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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRoss View Post
    Though I'm not sure I wouldn't buy a CD of Hitler if he could hack it.
    Your posts have a way of making me chuckle from time to time, John.

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  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by markerhodes View Post
    Those are hecklers. That's a different deal. When the comic is bombing, the audience is helpless and they hate that feeling. (It was guys with many years in the comedy business who pointed this out to me. "The one thing beginners don't know in their bones is that the audience WANTS to like them. And when performers are *obviously* nervous, it makes the audience nervous too.") When the performer---maybe it's a speaker whose teleprompter died and has no back-up notes---or, as I once witnessed, a visiting priest who began his homily with a over-long story about Mother Theresa that had been printed in the church bulletin the previous week, so everyone knew it, and it was *hell* waiting for that guy to get to the end of that bit, which was met with a deafening silence--or poor Tom Wolfe in the infamous "Tonight Show" appearance when he was talking to Johnny but all anyone *else* could think about was how this long, thin, chunk of hair was dangling over the middle of his forehead and all you could think was, "that poor bastard" followed by, "Change the channel, I can't look at that bastard anymore!" These things were painful for the audience to endure.
    An off-key singer is an example we all get. "Just stop, please!"

    Some great talents have had a hard time finding the right audience for them. Some greater talents---Miles is one---can take an audience to a new place and make them enjoy the ride.
    I'm aware that they're hecklers; but there are also people who just don't dig a show and will abuse performers in other ways under the guise of "Well, I paid for my ticket and I'm not happy": silence, muttering under their breath, yammering during the performance, which, with comedy, is so completely obvious and unacceptable and not much better with music but people will try to justify the behavior with the notion that the music is "background." I could offer a billion examples from my own experience, but that would take way too long. I'll offer this: the best audiences I ever experienced have been Naval guys during Fleet Week in NYC. Man, when you've been trapped on a destroyer or sub for six months with a bunch of other guys, you'll laugh at anything and someone down in the subway playing "Lush Life" on a kazoo will probably appeal to you. And, the best club I ever played had a bouncer who's entire involvement with humor was that once, while at Sing Sing, he taped a sign to the warden's back which said "kick me," then ran away giggling to hide in the prison laundry. I don't think he even liked comics, he just couldn't stand anyone being tougher than him so when an audience member got out of line they'd be right out on the street. He'd even laugh occasionally if he saw someone bombing.

    As far as Tom Wolfe is concerned, I get it your point but that isn't because he wasn't entertaining. Your priest analogy is also interesting; I have some friends who are lay people in the Catholic Church and they complain about "homily boredom" constantly. I told one guy he ought to get up and try it. Most theologians, while they do have to speak, aren't necessarily good at it. Comics and musicians are at least supposed to be.
    Barney Kessel was asked, “What’s the hardest thing about studio work?” He replied, “Finding a parking place.”
    "I don't know what other people are doing - I just know about me."- Thelonious Monk

  4. #53

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    just the thought of a burly bouncer giggling and running to hide anywhere is in itself funny.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by patskywriter View Post
    just the thought of a burly bouncer giggling and running to hide anywhere is in itself funny.
    He was such a humorless chap. He made Thelonious Monk seem talkative by comparison.
    Barney Kessel was asked, “What’s the hardest thing about studio work?” He replied, “Finding a parking place.”
    "I don't know what other people are doing - I just know about me."- Thelonious Monk

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Your posts have a way of making me chuckle from time to time, John.
    Thanks, Also, that is my intention. On past experience, though, I expect that means I'm irritating the heck out of someone else.

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRoss View Post
    No, not there, I saw him in Newcastle. Very likely it was the same tour, though. Good, wasn't he?
    Yeah, once again thanks John for reminding me ( I have loose head ).
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by paynow View Post
    Your priest analogy is also interesting; I have some friends who are lay people in the Catholic Church and they complain about "homily boredom" constantly. I told one guy he ought to get up and try it. Most theologians, while they do have to speak, aren't necessarily good at it. Comics and musicians are at least supposed to be.
    Glad you mentioned this! I was raised, well, anti-Catholic. My mother couldn't sleep when I became Catholic. In seminary, I initially gravitated to other "converts." (We always sat in the back at daily Mass.) We all had the same reaction to homilies: Can no one here preach?

