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.)
(I got a little tired of re-posting the cover of the book; so here’s a picture of a dog.)
Yes, Plrknib now has something in common with toilet paper!
Hey – we got a super lovely review over at New Pop Lit!
Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to post references to a lot of reviews – because then I should be posting the bad ones, too, right? (Not too many of those, yet, tho. Give it time!) But this one is super-lovely, so…
Here’s a little excerpt…
….Like a comedian’s joke, Plrknib is the kind of narrative you fight against when you start reading it, but it pulls you along despite yourself. Like most of Bernstein’s writing, it’s irresistibly absorbing. Where is this book heading, you ask? What does “plrknib” mean? You’re skeptical, but you continue reading.
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.