By Billy D. Washington

The story of a man held hostage in a small town by the worst possible mistake a comedian could ever make.. If You

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Benny finished his oatmeal and a few slices of apple cured bacon; it was unusually good for a Hampton Inn, so he went back for seconds. He wanted coffee but knew that it would trigger the urge for the cigarette and this was the cycle that he was trying to avoid, especially on his first day of quitting. What Benny could not avoid is the attempt to instigate conversation with beautiful women, so as the interviewee sat in the hotel lobby chair preparing her employment pitch he said “good luck”. “Thanks” she said in a manner that hinted of frustration but genuine nevertheless. Benny wished he had washed his face and smelled a little more like cologne, he knew that she was well out of his wheel house but still engaged her further. “Are you applying for a sales position?” “How did you know?” she replied. “Well you’re too smart for the front desk and too cute to drive the shuttle van”, “Ha” she said walking over to the coffee. The girl, not the coffee motivated Benny to start the cycle again, he stood next to her pumping decaf as she loaded her coffee with cream and sugar, he could smell that she was a smoker and saw a washed out club stamp on her hand . “Where are you from?” she asked him and he was pleasantly shocked that she would engage him but realized that it was merely small talk between 2 strangers. Benny was actually from a small town in Texas but told girls that he was from Vegas because chicks love to talk about Vegas. She told him a brief story about the last time she’d gone there and how fucked up she’d gotten, he listened and laughed to himself at how consistently effective this tactic was. Just as it was Benny’s turn to talk, a small woman walked up behind them and said, “Madeline Conner?”, and just like that she was off to the interview. “Nice talking to you”, “You too, and good luck again…Madeline”. He pointed to himself and said, “Benny”. She smiled briefly and was off to the next phase of her life as Benny blew breath in his hand just to make sure she hadn’t smelled anything foul. SportsCenter was on the lobby flat screen and the ‘Not top 10’ segment was just beginning, this was a segment about failure, and although frustrated artists thrive on the misfortune of others Benny was in it for the sheer entertainment value. He checked his text messages around the number 5 entry into the countdown and noticed that the club owner had messaged him. The radio interview for the day had been cancelled. Although he was happy to have another few hours to lay around, he wondered if the cancellation was due to his lack of popularity, age or something else more depressing. Laughters was the only comedy club in town and was once one of the top clubs in the country, but the recession had taken its toll on the club and they were down to 3 nights of the 5 that they filled consistently years before. On Wednesdays there was now karaoke and on Sunday a Baptist church held their services there. Scrappy Roth was the club owner and Benny had seen him through good and bad times. Scrappy had done well financially with the club in the 90’s but was struggling to keep the doors open. He was well into his 50’s and married to the hottest Mexican socialite in El Paso,  however he still enjoyed sharing exaggerated tales with comics of how much pussy he’d gotten in the years before. Benny listened to these stories because he’d known Scrappy for years but routinely made up reasons for not staying after the shows because although Scrappy was a good story teller, a local bar usually called his name. Benny was grossed out at how much Carl’s wife was eating, she still had on her pajamas. It was past 10am and they still had waffle batter leaking from the hotel’s iron. They had eaten the last slices of bacon and had filled cups they brought down from their room with orange juice and milk. Just as he was about to say something snippy to them, Madeline walked from behind the front desk in a huff. “Fuck these people”. She reached in her purse for a cigarette and had it lit by the time she stood just outside of the door. Benny’s cigarette was now a conduit to more conversation. He checked his breath again and walked outside. “Got a light?” “Sure…” Madeline rifled through her purse for a small blue lighter similar to the one he had in his pocket and handed it to him. “Everything ok?” he asked cautiously. “I just don’t get it. I have a degree, I’m smart, I’m cute and I’m white…why can’t I find a job in this town?” Before Benny could answer she asked, “You wanna go grab a drink? I know a bar that opens at 11”. Just then Carl’s wife walked outside to smoke and the waffle syrup glistened as the morning sun met her lips. “Sure!” Benny replied. “Let me just go upstairs and grab my wallet”. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll pay, and I’m sure they won’t ask YOU for ID”. She laughed as Carl’s fat wife looked on sucking cigarette smoke up into her nose. Benny briefly felt like he’d bitten off more than he could chew, but still he thumped his cigarette across the parking lot and followed Madeline to her car. Carl’s wife looked on in disgust. He looked at her and smirked to himself, “Enjoy the gravy muffins, Lard Ass”.

