Tommy Morgan Jr.: Comedian/Writer/Adjective

If I’ve learned anything in the few years I’ve been doing stand up comedy, it’s this:

patrickhastie:

When you’re a part of a comedy scene, don’t waste your time fighting and holding grudges with other comics. It’s useless. Rise above shit, come together and build something. Because walking around bitter and angry all the time is hacky as fuck.

How To Appreciate Taking Back Sunday

A friend of a friend posted this little gem on Facebook: How To Appreciate Taking Back Sunday

It is essentially, a primer on how to listen to music in case you forgot, shown through the lens of my favorite band. This, actually, is how you appreciate Taking Back Sunday:

1. Fall in love with a girl who listens to Taking Back Sunday all the time.

2. Dismiss them as whiny, crybaby bullshit.

3. Actually get a chance with said girl, then buy her tickets to a Taking Back Sunday concert for a date.

4. Go to dinner at your parents’ restaurant before the concert, and get told by the girl you’re convinced you love that it’s not working out.

5. Pretend everything is cool for the rest of the dinner.

6. Despite your best instincts, go to the concert with her anyway.

7. Sit through opening bands, conversations with friends also at the Taking Back Sunday concert, and the general feeling that you should crawl up into a ball so tight that you cease to exist, pretending everything is cool.

8. Watch as Taking Back Sunday takes the stage, glad this will all be over soon.

9. Listen to the opening chords of “Set Phasers To Stun” and suddenly GET IT. NO, LIKE, FOR REAL, MAN.

10. Sing along to the few songs you know, hoping the girl next to you doesn’t notice your new-found passion for the music is anger and sadness aimed at her.

11. Go home, changed. Buy every Taking Back Sunday album and multiple t-shirts. Memorize every lyric.

12. Get complimented by Hayley Williams at Warped Tour because you wore a dope TBS shirt. Resolve to listen to more Paramore.

13. Don’t listen to all that much more Paramore.

14. Continue to be best friends with the girl who dumped you before the Taking Back Sunday concert, because she’s cool and you are, after all, now the kind of guy who listens to Taking Back Sunday.

15. While working for your college paper, convince a Warner publicist to let you interview a member of Taking Back Sunday.

16. Be stoked even though it’s the guy who just joined the band a few months prior (and would leave a couple months later).

17. Interview said member of Taking Back Sunday and love every minute of it because HE’S IN TAKING BACK SUNDAY and also geeks out over the music as much as you do.

18. Double down, and get a chance to interview two members of Taking Back Sunday live on the campus radio station.

19. Have interview cancelled by station management in order to do a live session with one of the opening acts of the same show because they’re cooler and more indie.

20. Laugh your ass off about that situation years later because the cooler, hipper band your chance to meet members of Taking Back Sunday got cancelled for was FUN., now perhaps the least hip band this side of the Eagles.

21. Still hope to meet Adam Lazzara, John Nolan, Eddie Reyes, Mark O’Connell, Fred Mascherino, and/or Matt Rubano one day.

22. Finally, after 12 years, kiss the girl you took to the Taking Back Sunday concert for the first time.

23. Enjoy the hell out of it, but be rejected again.

24. Cure your blues this time with a quick session of screaming along to Tell All Your Friends and Where You Want To Be. Continue to be best friends (see #14).

25. Consider making this list 152 items long, realize no one will read it.

26. Continue, well into your mid-twenties, to appreciate a band that grows and changes and evolves as much as you do.

27. Plan a trip back to your hometown around a Taking Back Sunday concert, because ticket resellers made the price of going in your current city too expensive.

28. Listen to Taking Back Sunday and sing along while writing an article like this.

29. Delete a part of item #27 about wondering if your friends will like such an article because it feels like fishing.

30. Fish away.

31. Realize, as you’re winding down your piece, that your friend Eric Sundermann already wrote about Taking Back Sunday better than you ever could.

32. “Read the lyrics. A lot of their songs have really great lyrics. If you try to understand them, you might get a lot more out of some songs.”

