Hashtag TimeForANewPost.

Hashtag TimeForANewPost.

I thought about deleting all of those old posts from the election. It occurred to me, because my website is evolving. With the work I’m currently engaged in on behalf of Ccilu USA, its partnership with Soles4Souls, the YES, BRAND Podcast and my other creative pursuits, I’m doing more writing and less standup comedy. Political satire is certainly evident in my Twitter feed. But I’m trying to make this site a more balanced hub for all of my interests and pursuits. However, deleting articles just because they’re dated is silly. Some of the articles offer insight into where we were 6 months ago, or more. They aren’t really dated – I just wish they were. But it’s time for a new post. Having been heavily engaged in social media these past few months – more so on my clients’ behalf than for myself – I need a break from hash-tagging, tagging, and the game of tag in general. This isn’t a backlash post, though. It’s a breather post. I love my work, and for the past few years, in fact, I’ve been loving what I do. This newfound happiness was hard won, because in order to find my way I had to take a leap into the unknown. For me, it was a leap into comedy. 2013 marked the fulfillment of a foray into standup comedy that began in 1991, when I did my first-ever set, at the Comic Strip. That night, the late talent manager and booker Lucien Hold had agreed to give me five minutes late into the night. As I was about to step onstage, Eddie...
An open letter to lazy motherf%*&ers voting for Trump (because they think it’s a joke)

An open letter to lazy motherf%*&ers voting for Trump (because they think it’s a joke)

It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal. In a campaign season that’s been marked by questions of transparency, this candidate may tell you nothing. But he is showing you everything. Critics of the Democrat candidate for President like to say “it’s one scandal after another”, but in fact it’s been one long witch hunt beating dead horses in a fruitless search for major improprieties. The recent Clinton Foundation “Pay to Play” story is a perfect example: the A-rated charity recognized empirically for its good works is in the sites of critics claiming donors paid for access to the Secretary of State. There’s no evidence anyone got anywhere, and the Foundation is planning the necessary changes should Hillary Clinton become President. Yet the operative note is that any speculation of wrongdoing is merely speculation (a forced, desperate witch hunt, to be blunt). The Republican candidate, however, is the epitome of impropriety, and his own Foundation is just the tip of the crooked iceberg. Impropriety abounds, it envelopes him, it seeps from his pores. A new issue erupts each day. It is evident and inescapable. In the face of this, Donald Trump merely projects the same crimes upon his opponents or critics, describing them as he himself is being described. But the naked eye doesn’t lie, and therein rests the definition of a con artist: he shows you his cards, because you see what you want to see. You give him your money, and he takes it. You – the non-deplorable voters to whom I address this article – are out there in the void, the stories and sound...
Donald Trump is a middle-aged comedian. With nothing to lose.

Donald Trump is a middle-aged comedian. With nothing to lose.

Donald Drumpf is NOT a middle-aged comedian, of course. A middle-aged comedian is worthy of respect. I’m merely projecting my own traits onto him. The point is, I’ve noticed that if you want to know who Donald Drumpf IS, all you have to do is look at the traits he projects onto others. It’s a fun little game, and it gets better each day. For example, Donald Drumpf is: crooked mentally ill a liar thinks of African-Americans only as votes, not people unfair weak a disaster he worst thing that’s ever happened to America dangerous… But there’s more. As Drumpf has “evolved” this past week – from obnoxious extemporaneous orator to obnoxious TelePrompTer reader – he’s added another level of insult to injury. “Addressing” African-Americans, Drumpf paints a bleak picture: they’re broke, jobless, homeless, uneducated and living in squalor, in a war zone. As such, “Take a chance on Drumpf!” he bellows in desperation. “What the hell have you got to lose???” Let’s zipline past the laughable, amateur-hour authoritarianism, and the fact that he always sells despair and fear (in fact, his new slogan shouldn’t be the alt-right ‘America First’; it should be ‘Fear Uber Alles’). The (raw) meat here is that, as usual, Drumpf is talking about himself. “What?!?”, you ask incredulously? “Hersh, now you’re pushing it! Drumpf is a billionaire!” Oh, really. You know who’s a billionaire? Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Steven Spielberg. Can Drumpf hang with these dudes? In fact, another fun game to play is to see if Drumpf actually has ANY friends who are billionaires. Sheldon Adelson – the notorious Republican kingmaker...
It doesn’t have to end in a bunker: an open letter to Melania Trump

