Buffalo Comedy Open Mic Stories – Bob Reinard

George Carlin was always a prominent voice in my household growing up. Comedy was always one of my favorite things to watch. Even as a kid, I loved stand up. I wasn’t supposed to live to see 18, and had obstacle after obstacle in my way, which I crushed. Obstacles make for a good story, and should stock pile me with a lot of great stories.
When I got into stand up, it was purely because of peer-pressure. I was a regular contributor on The Shredd And Ragen Show, and had a fun time doing it. I started talking to (Josh) Potter about maybe trying stand up about 7 or 8 years before I actually went on a stage or touched a mic, and he’d tell me the nights when the mics were on (mind you 8 years ago helium wasn’t here, the only open mics were at Merge and Nietzsches). So, I toyed with the idea for 8… EIGHT FUCKING YEARS!! Until I went to a show at Goodbar that had Josh, Mark Walton, Jameel Key and Keith Fucking Buckley (I think that’s his middle name) and I saw Keith pretty much be the most uncomfortable on stage as I’ve ever seen him. I am an avid Every Time I Die fan so, to see him out of his element was kind of shocking to me. After watching that, I pretty much said to myself “I should at least try”.
At this time Helium had been here for a year or two, and I had been frequently going to shows almost every weekend just to see the comics in town. I went to see Doug Benson and the show was everything I expected and more. I got out of the show and saw he was doing a meet and greet (FUCK YES!) so I got in line waited, and when it was my turn to meet Doug I took a picture with him and asked him why he got into stand up because I wanted to try it. I needed to know why he got into it so I can validate my reasons on trying stand up. He said “I did it on a dare and now I have a career…no complaints.” Obviously, not the answer I was looking for but, it was an answer, and it was a Doug type answer. Two weeks later Kyle Kinane was in town. I fucking loved Kyle Kinane since the first time I heard the bit about his friend Greg and “no one goes to space camp all the time” bit. I was fucking hooked, so of course I went. By this time, the Helium staff kinda knew me as a regular and sat me right next to the ramp on stage. I was so fucking happy and excited. Kyle killed (of course), and he did a meet and greet afterwords. So, I sat in line, and when it was my time to meet him, I took a pic, and didn’t have the opportunity to ask him why he got into stand up. It was hectic as fuck for some reason. Super cool dude though, I have nothing but nice things to say about Mr. Kinane.
I started writing little one line shitty, shitty, jokes. I started signing up weekly at Helium, getting turned down for a solid month. Then, I finally got the email about me being on the next open mic. I found out how much time I was doing, and I questioned everything I wrote up to that point. I remember the date of my first mic (3-5-14). I remember the day, I was at my grandmothers visiting, and writing my shitty, shitty, jokes I thought were funny (Keep in mind it was Ash Wednesday, this is important). I conned a few friends to come to the show. I get to the show, and find the EmCee, Jimi Pidd, and he tells me when I’m going up, and hands me a lineup list just in case I forget. Now from this point on is all hearsay. To say that I didn’t get blackout drunk would be telling you a lie. All I remember is snippets from my set, so bare with me I asked Pookie Long John for some advice which was “don’t get too drunk” (obviously didn’t heed his advice, being already too drunk to be on a stage.). I walked into the green room. I think it was me, Jimi, and ….Liam in the room. Jimi goes on stage and brings me up. I was sooo excited to say my opener which was “Happy Ash Wednesday, anyone get ashy?!” Then the rest is a blur until I see Jimi pounding on the stage to get my attention. I blew the light unintentionally. Jimi walks up to me tells me “You did good” which I’m sure was bullshit.

Bob Reinard