Friday, June 30, 2006

Jon's on TV tonight!

Okay, it's public access taping. But man, is it gonna be good. Come by tonight and see

Jon Clarke
Hector Luis
Tim Warner
Mike Dobbins
Maddog Mattern
Sue Ball

on tv (well, public access) for free!

Laughing Matters
MNN network
537 W. 59th St. (between 10th and 11th Avenue)
June 30, 9 p.m.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

TV Crossovers

As a comic book guy, I'm all into the "shared universe" idea. Where the Fantastic Four live in the same world as Thor even though they have their separate books.

That's why I'm so addicted to this site which lists every spin-off, guest appearance and honorable mention between tv shows. Detective Munch on the "X Files"? Got it. Bob Hartley and Carol on "Murphy Brown"? It's here. "Team Knight Rider" and "Star Trek"? I shit you not. They're all connected.

Read it, drop acid and remember that both "Newhart" and "St. Elsewhere" in their final episodes, were simply dreams. It'll freak you out, soul brother.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


When I first saw this, I was a little pissed. These guys did the same format we used for "Zany Boys" and blew us off the stage. Good thing they haven't done any figure animation.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Road Gig

Last night was totally unexpected.

Renee and I were walking down Steinway St with the Wasklewiczs when I got a call from the incomparable Jen Adams.

"Hey! What you up to tonight?"
"I have people with me and I need to drive them to the airport at like 7."
"What's going on?"
"Ed Murray and I have a gig in Connecticut tonight and we don't have a car. If you can drive I'll give you a spot."
"I can pick you up at 7:30."
"It's at 9. And it's 75 miles away."

I figures that was the end of it. Man, it would have been great to do a show on the road. We had thai with Dave and Heather and I actually liked it. That should have been a sign. I found the aforementioned Marvel Legends and we went back home for them to pack. Jen called again.

"Fucking rental car comapny. I am so screwed. Can you pick us up?"
"I'm on my way."
"I'll tell the club we'll be late."

As I may have mentioned before, I hate driving. I am convinced everyone on the road is trying to kill themselves and they all want to use my silver Beetle to do it(Jen asked me if I was Jewish. No, just paranoid). But comedy has had a habit of making me to do things I'm scared of. Self-promote. Bark. And drive out of state.

I dropped Dave and Heather at LaGuardia (wish they could come back once a month) and Ed and Jen took their places. We drove two hours up to Hamden and everything I hoped about a long car ride with comics came true. We shared our life stories, views on comedy and insights on each other's material.

We pulled up to the Side Street Grill actually on time. The place gave us three seismic burgers and a round of drinks as soon as we walked in. I asked Jen which order we'd go up.

"I dunno. You wanna open and emcee?"

Jen hosts her own mic every week. Ed hosted the night I auditioned for "The World". I'd never hosted. Then again, I've never eaten thai food or driven to Connecticut on my own either.


There were about thirty people in the audienceand everyone listened. I did ten minutes and introduced Ed to the stage. He did 20 minutes and could have easily done another 20. I came back for a little crowd work brought Jen up as the headliner. She did an hour that started strong and climaxed with a ten minute rant that had the crowd hanging on her every word. The crowd came back to congratulate us. And we all got paid. Perfect gig.

The drive home was even better. They were a little drunk, I was relaxed and the conversation got deeper. We took a detour to drop Ed off in Brooklyn(I had vowed never to drive in Brooklyn) and headed home. At 2 a.m. Jen decided to do another set at Ha! and hopped in a cab. I got home and wondered how with all the planning life demands, a perfect night can just drop into your lap.

I didn't even expect the Marvel figures.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Not that you'd care but..

I finally found the Wal Mart exclusive Marvel Legends wave!

And the best part is I didn't have to go to Wal Mart.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Play Cole Shooting Today

New camera, expanded cast and an actual location this time. Not telling what it is but it involves this:

Friday, June 23, 2006

Earth Hottest in 2,000 Years

Here's proof.

Notice the article doesn't mention what "human activities" are causing the global warming. Don't want to piss off the oil companies and air conditioner manufacturers that buy banner space on CNN's website.

The article also mentions "The Bush administration has maintained that the threat is not severe enough to warrant new pollution controls that the White House says would have cost 5 million Americans their jobs." So it has nothing to do with cutting more breaks for big business.

I think I realize what I hate most about the Bush administration. Shortsightedness.
Take 300 dollars. We have the money.
Let the dock workers strike. It's only Christmas.
Bin Ladin couldn't possibly attack us.
We don't need alliances with other countries.
Iraq will love us.
Fuck hybrids. We're waiting for the hydrogen car.
We don't need to build up the levees in New Orleans.
Africa owes us money. We won't forget it.
The planet is fine. Business as usual.

