Day 644: Longest Day ever and New Record

Here was my schedule today:

4:30 a.m.: Wake up, shower, get dressed and drive to Burbank airport.

5:30 a.m.: Park across the street and walk to the airport. TSA gives me an extra search as usual. I leave some water in my bottle so after I make it through the checkpoint a TSA says I have to go outside and empty it. I say cant we just empty it here. She said they can’t open it in the airport. Of course, because I might have a bomb. I said ok do I have to go through security again? She said yes. I said, shit okay, well can I at least leave my bags here so that I don’t have to take my laptop out again and all that shit? She said no, you can’t leave bags unattended. Unattended? But you will be here with them. She said, sorry, you have to take them out. So I went out, and dumped out my 3 ounces of water and walked all the way back through security, where they did an extra search on me again.

6:30 a.m.: Board the plane and take off for Sacramento.

8 a.m: Trusted friend Steve Ferris picks me up and we drive to Sac State for my Industrial shoot, videos about behavior in the work place.

9 a.m.: We start shooting. I’m playing a douchey guy, who says inappropriate things to women. Nailing it of course.

11:30 a.m.: Steve picks me up and drives me back to the airport.

12:30 p.m.: Through the TSA a third time for the day and onto a plane back to Burbank. I pick up some garlic fries from Jack’s Urban Eats.

2 p.m.: Land in Burbank, feeling nauseous. Walk to car and drive to El Monte to my girlfriend’s place.

3 p.m.: Arrive in El Monte, feeling tired so lay down for a bit.

4 p.m.: Drive to West Covina to go to a friend’s wedding reception. Eat, drink, socialize.

6 p.m.: Drive my girlfriend back to El Monte to pick up her car.

6:30 p.m.: Drive to Hermosa Beach.

7:30 p.m.: Still nauseous, so pick up a Kombucha at Whole Foods

7:40 p.m: The kombucha I buy isn’t fizzy at all so go back in to buy another.

7:45 p.m.: This one isn’t fizzy either. Oh well, have to drive to the Comedy & Magic Club.

8 p.m.: Get to the club, order some salmon, as usual. Go up 4th, hang out with comics, walk around.

10 p.m: Talk to people after the show, take off, drive to Comedy Store in Hollywood.

10:30 p.m.: Hang out at Comedy Store.

11:30 p.m.: Drive to Laugh Factory for midnight show. Feeling very very tired.

12:00 a.m.: Go up early on the midnight show, sold out, hot crowd.

12:30 a.m.: Re-energized, have the thought of setting a new record by performing at the Big 3, plus the Comedy & Magic. Have to act with haste though. Smash to the Improv and sign up for the late mic.

1 a.m.: Smash to the Comedy Store, run up the hill, making it just in time to ask for the last spot in the Belly room.

1:30 a.m.: Smash back to the Improv, and perform for the leftover scraps. The Big 4 achieved!

2 a.m.: Drive home.

2:30 a.m.: Feeling gross after a full day so take shower.

3: a.m.: Pass out after a 23 hour day!

Day 629: Defending my Own Reputation on Reddit.com

I get a text from a fellow open miker telling me I’m on the front page of reddit.com, a site I’ve heard of but not paid much attention to. Turns out some guy on the internet was wondering: ‘Which comedian said the joke, If the ice caps melt, polar bears will steal the land from brown bears, enslave the black bears, and make the panda bears build the railroads..? I heard a local stand-up comic say it during a comedy competition and I swear I’ve heard it before. Anyone have the source of this joke?’

If you aren’t aware it’s my joke…probably–no definitely–what I’m most known for, given that I am known at all. People know me as bear joke guy. But what can I say, it’s a fun joke. I had it written on my note pad starting in 2008, and finally got the balls to say it in 2009 and was almost shocked how crazy crowds went for it. Let’s face it, it’s my best joke and there’s nights where it has saved me from wanting to quit comedy.

