That one time I almost killed Jay Mohr (part 2)

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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. Let me sidestep for a moment.

KAREN vs CLAUDIA

Man do we all love shitting on suburban white ladies that call for the manager. The internet dubbed them “Karen”. My baby sister Toni and I talk about this. See we are Sicilian (half) but it was the culture we were raised in the most. Me having married an Irishman I know my kids aren’t at all Italian…they are Irish. I only make the distinction of being Sicilian because if you know a Sicilian than you know…we don’t call ourselves fucking Italian. Italians are the blond-haired blue-eyed monsters that put sugar in their gravy (for example). Not the Elmwood park Italians I grew up with. To this I say, step aside Karen…here comes the Claudia. A Claudia is an Italian broad that not only wants to talk to your manager, but she also wants to take a piece of your soul with her as she exists. She says things like “Do you want to go explain to my kids why you are ruining their lives with your bullshit right now? Please come look my kids in the eye and tell them how you don’t give a shit about their life because you don’t want to give me, what, fucking 10 % off what is bullshit shoes any way you cowardly fucking nobody”…yeah know normal stuff.

I, with much medication and therapy, try to keep my Claudia at bay. I know she is only just under the surface just waiting to put out her cigarette so her hands are free so you can really get the full emphasis of what she is laying down. Claudia drops that finger in your face and you stand cold frozen afraid any sudden movement will set her off. Oh yes, my friends, Claudia and I are well acquainted. My sister and I often talk about our “Claudia” moments. As we have aged we are able to bring her out in needed moments. Just ask Kevin from Statefarm when they almost wouldn’t cover a pipe that burst in my home. I am positive at some point in Kevin from Statefarm life he cried after my phone call with him. No regrets.

MARRIED FOR 20 YEARS

So I have been married to my husband for 17 years. We dated for 5 years before we got married. So the last time I dated anyone it was a lot harder to tell if the lady was crazy. I remember listening to my boyfriend (now husbands) answer machine messages over and over when we were dating. I couldn’t imagine what I would have unleashed on him if I had a device that could send him my thoughts instantly at any time day or night. I am positive I wouldn't have made it past the third date. The only way he would know if I was calling him 20 times was if he had caller I.D. annnnnd he did not. I don’t even think we even emailed at that time. We meet taking Improv classes at The Second City. I wanted to be a comedian and he wanted to meet people and become better at public speaking. He was out of work (by choice to find himself or whatever 27-year-old guys go through when they think they are too old already). He had my glimpse of crazy as I would get into a knock down drag out fights over my scenes and punchlines I didn’t feel like the guys were giving fair shakes to. Not a whole lot of ladies in classes in the 90s. I think I was among 3 in the class of 20. I miss those dumb days of fighting over a punchline as if your life depends on it. As if Loren Michaels was going to stumble into the student theater at Second City and your one punchline would be the thing he falls in love with. KNOWING you are right if you could just get it in front of the crowd. Your half drunk Improv teacher giving you notes, but also hitting on you, but also asking if hey could score drugs off you. It was the 90s. I grew up behind those walls at Piper’s Alley. It was a magical time to be in the building.

Why do I bring this up. BECAUSE I can get crazy if I don’t hear back from you. I don’t honestly know if other people go through this. I don’t think I have talked about it much with folks. But if I don’t hear back from you in a day the hair on the back of my neck stands up as I scam and plan how to get your attention again. Hit you up on email, like a few tweets, maybe go back and heart a few text messages…opps weird my phone just did that. Anyway did you get a chance to read my email?

I don’t try to be this obsessive, trust me I really really wish I wasn’t this fucking nutso. But you roll with what you got and you lean on your friends to tell you when you step over the line. All of this is to say…it takes all my strength to not try to bother people…or how I see it in my brain as bothering someone.

THURSDAY OCT 8, 2020

I text Jay. “If my writers send me jokes about you are you up for being gently ribbed?”

I was hoping this is me not being too pushy, but also leaving him open for a “gently ribbed” joke. Maybe letting him know (or in my brain, this is what happened) that we are just looking to kid around. But I have no idea if he is a diva celebrity. Actually, I should probably start doing some research on the guy. If nothing else so I have some jokes beyond “Remember when you worked a lot”.

He doesn’t reply. This is no big deal because I can easily cut jokes. I leave it alone.

FRIDAY OCT 9, 2020 (the day of the show)

I text his assistant “Just because I am a paranoid Sicilian Chicago Lady…we are all set for tonight? Do you or Jay need anything more from me?”

She doesn’t reply for an hour. I am a little worried we might be not hitting the right notes for the show. So I text Jay again.

“Do you need to clear any content or want me to stay away from anything for tonight?”

He replied right away

“ribbing is fine, nothing-off-limits”

OK, I thought game on, he came to play. Let’s do this thing.

Written by

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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