Robin Williams KILLED it.

Robin Williams KILLED it.

 

There’s two particular rules I keep in my stand-up philosophies, and the first is there’s no rules and the second is, break all the rules, and if there was any performer that could make sense of that stupidity it was Robin Williams.

Robin Williams in 1978

 

I really need to get a deeper feeling of the history of stand up, but from my perspective, Robin Williams, could very well be the Godfather of alternative comedy as we know it.

Who made people laugh by mumbling before Robin?

He was desperate for a laugh, like a junkie. Manic about laughter. Hungry. He would get his laughs at all costs.

To me, that’s a true comedian.

 

Comedians are addicted to making people laugh.

It’s my opinion as well, and I could be wrong here, but I believe that Robin Williams was the first guy to not only kill, but to destroy rooms.

He killed on an unseen level. On a unique level.

I personally cannot stand to hear the word kill in a stand-up comedy context.

Dude, Bill totally killed last night.”

Man, you killed it.”

NOPE.

I’ve never killed it. NEVER.

Because if you ever see a comedian truly kill it, you can’t say that word as much anymore.

That word should be reserved for the very very very few comedians who can literally cause people to almost die from lack of breath.

This type of comedy can only be seen live, in person, and it can only be experienced, in my opinion, on certain days, at certain clubs, by certain people.

Like, the time I saw Chris D’elia at the Laugh Factory and for 20 minutes I was wondering if I was literally gonna pee in my pants. I couldn’t figure out what made this guy so funny. Like, piss your pants funny. The crowd was in a frenzy, like a riot was going on. Knee slappin, wheezing, and all that.

Robin invented that style of destroying.

He was one of the innovators, if not the sole innovator, of high-energy, full-contact, blow-the-fucking-lid-off-the-room-comedy.

Real improv.

Watch some old Robin Williams and then tell me you can teach that shit to people?

Shame on anyone running those shitty improv classes. What an insult to true improvisers like Robin Williams.

Movies and television aside, Robin Williams is a legend.

He played an alien on TV because he was truly an alien.

His stand up. MY GOD. Out of this world!

If you talk to anyone who saw Robin Williams in a small room, like the Comedy Store, whether it was 1978 or 1988 or even 2008, the stories are all the same. THIS GUY WENT MENTAL. Dripping with sweat, squeezing the lemon, until there was a room full of lemonade. Not stopping until every single person in the room was neck-deep in lemonade, asking themselves,

Did this guy just make that much fucking lemonade from one fucking lemon?”

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

That’s what you should be thinking when a comic kills.

HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE? No human should be able to do this.

If you understand what a comic is doing, then he’s not killing. If there’s not layer upon layer upon layer to his performance. If there’s not nuances of art and sprinkles of theatrics and roller-coaster-like waves of stupidity and brilliance, mixed with the perfect amount of slapstick, he ain’t killin.

Nope. He’s having a good set. He’s a good writer. He’s a good performer.

But he’s not killing.

Not unless people are waving their arms, begging him to stop with, tear-filled eyes, crying in joyous pain.

And if he is killing like that, ask him who inspired him to those levels of comedy genius.

Bet he says ROBIN WILLIAMS.

Robin Williams will be missed, but I smile knowing that Robin Williams brought more tears of joy and happiness than these few days of sorrowful tears could ever amount to.

Fly on, Robin Williams. Nanu Nanu.

BYE BYE BERLIN.

BYE BYE BERLIN.

I was on this abandoned building the other day, watching a crappy band play. It reminded me of why I fell in love with Berlin in the first place. It also reminded me why I’m leaving Berlin as well.

For the first time in what seems like years I was at a cool event, with only a handful of people, and no bar, and no line to get in, and no door man, and no corporate sponsor or brand, or magazine pretending not to be owned by a brand, and no list or shithead looking me up and down, and believe it or not, no idiots.

Not once did I have to hear, “where are you from?”

Or,

“Oh my God, isn’t Berlin so cool. I LOOOOOVE it.”

It was just a crappy band with shitty equipment on a crappy roof with a few friends.

