Monday, July 31, 2017

Balthy Does Gotham

When my son Balthazar* was 8 years old I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Because, you know, nothing like planning ahead. He answered, "A stand-up comedian." Which tickled me pink and sent me to the Interwebs to research opportunities for him. I discovered that NYC's Gotham Comedy Club offered a Kids 'N Comedy Workshop. The workshop culminated in a public performance that was just a few weeks away. On the appointed day, off we went.

The performers (mostly teens) were great and Balthy and I laughed a lot. At the end of the show the MC invited kids in the audience to go to the stage and tell a joke. Balthy and I exchanged looks--he'd recently learned a joke from a family friend and, after a nod from me, bravely made for the stage. Here's the joke he told:

A woman boards the bus with her baby. As she pays the fare the bus driver looks at the infant in her arms and says, "Lady, that is one ugly baby." She walks to the back of the bus, sits, and starts crying. A man a few seats over asks her what's wrong and she says the bus driver insulted her. The man says, "Well, you shouldn't have to take that, no one should! Go back up there and give that bus driver a piece of your mind! And don't worry, I'll hold your monkey for you."

The audience predictably groaned but Balthy told the shit out of that joke and I was hella proud (because "hella" was exactly the kind of proud you had to be in 2003). Afterward I asked if he'd like to enroll in a workshop like that but he declined, surprisingly. Still, I didn't (and don't) agree with forcing kids' interests, so I left the matter there.

Fast forward to fourteen years later and Balthy appeared on the Gotham stage once again, in last week's New Talent Showcase! Performances were recorded so comics would have demos to send out to agents and clubs and whatnot; Balthy's follows below.

*Balthazar is my son's Confirmation name, which I used when I began blogging because he was a minor and I feared online predators. The video reveals his identity and, since he's an adult pursuing a public career, I reckon it's all right to share it here. But he'll always be Balthy to me. Except when he's Seby.


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