I Spent a Day Exploring Gwyneth Paltrow’s Los Angeles
Early last week, owner of a cursed vagina and mother of Gwyneth Paltrow, Blythe Danner, said that she felt criticism of her daughter was unfair and fueled by jealousy. Speaking to something called Naughty But Nice Rob, Blythe said, “I feel she’s just extraordinarily accomplished in every area and people don’t like that, some people don’t like that, people who are bored and sit on their asses all day and just tap away. I mean I don’t read any of it, I just find it so disgusting.”
My gut feeling was that Blythe’s words were bullshit, and any animosity toward Gwyneth is justified. But I couldn’t think of any specific reasons that I disliked her.
As Einstein or Shakespeare or someone once said, “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” So, in order to better understand Gwyneth and whether or not my feelings of pure hatred toward her were warranted or not, I decided to spend a day walking in hers. Not literally, obviously. A pair of her shoes probably costs more than I will spend on clothing over the course of my entire life.
Luckily, Gwyneth recently launched something called the Goop City Guides app. Goop, for the unfamiliar, is a lifestyle brand Gwyneth made, seemingly with the intention of rubbing her own charmed existence into the face of anyone who signed up for her weekly mailing lists in the hopes that it would be ridiculous enough to be funny. It never is.
The most recent edition to the Goop empire is the app, which lists all of Gwyn’s favorite spots in Los Angeles, London, and New York. As I’m currently in Los Angeles, I decided to see what she’d recommended here.
The LA section of the app has an introductory video, narrated by Gwyneth, welcoming you to Los Angeles, a place she refers to as, “the city of my birth, the city I always return to and will forever hold a special place in my heart.” As she says this, we see dreamy, sun-bleached shots of the palm trees, florists and markets that populate Gwyneth’s Los Angeles, and none of the homeless people, garbage, and wall-poops that populate mine and everybody else’s.
Continue

I Spent a Day Exploring Gwyneth Paltrow’s Los Angeles

Early last week, owner of a cursed vagina and mother of Gwyneth Paltrow, Blythe Danner, said that she felt criticism of her daughter was unfair and fueled by jealousy. Speaking to something called Naughty But Nice Rob, Blythe said, “I feel she’s just extraordinarily accomplished in every area and people don’t like that, some people don’t like that, people who are bored and sit on their asses all day and just tap away. I mean I don’t read any of it, I just find it so disgusting.”

My gut feeling was that Blythe’s words were bullshit, and any animosity toward Gwyneth is justified. But I couldn’t think of any specific reasons that I disliked her.

As Einstein or Shakespeare or someone once said, “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” So, in order to better understand Gwyneth and whether or not my feelings of pure hatred toward her were warranted or not, I decided to spend a day walking in hers. Not literally, obviously. A pair of her shoes probably costs more than I will spend on clothing over the course of my entire life.

Luckily, Gwyneth recently launched something called the Goop City Guides app. Goop, for the unfamiliar, is a lifestyle brand Gwyneth made, seemingly with the intention of rubbing her own charmed existence into the face of anyone who signed up for her weekly mailing lists in the hopes that it would be ridiculous enough to be funny. It never is.

The most recent edition to the Goop empire is the app, which lists all of Gwyn’s favorite spots in Los Angeles, London, and New York. As I’m currently in Los Angeles, I decided to see what she’d recommended here.

The LA section of the app has an introductory video, narrated by Gwyneth, welcoming you to Los Angeles, a place she refers to as, “the city of my birth, the city I always return to and will forever hold a special place in my heart.” As she says this, we see dreamy, sun-bleached shots of the palm trees, florists and markets that populate Gwyneth’s Los Angeles, and none of the homeless people, garbage, and wall-poops that populate mine and everybody else’s.

Continue

Inside LA’s Least Sexy Sex Club
In operation for the past eight months, members-only Los Angeles club Sanctum likes to declaire itself “LA’s #1 erotic experience.” The proprietors of the club created what is ostensibly a moveable feast of fucking for rich men and women who want to explore group sex, fetishes, and garden-variety voyeurism ala Eyes Wide Shut. They offer “invitation-only private parties at various clandestine venues in Los Angeles,” and charge a $2,500 membership fee to visit their LA events.
Male attendees must wear a tuxedo and women, “lingerie or tasteful evening wear,” plus masks all around. The club’s website mysteriously adds, “We are fully out in the open, certainly—but we still harbor secrets.” These claims of sophistication and intrigue seemed incongruous with the reality of what sounded like a pretty standard orgy, so I decided to check out Sanctum to see if it lived up to their hyperbole.
According to its strict set of rules, Sanctum requires aspiring members to submit their photos via email before they are approved to join or attend. “Beautiful single ladies can enter the club on our guest list” (after submitting full-length photos). Even the most privileged men don’t get that luxury.
Continue

