Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Emerging Market

As unemployment takes center stage as the nation's most pressing issue, I feel grateful that I always have something to fall back on in times of trouble. And no, I don't mean blogging for Blicky.

My back-up career is stand-up comedy for the 6 and under set. I know what you're thinking, gentle reader. Hey, who would pay you money to do something that easy? Isn't that like offering family planning for pandas, running anger management classes for Tibetan monks, or teaching tail-wagging and steak eating to dogs? Comedy for kids? All you have to do is say the word "poop" and call it a day. I understand your thinking, and I realize that I will need to demonstrate my gift in order to give people an understanding of the rigors and complexity involved.

For a limited time, I will share these free tricks that are guaranteed to kill -- I mean absolutely slay the members of the wrinkle-free-midget persuasion.

#1 One joke that never fails at drop-off even though they might hear it 180 days out of the school year: "Now remember, kids, DON'T HAVE FUN." But beware -- if you can't do a decent deadpan, you're out of your league and should stop here. At the very least, that line guarantees a sea of gleeful smiles and sing-song choruses of, "We're having fuuunnnn!"

#2 Persons of the curly-haired-dimpled persuasion absolutely LOVE anarchy. We grownups get a little nervous when the center cannot hold and the falcon cannot hear the falconer and all of that, but for the 6 and unders? Bring it onnn, baby! Any humor that contains anarchy is guaranteed to kill. K-I-L-L kill. One caveat, don't try to make jokes about political libertarian theory or make references to famous anarchists. It falls dangerously flat. For example, I would strongly advise against the following: "Hey guys, ever hear the one about Lysander Spooner and his thoughts about acts of initiatory coercion against individuals and their property?" Unless you're prepared to resort to a pathetic and desperate display of gas passing humor coupled with dancing (and such moves are frowned upon in juvenile comedic circles), you're toast.

#3 Persons-of-limited-vintage are none the wiser when you "borrow" your material. I have this running joke going in the kindergarten this year about Justin Bieber and how it would be really funny if he were the tooth fairy. So of course I had to come up with a reasonably good quality falsetto song that he might sing if he came to your house to get your teeth, "Oh baby baby, just give me your wiggly tooth…" They have no idea that my falsetto bears an eerie resemblance to Jimmy Fallon's parody of Barry Gibb because they can't stay up late and watch SNL or see it on anyone's Facebook. For that matter, they really don't care if you have no idea what Justin Bieber even sounds like. btw They don't get tired of the same joke either, so the next day, Justin Bieber might be a baby carrot who's going to jump out of their lunchboxes, start wiggling his little orange hips and sing, "Never say never." (again sounding eerily like Barry Gibb).

#4 They delight in any suggestions that the grownups in their lives might have a secret identity, "Who said your mom is actually a ninja? I didn't say that! No she really goes to yoga just like she says she does and is definitely not involved in secret training or missions of any kind."

That should be enough to get you started. And now for your mandatory fun, a bit of the real thing for those of us of the more energy-challenged, anile, vintage persuasion: