Tired of waiting for things to magically happen for us in our comedy careers, Tristan and I went ahead and phoned a bunch of clubs in the Mid-West and booked a week of road gigs for October.
A bunch of them said yes.
When I broke the news to Sophie that she wouldn’t have me around for a week she was really upset.
And so began her private 7-day pizza and Chardonnay festival.
First thing Monday morning, we punched “Indianapolis” into Google maps and hit the road. The journey was longer than we’d anticipated… 12.5 hours to be precise.
We whizzed past thousands of giant haulers and fuel trucks while listening to old Opie & Anthony episodes from YouTube. The one where they dissect Joe Piscopo’s comedy special “Club Piscopo” was a particular highlight.
As we hurtled West into the sun, on the various pot-holed highways between New York and Indiana, we kept in touch with the booker for our first spot for the week. Our ETA was 11:00pm, and the show started at 10:30, but he said we’d be fine- he’d just put us up last.
As we finally pulled in to Indianapolis, right on 11:00pm we hurled our stiff, crumpled bodies into the bar to find they’d just decided to cancel the gig.
Off to a flying start.
We decided to have a whiskey and check out the local bowling scene before checking into our swanky 5-star hotel for some rest and recuperation.
We were the only people in the bowling alley and had to keep watching each others’ backs when we went for our shot to ensure we weren’t stabbed.
We retired to our lofty lodgings, excited to get a good night’s rest.
Nothing but the very best for the ole’ Half-Ass Comedy Tour boys.
This is an actual Yelp review we found for our motel:
We were awoken at 8am by a giant black gentleman banging on our window telling us he needed the chairs in our room because he aimed to replace them with new ones. He didn’t really explain why -or why indeed he had to do this at 9am while we were in the room sleeping, but we weren’t keen to argue with him.
We dragged our groggy lumps of flab to one of the greatest dining experiences available to the locals. (No, not Outback Steakhouse);
By the end of this trip, I suspect the car suspension will give out as a result of our new-found Mid-western girth.
After breakfast we stopped by an old abandoned local mall that had “self-defence” scrawled on one window, and “Glock Warehouse” on the one next door.
We wandered into the building to find this little hidden gem.
It is true what they say. Indianapolis really is the home of dreams.
We performed at Crackers Comedy Club that night. It was a good show, and a couple of local cartoonists -Jeff Knurek (The Jumble guy!) and Bob East came out to see us. We had a few drinks with them after the show and returned to our extravagant lodgings.
We arose the next morning and jumped onto the road and hurtled forth to Louisville, Kentucky…
We arrived at our destination just in time to check in. Tonight we would be performing at the Laughing Derby Comedy Club. It was at the back of a parking lot and had a big sign painted on the front.
A few of the locals and other comedians took us out on the town to a few drinking holes. One or two of the people we were with weren’t allowed in for some reason so we snapped up some street-jerky and hopped over to the karaoke bar next door.
I sang real good. Everybody loved it.
On a whim, the next morning we decided to head West to St Louis, Missouri. We found a show that ran on a Thursday night and showed up with one of Tristan’s old pals.
St Louis is a pretty cool city! We drove in and looked at the big arch. We got a $37 deal on a great hotel room through Kayak and had our first good shower of the trip. Separately.
When we got to the show, we discovered the audio system made all the comedians sound like they were yelling underwater and we could only make up vague, monotone vowel sounds. Perfect for jokes.
Obviously we did real good.
The next morning Tristan took us along for a nice St Louis breakfast of BBQ smoked ribs. My belt snapped.
We put a hitch in our giddy-ups and hit the road to Muncie, Indiana…
We arrived in town to find the venue was an empty basement bar. We performed for a small handful of folks before the headliner got up and just played some songs (not comedy songs) on a tape player and sang over it for a bit. #Comedyyyyy
We had a few drinks at the local bar called “Brothers” which, incidentally, was full of college bro’s. I tried to take a trick shot at the pool table and crushed my iPhone with the enormous weight of my new Mid-western arse.
We trundled on back to the local waffle house for a 4am snack before bed. We were served by one of the angriest waitresses in all of Indiana called Heather. Pretty sure she spat in our waffles.
Our old 1970’s motel phone rang at 12pm to jolt us awake before the motel owner banged on our door telling us to skedaddle.
We piled into our wheels and rattled past some hitch-hikers towards Russellville, Indiana… a remote town of 300 people we’d be performing in tonight. This is the town centre:
The show was epic. The whole town came out and we performed to a full smoke-filled house of big laughers.
I had burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner one day. I’m really getting used to this Mid-Western food. You get 27 days worth of food for 0.13c
The last stop for the tour was a couple of guest spots at the Funnybone in Columbus, Ohio. The room of about 200 people was a largely made up of super-liberal college students and a smattering of grey nomads.
Before Tristan could even get his first words out he was attacked by an aggressive woman in the front row for being an insensitive sexist bigot. It really helped get the set off to a great start.
This is literally word-for-word how it went down the second he stepped on stage:
Tristan loves it when people do that.