Comedy


Not figuratively…literally. I said, “Thank you, goodnight!” and fell off the stage.

I guess it was bound to happen. I’ve been doing comedy for a billion years and the odds were stacking up against me. I named my first CD “Dignity Under Duress” for a reason…I have, eh-hem, mishaps.

The scene of the incident: The Improv at Harrah’s in Las Vegas. My favorite club in the country. I love the club, the staff and especially, the manager Carl. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be a Mom…but I digress. I’ve played on that stage hundreds of times over the years with nary a mishap. (There was that one time, I had to go to the bathroom so bad I almost peed my pants on stage…but again, I digress.)

The audience is split in half down the middle with an isle from the stage. There are four steps down from the stage that takes you down that isle, through the crowd. They are well marked with reflective tape and covered with non-skid carpet. I usually walk down the steps to get off the stage and walk through the crowd to get to the front of the theater to meet the crowd as they leave. Easy-peasy.

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I get chills just looking at them now.

Flash back to me sitting in the green room, talking with Carl:

“Hey, Carl…do you have any lotion? I’m feeling extra Vegas-y.” (Which means we’re in a freaking desert, so all the moisture has been sucked out of my skin, leaving me feeling/looking like a velociraptor.

“Sure…here ya go.” as he pulls a big jug of lotion out of his magic sound booth.

I load up my hands with the lotion and can actually hear the sound of my skin sucking it in. Now hindsight is 20/20…I SHOULD HAVE put some of the lotion on my feet. I know that sounds weird and inappropriate but believe me that would have been the LEAST inappropriate thing that’s been done in that greenroom. It is Vegas after all.

I hear the MC introduce me, so I ignore my dry feet and head out onto the stage. This is probably where I should mention my shoes. Very tame shoes by Vegas standards. In fact, I think they’re the approved shoes for Vegas nuns. Low heels, slide-on, comfy shoes:

photo 1

Certainly not shoes I would ever have to worry falling off of. You would think.

I had a great set. The crowd was responsive and fun. I talked with several of them from on stage. I especially remember the doctor. He was in town on “business”. Yeah, isn’t everyone? (wink, wink)
I finished my show, picked up my cup of water, bowed to the thunderous applause (eh-hem) and handed off the mike to the MC. As I took my first step off the stage…

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(reenactment)
My cozy, Vegas-nun shoe slipped halfway off my Vegas-dry velociraptor foot. My ankle buckled and made me fly (head-first) down the stairs! I heard a collective GASP! from the audience…then complete silence. I think they were wondering if it was part of my show. “I meant to do that!” I yelled from the bottom of the stairs. They all laughed. I was still face-down in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. Well, technically my face was at the bottom of the stairs and my legs and feet were still at the top of the stairs which made it impossible for me to get up. I AM proud to say I still had my cup of water in my hand.
The woman sitting in the chair 6 inches from where I was sprawled said, “Hey, you broke your leg.” Thanks for your diagnosis, crowd member. Here’s the crazy part…NO ONE GOT UP TO HELP ME! Only Maria, the sweetest Maitre d’ in the world, came running to my assistance.

“Hey, Maria…I think I fell down the stairs.”
“Yes you did, Baby.”
“Everyone is just staring at us, huh?”
“Yes they are, Baby.”
“Thank you for coming to get me, Maria…I notice the DOCTOR didn’t come see if I was OK…he’s busy with his ‘business’ trip I guess.”

Maria pulled me up to my feet, which is an amazing feat since she only comes up to my bellybutton.
“You’re freakishly strong, Maria.”
“Yes, Baby.”

The crowd cheered when I was back on my feet.
“I’m OK…NO THANKS TO ANY OF YOU!” I screamed at them. They all just laughed again.

Thank goodness I’m a comic, I just made a joke and brushed it off. That would have gone WAAAAY different if I were a vasectomologist.

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My very talented and even nicer friend, John Matta has been drawing hysterical comics on napkins. He’s vowed to draw one a day for an entire year.

I helped him today:

MATTA NAPKIN 

Go see the funny, poignant and very bad penmanship of my napkin.

PS Thanks for asking, Matta. The parts of Philly I miss have you in them.

…and makes $30,000. for good measure!

Noah and I share the mike at station 96.5 WDBO. (thanks, Carl!) I was reminded to never share the stage with kids or animals…Noah stole the show:

“Knock knock”

“Who’s there?”

“Noah”

“Noah who?”

“No-any good jokes?”

