Stand-Up at the St. Charles Coffee House

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Earlier today, I drove the hour and forty-five minutes to the St. Charles Coffee House in St. Peters, MO, and I have to say, it’s an excellent place to perform open mike anything. It’s clean, there’s no cover, the coffee is delicious, and everyone is nice.

Everyone else was doing the singer-songwriter thing, so I was the only funnyman, which in a way made things a lot better. Doing open mike (mic? abbr. are not my spec.) comedy with fifteen other up-and-coming1 comedians means that you’re inevitably compared to all the rest of them, and no matter how good you do, there’s always someone who told a joke that got a bigger laugh, or had fresher material, or was more comfortable on stage, and that can be a little disheartening. Being the only comedian meant that my performance could be judged independently. I was also able to make a few introductory jokes about being the only one not singing, so that was nice, too.

Tonight, one of the open mike musicians happened to be Devon Allman, Greg Allman’s son, and therefore, Duane Allman’s nephew. He was apparently old friends with the MC: they met each other in “the pen,” as Devon explained it. The MC clarified that he meant Guitar Center. Having been to a few Guitar Centers myself and witnessed first-hand the overly-aggressive sales tactics they employ, I think I side more with Devon’s version.

I wanted to say something to Devon, but having never heard his band (or even of him) before tonight, I was at a loss. “I’m a big fan of your late uncle’s”? Doubtful. He sat right next to me though, and I eagerly texted every Allman Bros.-fan that I knew to tell them. He played a few songs with the MC, including a cover of “All Along the Watchtower” that was really great.

When the show was over, I claimed I had joked so well that I made Devon Allman look like the son of a talentless hack. (And Andrew’s trying to use that comment to start a feud between me and the rocker. When I told him this could only end bad, he said that rappers do it all the time, so what’s the worst that could happen? I reminded him that rappers get shot all the time, too.) That’s not true, though. He rocked it out, and I did pretty well. It ain’t like I’m Jerry Seinfeld’s kid or anything, though, so I’m gonna call it a wash.

And, since Devon went on before a guy who went on before a girl who went on before a guy who went on before me, by the transitive property, he opened for me. That’s one for the resumes, right?

1. Patton Oswalt discusses the three kinds of people you see at open mikes in his brilliant Werewolves and Lollipops. They are as follows: the people who are funny but unoriginal, the unique voices perfecting their art, and the crazies.


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