    Catholic priests are notoriously bad homilists. (There are exceptions, but studies show that 90 % of American Catholics rate the homilies of their priest(s) as "poor" or worse.) Some of us former Southern Baptists used to say, "These people couldn't even get an audition in a Baptist church." And they couldn't. I spent a year in a parish and preached 75 times and people thought I was great. I'm not great, though I was well above average because I worked hard, paid attention, and sought good advice from people who knew about public speaking.)

    I agree with you that it's easy to criticize from a seat in the audience, and that speaking in public is not as easy as some people think, but having seen how priests are trained to preach, and how poorly most of them do it, I sympathize with parishioners who are bored during the homilies. They're probably right about the homily being dull. (Many priests don't even write homilies anymore--some take a perverse pride in being "too busy" to prepare a homily--and download something from the Internet. Some take bits of two or three homilies---by someone else--and mash them together into a dreadful pudding. Most of them choose trite homilies to crib from. Ah, don't get me started on this topic!!! ;o)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by markerhodes View Post
    Glad you mentioned this! I was raised, well, anti-Catholic. My mother couldn't sleep when I became Catholic. In seminary, I initially gravitated to other "converts." (We always sat in the back at daily Mass.) We all had the same reaction to homilies: Can no one here preach?

    Catholic priests are notoriously bad homilists. (There are exceptions, but studies show that 90 % of American Catholics rate the homilies of their priest(s) as "poor" or worse.) Some of us former Southern Baptists used to say, "These people couldn't even get an audition in a Baptist church." And they couldn't. I spent a year in a parish and preached 75 times and people thought I was great. I'm not great, though I was well above average because I worked hard, paid attention, and sought good advice from people who knew about public speaking.)

    I agree with you that it's easy to criticize from a seat in the audience, and that speaking in public is not as easy as some people think, but having seen how priests are trained to preach, and how poorly most of them do it, I sympathize with parishioners who are bored during the homilies. They're probably right about the homily being dull. (Many priests don't even write homilies anymore--some take a perverse pride in being "too busy" to prepare a homily--and download something from the Internet. Some take bits of two or three homilies---by someone else--and mash them together into a dreadful pudding. Most of them choose trite homilies to crib from. Ah, don't get me started on this topic!!! ;o)
    "Dreadful Pudding." HAH! That's great.

    I once visited a friend's Baptist Church to get an idea of the music. So much more interesting than other churches. They get everyone fired up!

    I'm not a religious person but have been to the church in question and yes, the homily was boring. The guy was very eloquent, but boring. And it was too long. But some of these folks go on about it like it's some old Vaudeville bit, and they ought to get a cane and pull the guy off stage.
    Barney Kessel was asked, “What’s the hardest thing about studio work?” He replied, “Finding a parking place.”
    "I don't know what other people are doing - I just know about me."- Thelonious Monk

  10. #59

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    what churches need are people in the audience who aren't afraid to speak their minds. a friend of mine was caring for his mom, who had a quickly advancing case of alzheimer's. one lucky day he and his wife were finally able to get the mom dressed in time for church. the mom was a longtime member of the church and everybody was happy to see her—she hadn't been to church for a while.

    the family proudly sat near the front. well, it was a baptist church, where sometimes the pastors tend to get a bit longwinded. finally, the mom called out, "come on down from there and sit down—you've been up there long enough!" the congregation (and the preacher) laughed, and later people did admit that the mom was right.

    i get that feeling sometimes with some horn players …

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by patskywriter View Post
    a friend of mine was caring for his mom, who had a quickly advancing case of alzheimer's. one lucky day he and his wife were finally able to get the mom dressed in time for church. the mom was a longtime member of the church and everybody was happy to see her—she hadn't been to church for a while.

    the family proudly sat near the front. well, it was a baptist church, where sometimes the pastors tend to get a bit longwinded. finally, the mom called out, "come on down from there and sit down—you've been up there long enough!"

    Now that is a classic! ha! ha!