I just remembered awhile back I did a set for a bunch of crusty old veterans in the Sacramento area and I opened by not telling them I was a veteran, instead I said “Give it up for the comedians! The real heroes!” and I asked how many murderers were in the room.
The vets loved me and their wives hated me. (But they all loved my jokes about bad VA health care.)
Also the magician headlining tried to get the host to light me early. Yes, he tried to get me, a VETERAN among his own people, off the stage early, any time something I said wasn’t met with uproarious approval, because he was scared he’d go up and have to win a crowd with his hack garbage.
The night did reinforce the difference between anti-war San Francisco vets and pro-war, look-at-my-medals, I-still-matter, middle-California vets. I can handle both crowds and I love and empathize with both crowds but they’re not the same.
Anyway, this is one of the many times that someone has wanted me off the stage early on the same night that several people approached me afterwards to tell me how much they loved me. Fuck your safe, frictionless comedy.
People who’ve been to war can take a joke.