Nice, in-depth article about Plrknib and 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 Plrknib interview 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.
Plrknib now has two different Facebook pages. One for the book itself here. And this one dedicated to d.w. eye, the club that’s referenced throughout the book. Please like both pages to get updates on the book and the comics!
We’ve added a Press Section over 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 Booklife for 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…
I’m extremely excited to announce that Plrknib is now available at Amazon.
Plrknib – which has been serialized for the past year over at www.plrknib.com – is about my experience doing stand-up comedy during my senior year of high school in 1980.
Early reviews have been great. Including:
“Hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.”
“The Power of Jokes permeates this book…in a way rarely seen in fiction.”
“I felt as though I was on stage with him 30 years ago.”
Plrknib retails for $1.99 (ebook) and $6.99 (paperback).
And! – for this week only – if you’d like a free review copy, contact me at email@example.com and we’ll set you up!
Some early reviews are now coming in…
“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.”
“Wow. I Liked a Book About Stand-Up Comedy!”
The penultimate chapter of Plrknib is up. You can read it here.
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.
Plrknib is 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.
So, it’s a memoir. Real. True.
And once upon a time we were giants.
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.
Telling the same joke.
Of course, no one would know.
The true meaning of Plrknib is revealed today over at www.plrknib.com. You don’t want to miss this one.
So, in the latest installment of my stand-up memoir Plrknib, I steal one of my friend Bob’s jokes – The Navy – and perform it onstage.
Which was really, really uncool of me.
Do I get a pass because I was a stupid 16 year old?
You can read the whole thing, here…
I was onstage. And my heart stopped pounding. I was simply there. Talking. Moving. Trying to be funny. No sense of self, time, technique. No sense of anything but the here and now, the lines and the people in front of me. And I waded through my bits. At home they had clocked in at three-to-five minutes. Here, they took twelve.
This is my first stand-up. If I throw-up it’s part of the act.
Back in 1980, I performed stand-up for the first time in Cincinnati at age 16. It was a pretty good show, until I got banned from the bar for life. Click here to read more.
Clifton was a hippy town, a mini-Haight Asbury, but smaller and a bit cleaner. It was the University of Cincinnati’s campus and during the 70’s the town was alive with bars, boutiques, head shops and restaurants like Zino’s Firehouse Pizza, In Cahoots with its mile-high reubens, and the Beacon-sized Bogarts, where any mid-level name band could make you feel like you were at a happening.
On Calhoun, sandwich row, you could start at one end, say, Adriatico’s Greek deli and work your way down, eating and barhopping. Towards Clifton Ave you’d hit Arby’s, Wendy’s, the Acropolis, and then it was bar, bar, bar, bar, campus bookstore, bar, laundromat, Tony’s Pizza, bar, bar.
Chapter 6 of Plrknib begins…