Around the turn of the milennium, I was playing guitar for the house band of Comedy Central’s stand-up showcase “Premium Blend” (Tommy Davidson was the host). Most of the comics were cheap hacks. In fact, the band was told by the producers after the first episode, “You guys need to laugh more! You’re on-stage - the audience can see you!”
The general consensus amidst the band was, “We’ll try… but we’re way funnier than these people.”
I forget the name of the comic we saw one taping, but he had a routine about how hard it must be on your first day of being homeless: your clothes are still clean, your hair still looks good, you still smell nice… Who the hell wants to help you out?
As I was heading home tonight, I had a white guy (around my age) in a pressed pair of Dickies, a clean jacket and a full head of hair still packed with Brylcreem ask, “Hey, man - I’m just looking for a little…”
"Sorry, man" I replied. "I got nothing. I can’t help you out."
He turned on his heel and stormed off down the block screaming to the universe about how he was just trying to get something to eat.
"Brother!" I shouted after him and he turned around to face me, looking pissed if not imbalanced. "Lemme buy you a protein bar," as I gestured to the bodega right behind me.
We walked inside and I gestured at the rack of Cliff bars, asking him to pick one. (Personally, I would have chosen the fortification of peanut-butter, but he went for the chocolate chip. He’ll learn soon enough.)
"Bless you," he said as I pushed cash across the counter.
"Stay blessed," I replied. "Get right."