By: Tony Tripoli
So, I’ve been away, kids, and I apologize.
I was in Provincetown, Massachusetts doing my one-man show, TONY TRIPOLI: I Shit My Pants (An Evening Of Sophisticated Standup), and, since it was my very first time there, I have QUITE A BIT to report.
I got offered the booking there a few months ago, and, while I knew that Ptown was a gay beach town with lots of entertainers performing all summer, and that a number of my friends have worked there and had a blast, what I didn’t know could fill a book.
Or, at least, this column…
First off, the lovely lesbian booker had only one condition for my hiring: re-shoot the poster for my show…shirtless. This, of course, goes contrary to virtually every tenant of comedy. I mean, other than Dane Cook, name a comic you’d wanna bang. Exactly. And, don’t say Sarah Silverman, ‘cause, while I’m a fan, she is hardly the epitome of feminine grace. My point is, as comedians, we are supposed to be outsiders pointing out the flaws in the system, and complaining about how we can’t get laid. If you are half naked on the billboard, it’s sorta sending the wrong message. But, the lovely lesbian booker claimed that THAT is how things are done in Ptown, and that it was a deal breaker.
I re-shot the poster.
What was originally this:
Was changed to this:
But, I gotta admit, it put butts in the seats. Score one for the lovely lesbian booker.
Another thing that is unique to Ptown is called “Barking”. Barking is the act of standing outside in front of your theater, handing flyers to the passersby, and trying to convince them to buy a ticket for your show. It’s very much like being a homeless person begging for change, except with less dignity.
And more dirty looks.
So, every day, I would walk the beach, handing out flyers, and stand on the street, handing out flyers. All the while, asking folks to come to the show, and having them say things to me like:
1) Is that supposed to be you?
2) You look taller in the picture.
3) Do you show your cock?
Lucky I never considered myself an artist, cause this woulda killed it.
All in all, the shows went great, though after my first performance, my lovely lesbian booker asked me very politely to take out 2 jokes that she felt were too edgy for Ptown. A town full of homos, and my stuff is too edgy? Upset, and unsure what to do, I called my dear friend, actor and comedian extraordinaire Alec Mapa. You know him from Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty, and his standup is filthy and fabulous.
“What should I do?”
“Girl, I’d take those 2 jokes and turn ‘em into 20 minutes…”
“Yes, but, I don’t have Ugly Betty money.”
“Take ‘em out.”
Disaster averted, I finished my run to nice audiences, and 2 less jokes than I do everywhere else. But, the check cleared, so, screw it.
Remember…I told you I wasn’t an artist.
You can read more about Tony at tonytripoli.com
By: Tony Tripoli
Dealing with your parents as an adult can be even trickier than when you were a kid. And, some of us certainly do better than others. Since I am a stand-up comic, I talk about my folks on stage, so, you can imagine some of the fun conversations we’ve had as a result.
I just finished a run of my one man show, TONY TRIPOLI : I SHIT MY PANTS! (An evening of sophisticated stand up), and for my Father’s birthday, he wanted to come to L.A., and see the show.
You are probably looking at your computer right now, yelling: “Don’t do it, Moron”, but I cannot hear you, and this was a week ago, so shut up. Besides, you’re the one yelling at your computer, so, maybe you’re the moron.
So, I flew Dad in last weekend. I got him a hotel, and on the way to check in, he starts:
Dad: I don’t need a hotel, Son.
Me: It’ll be better.
Dad: But, I can just stay at your place.
Me: This is better.
Dad: I’ll just sleep on the couch.
Me: This is better.
Dad: That way, I’ll be there in the morning when you wake up, and we’ll have so much more time together.
Me: This is better for ME.
I took him to the hotel.
That night, we went to the Arclight to see a movie, which he chose. The film was called “Chloe”, and since Julianne Moore was the star, I was totally in, in spite of not knowing anything else about it. I’ll try not to ruin it, but, it’s a big piece of crap, and you should skip it. Basically, Julianne suspects her husband, Liam Neeson is cheating, so she hires a hooker, Amanda Seyfried, to hit on him, and report back. Good idea, but, it quickly unravels into a straight man’s idea of how female sexuality works, and Julianne gets so jealous of her husband’s encounters with Amanda, she seduces Amanda, and they have this really long, very naked, lesbian sex scene that no gay guy should have to watch sitting next to his straight father, okay?!
The next day, Dad came to see my show, which is an hour and a half of stand up. Lots of naughty dating stories, and more than one tale of having an accident in my pants. Really, I think the Pulitzer folks will be calling me any day…
My father laughed a lot, and told me he was very proud afterward, which is so sweet.
Then, the next morning, as I drove him to the airport, he said “Son, I couldn’t sleep last night, thinking about something you said on stage”. Oh shit, I thought. Here it comes.
“You said that your parents don’t ‘get it’, and I just want you to know, I’m so sorry”.
My Dad is wonderful, you guys. He’s affectionate, caring, interested, and involved. And, when I speak, he really listens. Even if I’m on stage in a room full of strangers, telling poop jokes. He really is the greatest.
I explained that I was only making a little joke about how all adult children feel like there parents don’t ‘get it’ sometimes, but that I wasn’t trying to hurt his feelings, and I was glad he told me.
Dealing with your parents can be tricky, but, it’s always worth it. And, sometimes, just like when you were a kid, it makes you a better person.