Really funny Chicago comedian Dave Losso is going through some shit, and has come up with possibly the best way ever to deal with it. You’re going to want to follow this Tumblr.

fort-ydaysandfort-ynights:

Hey. My name’s Dave. I’m a comedian and I live in Chicago and I got dumped after a three year relationship. After tomorrow, I’ll no longer have a bed or a TV or someone living with me (for the time being). So I’ve decided to build a fort in my front room and live in it for 40 days. I’ll document those 40 days in photos, videos, artwork and all those other things. Y’know, the things. And hopefully you’ll look at them and say “Oh ok, cool.”
I’ll also have guests come by to visit so I can interview them about things like heartbreak, happiness, relationships and life in general. We’ll tell jokes, sing songs, laugh, hug, eat food probably. I want this to be a learning experience, not just a sad dude in a blanket fort.
Pictured above are my expert schematics for said fort, which will be constructed tomorrow (3/29/14), with tomorrow night being my first night sleeping in it. I’m gonna post my first video sometime tomorrow evening.
I’m looking forward to this. I think this’ll be good.
Let’s be happy.
- Dave

Really funny Chicago comedian Dave Losso is going through some shit, and has come up with possibly the best way ever to deal with it. You’re going to want to follow this Tumblr.

fort-ydaysandfort-ynights:

Hey. My name’s Dave. I’m a comedian and I live in Chicago and I got dumped after a three year relationship. After tomorrow, I’ll no longer have a bed or a TV or someone living with me (for the time being). So I’ve decided to build a fort in my front room and live in it for 40 days. I’ll document those 40 days in photos, videos, artwork and all those other things. Y’know, the things. And hopefully you’ll look at them and say “Oh ok, cool.”

I’ll also have guests come by to visit so I can interview them about things like heartbreak, happiness, relationships and life in general. We’ll tell jokes, sing songs, laugh, hug, eat food probably. I want this to be a learning experience, not just a sad dude in a blanket fort.

Pictured above are my expert schematics for said fort, which will be constructed tomorrow (3/29/14), with tomorrow night being my first night sleeping in it. I’m gonna post my first video sometime tomorrow evening.

I’m looking forward to this. I think this’ll be good.

Let’s be happy.

- Dave

Going on a small Midwest tour in March!
Windy City Invasion will be hitting Des Moines, Lincoln, and Minneapolis March 19-21. Featuring John Eide, Keith Paesal, Chris Damen and myself.
Should be a hell of a time. More info at the links below.
Des Moines: https://www.facebook.com/events/663823440322400/
Lincoln: https://www.facebook.com/events/737282459624470/
Minneapolis: https://www.facebook.com/events/269949043169293/

Going on a small Midwest tour in March!

Windy City Invasion will be hitting Des Moines, Lincoln, and Minneapolis March 19-21. Featuring John Eide, Keith Paesal, Chris Damen and myself.

Should be a hell of a time. More info at the links below.

Des Moines: https://www.facebook.com/events/663823440322400/

Lincoln: https://www.facebook.com/events/737282459624470/

Minneapolis: https://www.facebook.com/events/269949043169293/

Here’s a video I’ll deny the existence of in three months.

April Fool’s Day (Or, Wherein I Ruin All the Fun)

April Fool’s Day is dumb. Now it is, at least. It didn’t always used to be.

In elementary school I skateboarded with a group of friends every day after school. One of them, Alex, was a rare breed in suburban Iowa at the time: his parents were divorced. He lived with his mother, and his father lived in another state and so wasn’t around often. I knew Alex for eight or so years and only met his father once.

In the fifth grade I was aware of April Fool’s Day, but didn’t really pay much attention to when it came around. There was school, video games, and really terrible skateboarding (my career number of Ollies: one) to worry about, and I’ve never been much of a practical joker regardless.

So when Alex told us before school on April 1, 1998 that he would be moving from West Des Moines to Lexington, Kentucky to live with his dad, I completely and utterly believed him.
“I’m moving” isn’t exactly a solid hoax even by lax April Fool’s Day standards but, in that moment, Alex was a master salesman. He wanted to be closer to his Dad, he told me somberly, and was tired of living with his mom and little sister. His parents both supported the move, and so when school ended a scant two months later he would be gone forever.

“That sucks,” I said. It was about all I could muster in the face of losing one of my best friends, the one who introduced me to skating and punk music and busting on friends and a lot of the things that would shape my life to an extent I didn’t even realize until I wrote this (I should call him).

“Yeah, it does,” he replied.

He kept a straight face, and had the perfect amount of soberness and frailty in his voice to lead me to conclude now that he either practiced this bit for days ahead of time or should be acting his ass of in TV and movies now. We stood there in silence for a few moments, both reflecting ad best as 11-year-olds could about our friendship and the brief time we had left to make some final good memories.

Well, I was, at least. He was trying to keep a straight face while also enjoying the tight hold he had on his mark, how thoroughly he had beaten me, and how completely hilarious it was.

“April Fool’s,” he said to break the silence. It’s the only punch line you ever needed back when April Fool’s Day jokes could work. Two simple words to lord over your target, and show them just how much you bested them.

