"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Welcome to the Church of Rick

For those of you who don’t know me, I was a successful comedian for many years. I was on all of the talk shows and headlined clubs around the country. Then I was an even more successful monologist. I made millions of dollars and TV shows. I won all sorts of awards. Most recently I’ve been a self-pitying bastard living off of the spoils of his past.

But I always knew that one day I’d write another one-man show. I was just biding my time, waiting for two things to happen. One, for my life to fall apart -- which, thank God, it did! And two, waiting for this philosophy to emerge from my life -- this vision, if you will. And as I approached mid-life, I began to realize what that vision needed to be. I even came up with a clever title for a show that would be a testament to that vision. "Mid-life At the Oasis." Huh? I considered other titles. My favorite for a while was "Christ On A Stick," because I talk a lot about religion and Christianity, but some people thought that was a little too negative. I also liked the title "Being And Somethingness," but it had a kind of pseudo-intellectual ring to it. Finally I settled on "Mid-life At The Oasis." Which I thought was perfect.

I mean, picture this guy -- funny, smart, likable as hell. His whole life he’s been lost in the desert, right? He thirsts for truth, the meaning of life. But he finds himself surrounded only by barren wasteland. At the end of his childhood he comes upon this giant sand dune and spends decades struggling to climb it. But, just as he reaches the top, he stumbles and begins hurtling down the other side. And as he slides down this sheer sand face, racing toward certain death, he grasps at whatever he can to slow himself. God, fame, sex, money! But nothing can stop him!

Pretty dramatic, huh?

Well, needless to say, I knew I was on to something big, here. I also knew that for the show to be really successful my main character, me, had to be "relatable." I needed people in the audience to elbow the guy sitting next to ‘em and go, "Hey, that’s me. I feel just like that." So I started doing research, finding polls and surveys about how Americans feel about various issues, so I could compare myself to the supposed "average American." Unfortunately, this did not go well. As it turns out, I'm nothing like the average American. Needless to say, this was a setback. [More...]