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THE SET UP:

First of all, here is who the hell I am…really no one. I am a mom of two amazing kids (a teen and a 9-year-old). I live in Chicago and I work at The Second City, or I did before lockdown. I mean I still work there, but there is no work to be had right now. Plus Second City is looking to be acquired, so our future like everyone’s is unknown. In May a bunch of comedy friends of mine and I started a weekly internet live streaming comedy game show called Wisecrackin’ . It was a show out of necessity that I didn’t know I needed. See I don’t really perform much anymore. I opened four different storefront theater’s in Chicago over my 20-year adventures. The last one I owned, and it nearly killed me. I sold it in 2017 and vowed I would never produce a show again. I would do drop-in shows if asked, interviews, podcasts, and direct my students at Second City. I am no spring chicken, I am by no means old unless you mean in the world of Hollywood, and my life has lead me here. To this moment, this weird F-up’d moment for all of us. I wasn’t supposed to be producing a show, not now, not like this. But after pitching the idea to a few different people no one was interested I felt compelled to make it happen. So my full-throated need to have a project took over. I started doing the show. Now obviously it is not a very big show. We get between 100–300 audience members per show. But it has strangely become very important to this time. My friends who are working road comics have had life halt as they scramble to try to get drive-in movie theater gigs or beer gardens. Plus I have an uncanny way of talking people into doing stuff. It is my only superpower, and it has gotten me in trouble more than once. Somehow I have talked 22 strangers into writing me a brand new show every week for free. I have talked about 15 of my acquaintances and very close friends to show up and perform for free. I would like the show to become something huge and wonderful for all of us. …


I have no idea how people are going to take this story. I am just kind of vomiting it out so I can get it out of my head and move on and go back to it someday maybe when I can climb on a stage again. If I was the dear reader I would be asking “So do you hate Jay Mohr?”

No. No fucking way. Are you kidding? First of all who can hate Jay Mohr. Except like his ex-wives, comedy club waitresses, and Jennifer Aniston. I don't’ know I will get back to you with a list.

He gave me a huge gift. …


CRAZY LADY

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This is me before the Pimprov Wisecrackin’ show. I like this picture of me. Look how cute I look.

I ping Jay via email again with the meeting link and reminding him how desperately I would like him to look at the script. Because the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.

I did a mother fucking deeeeeep dive on this guy. I wanted to know his favorite food, what color he hated, how many times a day he washes his hands. I got about 3 hours into his audio book. Watched a bunch of interviews and podcast. I was studying him. Trying to pick up on ticks. The writers said it was obvious he was uncomfortable and I wasn’t picking up on it. I was ready to write a term paper on Jay Mohr. I knew because of Google that he had a YouTube live with some Film Festival an hour before my call time. I figured I would watch see what kind of mood he was in, if he was running late I wouldn’t panic because I would know why. Annnnnd I was pretty wound up. I just wanted this to be over. I tune in at 6pm Chicago time. I have asked Jay to log into Zoom at 7:30pm Chicago time (5:30pm L.A. time). I am punching up jokes with his video thing in the background. It hasn’t started at 6:15pm. I get a text from his assistant saying “I can’t get a hold of Jay, I wanted to give you a heads up.” at 6:45pm They start the live stream and say “Sorry our special guest Jay Mohr won't be here tonight.” …


TEXTING

I text Jay once on Saturday after our call:

HAHAHAHA the girls are all fighting over who gets to do the show with you. You might have an all female cast.

Side Step. This is the moment my whole thing falls apart. From this moment forward I am going to be pushy, hysterical, and generally the hottest mess of a person. So buckle up cause I am gonna try to be as honest as I can. It’s gonna get ugly folxs and fast.

Let me tell you a few things about this one text. It is 100% true. I was trying to figure out casting and we are all chatting in the chat. I get off the phone with Jay and drop in our chat to catch everyone up. This is a place where we all bullshit together all week. It is really nice actually to get a bit fest out of nowhere in the middle of all this trash world. So Jay Mohr bits start flying. Mostly making fun of my Daddy stuff, and the fact that if you look at Anna’s face in any of the pictures she is starting at him with the hugest smile on her face. Annnnd Sommer just moved to L.A. so she is actually closest to him. Marzy jumps in shakes the room and reminds us all he is with us. We all laugh and I text Jay. …


Jay texted me:

Hey! Literally just seeing these all good!!!

Three exclamation marks. How can I read into this for the rest of my life? He continued:

My son walked in with a friend who was crying. My 1st instinct was their privacy then had to deal with kid/parent/transpo/bedtime and lost memory of everything I apologize. I had fun.

I replied:

Oh, sorry about your son. I thought we upset you. Glad that wasn’t it. But sorry about the crying kid.

He said:

Upset me? I don’t see how lol

Did Jay Mohr just LoL me in a text. I have so many mixed feelings right now that swing between “Ok Boomer” and “Ok Daddy” I replied…


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Jay asking us questions we will never answer

THE INTERMISSION GAME

If you have been following along, thanks. But as I have said before the show has evolved and keeps evolving. In our attempt to differentiate the show from just a bunch of comics playing Quiplash we have come up with dividing the show into sections.

  1. Pre Show. Pre recorded bits from the actors or writers.
  2. The Question we are going to ask all the comics to answer after I introduce them.
  3. Show set up, teaching the audience how to watch the show (this is still out biggest challenge).
  4. The Monologue (this is the 90 seconds between when I hit start and the comics actually get a prompt. We decided this was a good place to do monologue jokes. This gives the writers a chance to flex a muscle a lot of them have an itch for. But also fills this weird hole we are slaves to because we don’t have our own software. …

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Jay Mohr after me mistaking him for William Zabka

So I had a little bit of a different set up to the tech this week. You are all: why, why would you add something new the week you have a celebrity on? Me: because without fail this show changes every week. You might not see the change, but every week I try something different to make the show better.

I usually asked the actors to sign onto the zoom call 30 min before the show starts. Then sign into the game room so I can share the code with the audience. Then they can turn their camera off, walk away, get a drink whatever. …


I get a text from Jay’s assistant. She asked if the call time for the show was 7:30 Chicago Time or LA Time. I replied Chicago time. She said great I will make sure he is on.

About ten min later Jay calls me. I was just starting to put on my makeup and I jumped what felt like was a foot in the air. First thought, he is calling the cancel.

“Angie from Chicago! Is the show 7:30 your time or my time?” “It’s my time” I said. “Well that makes a big fucking difference doesn’t it.”

Now my brain can go a few ways on this one. Full Claudia (don’t want to do that), apologetic speaking fast fan girl sure that she will be hung up on, or cool calm collected. How do you think it went down? …


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Me and Jay texting

So after I get off an hour-long phone call with the man the myth the legend Jay Mohr my head and stomach are flipping. I started to have (what I would assume or at least what my therapist says) is normal fantasy after someone would connect with a celebrity. You know, he and I become best friends. He takes me to comedy clubs in NY and introduces me to all my heroes. It’s no big deal for him, but he loves how jazzed up I get about meeting his friends. He mentors me on becoming a huge comedy icon. And we end up texting each other bits through the week to try to make each other smile. Ya know, normal stuff. …

About

Angie McMahon

Angie McMahon is a Faculty Member at The Second City in Chicago where she teaches Stand Up, Storytelling, and Sketch Comedy writing. She hosts a weekly online

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