YES! FRIENDS RULE!

But enough of this positivity, because I did see the impending doom of construction cranes from every angle on that rooftop.

It’s coming people. They’re building a better tomorrow in Berlin and by better I mean way more expensive.

Get in line, pay to use the toilet, and say hello to the beer bike.

None of that matters to my mission though, because to be honest, if I could do stand up every night and work on my own personal growth as an artist, I would stick it out and fight.

But alas, the output in this country is not enough for me.

A good friend of mine just got booked for one of the only paying English gigs in Berlin, at the Strictly Stand Up gig at The Quatsch Comedy Club.

He gets a paid, ten minute set, and best of all, he gets to gig with Terry Alderton!

The bad news is he has to wait until NOVEMBER to do that gig and also, none of you probably even know who Terry Alderton is.

He has to wait four months for one ten minute gig. And, of course, in the mean time, he could always perform at one of the many open mic type of shows that don’t pay people for performing, which coincidentally was almost the reason no one from Berlin was ever going to be booked at the Strictly Stand Up show in the beginning, but hey, let’s save that conversation for another time.

Of course, he could, like myselfme, set up his own show, and deal with those problems, like finding a venue, like doing all the promotion, like writing enough material for a full show, like people not wanting to pay for a show because there’s five shows a week that are free, like some people not wanting to see the same jokes, but new people being in the audience and obviously wanting to see your best stuff, and just the fact that doing a one hour show at the MOST once a month is very challenging, and so on and so forth.

Comedy is meant to be done every night, i. It’s like skateboarding, you have to be doing it, or you forget how to do it. I spend most of my one hour show remembering how to warm a crowd up and by then, OOOOOPS, show’s over. And while I believe performing at a show and not getting a paid spot is fine a lot of the times, the problem for a new scene is where to turn after that.

What does’s the future hold for the English comedy scene in Berlin?

What are the dreams of the new, up and coming comedians who perform in English?

What does the future hold for a half decent comedian in this country, especially one who refuses to perform in the native language?

I’ll tell you what the future holds for me in Germany.

Doodly squat.

Goodbye Berlin.

See you soon, whenever you visit LA.

Fuck ice coffee and exclusive sneakers, let’s build a school.

Fuck ice coffee and exclusive sneakers, let’s build a school.

Here’s a very basic thought, that I, as a white, middle class male am constantly thinking about.

Now, I know I’m not a genius, but to me, it seems basic, that unregulated, uncapped, free market capitalism needs to be more socially responsible.

How can a company like, let’s just say for the sake of argument, because I’m a skater, Red Bull, make over a billion dollars a year in sales and not once, EVER, feel the need or desire to chime in on the worlds lopsided economic, or political situations?

In my opinion, if some of these horrible conditions people fled from were fixed, perhaps we wouldn’t have a refugee problem?

I know “it’s complex and complicated” or whatever WAG THE DOG complex you’ll pull out, but seriously, why shouldn’t we at least TRY to do something to effect it now, and step by step, work towards a solution?

At the very least, can’t we pretend to care?

Red Bull spends millions on culture and extreme sports, claiming, I’m sure, to be ambassadors for great artists, and great art and music, and skateboarding and so on and so on, which, of course is wonderful.

But, do they REALLY feel that?

Does Red Bull seriously feel the need to bring these cultures to the world, in a truly revolutionary way, or is it yet another commercial disguise to sell their drink to anyone with three dollars in their pocket?

Couldn’t Red Bull be bringing these events to poor countries and along the way building bridges, schools and clean water systems as well as skateparks, bmx parks and mountain bike tracks for these people?

Is that so much more than the millions they’re already spending on this stuff in the first world?

Is it too much to ask?

Is it too much to ask that on the BILLION they make, they put aside a small percent for a selfless, helpful, YET STILL PROMOTIONAL type of event that could actually effect people?

The Red Bull School, or the Red Bull clean water well?

They won’t do it on their own. Let’s face it, they wouldn’t even do it for us in the first world if it wasn’t a chance to have their logo tattooed on our foreheads. We need to present these things and it starts at the top with the artists and skaters and riders for these companies.