So this guy on reddit is asking, and people are responding with links of me, and he keeps insisting that he heard it long before me, implying that I stole it from someone, and then goes on to explain why joke thieving is so bad, which I agree with, but being called a joke thief by random dude on the internet when you really aren’t is probably worse than joke thieving itself. Anyway, I’ve been accused of stealing this before by other internet vermin, particularly in January when Laugh Factory posted a clip of me doing the joke and about 50 ‘hack’ posts emerged, which is pretty standard for comments on any clip posted by Laugh Factory, but I took it personally, and it ruined my day. So this reddit thing wasn’t a big deal to me, and it was just one guy, so I thought I’d address him, cordially of course:

“suavestallion and friends, Sammy Obeid here…I appreciate the concern and I’ll say it’s not the first time I’ve been accused of stealing this joke. Of course, I will argue that I did not, and there is no evidence of any other comedian doing it on television, the internet, or any publication.
Often people get confused when they see an old clip of me with long hair a few years ago doing the bit, and now when I have shorter hair. But it was still me back then. That may not be the case here, but I will say I’ve been doing the joke since 2009, it’s a crowd favorite, and have received a lot of compliments on it from audience members and comedians alike, including prominent headlining comedians. No comedian has ever called me out on stealing it, and I’ve worked with a wide range, and done the joke across many states. The fact that no one in the industry has accused me of stealing it, and the extent to which I’ve been exposed in the industry, would suggest that none of my predecessors have done this joke before, otherwise I would have been written off as a hack many years ago when I first started doing it.
Another thing we may note, is that the premise of the joke involves the dialogue of the ice caps melting and concern for the polar bears, which is a relatively new discourse in society, i.e. the Al Gore era. Hence, we know that if I did steal the joke, I had to have stolen it from someone in the last 10 years, so that would help us refine our search. Now, I will wholeheartedly admit that jokes with an analogy between bears and human colors of skin have been written. I’ve heard some, since I’ve written the joke. Had I heard them before, I may have never done this joke, because I don’t like doing things that have been done. However, I did not, and I will argue that regardless, mine is still very different. No one else does ‘panda bear building railroads’, no one else does ‘enslave the black bears’, no one else does ‘steal land from the grizzly bears’ and most importantly no one links this to the socially relevant issue of the polar bears losing their ice caps!
And this is not me being cocky, but I’ve heard racial bear jokes since I’ve come up with this, and most would agree that mine is the strongest and most clever. Again, I’m not arrogant. This is just based on pound for pound analysis of crowd reaction, precision in the joke structure, and uniqueness across all bear jokes. Neal Brennan (I’m name dropping) once told me, ‘I’d always been searching for the perfect racial bear joke like that, and could never get it. Then I heard yours and was like, oh, that’s it. He found it.’
So I understand and surrender to the fact that I will never be relieved of being accused of stealing this joke. I know this won’t be the last time. But I hope what I said helped clarify my point of view, and at the very least, illuminated what path you might take to finding the information you need to decide whether you believe me or not. I appreciate the publicity as always, and one thing I may ask of you is to give me, if you can remember, the name of the local comic who did my joke at the contest so I can smash his head in. JK!
Love, Sammy”

Yea it gets a little cocky in the end, but it shut him up. You’re welcome, justice.

Day 616: Walked 5 Feminists at Claremont College

Word play isn’t for everyone. It often gets groans and ‘ohh’s and ‘tssss’. But never had I seen it walk anyone. That changed at my performance for Claremont College’s Freshman class, a few days before their first day of school. The set was going fine. They seemed to really like racial material, smart jokes, and mention of their school name, but they were clearly weird about sex jokes. So of course, thats my cue to drop one. ‘It was my birthday a few weeks ago. My girlfriend didn’t buy me anything. Well, she did deep throat me, but it was a gag gift.’ You’d think any loser can see that this joke is not about sex as much as it is about word play. (Has someone done a joke like this before? Probably. But I haven’t heard it, and they can go f*#k themselves because this one has better structure). Immediately, as most of the crowd is laughing, 5 girls rise up from their chairs and walk quickly out of the room. We all notice and the energy in the room gets real silent and awkward. A crowd member informs me that they are part of a feminist student group. I ask, “I just walked 5 feminists? AWESOME!” And then the crowd cheers. The promoter was not so happy. But should I feel bad that solid joke writing was mistaken for misogyny? I dunno. After the show, a student came up and told me that he really appreciated the word play that I did, most importantly my line, “I wrote a joke about acne facial cream, because it’s topical.” Which takes real word play enthusiast to appreciate. So again we find crowds are a mixed bag and we continue to witness the everlasting battle between pun-lovers and pun-haters. Yet another way to divide this sad planet.