My last proper day in California was a doozy.
Even thinking about it gives me shivers and send smiles to my face. Coachella was obviously the main goal for this trip, but afterwards, me and two of my friends who love the LA alt comedy scene as much as I do (probably even more) planned a fantastic day of laughter.
First off, we headed towards LA. I had a pretty wicked hangover that started with beers, switched to bag of wine, and ended off with bastardization of a French 75 (think champange and gin) I was in the backseat, listening to 70s on 7, only on SiriusXM, when we decided to get some food.
“IN N OUT!” I screamed! I haven’t had a proper hamburger since January when I decided to start working out regularly. And this being my third trip down to California, I still hadn’t have any animal style.
We roll in, and I tell the gentleman behind the counter that it’s my first time.
“WE HAVE A VIRGIN!” he screamed. “YOU’RE GETTING ANIMAL STYLE EVERYTHING!” He was amped for me. This made me amped. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO PUMPED UP FOR FOOD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!
I get my burger and fries, and I am not lying when I say that they were the best fucking burger and fries I’ve ever had in my life. Each mouthful was like a meat-and-potato foodgasm that never ended. Afterwards, I told the gentleman behind the counter that he truly made my first In N Out experience a memorable one. We pounded fists and he gave me some stickers.
Back in the car, as we headed to Burbank to get into line for Conan. We drove past Forest Lawn Cemetery where Michael Jackson was buried, and I felt a chill. I recalled hearing MJ being played by both DFA1979 and Kanye, and I was delirious with nostalgia. We got to Warner Bros studios, and got our place in line. We had about an hour to kill, so we walked a short distance back to this giant hillside at Forest Lawn Cemetery, and I thought about life as we hung out.
Walking back to Warner bros, we had more time to kill, so we sat in the shade, feeling blitzed, when out of nowhere, I spotted someone who looked very familiar. If you’ve been a follower of mine for a while, you know that I have a full-blown LOST obsession. As I was sitting, I thought I spotted Eric Lange aka Radzinsky from the Dharma Initiative.
“Excuse me, sir? Are you Radzinsky from LOST?”
“Yes, I am.” he walked over and shook my hand.
“I’m a huge fan, and I loved your character so much. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
I am an adult. I don’t need photographs or autographs or any of that shit, especially if I know the person is not into it, or super busy. He walked off, and I looked at my friends, and my friend said, “Lemme wipe that jizz off your face, Brodeep.” I later found out that Eric Lange was going to see Conan, so I managed to find some time to get a photo in. So awesome.
I was losing it. I had just met a cast member from my favorite show ever, and I was about to see 4 of the funniest people at Conan. Everyone knows Conan and Andy Richter, and the guest Tina Fey, but I was even more excited for Conan’s warm-up act, Jimmy Pardo aka Andy Richter’s sidekick.
Jimmy Pardo’s Never Not Funny was one of the first comedy podcasts I started listening to religiously a couple of years ago, and being in the same room as him had me going insane. I had to get his attention considering it would be before the show started filming, so the likelihood of getting Pardo’s attention would be way better than Coco’s.
Pardo comes out, and my friends and I go INSANE. He starts talking about the rules of the show (no shouting, don’t be an asshole, etc.) and at one point, I yell out one of Pardo’s catchphrases, “YOU FASCINATE ME!”
Pardo looks up towards me, and I yell, “I LOVE YOUR PODCAST!”
Pardo smiles, and asks me my name and where I’m from, and tells the audience about the podcast in question, and he goes on about it, and thanks me for being a fan. Then he asks me if I’m there with anyone, and I said “No girlfriend or whatever”,
and Pardo says, “Well, Brodie, why don’t you come on over this weekend? My wife is away, and we can go hot tubbing.”
I. AM. DYING.
I look over at my friends, and I ask, “Did that just fucking happen?” I was beaming. Then security comes up to me, and says, “Please, no more shouting.” and I say, “I just love Jimmy so much, but I’ll be good, I promise.”
The Conan theme music starts, and Big Red comes out, and it is fucking amazing. I’ve been watching Conan religiously since ‘94. This is a man who wrote and produced for The Simpsons and SNL. He is a comedy icon, and if you watch the episode from 4/19, right as the first applause dies down, you can easily hear me scream
That night, I got hella tweets from my friends saying that they heard me.
