Maybe I just shouldn’t have been there.
If you looked around the room you could see a clear theme; White male comics-some good- some not. Sprinkles of other races and maybe five women. As soon as I got there I didn’t feel good. I have a bit I’m working about not wanting to live in an all anything neighborhood because any group of all anything acts terrible. White, black, etc..!
After two no-shows to Comedy Fight Club- (a roast WWF themed weekly show) my curiosity got the best of me and I accepted the challenge from NYC newcomer Mikey Mays. Realizing it wasn’t set VS. set but an actual roast format I became disenchanted with the idea of trying to go at a guy I’ve never met. We had our horrible match and I didn’t offer much resistance-Mays wins by popular decision. Cool. There’s a whiskey to finish. A week to begin.
Then they call the next match-Tino Romero who has been doing stand up about 10 years, worked in clubs, ran Mics-very popular, nice and loved guy in the community. His opponent is comedian Michael Kramer who walks on the stage with a make-shift KKK hood and I stop mid step:-the room is filled with an ambivalent noise as if all collectively tryna decide how we feel about this and THAT’S when Kramer pulls out a mini noose dangling it at Tino and the room. There were no jokes attached or a funny sketch scene just a weak attempt at shock value.
I counted 8 black men in the room, maybe 6-7 women.
I’m now on the stage asking Michael if he is sure he wanted to do this and he said “Fuck You” to me; wrong.
There is a table with a WWF styled Championship belt on it and I whipped Kramer 2-3 times with it in very dramatic fashion. It probably looked vicious but he, I and the belt know it wasn’t.
I storm out the room to process what had happened and decided I did it as a gesture lesson on cause and effect. I’m not standing by and letting that rock in my face-that kind of unchecked boldness should be met with unchecked boldness. I want him to know what he did and how he did it was wrong-I wanna talk to him but given how resistant he was I assume I must’ve occurred menacing. I decided if I let this go-another dude will try this shit again. So if they see someone getting checked on it maybe they will think twice about running the racial light irresponsibly. Comedy is vast, it’s an ocean mirroring life and all the ugly but there are levels, contexts and yes-rules. Rules get blurry and so does vision after a blow to the head. I reached out to Michael K-our account is clear as far and I know but I do know he won’t do that again.
I’m glad I was there to help with that.
Dy Dave Lester