This week's guest on Never Not Funny was the comedian John Heffron, winner of "Last Comic Standing 2". While we don't watch the show- there's just so much time in the day we can devote to all of this - we acknowledge that there are some real comedians on there. And we can't knock anyone for trying it, exposure is exposure (and look at me, I'm just a blogger). But from what John says, it seems pretty brutal:
John Heffron: We had to perform every show that somebody got kicked off of so you'd have to perform twice. You'd perform once to see if people voted for you and then you'd perform another time that didn't count for anything. So by the end of the show, I'd performed fifteen times. I did 15 television sets, all around four to five minutes.
Pat Francis: So let's do the math here. Five times fifteen: 75 minutes.
JH: I got hosed because they started Season 3 two weeks after Season 2 was over, so I did a total of 22 sets and never repeated a joke.
Jimmy Pardo: Ok, again we'll give you a patch...
JH: The bad thing about it was so now the show kind of got you that everyone kind of knew who you were and the second you went to tour you were screwed because they didn't want to see anything you did prior to the show so when you did it you'd hear people go "he did the same material that he did..." So people think as comics you do a joke once and it goes off into the air and then aliens hear it.
JP: I'm doing a Clarence Thomas piece that proves that's not the case. Although he's back in the news, he's back in the fucking news, Clarence Thomas! I'm bringing my piece back.
Matt Belknap: You want to dust it off right now?
JP: I might start wearing a piece.
It all seems futile sometimes, doesn't it? Finally, FINALLY, you think you've made it and people are coming to your shows. The money is good and all of the shit gigs and long car rides seem to be paying off. And still it just doesn't get easier like it would for a band that can ride their singles for years and years, then break up and come back 20 years later and make even more money.
After this, they talk about where they all met years ago on a traveling college comedy tour called Crack Me Up. It was similar to the TV show Make Me Laugh in format as the comedians would bring members of the audience on stage and try to make them laugh. But, since most of the shows were during the day when students were studying, they didn't always go quite that well. It's an interesting story about young comedians cutting their teeth on the road.