So earlier this week I went to see Mike Birbiglia on his “Thank God For Jokes” tour, at a theatre that Bill Cosby was performing at the following month. A lot of the patrons that night were much, much older than my friend and I, and Mike is such a niche comedian, we were wondering how he drew such a seasoned crowd. As people who work in theatre ourselves, and who are trying very hard to get Birbigs on our stage, we wanted to know how they marketed him to that age group (our patrons are currently very seasoned, as well, and gaining any amount of success would require selling him to those patrons), but it also made sense because we knew Cosby would be there next month, and he “appeals” more to the older crowd.
Anyway, there’s a bit in Mike’s TGFJ tour when he talks about how he tries not to swear on stage, because his family is catholic and when he started gaining ground as a comedian, his mother asked him not to use those words, because he didn’t have to, that plenty of people - like Oprah - were perfectly funny without using swear words. When I saw this show in AZ, he talked about how he didn’t like putting that much importance on whether a comic swears or not, because some of the funniest people, and the ones he looked up to swore… Like Richard Prior. But this was back in May. This time, he talked about the first bit, and then dropped this little tag line in there as well:
"And some of the comedians that don’t swear we’re leading horrible lives of crime."
My friend and I just started cheering, but there wasn’t a huge reaction from a lot of the patrons so, just to make sure everyone knew who he was talking about, he added “on this stage next month!!!!” So many of the people there were unhappy about it, and it was interesting hearing them all complain about it when we left, but it was my favorite part of the show.