Weekend Update

— FIRST — This isn’t part of the weekend, but before I bore you with rambling about that, let me point out that I will be in an improv show TONIGHT, Tuesday, at Sam & Greg’s pizzeria in downtown Huntsville at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are only $5. I’ll also definitely be in the show next Tuesday. We’re doing shows this weekend on Friday and Saturday, but I don’t know if I’ll be working or not.

— I went to a stand-up comedy show Friday night, at the invitation of my friends Mathis and Jill, who, in turn, were there at the invitation of some friends of theirs whom I’d met before, who, in turn, were there because their son was performing.

Amazingly, and I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think I’ve been to a live stand-up comedy show before. It seems like I almost certainly have to be wrong, but I’ve been wracking my brain for days, and can’t come up with one. So, apparently, another first for me.

There were three comedians that night. The first was newer to it, and was not bad at all. He had some funny material, he was just a little less polished. The second was the son of the people we went with. Good stuff. His jokes were hilarious, and I was in awe of his delivery. I watched him focused as much on the technical parts of what he was doing as on the actual material; it was just really neat watching him work. It was also funny sitting at the table with his parents for the act. The venue had asked the entertainers to keep the show clean, so he wasn’t going to be doing anything terribly inappropriate anyway, but there was one time that he started a joke, got a little ways into it, realized his parents were there, and said he couldn’t finish it. Mathis and I couldn’t even get him to tell it to us afterwards.

The final act was the headliner, LA Hardy. Who, as it turns out, felt no obligation to keep with the venue’s request to keep it clean. And, you know, my personal tastes run more toward clean comedy. That said, I respect that other people have different tastes, and I will respect that as a matter of choice. However — I don’t respect cheap humor. If you’re doing a clean show, all you have to make people laugh is being funny and clever. You’ve got to be smart about it. When you go blue, you can resort to second-grade humor, making people laugh just because you said something naughty. And that’s cheap. It requires nothing. Anybody can do it if they’re willing to. There’s no skill involved. If you’re going to go blue, my standards for skill are just as high as if you stay clean. And Hardy fell short.

Yeah, I know I sound like a goody-two-shoes here, but, really, it’s arrogance. I can make people laugh because I come up with good material, because I’m clever, I’m quick, and my timing and delivery are good, and not because I resort to childish “hehe, he said a bad word” laughs. Can you? If you can’t, stay off the stage, and put someone up there who can. I have no desire to pull your finger, thanks.

That said, I think that’s something I might like to do. It’s now tentatively on The List — do a stand-up comedy show. I’d be content just doing it once, to see what it would be like. But I’d have to, you know, come up with some material first. Hmmm …

— I took pictures of my brother Jonathan Hitt for his City Council campaign Saturday morning. It was a good exercise trying to take a particular type of photo — a political portrait — that I’d not really done before, and I enjoyed it. Working with the light conditions was tough, and so I’m a little disappointed with some of the shading, but, other than that, I was pleased with some of what we came out with.

I’m excited about Jonathan’s campaign, and wish him the best of luck. That said, I’m a little jealous that he’s going to be the respectable one again. Oh well.

— I watched the Hubble 3D IMAX movie Sunday. Good stuff. I watched Space Station 3D when it came out in, what, 2003, and was amazed by how good the 3D was in that movie. And even with the current developments in recent films like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, I still think original IMAX 3D blows them away in quality. It was particularly impressive considering that a pretty fair chunk of the Hubble movie was originally shot in 2D and converted for this movie.

Technical accomplishments, and the resulting prettiness aside, it was a good movie. Forty-five minutes isn’t a lot of time to relate the history and importance of Hubble, but the movie does a pretty decent job of give a brief version of both.

Going into the theater was a neat reminder of how blessed the last year of my life has been — they were showing two IMAX movies, one about the Hubble mission, which I watched the launch of in May, and one about the Grand Canyon, which I visited in January. This is totally not where I thought I’d be in life, but, you know, it’s not without merit.

— Speaking of totally not where I thought I’d be in life, Saturday night I went with someone to the Peach State Country Western Dance Festival in Atlanta. Which is probably about as unlikely a thing for me to do as you could come up with. But, you know, I had a lot of fun. There was a variety show that night that was probably funnier than the comedy show the night before, and I was just struck by how cool it was to be there — Left to my own devices, I would NEVER have done that, and would have completely missed out. The entire evening (and night, and early morning) were just completely outside of my normal box, and it was a really neat experience.