Get serious about spreading culture. Get serious about bringing people joy.

Of course they won’t do it on their own either, because who would risk their own comfort for the joy of some poor souls in some shit hole 3rd world hell?

We’ve become soft and way too paid in skateboarding and even more comfortable  in our own lives. It makes me sick to see people discussing the best ice coffee in town when some people don’t even have clean water. Shame on you, you fuckin soft, exclusive sneaker buying bitches.

I’m nothing like you.

I, for one, am an ambassador for skateboarding, not as a sport, or as some fuckin fashion show, but as a revolutionary tool, to free kids minds from the pains of life and the struggles. Skateboarding saved me from potential suicide, or even worse, my slave labor life, by giving me something to focus on instead of my pimply little four eyed fat face that couldn’t even talk to girls. It taught me discipline, dedication. Triumph. Overcoming my fears. Showed me patience. Gave me a reason to try and introduced me to a tribe of people that to this day I’m still connected to regardless of age, color, sex, sexual preference, and especially regardless of class. I met Stevie Williams in 1989 and even though he was the ghettos of North Philadelphia and I was from the suburbs we still both cheered and found joy in the sights of a decent backside tailslide. Skateboarding, and all art can transcend the worldly problems and bring people into a common space, at the very least, for that particular moment in time.

Of course, it can also be a great tool to sell your shitty product.

Power to the people.

48 hours of annoying twats in Neukölln

48 hours of annoying twats in Neukölln

I guess I’m not really into art.

I know for a fact that I’m not into the 48 Hours Neukölln art festival and I guess I’m not into the 48 Hours Neukölln art festival because I don’t drink.

I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot of great art around, somewhere, but it’s hard to find surrounded by all these artists!

So many artists, so little art.

That should be the motto of this quote unquote art festival. I mean, sure, I passed a few empty store fronts with weird boxes, or crappy drawings hanging up, but most of the festival seemed to be hanging in front of the späti, drinking and doing some kind of revolutionary performance art entitled, “Fuck anyone who lives in this neighborhood over the age of 27.”

The best part about this art festival/streetdrinking party is the theme and mission statement.

Does this party need a theme? YES IT DOES, SIR! *Salutes, like a good soldier.

The theme is courage, OF COURSE, because we’re soldiers in this battle against the evils of society and clearly it takes huge balls to be an artist and to be a part of this art scene and to find the guts to order a Moscow Mule in a bar when you hardly speak the local language. These artists have the courage to fly halfway around the world, usually on a flight from Spain where they must pack all of their intense art supplies in one carryon bag that must fit in that goddamn little metal frame while everyone watches and scrutinizes and that pressure.

These brave, brave artists!

The mission statement is a real treat for anyone with the patience to read 600 words of the most pretentious selfserving cliché art bullshit I think I’ve ever had the misfortune of eyeing.

Imagine a group of artists standing in a circle, holding each other’s metaphoric genitals, and then imagine each of them slowly stroking each other’s sin parts until they cum a rushing river of hot sticky sex jizz all over a sheet of paper!

 There’s your mission statement.

Here’s one small splash of verbal stainage I found particularly hilarious.

“The festival is a joint initiative involving artists, spectators and other residents.”    

Well, unless that neighborhood is rented entirely to drunk twentysomething artist cunts, I don’t think I noticed one single resident. I did however notice that all the local bars were rammed to the gills, so that’s great for the local art scene and the community and social change and political, uh, ooooh, wait, wait, political, ooooooh, oh my God, change, and a place where artistic experimentation is fostered and OH YES, and the conditions under which art is made, techniques used as well as the social function that art can serve and, unusual locations beyond the beaten path host artistic activities, especially in the public realm, where artworks can be discovered, made accessible and given new uses and OH MY FUCKING GOD and artists stimulation, and foundation for art and artist COURAGE, AND BRAVERY, and OH YEEEEES, DO IT, art, streets, Berlin, NEUKÖLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLN, YES, I’M CUMMMMMMMMMMMMING, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

Goodnight.