After Conan, we pile back into the car, ready for our next adventure. We travel down the road to Franklin, and I hop out in front of my Mecca, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Los Angeles. It was Tuesday, so that meant Comedy Death Ray, the best comedy night in the whole world. Usually, they have a list of guests appearing, and my friend read CDR’s last tumblr post, and it said that Dave Foley (legendary Canadian comedy icon from The Kids in The Hall, Newsradio) and Matt Besser were going to be there. Well, we wanted tickets for sure, and I went into the theatre, and was told it was sold out, but we could put our name on the wait list. That’s better than nothing, so we get ourselves on the list, and wait for the lineup.
There’s about 15 people in the standby line, however, people are coming by and saying they have extra tickets, and we made a decision that if there’s one ticket available, Cat would take it since she came all the way from England for Coachella/CDR, plus she’s a way bigger fan than me, so it would be hers. Lo and behold, a fellow comes by and says he’s got one ticket. Cat’s boyfriend and I tell her to take it, and she goes in. I’m beyond happy at this point. As long as Cat got to see CDR, that’s all that mattered to me. I could miss it and be fine without, but lucky for us, we managed to get seats. We walk into the lobby, and they tell us that there’s only seats on the stage available. We look at each other, and cannot believe our luck. We would pay extra for seats on the hallowed UCB stage. My friend and I walk down the narrow hallway, and I am freaking the fuck out. We are gonna see CDR and we all made it inside.
We enter the theatre, and I see Cat sitting on stage, and she sees us and we all freak out. I’m sitting behind them, thinking we’re gonna see Dave Foley and Matt Besser. Little did we know that that was the lineup for CDR about three months ago. We had no clue what we were going to expect.
The host of CDR that week was comedy troupe The Whitest Kids u Know. I watched their first season on IFC, and even though I wasn’t too keen on it, watching them live totally changed my view on them. They introduced the first comedian, the lovely Nikki Glaser, who absolutely killed it. After Glaser, another brilliant comedian came out by the name of Amy Schumer. She also killed hard.
WKUK came back out and did a couple of sketches, and then, this was when the madness began. Back in 2007, Nick Swardson released a brilliant stand-up album entitled Party. I must’ve listened to it about 100 times. It instantly made me a fan of him, so when WKUK introduced Nick to the stage, me and my friends fucking LOST IT.
Nick Swardson comes out, and tries out some new jokes. My personal favorite was “Anne of Groin Gobbles.” After Nick, I’m looking at my friends, thinking, we just saw fucking Nick Swardson for $5.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage….SARAH SILVERMAN!”
Pandemonium. Utter and complete insanity. I’m holding onto my friends like I’m about to get into a car crash as Silverman takes the stage and naturally, destroys. She leaves the stage, and we all look at each other like “DID THAT JUST FUCKING HAPPEN?” But what I didn’t know was that I should’ve waiting to say that.
Next to the stage comes the brilliantly funny Chelsea Peretti, who had a powerpoint set, that was fucking incredible. I couldn’t believe that I was watching comics that I follow on twitter, 4 feet away from me, for only $5. But it wasn’t over yet.
“Please welcome our next act….CHRIS HARDWICK.”
Holy fucking shit. HOLY FUCKING SHIT. THE MOTHERFUCKING NERDIST! Chris Hardwick is a personal favorite of mine, but even moreso, Cat’s podcasting hero. Hardwick is to her as Jimmy Pardo is to me. We cannot believe what is happening right now. Hardwick takes the stage, and I knew I had to get his attention for Cat’s sake.
“You’re really awesome, Chris, we love you a lot!” That’s exactly what male comedians who aren’t gay want to hear from a large brown dude.
“Why thank you. Where are you guys from?” Hardwick replies. Holy fuck, Chris Hardwick is talking to us.
“Canada! We came down for CDR.” I reply.
“You came all the way down for this?!” Hardwick says.
“Well, we also came down for Coachella, but CDR was definitely on our list of things to do.” Holy fuck, I’m talking to Chris Hardwick.
Hardwick laughs, and asks what we do for a living. I tell him that I work for an oil company, and a girl on the other side of the audience boos me. I GET IT, I think to myself, I would hate people who worked for big oil too. But Hardwick totally stands up for me, and semi-cuts into the booing girl when no one else joins in on her. I hope she reads this because, lady, you are fucking bitch, and I hope that they find an oil reserve under your parent’s home, so you’re left with a conflict of whether or not you should accept big oil money, you pretentious holier-than-thou screwfaced rag.
