In 2005 I got a phone call to come to Shreveport and kill a dragon.Dragon slaying is a metaphor I adopted long ago – the origins of which are probably best saved for another story.Still, this was a mission.My friend Rachel ran the comedy club there at the time and thought I should come in for a particular weekend to “help her solve a problem”.She had called me more than a few times about it, actually, but that was all the information she would give me.

“So, can you do that week?” she asked me.

It didn’t make sense for her to be so determined about a specific date.I was already scheduled to be there in a few months as it was. “Why are you so insistent about this?” I asked.

She paused.“I need you to feature for Dustin Diamond,” she finally said.

Dustin is best known as the child actor that played Screech on Saved by the Bell, and by best known, I mean only known.“He’s going to be here that week and he’s horrible.I need him to sell the tickets and then I need you to make the people not sorry that they bought them.”It was sort of flattering I suppose.“He’s going to suck, and maybe if you’re funny in front of him people won’t feel so ripped off.”

Before this begins to look like I am blowing my own little air horn as a comedian, you need to understand this:Screech is the worst comedian you’ve ever seen.Ever.Take bad comedy, cube it, and then double that.The Holocaust was funnier.What compounded the problem was that, aside from being a brutally bad performer, Dustin was also known for being a notorious joke thief.In the world of stand up, originality is everything.It’s the sacred code.Take nothing, from anyone.Our jokes are our children.  That little fact automatically made him my enemy.

Still, Shreveport was my backyard.Screech may be a headache to deal with, I told myself, but my shows will be good.“I guess I’ll see you in two weeks then,” I told Rachel.

* * *

I arrived at the club for the first show of the week to find Dustin secluded in a corner.I walked over to say hello while he proceeded to ignore me and play with his cell phone.“Look, bro,” he said dismissively.I’m not your friend, I’m not going to be your friend.Sorry.My wife Jennifer handles everything.Go talk to her.”

“What do you mean, talk to your wife?I didn’t even want to talk to you.I was trying to be polite,” I said, and then walked off.We were working Wednesday through Sunday, so I had five days worth of this to look forward to.Apparently though, I was going to get to talk to his wife whether I wanted to or not.

For anyone that recalls Dustin’s character from the early 90’s, anyone that remembers seeing the nerdy little kid with the hiked up pants and the goofy grin, anyone that ever thought to themselves, “That poor boy will never grow up and marry a hot chick” – you were all correct.

Her name was Jennifer.  I feel a bit bad passing judgment, but she was hideous.She was built like the bottom half of an hour glass and her face was all mashed up, like she did a 100 yard dash in a gym that wasn’t quite 100 yards long.And her personality made her even uglier.

She wasted no time in explaining to me exactly how things were going to be, and she spoke every word with the saliva-filled lisp of a cartoon elephant.

“So what kind of material do you do?” she spit.

“Umm, I tell jokes.”I wasn’t sure what she was getting at.

“What kind of jokes?”

“The kind that make people laugh.”

“Like what?” she pressed.

“Like, I start with a set up, and then once I’ve put that out there, I generally toss in a punch line of some sort,” I said.“I have no idea what you’re asking me.”

“Well, here’s the thing,” she explained with the most elitist smirk a human being could possibly ever wear on their face.“Other comics have a tendency to watch Dustin’s act on the first night and then go up and do his jokes in front of him the rest of the week, and I hate to have those people fired.”

Guinness shot out of my nose.   Did she just – ?No.There’s no way.“Wait a second,” I said.“Are you… insinuating that I might steal one of HIS jokes?”

“It happens,” she hissed.

The hypocrisy was almost obtrusive.Her calling me joke thief on Screech’s behalf was somewhat akin to Richard Simmons calling someone a cocksucker.It was a black fly in your chardonnay or some other Alanis Morissette lyric.It was the pot and the kettle and the dish and the spoon all packaged into one nice neat little fruit rollup of irony, and it kind of pissed me off.Technically it wasn’t an accusation yet as nothing had really happened, but it was a great indicator that a storm was probably on the horizon.

The first show went as expected.I did a half-hour in front of him, and then about a third of the way through his set, people started walking out.“You are so much funnier than him!” they would say as they filed past me.

In all honesty, I hardly knew anything about comedy five years ago.I was okay, but nothing more.I wasn’t that good; he was just that bad.To put it in perspective, if you went to a nice restaurant and they brought you a ham sandwich out as an appetizer, you might not be too impressed.But, if they brought out your entrée and it was a big Bucket of Shit, then you would probably check to see if they could bring you another one of those suddenly delicious sandwiches.That’s what happened with us.

When I walked off stage the second night, Rachel met me in the Green Room.“You’re not going to believe this,” she said.She gave me a look that indicated that she knew I might overreact to whatever she was about to tell me. “Are you ready?” she asked, and then took a deep breath.

“What was wrong with that?” I asked.“I did okay, right?”

“Jennifer said you did one of Screech’s jokes and they want me to fire you.”

I laughed at what had to be a joke. “Shut up.”

“I’m serious,” she replied.“Don’t worry, you’re finishing the week obviously.I just wanted you to know.”People continued to leave in droves as we talked.

* * *

On Friday night we were scheduled for two performances.Jennifer lumbered toward me before the first show with a hateful look on her face.“So you’re still here?” she asked.I just smiled.“That’s okay.You won’t be by the end of the night,” she said, and waddled off.

For the third time that week, I finished my set and hung out in the lobby for the inevitable exodus of audience members.The people fled the disaster, this time going so far as to try to warn the crowd waiting for the second show as they left.Dustin stormed to the back room after his failed set.

I could hear the conversation growing heated in the office as the staff began seating the second crowd.I walked in intending to watch from the perimeter, and instead found myself at the center of the argument.“Fire him or we’re leaving,” Jennifer slurred as she pointed at me.She sounded like she had a wet dishtowel in her mouth.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong,” Rachel said, defending me.

“He’s doing Dustin’s jokes,” Jennifer fired back.

“Dustin’s not even doing Dustin’s jokes!” I interjected.I couldn’t keep quiet anymore.  “He’s doing Keith Alberstadt and Kinison and… do you want me to keep going?”

“Look,” Rachel said.“Nobody is getting fired.He’s not stealing any jokes, believe me.We’ll just have to work this out some other way.”

“Then we’re done here,” Jennifer said.“C’mon Dustin.”And with that, Screech stood up and followed her out the door like a puppy.She literally took his balls and went home.He left 250 fans of his sitting in the showroom ten minutes before show time, people who had chosen to spend both their night and their money to see him perform.It was a horrible thing to do, especially considering that there were no other comedians in Shreveport to cover his time.

“Oh my God,” Rachel said, stunned.“They really left.What are we going to do?”

“Start the show I guess?I’ll do as much time as I can. Don’t worry.It’ll be fine,” I said as reassuringly as I could.“And hey.Thanks for sticking up for me.”

* * *

We started the show on time.The only other act on the bill was the Master of Ceremonies, a hip-hop radio DJ named Flow, with long dreadlocks and no jokes.If it was my job to provide the comedy, it was his task to prepare the audience for the absence of their celebrity headliner.He failed miserably.

“Yo yo yo, check it out,” he said quickly from the stage.“Screech got sick as hell and had to go home, but you’re gonna love this next guy.Give it up for Slade Ham.”That was my entire intro.

The room became a roaring waterfall of conversation, everyone suddenly wondering what was going to happen.“Did we hear that right?Screech isn’t here? Wait, what?”It was incessant, even as I walked to the stage.

You learn early as a comedian that you have to capture the audience instantly.As I grabbed the microphone, my only thought was to get my first joke out immediately.Win them over quickly, no matter what.My words, however, were lost in the cacophony, just another inaudible buzz in a room full of confused voices.I desperately needed to change tactics.

I flagged down a waitress and ordered a round – a beer and a shot of James – and then I sat down on the barstool on stage and gazed out at the chaos.My drinks arrived and still I sat there, unmoving.Eventually the spectators grew curious, ending their conversations and slowly staring back at me.At least they’re paying attention now, I thought to myself.I shot my whiskey and stood up.

