Single White Nerd: Stand-Up and the Single Nerd
a blogumn by Michael Kass
Single man-nerds, hear me now: If you want to meet women, try stand-up comedy.
Before I found stand-up, I’d tried everything. Well, maybe not everything. I never went to a dating seminar, for example. Nor had I tried the cultish techniques practiced by “pick-up artists” whose entire repertoire of tricks seem to consist of making women feel really bad about themselves. Ok. Maybe I just tried meeting people and going out with them. On dates and stuff. And I met with varying degrees of success.
And then I found stand-up.
Five weeks ago, I took to the stage for the first time. Palms sweating, mouth dry, and knees a’knockin’ I stepped up to the microphone. To calm my heart, I took a deep breath and looked out into the audience. Because of the lights, I could only see into the front row. And what did I see when I looked into the front row?
Women. I saw women. Mildly inebriated women with wide eyes pointed at me (me!) and filled with expectation. They were there to laugh. And by God, they’d laugh. In their eyes, I saw that it didn’t really matter if I was funny or not. They had paid good money and, as long as I managed to avoid offending them, they would laugh. And because I stood at the microphone, they would attribute their self-induced laughter to my efforts at comedy!
I saw all that in the split second it took me to take a breath and launch into my routine. Well, maybe not all of it. Maybe I just saw their eyes. But if I’d had longer, that’s totally what I would have seen.
As I shared my tales of woe with a captive audience, I noticed that the Front Row Women showed more interest in me in direct proportion with how undesirably I portrayed myself. For example, I’d say something like:
“I am a terrible person and everyone hates me.”
And they would say:
Then I’d say something like:
“Seriously, women, do not date me. It’s a bad idea”
And they would say:
“I want to date you.”
Not literally. They said that more with their eyes and suggestive shoulder shrugs. But it was pretty clear.
At one point, I shared a particularly revealing story that had me crying in pain during an intimate moment of momentary sexual intimacy. I personally found the story revolting and shared it in the same way that someone might share their guilt at committing a crime in a confessional. I fully expected the audience to greet this tale with boos and hisses of disgust.
Instead they laughed and clapped. Had it been a Tom Jones show and not a comedy show, I’m pretty sure my friends in the front row would have tossed their unmentionables at me. In a complimentary way, not an “eat my shorts” way.
This puzzled me. I wondered how far I could push it. If I admitted to strangling puppies or eating babies, would women in the audience respond even more positively, throwing themselves upon me in a lustful heap? Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to find out. The little blinky light at the back of the theater went off, telling me to wind up my set. So I wound things up and left the stage, sure that fetching lady-folk would mob me.
I hung out in the lobby for a bit, making myself available should any of my admirers from the front row, or further back in the audience, wish to give me their numbers or have sex with me. No one approached. But a couple of people did give me a brief
nod as if to say “hi, you’re shorter than I thought you’d be.”
I was mystified. Surely I hadn’t misread the audience so severely. Maybe the Stand-Up Comedy Technique of meeting women only works for the five minute duration of a single set? Under the influence of alcohol? When there is a division between performer and audience? Did they expect me to approach them? Unfathomable!
I’m going to continue my research into this area. We’ll figure it out, never fear. In the meantime, let’s amend the opening sentence of this post:
Single man-nerds, hear me now: If you want to meet women (or, really, have them look at you with something resembling admiration for about five minutes before going on to ignore you or and/or avert their gaze) who like men who openly confess to being undateable and admit to a propensity for tears, try stand-up comedy. Hope this helps!