Behind The Tweet

I usually like to let my tweets speak for themselves, (which has to be the douchiest sentence I've ever written) (actually it's probably not the douchiest sentence I've written today)  but these are unusual times.  Yesterday I tweeted the following:

The SNL writer I'm referring to is a Katie Rich. She tweeted a joke about Trump's 10 year old son, subsequently deleted it, and sincerely apologized. She was then suspended by Lorne Michaels.  

Now if your take away from the tweet above is that I think it's cool to mock little kids, I don't.  I think it's shitty.  I remember when I was a kid, SNL took a shot at Amy Carter (and that one got on the air!)  and I thought that sucked.  Every cheap shot at the Bush twins and the vicious crap hurled at the Obama girls was way over the line.  I think it's just wrong. And so, by the way, does Katie Rich.  She apologized and I have no doubt she wishes she could take it back. (Although, if you look at that joke I think it is FAR more at the senior Trump's expense.  When I describe it as "bad" I'm referring to its reception not it's quality.) 

But I have a confession to make.  There have been times in my life that I've said or written something I wish I could take back.  I know.  I'm a fucking monster!   But wait, there's more.  You know the writers' on your favorite shows? Your favorite comics? Your favorite comedy directors?  Each and every one of them has written or told an offensive joke THEY wish they could take back! If that fact rocks your world let me gently offer this advice. Grow the fuck up,  that's how comedy works. The way we learn to do what we do is by trying shit out.  Sometimes it goes horribly awry and we feel bad.  Some of us apologize.  The best of us learn from it and live on to make some future offensive mistakes.  

I've spent the last 20 plus years in comedy rooms. The best of these have been no holds barred places where as long as you're not intentionally trying to hurt someone, NOTHING is off limits.  I've written dozens of family friendly episodes of television that sprouted from some seriously NC17 discussions with other writers.  My comedian friends are the same.  They work out their material in front of audiences.  Sometimes they go too far and adjust and hone their sets accordingly.  This wasn't a problem before the age of outrage and cell phone cameras.  There's not much I like about being fifty two years old.  I'm fifty three in a couple of days and I like that even less.  But the thing I'm most grateful for is that I learned to write jokes BEFORE the advent of social media.  I have ZERO doubt that I would have found myself in a far worse situation than Katie's had I been starting out now.  My early jokes were SO MUCH more offensive and I thank God they are lost to history.  That said, as conscientious as I try to be to not punch down with my jokes,  I've no doubt that in the next decade if I'm alive and still on Twitter I will write something that will get me into hot water.  It's inevitable. I apologize in advance.  But when that day comes, as you storm my feed with your virtual pitchforks, ask yourselves this question:  Have you ever said something you wish you could take back?

The thing is if you're a person who has never regretted saying anything, you are a TERRIBLE person.  Let's see, who do we know who never feels remorseful for saying awful things...

So getting back to Saturday Night Live... It's super cool that Lorne has a set of standards he uses to keep people off the show.  Tweeting about a public figure's kid is clearly a violation of the code of ethics he's set down. A man has to have a code.  I mean say a person, and these are just random examples, were to mock a disabled man.  Or, I don't know, brag about sexual assault.  Or publicly attack women based on their looks or call immigrants rapists or advocate banning people from entering this country based on their religion.  I'm sure Mr. Michaels would not allow that person on the writing staff.  Of course he wouldn't.  HE'D INVITE HIM TO HOST THE FUCKING SHOW!  It's the worst kind of hypocrisy.

And to those who unimaginably still support Trump, your outrage over this woman's one joke is bullshit.  You have no credibility.  You don't want to see children get hurt? How noble. I'm confused though as to why you voted for a man who threatens to break up families and deport MILLIONS of children. Who nominates a secretary of education whose solution to our public education system is to gut it.  Who doesn't believe in climate change and will leave these precious children with a planet that can't sustain them.  Who is quite literally THE LAST PERSON ANY RATIONAL PERSON WOULD WANT THEIR CHILDREN TO EMULATE.  So thank you so much for your brave stand against the greatest evil facing our next generation.  Mean tweets ™️. 

I'll take ill thought out jokes at my child's expense over this hypocrisy any day.

Thank you, you've been a great crowd!   


Rage Against the Obscene


So lots of talented smart people worked very hard in a very short amount of time to make this live concert happen!  The people I was working with directly ran into some logistical and financial roadblocks which made a stadium show unfeasible...BUT.

Others had the same idea and I'm happy to announce that there will be a show streamed on Facebook Live!  You can read the details here and donate to some very worthy charities that will quite literally be fighting for their lives come January 20th.

More acts are being added every day.  To my comic friends, writers, directors: message me if you'd like to be involved and I'll put you in touch with the organizers!  Let's do this!!! 

