The Baby Man

I always admire comedians who subvert the system.  There is a way to have a comedy career in the comedy business that is not the usual route.  The usual route means perform in comedy clubs, get a mgr/ agent early, do some festivals, do the road, become a road headliner, and eventually maybe even get a TV show.  That is the usual route.

 

Then there are the unusual routes.  There are the people who only do comedy in their respective cities of New York or LA.  They are very known in those cities and eventually they land a writing job or a good manager / agent who takes them the “alternative comedy” route – performing in theaters, making short films, or whatever will get them some “notice.”

 

I respect all forms of comedians regardless of how they “make it.”  If they are funny and good people, I’m going to like them.  However, my heart warms just a touch more for the guy or girl who subverts the system.

 

My old friend, Joe, is a good example of this.  Back in the day, when Sirius satellite radio was a thing that no one really knew much about…back before Stern was their flagship program and long before Oprah signed on, I did a bunch of odd little radio shows with Joe at the station.  Usually Joe and I were on a panel with a few other acts.  There shows consisted of discussing topics of the day and just ribbing on one another, the way comics often do.  None of us were ever paid for this, but like comics everywhere we cared more about getting laughs.

 

There was one difference between all of us and Joe though.  Joe started to care about the money.  In the most hilarious way Joe started to get paid.

 

We all cared about what we were doing, how we were perceived, the quantity and quality of laughs we delivered, but Joe became the “baby guy.”  I’ll explain.

 

 

Joe was about to have his first baby and from what Joe said about it, it didn’t totally seem like the baby was really well thought out.  The kid-to-be was wanted, but maybe ill timed.  It happens with the breeders, you may have one night with too much tequila and the result is another human being that you are now responsible for.

 

Joe, whether conscious or unconscious used the “baby sitch” to his advantage.  Maybe it was just his anxiety over becoming a father, maybe it was outright panic, regardless Joe told everyone about the baby.  He also made it his mission to feed that baby and clothe that baby and “omg, do you know how much a baby costs?!!” and somehow he made this all funny.

 

I often remember Joe saying things like, “I need that gig, I gotta feed that baby.”  “I need more money, I’m about to have a baby.”

 

“I don’t know, will that pay me?  Because I’ve got to feed a baby.”

 

“You’re giving me soda and chips as payment for this gig?  I can’t feed a baby on my regurgitated soda and chips!”

 

“Sure, I’ll do your free gig, but do you know anyone with paying gigs because I’ve got to clothe this baby.”

 

“Yes, I would love to do your benefit for cancer, but let’s all remember that my baby will need to go to college one day.”

 

I’m paraphrasing and I’d say Joe made it way funnier than what I’m saying above.  Forget his exact words though, what Joe was was persistent and consistent.  Not a moment went by that Joe didn’t say he needed money for the baby.  And he did it in a way that wasn’t annoying.  By the end of it, you wanted to help him.  You wanted to give him money or at least a job for his feckin’ baby.  Hell, I found myself giving him my gigs for the good of his baby.

 

This was so natural and so funny that it worked, in my humble opinion.

 

Sure, Joe was funny before the baby, but something happened once Joe started pushing the “baby = needs money” angle, he started getting paid.  Big time.  Now, he even has his own show.

 

I’ve thought about his “I’m the baby man” stint a lot since.  I’ve thought that EVERYONE should push their family to the forefront in a way that says, “we’re all family people and I’ve got to take care of mine.”  I think it works.  I think people can relate.

 

On the converse end, I know people who have a baby and it’s like their world stops.  Now, I get it – everybody’s world stops, to a degree, when they have a kid – BUT, the difference is that some people act as if they are the only people who have EVER had a baby.  I know a couple and, honestly, they can’t form a thought that does not revolve around the kid.  The kid has usurped both of their identities and I get that sometimes this happens, maybe even all of the time because babies are all consuming.  However, there are some parents who are exhausting about it and others who are like, “The baby man.”

 

There’s a collective joy in the way “baby man” talked about his terror of having a child combined with his terror of providing for it.  There was a whole, “How does one person do this or two people do this?” – provide for one person?  “Baby man” had a hilarious, inclusive, panic that everyone could understand.

 

The exhausting, new, parent couple that I know have a “you don’t get it and never will” about them.  That doesn’t garner anyone’s sympathy or empathy, but “baby man” did.

 

Now, if I only I could figure out a way to convey that panic about a Wifesy and a dog.

 

Lesbos do not pay for themselves like windmills!

 

“I need that paying gig because I have to take care of a Wifesy and a frenchie.”

 

“A Wifesy can not live in an apartment complex her whole life.  She needs a home.”

 

“A Wifesy can not live off my applause and back slaps.  A Wifesy needs a copper tub with jacuzzi jets.”

 

“A frenchie can not thrive off my blog comments.  A frenchie needs a meat diet and flea treatments.  Those things cost.”

 

I don’t have the pitch tweaked just right as of yet, but I’m working on it.  Once I hit the right note, the Benjamins are gonna start rolling in.  I just know it.  Maybe I’ll become, “The Wifesy Girl.”

 

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Also, please check out Canadica today.  A most hilarious and most awesomely NEW post by the one and only, Brigitte!

