I went over to Crazy Bride. When you approach a bride with something unpleasant there’s one rule to follow: talk in low tones. You don’t want to seem panicked. You don’t want to stress them. If you talk in low tones, nothing can upset them. Even if you told them horrible things like, “There’s no more vodka,” or “Aunt Martha binge ate the wedding cake,” or “Uncle Stan just pissed himself.” Low tones is the key to keeping everything cool. So in my lowest of low tone voices I said, “Maybe we should just skip the show. Everyone seems to be having such a good time talking, drinking and laughing.” You would think I had said, “I just fucked the groom,” because her happy face went cold. Quick. And she said in an even lower tone voice, “We are doing this show.” She was determined. She must’ve known about the quiet uprising that had been going on. Nothing got by Crazy Bride.
Her brother and a few other guests who were hoping the show might be canceled, looked over at me to see how it went. But they knew. We all knew. This show was going to happen whether we liked it or not. And like a lamb on her way to slaughter, I walked up to the front of the room, grabbed the mike, ready to start the show. I looked out into the audience and saw Old Bow-Tie guy. He had liked me so much when we were chatting just moments before. After he saw my act, I wasn’t so sure he’d feel the same. I looked out at the 150 plus guests, and thought about how much bombing sucks.
I stood there holding the microphone while someone on staff introduced me. Except for Crazy Bride and Clueless Groom not too many people were paying attention. Not good. I did my usual schtick where I make fun of the audience for sucking at welcoming me, and I teach them how to give a proper welcome. It’s fun to tell people what to do. It got their attention and now with all eyes on me, and my nerves a little shaky, I panned the room and saw my two friends that were getting married. They were so happy. So excited. And I used that energy from them to start the show and talk about what we were doing. I sorta braced the audience for a potential disaster by talking about love, and the spirit of what we were trying to do. When all else fails, guilt the crowd.
And then I did a joke. Not much of a response. So I plowed forward and did another joke. Crickets. Bow-Tie crickets. And as I stood there, all I could hear was this damn harp playing in the background. And I smiled and said,
"This is just like being in a club. Is that a fucking harp?” Laughter finally. Things started rolling. I started to loosen up and have fun. Crazy Bride’s Aunt was up front, and now that I was getting laughs, she wanted to join in. I couldn’t believe there was a heckler at the wedding. I shut her down quickly. It was fun. The crowd was loving it when I shut the Aunt up. Even the pastors were laughing.
Clueless Groom’s friends started coming up to perform. The math professor was up first. I braced myself for the worse, but to my surprise he was talented. All of his friends were talented. There were toasts, original songs, lines from an original play read, monologues, an opera singer, and some good back and forth between me and the performers that was hysterical. I thought it was going to be the gong show, but it turned into a nice variety hour. No Sonny and Cher, but it was good.
The show ended and my friends were thrilled. Hugging them and seeing them happy was incredible. It felt amazing to use my talent as a gift to a friend instead of as a job for strangers. It was actually fun. I walked off stage to get a drink and Old Bow-Tie Guy came towards me. I thought he’d keep walking, and I was dreading him stopping. But he stopped. He looked at me, and said, "Hilarious fucking show." And I was worried about the bow-ties.