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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

A Fun Free Friday

Friday August 14th, 2009 - Brookfield, WI

   I’m at a crossroads. This has been a difficult week and I need to handle things delicately to play my politics right. I’ve never been good at that before so hopefully I can reverse the trend. I don’t want to step on any toes but it won’t be easy. Feathers will surely be ruffled.

   This whole situation at Giggles has not been fun. Attendance has been way down due to many reasons. Summer in general is a slow time for comedy clubs in the north but there’s also added factors like the Wisconsin State Fair, Irish Fest, the Milwaukee Brewers being in town and a Green Bay Packers preseason game tomorrow. This week is a death march.

   Added on to that is the middle act this week is filthy. Period. I’m not a prude but this is uncalled for. The graphic nature of his act makes ME flinch, and that’s not easy to do. It’s amazing how many comic wannabes think that just because they don’t use ‘those words’ it’s totally ok. It isn‘t. Describing disgusting bodily functions is NOT comedy. It’s gross.

   I feel like I’ve spent my entire life in vain. I should be at a point now where I get to pick who opens for me but nobody cares. I told the club owner about it and he just laughed and said “You’ll handle it. You always do.” It’s a compliment in way but not how I want one.

   I want to go up there and give an audience my absolute all. If someone comes out to see me I want to make sure they never get cheated but I have to dig my way out of a big hole when opening acts go blue. One would think I’d have some control over that but I don’t.

   My godmother Anita Baumann came out to see me tonight for the very first time. She’s really great and as a kid she always sent me birthday and Christmas cards and I remember it fondly. She was a sweetheart then and is now. We’ve been in contact via email but until tonight she’s never been able to come out and see me perform. Then she has to see that.

   My friend Lynn Miner came out as well. He used to be a professor at Marquette and is one of the smartest and nicest people I know. He alluded to it as well. I apologized but the fact is the damage was done. They didn’t come to hear that and I was very embarrassed.

   The late show was even worse. My friend Shelley’s class reunion came out and I had to dig my way out of the hole again and it was like pushing a freight train through thick mud up a hill with slippery shoes on. I was drenched in sweat when I got off stage and I had all I could do to keep the energy flowing for a full 45 minute show. This was all unnecessary.

   I think I’m done as far as clubs like this go. If I’m not getting paid well and not having a good time and not getting any kind of incentive with a door deal or don’t have any control over the filthy acts that go up in front of me why the hell am I doing it at all? Beats me.

   The ride home tonight was one of the longest I’ve had in recent memory. I have nothing personal against the club owners, and in fact I like them very much. I just refuse to let this kind of atmosphere perpetuate itself. If I have to get a day job I have to, but this is brutal.

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