 

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Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish.  If you’d like to follow this blog, simply click the follow button at the top of the page.
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Photo creds:

baby-man, cute-lez

 

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28 thoughts on “The Baby Man

  1. I have noticed that the people who stop their lives and live only for the child often end up looking far older than other people their age. They kids leave the next and mom and dad realize they don’t know each other anymore. Their identity became the partent role and they lost the spouse role. Often, they even set aside their hobbies too. The kids go off to college and the parents look 100 to 20 years older than they should.

    On the other hand, I know parents that take time for themselves and each other. They work on the marriage, they work on the family, and they keep their own interests and friends. They don’t sacrifice the kid time, but they weave it all together. These parents tend to have happier families, in general, baring a lot of the normal stuff people deal with when their children turn into teenagers. But they tend to look more youthful, even as they develope age markers. They often look younger than their age despite some graying hair and a few lines.

    Then there is one other catagory. This is the selfish parents that don’t let the fact that they have kids change their lives at all. The kids tend to end up more wild and out of control. The parents sometime even look older, from trying to keep up with the party life of the younger generation.

    Clearly, subverting your entire life and living for and though your child is not a healthy route to take. Nor is trying to ignore the fact that you are a parent. It’s all about balance and taking care of ALL the relationships in your life.

    1. so true, urban, so true. and so well said. i liked joe’s approach. the whole baby thing was a panicked joy ride to him and as a result you wanted to help him. both him and another friend of mine, a comedy dude also, they are keeping their comedy lives going while raising kids and i find that unbelievably impressive… xo, sm

  2. I was laughing at your baby jokes…ahhh balance! That lovely poetic word balance! Didn’t Shakespeare write a play about balance!!! (well he should have)…Just wait…those maniac parents only get worse!!!

    1. balance, balance is the key, it seems. glad you liked the baby jokes. it’s all true he used to run around doing the ‘baby man’ thing. so much so that when another comic came on the scene and starting talking about his baby, joe went, ‘wait a second, i’m the baby guy.’ i’m not kidding! it was sort of awesome. lool. xo, sm

  3. My favorite baby joke to do is when someone asks me where my son is, I say “Oh shit…” When you find the money-making venture, let me know how I can help.

      1. The tonsils were suppose to make their mass exodus on Friday, but it ain’t happening. I had some pretty heinous interactions with the nurse practitioner that have led to a postponement. I’m planning to write a post about it.

  4. I need a paying gig because I married a 1/4 Canadian. I know what you mean, moms and I let me know when you come up with an angle. And THANK YOU for your plug and nice words.

  5. Good post SM. I think ALL new parents think their baby is the best but by the time they have their second, everything is old hat and it’s not so new and exciting anymore. 🙂 Love the lesbo pic by the way…trés sexy.

  6. Surviving baby requires finding a middle ground between 100% self-sacrifice for the sake of this new life and the 10%, grudging sacrifice of those who give the kid the barest minimum while trying to continue their lives the way they were before having kids. The truth is you can’t send them ]the kids] back once they arrive but you can neglect them quite easily and there are far too many examples of that already. Apologies for the rant.

  7. I am lining up already, dang maybe I can get a gig as a comedian…..

    I need a paying job cause I married a younger, hot Bahamian … he doesn’t live on love alone you know (neither do I hell he needs a better paying job!)

    1. loooooooool. you’ve got something there. ‘hey, i have to keep this bahamian in colada mix or he goes nuts.’ ‘look, an island man needs a vacation from time to time, no palm trees and she starts to make them out of the house plants…’ okay, i’ll stop. loool. xoxo, sm

  8. ““A Wifesy can not live off my applause and back slaps. A Wifesy needs a copper tub with jacuzzi jets.””..hahaha..this was funny…
    Sweet Mom i dont know how you do it…but at the end of the day your posts always make me smile… 🙂

  9. It’s interesting how a man can work that angle, but it doesn’t work nearly as well for a woman. I suspect that the reason he got paid was because a man talking about his concern for the future of his child is endearing. People aren’t used to a man expressing that kind of concern. Men aren’t emotional. Men are stoic. Why do you think the “sensitive male songwriter” meme was so popular in the late sixties and the seventies? Chicks were like, “What? You guys actually have feelings? I thought that was only in movies.” Women, on the other hand, are expected to be concerned and protective about her brood. Great post as always. Now where is the petition that I need to sign begging someone to give YOU your own television show?

    1. you have a very valid point there. if there is a female equivalent that i can pull off i’m going to feckin’ find it tho. and you are right, everyone rallied around the guy. it was cray-cray. i did too, but i did have a moment where i was like, ‘hold on a minute, would this work for my vag…’ and the answer to that question is usually, ‘no.’ and i’ve got that petition riiiiggghhhhh….. phhhhh… sigh. xo, sm

  10. You have a french bulldog? Now there is a money maker right there. My daughter would probably pay you just for the privilege of walking it. Seriously. Don’t underestimate the money making potential of a french bulldog. They are cute.

    1. yep, she’s da bomb. i owe you an email ff. sorry about that, wifesy was off for a few days and we were ‘playing’. no sweat on the show. i totes understand. let’s get together for a coffee or a cocktail soon. i think that’s our next step. lol. 😉

      1. yes, al-co-hol….loool, it’s the nyquil of the stars. we will arrange. recover this week and i’ll get back to you next to see what your week is like. xo, sm

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