A while back laserkitty and I visited her oldest brothers family up in Michigan. Part of the visit involved going to a RenFair (Fest?), which was all in all, a really fun time. Part of it, though, bothered me more than I think I let on at the time- the Dead Bob show.
Dead Bob is an act that people clamor for, year after year, weekend after weekend, show after show. You’re lucky to get a seat if you show up at the beginning of the show before DB is the kind of crowd this guy pulls. Laserkittys brother has always missed part of the show and was determined to catch the whole thing this year, so we waited dutifully through the dancing and drum troupe that seemed to be a collection of dred-locked potheads who happened to be active enough to hit drums and do some “African” dancing (I should note they were all white people.)
They finish, and the push is on. We snag some seats pretty close to the front, but mostly nobody moved, since much of the crowd had gotten there early to claim seats for DB and weren’t leaving.
Right off the bat, before you even see the guy, he pipes up with “Hey, Audience!” to which we’re all supposed to reply “HEY, WHAT?” as loud as we can. Except, no one knew he was about to start and many people had never seen him before and didn’t know their “roles,” so there was only a half-hearted reply- “heywhat?”
So he makes a crack along the lines of “See, it’s apathy and stupidity like this that got you guys your President. Let’s try that again- Hey, Audience!”
So, right off the bat I’m thinking, oh, wonderful, a fun-filled politik act! Whee!
He ended up not making too many cracks, but he did make a few, most of them dealing with stupidity, mean-spirited-nature, or greed. Sure, some of his show was funny, but I was mostly unimpressed and found him somewhat-to-mostly distasteful, even though, I generally like mean-spirited and cutting comedy which was his main act.
The thing with acts at RenFairs is that they make their money, their income, off of the tips at the end of the shows. We saw some jugglers and a sword swallower almost as soon as we had arrived and they were great, so I/we tipped them a couple dollars (and when you have a crowd of 100+ doing that, you do might alright.)
So, Dead Bob sends these people around with baskets to collect money from the crowd, which for his show was easily over 400 people and he goes out himself to collect from the people right up front. I remember hearing this and thinking he was a dick for saying it at the time, but now that I think about it, he was a hypocritical asshole, too- one kid came up and tried to tip him some change, a few quarters or something, and DB says (with a microphone so all the crowd can hear), “Hey, I don’t need money that bad, asshole. Keep your change!”
So, he’s making his money off of the crowd, right? People are tipping him, paying him, out of no obligation other than they want to show their appreciation of his wit and skill, right? And part of his “wit” is cutting on people for their greed and callous nature, right? And he has the nerve to mock some kid for not offering the proper for of currency for his tip, preferably green and foldable.
It’s been a few months but the thought popped to mind and I got all pissed off all over again.
Eat shit and live, Dead Bob.