My Kingpin Magazine Barcelona Emerica LSD trip. UNCENSORED

My Kingpin Magazine Barcelona Emerica LSD trip. UNCENSORED

Long story short.
I write for Kingpin Magazine. They needed a last second write up about a skate trip to Barcelona. They asked me to do it, even though I wasn’t there. I felt weird about lying, so they told me to Dave Carnie it. OK. So, I shifted a story from my LSD eating days of traveling to Barcelona, but the editor of Kingpin thought maybe some of the language was a little strong. He’s probably right, but you know what, so is LSD.

HERE’S THE UN CENSORED VERSION. Now, act like Brody Stephens and ENJOY IT!

“It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up magazine…..”

To be honest with you, I never once read Word Up magazine. Every time I hear that Biggie Smalls lyric I wonder what the hell he’s taking about. I never even saw Word Up magazine. What the hell is Word Up magazine?

I sure as hell know what Kingpin magazine is though, because here I am. Or am I?

BARCELONA! It does feel like a dream. The beach, the babes, the beer. The marble. The European skate mecca! Is this real? Am I really here? Wow. It does feel warm. It feels real. Am I really standing here with the Emerica team, ready to bring that a game? For the record, I loved hanging with the Emerica guys in Barcelona, for the basic fact that when anyone Spanish asked me where I was from, and I said America, they would say America in a heavy Spanish accent, which was, of course, E-MER-ICA.

YES. EMERICA! Exactly.

And yes, perhaps you heard through the grapevine that we ran into two ladies who were fucked off their faces on some kind of drugs, possibly mushrooms or LSD, and they put on a god damn show, right there, in Barcelona. I will get to that, I swear, because there’s nothing like a great drug story to keep people interested and this one is quite entertaining I must say. I also must say, and I’ll say it with passion, that Kingpin, and or Emerica and or myself DO NOT condone the use of illegal substances, like psychedelic mushrooms or even marrijuana. I have to say that, one because it’s TOTALLY true, for real, I mean it, and two, because there’s a small chance that your parents might be reading this, and maybe your dad’s a lawyer and I personally don’t need the hassle of some dick, kid’s dad trying to tell me I convinced his stupid son to eat AT LEAST 7 grams of psychedelic mushrooms, because mushrooms and all mind expanding psychedelic drugs, like LSD and DMT, WEED, and so on are actually a pretty decent tool to push your mind in a direction away from the brainwashed fuckery of money money money society and have actually been used for thousands of years by great minded people and tribesmen and naturalists.

Anyway, this is about skating Barcelona with the EMERICA TEAM!

The Emerica Europe team, I might add. Which is fine, of course, because they have Eniz Fazliov, the readers choice! It was great to see Eniz cruising around with his Bright European Skateboard Award. Just carrying around with him. Holding it up in front of groups of random Spanish people and yelling, I’M THE READERS CHOICE, BIOTCH! Eniz is the man, which is why I voted for him for the readers choice awards, even though I legally probably am not allowed to admit that I did, because I work for Kingpin AND I was hosting the awards and to be honest, I don’t give a fuck. I voted for Eniz, and I stand by it. If you guys at the Kingpin offices wanna fire me for breaking the rules, than go ahead and fire me, because God dammit, this is skateboarding, and I’m a fuckin rebel and I’ll vote online for someone I believe in if I god damn want to and you know what Will Harmon, you won’t do a god damn thing about, because deep in your heart, you know the truth. You know I’m lying my ass off. I didn’t vote for Eniz. I didn’t vote for anyone, because I’m too lazy to click a button online, but you know what, after hanging with Eniz for five minutes, I could see why I’m voting for him next year. What a dude. Photographer Sem Rubio barely had to do anything. Jesus Sem, have you ever had an easier job in your fucking life? This guy nails every thing. And the passion. There’s something about Barcelona that brings it out in people. Am I right? It’s like the whole city vibes on this sexy, smooth steezy kind of thing. The whole city is like the football team FC Barcelona. Dance mother fucker. Score, but more importantly, DAMNCE! And look sexy scoring that goal. Barcelona brings out sexy. Even the beers they sell on the side of the road are sexy That’s what they call them. SEXY BEERS.

