Some of my best friends in comedy have been huge comedy stars on the college circuit. How most acts are booked is done through an organization called NACA who puts on regional conventions where comics who are represented by college agents are seen by the entertainment committee(s) from each university. You have to possess an act which not only works well with 20 year-olds, but also is pretty clean and very politically correct. These characteristics never really fit into my wheelhouse, as I’ve always used the stage as therapy to discuss my rage towards the world and to explore the darker sexual elements of my mind.
This doesn’t mean though that I haven’t done colleges. Sometimes a booking agent will book me for one that doesn’t use NACA and at this point in my career, I have a developed a good show for colleges. Last night I was at Central Methodist University and the show went great. Despite the ominous name, the school was not bible-thumping and my contact from the school said the magic words I always want to hear right before a show—be as vulgar as you want.
When this phrase is offered, it gives me a comforting feeling. It doesn’t make me go crazy (I only used 2 curse words), but it allows me to touch on subject matter that 20 year-olds are thinking about— sex, drugs, alcohol. (actually these are subjects that most people want to hear about) The weird thing for me at this point is that I’m old enough to be these students Father. I don’t feel like that, I don’t dress like that, and I definitely don’t act like that, but I have to face facts that I’m older than a few of their parents. Comedy isn’t rock and roll, but it does share the energy of keeping you a perpetual 25 year-old in some ways. I don’t know when this will end, but I’m enjoying the journey.