Tony Vinh

comedian

Thoughts On Thoughts & Prayers. And Pizza.

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You know what? It’s fine to say “Thoughts and Prayers” if you want to. Go ahead...say it, write it, post it, tattoo it on your face if you feel like it. Because sometimes, you just don’t know how else to mourn.

Maybe you’re just so shocked and filled with emotions that you can’t come up with your own words. That’s fine. That’s what these words are here for.

Who cares if people make snarky comments about how it doesn’t actively do anything or that it rings hollow. Sometimes simple symbolic gestures matter, like bringing flowers for a date...or to a funeral. And if they say you’re making it about you, well guess what? Now they’re making it about THEM! About how THEY don’t like how you made THEM suffer through such an awful thing. How could you? How dare you? Why are you such a terrible person?

Fuck. Them.

Don’t be shamed into not saying anything at all. If you want to say it, just say it. At least it expresses sympathy. At least it demonstrates compassion. At least it shows heart. At least it says you’re human.

In a time when tragedy is so commonplace, I’d rather see “thoughts and prayers” than nothing at all. Complete silence and disregard would be tragic in itself.

On another note, today is free pizza day at Planet Fitness and I’ve never seen the gym this fucking crowded.

Into The Sunset.

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I bought this guy with 80k miles on it hoping it would last me 3 years. Today... 7 years, 3 states, and countless drives to open mics and comedy shows later, I finally had to say goodbye at 188k miles.

I sold it to this nice Mexican man who said he was buying it for his kid, whom he brought with him to get me to knock a $100 off the price. I did so, even though his kid was 6 years old and didn't look like he could even ride a bike. Let's be honest, my car is already filled with work tools and is carrying three ladders on the roof. Sigh.

I know, it's just a car, right? I'm not so sure. Is it possible to be bffs with a vehicle? Or maybe even more?

I once ran out of gas on top of a small mountain in Texas and coasted all the way down to the bottom on empty with it. Take that, big oil companies.

I drove it through 4 blizzards safely and with warm, heated seats. It may have been warm because I peed in pants.

I've slept in it many times in between gigs or when the motel a club booked me in looked like a place where I could be murdered.

I had a lot of dates in it where, at the end of the night, we drove this guy right to the Friend Zone.

It had a tape deck where I could still listen to my Bel Biv Devoe, Jodeci and Ugly Kid Joe tapes.

It had a DVD player for kids to watch in the backseat, even though I never had kids. But my dog really enjoyed Zootopia, Air Bud and Homeward Bound. Man, it still smelled like my dog. Not in a bad, noticeable way. Just a scent I would recognize.

And I transported so many dead bodies in it. Just kidding. Or am I...?

This was more than a car to me. More than just a friend. It was home. Wherever I was, wherever I was headed, it was always home.

Thank you for our time together. I will miss you.

Hungry Men.

INTERESTING FACT:

Did you know women get free food 800% more times than men? Women are KILLING IT in this area.

Scientists say a big reason for this comes from women knowing how to say these words in this exact order: "Oh, I'm not really hungry. I'll just have a bite of yours." That gets them at least half a cheeseburger and definitely an entire basket of fries every time. 

In a privately-funded study I just made up, researchers attempted to teach men how to say that very phrase but the dumb men could not get the words to come out of their mouths. According to one researcher, "Their manhood would not allow it, especially in the presence of other men."

In each case, the subjects just sat in silence and quickly pulled out their wallets to each pay for their own food, at which point female researchers instinctually intervened and consumed said food.

My GoT Prediction.

1. Westeros will divide in half.

2. Daenerys will rule South Westeros.

3. Jon will rule North Westeros with a bowl haircut.

#got #gameofthrones #westeros #youhearditherefirst #markmywords #idrinkandiknowthings

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Cheers To Moms.

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Moms. Am I right? They made us! Like, I'm not talking in the figurative sense about how they shaped our weird, shitty personalities. I mean they actually made us! If you're a 6'4" 240 lb. dude out there, your mom created you inside her belly and pushed you out like a Toyota factory makes a Corolla. And now you're bigger than her. Wtf! That's like if the Corolla was now bigger than the Toyota factory. You know how weird that'd be for everyone who worked in that factory? But moms don't care. The bigger you grow, the happier they are so they can brag to their friends, "My child is the biggest Corolla out there. Now I don't have to struggle to reach the top shelf anymore."

But for 9 months, we all completely fucked up our moms' bodies and they didn't care! They threw up all the time, ate like a feral beagle, and their bodies turned into something from Aliens where their toes got pudgy and it made our fingers and eyeballs and then weird tubes started feeding us. The only other times I've ever seen this are in sci-fi horror movies. If dads had to go through that, they'd go hide in the woods under some leaves and die. And what'd we do in return? Us being the shitty fetuses (fetae?) that we were, we'd kick them from the inside. Just big, cheap Draymond Green kicks when they weren't expecting it. But did they get mad? Noooooo. They were happy and invited everyone to touch their bellies and immediately signed us up for a soccer team at the YMCA, which is why we all had to play soccer.

And after all that, they had to push us out! All of us. No, I don't mean collectively like the Persians in the movie 300 trying to pass through a narrow passageway, I mean our entire bodies had to come out of them. You ever try to suck watermelon through a straw? No, because that would be ridiculous. But moms did that! Well, some moms cheated, but I understand. I wouldn't want to wreck my straw either.

And now we're here today. Mother's Day. Paying back the ones who literally shaped and carried us with a cheap card from Walgreens, flowers that will die in a week and a shitty lunch at some casino buffet. But do moms care? Nope. They still love us. Because they're moms. #happymothersday

Clocking In.

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I hit 3 open mics last night. The most I've done in one night was 5, but 3 was pretty good for a Monday. They were pleasant, fun rooms, too. Still, I hate doing mics so much.

They can be very judgy. You can doubt not only your jokes, but your whole existence. And the waiting around for your name to be called is unbearable. But in this world, there are no shortcuts or magic potions to make you good. You just have to do it. It's like getting abs. You just gotta do your sit-ups and crunches.

So I have to remind myself that this is my job now. These rooms are my office. The stages are my cubicle. The microphones are my keyboard. My mind is my boss who constantly wants to fire me and never gives me a raise. The few, if any, folks who aren't staring down at their phones and are paying attention are my clients. And my product I'm trying to sell them is a stupid pet rock I'm hoping will inexplicably be a hit someday. Why a pet rock? Because there isn't a more ridiculous epitome of the American dream, which is what this stand-up thing feels like most days.

The funny thing is, with every real job I've had in my life, I've shown up late to work almost every day (us people of color call that CP Time). But with this job, I've always shown up early. Sometimes way too early, like when white kids would anxiously wait for the new Harry Potter book to come out.

Guess I'm still excited to go to work and wait my turn.

How It Feels To Do Comedy At A Hipster Open Mic When You're Not A Hipster:

1. Go to a wedding reception you weren't invited to.

2. Ask the DJ to stop the music while everyone is dancing so you can give a toast.

3. Give the best toast you've ever given.

4. Cue sweat on brow from way-too-hot spotlight.

5. Cue microphone feedback over silence.

6. Cue stone-faced stare down from bride's dad.

7. Wait for slow clap.

8. Wait for it.

9. Wait for it.

10. No slow clap.

11. Say, "That's my time. Thank you and goodnight, everyone."

12. Hear your footsteps echo throughout silent room as you walk off stage.

13. Music, dancing and good times resume.

14. Go straight to In-N-Out and order fries, animal style.

15. Take off clothes and rub animal style fries all over your body.

16. Go into forest and throw yourself to a pack of hungry wolves.

Power On

A poem I wrote 17 years ago when I was in an Asian militant group called the Yellow Panthers ✊ (it was just me). Still pretty much rings true today, Hollywood.

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An Open Letter To Open Letters

Dear Person Who Writes Open Letters To Whomever/Whatever Upset You This Week Because You Are Way Too Sensitive And Now Have To Get On A Passive Aggressive Soapbox Hoping To Get Likes For Your Bullshit Cause Versus Just Having A Direct Conversation With Whomever Or Just Giving The Middle Finger To Whatever And Moving On:


Shut up.


Sincerely,

Me

Vinhsane

Being a stand-up is exhausting. People think you just need to be funny, but that's only 20% of it. The other 80% is you having to be insane. Like, seriously, if you want to succeed, you have to be somewhat out of your mind.


Because on one hand, you have to see the world for the truth it is- that's what all the great comedians do. They call reality out for its nuances and on its bullshit. But on the other, you have to constantly lie to yourself about your own reality to keep yourself moving forward.


You have to believe it's perfectly fine to stand up in the corner of a bar at 1 am on a Tuesday night every single week sharing your thoughts and pouring your heart out to a bunch of strangers, if any, who are so wasted or tired they don't even know you're there.


You have to believe it's perfectly fine to drive 4 hours to a club you're trying to get into then drive 4 hours back home the same night just to do a 10 minute set for an owner or manager or booker who's so busy or wasted or tired they don't even know you're there.


You have to believe it's perfectly fine to be lied to or rejected over and over and over again to the point where your feelings are so calloused you don't even know anymore if they're there.


You have to believe in yourself - and that you're perfectly fine - when no one else will. When no one else is there.


And all that gets so tiring. It's not easy. It's not for the lazy. It's not for the normal people.


So cheers to the batshit crazy comedians out there who aren't normal. And kudos to the ones who have lasted and endured. And a big, Wayne's World-we're not worthy-bow to the ones who have made it to the top of the game.


And if you're just a normal person but you know a comedian, please go out and support them at 1 am on a Tuesday night, or at any time. Because while they may only be 20% funny, and they may definitely be 80% nuts, I promise they are giving 100% every last bit of their exhausted selves. And that's sure as hell worth appreciating.