How to Learn the Error of Your Ways from Three Ghosts That Visit You on Christmas Eve

When Ric and I first met, we were both comedians. He was much farther along in his career than I was. Still, “mentor” is too strong a term for his place in my career. I’d describe his role as being somewhere between “occasional advisor” and “cautionary example.”

We knew a guy who taught a stand-up comedy class. He would occasionally ask comedians to speak at his classes. He never asked me or Ric to speak. We once spent a large portion of a drive to a gig thinking about what we would say if he did. Here are the few things we came up with that I remember:

“Fear can keep you alive.”

“A wish to be famous is a terrible reason to go into comedy. A wish to pay your bills is an even worse reason.”

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned traveling the country doing comedy, it’s this: ‘People hate comedians.’”


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