Bring Your Parents To Work Day

Comedians are just like everybody else. Yeah, it’s better than having a “real job.” You can drink at work, you don’t have to respect authority and you get to wear jeans. It’s like working for Google but without the respect or health benefits. But every once in a while…being a comedian is the worst possible job on earth.

Picture yourself at work, just as you probably are reading this (tisk tisk). Now imagine how little you do all day. The Facebooking, Twittering, cat-picturing. Now look to your right, imagine a chair. And in that chair imagine your Mom, sitting there, watching and reacting to everything you do for your entire shift. OH THE HORROR! Especially if your mom has already passed on, then it’d be twice-horrifying but that’s not what this is about. This is the TRUE horror of being a stand up comedian. Their parents actually want to come and watch them work.

The worst part: they probably mean well. You have a kid, I think you generally have a curiosity about them. They get a job, surely there’s a level of interest there, too. And then if they go and get a job where you can actually watch them do it…you bet your ass you go.

But comedians are just like everyone else. They’re all pretty lazy and don’t need Mom and Dad knowing about it. Answer this, would your parents be proud of you if they knew how little effort you were putting in? Of course they wouldn’t, especially this X-Y-Z generation. We’re destroying America! Instead of working hard, we sit in cubicles play fantasy football, shop, look at pop art based cartoons from our childhood all while chatting with our friends – who are fucking off at THEIR jobs.

Imagine every time you open up Facebook and scroll through an ex’s pictures, do you want your parents seeing that? Picture it: the eye-rolls, the gasps, the seat shifts. Are you sweating yet? You should be. Seriously, open your history tab at the end of the day sometime, but before you do that put a pillow on your desk. Because your jaw is going to hit – that – thing.

Paul Danke *Photo by Liezl Estipona

Now imagine the day is over. It probably didn’t go well. And before you can leave the building, your Dad fires off a few semi-humiliating comments to your coworkers. This you’ll have to deal with the next day. But at least it’s over. You can go home and put your head in the oven, where it belongs. But wait. Wouldn’t you RATHER get dinner with them first…and talk about work?! THAT WOULD BE FUN! Believe me, they’re going to have some questions. But don’t you go and worry. They won’t understand a thing you’re talking about and will probably end up referring to your work as writing, “little reports.” I hope you love the fetal position, because you will be home and in it soon!

Not before you have to explain:

the awkward tension with the coworker you hooked up with last Christmas,
why the coworker they hated is actually brilliant, and
of course without a doubt, they will love that one coworker, what’s-his-name, with the hair and the thing?

Oh THAT GUY, the ass-kissiest, corniest, least interesting capable or qualified person in your office and SWORN ENEMY to you. Perfect. Just perfect. But wait, just when you think it’s over, they’re gonna ask about the money. Check please.

So, the next time you find yourself dreaming of the day you can quit that nine-to-five and finally take up stand-up comedy…just remember that while it may be a more “glamorous” lifestyle, at least you don’t have your parents coming to your work and hearing your best “getting caught masturbating” story.

Follow Paul on Twitter: @pauldanke