by an Anonymous Chimp
Alright so imagine you're like King or Queen of Steppenwolf or The Goodman or whatever. You get a bad review. Damn. Oh well on with the show. We've got a great cast of seasoned professionals. They'll handle it well and definitely not blow up on social media about it or publicly attack the reviewer. That would be unprofessional and make us all look bad. Oh shit, here's members of the cast posting publicly on social media about it.
So as king or queen of Steppenwolf and/or The Goodman, I'd be pissing my pants and shitting my hat. Our actors are SERIOUSLY tweeting and bookfacing publicly bitching about a bad review? The faces of our theatre? Those are the faces of our theatre, right? They... oh my god, they represent the whole organization. I'd be banging my king or queen gavel to get them into my official theatre chambers post haste to rip them a third one, since the second one is apparently already their mouth given all the shit that's coming out of it.
Oh God. They aren't personally attacking the reviewer are they? Jesus Christ dancing on George Carlin's grave, really? Why aren't they in my office yet, it's been 20 seconds. They are literally saying that the reviewer is a racist old white man. He's jealous. He's uncivil. He has a fragile ego. He's whiney. He just doesn't get it, because he's an old white man. Oh and fuck him. I mean of course fuck him.
Is he right? Was it a crappy unfair review? Is he a racist old fart? WHO GIVES A SHIT? It's incredibly unprofessional! Step back a sec, aren't we all making fun of Trump right now for being thin skinned and tweeting about every little criticism he receives? Surely our actors are better than Trump's temperament. Surely we didn't hire actors as thin skinned as that walking, talking eight Cheetos in the shape of a swastika. They have to be above that. Oh god, I just remembered they're the face of the whole organization again. Goddamnit, now the specter of Del Close is going to wake me up Christmas Eve and harbinger that night's coming of the ghosts of comedy past present and future and it won't be good. Thanks a fucking lot.
Wait... they aren't just bitching about one review? But TWO?! Get those hyperlinks on my desk five minutes ago.
Thanks. I'm going to read them now.
Okay. We can deal with that. Not everything can be gold. These actors couldn't possibly be blaming all criticism on racism. Surely the rest of the reviews are good, right?
There's even MORE bad ones? Well the good ones must be glowing! Surely! Ah, shit even the good ones get some pretty solid digs in. Well, shit. Wait... this many bad reviews and it's because the reviewers are all racist?
Okay, this is hard for me to say as the monarch of this theatre company, but at what fucking point is it our fault for putting up a show that just wasn't that good? Of course I haven't seen it, I'm on monarch time. I'll go when I can. Do I need to? Why aren't they in my office? And why would I take the blame for it? They wrote it. Take some responsibility, writers slash actors in this show I'm paying for.
Okay, I'm breaking character now. I think my point has been sufficiently made and this horse I'm punching has no pulse anymore.
Second City's last two shows have been populated by the most thin skinned over sensitive human beings I have ever seen in my life. And, not surprisingly, they have been two massive shit explosions in either content or PR or both. I could maybe, MAYBE, understand this behavior if it was from an ensemble of eight year olds doing Hamlet in the kitchen for their rich white wine drunk parents who just just got pulled away from the Super Bowl to endure this insult to the dramatic arts. Maybe. I mean, they're just kids, and their parents aren't paying attention to them. But to the parents' credit, it's a hard job and the Super Bowl is only once a year. You bought them a X-Nintendo-Box or whatever the fuck, why aren't the playing with that? Then again Hamlet's a pretty heavy undertaking for some eight year olds. My point is there's a lot of sides to take here. But any adult in any ensemble of any size or notoriety? Puh-huh-leeze.
You know why this happened? You might, but I'll tell you anyway. But first watch this video. But not the whole thing dear god. Just his set. [starts at 5:17]
Dude, you just gave that guy the keys to your two resident stages. Twice. Twice! Like I said, this shit is in my stupid Facebook feed, that is literally how they feel about comedy. They agree with this guy. They probably wouldn't express it the same way. I mean come on, the character he's playing obviously needs some work. But they agree with what he's saying. And that dude might even be right! Shit, I don't know. But he sure as hell isn't funny. Oh who the hell am I kidding, no of course he isn't right. But still. Point is he doesn't make me chuckle.
Comedians are (used to be?) the kids in the back of the classroom throwing spitballs. They have a flawless bullshit radar and will mock what crosses it at every turn. Regardless of subject or whatever. They're honest, sometimes to a fault. Yeah some of them can be dicks, but they make us laugh so they get away with it. They make hard shit to swallow, uh, swallowable. Because they're smart. Carlin did it. Pryor. Hicks. Chris Rock. Chappelle. Blah blah blah, let me google some more comedians for this comedy circle jerk. You get the point. Yeah people might get offended, but fuck 'em. They don't have to laugh.