Inside LA’s Least Sexy Sex Club

In operation for the past eight months, members-only Los Angeles club Sanctum likes to declaire itself “LA’s #1 erotic experience.” The proprietors of the club created what is ostensibly a moveable feast of fucking for rich men and women who want to explore group sex, fetishes, and garden-variety voyeurism ala Eyes Wide Shut. They offer “invitation-only private parties at various clandestine venues in Los Angeles,” and charge a $2,500 membership fee to visit their LA events.

Male attendees must wear a tuxedo and women, “lingerie or tasteful evening wear,” plus masks all around. The club’s website mysteriously adds, “We are fully out in the open, certainly—but we still harbor secrets.” These claims of sophistication and intrigue seemed incongruous with the reality of what sounded like a pretty standard orgy, so I decided to check out Sanctum to see if it lived up to their hyperbole.

According to its strict set of rules, Sanctum requires aspiring members to submit their photos via email before they are approved to join or attend. “Beautiful single ladies can enter the club on our guest list” (after submitting full-length photos). Even the most privileged men don’t get that luxury.

Continue

The Bill and Ted Show at Universal Studios Is Super Homophobic (and Also Racist and Terrible)
Each year, Universal Studios Hollywood has a big Halloween event called Halloween Horror Nights. Part of this is a play called Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. 
The play is about Bill and Ted going on some kind of pantomime-y Halloween adventure. Along the way, lots of jokes are made about things that have happened in pop culture over the preceding year. 
I use the term “jokes” loosely here. As they are, generally, terrible, and follow the same formula: Pop cultural reference + pop cultural reference + a reference to sex = LOL!
For instance, there’s a scene where a Sharknado appears and Kim Jong Un comes on to the stage to explain that the Sharknado came into existence as a result of Kristen Stewart sucking his dick too hard. After he said this, the audience laughed. Unless I’m missing something, this is meant to be funny because: 
1) It references Kristen Stewart 2) It references Kim Jong Un 3) It references sex4) It references Sharknado
Continue

The Bill and Ted Show at Universal Studios Is Super Homophobic (and Also Racist and Terrible)

Each year, Universal Studios Hollywood has a big Halloween event called Halloween Horror Nights. Part of this is a play called Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. 

The play is about Bill and Ted going on some kind of pantomime-y Halloween adventure. Along the way, lots of jokes are made about things that have happened in pop culture over the preceding year. 

I use the term “jokes” loosely here. As they are, generally, terrible, and follow the same formula: Pop cultural reference + pop cultural reference + a reference to sex = LOL!

For instance, there’s a scene where a Sharknado appears and Kim Jong Un comes on to the stage to explain that the Sharknado came into existence as a result of Kristen Stewart sucking his dick too hard. After he said this, the audience laughed. Unless I’m missing something, this is meant to be funny because: 

1) It references Kristen Stewart 
2) It references Kim Jong Un 
3) It references sex
4) It references Sharknado

Continue

Writing to Live in Hollywood – by James Franco
It’s safe to say that F. Scott Fitzgerald had a poor relationship with Hollywood. He had three periods of steady work with the studios: in 1927, at the height of his fame; in 1931, when he was in need of money for treatment for Zelda; and in 1937, when he was on contract with MGM making a paltry $1,000 a week. All of these Hollywood sojourns ended in frustration for both Fitzgerald and the studios.
Fitzgerald spent the last year and a half of his life in Los Angeles. At that point, his only steady income was from the piecemeal sale of the Pat Hobby Stories to Esquire. The Pat Hobby Stories are the collected tales of a desperate hack scriptwriter who shuffles around the studios of Hollywood scrambling for work to pay for his drinking. Fitzgerald died at the age of 44 from a series of heart attacks before he could effectively organize the stories into a single work for Scribner. It wasn’t until 20 years after his death that the Pat Hobby Storieswere collected into a single volume,
The Pat Hobby Stories are Fitzgerald’s final testament on Hollywood. In a twisted way, they are also his last nightmarish take on his own place as a great writer brought down by circumstance. Bruce L. Chipman pointed out in his book on Hollywood novels called Into America’s Dream-Dump that the Pat Hobby character is probably “the frightening image of what Fitzgerald saw himself becoming.” Like Fitzgerald at the end of his life, Pat is dependent on intermittent Hollywood jobs to make ends meet. But although Fitzgerald had suffered from debt and demoralization, he was nowhere near the depraved and irredeemable state that Pat Hobby has succumbed to. So Pat Hobby is not an autobiographical figure as much as an ironic clown that allowed Fitzgerald to write about his plight as a writer who was writing to live, rather than as a author who was living to write. The distinction between the two is made clear to an east coast novelist by Pat Hobby in the story “Mightier than the Sword.”
Continue

