You may have heard that some comedy clubs have begun reopening after three months since the COVID-19 pandemic forced most of America into self-quarantine.
I haven’t seen any of the shows yet (since I’m based in New York City), but this is the first official footage I’ve seen of stand-up comedy, circa June 2020, in a traditional comedy club. Courtesy of Mark Normand, who headlined last weekend at the Addison Improv in Texas.
He only shared less than 10 minutes, most of it awkwardly trying new jokes and topical jokes about the pandemic and the very recent protests following the death of George Floyd at the knee of the Minneapolis police. It’s no Dave Chappelle. Normand is trying jokes. And mocking himself throughout for it. He titled his video, “Rusty comic does jokes about 2020.”
As he told the camera crew backstage after his set: “Whoo baby doll! That was a, it comes right back, I mean 85 plus days out whatever it’s been. I was nervous and it’s like, I hate to use the old cliche, it’s like riding a bike. You just get up there and you’re like, oh I’m pedaling again and then you know it’s like, oh shit I’m doing it, and then you get scared and you just go, hey don’t even think about it and just just sit back in the water. I would never have taken that much time off. I was forced to take time off, as we all are, and it just makes you appreciate — I (used to) do this every weekend, hey wait, it became like autopilot and then to go back up there after 80 days be like, oh my god this is so amazing what I’m doing, I wrote this and they’re laughing and it’s flowing and the lights and the crowd and beautiful thing I’m getting sappy and queefy up here but uh, it’s good to be back.”