But no. Instead you're hiring Hermione Granger. Now I for one fucking love Hermione Granger. Read the books, dude. She is ALWAYS right. Always. She's smart as hell and sticks to her principles. She's brave! She literally fought slavery at Hogwarts, elves are people too! I hope my daughter grows up to be a Hermione! Hell, my son too! Love her! But, and you can already see this coming, Hermione isn't fucking funny. Hermione wants you to know what IS and IS NOT funny, and will give you a lecture when you roll your eyes and snort. She's probably right. Oh, who the hell am I kidding, she's ALWAYS right, I already said so. But she's not funny. She's. Not. And let's be real, Hermione can be a real drag sometimes.
And you've made it the whole culture of the space now! Everybody sees a sign before they go in that effectively says "HEY! You better watch your fucking mouth in here! Okay?! These performers are sensitive people with feelings! They require our protection! They are not equipped with the stage skills or emotional wherewithal to have that happen without being psychically destroyed (see social media response to bad reviews). So don't you dare! We don't tolerate that shit!
...Now please enjoy this hard hitting satire."
Mind you this hangs in the same lobby as a framed hand written letter from an offended patron written to a director of a main stage review.
Now of course being a racist misogynist prick makes you the prickest of the pricks. And apparently president (Zing! Got 'em!). The sign isn't wrong, it's just lame and unnecessary and kills comedy. Like "Hey, Jesus put nails through his wrists for you! He had the flesh whipped and torn off his back and was beaten bloody and exhausted. Get it? Get it?! ...Now please enjoy your children's Christmas Pageant." Or "Dear Patrons, before the movie begins, please silence your cellphones. And remember, don't fuck little kids. Little kids getting fucked is just about the worst thing you could do. ...Now please enjoy your feature presentation, Love Actually 2: Actual Love."
I'm not saying audience members should be told to shout whatever the fuck their drunk stupid hey-I-could-do-that-too heads come up with. But when they do, and they always will, don't run into a corner and cry then quit and then act like it's a bold defiant finger snap and sashay into the sunset.
Mind you this is the same theatre where right after Kennedy was shot, the country still in mourning, after getting his assassination as a suggestion Del Close responded with "Just what the fuck do you want to see, sir?" to great audience applause. It was the first time "fuck" was said on that stage. Apparently. Point is that there are an infinite number of ways to handle that shit. You are supposed to be smarter and better than douche bags. You are supposed to be the one running this shit. This is your house. Turn the audience against them, they're already on your side! Play with the tension until you have a time to diffuse it, that makes laughs happen. Straight up ream out that piece of shit about incredibly not okay that is, then when they are sufficiently shamed break that tension with a bit. Be brave! There are way more things you can do that I can't think of right now. But for the love of god, definitely don't collapse into a puddle then create a social media circus around the cross you just built yourself and hung yourself on. Oh god, that fucking guy. I swear. Basically what I'm saying is, in everyday life if someone calls you a faggot that's oppression. If you're a comic, that's an obnoxious inconvenience. And if you can't handle that, well you're in the wrong business. You just don't have the skin for it! I'm not trying to be mean but go fuck yourself. I think Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is a badass of the top tier, but he shouldn't be fucking president. Ya dig? Do something else or wear an athletic cup until your balls toughen up.
Oh, and it goes without saying kick that douchefist heckler out. Duh. But what comedy club hangs a sign first? That's like when you're doing an open mic and the comic before you just cried. Which, speaking of that, don't joke about shit if you can't find it funny. Apparently this latest show has a series of lectures on race that the writers are just angry about. Fuck yeah express that shit. You're right, you know? But that's poetry slam material, dude. Story teller stuff. That's cool I like that stuff. But if you're doing a show in a legendary comedy venue? A historic temple of satire? You're that crying comic now. Shit, what did you expect the reviewer to say? That sign isn't protecting anybody, it's a cheap token gesture that puts your audience on edge right away. "Hey, welcome to this strip club. Remember: Don't rape the strippers. ...Now please enjoy your boners and you in the sweatpants have the right idea you old hound you." What the fuck are you telling me that for? I wasn't going to! God, is the world really that terrible. I can't get a boner now.
So you've got this critically shit on show and the show before you've got Pete Kim. And let's be real here, it was just Peter Kim. I mean, we all know he was the only one who actually left over audience language, right? We all know that by now? That all the others left because of piss poor management and major backstage drama? We know this? Well now you do. People didn't get along, creative differences, shitty management, all that. But the public story was that half the cast left over naughty audience language so they didn't look bad. But we all know that's bullshit now, right? Like that rumor HAD to have made the full rounds by now. Alright, just so we're on the same page.
Great job. Yes Second City you are so progressive. Hey, speaking of being progressive, maybe pay your touring ensembles something slightly livable? No? Okay, that's fine because you hung a sign so your heart's obviously in the right place.
I get it, Second City. You want to look cool and cutting edge and liberal. PR is important, which is why the official story had to be that everybody quit because of few dickholes that showed up to the comedy show. But being funny is more important than that, and what's more, it's your business model. And you're totally betting on the wrong horses with all these angry social justice warriors. They're time bombs. Two shows now. And truth be told I just vomited out all this because I fucking love Second City. So, you know, hire some professionals with an actual spine for that work. Who can actually be funny and tell people what's what. We actually need it right now.
I forgot to say, it's not everybody you're hiring so I'm saying it here. Kelsey Kinney is funny as fuck.
Okay, that's all.