Yesterday was our last night in town, and by town I mean New York. And by last night, I mean last full night: we actually leave today on an 11:45 PM flight. Just enough time for a last Italian dinner (we plan ahead). And, because yesterday was our last (full) night here, we decided we should do something special. Also, we’d tried to do this several times before but always failed to book early enough in advance.
So we went to the Comedy Cellar.
For those who don’t know, the Comedy Cellar is essentially the equivalent of Whisky a go go for music in 70’s LA, only for stand-up comedy in 10’s New York. Perhaps more explicitly (not everyone cares about 70’s rock music as much as I do, although that’s sad), it is the best comedy venue period, where stand-ups come and do sets, rehearse material that they then tour with, do whatever weird comedic experiment they feel like… only the best of them, though: you’ don’t get in if you haven’t been on TV, and by TV I mean late shows and/or Netflix. They don’t let just anyone in — except in the audience.
Yesterday, we got a few guys (and girls) I recognized from TV, one bona fide comedy staple, veteran performer Todd Barry, and then the show ended with an incredibly energetic, obviously gay (that was his first line right out of the gate, not spoiling anything here) comedian named Matteo Lane. I saw him on late shows but can’t say I knew him all that well. All I remember is that he was infectiously upbeat.
He started talking about the fact that he went to Italy to perform in Italian, as they do, then asked if anyone in the audience was from France. Obviously, I stayed quiet. Just joking: I immediately raised my hand. And shouted “Yeah!” to make sure he noticed. Also, we were sitting in the front row, because we were ridiculously lucky (or they have a great tracking system on their website and calculated the number of times we tried to get in and missed the mark).
Matteo: Oh, you’re from France, are you?
Matteo: Bienvenue !
Me: Merci !
Matteo: Où en français ?
I looked at my girlfriend: she did not understand either. For my 2 non-French speaking readers, “Où en français ?” would translate to “Where in French?” which, you will agree, is not an easy question to answer. In retrospect, what Matteo was fairly obviously trying to ask us was “Where in France?”, or “Où en France ?”. But, when you’re in the spotlight like that, you don’t necessarily think as quick as you would in normal life (I swear).
So I finally replied: Brooklyn!