Oops, I meant “Home,” not “From.” “Announcing My Retirement Home Comedy” is what it should read. You are a sly one, auto-correct!! Ugh, I don’t feel like going back and fixing it, but yeah, I’m still doing comedy.
In fact I’m doing even more of it! In even more adverse locations! I’d like to announce a new series of shows that I’m producing at retirement homes in the LA area. Well, so far just one in Torrance and one in Sherman Oaks, but watch out Glendale! “Awww, what a proud humanitarian,” is what I hope you’re thinking. Though it’s probably, “Yeah right, he just wants stage time and is trying to make it look noble,” or “I’m still pissed about the title baiting me in.” Truth is, my friends, it’s all of the above!
Performing at a retirement home isn’t easy, as it requires extra charm, relatable material, and the ability to yell above their hearing aids without seeming angry. However, unlike most comedy shows in LA, it’s rewarding for both parties involved. For the residents, it’s therapeutic, like a rare visit from their ungrateful child. And for comedians the stage time quality is A-1 (bingo reference). Here’s why it’s so good:
1) Old people will watch you like a hawk. Do you remember the way your grandma or grandpa looked at you when you were a child at the dinner table? Studying your every move like you’re about to spill the mujaddara again. Disgusted with your sloppiness, but still somehow thankful for your existence. The awe and scrutiny from an old crowd will make you feel like a celebrity, though more like a grandchild.
2) They will rarely walk out on your show. Walker maybe. But it’s a lot of effort for them to move around. So you’re guaranteed an audience that stays put until the end. Or at least until a nurse notices that they hate you and then helps push them out.
3) Their memory isn’t great so you can repeat jokes. If you only have 15 minutes of material, you can loop back around and stretch it to 30. Retirement homes turn openers into headliners, baby! If you’re feeling extra ballsy, you can try just alternating between the same two jokes the whole time. If they complain, just say you’re an alternative comic.
4) Old people have seen some sh*t. Believe it or not, you can’t offend them. Sex? They taught your parents how to do it. Drugs? They’re on them right now. Race? Old people are more racist than we’ll ever be, as they grew up back when it was a parent’s job to teach their kids that other races suck. Retirement crowds will cough in laughter at a good racial joke (quite possibly for the wrong reasons), as it reminds them of the good ol’ days.
5) The elders are experienced judges of comedy, as they’ve seen all of the old greats, from Bob Hope to the Marx brothers to Abraham Lincoln or whatever dated acts old folks think are funny. And they’re not afraid to let you know where you rank in their perceived history of comedy. Win their hearts and they’ll put you above Louis CK! Simply because they don’t know who he is. But still, you essentially have a shot at becoming the iconic comedian of this era in their old minds, and they could potentially leave this life thinking that you’re about to take over the whole industry. Sounds a lot more fulfilling than winning teenager fans who will ditch you for the next Bieber.
6) Even if they can’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll smile and laugh… When they like you. If they don’t, they’ll stare you down with permanent angry face (it’s either happy or angry; too much effort to change faces often). Either way, what a great way to measure your likeability!
7) Your jokes about rap lyrics and iPhones will bomb. As they should.
8) Retirement shows are early in the day, so you can still do your night shows. That’s right, you can work twice as hard for the same pay! (These retirement shows don’t pay, sorry, wasn’t sure where to sneak in this news.)
9) Most importantly, the happy seniors are thankful for you being there. You’ve succeeded at one of the most challenging good deeds a human being can undertake: you’ve brightened an old person’s day. Just make sure to leave right after getting your praise, as their mood tends to plummet past 5 pm.
10) FREE HARD CANDIES!
So, I hope I’ve made a convincing argument to come check out one of my retirement home shows. If you’re an interested comic who can perform clean without being mean to an audience or feeling entitled to a payment, please send me a message. Up next, I’ll be producing shows for veteran’s groups, sober homes, and, get ready for it… Mental patients! Those’ll be insane. Performing for people just as crazy as us, but with the decency to withdraw from society.
Some of you may be thinking I’ve gone insane myself, and you’re right! But such is comedy. It’s an insane job: to constantly figure out more ways to get people to laugh at you. The only nearest-to-sane thing that I could do at this point would be to retire from comedy altogether. And let’s face it, that’s not happening any time soon.
No matter how much my hatin-ass autocorrect wants it.