It doesn’t have to end in a bunker: an open letter to Melania Trump

Dear Melania: In the madness of this unusual campaign season, too much time has been spent comparing your mate, Donald Drumpf, to Adolf Hitler, and far too little time dedicated to the parallels between you and Eva Braun. Let me explain: I’m in no way seeking to vilify you, Mrs. Drumpf. Quite the contrary, I’m hopeful that we can save your life. In fact, I should acknowledge that you two women are really more different then you are alike: Eva was born in Germany; you, Melania, were born miles away in Yugoslavia When Eva met Adolf, she was 23 years his junior, and was working as a model – yet there are 24 years difference between you and The Donald (although, as this election cycle has shown us…what a difference a year makes!) While both of your husbands have a spotty record in terms of their treatment of women, to date only one of these lucky fellas has actually murdered millions of them. What you ladies have in common are the worrisome trajectories of your beaus. Let’s set aside the violence taking place at Donald’s live shows – the NC Sheriff’s Department has already cleared him on those possible incitement charges, and as hubby himself has explained, the clashes are part of the entertainment. You don’t see Civil War reenact-ors suing the Gettysburg Foundation over the occasional bayonet prick! Too soon? Anyway, the problem isn’t the women-bashing, racist, xenophobic rhetoric, or – on the other side – the hurt feelings of people who just can’t take a joke (they should learn from Donald, by the way, who doesn’t even remember being called a short-fingered vulgarian in Spy magazine more than 25 years ago. That’s how thick his skin is.). The...
Great tasting whiskey and Stand-up comedy: pay it forward

Great tasting whiskey and Stand-up comedy: pay it forward

I love premium whiskey. I’m no purist, mind you. I need an ice cube – or at least a few droplets of water in there – to let it breathe. And I like it cold. But I start every drink neat, so I know who I’m dealing with. I’m also a lifelong practitioner of “bueasure,” the confluence of business and pleasure inherent in many professions. Simply put, it means making work fun. That can come in many forms, and drinking is but one of them. As a publicist and marketing director, schmoozing was a big part of the job. I’m social by nature but sometimes, admittedly, a little sumfin sumfin took the edge off my nerves and helped me become the life of the party. When I got back into standup, I experienced a rude awakening. There’s a difference between holding court and performing a show. In my early 20s, I didn’t really drink, but I’d nurse a rum and coke (that’d never happen now, with my cultured palate and middle-aged body) as I sat at the bar with Colin Quinn, Denis Leary, Dave Attell and Louis CK (whatever happened to those guys, am I the only one who made it??). In those days, there were no open mics; you just waited til 2:30 in the morning to go on at Standup NY, ComicStrip or the Cellar, or wherever/whenever Barry Katz told you to come over. Anyway, back then I was innocent. I hadn’t accrued years of experience being the funniest ad guy at client dinners and award show after-parties. This time around, I fell back on booze –...
How to make money in 10 easy payments!

How to make money in 10 easy payments!

While the politicians and the establishment hacks argue about issues like “jobs” and “economy” and “caucus”, what no one will tell you is this: none of it matters. This is America, it’s the world, in fact, and to succeed and rise above yourself, I’m about to tell you all you need to know. But first, a little secret: all those people up on those stages at those rallies? They’re rich. Even the “poor” ones – the ones without billions of dollars – are rich. Except one, but he is in the single digits in the polls and we’re not talking about him. The point is this: with wealth comes freedom, and wealth comes from money. Money, and this is true, comes from, get this: other people. That’s right. In order for you to have it, someone has to give it to you. I’m going to tell you how to get them to do just that. Now, you may think the easiest route is to get all the money you need from one person. That’s actually ridiculous. I don’t say this to make you feel bad – although if you’re going to be a success, you’ll need to develop a thick skin, which is why some of the most successful people in the world are the product of hard times or at least dysfunctional families. Or inheritance. Speaking of which, there are some successful candidates for President who got all their money from one person – a father – but that was a loan and they paid it back. And from there, they made all of their considerable money on...