And a special shout out to Mix 105.1 Scott MacKenzie, Dana & Jay – who are always there for me…and we laugh!!! I pee myself just a little every time I’m there. (probably why they didn’t let me in the new studio)

We found out that if you build it (and print up tons of posters, promote it on the radio and work tireless amounts of hours spreading the word) they will come:

Thank you to everyone who bought tickets, donated money and bid on auction items. You’ve made the “Light” a little brighter!

Somehow, Amber was able to get up on stage to welcome everyone. Her grace under fire amazes and humbles me every single day. Then she spread the good news about the NK Cells “Noah Protocol” that we’re trying to fund. All ticket sales and proceeds from that night went directly to Noah’s Light Foundation. If you were unable to attend, please click on the link, then hit the “DONATE” button.

One extra nice thing that happened that night is a new friendship with an amazing performer, Dale K. When I put out the word for someone to share the stage with me, Dale K not only offered but donated his time and talent 100% that night. His hypnosis show was so hilarious, I was sweating having to go on after him! Thank you, Dale K. I owe you a BIG one! And speaking of BIG ones:

Then it was time for my rantings:

So many people to thank (Tracey Prever) I don’t know where to start (Suzanne & Carl Nixon) I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out (Orlando Improv & Staff). There were so many people (Rachel & gang at Nth Degree FX) that made the evening a success (Tony & Robin Malatino and Purple Cow) Please go to this link for more people and LOTS of awesome Rachel photos.

Stay tuned for the 3rd annual “Laughter Heals” Benefit next year! (No, I will not be headlining again…who will? That’s a HUGE surprise!)

It’s a new year, 2012 to be exact and this is the time we all make resolutions with the best intentions of keeping them. Of course they’re the same resolutions I’ve made for the past 10 years but who’s counting? I’ve already broken one and day 1 isn’t even over yet. “I vow to eat more healthfully this year.” That’s been shot to hell… I’ve been eating all the holiday sweets in the house. That’s because my other resolution is to stop being wasteful. Kinda set myself up to lose on that one.

The other and more important resolution is a direct result from getting a year-end report from WordPress (my blog’s host site). In it, they tell you all the stats of your blog for the past year, like how many subscribers, how many views and the most telling stat for me: How many posts I wrote. (This is the part where I hang my head in shame and ask all my subscribers for forgiveness)  In 2011, I wrote a whopping 7 posts. I seriously thought it was a mistake. 7 posts? I felt like I had written at least once a month for crying out loud! Then I realized I had written them all in my head…I just forgot to type them in.

So here I write on Jan. 1, 2012 my solemn oath and resolution to write and post AT LEAST one post a week if not more. That would be 52 posts of hysterical, fall-down comical mishaps in my life written on this blog for your enjoyment. I’m taking the boys to a petting zoo/farm tomorrow, so it’s already writing itself. Fingers crossed that the next blog’s title isn’t:                                                “Hoof & Mouth Disease…Included With the Price of Admission”

Your loyalty and support mean the world to me. Thank you for reading and laughing with me in 2011.

Maryellen Hooper

 

Well, we made it. My blog is 1-year-old today. And just like my human children, I can’t believe how fast it’s grown.  Heck, I can’t believe how fast I’VE grown over the past year.  I still have so much to learn but I’m gonna give myself a little pat on the back today.

The only thing I knew for sure was I wanted to blog about all the crazy mishaps and shenanigans my family gets into on a daily basis. I wanted to document each story for posterity so I could:

A) Constantly remind my family what they put me through.

B) Have something embarrassing to hold over my boys’ heads when I want something from them in the future.

C) Evidence. In case child protective services ever gets called.

As I look back over the year’s posts, I’m astonished at the full circles my life has taken. One of the first posts I did was about my fear of everything reptilian and my last posts were about all the reptiles that have taken up residency in my house (thank you very much, Mark).

The other “full circle” was that I started this blog not knowing how to tie my proverbial cyber shoes and a year later, being asked by the amazing people at Disney to perform and speak at a Social Media Moms’ Conference. Crazy.

Turns out, I love to blog. I was meant to blog. I’ve tried all other mediums…I own thousands of dollars in scrapbooking accoutrement and have only done 2 pages.  I bought 7 (that’s right, 7) baby books for my 2 boys and they each have 2 pages done. (hmmm, I see a trend). I’ve taken thousands of hours of video of the boys and it sits in a box with all the editing software that’s unopened.

But blogging is like telling all your family’s stories to a friend. A friend that laughs and commiserates with you  in the form of sweet, supportive comments. Thank you all for your comments. They’re like the surprise in a box of Cracker Jacks. (Sometimes cheap and useless but always fun to get!)

So, cheers! everyone. Here’s to the next year of painfully embarrassing and frustrating posts…

...and just enough sweet moments to keep me from selling them on Craig's list.