So most Saturday nights at Chez Lewis are pretty humdrum.
My wife and I are usually pretty wiped out from the week that just was, so usually it’s us hunkering down and catching up on TV (right now we’re obsessed with a Netflix show called “Money Heist,” which is awesome and you should check out) or a movie we’ve DVR’ed and haven’t watched yet.
Sometimes we go out to a movie or a concert or a sporting event, but normally, you know, nothing too thrilling.
This past Saturday night was so far from the norm, I’m not even sure we could see the norm from it. In front of 20 family and friends, we hosted four professional NYC comedians for an evening an entertainment.
That’s right, The Comedy Store came to our living room. And it was really freaking awesome.
In the words of Inigo Montoya, “let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”
So several months back our oldest son’s preschool was doing a raffle at their annual charity night to raise money. We didn’t attend, but the week of the raffle I perused all the prize options and decided to buy a bunch of tickets.
Along with all the usual prizes for these kinds of events that I’d seen a million times (round of golf, restaurant gift certificate, spa day, etc.) there was one that stuck out immediately: Comedy Show in your house.
“Four NYC comedians will come to a dinner party hosted by you and entertain you and all your friends and family! One hour, four comics, right in your home.”
That sounded pretty fabulous to me. So I put a bunch of our tickets in there, never expecting to win.
And then we got an email the day after the raffle from the school director telling us we’d won, and I was super-psyched.
We planned the event in consultation with the comedian who runs a group called Living Room Laughs, Michelle Slonim, and she was great. She asked us what kind of crowd we’d be having, how many guests, a little bit about me and Shelley (so they could poke fun at us, I assumed), and it was all so professionally done.
Finally, Saturday night came. We had drinks and appetizers, set up our living room with rows of chairs and pushed all the kids’ toys out of the way.
Then, the stars arrived. They were absolutely terrific to deal with, no egos, no worries about performing in front of only 20 people next to a piano and just off the kitchen.
The host, Michelle, emceed and did a few minutes of standup first, followed by four other performers. They were all funny, though obviously some were more seasoned and had better material than others. (An Indian-American comedian tried a Hitler joke. In a roomful of Jews, probably not the best idea.)
It was kind of surreal at first, watching these strangers armed with a microphone wandering around my living room telling jokes to our friends.
But it soon felt normal, and everyone had a great time, and the last (and in my opinion, funniest) comedian, Lars Callieou, a wonderful hockey-loving dude from Canada, stuck around after the show and we had a beer together and talked about how the Oilers are wasting Connor McDavid’s prime.
It was one of the most unusual parties I’d ever been to, but everyone seemed to have a good time and none of the comics made cracks about me going bald, so that was nice.
Just a very, very cool night. And no, in case you’re wondering, I did NOT ask to go up and do a tight 10 minute set when they were done. I wanted to, very much, but didn’t. Self-control!
**So next up today, my friend Scott posted this insane little baseball highlight the other day, and I’ve watched it over and over and still can’t quite believe it. A A Tampa Bay Rays pitcher named Oliver Drake threw this pitch against the White Sox Saturday, and it sorta defies the laws of physics.
Watch this screwball and be amazed at how the human hand can move.
**Finally, Saturday was of course the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got off their little rocket and took a few steps that went down in history.
Of all the things I love about the moon landing (including the nutjobs who think it was all a hoax), my favorite will always be the headline in Armstrong’s hometown paper the day after it happened.
I wrote about this once before, but on the historic day after, the Wapakoneta (Ohio) Daily News printed this on top of the front page.
I mean, that’s my favorite headline ever. It is totally written like, hey, a neighborhood kid did something great! Like, “Jimmy wins first place in Science Fair,” or “Suzanne gets winning hit in softball championship game.”
This is just like, you know, Neil, stepping on the moon.