Writing to Live in Hollywood – by James Franco

It’s safe to say that F. Scott Fitzgerald had a poor relationship with Hollywood. He had three periods of steady work with the studios: in 1927, at the height of his fame; in 1931, when he was in need of money for treatment for Zelda; and in 1937, when he was on contract with MGM making a paltry $1,000 a week. All of these Hollywood sojourns ended in frustration for both Fitzgerald and the studios.

Fitzgerald spent the last year and a half of his life in Los Angeles. At that point, his only steady income was from the piecemeal sale of the Pat Hobby Stories to Esquire. The Pat Hobby Stories are the collected tales of a desperate hack scriptwriter who shuffles around the studios of Hollywood scrambling for work to pay for his drinking. Fitzgerald died at the age of 44 from a series of heart attacks before he could effectively organize the stories into a single work for Scribner. It wasn’t until 20 years after his death that the Pat Hobby Storieswere collected into a single volume,

The Pat Hobby Stories are Fitzgerald’s final testament on Hollywood. In a twisted way, they are also his last nightmarish take on his own place as a great writer brought down by circumstance. Bruce L. Chipman pointed out in his book on Hollywood novels called Into America’s Dream-Dump that the Pat Hobby character is probably “the frightening image of what Fitzgerald saw himself becoming.” Like Fitzgerald at the end of his life, Pat is dependent on intermittent Hollywood jobs to make ends meet. But although Fitzgerald had suffered from debt and demoralization, he was nowhere near the depraved and irredeemable state that Pat Hobby has succumbed to. So Pat Hobby is not an autobiographical figure as much as an ironic clown that allowed Fitzgerald to write about his plight as a writer who was writing to live, rather than as a author who was living to write. The distinction between the two is made clear to an east coast novelist by Pat Hobby in the story “Mightier than the Sword.”

Continue

I Went to a Pokémon Musical
I stood outside the Asylum Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard at 11:59 PM on a Saturday, leering with an exhaustion that trickled through like molasses. I turned to my date, wincing through my exhaustion, “I really hope this Pokémon musical sucks balls.”
I had first heard of The Pokemusical by way of Groupon, which has undergone something of a transformation—it used to be for consumers looking for a good deal, but now it seems to mainy be a way for ailing businesses and about-to-fail shows to wave flags that say, “We surrender! Please please please give us almost any amount of money for our goods and services!” It’s still a decent way to get discounts, but it’s an even better way to discover bizarre projects that never should have existed in the first place.
So naturally I figured I’d be experiencing off-key voices, patchy dialogue, and terrible dance moves. I was prepared for a room of sweaty nerds resting solely on their references. I was prepared for an audience of their friends clapping despite their hackneyed performances. I was prepared to run home and trash the evening, gleefully telling everyone I knew how awful it was. What happened on Saturday night ruined these preparations.


Continue

I Went to a Pokémon Musical

I stood outside the Asylum Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard at 11:59 PM on a Saturday, leering with an exhaustion that trickled through like molasses. I turned to my date, wincing through my exhaustion, “I really hope this Pokémon musical sucks balls.”

I had first heard of The Pokemusical by way of Groupon, which has undergone something of a transformation—it used to be for consumers looking for a good deal, but now it seems to mainy be a way for ailing businesses and about-to-fail shows to wave flags that say, “We surrender! Please please please give us almost any amount of money for our goods and services!” It’s still a decent way to get discounts, but it’s an even better way to discover bizarre projects that never should have existed in the first place.

So naturally I figured I’d be experiencing off-key voices, patchy dialogue, and terrible dance moves. I was prepared for a room of sweaty nerds resting solely on their references. I was prepared for an audience of their friends clapping despite their hackneyed performances. I was prepared to run home and trash the evening, gleefully telling everyone I knew how awful it was. What happened on Saturday night ruined these preparations.