Hardwick asks Cat what she does for a living, and tells her about her training to built and restore violins.
“That is fucking cool. I have nothing to say to that except that is really cool.” I can tell Cat’s panties have melted away at this point. Hardwick does his set, and shakes hands with us afterwards, and we all look at each other, not believing how much fucking luck we’ve had today.
WKUK come back on stage, and one of them shouts, “Is he here?” and then we hear the voice aka Scott Aukerman say “Yep, go ahead.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, your final comic of the night…AZIZ ANSARI.”
I grab my two friends by the shoulders, and start freaking the fuck out. I’ve been following Ansari since the first season of Human Giant, and honestly, it’s safe to say that he’s my favorite comedian of the last few years. There’s another brown guy on the stage sitting next to me, and he’s freaking out too. I cannot believe this is happening. Less than a week earlier, I was watching Letterman, and Ansari was the guest, and now, here I am, 4 feet away from him, and he spots the smaller brown guy freaking out.
“Look at that brown guy, he’s excited!”
My two friends point to me, and say “What about him!”
“HOLY SHIT! THAT BROWN GUY’S SUPER EXCITED AND HE HAS A BEARD!”
Aziz just talked about my beard. I am going insane. This is easily been the best day of my life, and easily, the most inspirational comedy show I’ve ever seen.
I’m pretty sure Ansari was testing out jokes for his new standup special he’s recording in DC soon, and I’m in awe of our luck. I tell Aziz that I loved that LCD photo and he grins, saying “Yeah, that was pretty cool.” Uh, bro, that is the fucking best concert photo I’ve seen in years.
Aziz does his time, and that’s the end of CDR. All three of us walk out of the theatre absolutely stunned. I’m on the verge of tears because I cannot believe this day actually happened. You think this is the end, but it’s so not.
I get a text that says for us to head to Dim Mak studios for a party. After an hour lineup, and meeting with some hometown friends, we get inside to realize that it’s the Mortal Kombat party, and JFK from MSTRKFT and DFA1979 is on the decks, and I spot 12th Planet, and Nero next to him, ready to go on. Holy fucking shit. We just had the most amazing day of comedy, and now we’re being treated to free pour drinks, and some sick DJs.
We dance until 2 am, spot Chris Farley’s star on the walk of fame, and pose for a photo. I head back to my friend’s hotel room for a party. 4 am rolls around, and I remember Vice writing once that “nothing good happens after 4am.” I was determined to disprove the theory.
“Let’s climb up to the Hollywood sign.” I said, with absolutely no sarcasm in my voice.
“Are you serious?” There were 4 other bros of mine in the room.
“I found out how to get there from google maps and my cabbie. It’s 10 dollar cab ride, then a 40 minute hike up a levelled horse trail.”
“Let’s fucking do it.” they said. They poured all the vodka and mix into a juice container, and we made our way in the darkness up a fucking mountain.
Yeah, that’s right, after Coachella, I hiked up a fucking mountain.
We are climbing and laughing and staring at the lights of the LA basin, wondering where the fuck this sign is. It’s not lit up at night, so we have no fucking clue since it’s about 20 minutes until the sun starts peeking out. So we sit on a high ledge, looking over LA, and praise Jah for giving us the energy, courage, and stamina to make it up here. We pretty much gave up trying to find the sign. It wasn’t because we were tired; we just thought we had done the best that we could.
The sun rises, and we all turn around to head back and what do we see?
We fucking made it. We fucking did it. We made it and we didn’t even see it until the sun rose, and there it was. Our goal. We were jumping and screaming and laughing and blown away. This was easily the best day of my life. I hugged one of my best friends, and told him that we are never going to forget this.
We walked down the mountain, pumped as all hell, and I looked at the time. 6:30 am. Rush hour was in effect, and I had to get to my plane at 11 am at LAX. We cabbed it to our hotel, and I got about 30 mins of sleep but I knew it was going to be impossible to rest. I couldn’t believe how I ended the most perfect day ever. It capped off the best week of my life, and that’s funny considering last Coachella, I said that THAT was the best week of my life.
Next year is going to be mental.
Thanks for reading all of this. This is easily the most I’ve written in a long time.