“So, you’re probably wondering what’s going on,” I told them.“I’m guessing you’ve figured out that Screech isn’t going to make it tonight.I’m sorry.That’s the bad news.The good news is that you’re much better off without him.You would only have been disappointed.

“I know Flow told you he got sick but that’s not entirely true, and I think you guys deserve the truth.He walked out on you.He knew you were here and he chose to run off.He’s a dick.”

“Why’d he leave?” a voice yelled out of the darkness.

“Honestly?He was doing that badly.He got embarrassed and he quit,” I replied.

A different voice arose from the back.“You’re lying!”

“Um, no.I’m not.He really did get embarrassed and that’s why he left.”

“You’re making that up!” the man repeated.

“Why would you say that?That’s exactly what happened,” I said back, and the response that came back was one of the funniest things I’d ever heard in my life.

“Because if ten years on Saved by the Bell didn’t embarrass that motherfucker, I doubt Shreveport could do it!”

It was met with uproarious laughter.“Fuck Screech!” he said. “Tell us some jokes, Funny Man!”

And on that note, the crowd and I bonded.I made it through the show unscathed, and no one left upset.It was a far longer show than I was capable of at the time, but we got through it.I haven’t crossed paths with Screech again since then, but I have occasionally run into a comic who has.“God, he’s such an asshole,” they’ll say.“Have you ever worked with him?”

“Let me tell you a story,” I always reply, “about this one time in Shreveport.”

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SLADE HAM is a stand up comedian. He has performed in 52 countries on six continents, a journey that can be followed in his book, Until All the Dragons Are Dead. One day he hopes to host a travel show and continue to trick the world into paying him to do the things he loves to do. Slade is also an Editor for The Nervous Breakdown's Arts and Culture section. He keeps a very expensive storage unit in Houston, TX.

242 responses to “The Joker and the Thief”

  1. Richard Cox says:

    The first thing I think of when I think of Dustin Diamond is the film Made. “Did you just let SCREECH in the fucking club?”

    Now, when I think of Dustin Diamond I’ll think of a joke-stealing quitter. That’s a great story, dude. Fucking Shreveport. Hahahahaha.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I’ve never actually seen “Made”. Hmmm. That’s a great line.

      I seem to leave Shreveport with a story every single time. What is it about this little four state area that seems to produce so many unusual stories for me. TX, LA, AR, and OK…

      • Richard Cox says:

        Oh, dude. You have to see it. Vince Vaughn is genius in that. And when you’re done, watch the outtakes. “What sort of pattern do you see? The per diem. The per diem. No one gets their hands on that but me.” Hahaha. It doesn’t make sense now, but it will.

        It must be tough to be on the road so much. What do you do in the different places you stay? How often do you go back to Houston?

        • Slade Ham says:

          I’m on it. I need a new movie anyway.

          The road would be a much harder thing to handle if I worked more often. As it is, I’m only out maybe two weeks a month, and even then it’s for five days at the most. I get to spend most of my time here in Houston.

          As for what I do, I’m a total adventurer. I would go crazy staying in the same city forever. As is, I feel like I’ve tricked people into paying me to go exploring. And in the places where there’s nothing exciting to do, I seek out the little mom and pop restaurants that have wi-fi and kill a day that way.

          While I’d much rather be rock climbing, worst case, I can write anywhere.

        • Tawni says:

          I’ve got to recommend Made with Richard. It’s one of my favorite movies. The outtakes are hilarious.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          It’s something of a spiritual sequel to Swingers – maybe an older cousin? And it’s fucking brilliant.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Damn. I am convinced. I may go find it tonight, since I have no plans to leave the house. That may be exactly what i need.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Did you rent it yet??

        • Slade Ham says:

          No, I haven’t. I leave for a five day trip on Sunday though, and I am determined to watch it before then. I want to discuss it before this post fades into oblivion.

  2. Joe Daly says:

    Good Lord, this rocked! I had forgotten about Screech until seeing him on Celebrity Fit Club, where he used his super-douche powers to annoy even the most grizzled and despairing of D-listers.

    Big ups to you for your recovery technique. If someone tried to pull something like that on me, I don’t know if I would have the restraint that you showed. Well done.

    Oh, and the Richard Simmons metaphor is pure genius!

    • Lorna says:

      Didn’t he quit Celebrity Fit Club too? I saw that episode. What a douche.

      • Slade Ham says:

        I never watched it. Couldn’t do it. Made me have flashbacks, hahaha. He probably did walk out though. It’s his M.O.

    • Slade Ham says:

      It took everything I had not to punch him. This was all pre-Celebrity Fit Club etc… before he tried to sell T-shirts to save his house and before his sex tape…

      I didn’t know anything about him except that he was doing my friends’ jokes. If I’d known just how awful of a person he really was, I really might have hit him. It ended better than it could have.

      • Lorna says:

        There’s a sex tape? Ewwwwwww. Who would want to see that? He must be like one of the tone deaf people that try out for American Idol. God, some people are idiots!

        • Slade Ham says:

          He leaked the tape himself, for publicity. I would feel bad for how far he’s fallen if he didn’t absolutely deserve it.

        • Lorna says:

          Okay, TMI! Stop feeding me useless information that I never need to use. My brain can’t handle this.

          Oh, and I have Redemption on my iPod. I love the Screech story and the Women are Wild Animals, and etc., etc…… One of these days maybe I’ll get to see you live with new jokes.

        • Slade Ham says:

          If all goes as planned, the new CD will be recorded this weekend. Should be an hour of stuff you haven’t heard. Redemption seems so old now.

        • Jason Black says:

          Hey dont you have to be some body before you can say you have fallen?
          Im just sayen. . .

      • Joe Daly says:

        I forgot about his sex tape “scandal.” Sounds about as sexy as a hidden camera tape of Kathy Griffin balancing her checkbook.

        I wonder if his wife is still handling his affairs. Speaking for myself, if I were forced to sell t-shirts of myself and leak a sex tape, just to make the mortgage, I would take a long, hard look at the person handling my business dealings.

  3. Anon says:

    I can’t say it’s impossible to find the best line in that piece but damned if I can pull a Sophie’s Choice here. I laughed my ass off throughout. Well done, sir.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I’m glad there were a few laughs in there. To be fair though, I’ve told this story more than once, just never in print really, outside of a blurb somewhere years ago.

      • Anon says:

        It is little risk to my anonymity to confess that I have never met nor heard you so it was news to me. Damned funny news. If he ever runs up to my car in an effort to wash my windshield for a buck (I’m assuming that’s his next professional stop), I’ll punch him in the face on your behalf.

        • Slade Ham says:

          You shouldn’t have heard of me. The story is only infamous in comic circles, and unless you heard it on XM (which no one has) you couldn’t know, hahaha.

          Amongst comics though, it’s different. I’ve had it retold to me in a green room actually, sans my names of course. It was one of those, “I heard some guy made him quit in some city” blah blah blah, complete with details that both did and didn’t happen. Good stuff.

        • Lorna says:

          Anon – Here is the stand up version. http://popup.lala.com/popup/2810527694037731961

        • Anon says:

          Thanks, Lorna (though I think I’ll wait until I get home to play it :D).

        • Slade Ham says:

          Wow. I don’t ever listen to myself, so that was weird to hear. That was literally recorded two weeks after it happened. I’ve grown up a bit in the last five years, most notably in the area of humility, hahaha.

        • Lorna says:

          What’s weird is having comedy mixed in with my music on my ipod. Honestly, I sometimes skip it and go on the next song. But what’s funny is that your AA bit always seems to follow songs about whiskey….. like Whiskey River. 🙂

        • Lorna says:

          um your bit about your DUI. whatever. 🙁

        • Slade Ham says:

          Ya know… here’s what’s funny about who I was then vs who I am now, on stage anyway. Back then, I happily told jokes that weren’t always true. That DWI story was based on a friend of mine, and we sort of wrote it together. I despise telling any stories that aren’t true now though. not for years…

          Let the record show that I have never had a drunk driving arrest 🙂

        • Lorna says:

          Sometimes I just need to keep my mouth closed. ;x

          I made myself a new lightsaber….. only the gravatar cuts it off so it can fit my big head.

