Well, Hair We Are!
Guest post from the funny TJ Young (who was also our first Funny Title Here interviewee) writing about venturing with his group, The Beards of Comedy to the NYC Beard and Mustache Championships – Paolo
A Beards of Comedy postcard from the NYC Beard & Mustache Championships
by TJ Young
Beginning at 8pm Saturday, March 14th the event featured a ZZ Top cover band, a Burlesque Troop, a fabulous Banjo player, a GREAT bearded band from Charlotte, NC called “The New Familiars” and the Beards of Comedy (minus Joe Zimmerman who had a previous engagement). All this bearded bliss would last well into Sunday (4am) with several categories of facial hair judging mixed in between changeovers. The night would get ‘hairy’ for sure, we just didn’t know how hairy and whether that was a good or bad thing.
We struck up a conversation outside the event with a band of bearded brothers from PA. They were very serious but very friendly when it came to their facial hair, even letting their ‘clean shaven’ pal tag-along (his active service in the military prevented him from ‘letting himself grow’). There were certainly some impressive beards among them, but I quickly realized (by their own admission) that they were just the ‘social ones’ comfortable enough to attend such an event…which led me to wonder what sort of magnificent (or mangy) beards might be lurking in the Pennsylvania back country.
A slew of other gentlemen waited to enter, not only serious about their beards, but about their entire look and persona as well. They were dressed in everything from Civil War Officer regalia, to Derby hats and canes…and the first and only ‘live action’ Yosemite Sam I have ever seen…complete with ‘cardboard guns’?!! No real guns in bars?! Not even in NYC?! It’s true, people…the terrorists have taken ALL our fun.
The irony in this whole thing is that the Beards of Comedy are really not “about Beards”. It’s just an arbitrary thing we all have in common, apart from our passion for standup comedy and a newly acquired love for Chinese Dumpling Houses in NYC’s Chinatown (seriously…look for a website called “DumplingCrawl.com” coming soon…rules, scorecards and ensuing deliciousness…compliments of my friend at HireFrank.com). The Beards of Comedy ARE always about a good time. So, as much as we know that ruckus events with half-naked girls, loud music and hairy dudes might not mesh well with stand up…we just had to see for ourselves.
The event’s promoter “Beardzzz” (super sweet bearded guy named Matt Saccoman) was more than gracious to us. Turns out he’s a big fan of comedy and more specifically of OUR comedy individually as well as our tour and really wanted us to be an integral part of this media-storm of an event. Beardzzz was interviewed on MSNBC weeks before the championship, there was mention of it (and the Beards of Comedy specifically) in TIMEOUT NY magazine and several other major publications, and we were even invited to appear in support of “Beard Team USA” on the Plaza in Manhattan on the CBS Early Show the morning of the event (see photo).
My favorite gem of the weekend was a serious quote from one of the current World Champions in the “full beard – natural” category. “You know that smell after you fire off some black powder? (we didn’t know what that was exactly) Or fireworks? (okay, we knew that one)…that embattled smell of smoke and hundreds of years of hardship and struggle? When I win one of these competitions…(sniffs the air and leans in)…That’s exactly what I smell…for HOURS afterwards.” Well, sir…comedy is precisely that for The Beards of Comedy…except ours smells a lot like stale nachos, flat beer, and 20 years of ‘funny’ on a tattered Green Room sofa.
See you on the road!
The Beards of Comedy are: TJ Young, Dave Stone, Andy Sandford and Joe Zimmerman. For more information, clips and booking information go to www.BeardsofComedy.com