Plrknib wasn’t the only joke I’d kidnapped from New York.  If I was going to risk doing one, well what the hell – why not a few?  After picking through my notes, I pulled other bits that seemed like they’d fit in my act:  another Mittleman bit about dating, Mark Schiff’s Make me a sandwich, a joke about the DC-10 plane crash, and a one-liner that I used just once to open my act:

I got this job through the CETA program.

The line worked, but honestly, I didn’t really know what CETA was.  I had thought it was like RIF (“Reading Is Fundamental!”) – but getting a stand-up job through RIF didn’t make even slight comedic sense to me.  So, when I discovered CETA was a minority jobs assistance program, I thought – hmm – maybe I shouldn’t be doing this bit in my act.  And that was it for that one.  

But not all of the new material was stolen from New York or a result of me bashing my head against the Smith Corona.  There was another source:  the eye comics, themselves.  Success, self-preservation and the threat of new comics had bonded the original eye comics.  And we found ourselves working together frequently and sharing material.  



“When you do that bit – what are you whispering in class?  Why don’t you tell the whole class – we’ll all have a laugh – ?


“Try: My balls itch!”

“Nice.  I can use that?”

“It’s yours.  Try it!”


Bob Lambert:

“For the things your parents say – ?”


My mother used to say, ‘I’m not buying you any more milk – all you do is drink it!’

“No – she said that?”

“All the time.”


“Give it a shot.”



“Jailbait – ”

“Don’t call me that.”

“I gotta line for you.”


“Yeah – what?  That a shock?”

“D’you write it?”

“Look – I’m giving you a line.  Y’gonna be testy about it?  What?”

“It’s your joke?”

“It’s my joke!  ‘Course it’s my joke!”

“So, why don’t you use it?”

“Maybe I will.  I’m loaning it to you.  Maybe I’ll use it some other time.”

“So, you’re only temporarily giving it to me?”

“’Zat a problem?”

“No – I – ”

“It’s a heckler line.  You don’t have any heckler lines.”

“I – ”

“Look – this is surefire – and I’m giving it to you!  Don’t fuck a gift horse up the ass!”

“Is that the line?  That’s not bad.”

“No!  What?  No – okay – so, if someone’s heckling you, right? – I see we got some of Jerry’s kids here!

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“That’s okay.”

“It’ll kill.  Trust me.”


Trust me.

“Seems familiar…”

“Of course!  It’s a great line.  Universal!”


“No problem.  You’ll get me back.”

“I will.”

“I know you will.  Try it out.  Give it a shot.”


And I offered one to Rico:

“What if Superman didn’t get his powers until after his rocket crashed on Earth?”

“Okay…uh…wouldn’t he be dead?”

“No – he’d be like this super invulnerable little oozy puddle.”

“Oh.  O-kay.  Hnh.  Lemme think about that!”

“It’d be like – Superman – in his alter ego as mild-mannered third base –

“Right.  Let me think about that.”

“Okay!  It’s yours if you want it!”

“Thank you.”


Mike’s and Bob’s lines fit nicely into my act, and when I performed them, killed.  Jack’s Jerry’s kids seemed too familiar and I skipped it.  

Rico graciously did the Superman bit and it died horribly.  He tied it to another bit about a super-hero he created, Stickman.  It wasn’t a great piece – but my lame Superman joke probably dragged it down even farther.  


Meanwhile, Challis, Riggi and Roger – the hippest, smartest, long-hairedest comics the eye had to offer – had formed a triumvirate of eye coolness and there was nothing you could do about it.  Were they all really sleeping with the eye waitresses?  Were they really partying till exhaustion and collapsing in a stupor on Roger’s apartment floor every night?  

God, I wanted a piece of that.  


all bits © their respective owners
(especially the Bob Lambert bit)


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