      • Jason Black says:

        I have heard it more then once but its funny every time. Thank god for ipods though so I dont have to try and tell it.
        Yeah Slade I have spread the funny that is you in over 9 states at about 300′ and your a hit hey its the least I can do. Plus laughter makes the work go down. To hell with Poppins and her teeth rotting suger and who really wants to whistle while they work!

  4. James D. Irwin says:

    Fantastic story man.

    I love quality heckles.

    In my incredibly brief stand up ‘career’ I was heckled mercilessly the second time. Just my brother, shouting ‘you suck’ over and over.

    To be fair I did. It was the day after I got back from Amsterdam. In the afternoon before we left my friend and I decided to try marijuana for the first time. Our plane was delayed and I got back at 4am and woke up at 7 to do the slot at lunch time. Tired and unrehearsed. It was hardly comedy gold to begin with.

    I was only doing it to pad out the line up too. A favour for a friend.

    Screech sounds like Bania from Seinfeld, but worse.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I thought I remembered reading somewhere on here that you did comedy. You don’t anymore? I’ve been entertaining doing a piece on hecklers and crowd interaction, from the performers stand point. It’s 3/4 written actually, but I haven’t been able to talk myself into finishing it.

      Going on stage tired and fuzzy-headed is hard. I hardly even let myself drink anymore before a show. Sometimes it’s you versus them, and you need every tool in the bag to be sharp and ready. Amsterdam has killed quite a few brain cells for me as well though. You’re forgiven, only because you can hardly come back from that glorious city well rested and focused with a clear conscience.

      • Joe Daly says:

        Have you seen the Jamie Kennedy documentary about Hecklers? Absolutely brilliant…

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yes. Absolutely. Joe Rogan and Bobby Slayton are two of the best, and they’re featured in it. The crowning moment is when Kenny Moore crack that guy with his guitar. Hahahahaha. That’s a great film. Probably the only thing Jamie Kennedy has done that I’ve ever liked actually…

      • James D. Irwin says:

        I wrote at least one post on it.

        The thing is after weeks of writing and practicing the first time I got on stage I knew it wasn’t for me. I didn’t do all that badly first time funnily enough. All my jokes got at least a slight laugh.

        I wasn’t going to do it again, but two of my friends had organized this show that a load of people had dropped out of…

        There’s a good heckler on Patton Oswalt’s Werewolves and Lollipops… or at least a good reaction to a heckler…

        I won a lollipop tonight, but then I also had to pay £2.80 for a Jameson.

        • Slade Ham says:

          You know, I really think you do know the first time. For me, it was instantly addictive. I have seen some that walked off saying, “Well, I tried it. Never again.”

          The first time is always better than the second time. You can rarely recreate that first set. It’s even harder when your friends stop showing up to support you and then it’s you talking to strangers.

          Oswalt makes me laugh. He does really well in TX. He recorded that CD in Austin if I’m not mistaken

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I read from many sources as I was preparing for my first show that you tend to know as soon as you get on stage. There are, apparently, a ton of comedians who bombed first time but knew it was what they wanted to do and kept going back…

          It did surprise me though that I didn’t have the confidence/personality for it. I have occasionally been tempted to give it another crack just to see how I feel about it…

          I thought it was Athens, Georgia? I know it’s somewhere south. I might be thinking of Brian Posehn’s album…

        • Slade Ham says:

          That’s the problem with the stage, once you’ve been up, it will keep calling you. It’s a tempting little siren song. If you do go back up, let me know.

          And it appears we were both right. The bonus DVD was shot in Athens:

          According to Wikipedia

        • James D. Irwin says:

          ah, that’s right… I haven’t listened to it or watched the dvd for a while. I watched the dvd just before I went to Savannah…

          I’ve been toying recently with ideas for comic stage shows… less straight up stand up and something more like a one man show…

          Actually, my first stand up attempt was at a school talent show. I found the jokes the other day and they weren’t too bad for a 13 year old…

  5. Shit!

    People are freaks, man. Good save. Good stuff.

    Think of it as growth spurt.

    • Slade Ham says:

      It actually was really formative. I gt to stretch my legs waaay past my comfort zone. I don’t think I’ve ever been that “not ready” for a show. I still wanna fuck Screech up though, haha. He is such a fucking douche.

  6. Matt says:

    Oh, this is brilliant. Great work, Slade.

    I read a review recently of Diamond’s new tell-all Saved by the Bell autobiography. According to the reviewer, it’s basically just a categorical list of who was fucking who backstage, as well as anecdote after anecdote about how he’s used his fleeting fame as Screech to get laid. And apparently appears to have been typed out by a chimpanzee. A half-blind chimpanzee, at that.

    I still find it odd that he’s the brother Beastie Boy Mike D(iamond). How did one end up so cool, and the other an utter douche?

    I didn’t know about the joke thievery, though. Is he as bad (and as blatant) about it as Carlos Mendoza?

  7. Slade Ham says:

    Whoa. Wait. What?

    Mike D?

    Shut up. Hang on, lemme process this… I’ll be back to respond to the rest in a second. How the hell did I miss that?

    • Matt says:

      Wait, wait, I think I’m wrong on that. I just checked. Can’t find any corroborating evidence.

      • Slade Ham says:

        Okay. I can breathe again. Hahaha, you scared me.

        As for Carlos Mencia, he is a special kind of thief. I applaud Joe Rogan for every single time he ripped into Carlos. Screech takes from lesser known acts. Mencia stole from Cosby. Fucking COSBY. From the Himself special. The greatest recorded hour of stand up ever. He took from THAT.

        Aside from the flagrant thievery though, at least Carlos is a nice guy.

  8. Irene Zion says:

    Thanks, Slade!

    I really needed a good funny story right about now!

  9. Riley Fox says:

    I love that story. “…like she did a 100 yard dash in a gym that wasn’t quite 100 yards long,” is one of my all-time favorite similes.

    I once had a Dick Cheney joke that involved comparing him to Punxsutawney Phil, the official Groundhog Day groundhog, in that while he was in office, he appeared in the public eye so infrequently that the media started treating his appearances like the groundhog on Groundhog Day. (“Vice President Cheney stepped outside and saw his shadow, which means it will be another six weeks…”) I give you that painfully long and unfunny description of the bit because one night I did that joke, and a woman in the front row said, quite emphatically, “You’re wrong about Dick Cheney.”

    I knew Tennessee was a traditionally red state, but I cautiously asked, “What was wrong with that comparison?”

    Then she smiled and said, “Dick Cheney doesn’t HAVE a shadow.”

    Oh, and kudos on the Keith Alberstadt mention. He’s one of the OGs of Nashville comedy. 🙂


    • Slade Ham says:

      Bahahahahahahahaha. Isn’t it great in the rare instances that the shot from the crowd is an asset? I’ve had a few moments where I’ve literally had to stop the show and catch my breath. It’s such a beautiful thing when it happens. Rare, but beautiful.

      As for Keith, though he and I have never met I do know the joke in question, and Keith is a funny, funny guy.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Ha. I was just about to send you a link to this…

  10. Quenby Moone says:

    Was that before or after the unfortunate Screech/porn incident? Jesus, that guy could make anyone screech in frustration. And Macbeth’s wife; is there ever a place where she doesn’t make life just a tiny bit brighter?

    I love this story–because it’s great, but also because it’s fabulous to see schmucks hoisted on their own petard. It’s a rare sort of victory.

    • Slade Ham says:

      It really did feel good, especially at the time when I was still pretty much a rookie. And yes, this predated the porn release. I haven’t seen it, though I’ve heard that there are two girls in it with him. I cannot imagine the psychological trauma that comes from being thrown out to the world as the girl from the Screech Porn.


