© 2011 Leighann Lord
I didn’t think anyone was actually reading my blog until I got some hate mail. Well, I shouldn’t overstate it. It was only one email but I’m hopeful. They say, “all publicity is good publicity” but harsh criticism hurts, especially when it has a grain of truth to it. My friends on Facebook were very supportive. Without knowing the content of the email they took my side and even suggested that I report the sender to the police. (Love you, Facebook Family!) I don’t know what my enemies think of the missive. I haven’t checked Friendster.
Here’s the email:
"From: Jackie Kannon
You make me sick. You always go on and on about who snubbed you, who did not give you good service, who did not pay attention to you as a comic, and how you've been maligned, ignored or disrespected. I think you take your last name a tad too seriously. Yet, at a comedy school grad show, with several new comics struggling and trying their best to do well, you sat your back to them as they performed while you sat at the bar in the Vintage Room at Gotham playing with your laptop.
And, even your husband, the great professor or comedy, had left the room and did not have the decency to stay and watch "his students." The two of you are despicable people, completely and utterly self-centered, self-absorbed, narcissitic shits, who are unworthy of performing for an audience. Oh yes, and neither of you are funny.
And for a comedian who bills himself as having "written the bible of comedy writing," perhaps some day he will explain why he steals jokes. For example, the joke that goes "My wife is so neat, that when I come back from going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, my bed is made."....I can trace that back to the Tonight Show with JACK PAAR!...It was said by Phil Harris when talking about his wife, actress Alice Faye. Circa 1960...What a couple of pretentious phony never beens/never will be....”
[I guess that last line is supposed to hurt, but all it does is beg the question: “And you are?”]
Hi Jackie,I guess I should start by saying, thanks for reading. You're absolutely right. I am self-centered, self-absorbed and narcissistic. And yes, it was pretty rude of me to be working on my laptop in the back of the room while a show was going on. My deadlines are no one-else’s problem but mine. I honestly thought no one was paying me any mind. We never know how others see us do we.
As far as joke stealing goes: neither of us ever has nor will. I can't speak to the sources you cite, I can only tell you that the event actually happened and as comics we talk about our personal experiences on stage. Given the common events of the human condition, there is bound to be some overlap. Should a comedian not talk about dating, marriage, buying a home, having kids, owning a dog, taking a trip, getting hate mail, just because others have done it before them? I know you may not be so generous as to say great minds think alike, but there is such a thing as parallel thought.
Honestly though, if this is what affects you to the point of illness, you must be in very poor health. Hopefully the new congress won't derail health care reform.
I'd say I'll try not to complain so much, but that's what I do, and apparently what you do too.
All the best to you (Really),Leighann
There are a few other things I could have addressed in “Jackie’s” note, but in retrospect I’m glad I’m didn’t since the response I sent to email@example.com bounced back. I guess if she can’t spell “narcissistic,” then giving her correct email address might be beyond her ken as well. At the very least though, if you’re gonna take the time to craft and send angry correspondence, you should have the stones to leave a real email address. Not doing so makes you both a hater and a coward. Yahoo? Apparently, in more ways than one.
And just so we’re clear, “The Comedy Bible” was written by Judy Carter. I’d be happy to forward “Jackie’s” email to Judy, but in all fairness, she should probably get her own. Who knows what helpful insights “Jackie” could share when she’s not too sick to reach the keyboard.
I wish “Jackie” had been wrong about my narcissism, but unfortunately that was spot-on, guilty as charged. I guess that’s why I’m a comedian and not a member of The Peace Corps. I wish “Jackie” could get to know me better and realize that being “self absorbed” is just one of my many flaws. I’m also a vain, judgmental elitist.
I do wonder when “Jackie” found time to watch the show she speaks of since she was so aware of everything else that was going on in the room. I’m surprised she didn’t know that Jim was managing the show that night as well, which necessitated him
I’ll restrain myself from further defending the honor of my Beloved since he is more than capable of fighting his own battles. I’m sure he’s eagerly awaiting a personal email from “Jackie,” which he will probably answer when he’s not busy stealing prehistoric jokes from ancient TV shows or dead comics.
If I may be so bold as to ask: What were YOU doing the night of the show, “Jackie,” besides being an inattentive audience member? Were the “new comics struggling and trying their best to do well” not holding your attention? Did you wish you were sitting in the back of the room working on your laptop, perhaps firing off irate emails? Considering that I haven’t been to a Gotham grad show in months, you must have been holding onto this for a while. Might I suggest blogging about what makes you mad? I find it a great way to vent. Holding it in and spewing it out long after something’s happened just makes you seem . . . unstable.
All writers want readers but selfishly I want it to be a fan base of the willing. Did someone tie you down, pin your eyes open and force you to read my blog? As far as I know, I’m not yet required reading. For the love of my last name, woman, save yourself! The cloud is big. Feel free to get lost in it.
On the real though, “J,” I’m grateful for your email since I was stuck for a topic for this week’s blog. I guess the universe loves rude, unfunny, self absorbed, entitled whiners.