Continue

Is Pauly Shore Trying to Troll VICE?
A couple of weeks ago, we ran a piece by Jonathan Daniel Brown about the time he interned for Pauly Shore. As you would expect, the article was about how Pauly is a douche and interning for him was miserable. 
A couple of days after the post was published, a video called “More Disgruntled Pauly Shore Interns” was uploaded to YouTube.
The video was uploaded with this description: “Thank God finally someone let the cat out of the bag. Pauly Shore is the worst boss and I truly think he’s crazy. I am currently one of Pauly’s interns. After I post this hidden camera video of Pauly (being who he truly is) that another intern and I did I’m sure we will both be let go, which will be a relief. We are sick of his abuse! Thank you so much Jonathan for letting everybody know: Pauly Shore truly is an asshole.”
Continue

Is Pauly Shore Trying to Troll VICE?

A couple of weeks ago, we ran a piece by Jonathan Daniel Brown about the time he interned for Pauly Shore. As you would expect, the article was about how Pauly is a douche and interning for him was miserable. 

A couple of days after the post was published, a video called “More Disgruntled Pauly Shore Interns” was uploaded to YouTube.

The video was uploaded with this description: “Thank God finally someone let the cat out of the bag. Pauly Shore is the worst boss and I truly think he’s crazy. I am currently one of Pauly’s interns. After I post this hidden camera video of Pauly (being who he truly is) that another intern and I did I’m sure we will both be let go, which will be a relief. We are sick of his abuse! Thank you so much Jonathan for letting everybody know: Pauly Shore truly is an asshole.”

Continue

More Scenes from Corey Feldman’s Birthday Party

I Went to Corey Feldman’s Birthday Party
DISCLAIMER: I was only allowed to attend Corey’s birthday party under the condition that he have final edit of whatever I write. Below is the text approved by Corey Feldman:

You probably know Corey Feldman from classic movies like Lost Boys 1, 2 & 3, Stand By Me, andthe Goonies. But for the last year or so, he’s been working on a new project, a “360 degree interactive experience” called Corey’s Angels. 
 
Corey’s Angels are, essentially, Corey’s version of the Playboy Playmates: a gang of handpicked babes who constantly surround him. Only instead of chilling at the Playboy Mansion, they gather with Corey in his house (which he’s dubbed “The Feldmansion.”)
 

 
Here’s how his website describes the venture:
 
"Corey for the first time in his adult life is currently single. Corey also being an actor musician has the good fortune of traveling all over the world where he has the opportunity to meet gorgeous and beautiful women of all races and types of ethnicity. Now for the first time he is merging all of those worlds together by creating Corey’s Angels."
 
Luckily for you, Corey is going to be throwing several parties a year that plebs like you and I will be able to attend for just $250. 
 
Ron Jeremy, Tom Green, Woody Harrelson, and Chris Kirkpatrick have all previously been spotted at Corey’s parties. When I found out that the hottest names in Hollywood were going to be living it up in a mansion with some of the hottest bitches on the planet I knew I had to see that shit with my own two eyes. 
 

 
I feel I should mention the parties are only $250 to attend if you’re a guy. Chicks get to go for free, as long as they are pre-approved by Corey, and are willing to wear lingerie for the duration. Which may sound unfair if you’re a dude, but can you fault a brother for doing everything possible to stop his shindig from boiling over into a full-blown sausage party? Don’t act like you wouldn’t do the same thing if you had the option. 
 
Also, he’s Corey Fucking Feldman. He can do whatever he wants, man. 
 


 

If you’re feeling like a super-VIP experience, there are extras you can splash out for, too. For instance, $500 will get you an hour in Corey’s private hot tub with security and bottle sevice. $2,500 will get you a private poolside cabana with “private angel service” like the one pictured above. 
Continue

I Went to Corey Feldman’s Birthday Party

DISCLAIMER: I was only allowed to attend Corey’s birthday party under the condition that he have final edit of whatever I write. Below is the text approved by Corey Feldman:
You probably know Corey Feldman from classic movies like Lost Boys 1, 2 & 3, Stand By Me, andthe Goonies. But for the last year or so, he’s been working on a new project, a “360 degree interactive experience” called Corey’s Angels
 
Corey’s Angels are, essentially, Corey’s version of the Playboy Playmates: a gang of handpicked babes who constantly surround him. Only instead of chilling at the Playboy Mansion, they gather with Corey in his house (which he’s dubbed “The Feldmansion.”)
 