About a week after the election I was feeling somewhat down in the way that the sun is somewhat hot.  I felt alone, hopeless, fat (that last one is not Trump related) and truly wanted to just give up.  I dreaded the moment after waking from a peaceful sleep when reality would rush in and I'd remember that the worst person in American history was just elected president.  But after a few weeks of watching one monster after another join this pussy grabbing Pig Boy's cabinet I'm happy to report that my sadness has turned into a much healthier emotion: Blind Fucking Rage. 

Rage is underrated and underutilized by our side.  Even moderate and rational Republicans have trouble harnessing it.  Now you can say a lot about those die hard Trump supporters (just don't use big words) but they know how to rage.  Yes, they are mostly raging about bullshit  but that rage is real.  And it scares the shit out of the aforementioned rational Republicans.   I mean as angry and frustrated as we all are about a literal fascist movement taking over the government, imagine how "gracefully" they would take it if their illiterate orange messiah had won the popular vote by THREE MILLION and was denied the presidency.  IMAGINE!  You don't have to.  In the last poll I read on the subject over half the GOP still believes Obama is a Kenyan Muslim.  That's eight years of rage right there.  If they can stay angry over racist fairy tales surely we can muster some outrage when we have actual facts, actual science on our side. 

"But Danny," I imagine you saying aloud into your phone screen as you read this, "I want to fight but what can we do?"  This is a question I have myself asked aloud to my various screens.  There are the obvious things like hold our representatives accountable.  Those Democratic representatives that collaborate and compromise with the con man in chief need to know we are watching them and we will throw all our support to their opponents in primary battles.  But I was wondering what we can do right now to let this handicapped mocking garbage person know that the "landslide" he keeps talking about is as fictional as his old publicist, John Miller,  And then on Facebook I saw a couple of my old high school friends posting different versions of this :

There's a few reasons why this is a GREAT idea.  First, think of what a morale boost it would be to all of us on one of America's darkest days.  Hard to feel isolated and alone while watching millions of Americans rejecting the OBSCENITY of a man like Trump being sworn in.  But here's my favorite reason.  It will drive him insane.  The fact that his inauguration could be upstaged and lose in the precious ratings he cares so much about will make him feel a little like every immigrant he called a rapist.  Every woman he rated on a scale from one to ten to see if they were worthy of being groped by his tiny hands.  Ratings are everything to him.  I have first hand knowledge of this.  Our twitter "war" started when I challenged his assertion that his crap reality show wasn't "THE NUMBER ONE SHOW OF THE NIGHT" but instead finished in dead last.

So let's put on a concert.  He has Kid Rock and Scott Baio.  Yes they are both staggering talents but we have EVERYBODY ELSE.  Let's get our best bands and artists on board.  Our funniest comics to do sets that everyone, with one thin skinned notable exception, will love.  Someone posted that Alec Baldwin should host! An amazing idea.  You in Alec?   We'll need a catchy name.  "Rage Against the Obscene" "Laugingstock" "Lolapopularvoteloser"  I'm open to suggestions.  If you like the idea please tweet this to your favorite artists.  If you know concert promoters send it to them.  I write dick jokes for a living so this is not my area of expertise but I will help in any way I can but we need our performers to drive this.   We have a month to put it together!  Jesus, it feels good to write this. Imagine how we'll feel if we can pull it off.  

Ooh how about "#ManyPeopleAreSinging"?  



A letter from Mom

I’m sad.  And I hate feeling sad.  I’m much more comfortable with the sweet sensation of rage.  I’m told that contentment is also a nice feeling but I don’t think that emotion fits me well.  Like hats.  I wish I could be content and strut around in a cool fedora but that’s just not me.  So in the midst of this hangover of disappointment I received the following letter from my mom.  She’s one of the smartest people I know and it made me feel a little better.  Maybe it will help you, too.  Maybe she can be your mom for today.  Or if you want to take her in at Christmas so I can travel that would be great, too.  Anyway here’s the letter.  (Warning: She calls me “Dan.” I don’t know why.)

Hi Dan,

Last night I was devastated.  This morning I was numb, but, now, I’m actually relieved.No more worrying about defending my candidates policies, or wondering when she’ll be impeached, or witnessing the calculated gridlock.

The American public wanted change and lack of gridlock.  And, now, they are going to certainly get what they wanted.  

All we, who voted with our consciences and our patriotism and our love for our fellow man, will just sit back and observe.  Our participation for the next four years is over.

It’s all on them now.  They have the congress, the senate, the presidency and certainly will have the supreme court.  Let’s see what they can do.  No more excuses, or side investigations or innuendos or phony attacks. 

We can, more or less, live in our cocoons.  It’s not that we can’t be affected, but, we are far more insulated than the red hatted ones who voted for him like lemmings marching off a cliff.  

And for those that didn’t vote, or voted for a third candidate, they will get what they so readily deserve.

Sometimes, it really has to get to rock bottom before the healing can begin.  This election has put us there.  

The fun has just begun.


See? I told you she’s smart.  And I don’t take this as advice to do nothing.  We most certainly have to fight harder than ever.  But it’s in their court now.  Go ahead. Follow Obama. Best of luck.  We’ll see you in 2 years.  