  11. Courtney says:

    Screech makes Bob Saget tolerable. That’s his function in the the world maybe.

    • Slade Ham says:

      No! Saget is hilarious. Filthy, filthy, hilarious. Did you see his part on The Aristocrats?

      • I love The Aristocrats! Doug Stanhope killed it!

        • I hated The Aristocrats, but I think that may be because I’ve never tried to be funny onstage.

          Well. I mean, there was one time, with Mo Collins, in North Hollywood, but I was only joining Mo. Who is way hot.

      • Richard Cox says:

        Are you saying he’s done something better than “America’s Funniest Videos?”

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yes. Yes, I am. That’s what’s always killed me about AFV and Full House… you could not have picked a more opposite personality to play those roles. If you haven’t seen his part in that movie, you have to. It’s the dirtiest thing you’ve ever heard.

        • Half-Baked. In which he makes better use of his few seconds of screen time than Dame Judi Dench managed in Shakespeare in Love (for which she won an Oscar).

        • Slade Ham says:

          “I used to suck dick for coke.”

          “I seen him!”

          That was probably the first time the public saw him be himself.

        • Precisely, man.

          He had a page-long profile in, like, Esquire or GQ or some shit, and it was the raunchiest, most hysterical page I’ve ever read.

        • Richard Cox says:

          I’ll have to check it out. I used to watch AFV with the sound turned down because I hated his quips that much. He probably didn’t write them. Or he was pandering to his audience. It was awful.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yeah, that’s the result of family friendly writers. He just cashed the checks. The upside is that you don;t need volume to laugh at a guy getting kicked in the balls.

  12. Courtney says:

    Yeah I saw him on The Aristocrats but he doesn’t make me laugh. Got dragged to one of his stand-up shows years ago and it sucked salty balls. I did love him on Huff though.

    • Slade Ham says:

      That’s disappointing to hear. I think a lot of stuff is funny that isn’t though, so maybe this is the trade off.

  13. Slade Ham says:

    Dougie is such a beast. I actually got to see it with Penn and Provenza on the big screen at Just For Laughs in Montreal when it debuted. Seeing it in a room full of comedians, including Doug, was fucking sick. It probably made it way funnier than it was.

    I had a short film in the festival that year that was coincidentally edited by the same guy that edited The Aristocrats. Watching that movie though made me want to hang up my hat when it came to film. It was so brilliantly done, and so full of amazing talent. It deserved way more attention than it got.

    • I’m secretly in love with Doug Stanhope. I inactively stalk him. I’m convinced he is my soul mate.

      Seeing the Aristocrats in that setting would be brilliant. Now, I’m not-so-secretly lightsaber green with envy.

  14. Slade Ham says:

    They should make lightsabers out of the same stuff as mood rings.

    I have mixed emotions on Doug as a comic. As person. he’s an absolute drunken sweetheart. As a comedian, he is either tyhe greatest thing that has ever picked up a microphone, or the absolute most embarrassing. It depends on which one shows up for the night.

    He came in for me for a weekend when I owned my comedy club. Out of four shows he took two standing ovations and walked two complete crowds. Everything he’s ever recorded is fucking genius though.

    • Yeah. It can be pretty hit or miss with him. Though he does know that.

      Now onto the lightsaber mood rings… Jedi marketing for the next generation. Maybe even Scientologists, lord know, they got the dough.

      • Slade Ham says:

        He’s fully aware. That’s what makes me mad. okay, enough Doug, hahaha.

        Aren’t Scientologists and Jedi incredibly similar? The whole midichlorian count, etc? If I could find a way to dupe Scientology into giving me a truckload of money… maybe balance would be restored. They’ve certainly taken enough from people.

        • We have our first Jedi Mission!

        • Anon says:

          Did someone mention scamming money…?

        • Slade Ham says:

          Between Pussy Stardust practice and our new Mood-Detecting-Lightsaber-Business/Way-to Screw-Over-Scientologists, how are we ever going to get it all done.


          Now I want to sell Blacklight Sabers. So it looks really cool when you kill things that are white or neon.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Slade – are you joining Pussy Stardust too?

        • Anon says:

          I don’t know about that Blacklightsabre thing. You’d better lay in a pretty hefty supply of Dagobachips with all the stoner Jedis you’ll attract. “These are not the munchies you’re looking for.”

        • The Blacklightsaber is a cool idea. We can moonlight as Crime Scene Investigating Jedis. Ya know, until the Scientology thing takes off.

        • Slade Ham says:

          You haven’t heard, Z? Megan invited me. I’m your new drummer.

          And Anon, I’m counting on the stoner market. Plus, potheads are way easier to Jedi mind trick.

        • Slade Ham says:

          @ Megs – Can you imagine bringing one of those into a hotel room? Yecch. I’ll wait for the Scientologists.

        • Anon says:

          “I find your lack of weed… disturbing….” – Darth Vader, Lord of the Spleef.

        • Ya know, Slade. Every time I walk in a hotel room I HAVE to say in a totally obnoxious voice “OH MY GOD! There’s semen EVERYWHERE!”

          It’s almost to the point of compulsion. The bell hops at The Four Seasons in Vegas HATE me. I like watching them squirm.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          I don’t know… the stoner market is composed of a paranoid bunch. I hope your plan isn’t too R2see-through.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Hahahahahahaha. That’s fucking awesome. Hahahaha.

  15. Brandy says:

    Guinness shot out of your nose?? That’s never been in this story before! That’s criminal. 🙂

    Screech was just here playing the comedy club at the beach. He was crazy rude to the staff and completely drunk. I didn’t witness it myself but heard a lot about it from a bartender who works there.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I am yet to hear one story that paints him in a good light. I feel bad for the club staff. They always get the brunt end of celebrity ego. It’s unfair.

      • Brandy says:

        Yeah, he tried to get one of the waitresses fired. I think this was following an unsuccessful attempt to grope her. ::gag::

        You need to change your status to hiding again, ninja. 🙂

        The United States Post Office is going to love me. I just wish I could be there to see your face…you’re going to need A LOT of AAA batteries.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Your Gravatar may be the first time that dress and a matching lightsaber have ever been photographed together.

  16. Maggie Bridges says:

    I miss you Slade Ham!!! Very funny stuff btw… I am going to try to come to your show Friday….hopefully! I wish comedy, tx was still here in town so I could come see you anytime….I guess I should’ve taken advantage of it when I had the chance. I miss ya ol’ neighbor and I am so proud of your success.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Heya stranger. Thanks for finding me here. Please come out Friday. Email me and I’ll put you on the guest list. I have another piece I plan on posting in the next week or two that deals with the old apartment complex. The entire tree house saga, specifically. You’ll enjoy it.

      It’s really good to hear from you 🙂

  17. Dude. I want to shake your hand and buy you a shot of Johnnie Black. Fuck, dude.

    Well done. On the post and the evening. Fuckin’-A.

  18. Phat B says:

    Oh. My. God. Dustin Diamond used to open the Improv in Brea when I was working nextdoor. His entire shtick was that his dad stole all his money, then his dad came up on stage and said “yeah I stole all his money.” Hilarity. Turns out we had the same drug dealer, and Screech wasn’t even the funniest guy in a circle full of stoned college kids. I don’t think the Improv even paid him to MC, he was just hoping to get discovered again.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I have such an issue with former TV celebs trying break into stand up. They do sell tickets, but they have no idea what they’re doing. It’s hard to get up there for an hour and do well. Michael Richards was another example of the crash and burn that happens when they try to cross over.

      It’s much easier to go from stand up to TV than the other way around.

      It’s sad when you can’t do well in Brea. I love that club.

    • Lorna says:

      “Turns out we had the same drug dealer, and Screech wasn’t even the funniest guy in a circle full of stoned college kids.” hahaha!

      • Phat B says:

        In Dustin’s defense, it was his high priced Hollywood lawyer who would later get that dealer off on a technicality.

  19. Tawni says:

    This story was so funny that I ran and got my husband from another room so he could read it too. Thanks for sharing the funny, Slade.