I spent Bush's first administration waiting for assasination attempts (I'm sure they happened. They were just never reported). I spend this administration waiting for the U.S. to collapse. Just like Russia. Renee once told me it would never happen. Russia collapsed because the officials stole all the money for themselves. Then she got real quiet.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Wasklewicz Testimonial Show Tonight!

Come see the great David Wasklewicz tonight!

And I'll be on stage yammering on about something.

Jon Clarke
NY Comedy Club
241 E. 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY
Thursday 6/22/06
9 p.m.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pope Palpatine

Walker sent me this. Personally, I think the guy's still too new to call him the Dark Lord of the Sith.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Response cards

I spend a lot of time in comedy clubs. Maybe too much. Sometimes it feels like living the dream. Hanging out with friends, watching comics who will truly be great someday, writing jokes and trying them out.

Other times it doesn't feel like that. Sometimes it feel;s like a graduation ceremony. Sitting for three hours with a plastered smile watching people who really shouldn't be on stage be on stage. Last night was particularly annoying as I went to two clubs and never got a spot.

It's times like these that you have to make your own entertainment. This happened a couple of weeks ago when Ian Federgreen stole the response cards in the NY Comedy Club. He passed me the first one and I had to oblige with the second.

Comedians are wacky, aren't they?

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Wasklewicz Testimonial Show

Dave Wasklewicz asked if I could do a show while he was in town. This is that show.

Of course, you're also invited.

Jon Clarke
NY Comedy Club
241 E. 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY
Thursday 6/22/06
9 p.m.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day

Here's my dad. He's not the greatest self promoter in the world (which is probably why this picture is from Christmas 2003) but he does have his own blog. I mentioned it before but it's Father's Day. Gonna go see him now.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I'm preoccupied with it.

Being American and Catholic helps. I worry about everything. I worry that the train will pull out as soon as I get to the platform. I worry that someone will smash into me every time I drive a car. I worry that a stray dog will attack my testicles.

I play the security card. The non-offensive card. the road-more-travelled card. I never got arrested. I never got addicted to drugs. And I didn't get laid enough.

But I'm watching Bill Hicks (who I like a lot but many of my friends absolutely worship) and I realize something; Good things happen when fear goes away. I said hi to Berni Wrightson and stayed at his house. I gave up a career in advertising to become a stand-up comic. I made out with the hot girl at the party and she fucking married me.

I'm 34 years old and I was in six bands, published comic books, worked for toy companies, made my own films, took acid, performed stand-up and improv, travelled a good chunk of the world and peed on a mailbox. Was I scared to do these things? Fuck yeah. But I made it go away. Good things happen when fear goes away. I just have to remember this every time I bark in Times Square.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Rejected Jokes

In my comedy writing class, I learned something called "the rule of ten". Meaning for every ten jokes you write, nine will be thrown away.

Ben Schwartz doesn't do that. He's a freelance writer for SNL's Weekend Update and David Letterman and when his jokes don't get used, he does them himself.

Check out his website, Rejected Jokes.

(Thanks to Thomas for pointing this out.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006


They're busy. I've managed to keep up with this blog but I haven't been able to give much detail. Sometimes I worry that this place will turn into one big promotional tool, which isn't much fun for any of us.

Comedy, as you can see, has taken over most of my life. And unlike music, it seems to be working. I've had a lot of showcases and auditions and I'm working hard to bring my performance level up to my writing.

I've been writing professionally for ten years. I've been performing stand-up for six months. I have a lot of catching up to do but fortunately I've made a lot of friends in the clubs who are honest in their criticism. We'll spend time after shows discussing comedy over drinks. Sometimes that means I get home at 7 a.m.

Satnd-up has brought a lot of interest to Play Cole . "William Shatner on the Muppet Show" has gotten almost 2,000 hits so far, which for us is a breakout hit. I've been happy with the writing and performing but frankly, our production values have left a lot to be desired. And our only video camera died in Japan. So yesterday I went to B&H and bought a High Definition camera. Hopefully, it will make us look less like amateur hour.

I haven't done any advertising since I got back from Japan but toy work is picking up again. It doesn't pay as much but it makes me a lot happier and I get to work at home. If I can get enough work to keep me from a day job, I'll be very happy.

Renee's family was in the city with us this week. Tomorrow her friend Karen will be staying over. And then my much missed friend Dave Wasklewicz and his wife Heather will be in from Maine. So things ain't slowing down for awhile. But I'll always be here. And I'm grateful you are too.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Improv tonight!

