The ‘A’ word

I am opening for comedy legend, icon, GIANT Robert Klein this week at the Improv in DC. A huge fan of the process of writing, I love to see the greats at work. He’s working on material for his 9th HBO special. Man… can you imagine… A couple years ago, when he was working out for his last special, I went to the club and saw the show 2, maybe 3 times–I can’t remember… So when Allyson, the manager at the Improv asked me if I was available to do the show this time, I was super excited and of course jumped at it!!! I’ve pretty much been counting the days until the show. The first one was last nite.

As a few of us comics were chatting in the back of the room after the show, this woman comes up to me and starts gushing about how much she enjoyed the show–which would make any comic blush. And then she follows it up with “And you… You are so articulate.”

(Insert Screeching tires)

As my boy Dawan would say, I gave her the ‘big eyes’… but then I reeled myself in because really she was trying to be complimentary and I knew that and I could tell she’d just really enjoyed the show, plus she was an older woman. But it got me to thinking what is it about that word that pisses me off so much? Would I have even been bothered by it if I’d never heard Chris Rock’s bit about Colin Powell being so “well-spoken?” Would I have just smiled and taken it as a compliment?

What is it about someone calling me articulate that makes me want to respond with “NO, I AIN’T!” Or something worse…

Back in September, I opened for Mark (Mr. Cooper) Curry at the very same club. And after the show, this young-ish, really drunk white woman came up to me and said, “I really enjoyed you, but you were so white. It’s like you’re a white girl trapped inside a black girl’s body. Then she said the “A” word.

And it took everything I had for me and my diction not to go upside her head. Continue reading →

Comics make the best hecklers

I posted this video like a couple years ago on my site, and I just came across it again on youtube and had to re-post for those of you who missed it the first time or would like to see it again. Jamie Foxx made me want to cry for this dude. Poor Mo’Nique was trying not to clown… and Guy Torry… As I said before, don’t let the Oscar fool you… Jamie is and will always be a comic. Excuse me while I try to get my breath back. ENJOY ;)

The Jacksons: An American Dream


It’s on VH-1 right now. I guess that’s the closest thing to the I Have a Dream speech I’m gonna get to see this MLK Day. BET is showing a “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” Marathon and TVOne is giving NY Undercover… At least I tuned in before the scene where Papa Joe finds the towel in the pool. “WHO LEFT THE TOWEL IN THE SWIMMING POOL? That’s the best part.

I haven’t even heard the McDonald’s commercial they trot out every year about this time:

If we could light a candle
For everything he’s done
For every life he’s bettered
For every victory won
That light would shine so brightly
That all the world would see
All he did for peace and freedom
And equality

Really I’m just complaining about TV programming because I’m being lazy. I’m sure if I got up and went out into the city I could find something interesting going on… a parade (OK, maybe not a parade), but an exhibit, a service project… but I prefer to have someone else go videotape it and put it on my TV. Does that make me a bad person? Eh, so what if it does…  I’m gonna lie back down and complain anyway. Later.

We don’t carry purple either


I was in Georgetown on Friday afternoon looking for a long-sleeved black cotton t-shirt. I stopped by Urban Outfitters and couldnt find what I was looking for. Then I went to the Gap — still no luck, so as I was walking back, I walked by Abercrombie and Fitch. I’d never been in that store before, but I know it’s casual clothing, so I decided to go in. When I walked in there was a girl standing by the door and she asked if she could help me. Since I didn’t have a lot of time, I was like sure… I’m looking for a long-sleeved black cotton t-shirt. And she said, “Oh, I’m sorry. We don’t sell anything black.”

For real? At first I thought she was kidding. I was like wait, so nothing in this store is black? And she looked at me as if to say, “Well nothing but YOU.” Of course she didn’t actually say that, but if this whole encounter had been a scene in a sitcom (Scrubs, for example) there would have been a dream sequence where she totally would have said that, then I would have punched her in the face, and then it’d be back to reality.

I was in the store for a total of about 8 seconds. When I left I was upset, but I wasn’t sure if I had the right to be. I mean she didn’t say we don’t sell TO anyone black, but it bothered me so much I had to investigate further. Was it just the buyer for that store who didn’t like black so that location didn’t carry black clothing or was it a company-wide policy?

So on my way to my show on Friday nite, I called another Abercrombie store and asked to speak with a manager. And I asked him 1) if it was true they didn’t carry black and 2) what was the reason. He told me that since Abercrombie was an “outfitter”, by definition they carry casual clothes. Black was a more formal, grown-up color and they carry black in their sister store, Ruehl. (Apparently Ruehl is to Abercrombie as Banana Republic is to Gap). He told me that American Eagle, which is also an “outfitter” didn’t carry black either. So okay… I was about to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think it’s a stupid policy/reason not to carry such a basic color in their stores, but it’s their right. I was like hey, Erin, you’re turning into Martin Lawrence’s character in Boomerang… Everything’s not racial. So I said well, thanks for the explanation. And then he said “No problem, and in case it makes you feel better, we don’t carry purple either.”

