar which is cool in and of itself. They run one dollar draft deals if that is your thing. They also have a dirty joke contest at the end of the night and the winner gets a free shot. They get a small but attentive audience, but not many comics make the trip to New London, so they allow longer than average sets. I have rambled on for at least 15 minutes there. Not bad for a Monday night.

The Salon – Last Tuesday of the Month. 8:30 57 Eddy St Providence, RI. I might be biased listing this one, because I am the co-host, but I feel that R.A. Bartlett and myself do a good job of making this a fun and unique experience. This is in the basement of a bar, so when its gets an audience, they actually want to be there.

Now that you have the tools for the job, go out and be a star. I hope to see you around.

Love,
Jim Jim

Journalism

Tom Stewart, who runs Whatssofunnyri.com, asked if anyone wanted to review Ron White at The Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence. I took him up on the offer. I hope they (both Tom and Ron) like my review.

On Friday Night, Ron White played to a sold-out audience at The Providence Performing Arts Center. PPAC was alive that night. It will certainly be remembered for a long time to come. The readers should know that despite being a comic who would love to work with Ron, and even though Ron smokes cigars, I am by no means trying to blow smoke up in between Mr White’s butt cheeks and into his the hole of his butt. I am going to give an unbiased, honest review of the evening entertainment.

The night started with local comic Bam Danton opening the show. Bam left the audience in stitches. Literally, he punched a women for heckling him. What had happened was the woman came into the show late and sidetracked everyone with the loud squeaking noises emanating from her wheelchair. Danton recommended “Getting some grease for those wheels, ya bitch”. When the woman politely stated that she simply could not afford it, being on a fixed income, Bam snapped and ran into the audience, hitting her multiple times in the face.

Bam recovered, finishing up his set as the police and ambulance arrived. Everyone was excited because it meant it was time for “The Tater Man”. You see, Ron White is famous for his bit about potato salad. Only, this show, he wanted to try something a little different. He opened his set by screaming “I am the son of Lobster Boy!”, as they wheeled him out in a five thousand gallon fish tank. He was spray painted red and had his hands done up like claws. He was throwing lobsters into the audience and expected us to eat them live with no butter. Some of the lobsters fell under the wheels of the cart, leaving it immobile. Ron never made it to his mark, which was an escape ladder at the center of the stage. He was stuck in the tank, treading water, off to the side. A man with a large hammer had to come and smash the glass. This caused PPAC to flood. Everyone had to be evacuated while a group of illegals came in and sucked up the mess with wet-dry vacs. After a 4 hour hiatus, the show was ready to continue, even though the floor was still damp and smelled like the sea. When Ron White came out on stage and grabbed the mic, everyone was electrocuted. This made me laugh harder than I have in a very long time. Overall, it was a very fun night. – James Creelman