All 50 States Day 21:
My favorite show that I’ve ever done was in Massachusetts, in Boston opening for George Carlin at the hilariously named Wang Theater on March 15, 2008. The night before we played at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut to a crowd that was okay but not as lively as Carlin crowds usually were. The Boston crowd, on the other hand, was exceptional.
It was the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day and the theater was sold out. My 30-minute set went over like gangbusters, and when I got back into my dressing room below the stage Carlin came in from his dressing room next door and said “a lot better than last night, huh?” I was still really amped from the set and stumbled out some humble drivel like “they’re in a good mood,” or something, but eventually calmed down.
Carlin’s manager, Jerry Hamza, came in and we all chatted for a few minutes and I asked Jerry if he’d take a picture of me and George, joking “to prove to my mom I’m actually opening for you.” I hadn’t taken any pictures with him yet, I wanted to focus on doing good work and getting asked back, but the rush of confidence from the packed Saturday night theater helped me build up the nerve.
Jerry took my little digital camera and Carlin threw his arm around my shoulders and said, “a couple of assholes,” right before the picture was snapped. It’s one of my favorite nights in my show business career.
There have been other stops in Massachusetts before and after the Carlin gig in Boston, with a big college season in 2001–2002 that included UMass, Brandeis, Fitchburg State, and the “Worcester Trifecta” (term I invented) of Holy Cross, Assumption, and Worcester State. I even played the fancy schmancy prep school of Phillips Andover! More recently, okay, 2011, I did my first show for one of the Seven Sisters at Smith College in Northampton.
Other Boston area shows include a stop at the Comedy Studio in Cambridge back in 2001 and the Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2003.
- Marquee for Carlin show at Wang Theater, March 15, 2008
- George Carlin and me, Wang Theater dressing room, 2008
- Flyer at Fitchburg State student union, 2010
- Selfie frame from FlipCam vid at Fitchburg, 2010
- Keep Dudley Clean sign, Dudley, MA, after show at Nichols College, 2001