Alright, pump the brakes.

Continue reading →

And I thought myspace was bad

I did everything I could to prevent this.

I stayed away from Friendster and Facebook and Linked In and every other social networking site. I only had time and space for one Internet addiction–and Myspace was it. But then my best girlfriend Keisha and my boy Antonio–both fellow Howard University alum–kidnapped and tortured me and forced me to sign up for, a social networking site just for Howard University graduates. For weeks I had been ignoring requests from all kinds of people asking me to join. And I was doing fine… But today I was bullied into visiting the site, and I haven’t been able to get off.

Everyone on the site is either someone I know or someone I would pretty much consider family (that’s how HBCU alumni are). It’s so great to see what everyone is up to. It highlights fellow alum who are doing amazing things in their careers and communities… And even with all that awesomeness I feel like someone needs to stop this. I can see right now, thousands of intelligent, ambitious beautiful young Black folks are going to lose their jobs because they’re spending all day on the Internet reminiscing about how much we still love it when the Showtime Marching Band plays that Cameo song at the football games (Heeeeeeeeeey…. you talking out the side of ya neck) or how some of us almost didn’t graduate because we didn’t pass Beginning Swimming. It really is a shame.

Damn you Bisonroundup creator. Damn you.

When life was good



Stop laughing. These jeans are one of my most prized posessions. Size 10 Levis 900 series stonewashed (to death) with original art by one of my favorite girlfriends from middle/high school Tamika Harris (where ARE you, girl?) Any one of my girls from Jersey will absolutely remember these jeans. They were my pride and joy, y’all. People sweated me (yes, I said it) so hard whenever I wore these.

You may be thinking, “With so many colors what did you wear with those jeans, EJ?” The answer? Whatever the heck I wanted to. Everything matched … or didn’t match. Just think Bernie Mac on Def Jam (y’all KNOW you know what I’m talking about). Let me break down for you what is really going on here:

On the front side: You’ve got Donald (or some other) Duck going down the left leg, and on the right leg, you have my name (I was ‘E-Jay’ back then – plain old initials were for suckas). Look closely, it’s a little difficult to read but you’ll see it in a second.

On the back side: You have a Black Minnie and Mickey Mouse playing with alphabet blocks. Why? Who cares? It was dope. It was the late 80’s (or early 90’s I guess) and I was soooooooooo fly. Continue reading →

I am hungry

I am on a ‘get sexy for Comedy Central’ diet/exercise program and I am very, very hungry. Funnyman and buddy Joe Robinson told me (clears throat) and I quote, “If you get too skinny you’ll lose ten minutes off your act.” And he is so right… I’d have to replace some of my best material. I heart Joe for even suggesting that in the next two months I could lose enough weight to render my plus size jokes useless. But I don’t want to look like a donut on TV. If cameras add ten pounds and I lose ten pounds, then on TV I’ll look like I look right now in real life… which now that I think of it, really is not encouraging at all.

Anyway I thought of writing a list about diet/fat free products that claim to taste just like the real thing… but DON’T. But that list started getting too long. So I thought instead I’d post a list of diet products that I think taste as good as the real thing, and that list was hella shorter. So far I’ve found:

  1. Diet Dr. Pepper

That’s it.

If any of you have other products I should add to my list let me know. Because spinach greens, Diet Dr. Pepper and orange Tic Tacs are getting real old. real quick.

Good for you or the WGA hates puppies


The Angel on my right shoulder says: Wow, the Writers Guild is gangsta. No Golden Globes? I never thought it’d go so long. As an aspiring writer, I know if I were in the Guild and I didn’t see a dime from work that was making other people rich, I’d be pissed too. Good for you for sticking in there. I hope that you get what you deserve. Haha! When has anybody ever said “I hope you get what you deserve” and meant it in a positive way? I think maybe that was the very first time.

I am kinda sad that I’m gonna miss seeing the red carpet and all the teary-eyed acceptance speeches. But I must say I’m impressed that the actors have refused to cross the picket lines. They’re supposed to be selfish and vain. It’s kinda refreshing.

Long live the WGA.

The devil on my left shoulder says: The WGA hates bald eagles, and apple pie, and baseball, and Doritos, and puppies — everything that makes this country great. I rushed to the movies to see all the major contenders over the last month or so. I was prepared. I saw No Country for Old Men, The Great Debaters, Juno, The Kite Runner¦ just so I could have an opinion come Golden Globe night! How dare they? How could they be so selfish and vain? I spent nearly $100 on movie tickets, theatre parking, and snacks over the past month and ALL I GET is some bootleg NBC newscast of winners’ names? This blows… No Denzel in a tux? No smart ass acceptance speech from cute little Ellen Page? (You know she’s gonna win). No text messaging my girl Angi about how fabulous Queen Latifah looks? (It’s inevitable).

I hate the WGA.