I'm Not With Him

Back in ’90 when I was 26 and had thick luxurious hair, I went to a nightspot on the Sunset Strip with a bunch of friends. Actually, three friends and a couple of acquaintances.  One of the acquaintances, (I’ll call him “Joel”) (Because his name is Joel) got very drunk very quickly.  He was loud, he was rude and he was thrown out of the bar for grabbing women.  I witnessed this while sharing a drink with a woman who saw me walk in with him.  She watched Joel get bounced and proceeded to look at me with a level of disgust I don’t usually get from women until they know me much longer. Ashamed at being associated in any way with that creep, I reflexively said, “I’ve never seen that guy before in my life!”

This sums up how I’ve felt for the last year and a half.  From the moment Donald Trump descended that escalator announcing his candidacy to a crowd of people he paid to be there, to this moment right now when he could actually become the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!  About a year ago I did some speaking engagements across Mexico.  In Monterrey I met a middle class couple.  I asked them what it was like for them to watch Trump’s rise.  The husband said, “We’ve always known Trump is a fool.  But when the camera turned around to show the cheering crowd…” He just shook his head.  Again, I reflexively said I was sorry.  The wife chimed in “No, you don’t understand. We feel sorry for you.”  (I’ve been invited to watch election night in Mexico City and I’m sure I’ll have more to report.)  

Smarter people than I have eloquently assigned the blame for this horror.  There’s plenty to go around.  I have no hatred for the Trump true believers.  They’ve been left out of the 21stcentury economy. Trump was able to prey on their basest fears and has pulled off an impressive long con.  These are the people for whom he has the most contempt.  These are the people who will suffer the most should he do the unthinkable and win.   My animus is reserved for the rest of us.  I’ll divide us into two groups.  

Group One:  Any educated person who has convinced themselves that “Trump is the lesser of two evils.”  As Trump himself so presidentially interjected at the debates, “WRONG!” Trump is a lesser evil to NO major party candidate to ever seek our highest office.  To my friends in the once Grand OP ask yourselves this?  If I came to you eighteen months ago and told you that Donald Frickin’ Trump would be your party’s nominee how would you have reacted?  Honestly.  You would have laughed me out of the room.  The man has always been a sick joke.  You’ve just forgotten.  Back in 2013 I was in a much publicized Twitter war with him.  I won’t recap it here but you can Google it. As our months long tete-a-tete played out I received many virtual high-fives from people who have now convinced themselves that while flawed, he’s better than Hillary.  

To the people in this group, I get it.  You don’t like Hillary Clinton You’ve never liked her. I happen to like her very much but I know what it is to have a viscerally negative feeling for a candidate.  I’ve no doubt that your hatred for her is as strong as mine was for George W.   But if GWB and HRC are awful, they are awful within the acceptable range of political awfulness.  Trump is well outside that range. His ignorance and incompetence is staggering.  His vindictiveness is without limits.  His skin is paper thin.  His entire image is a lie so deep his only true success is his ability to hide any possible record of his earnings, losses or foreign investments.  A man whose need for attention is so deep he will get in bed with the KKK, anti-Semites and Breitbart. They say that the first person to bring up Hitler in a political argument loses, but they are wrong this year.  There is no better analogy.  I can honestly say that if George W. Bush was seeking a hypothetical third term and Trump was the Democratic candidate, (and let’s face it, until the ratings of his shitty show started to tank and he plotted a run, his views were more closely aligned with the left) I would not hesitate to cross party lines and flip that lever.  It would, in fact, be one of the easiest decisions I’d ever make.   It should be easy for you as well.  You know he’s not fit to be president.  You claim to be part of a party that values toughness and yet when pressed you take the coward’s way out.  You have three days to make a principled stand.  History will not judge you kindly if you don’t.  And that brings me to…

Group Two: The rest of us.  I’m including myself in this group.  We are the people who reacted to the insane Comey non- announcement with despair.  I felt myself and my friends become deflated at the mere mention of these emails.  We made our Weiner jokes, we felt disappointment in our candidate.  And for what? The story we ran with was that Hillary’s past had come back to bite her, again.  But all it took was a careful reading of the short insane letter Giuliani told us was coming to see that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING new or disqualifying was found.  He hadn’t even read the damn emails.  Look, I get feeling despair.  Any rational person has to be terrified by the rise of American fascism.   But despair is a luxury we don’t have.  

Trump has convinced an alarming number of people that Vladimir Putin is a lesser threat than the Americans who dare to say that the bankrupt sex offender has no clothes. I’m fifty-two years old (yeah, I know I look older, I lived hard in the nineties) and this man is the greatest threat to face our nation in my lifetime.  His true believers are going to fight to the end.  We need to fight harder.  Every single poll shows there are still more of us than them. This is a battle we must fight and win.  Not with guns but with votes.  The whole world is watching.  A resounding defeat of this racist, misogynistic, ignorant evil man is the most convincing way to say to the planet, “I’ve never seen that guy before in my life!”