Well, We All Have Stories
We arrived in Florida yesterday from New York.
Really enjoyed doing the show with Artie.
I thought the events of Tuesday evening would be something some of you would be interested in, and therefore, it’s time for storytime…or in this case, in honor of Jon Favreau’s character in Swingers, “Well, we all have stories.”
Following Monday’s show, Artie asked me and Anna-Marie to join him and his girlfriend, Adrienne, for dinner and then to head over to Gotham Comedy Club where he’d be performing---along with Dave Attell, Gilbert Gottfried, and Susie Essman (Jeff’s wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm)---at Comics For A Cause.
It was just a kind gesture on the part of a guy who has a damn good and big heart.
So, Tuesday afternoon, per our discussion Monday night, I texted Artie to see what the plan was.
He told me to meet him over at Gotham Comedy Club, and we’d go from there.
We head over there around 7:15.
There’s a line out the door.
And since it’s a charity benefit with some big names all performing in a matter of a couple of hours, there are some wealthy New York folk in the line.
I text Artie to let him know we’re there.
He texts me, “Hang on.”
Sure enough, he comes up from downstairs in the green room and walks outside to get us and bring us downstairs.
All of these New York people are looking at us as Artie escorts us past them like, “Who the fuck are these people?”
It was a great moment for South St. Louis.
We go to the green room with Artie where Adrienne is just hanging out by herself.
Now, for those of you who watched Monday night’s show, you got to see Artie addressing the, um, disparity between my appearance and Anna-Marie’s.
I’m well aware of it.
Physically, I bring little to the table.
And it’s not like my personality is a beam of light in a dark night, either.
But, the Adrienne and Artie dynamic is just as---if not more---perplexing. This girl is beautiful, and as Artie said while we were sitting around, “US Weekly should do a cover story on us and how people need to get out of movies and television. Radio is where you get all the broads.”
Anna-Marie and Adrienne hit it off. They’re both the same age. They both had the same majors in college. And they both are with men who are repulsive.
While we’re sitting in the green room, Susie Essman knocks on the door to come through.
We get a chance to meet her and talk briefly, and then she goes in to the adjacent room to wash her hands.
In that same voice that calls Jeff Garlin’s character on Curb Your Enthusiasm “a fat fuck,” she begins to bitch about there not being any lotion in the restroom lotion dispenser.
Then there’s a knock on the door, and it’s Gilbert Gottfried.
He and his wife were putting the charity event on, and he wanted to stop by to bullshit with Artie.
So, now in this small room, it’s Artie Lange, Gilbert Gottfried, Susie Essman, Adrienne, Anna-Marie, and myself.
All we need is the ghost of George Carlin, and it’d be a team from the comedy Field of Dreams.
It’s intriguing to watch these people interact when they’re off stage.
I was anxious to see if they’d be a lot different than what you see when they’re in front of a crowd.
Well, the answer was given quite quickly when Artie introduced Adrienne to Gilbert.
Gilbert, clearly confused as to what a girl who looks like Adrienne is doing with a guy who looks like Artie says, “What’s wrong with this girl? Is she dying of AIDS?”
It was like a mini-Friar’s Club in there.
After about a half-hour of sitting around and bullshitting with Artie, Adrienne, and Anna-Marie, Artie finds out that he’s on in five minutes. He had no idea.
So, he tells the three of us to meet him back in the green room after his set, and then we’ll head out to get some dinner before going over to the DirecTV studios.
We go upstairs and watch his set, which kills. He gets a standing ovation from a good portion of the crowd.
We immediately head toward the door and back downstairs to the green room.
And then we hear out of nowhere, “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight here at Gotham Comedy Club, making a surprise appearance for Comics For A Cause, Mr. Jerry Seinfeld.”
Artie stops in his tracks and says, “Did he just say Jerry Seinfeld?”
He immediately turns around and heads back inside with the same enthusiasm that Adrienne, Anna-Marie, and myself had.
The room, which only holds 300 people, is going batshit.
They were thrilled to get Susie, Artie, Gilbert, and Attell…but they weren’t expecting to see Seinfeld.
We sure as hell weren’t.
And while we’re sitting there watching him do his thing in this intimate setting, I look over and see Artie, Attell, and Gilbert all standing there with 100% attention on him.
I guess Seinfeld is in that class that even the guys who are at or near the top of the stand-up world stop and make sure they watch.
No words can properly convey the experience.
Surreal would be one.
But, truthfully, I just felt absurdly lucky.
You just want to take it in, because you know it’s something you’re never going to forget.
Artie walks over to me during Seinfeld’s set and says, “Hey, it’s 9 o’clock (our show started at 10). We’ll just stick around here for this. It’s incredible. Hell, we’ll talk about this for our first half-hour anyway. Is that cool? Is that cool if we get there a little later?”
Clearly Artie is not well-versed with my arrival times for The Ryan Kelley Morning After, but we were more than happy to stick around for Seinfeld’s set.
When it was over, we all got in the car and headed over to the studios, and while Adrienne, Anna-Marie, and myself were all understandably psyched about what we had just seen, Artie was all fired up, too.
“That’s what happens in these clubs in New York City. Guys like Seinfeld will just show up and try out some new material. I’ve seen Chris Rock do that a lot, too. It’s a great way to find out what material will work, and what material won’t work.”
Because of sticking around for Seinfeld’s set, we didn’t get a chance to get dinner. Anna-Marie and Adrienne headed out for dinner while we stayed back to do the show.
The two of them were like long-lost sisters.
But, the experience of everybody hanging out together led to a pretty damn good show Tuesday night. We had Andrew “Dice” Clay in studio for a few segments, and then David Freese called in to participate in an interview that I’m sure is unique to what he’s used to.
Artie recruited him to come play for the Yankees, ripped Alex Rodriguez, and then asked Freese how many threesomes he’s had since getting all the fame.
“I’ll have to come up to New York and tell you that one off-air,” Freese said.
Artie responded, “I’ve had four threesomes, but technically, by definition, they were all with women who would be considered prostitutes.”
It was a damn fun show and a damn good time.
The entire crew along with everyone on-air was first class and so kind to both me and Anna-Marie. We were incredibly grateful, and it was kind of sad to say goodbye. But, a number of people involved said they wanted me to come back up and do some more shows, so maybe it wasn’t goodbye.
Either way, it was a good feeling to go up to New York, work with one of the guys I grew up listening to, and having the experiences both on-air and off-air that we had.
After leaving the studio, Artie and I---along with The Great Mike Bocchetti---wandered over to an Irish pub to meet up with our significant others. Artie, who does not booze, stuck around for awhile, and then he and Adrienne took off.
Anna-Marie and I were the only ones left in the bar…along with the bartender, who had just moved over from County Cork in Ireland in November 2011. Cork is where my dad’s side of the family is from.
It was pretty cool to sit there, get a little shitfaced until 3 a.m. in an old Irish pub in Greenwich Village, and talk about “home.”
Combine that experience with the Seinfeld surprise and the show, and it was one hell of a night.
And with that…
…well, we all have stories.
Log-in to post your comments, or you can email me at email@example.com.