Milt Abel is a stand-up comedian traveling the world, and places closer. Matched betting


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Dads do Mothers’ Day

By Milt Abel | May 13, 2010

| May 13, 2010

Dads do Mothers’ Day

Occasionally I tour with a show called The Stand-up Dads. There are four of us, but budgets and venues can caused us to scale the show down, sometimes to three dads, and once at a college it was just two, but we’ve worked as the Four Stand-up Dads more than any other incarnation. This past Mother’s Day weekend myself and Tim Bedore and Dan St. Paul toured through California: Friday night in Sutter Creek, Saturday in San Louis Obispo, and Sunday, mother’s day, a matinee in Felton, CA a small town near Santa Cruz.
Though the drive out of the San Francisco Bay Area for the The Sutter Creek Theatre in the Sacramento gold country began at around three in the afternoon we still got caught in rush hour traffic. We forgot rush-hour starts earlier on Fridays than any other weekday because people hate their jobs and figure, ‘what’s another hour to two off when I’ve already got forty-eight?’
The Sutter Creek Theatre was a charming, small theater circa 1919 that had iron and wood seats with fabric-covered back and seat padding; on most back pads a brass nameplates was affixed honoring a donor, or maybe, because of the city’s wilder gold-rush days, the name of someone shot there. Not many hecklers back then if you could pull out a pistol and drill ‘em…
“Anybody else got something to say before I holster my pistol?”
(Crowd in unison) “No, you’re real funny. Keep going.”

We had a wonderful, but very small, group Friday night. It was one of those audiences were you could get a laugh with almost anything and it’s always a joy to work in front of groups like that, I tend to spread my wigs a little and fly. On a similar audience  in a one-nighter at Kahneeta I flew a little too high and, like Icarus got burned, when I thought I could tell a ‘dead baby’ joke: a juvenile string of humor based on ‘what’s the difference between a dead baby and (fill in the blank). The outrageousness from my daughter made me laugh, but to hear it from 50 year old comic in a casino… well, they were not easy after that mistake in judgement.
Saturday night we performed at the Downtown Brewery in San Louis Obispo and it was not the same crowd we had in Sutter Creek. A rock ‘n roll  joint that was better suited for acts with wah-wah pedals than sarcasm, we found the venue’s audience loud and easily distracted. It was work. Wondeful beer though. We also stayed at a great hotel about 20 minutes north on the 101 in Atascadero, the Carlton. Atascadero means mudhole  in Spanish, and the California state hospital for the criminally insane is located there, but the Carlton showed hospitality by letting us come and go as we please, kept us from getting muddy, and had some of the best bedding I’ve ever slept in.
here’s a picture of the three of us in the lobby the following morning after a great sleep and some good beer, and and performing without a bassist or drummer.

3 dads in atascadero

After this photo was taken we drove three hours north to Felton for our Mother’s Day Sunday matinee at Don Quixote’s. When we pulled up I felt a bit like those town people in an old movie Western where they’ve sent for a big, gruff, killer of a sheriff to restore the law and Don Knotts shows up; Don repeatedly say’s ‘here I am’ and everyone just keeps asking him to get out of the way so they can see the real sheriff somewhere yet to get off the train.
Don Quixote’s in Felton is not Carnegie Hall; I’m sure everyone already knows that, but trying to grasp the scale of difference is like trying to define the edge of the universe -whatever you can wrap your mind around, there’s still a little bit more. As I walked though the restaurant and performing area, wheeling my overnight luggage, and came into the dressing room with its plastic tarp covering a vent hole in the ceiling I thought I was living the movie Spinal Tap; that segment of the movie with the downward slide of the group, working in continually worse venues, until we’d be obliged to stop our sets to call a bingo game.  Fifteen people were in the audience. They had a great time; Dan and Tim and I are all great comics, but I am still remembering what Tim said to me as I lay on the couch in the green room with the plastic tarp flapping in the air rushing from outside though the vent: He pointed at the lapping plastic, and said, “It’s laughing at you.” I laughed very hard at that.

Topics: comedy, humor, travel | No Comments »