 
Here’s how his website describes the venture:
 
"Corey for the first time in his adult life is currently single. Corey also being an actor musician has the good fortune of traveling all over the world where he has the opportunity to meet gorgeous and beautiful women of all races and types of ethnicity. Now for the first time he is merging all of those worlds together by creating Corey’s Angels."
 
Luckily for you, Corey is going to be throwing several parties a year that plebs like you and I will be able to attend for just $250. 
 
Ron Jeremy, Tom Green, Woody Harrelson, and Chris Kirkpatrick have all previously been spotted at Corey’s parties. When I found out that the hottest names in Hollywood were going to be living it up in a mansion with some of the hottest bitches on the planet I knew I had to see that shit with my own two eyes. 
 
 
I feel I should mention the parties are only $250 to attend if you’re a guy. Chicks get to go for free, as long as they are pre-approved by Corey, and are willing to wear lingerie for the duration. Which may sound unfair if you’re a dude, but can you fault a brother for doing everything possible to stop his shindig from boiling over into a full-blown sausage party? Don’t act like you wouldn’t do the same thing if you had the option. 
 
Also, he’s Corey Fucking Feldman. He can do whatever he wants, man. 
 
 
If you’re feeling like a super-VIP experience, there are extras you can splash out for, too. For instance, $500 will get you an hour in Corey’s private hot tub with security and bottle sevice. $2,500 will get you a private poolside cabana with “private angel service” like the one pictured above. 

Continue

The 12 Least Overrated Things in Los Angeles
Here at VICE, it’s not uncommon for us to write disparagingly about the city of Los Angeles. We actually do it pretty often. Probably because most of us are sitting in the rarefied air that is the borough of Brooklyn. Not I, sir. No, I live smack in the middle of the City of Angels. I consider myself grateful for the spectacular weather, plethora of career opportunities, and crippling body image issues this town has given me. Yes, I actually like it here. Some people happen not to see things my way though.
LA Weekly, home to some of the best back-page advertisements for medical marijuana I’ve ever seen, posted a venomous screed about the “12 Most Overrated Things in Los Angeles” written by an impetuous young lad by the name of Hillel Aron. One can forgive VICE its predilection for prodding LA since it’s really just some far-off Xanadu for the vast majority of our staff. Conversely, one would assume that a publication called “LA Weekly” would be more amenable to their ever-dwindling readership that makes a home in Los Angeles.
According to his website, Hillel is actually an LA native who attended USC film school and “successfully petitioned Encyclopedia Britannica to make their entry on Los Angeles less negative.” For the foreseeable future, he’ll now be known as “the guy Dave Schilling wrote the article about.”
Wait… I mean he’ll be known as “the guy who took a huge dump on LA and got his article to go viral.” Let’s assume Mr. Aron isn’t being cynical and trolling purely for attention. I mean, that’s crazy. No internet writer does that, ever, especially not for a miniscule list spread over three pages just for the sake of extra clicks. Instead, let us suppose that he is serious about all of this so that I might indulge in a rebuttal that will end up being twice as long as the article I am referencing.
Here are the 12 most overrated things in Los Angeles, according to LA Weekly, and my well-reasoned, passionate response to each one:
Photo by Flickr User alohavictoria
12) Living downtown
Downtown Los Angeles is a wacky place where young urban professionals rub shoulders with smelly hobos, but it’s also home to the most pre-war movie houses in the world, soon to have two of the nation’s top artmuseums, an architecturally significant concert hall, and a Hooters. Tell me how that’s overrated.
11) Bike lanes
“Hey L.A., if you really care about cyclists, maybe pave the fucking roads once in a while?” So, does this mean you don’t want bike lanes? Are you saying they’re stupid or that you want them? I don’t follow this logic at all. Please help.
Continue

The 12 Least Overrated Things in Los Angeles

Here at VICE, it’s not uncommon for us to write disparagingly about the city of Los Angeles. We actually do it pretty often. Probably because most of us are sitting in the rarefied air that is the borough of Brooklyn. Not I, sir. No, I live smack in the middle of the City of Angels. I consider myself grateful for the spectacular weather, plethora of career opportunities, and crippling body image issues this town has given me. Yes, I actually like it here. Some people happen not to see things my way though.

LA Weekly, home to some of the best back-page advertisements for medical marijuana I’ve ever seen, posted a venomous screed about the “12 Most Overrated Things in Los Angeles” written by an impetuous young lad by the name of Hillel Aron. One can forgive VICE its predilection for prodding LA since it’s really just some far-off Xanadu for the vast majority of our staff. Conversely, one would assume that a publication called “LA Weekly” would be more amenable to their ever-dwindling readership that makes a home in Los Angeles.