Billy D. Washington is a former Harris County Deputy Constable in Harris County, Texas (Houston) turned international touring headliner. He’s been seen on “Last Comic Standing” and “The Late Show With Craig Ferguson” and the movie “Arlington Road”. He is also an accomplished musician and playwright.

Comedy And Take It Comedy Take Over Recap


“Houston comics are some of the best comics in the country.

I’m glad we had the opportunity to show it. For the first year it was amazing, it was a great time everyone had a blast!

I’m happy for the audience turn out. Everyone and everything was amazing.”

–Andrew Youngblood


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Sam Demaris

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House MC Part 1

By Billy D. Washington

The story of a man held hostage in a small town by the worst possible mistake a comedian could ever make..

Part 1

Benny woke up that morning with the smell of the one last cigarette on his breath. He’d vowed to stop on numerous occasions but this time he was sure this was it, not only because of his heart palpitations but because he was in a non-smoking room and was too lazy to take the extra 2 minute walk past the lobby in order to give in to the urge. As he lay still he recounted the night before.

He regretted the money he spent on booze and not having seen the cripple lady on the 4th row before he launched into his bit about fucking a handicapped chick. The joke murdered on stage at Laughers but he remembered the nasty look from the man who casually wheeled her out of the door and the cripple who shot him the finger.

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Big Ed: Still Standing

By Barry Laminak
Edited by Al Bahmani

Better Days

Better Days

Every now and then we all need a little help. Sometimes we might be lucky enough to see the issue coming, other times it hits us all at once and the next thing you know, you’re stuck with $150,000 in medical bills.

Earlier this year Ed Blake, a Houston based stand-up comic and a friend to many had suffered a broken foot in a car accident. And that was just the beginning of the bad news.

It was a Saturday Night in Oklahoma City and while telling jokes Ed almost passed out on stage.  He was able make it to the end of the first show before things got even more serious.  Thankfully the club owner had the club staff at the Loony Bin drove Ed to the emergency room.

While in the hospital, doctors told Ed that he had an infection in his foot and that infection had spread throughout his body.

During the battery of tests doctors discovered that one of Ed’s main arteries was 90% blocked. Within days he was operated on and a stent was inserted. The stent relieved the blockage and saved his life.

Then the bad news kept on coming.

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Andy Huggins: “Inspired By True Events” Recording

By Al Bahmani

Huggins Flyer

From “The Buttoned Down Mind of Bob Newhart” to Mitch Hedberg’s “Strategic Grill Locations” to Louis CK’s “Live in Houston” to Doug Stanhope’s “Something to Take The Edge Off” and “Die Laughing”, many great comics chose Houston, Texas to recorded albums. On December 27th 2014 at Rudyard’s Pub Andy Huggins joins their ranks.

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Comedy Pro-tip: How to Know if You’re ACTUALLY a Local Draw

Many comedians pitch my clubs that they are local draws. If you are, you absolutely should not be pitching a club on being part of someone else’s show. You should be happy to take your own door, as you’d make WAY more money that way and continue to build your fan base.

Here’s the way my clubs handle local draws. The comic picks a Sunday where we don’t already have a show. They get 80% of the door. We will cover all taxes and credit card fees out of our 20%. If there are at least 50 people in attendance, comped or sold, we waive the $500 room rental fee. You can pitch that deal to almost any comedy club on an off-night and get a yes.

If you can’t draw, this is not a good deal for you. If you CAN draw, you walk away with over $2500 in one show. At bigger clubs, you could walk with $4K – in one show!

Because I can draw, I often book my own shows in rock venues, bars, etc – where I can keep up to 100% of the door. But I do not do this unless I’m sure I can sell out, or come close to it. If you over promise and under deliver, you’ll never have a show at that venue again.

If you are scared AT ALL as to whether or not you’d draw 50 people, you are NOT a draw. If you don’t want to assume some risk in exchange for 5-10 times the reward, you are NOT a draw.

Please be honest with yourself and with the club you’re pitching about whether or not you can draw. And if you can draw, always take a door deal – if they’re your customers, you should be the one getting the lion’s share of the ticket money.

When someone pitches us on how great their draw is but then don’t want a door deal, we immediately know that they’re not confident in that draw. So why should we be?


Steve Hofstetter
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This was posted with the permission of Steve Hofstetter.