    Fuck Screech. His grody sex tape is playing on a continuous loop in hell. Starship’s We Built This City is the background music. I’m sure of it.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Aw, thanks Tawni.

      Starship, or Susan Vega’s Tom’s Diner. That has to be the stickiest song ever. It gets in your head and won’t ever leave. Both would be on Hell, The Soundtrack. I can probably think of a few others.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Knee deep in the hoopla? Sinking in your fight? No?

      Come on, Tawni. That’s rock-n-roll gold.

      • Tawni says:

        I have lyrical rage issues, Richard. The words “knee deep in the hoopla” make me want to punch Bernie Taupin square in the shitty song-writing mug.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I just listened to some Bernie Taupin lyrics…

          I think I’m going to kill myself…

        • Richard Cox says:

          “Knee deep in the hoopla” is the worst line in rock history. And didn’t they even name the album after that line? Terrible.

          But come on, what about this verse? Bernie has his genius moments, right?

          If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
          When every single word makes sense
          Then it’s easier to have those songs around
          The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
          And it feels so good to hurt so bad
          And suffer just enough to sing the blues

          Is that even English?

        • Slade Ham says:

          He’s responsible for Levon, too, I believe, which Brad covered recently. He’s a bad, bad man. I like all the melodies, I just hate his lyrics.

        • Tawni says:

          Oh no. I hope someone saved Irwin’s life tonight… Sugar Bear.

          As I listened to my mom’s Elton John albums as a kid, I remember wondering, Why is he singing about the cartoon bear from the cereal commercials? And who told him Sugar Bear rhymes with “didn’t you, dear?”

          The fact that his vocal melody lines are so hooky makes it even worse. As Brad mentioned in the recent post about Levon, you find yourself compelled to sing the catchy song, even though the lyrics make no sense.

          Grrrrrrr. I’m gonna git you, Bernie Taupin. *shakes fist*

  20. Gloria Harrison says:

    And now I have to go home, or I would ramble on about how very much I love this whole post.

    The title is effin’ genius. And now I will be singing Dylan in my head for the rest of the night.

    I think Screech and Andy Dick should do a reality show together. There is one trainwreck I would actually watch.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      I keep forgetting to mention how cool I think the title is.

      As much as I love Dylan I always associate the song with Hendrix…

      • Slade Ham says:

        I, too, think of Jimi. Even though Dylan wrote it, it will always be a Hendrix song to me.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          The second Dylan version is pretty awesome (the original is awful though. Generally I like Dylan’s voice, but on that song… not a good fit…)

          It’s pretty rare to see a song much more associated with a cover version…

          The only other example I can think of is I Love Rock and Roll, because Joan Jett’s version is much better known than The Arrows original.

          Of course that in turn was hi-jacked by Britney Spears…

          I had it stuck in my head the other day (the Jett version) and I was singing it to myself.

          A girl overheard me. ”I didn’t know you like Britney Spears” she said…

        • Slade Ham says:

          Quiet Riot’s cover of Slade’s Cum On Feel the Noize is another one, and Manfred Mann’s Blinded By the Light… which was, believe it or not, a Springsteen song.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Being British the Slade version is still the better known over here… Don Powell, the drummer, used to visit my mum’s hardware store quite often…

          I’ve never heard the Springsteen version… just giving it a go…

        • James D. Irwin says:

          think I might prefer it…

          is it wrong to like Springsteen?

          I hate Born in the USA though.

          No, Manfred Mann’s is better… the chorus is more epic… but I do like the original…

        • Slade Ham says:

          It’s two totally different songs. I love the Springsteen version, personally. Nobody seems to know that it was his song though. He did 10,000 Maniac’s Because the Night, too I think. I know he wrote it, but I don’t remember if there was a recorded version or not.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I’m always quite proud of the fact that I know it was originally a Springsteen song… I’m sure there’s another pretty famous song that he wrote for someone else (but never recorded himself…)

          There’s another song which his manager insisted he record himself too… I can’t remember which one though… it’s 2.30am and I’ve been drinking guinness and jameson all night at prices I can’t really afford to pay…

        • Slade Ham says:

          Funny, I’m sitting at home in an attempt to not do the very same thing you’re doing, with the exact same two vices. I have one Guinness in the fridge right now, and I’m fight the urge…

          I’m blanking on the songs, too.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Before tonight I hadn’t had a class of Jameson Irish Whiskey since I finished my bottle over Xmas… which really is far too long…

          I’m looking forward to St. Patricks Day… An entire day where my two favourite alcoholic beverages are on special offer… one bar is doing pints of Guinness for £2 and measure of Jameson at £1.50…

          I had an illegal pint in Ireland a few years ago. In England there is a law where a 16 year old can have a drink with a meal. I was on holiday with my family and at this restaurant we asked if the same law applied.

          ”That’s a good question. I don’t know. Probably…” was our answer.

          They happily gave me a Guinness.

        • Slade Ham says:

          A bar here in Houston does $2 James on Mondays. I wonder sometimes if they know…

          Normally St. Patty’s Day is a big one for me. This year though, I’ll be out in the middle of nowhere. It falls smack in the middle of a week long canyon canoe trip I have planned through Big Bend.

          I’m bringing a bottle with me though. Out of respect.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          this year is my first chance to do it properly…

          I was all set last year, but I dropped out of university on March 6th and found myself back at gome on the 17th having a quiet night in with a solitary can of Guinness and miles from all of my friends…

          It falls on a pretty good day for me. The 17th and 18th are my two days off during the week…

        • Slade Ham says:

          Eh, it’s best celebrated away from the masses. It always seems like amateur night for the drinkers. I love watching rookies order Guinness and then regret it. Glad ya get to enjoy this one.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I am a bit worried about that… luckily it falls on a wednesday, so most of the students in this town will be at the club night the union puts on on wednesdays. (Our student bar is awful. the only bar i’ve ever been to that doesn’t have Guinness on tap…)

          haha, watching people try Guinness for the first time is always a sight. I’ve converted a few people to it, but most of the time people pull this face like someone just smeared shit on their face or something…

        • Slade Ham says:

          I did the same thing the first time I tried it. I was doing one of those Around the Wor4ld Tours at some restaurant in my hometown. Bennigans I think? Anyway, the goal is to drink one of every one of the 100 beers they served. Over the course of a few months, I did.

          I remember choking down the first half of the Guinness, and by the end of it, I was in love. The second one was delicious.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I haaaaaaaaaaaaaate Andy Dick. If you could get them both in one place, I would throw the hand grenade. And thanks to you and James for digging the title. It was originally Not Quite Saved by the Bell, and then that popped into my head.

      • James D. Irwin says:

        Joker and the Thief is also a Wolfmother song that I really liked when I first got their album. My friend Dave lives in Australia and got me into them before their album came out over here. In fact I bought an import copy months and months before it was released.

        Then it was used in The Hangover/countless other films and trailers and now it’s fucking everywhere….

        • Slade Ham says:

          It is actually. I saw them before they broke out several years back, and then kind of quit listening once they went mainstream. Their most recent record hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention though. It’s a really good listen if you haven’t checked it out yet.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I heard one song on the radio a few weeks ago. I liked it. It’s almost an entirely different band, because the frontman kicked the other two out and replaced them.

          Thing is I hate to download and new albums cost between £10-16.

          The same thing happened with Jet. They weren’t a great band, but they produced some pretty decent 70s style rock. Then one of their songs got used in an advert and suddenly that was everywhere.

          Have you heard of Airbourne? Total AC/DC rip off, but a pretty high quality one.

        • Slade Ham says:

          They are a different band now, for sure. I thought they put on a hell of a live show when I saw them, especially as a three piece. The new record is good though.

          Jet was fun. Get Free was the break out song. 2002-03 or so? I remember it because I used to play it at the end of shows at my old comedy club.

          And I have Airborne’s Runnin’ Wild album. AC/DC knock off or not, they’re fucking fun.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I remember the album was Get Born (taken from Subtaranean Homesick Blues). That came out in 2003 (bought it while I was doing work experience). And I know US and UK releases tend to differ track wise.