According to his website, Hillel is actually an LA native who attended USC film school and “successfully petitioned Encyclopedia Britannica to make their entry on Los Angeles less negative.” For the foreseeable future, he’ll now be known as “the guy Dave Schilling wrote the article about.”

Wait… I mean he’ll be known as “the guy who took a huge dump on LA and got his article to go viral.” Let’s assume Mr. Aron isn’t being cynical and trolling purely for attention. I mean, that’s crazy. No internet writer does that, ever, especially not for a miniscule list spread over three pages just for the sake of extra clicks. Instead, let us suppose that he is serious about all of this so that I might indulge in a rebuttal that will end up being twice as long as the article I am referencing.

Here are the 12 most overrated things in Los Angeles, according to LA Weekly, and my well-reasoned, passionate response to each one:


Photo by Flickr User alohavictoria

12) Living downtown

Downtown Los Angeles is a wacky place where young urban professionals rub shoulders with smelly hobos, but it’s also home to the most pre-war movie houses in the world, soon to have two of the nation’s top artmuseumsan architecturally significant concert hall, and a Hooters. Tell me how that’s overrated.

11) Bike lanes

“Hey L.A., if you really care about cyclists, maybe pave the fucking roads once in a while?” So, does this mean you don’t want bike lanes? Are you saying they’re stupid or that you want them? I don’t follow this logic at all. Please help.

Continue

I Interned for Pauly Shore (and It Really Sucked)
"Grab me a beer from the bar, buuudddy?”
“Sorry, I’m only 19. I can’t buy alcohol,” I mumbled without looking up from the game of Tetris I was playing on my flip-phone. “Say it’s for Pauly. Tell the bartender you’re my intern.” And so, it was 8 PM on a Sunday night after the Comedy Store’s Potluck Open Mic night in mid 2009 that a gullible and obese 19-year-old aspiring comic finally achieved the American Dream: doing Pauly Shore’s bitch work for free.
It had been a year since I had dropped out of Pierce Community College to try my hand at standup comedy and things weren’t going particularly well. The biggest comedy clubs in LA like the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory use what’s basically a half-lottery, half-friendship system for their open mics. I would very rarely get picked. Unlike smart comedians, who would grumble off and leave looking for another place to do a set when they were rejected, I would stick around and watch the show. Partially because I wanted to learn from the performers, but mainly because I had no friends. I was having a conversation with one of the few Potluck regulars who tolerated me when the Weasel himself anointed me as his indentured servant.  
I showed up at the next morning for my first day of interning and stood around for 15 minutes, waiting for Pauly to arrive. Finally, a beat-up car pulled into the lot. Pauly stepped out wearing a worn-out T-Shirt with a drawing of his face on it and “PAULYWOOD” written underneath. “Hey duuuude!” he announced, pointing to a massive suitcase in the backseat of his car, “Carry this in for me, Intern.” 
Continue

I Interned for Pauly Shore (and It Really Sucked)

"Grab me a beer from the bar, buuudddy?”

“Sorry, I’m only 19. I can’t buy alcohol,” I mumbled without looking up from the game of Tetris I was playing on my flip-phone. “Say it’s for Pauly. Tell the bartender you’re my intern.” And so, it was 8 PM on a Sunday night after the Comedy Store’s Potluck Open Mic night in mid 2009 that a gullible and obese 19-year-old aspiring comic finally achieved the American Dream: doing Pauly Shore’s bitch work for free.

It had been a year since I had dropped out of Pierce Community College to try my hand at standup comedy and things weren’t going particularly well. The biggest comedy clubs in LA like the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory use what’s basically a half-lottery, half-friendship system for their open mics. I would very rarely get picked. Unlike smart comedians, who would grumble off and leave looking for another place to do a set when they were rejected, I would stick around and watch the show. Partially because I wanted to learn from the performers, but mainly because I had no friends. I was having a conversation with one of the few Potluck regulars who tolerated me when the Weasel himself anointed me as his indentured servant.  

I showed up at the next morning for my first day of interning and stood around for 15 minutes, waiting for Pauly to arrive. Finally, a beat-up car pulled into the lot. Pauly stepped out wearing a worn-out T-Shirt with a drawing of his face on it and “PAULYWOOD” written underneath. “Hey duuuude!” he announced, pointing to a massive suitcase in the backseat of his car, “Carry this in for me, Intern.” 

Continue

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