Yes, the d.w. eye Reunion is actually happening! It’s going to be Friday, June 23, 2017 at the 20th Century Theater in Cincinnati. For anyone who’s read Plrknib, this will essentially be the book coming to life before your very eyes (except everyone is significantly older). Comedians appearing in the book who are scheduled to perform include Drew Hastings, Chili Challis, Rico Bruce Wade, Cap & Johnny, and myself. (And this will be the first stand-up I’ve performed in Cinti in over 30 years! Oy.) We’re joined by a ton of great comics who performed at the eye shortly after the period that’s covered in the book, including Michael Flannery, Steve Caminiti, Jim Gilliece, and Mark Kline. And we expect to be joined by even more eye alumni. (If you’re reading this and you ever performed at the eye, please contact me or Michael Flannery.) Even Don Merriss, the original owner of the eye, will be on hand!
Flannery and I have been assembling this event for a couple months now. If you’re in the area – this is going to be much more than a “night at a comedy club.” We’re turning this into an event with a ton of surprises in store.
Also the night before the show, Thursday 6/22, we’ll be doing a signing of Plrknib at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion.
Lots of exciting Plrknib news this week – and in the weeks to come! An excerpt from the book – nicely titled “Funny Guy” – is featured in the current “After Dark” issue of Cincinnati Magazine. It’s only available in the print edition of the magazine – which you can order here. Here’s a snippet from the piece, below.
If you’re in Cincinnati and looking to pick up a copy of Plrknib (along with the new Cincinnati Magazine) in an actual bookstore, one place you can certainly find it is at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. A friend sent in the lovely picture below. How appropriate to be sandwiched between Savages and Madness! (I was told by someone else that it was a store pick in JBB, and had one of those “why you should check this out” notes above it. How nice.)
And we have some VERY BIG announcements coming soon, especially again, for folks in the Cincinnati/Ohio area.
Nice, in-depth article about Plrkniband d.w. eye today at WVXU (in Cincinnati) written by John Kiesewetter, someone who was there at the time and remembers the comics intimately. This leads into an interview coming up this Sunday night on WVXU with Kiese and fellow eye alum, Michael Flannery.
Mike Flannery came to the eye right when I was heading off to college and just tore the place up. He went on to become hugely popular, winning Showtime’s funniest comic in Ohio twice, hosting the kids’ show Club 19, anchoring WCPO TV news, and basically becoming the most famous eye personality in Cinti.
Back in the mid-80’s I performed with him at least twice – once in ’85 at Aunt Maudie’s, and once in late ’87 at the Funnybone – where he shredded the place and I died a horrible death.
Flan remains very much on top of his game. So, it was a real honor doing the VXU interview alongside him. And…we may be doing some additional performing together in the near future. Watch this space…
(You can hear the Plrknibinterview this Sunday, March 19th at 7p on WVXU’s Around Cincinnati.)
Well, it’s been an interesting month-and-a-half to say the least! Support for Plrknib has been extremely positive. Thanks so much to all of you who have been buying copies and leaving reviews. It is much appreciated!
Plrknib has gotten some very lovely initial reviews at both Amazon and Goodreads. We’ve also been doing Goodreads Giveaways. The latest one is for five signed copies of the paperback. More information is here.
We’ve added a Press Sectionover at the Plrknib site, where you can see some of the recent coverage that the book has been getting. You can expect to see more in the coming weeks.
Plrknib has also been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s indie site Booklifefor the past week.
Also, since the book is about stand-up, some folks have asked if I’m still performing – and if so, where. Yes, there are a bunch of dates coming up in 2017, and we’ll be posting those here. And chances are good that we’ll be giving away signed copies of the book at some of these performances…
“Hilarious and Personal Memoir of What It’s Like to Follow Your Dream of Being A Stand-Up Comic.”
“In this gonzo, coming-of-age memoir set in the early 80’s, Alex Bernstein takes a situation most people might consider trivial – a teenager stealing a professional comedian’s joke – and turns it into high, hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.”
“I felt as though I was on stage with him 30 years ago.”
“Halfway thru this book I started telling everyone I knew that they needed to read it.”
It’s a pretty ugly chapter, chronicling a painfully bad stand-up performance. (Although it’s a nice look at what’s going on in the brain of a comic during a bad and pretty long gig.) If watching cringe-worthy, trainwreck performances is your thing – this is for you.
If you’re coming late to the game and wondering what all this Plrknib stuff is about – you can read the entire thing here. You can also check out the site’s About page for the quick skinny on the whole thing.
And in a month or so – the actual book will be coming out.
I’ve been serializing my story of doing stand-up in high school, 35 years ago, over at www.plrknib.com. We’re up to about 25 chapters so far.
Plrknibis a memoir. And initially I was uncomfortable about writing it that way. I could have easily written it as fiction, but decided to keep it as a memoir for one simple reason: the place I performed regularly at – d.w. eye – and all the comics who played there were real. Are real. The club, itself, no longer exists and some of the comics have left us as well. But many are going strong today.
Drew Hastings performs regularly and is mayor of Hillsboro, OH. Chili Challis performs regularly and teaches comedy at well-revered “dojos” across the Midwest. Will Durst has been going strong beating the crap out of both political parties, lately. Bob Lambert, Rico Diaz, Chip Chinery, Riggi, Roger. Most still write or perform, at least occasionally. The list goes on and on.
So, while I was certainly capable of fictionalizing the story – it seemed criminal not to celebrate the people who were so incredibly inspiring to me when I was a stupid teenager.
I was playing Scrabble the other day with my identical twin sister. Boy, is she ugly –
I rationalized: this is a joke by a not-famous comedian hundreds of miles away, on the other side of the world, on an alien planet. If he lived here, in Cinti, then no, forget it. If it seemed like he might ever even come to town – then no. But he would never know. No one here would have heard of him, heard this bit before. We were on two different planets completely. Two obscure, young comics on two different worlds, hundreds of miles away from each other.