Last Thursday, I experienced something truly magical. One of my colleagues, Brian, knew that I’m a diehard fan of Jerry Seinfeld (the most popular stand-up comedian in the United States and the creator of the hit sitcom “Seinfeld”) and that my biggest dream was to watch him live, so he invited me for a special show at the Stress Factory Comedy Club in New Jersey. The special thing about this show was that it was a follow-up to a mishap of Margaret Cho’s that happened at the same club recently (there was a big fuss in the press about that). Margaret Cho is a Korean-American and the first Asian woman to get her own show on Television in the United States 20 years ago. She did fuck up – let’s be honest here – her last show over there (a result of exhaustion and God knows what else). She decided to come back, apologize and have a discussion about what happened on that infamous night. Jerry Seinfeld, who is currently having his own show “Comedians in cars getting coffee”, suggested that the episode they were planning to shoot with Margaret should be located at that club.
I was very lucky to be amongst those 20 or so disappointed people attending that discussion. First, I had to sign the papers that said “I agreed to be filmed” (of course I do…) and then someone took a pic of me with my number (I almost asked the girl what I looked like in the pic, this is how vain I am). We were all sitting around the stage and I was sitting so close to Jerry that I could easily kiss him if someone pushed me! I just hope I get to see my face in that taped episode! (Let’s hope that the camera man was a straight guy). No, I didn’t say a word, but I was sitting next to the guy who was talking!
During the discussion, Margaret apologized to the audience members, who – instead of anger – expressed their concern about her. Jerry said the most interesting thing – that you have no right to tell the artist what they shouldn’t talk about on a stage. You don’t have to agree with what they say, you might not like it, you can leave, but you have no right to say: “You can’t talk about that”, which did happen on that discussed night. You have no right to dictate the artist what his show is supposed to be about. If the artists were listening to “the general public”, most of the greatest masterpieces would never have happened!
After the discussion, there was a break and the audience came in. First, Jerry did a stand-up skit, then Margaret did one. But this is not what was the greatest thing about that evening. What I loved the most about the whole experience was Margaret’s attitude. She failed the first time, she decided to admit her failure, she came back and faced the situation. She could have said: “Fuck it, it’s only New Jersey, people will forget, the press will forget”, but no. She made a mistake and she decided to make up on it. And that’s why I admire her. Because we all make mistakes and we love to judge people because of their mistakes, I even think we have some kind of radar to catch other people’s failures – “I would never do that!!!”. We easily forget that we are not saints at all (it’s funny that we have some kind of amnesia when it comes to our shameful mishaps and decisions). The success is to get up and fight again. And this is what I will remember after that night. Margaret got herself a new fan.
Ps. When it comes to Jerry – he was just outstanding. He’s a great performer, I couldn’t stop laughing. It was amazing to face a legend one cherishes. It’s great to have our dreams come true. I wish the same happens to you.
Thank you, Brian!