Rumor has it Tom Brady, recently retired greatest quarterback of all time, wants to use his new found free time to pursue standup comedy. On a similar note, I am leaving comedy to pursue a career as an NFL quarterback. Both of those statements should strike you with the same amount of absurdity yet one of those (me being a quarterback) is clearly a joke and the other will be supported by the comedy industry and fans alike. Why?
How is it that speaking in public is one of the most common fears in the world yet retired athletes, wrestlers, and actors think they can do what I do. Athletes for the most part use their body to do their talking for them and actors recite other people’s words. None have the experience of writing words and gaining laughs in a room full of strangers with those words. Yet, apparently anybody can do what I do. But they can’t.
The best comedians in the world take years and decades to get very good at standup comedy. Most of them will never achieve fame in the profession they have dedicated their lives too. Most of them even if you see and enjoy, them you will forget their names. Yet it seems only in comedy and sometimes boxing do people who have no business in our ring think they can take a few classes or lessons and fire away.
What’s even sadder is people will come out to watch it. Eagerly. Meanwhile, most people will not come out to a comedy club to support the local and touring acts who may be very funny. Heck, most people won’t even come out and support their friends who have been doing comedy for years. I have a friend who saw me once when I first started over twenty- five years ago. She has not seen me since even though I play locally fairly often. She doesn’t even ask when I will be local. Yet she was very excited to see Tyrus from Fox News do comedy. She said she was so excited to get tickets. Who is Tyrus? A professional wrestler and a personality on Fox News Gutfeld! I’ve never seen Tyrus say anything funny. I have never even seen him be entertaining on the microphone when he wrestled. Yet this she had to see. She is not alone. Many of my fellow comedians open for these famous from something other than comedy falling stars. And you flock to see them be mildly amusing at best. Hell you flocked to see Ron Jeremy. Unless he was going to have his famous schmeckle tell jokes, why would you want to see that? These cast of reality stars and B level celebrities will be at conventions and sportcard signings. You can meet them. They will sign your picture…usually for a fee. Why do you want to see them try comedy?
The comedy industry will spend more money on these acts than the acts that have actually honed their craft. They will advertise like crazy. And when the celebrity is gone the advertising will stop. The comedy industry says they put asses in seats. The new thing is social media stars and influencers. Just because you can make a cool Tik Tok does not mean you can rock the comedy mic. Just because you can rock the comedy mic does not mean you can throw a pass or even make a good Tik Tok.
If a celebrity wants to really try comedy and start at open mics then sure I am all for it. Get good and then tour. I’m even fine with them progressing quicker than somebody with no name who is working towards touring. It is just insane to put these people in top clubs and being treated like they are actually a comedian.
As a Jets fan Tom Brady broke my heart so many times. It was ok. He was that good at football. We clamored to see the best in the world at it. He usually delivered. If Tom Brady does comedy he won’t be the best in the world. He won’t even be better than the local talent at the local clubs. He just won’t. Could he get there? Sure after years of hard work. The man who worked harder than anybody in the world to be the best QB is now expecting to be proficient at my craft on day one. You will go and watch him. You will possibly grade him on a curve and say he was decent. Who knows, maybe he will get bored of comedy and want to be your CPA or doctor. Go support him. I’m sure Tom is going to be a tremendous surgeon after just a few games of Operation. I mean really as long as he is famous proficiency doesn’t matter. You go to the club and watch the latest “celebrity” comedian. I’m going to play Madden and try out for the Jets. I guarantee you me playing QB for the Jets will be funnier than anything Mr. Brady will have to say.