Dee Ahmed is a D.C. based comic that does not scream I HAVE COCAINE!!! See him and his non-cocaine related materials tonight at The Wonderland Ballroom. -ed.
When you’re a new comic the only thing that matters is stage time. It’s all you really care about. So when your job requires you to travel a lot you, start looking for mics everywhere. This is how I found myself at an open mic I’d never heard of, in a city I’d never been.
It was actually a really nice space for a show, with low ceilings and a bar in the back of the room near an exit. The bartender points out the host who starts walking towards me. The first thing I noticed about him was the stink of this guy which was a cross between cheese and Drakkar Noir. His eyes looked like he had been up for days. He gave off a Vince Vaughn vibe, not a cool Vince Vaughn from Wedding Crashers. We’re talking stupid Vince Vaughn from season 2 of True Detective. Let’s call him Cheesy Vinny.
Cheesy Vinny: What up bruh! Are you a comic trying to get up tonight?
Me: Yeah man you have any spots open?
Cheesy Vinny: Of course my dude!
He showed me the list and then inquired, several times, as to whether or not I had any cocaine.
Cheesy Vinny: Bruh, you’ve got to have some of that white girl. Really? For real though? I don’t have anymore.
I’d known Cheesy Vinny for a maximum of 20 minutes.
People started filling in. It was a decent sized crowd for an open mic and though it seemed like most of them were friend with Cheesy Vinny, something I didn’t see coming. He had friends that liked him enough to support him. The show began and after two comics got up I noticed a few things. Cheesy Vinny would get up and introduce the next comic, leave the stage and walk straight to all of his friends in the back. They sort of surrounded him and start talking to him, LOUD AS HELL. Then the few people not in his crew would turn around to investigate. No one was paying attention to what was happening on stage which sucked because I was getting ready to go up. This is when things started to get rowdy.
Cheesy Vinny turned around and started walking away from his friends towards the stage. A friend reached out and grabbed him by his shirt. Vinny turns around and spits in this guy’s face, who looked like a Hispanic John Travolta. We’ll call him Juan Travolta. Juan Travolta took a swing at Cheesy Vinny and somehow missed. They began doing that thing guys do in fights when they know are about to get broken up, kind of hugging and hitting one another on the back, like two adult males burping each other. Their mutual friends quickly broke it up.
At this point I think the show is dead. The host just got in a fight. Friend or foe, he spat in an audience member’s face. There is no chance it’s going to continue. However, just as I start walking to the bar I see Cheesy Fuckin’ Vinny, looking like a strung out Terminator. He motions for me to meet him at the stage.
Cheesy Vinny: Yo, you ready?
Me: The fuck?
Cheesy Vinny: Coming next to the stage is an outta towner! Give it up for DEE ACKMED (extra phlegm).
I was stunned he was so nonchalant about it, kind of impressed by how fucking committed this guy is to his show. I get on stage and do at best 30 seconds of jokes. No one was listening. Why? Because, ROUND 2 WAS ABOUT TO BEGIN! My vantage point on stage was awesome. The fight was hilarious, so much flailing around. It hit a climax at the end that I didn’t see coming. Have you ever seen a guy head butt another guy in a movie? Dude drops instantly, right? Well, that did not happen. Juan Travolta head butts Cheesy Vinny and they both sorta crumble and retreat to their sides of the bar.
Me: This is better than anything I could have said on stage.
This elicits the only laughter I got out of that set. I immediately get off stage to the image of the bartender throwing those two, possibly concussed, gentlemen outside.
An hour later Cheesy Vinny is addressing all of his friends in the parking lot. This was all I could really make out from statement.
“Listen guys I understand I shouldn’t have left. It was disrespectful taking advantage of all of your love and support. I’m so sorry.”
Cheesy Vinny walked out on his own intervention to run an open mic. This would make his commitment to his comedy staggering, or he stole all of his friend’s cocaine and was genuinely sorry about it.
This took place in Florida.