Support Group for Stand-Up Comic's Wives
I threatened my stand-up comic husband I was going to open a support group for wives of stand-up comedians
Is your life being used for material? That you never know if what you're going to say next will end up on stage?
Published on LatinoLA: September 3, 2008
Or maybe you are not sure which one of the jokes you made him swear he would not repeat would end up on the mic?
Oh, the laughs, the bad jokes, dirty jokes, good jokes, dull jokes‘«™and everything in between. He tries them out on me, on my friends, my family‘«™his friends, and his family. Strangers in the market, elevators. Anyone that will listen.
The times when it is appropriate, it's fantastic. The times when it's not, it goes over like a lead balloon.
But, he keeps on telling jokes. He never gives up. I know he's been on stage for years. I know I married him after the fact. But, he took a break to make films. I never had to really be in the wake of the try-outs. My living room, bedroom, kitchen has become the work-out room. Whole routines rehearsed on the phone with me. Five flat ones, then‘«™low and behold, one hits!
When it is funny, it is like riding the wave. Or chain lightening. One funny one after another, after another. I tell him, "That's it! That's the one!!" I want him to memorize it exactly that way. His humor is very East Coast, being he's from Jersey, and controversial. A lot of word play. I'm into Robin Williams-type of humor. More silly, crazy, zany than anything else.
I have become a comedian connoisseur. I have favorite comics now, out of the many, many, many hundreds of sets I have watched‘«™ Personally, I like Dane Cook, and Emmy-winner Kathy Griffin, Ellen DeGeneres, and Joe Rogan, to name a few. She can do no wrong in my book. There's so many, it's hard to remember them all. Of course, watching the good old boys of comedy growing up was a pleasure, and a treat‘«™how was I to know that I would be using my comedy chops to grade my husband's performance. Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, Jerry Lewis, Lucille Ball, just to name a few.
There are CD's in the car. I have been surprised by the Latino Kings of Comedy blasting when I turn the engine on. I have DVD's all over the house. I could list literally hundreds of comics. I believe that some are funnier than my husband, but I believe he is funnier than the majority of them.
So, he is coming out of a three-year hiatus. He made three feature length films, and now wants back on the stage. I'm excited for him. I know that going back to his favorite comedy house, 'The Ha-Ha Cafe' owned and operated by Jack Assadorian in Studio City (No Ho) will be a homecoming. By rules of nature, and sheer living together, I have been inundated with comics from around the globe, near and far in my home.
I have had to listen to vulgar sets, and funny sets, horrible sets, demeaning ones, and some so right on the money funny as hell. It really has taught me how to laugh more than I thought i ever would.
But, that's the nice part. The support part comes in with having your life on display. No topic too sensitive, or off-limits. I've heard them all. His East Coast, surly, between-the-eyes humor can be shocking, especially when it is about my background, or how I grew up. Man. I didn't sign up for this!!!! I was just marrying a nice, strong, beautiful Afro Cuban. Sparkling smile, and bright eyes‘«™who loves kids. But, oh‘«™contraire. The ultimate wild card. Never know what angle he'll hit you with.
As I am rubbing my eyes in front of the coffee maker, still numb from sleep in the morning, his first joke is cracked, funny or not, ready or not, like a bullet whizzing by. Your ears can not turn the volume down. His booming bossa nova voice bellows in the kitchen with a chuckle from his own joke he let rip. I laugh, a little‘«™out of kindness for his effort. But, after four years of jokes riddling every other sentence-you tune them out.
So, I started to think how it must be for Robin William's wife. Lovely lady. I see her smile in some pictures, I swear I do. But, what is the truth? Does he exhaust her? The never ending lack of being serious ever take it's toll? Or what about the lovely relationship Jim Carey has with his lovely lady, Jenny McCarthy? Finally a match made in heaven. How perfect that their zany, off-the-wall humor must compliment each other.
What's my defense? I have none. I have built up a wall of witt, one-liners, on-call comedic dialogs if I am ready or not. "Awe, c'mon", is the usual plea from him. He looks so defenseless, like a huge overgrown kid. Standing there with his sand shovel. Wondering why I didn't like the sand flung in my hair. "Cuz, I don't want to." I say. My patience thin. "Not now," I say.
I have to draw the line. There has to be boundaries. I nudge him, or elbow him in places where joking is not appropriate. Now. Here's the ironic thing, when we are in a place where humor and enthusiasm is expected, he shuts down. I think it's over load. Or, he doesn't want to be forced to be funny. Very particular. So, I keep asking him what's wrong? This is a birthday party. He'll usually whip out his icy sarcasm for those moments. At least he's enjoying himself.
Now, this is the exception, not the rule. He is polite, and has manners and is a fierce business man. This I have no complaints about. Get a few drinks in him (or not), and a couple people listening to him, you might as well give him a microphone and walk away. The one-man show takes over. I think he goes unconscious. I have had to make him pull over and let me drive, because he loses all bearings. lost deep in excited monologue with somebody on the phone. I hear them laughing, I swear I do.
Humor. What it is it? Sometimes I akin it to an assault of the ears. You have a moment to decide if this is warranted to be considered funny or not. It's hard too, because if it is not funny, it ain't funny. You can't force yourself to laugh, especially if you don't even realize you missed the punchline. Is it me, or him? When he does it to others, I want to protect them from a joke that I don't know yet if it has been previously run. Will it fly? Usually they do.
The comic's wives. I bet you anything, if I rally them all up together and ask them these questions, I will find out they all have a mean, witty, dry sense of humor. It's the backlash you grow to be accustomed to. I started cracking jokes myself, unbeknownst to me‘«™that had him in stitches. I want to say it here, but he will probably use it in his routine. I have sat in once while he performed, and video taped in the back‘«™he was good. It was impromptu and he pulled it off. Now, this next one will be a larger audience. Do I want to be there? Well, sort of. I just am not sure what jokes he will use.
So, my life as a stand-up comic wife continues. I am still looking for a support group out there‘«™if any one knows one, please let me know.
See you at the show.
To check out his films, and upcoming events; please go to: www.MoroFilms.com
Bobbi is a mother of five children. She also is an indie filmmaker, actress, writer and artist and wife of stand-up comic Luis Moro. She is Spanish-Danish from LA and is married to an Afro Cuban from New Jersey. This is the real I Love Lucy.