Image By: Terry Ross (http://www.flickr.com/photos/qnr/)
Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/qnr/4985694250/
Well I’m up late, again, and my server has just crashed. While I wait I’d like to tell you a quick story.
I’m 99% sure Bobby Slayton thinks I hate him.
No, I didn’t do it on purpose. Nor do I really think I’m important enough that he even remembers me anyway. But nonetheless I’m sure somewhere in the back of his head, Bobby Slayton thinks I hate him.
If you guys don’t know who I’m talking about, Bobby Slayton is a comedian. He’s made a name for himself as “The Pitbull of Comedy”. His humor is really really crude, easy to mistake for racist or offensive, but the guy is hilarious.
The first time I saw him was an one of the “The Improv“‘s, probably in Brea, California. It was a long long time ago. He got on stage and cranked out joke after joke about his marriage, his wife, and sex in general. It was pretty raunchy, but at the same time brilliant. One of his jokes went something like
My wife mentioned to me asparagus makes your semen taste better. I told her “Honey, why are you telling me this? It’s such a rare event that I eat asparagus or get a blowjob from you, that the chances of these two events crossing are astronomical”
That’s not an exact quote but you get the idea. At one point a dude in the audience got incredibly offended and started yelling up at the stage things like “You’re pathetic!!!”. Bobby actually told security to leave the guy alone, then proceeded to tear the guy a new one (ripping into things like his facial hair, choice of employment, attitude, intellect, etc) until the guy left voluntarily. Then he kept working in the catch phrase “You’re pathetic!” into his act for the rest of the night, while the crowd cheered and laughed, and the disgruntled audience member probably sulked in the parking lot.
Anyway he was great. Totally great.
At the end of the show, Bobby waited outside to sign and sell things like CDs and T-Shirts. My sister bought a CD right away, and so I just figured “Oh okay, we live together. I’ll just listen to her copy and save the money”. Then I try walking past him and I get this from my mom:
Mom: Mikey do you want a CD?
Me: No thanks, mom
Mom: Are you sure? I’ll pay for it so you can have one.
Me: No mom I’m okay, don’t worry.
Mom: Are you sure??? He’s right here. I can just buy you one right now. You can take it home.
Me: Mom!!! I don’t want his CD!
You get the idea. Typical mom pushing something on her kid over and over again while the kid just fumes mommmmmm stoppppppp hahaha.
But the thing is - Bobby Slayton was right there, watching it all go down. We were one of the last people exiting the building that night, so there wasn’t any noise to protect him from hearing our madness. And there was no distance either. We were literally 2 feet from him, forcing him to listen to how I didn’t want his CD!
So on the drive home I started to realize I probably gave off the impression I didn’t like him. And yes, I know he’s a big famous star with a lot to be thankful for, but I know how it is. Most performers need that validation. We need to feel loved, appreciated, that we’re doing a good job and our fans/audience are enjoying what we put out. It really doesn’t matter how good you are or how far you’ve come - a compliment or a rejection can make an impression.
So anyway, I made a vow that if I ever saw him live again, I’d make sure to show my support in some way.
Cut to years and years later, almost present day. Definitely 2013, probably only a few months ago actually. Me and the fambam go see him again at the same improv. He’s not 100% on his game, and he’s doing more race-based jokes than marriage/sex ones, but he’s not actually a racist and still funny as hell.
I decide I’m going to buy his DVD and have it autographed for my mom, so she can watch it with my dad (Bobby is one of their shared comedy favorites). The show ends. I walk up to his merch table. It’s kind of dead so I approach with a big smile and an exclamation that I want to buy his DVD. He seemed pretty happy about that. Things seemed to be going well.
After I buy the DVD, I ask him to sign it. His level of enthusiasm increases and I feel I’ve implied he has a fan in me, and I start silently congratulating myself on the compliment I’ve paid him.
Then he asks, “Okay who do I sign it to?” and I reply with my mom’s name. He smiles and says loudly “Hey you don’t look like that’s your name!?”, and I respond with:
Oh no this isn’t for me! This is for my mom!
And he goes dead.
By the time I was even pointing to my mom, his expression had already gone sour, his head was down, and he wasn’t paying attention anymore. He was just trying to sign the CD and get me the hell away from his table. After he was done, I walked away with a slightly strange feeling.
Again, I’m not usually very quick on my feet. I have a tendency to not understand situations until I have a moment (or hours/days haha) to step away and think about things. It took me a few hours but eventually I realized I may as well have said:
Oh no, mister Bobby Slayton, the DVD isn’t for me, you sad little man. I’m not even a fan and I obviously don’t like you enough to want one of your pathetic souvenirs. My mother is a fan of you though. I’m just here to do her a favor… the poor old wench
Hahahhaa… I mean maybe not literally that, but you get my point? So yeah. Twice I enjoyed Bobby’s set. Twice I wanted to give him the impression he did a good job. Twice I gave him the impression that I hated him.
Bro if you ever read this, I suck and I’m sorry.