Sexy time. Borat would kill it in Barcelona. I would love to see Borat front board an eight stair handrail and then just start grinding up against some random sex pot Spanish woman hanging out drinking in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. A lot of shops and restaurants shut down in the middle of the afternoon for siesta. Go on and sleep, mother fuckers, because while you’re sleepin Nisse Ingemarsson is creepin. He’s not really creepin at all actually, but I didn’t have a word that rhymed with sleepin that would fit into a skateboarding context. If there was a good skateboarding word to fit in there I would throw it in, because, seriously, Nisse Ingemarsson fucking destroyed it. Jesus. Everyone on this trip destroyed. Look at those pictures. Let me tell you something, there was no trickery involved in these shots except skateboarding trickery. Lots and lots and lots and lots of skateboard trickery. I did a boardslide.

On a totally random note, what the fuck is a feeble grind? I mean, I know what it is, but who named it that? And why? Gotta give it up for guys who name tricks something random, and not after their own name. I mean a Caballerial is cool, BUT WHAT AN EGOMANIAC, RIGHT? I mean, imagine if Rodney Mullen had that type of ego, we’d be like, DAMN, that dude just Mullen flipped, to grind, to nollie Mullen flip out! FUCK, then he switch Mullen Flipped a ten stair! A FUCKIN SWITCH MULLEN FLIP?

So yes, I know you’re getting bored, so I will break it down and get to the drug story, which I hope I haven’t hyped up too much. Long story short. Barcelona. Lots of skating. Check the pictures. Shout out to Manolo Bar. Hanging out. All the young dudes, carry the news, and shout out to Emerica. Good stuff.

And now, you’ve made it to the bonus round. THE DRUG STORY!

People hang in Barcelona. On the streets. In the streets, drinking, carrying on. It’s like a party at night. Then everyone goes to clubs at like 3am and parties some more. So we’re all just hangin. Not even going hard in the paint or anything. Literally, just chillin. The air is warm, everyone’s relaxed. No beef. These two young, good looking girls, come up to us, I guess they’re about 20. I have no guess where they’re from, but now that I’ve seen the whole story already, I’m gonna guess either Canada or America, due to the accents. They both have a similar look. Long straight hair. Jeans, t shirts, sneakers. So far, so good. Right? Everyone’s probably wondering who they recognize in the group, or do they like skaters, or whatever, but before anyone has a chance to say anything, one of the girls comes right up to us, and just starts screaming her face off,

“FINE, FUCK ME ALREADY. FUCK ME. I AM A WHORE. I AM. FUCK ME.”  I can instantly see we are in the midst of a drug freak out. Her face is kind of contorted and her eyes look like some kind of Bugs Bunny, pop right outa your head shit. I would have laughed, but it was kind of tense. She started screaming in every general direction as her friend, grabbing her arm, tried to cool her off. She just kept screaming like a maniac.

“I’M A FUCKIN WHORE. I’M A FUCK MACHINE. FINE, I’LL ADMIT IT! EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, FUCK ME!”

Some of the guys laughed, out of sheer unexpected weirdness. Laughing was the only way to break the tension. It was surreal. Like a Dali painting. Time slowed down like the peak of a ten stair handrail backside front blunt slide. She was panicked, which is not sexy. She was not bringing the A game. Like the Grateful Dead song says, “Maybe you had too much too fast?”

She was buggin out. She laid on the ground as her friend sat with her and held her head. She screamed again,

“THIS IS HELL. THIS IS FUCKING HELL!”

At this point, people are gathered around, and I hear one dreadlocked hippie over my shoulder say,

“Ah man, the old heaven and hell trip. That’s a heavy one. I’ve been there.”

And at that point, we were all there. In Barcelona. Heaven to us, but hell to that chick on the whatever drug will make you realize that reality is the perception of your own thoughts and ideas.

We were all there.

Or were we?