2.06.2015

Eczema is no Laughing Matter

I write and perform sketch comedy for a group called Princess. We play small, sweaty shows under hot lights in tiny black boxes around Seattle and it's seriously the most fun thing in the world. Goofing around with my pals and making people laugh is a huge reason I'm able to put up with the other bullshit in my life like having to hold down a job to pay for giant inflatable cheeseburger props.

Princess had a gig the other night playing a quick 10 minute set with some other sketch groups who are pals of ours. It was a rainy night (IN SEATTLE?!) but a surprising number of people braved the weather to come sit in the basement of a bar and laugh at us. The audience voted us their favorite (although I suspect one of Glen's pals may have influenced the voting a bit) and everyone had a great time. 

Well, almost everyone.
In the middle of the show, right as we were about to take the stage, a guy stood up in the audience.

"I just have to say something," he huffed angrily, "this has been awful. It's like watching high schoolers try to be funny, and it's not funny." Okay, everyone's a critic. A normal human being might, y'know, leave rather than feel the need to declare their superior comedic sensibilities, but whatever. But the tirade continued.


"And I just want to say, that you guys are making fun of eczema and it's not fucking funny. You think you're superior, laughing at people with eczema, but my brother has it and it's flaking all over his dick and it's not fucking funny. Now I'm going to walk out, and I invite you all to join me."

At that point he stormed out. Alone. 

"Uh, okay, let's welcome Princess," the host attempted to win the room back, but there was a unique kind of weirdness where everyone in attendance was trying to figure out if that was an actual crazy person or some sort of bit for the show. In fact, a number of people accused me afterwards of staging it, partially because it happened as we were walking on stage and partially because I apparently have the sort of reputation in the comedy world that the words "flaky dick" make people nod knowingly and think to themselves I bet Randy wrote this.

The weird thing, besides all of it I mean, was that I couldn't even remember someone ripping on eczema. We talked about it after the show and there was one line in the opening group's set, a sort of throwaway joke I wouldn't think twice about including and don't really remember now, where the punch was basically "Oh that's not ____, I just have eczema." Harmless. It wasn't like a scathing commentary about how disgusting eczema is or how gross people with eczema are. Just a one note little beat. 

But it ate this guy up inside. And he's out there now, puffed up with pride at having righted a serious social injustice. And presumably his flaky-dicked brother is extremely pissed off that he got put on blast like that.

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