          For some reason I have a Clash album that has the US track listing and not the UK release (this does mean though that I have White Man (in Hammersmith Palais)).

          Anyway. Jet’s big song in the UK was ‘Are You Going to Be My Girl.’ My personal favourite was ‘Cold Hard Bitch.’

          Airbourne were streaming their new album on their website earlier in the week… it’s pretty much more of the same… but hell, it worked for AC/DC… They are fucking brilliant. I heard the album around the same time AC/DC brought out Black Ice. Airbourne sounded more like AC/DC than AC/DC…

        • Slade Ham says:

          That was the Jet single. I was thinking of The Vines. I have no idea why I thought that was Jet.

          Airbourne sounded more like AC/DC than AC/DC

          Hahaha, that is so very true. The new A/DC is not as good as Airborne, that’s for sure.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I think The Vines came to prominence at the same sort of time. I think they’re also Australian too…

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Yep. Vines are Australian. As are Jet, Airbourne, and Wolfmother. We were all very proud of ourselves.

          According to fairly solid urban legend, the guitar player from Jet stopped carrying cash as soon as they hit the big time. Leading to the Melbourne music press to dub him ‘Captain Economy’.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Since we’re giving credit where it’s due… Australia is also responsible for Powderfinger, who I happen to LOVE LOVE LOVE.

          And of course Silverchair. You guys sure import some talent, Simon.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Jesus, an American who has heard of Powderfinger? Madre de Dos!

          It’s true. It’s not so much a case of importing talent as much as that as soon as an Australian sees the opportunity to hit the States, their immediate reaction is ‘Pfffft. Fuck this place. Have you seen the goddamn spiders here?’

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Powderfinger and Silverchair were on the mix tape my aussie friend sent me, along with Wolfmother…

          I don’t carry cash any more, although mostly because I haven’t got any.

          Then again, I’m yet to hit the big time…

        • Slade Ham says:

          Funny, I’m trying to get TO Australia…

          Not only do I know of Powderfinger, I am borderline obsessed. I have literally everything they’ve ever done, live tracks and B-sides included.

          A friend of mine went to Australia somewhere around ’94. He brought back little souvenirs for all his friends. I got some kangaroo jerkey, a CD from Spiderbait, and Powderfinger’s Double Allergic. Now I’m strung out on Golden Rule

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Slade: Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yep. I’ve been talking about submitting for next year. I’ve missed the boat on 2010. It happen in a week or two, no?

        • Richard Cox says:

          If we’re talking about Australian acts we can’t leave out The Dirty Three. “Indian Love Song” is one of my favorite post rock songs ever.

          See Simon, we have another recruit for our U.S.-Australian exchange program. Have many U.S.-bound friends do you have?

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Slade: sure does. And it’s a lot of fun. Australian audiences aren’t as vitriolic as UK audiences, but we do expect to be entertained for our money.

          RC: I can think of five people at the drop of a hat who would cross their own mother to get to the States.

          I, of course, would cross my own mother fastest.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yeah… I’m going to have to make that happen. And there should be an exchange program. The grass is always greener on the other side of the Pacific.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          There really should be. We’re so much smarter than our respective governments.

          Be careful, though. We’ve pretty much adopted Arj Barker. The same thing could happen to YOU.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Arj is a huge stoner. You sure he didn’t just get lost over there? I’ll put myself up for adoption. Let’s see what happens when I get there.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          It’s entirely possible. Seriously, we love Arj Barker. He appears on TV shows as a guest just about every time he’s over here. Forget Seinfeld, Hicks, Cross, Cook, Cable Guy (I wish I could forget the Cable Guy) – Barker is the favourite US comedian over here.

        • Slade Ham says:

          I am so intrigued by the concept of doing comedy not in America. I do it a lot, but I remain curios as to why certain comics really hit it overseas. Arj is one. My friend Tom Rhodes is another. He’s HUGE everywhere else. I’m a bit envious…

        • Simon Smithson says:

          English comics traditionally tend to do well over here. There’s a very big difference (as well as some points of similarity) between the two, I don’t know, schools? of humour (as well as the spelling).

          It’s changing – slowly – but a lot of the entrenched culture in Australia is pretty English, still. Ross Noble does well here (he’d do well anywhere, I guess), as does Eddie Izzard, Daniel Kitson, Dylan Moran.

          I think we tend to respond a bit more to the kind of humour that’s based on a negative outlook of the world and self as opposed to a somewhat more positive one, which can be typical of American humour. A lot of the American approach seems to be ‘This is bullshit, it shouldn’t be, let’s comment on the difference’, whereas the UK version seems to be ‘This is bullshit, but we kind of figured it would be, let’s all be unsurprised by that.’

          I don’t know. I’m spitballing here, and it’s been a while since I’ve had coffee. This is all very a priori and theoretical, and hugely general and opinionated.

        • Slade Ham says:

          There’s a huge difference, and you kind of nailed it. Eddie Izzard is genius, here or in England. American comics though tend to bring a lot of ego and attitude with them when they go elsewhere. It doesn’t always translate. It comes across as arrogance I think. I can’t say I haven’t been guilty of it.

          The entire comedy discussion is sooo subjective, but one I enjoy very much. Dylan Moran I don’t know, btw. Gonna go look him up.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          The translation barrier between cultures is something that fascinates me. Zara and I have had a lot of conversations about this; there are some very distinct differences between where we come from in terms of outlook and where Americans come from – and yep, absolutely, depending on how you interpret that, there can be trouble and judgment involved.

          Man, I hear you on both the subjectivity and the enjoyment of the discussion. One of eye-opening experiences was hearing David Cross for the first time. I couldn’t stop laughing.

          Moran’s great. He’s Irish, dour, and spits venom in every direction. In a lovable kind of way.

        • Richard Cox says:

          The first time I ever saw David Cross it was like: Wow, someone out there actually gets it!

          One of my biggest fears is I would meet David Cross and he wouldn’t find me cool. I think I would kill myself. His Shut You Fucking Baby has to be one of the best comedy albums ever.

          “If Gabriel wants to rollerblade, Gabriel rollerblades. So fuck you, Mr. Osama bin Jerkhead or whatever your name is.”

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Oh my God! Oh my God! I feel exactly the same way. I heard Shut You Fucking Baby (heh) and it all just fucking clicked.

          And yes! I’ve been terrified that David Cross would meet me and I’d somehow fuck it up and he’d tear me a new one.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Ohhh… I really like this guy.

        • Slade Ham says:

          @ Richard – I didn’t like David originally. I gave him another shot though after Arrested Development, and now I totally agree with you. I read his book over the course of several airport layovers and really have grown to dig his sense of humor.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Glad to be of service, Slade.

  21. angela says:

    this is awesome and, as always, totally hilarious. i remember him being such an asshole on celebrity fit club.

    once i was heckled by a fellow audience member when i left a show early. it was gay/lesbian night, and i left right after my friend went, and someone yelled after me, “gee, are the jokes making you uncomfortable!” or something like that, and i was like, but i’m the fag hag! I’M THE FAG HAG! it was quite upsetting.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I forget sometimes just how uncomfortable it is to be in a crowd like that. I find it amusing sometimes that certain people will sit quietly through my show and then take a shot at another audience member. I normally jump to the victim’s defense. It’s one of those “pick on someone your own size” things.

      I would have had your back, that’s all I’m saying 🙂

    • Anon says:

      Should’ve shouted back, “No – horny!” Who’s gonna heckle wanting to get laid?

  22. Christine W. says:

    I can’t stand that disgusting freak of a human being. I saw little bits of him on reality tv…what a douche. I knew this was going to be good as soon as I saw his name. Just thinking about him and his little weeble wife makes me kinda nauseated.

  23. Brilliant story. I never really watched Saved by the Bell, but I remember Screech. Who could forget a face like that. I couldn’t have told you his real name, though…

    • Slade Ham says:

      That’s what’s the worst about it. There probably aren’t too many people that DON’T know who he is. Well, Screech anyway. And instead of doing anything positive, he’s done this. It’s such a waste.

