I was addicted to Miyagi’s. Not on any day of the week, just Wednesdays- comedy night. While most girls my age were trying to get into Garden of Eden or The Lounge to get a glimpse of Paris Hilton or Wilmer Valderrama, I was hoping to run into Alonzo Boden. He played Ottawa Yuk Yuk’s once and I was hoping he’d remember me.
I didn’t want to over stay my welcome at Shaun’s, but luckily Meghan linked me up with her friend Steven who she met working at Club Med in Mexico. (What did the “Med” stand for again?) He said I could share his Fountain & Sweetzer studio with him since he never slept at home. And he didn’t cook, so I could use the kitchen cupboards for my clothes. (I don’t need to explain he’s gay, right?) At the time, his arm was in a cast that for some reason had to stay elevated, so he always walked around town like he had a question.
Living right in the heart of We Ho was amazing. I was able to bounce around to all the comedy spots every night. Plus Steven crowned me with a new nick name, “Hooker,” which really made me feel at home.
It was another fateful night at Miyagi’s where I met a guy who would become a huge part of the next few years. Shaun introduced us, and I guess that was a pretty sweet vouch for me. His name was Sam and he was a comedian too. (Who wasn’t?) He was extremely funny, ballsy and original. He made me feel included even though every time I hung with his circle of friends I couldn’t help but notice they all pronounced “Montreal” weird. (They go heavy on the first syllable- “M-AAAWN-Tree-all.) I also had no idea Just For Laughs was that big of a deal until these 2002 nights in West Hollywood. Every Canadian comic wanted to get to L.A. Every L.A. comic wanted to get to Montreal.
Me and Sam starting bowling together. He always needed to stay up past midnight for his late night spots at The Comedy Store. Everyone knew Eddie Griffin would go up for two hours so there was no point in rushing there. Which brings me to the inspiration for this classic bit of mine:
“I like bowling… I think it’s a good first date activity… cuz if a guy has to watch me bend over all night, he’ll forget how small my tits are.”
(And yes, I would act it out.)
Me and Sam kept ambiguously hanging out, without really discussing what was happening. (My FAVE! Who wants to have that awkward conversation?) I was still haunted by the last guy’s words…
“I already have friends that complain I don’t spend enough time with them. I’d make time for a girlfriend, but I don’t have time for more friends.”
I really didn’t want to lose Sam. And he was already panning out to be way better than Huntington Beach guy, so maybe it was time to put my guard down a little.
He invited me to a party in Beverly Hills for The Fourth of July. He must have seen stars in my eyes when he asked so he qualified the invite with,
“SOUTH Beverly Hills. Where comedians can afford to live.”
Hey, people in Canada don’t need to know that.
It was my first of several Fourth of July parties at Shawn Pelofsky’s house. She was (still is) amazing. Great comic, great host. We walked into her place and I was floored. I was still in my “B.Y.O.B.” party years, so seeing that kind of spread of food and booze blew my mind. Bottles of every kind of alcohol imaginable and trays of fresh vegetables that no one even touched! Where do I put my Two Buck Chuck and bag of chips?
(I seriously think I hid it cuz I was so embarrassed. Oh well. I tried.)
Most of the guys who worked at The Comedy Store were there. Some were nice, some weren’t. My fave was the guy who parked cars, Fat James. (He called himself that- it wasn’t a bully thing.) He was always sweetest and made me feel welcome. The “No time for more friends” comic was there too. We quickly said hi, and then avoided each other the rest of the day.
There was a comic who had been in one of the towers on 9/11 at the party. It had been less than a year since the attack, so it remained a very tender topic. My heart still ached thinking about it. As I got tipsy, I decided to ask him to teach me all the words to The Star-Spangled Banner. I’m Canadian and didn’t exactly have it down. (Don’t judge me. How many Americans know all the words to “Oh Canada?”) I was so inspired by his story of quitting his job and moving to L.A. to pursue his dream of stand up comedy after that tragic day. I knew it would actually be sentimental learning the national anthem from him.
I was doing pretty good at the start and finish, but there were a few lines in the middle I kept messing up, when all of a sudden our lesson got interrupted. A fight seemed to be breaking out, and unbeknownst to me, I was at the centre of it.
“STOP TRYING TO GRAB MY GIRLFRIEND’S ASS!”
Say what? What’s happening? Wait, MY BUTT? Oh god why does this keep happening in life? My booty had been a perv magnet for years now. One of the attempted ass grabbers was on TV too! Not that I should be excited about that, but brains were wired differently back then, so these details show up in diaries with exclamation points. The two comics whose hands had been nearing my ass backed away as Sam snapped at them. If there’s one thing I can say about Sam is that he was very protective of me. And protection isn’t something you get every day in L.A.
I was relieved he took me out of the situation, but it was too uncomfortable to stay after being the official scene of the party. The altercation had immediately sobered me up. I had retained most of The Star-Spangled Banner anyway, so I was fine with leaving.
We awkwardly get in the car, and drive back towards West Hollywood in silence.
Well, silence until I had to ask…
“Did you just call me your girlfriend?”