Relief came first. Then lots of laughter. I wasn’t a comedian then, at least not a self-identified one like I am now (even if that identification is simply just “open mic comedian”). I was firmly in the “awkward fat kid who uses humor as a defense mechanism” camp. I guess I still am, but now I’m more self-aware and confident enough to try and use it to my advantage on a stage. But even then I recognized a damn good joke when I saw one, and rewarded it with the high-pitched yips and gasps for air I call a laugh. Alex laughed as well, and we both celebrated a damn good practical joke.

The fun continued when our other friends started showing up. Alex delivered the same spiel to them as I watched on, also trying to keep a straight face. Even more laughs were had. Bigger laughs, actually, multiplied by the effect of many friends sharing a good time together. To be in on the joke and watch it being delivered to more people was even better than the laughs and joy that followed being the target of it (Suddenly the comedian thing makes sense to me).

The ability to drop a practical joke like that is dead, though, at least on April Fool’s Day. The “holiday” dedicated to pranking one’s friends and family is expected to the point where even well thought out and expertly performed jokes like telling your fellow 11-year-old friends you’re moving and will never see them again are brushed off with “oh, it’s April Fool’s day, isn’t it?” If my roommate tried to pull a joke similar to Alex’s on me today it wouldn’t work. The 14 years I’ve lived since the fifth grade matter in that regard, yes, but April Fool’s oversaturation plays a much larger role.

Maybe it’s the Internet’s fault. The sense of mystery surrounding not just practical jokes but pretty much every aspect of life is pretty much gone. A quick Google search or trip to Snopes instantly quashes even the most believable hoaxes. That’s a good thing when it stops elderly people and Luddites from wiring money to an endangered relative who is supposedly in trouble in a faraway land but who is really just downstairs watching TV. When it comes to a good practical joke, however, it’s like having the Fun Police on speed dial.

Companies don’t help, either. Google’s actually-pretty-funny April Fool’s Day hoaxes started gaining a ton of traction a few years back, and now everyone is on board and hyper-aware of the shenanigans that used to make April Fool’s Day fun. Google, Think Geek, Netflix, and tons of others all pull out faux news or announcements every year. Some, like YouTube’s announcement that they are shutting down tonight to finally pick a winner, are downright funny, others not so much. But every single one of them is an obvious joke. We already had 364 days of the year for those.

Now we have 365, though, because everyone is painfully aware of April Fool’s Day. We all expect it, and so see everything that comes at us as the joke that it is, making such pranks nothing more than tongue-in-cheek notifications saying “Hey. We, too, know today’s date.” I’d venture to guess at least 99% of people that use Google know they’re not going to release a scent-based search engine. Yet we applaud the joke and throw page views at the announcement because it’s “funny,” even if it isn’t and we only laugh because “Ha ha, they know what April Fool’s Day is.”

What used to be a day dedicated to practical jokes, legitimate hoaxes, and all kinds of good flimflam is now pretty much just an ad campaign, the Internet equivalent of self-aware Super Bowl commercials. Even personal jokes between friends and family carry little to no fun when every website or company that wants to show how “with it” they are trots out an April Fool’s day page or press release, telling us that they, too are cool and would you please buy their real products now okay thanks.

At least Hilaria – the ancient Roman precursor to April Fool’s Day – had amusements and goat sacrifices to go with its indoctrination (religious, in that case).

Personal jokes are perhaps even worse now. The effort put in to April Fool’s Day by most is minimal. Jokes are now little more than overly self-referential nods to it being April Fool’s day, the Facebook status equivalent of a “Family Guy” episode that turns inward on itself so much as to become not a parody but the very thing it purports to mock and revile.

Pranks, practical jokes, and flat out telling your friends and family horrible things to see the looks on their faces are still awesome things, and should be wholeheartedly encouraged. But before you tweet about how you’re pregnant and/or gay and/or a llama but ha-ha just kidding not really, think about it. It’s uninspired, and everyone knows it’s coming anyway, so what’s the point? Unless you really are pregnant or gay, in which case you should embrace it with open arms and happily tell the world, but maybe pick a better day to do it, like literally any other day of the year.

Prank your friends. Play practical jokes on your mother. Tell giant lies to your friends to make them confused and scared and emotional. It’s funny to you, and they will most likely find it funny also. Eventually, anyway. But don’t do it on April Fool’s Day.

This April Fool’s Day, and every first of April for every year hence, the funniest joke is watching everyone else revel in their own smug self-righteousness as they poorly celebrate a formerly awesome fake holiday that went to hell the moment Tim Berners-Lee got a good idea. Because you’re the one who is really in on it. And while they pat each other on the back and celebrate their obviousness, you’ll be plotting to get them good by faking your own death in the middle of September when they won’t see it coming.

Also, I have canceraids.

See? That was terrible, wasn’t it?