  24. jmblaine says:

    Whoa Whoa Whoa!

    Slade Ham on fire

    This was hot.

    This guy right here’s
    teaching TNB how it’s done.

    Well done, sir.

    • Slade Ham says:

      If only, J.M.

      That’s incredibly flattering. I am glad it was an entertaining read though. I’ve really been wanting to do this story justice for a while.

      Thanks so much.

  25. AXS says:

    I know he was a cunt. Is it wrong the whole thing still makes me feel kinda sad though? Seems hard not to feel that way.


    • Slade Ham says:

      It makes me a bit sad too, but then I remember that he has a choice. Had he been a decent guy I would have happily helped him with his material. Whatever the cause, he continues to be a dick by choice… and I can’t always feel sympathy for that.

    • Gloria Harrison says:

      It kind of makes me sad, too. He must be such a miserable human being. What makes someone that way? The emasculating shrew of a wife probably didn’t help, but it sounds like he’s capable of these horrors when she’s nowhere near. He’s a sad, troubled man. And an asshole.

      • Slade Ham says:

        I’m sure a lot of it stems from being a child star and all the attention that comes with it. Not having a normal childhood, etc. Still, those things aren’t excuses. I’m also a lot more forgiving when I don’t have to deal a person’s asshole tendencies face to face.

  26. AXS says:

    Know what else makes me sad, Slade? That everyone else appears to have fucking lightsaber Gravatars but me. Yeah, that makes me good and sad…and mad.

  27. Simone says:

    “…and she spoke every word with the saliva-filled lisp of a cartoon elephant.”

    I had a vivid image of her doing this. So amusingly articulate, my hat goes off to you, Sir!

    Well done on upstaging Dustin the Douche! Bravo! Bravo!

    • Slade Ham says:

      Thanks, Simone. I’m not even sure that I can think of a lisping cartoon elephant, but it certainly did seem to say what I was trying to.

  28. Greg Olear says:

    Was this before or after his ill-fated run in the boxing ring? Because he could have gotten all Axl Rose on you and demanded you get in the ring, you know?

    Great story, and well told. The title is perfect.

    There is at least one “comic” worse than Diamond, though…although he’s not a professional. But that’s a story for another day, and best told in person. I wish you were there to witness it, though. I’ve never seen someone bomb like that. We were expecting him to be awful, but he took it to a whole new level. Pin-drop silence.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Was this possibly at a TNBLE event, Greg?

      Regarding this post, Slade, I feel like a guy who’s been seeing long lines outside a theater for a few weeks, and for some reason I haven’t been able to get inside the theater to see why there are such long lines, and now I have and I totally get it. It’s my favorite thing you’ve yet posted. I’m jealous. I hate you. And now I’m going to waddle off — “waddled off” being the bit that most made me laugh. There are two overweight characters in my novel who do quite a bit of waddling, though I’m not sure that I used that word. Do you see what I’m doing? I’m trying to make this all about me because I’m jealous and I hate you. Which is really a huge compliment, in case you didn’t already catch that, as I’m sure you did. And now I really am going to waddle the fuck off.

      • Slade Ham says:

        To be fair, most of the attention this post has received is all centered around lightsabers and Australian music, hardly something I can take credit for. I happily embrace your “hate” by the way. That’s probably the biggest compliment you could pay me – one I understand based on how many times I’ve read your writing with that exact same emotion.

        There’s love in our hate 🙂

        I think the way fat people move is almost art. It’s poetic. It deserves the right word. There is so much effort in what they do that it seems disrespectful to simply call it walking. I haven’t yet read Banned, though I’ve sworn to myself that I will. As soon as the next payment arrives in my PayPal account from wherever payments arrive from, I intend to snag it.

        So I can hate you back again.

        And if you didn’t already catch it, I am always thrilled when I see your name attached to a notification in my Inbox. Thanks, Duke.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          The thrill is returned, I promise, especially when you say that you aim to read my book. And now that you do, I wonder, with a feeling of guilt, if I was unconsciously hinting in that direction, though, I can’t help but want to add, I think you’ll definitely find something of interest in it, since:

          * It’s about music, and I’ve recently learned that you have 25,000 songs in your iPod (or is that “on” your iPod?), and you fancy yourself a master of rock & roll trivia, as do I, except that I’m not a master of classic-rock trivia, and there are holes in my mastery even in my area of expertise.

          * It’s about a twisted love affair in which no one is stabbed, though it’s earnestly suggested to the narrator at one point that he should “get a gun and shoot that lying bitch.”

          * The narrator pays the bills by screenwriting, and if you haven’t already completed a screenplay, I know you intend to complete one, and undoubtedly will.

          * The narrator drinks Jameson.

          As for the discussion about lightsabers and Australian music, well, it’s those digressions that rack up the comment count, as I know only too well. As if that were the point! But it is an agreeable dividend. Also, I learned that through the commentary here that Richard Cox is aware of the Dirty Three, as I should’ve guessed, since I could tell from a list of his favorite music on my self-interview board that the Dirty Three is in his line, but I stupidly included a Dirty Three song on the CD mix I mailed to Tulsa yesterday. Ah, well. Now let’s see if his saber-lit vision detects this comment, and I’ll retreat to my pathetic corner where I’m soberly holding forth on the very unentertaining subject of Faulkner.

        • Slade Ham says:

          You are free to feel guilty about it if you’d like, but I intended to pick it up long before this dialogue. You had me with the Jameson, though I really have been waiting on CD Baby to send me a payment so I can have some online play money.

          I did finish a first draft of a screenplay, though it is the product of two drunken comic minds, and hardly the kind of thing that will ever leave my hard drive. Good practice though, since I’d never written one before. I had to teach myself Final Draft somehow though.

          As for trivia, you would take me to school in certain genres. I know more about music I hate than I care to. It’s weird actually.

          Richard may or may not catch this conversation. I would, but that’s because privately my ego is attuned to anything mentioning me, especially in the sidebar. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that, but there it is.

          I’m attempting to catch up on everyone else’s posts today. I feel quite behind. Yours I am saving, mainly because it has plenty of attention at the moment, but also because I have not read a lot of Faulkner (embarrassingly) and am hesitant to add to what is most certainly a well educated conversation.

        • Richard Cox says:

          I did catch this conversation, and I’m happy to say your trade for the CD is on its way as well. Sorry for the delay, Mr. Haney, but you will soon be the proud owner of one (1) copy of an earnest-but-flawed first novel.

          And I wouldn’t call it “stupidly included a Dirty Three track” but rather an accurate guess based on my stated musical preferences. Well played, sir. And thank you.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Slade: Final Draft is completely unnecessary, but Final Draft has managed to brainwash the world into thinking otherwise. I hate those fuckers. I want to fight them with nunchuks. And I’m sure we all look for mention of ourselves in the sidebar, which wasn’t necessary at 2.0, since we could view all comments in their entirety on the dashboard. There are still a number of kinks to be worked out at 3.0, and I hope they’re worked out sooner than later.

          RC: I will indeed by a proud owner of one (1) copy of a novel by RC, and after seeing this comment from you yesterday, I went back and listened to my RC playlist, trying to guess at your reaction to it. But I should shut up, since this is making me sound like I’m sitting on the edge of my seat or something. So shut up I will.

        • Slade Ham says:

          I can see where your animosity toward Final Draft comes from. It took a lot of the “work” out of it for me, considering I literally had zero idea about how to write a screenplay. I researched as much as I could, and then let the program limp me through. It was definitely the easy route, though I have a much firmer grasp of things than I did 92 pages ago.

          But… I still don’t know what I’m doing.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I am sincerely thinking of trying to reinvent myself as a screenwriting coach. Maybe, if you think you need help, I can use you as a guinea pig at some point. I have to figure out how to convert what I know instinctively into a method of some kind that can be applied by others.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Oh, I’m certain I need help. I have to wrestle down one of these stray ideas though and commit to writing it.