If you scroll down, you'll see this:

Jon Clarke
Improv Comedy Club
(212) 757-2323
(212) 888-5233
318 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
Wednesday 6/14
9 p.m.

If you go, you'll actually see it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Marvel Comics Float 1987

This was the moment I quit comics. I came back later but you can see why I left.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Stand-Up somewhere else!

I'm auditioning for "the World" tonight but you can also see me Wednesday at the Improv.

Tha's right, NOT the NY Comedy Club.

I'm shocked myself.

Jon Clarke
Improv Comedy Club
(212) 757-2323
(212) 888-5233
318 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
Wednesday 6/14
9 p.m.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Yes, I Totally Want This

This is what happens when you live in Middle America, have a big house and a job that doesn't tax your mental capacity. But at some point this guy is going to look around and say, "What the fuck was I thinking?"

Check out the Star Trek Home Theater.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stand-up tonight!

Sometimes I joke slow, sometimes I joke quick.

NY Comedy Club
241 E. 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY
Thursday 6/8/06
9 p.m.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bernard Loomis

Bernard Loomis has passed away at the age of 82.

Loomis was president of Kenner toys in the late 70's and was the guy who said "Hey, let's make Star Wars toys." That decision changed the entire toy industry. For the next twenty years, every company copied the scale, the price point and the accessories of the Star Wars line.

I'm willing to bet there is not a single reader here who hasn't played with a Star Wars toy. The Millennium Falcon was so well designed it's still being produced thirty years later. I doubt I would have worked in the toy industry if it hadn't been for Loomis. Hell, Todd McFarlane wouldn't have worked in the toy industry if it hadn't been for Loomis.

Here's a great interview with Bernard Loomis chronicling his entire career.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Top Cat

It still bugs me that most of you have yet to worship Bilko. In fact, that tread still has no comments.

So I'll get sneaky. Did you know it was the inspiration for "Top Cat"? Yes, in the same fashion Hanna Barbera ripped off "The Honeymooners" for "The Flintstones" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" for "The Jetsons" (take a good look at the character models for George and Jane), "Top Cat" owes Phil Silvers its nine lives. So watch this episode then think "I wonder how that would have worked live action". Maybe then you will embrace the Bilko.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Dana Gould

Dana Gould is a writer for the Simpsons. Before that, he spent fifteen years as a phenomenal stand-up comedian. He still performs from time to time and luckily for us, he catalogues a lot of his sets on his website. There's video and audio of his material which combines dark personal stories with characters and cartoony visuals. It's exactly the comic I want to become and now I know there's constant inspiration online.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Don't Eat Stale Bagels

I'm an idiot.

Every now and then I buy a dozen bagels and leave them in the refrigerator. As the week wears on, they get tougher and tougher to cut. (they also get tougher to eat but the microwave soggies them up nicely). Today was the last bagel so I thought I'd get the sharpest knife. It was like sawing plastic which is why it slipped and smacked me in the left wrist.

I didn't feel a thing but the skin sprung apart like a screaming mouth. By the time the blood poured out, I had it wrapped in a yard of gauze.

It's sutured up now and doesn't look like I'll need stitches but it took most of the day to get it in a safe place. And I'll look like a suicide attempt for a couple of weeks.

Don't become a statistic. Please throw out your bagels.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Next Stand-up Gig!

Another season, another reason to see Jon Clarke, Lara Yaz and Tim Warner.

NY Comedy Club
241 E. 24th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY
Thursday 6/8/06
9 p.m.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Bilko has arrived!

I've waited fifteen years to watch Sgt. Bilko again. Paramount released a collection on dvd while I was in Japan and it was a long two weeks before I could get my hands on one.

I don't know why this show hasn't remained in syndication as long as the Honeymooners or I Love Lucy. First of all it's better than both of them.

Don't believe me? The UK named it the greatest sitcom in history. Considering this is a country that came up with Fawlty Towers, Black Adder and the Office, it's high praise.

Phil Silvers was a master of the comic persona. Within the first episode, he let audiences know exactly who he was and what he wanted. When a new recruit gives him money to hold, the audience is already laughing because they know him. Most characters take a season or two to find their rhythm. Silvers had it down in his first scene.

There are 18 random episodes in the set. A lot of fans are upset that this isn't a season one and there's no guarantee we'll get any more. I'm just grateful I have a piece of this classic and if there's more down the road, I'll buy them too.

By the way, when I ordered this on Amazon, there was a huge sale on the Bob Newhart Show. I got seasons one and two in my shipment and I'm sure I'll have just as much to say about those when I finally get to them.