Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

7 November 2011

Want to see a thinner, goofier, different me bombing at stand-up comedy on TV?

6 years ago I got a call from a guy named Greg Harrison, calling himself "Greg Who" asking me if I'd perform stand up comedy and be a guest on his variety show on Christian TV. Greg is a great guy with a big heart and I was pleased to be a guest!

I've written before about my successes and failures in the world of Christian Comedy but reactions have ranged from an encouraged, happy and entertained room... all the way to my audience progressing from hate, to ignoring me, to walking away to get snacks... to me getting a shoulder tap & quick hook followed by me writing apology letters to the ministry team the next day.

Suffice to say... it's a tricky thing to balance the raw, cutting honesty that comedy requires with ministry responsibilities that supersede a laugh. This is a much larger discussion that I have wrestled with for 15 years if you'd like to chat later about it but this is about watching myself on this show 6 years later as the clips just went up on YouTube.

I want to show you the stand-up clip first. I come on at about the 2 minute mark. I will warn you that I too cringed at my material 6 years later.

Then I was invited back to the desk to talk with Greg Who. It winds up with me putting a tennis ball in my mouth. Legendary.

I watched these clips today and realized that I'm a very different person than I was 6 years ago. First... I was just at the end of a YEAR of fasting, culminating in a 40 Day just juice fast. So I was DARN skinny. Thankfully years of eating has restored my winter layer.

Also, I think my speaking (and comedy) has been refined greatly. I believe that I've learned to use less words more effectively. I watched those clips and wished I'd have just made the point I was trying to make instead of babbling my way around it. Hit and stick with the joke clean... pull and hit clean again. Stand up comedy is very much like a boxing match. Shout testify if you've tried it. It's the single toughest public speaking discipline I've ever done.

I also see a younger and more... spry man in these clips. At the time I was only a few years into the church-planting adventure and things were pretty novel still. I can't help but think of some of the hard work, tough times, and late night planning sessions leading to sleepless nights that have happened between then and now and I think it's changed me. The Dave in these clips struggled to focus in meetings, while today I'm sitting on boards of directors. The Dave in these clips could say or do most anything he wanted without much serious or lasting criticism/impact. Today, I have to make sure that everything I say or do in public, online, in print, or on TV is consistent with the story I want my life to tell... because people are listening. The Dave I am today is more who I've always wanted to be, but it's come with darker eye circles, less sleep, more late night eating and a heavier responsibility weight.

But I'll say one thing... like the U2 song from "No Line on the Horizon" says, there are times where I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy. I learned years ago, that my gift to make people laugh was given to me to refine and use as a communication tool to influence people. It's not JUST for me and my pleasure. It's a tool. The joke used to be paramount. Now the message is. But I HAVE to make people laugh. I HAVE to be a little edgy. I HAVE to have bouts of craziness... or I'll go crazy.

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