          The first one was ridiculously fun to do, but not something that was written with any intention of ever being made or sold. There’s a reason no one other than myself and another few comedians have seen it, hahaha. If it ever made it off my hard drive, I’m afraid I’d never be taken seriously as a writer again.

          A glass of James one day, and I’ll tell you about it. There’s a bit of a common thread that I was unaware of until recently.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Get in the ring motherfucker, and I’ll kick your bitchy little ass…

      I love that song. This was after that. For a while after that week, I vowed to get famous for no other reason than to be able to fight him on Celebrity Death Match. I mean, he beat up Horshack. I like my chances.

      And you have piqued my curiosity for sure re: the comic. In person it shall be though. Nother reason to find my way north…

      • Greg Olear says:

        He did kick Horshack’s ass. Must have been the pent-up anger.

        I’m not trying to be coy about the “comic.” This took place at the Funniest Man on Campus contest at Georgetown my sophomore year, so it wasn’t the big time — although we had some people who went pro. And I have to do the impression for the story to be funny. If that makes sense. It’s the Worst Stand-up Joke Ever. But anything to hasten your trek East.

        Are you jealous cuz your dad’s getting more pussy than you? Fuck you. Suck my fucking dick.

        • Slade Ham says:

          No, no. Save the story for a face to face meeting. I look very forward to it. Death on stage is about all I laugh at anymore, hahaha.

          You wanna antagonize me? Antagonize me motherfucker!

  29. Tweet says:

    this reminds me of my favorite kate nash song 🙂

  30. Becky says:

    I have never heard anything positive about Dustin Diamond. In my life. Everything I’ve seen from him in his adult years seems to indicate that he is the worst type of jaded, spoiled, inappropriately boastful and big-headed pseudo-celebrities there is. He was on some reality show–I can’t remember which–and I wanted to reach through the TV and kick him in the balls.

    I mean, he gives me serious, “I’ve never met you, but I’m absolutely sure I fucking hate you” feelings.

    I hate Dustin Diamond like some people hate Glenn Beck.

    I’m not even kidding. I look at him, and I see evil. On every front. I can’t describe it. Everything he does is perfectly wretched.

    Now I am upset. Thanks alot, Slade.

    • Slade Ham says:

      You’re upset… try spending three days with him. He’s as horrible as you think he is.

      In Glenn Beck’s defense, for however much people hate him, he is wildly entertaining to me. I don’t give anything he says merit but I can hardly take my eyes off his show. It’s like watching a car crash. He’s so melodramatic…

      As for all this negativity that I’ve handed you on a Wednesday morning, I can only apologize. I hope whoever ends up on the brunt end of it deserves it though, hahaha.

      Sorry 🙂

      • Richard Cox says:

        I hate Glenn Beck so much because of the sort of willful damage he inflicts upon society in the name of profit. I don’t think he really believes all that shit he says. He was on KZFM in Corpus back in the day, and this bozo doesn’t care about us or politics as much as he cares about himself. He’s a monkey. A windup doll.

        But I understand why you like to watch him. I used to read Stephanie Farris’ blog on MySpace for no reason except it annoyed me so much. Reading her inane bullshit was scab picking of the highest order. But at least Stephanie’s reach was limited. Beck has convinced half the nation he’s serious.

        And don’t get me started on Nancy Grace.

        • Becky says:

          Goddamit, I should never have mentioned Glenn Beck. Yes, yes, yes, everyone hates Glenn Beck. Evil, crazy, mouth diarrhea, etc. etc. blah blah and so on.

          This is not about you and your crazy commie politics Richard Cox.

          This is about ME. Can’t you see I’m hurting right now? Can’t you see how upset I am, sitting here, thinking about the existence of Dustin Diamond?!?!?!

          Dustin DIAMOND, RICHARD!!!!

          *throw plate*

        • Richard Cox says:

          Corey Haim is dead, Becky. Think about that for a minute.

          There can be only one Corey!!!!1

        • Becky says:

          That was creepy. I posted MY Corey Haim comment below at the same time you posted yours.

          It is tragic. It makes me feel bad. I was rootin’ for him.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Nancy FUCKING Grace. I want to fight her with nunchuks. She makes my skin literally crawl off my body. I despise people that exploit tragedy for money, and she is their Queen.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Wow, Becky, that is creepy. I guess the other Corey is watching over us somewhere now.

      • Becky says:

        I hate Glenn Beck because people keep him famous by carrying on about him. He’s like a child with behavioral problems. I should have never said a goddamn thing.

        Next person to say Glenn Beck gets the gravy boat.

      • Becky says:

        Sorry. I think I’m just a little emotional over this Corey Haim thing.

  31. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Wow, I’ve scrolled quickly through the 2XX comment list (sorry, no time to read those ATM) to get to the posting form, and it seems to me that TNB has been taken over by terrestrial Jedi. What can I say but “excellent”, and I hope you all claim the Sith set, like you’re supposed to.

    I don’t thunk I’ve ever watched Saved by the Bell (probably one of those Uche-in-Nigeria cultural lacunae), but I got the gist of this one guy’s character from your piece, and man, I guess the scars worked him over good. I’m surprised reputation doesn’t seem to spread quickly among stand-up comedy audiences (as opposed to the comedians, considering you knew his rep). Kinda scary that someone so awful would still be a successful headliner.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I’m honored to have gotten even Uche’s attention 🙂 We have gone Jedi it would seem.

      Saved by the Bell is the epitome of 90’s American culture. I count you among the lucky ones that weren’t subjected to it.

      Stand up audiences are, for the most part, very uninformed. Everyone has their favorites of course, but they know very little outside of what Comedy Central or HBO feeds them. In most clubs people just show up to see whoever happens to be there. They would never do that with a musical group, yet they somehow tend to put all comics in one big group.

      Club owners only care that you sell tickets. They will happily apologize, after they have your money. It’s unfortunate.

      Thanks for stopping by, Uche.

      • Uche Ogbuji says:

        Good Lord! I seem to have somehow gained the reputation of Lewis Carroll’s Snark right here on TNB. Actually I seem to have gained the reputation of a Boojum.

        No fair, I call! No fair! I love the gang of misfit superheroes we’ve assembled here, and I only wish I had more time to spend hanging out. I usually sneak in an hour here and there when I absolutely need a break from all-consuming work, and so I read what I can, but I’m aware that the action moves so quickly here that I miss a lot of great stuff. But it’s certainly not for lack of interest. And I really am ashamed that I haven’t written a proper entry in so long.

        Now that I’m set up for TNB NYC, and we have TNB Denver set up, I’m looking forward to meeting more of you guys.



        • Slade Ham says:

          Then I shall charm you with smiles and soap.

          I am unfortunately as guilty as you of not staying caught up. I’m glad this post caught your eye as it passed though. I look forward to your next one soon.

          I also look forward to eventually making a TNB live event.

  32. Yvonne de la Vega says:

    I was ready to hate you. Vengeance through smart literature, I’ve done it before, sometimes you gotta because it’s the only medicine. Well, whether that was it or not, you’re a funny dude. Screech – all the way to the bank I guess. You, I’d follow. Thanks.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I’m glad you decided not to hate me. Thanks for the compliment, Yvonne. I’ll try to remain entertaining. I like the title of Funny Dude.

  33. Ducky Wilson says:

    What a putz. I hope I run into him one day just so I can torture him about the show I “attended” in Shreveport. I’ll totally talk you up.

    • Slade Ham says:

      What I would give to have that happen… He would be less than thrilled. Sorry for the late reply btw. Just getting back to the real world.

  34. […] Screech antagonist. […]

  35. as I website possessor I think the content material here is real good , thanks for your efforts.

  36. Shannon aka @ShanBabyG says:

    Thanks for tweeting me this!!!! I’ve seen you twice Slade and would pick you over Screech any fucking day!!! Cannot stand that guy, he makes me vomit in my mouth a little everytime I see him on TV!!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Hopefully I will see ya again soon 🙂

  37. […] A tale of Screech the failed comedian. […]

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