I’ve been in LA for about 18 hours now, and it absolutely stinks.
After 5 hours of flight delays, I finally landed at LAX and thought my journey to LA LA Land had finally concluded. Little did I know LAX is conveniently located an HOUR away from Hollywood. Thankfully, there’s bumper to bumper traffic here at all hours of the day, so I got to start my trip with a 90 minute adventure in an Uber Pool.
I get in the Uber, and the lady driving asks me what I’m doing in town. Normal small talk, sure. I tell her I’m doing some comedy stuff, and she immediately goes “Yea I thought you looked familiar”. Which, unless she spends her downtime going to Boston, Monday night, dive bar stand up shows, I definitely do not look familiar. Unless she’s one of the couple hundred people in the world who read this site, my name probably doesn’t ring a bell. But at this point I’ve been traveling for the better part of a day, and I’m like fuck it, I’m going to go with it.
I tell her I’m from Boston, so she asks if I know Bill Burr. Because of course I would know Bill Burr, the guy who moved from Boston to LA about 10 years ago (when I was 12), who also just so happens to be probably one of the top 5 most famous comics right now. Yea our paths haven’t exactly crossed yet.
Then she keeps dropping lines about how she wants to get into improv, so I ask her if she’s ever taken classes at UCB, which is the big improv place out here where you take classes if you want to get good. She’s somehow never heard of it, so clearly she’s on the right track.
Finally I get to the place that I’m staying right on Hollywood Blvd, which is the absolute center of hell. It’s the tourist capital of the world, and I’m not sure why. The street is line with the walk of fame stars, so no one can walk straight without stopping ever two feet because they see the name of that guy from that movie. The street is also filled with these people dressed up as Spiderman and Batman and shit, and the tourists cannot get enough of them. Like you know that isn’t actually Christian Bale, right? Toby Maguire isn’t actually behind that mask.
Everyone is also carrying “star maps” in hopes of finding someone famous, as if anyone celebrity in their right mind would show face in that area. Like Leo or Clooney is going to be doing some casual shopping at the novelty gift shop.
I then go to hit an open mic to work out some stuff before the gig I had, and despite it being on Sunset which is like a street down from me, it takes me 40 minutes to walk there. “Oh Tim why didn’t you just take an Uber?” Read above. Then I meet up with another comic who’s on the same show as me, and he gives me a ride to the bar where the show is, which is in Downtown LA, which ends up being another hour drive.
I end up being the only white person in the entire building (which I was completely comfortable with btw), and for some reason my humor didn’t really connect with the good people of South Central LA. Despite that, I get asked if I want to do a late night spot in Compton, but I graciously turned down the offer. Although looking back that would have been a great opportunity for content.
I then get to sit through another hour drive back to Hollywood, because despite it being 9pm at this point, there’s still rush hour traffic. I get back, shower, and decide to check out the Comedy Store, once again, a 40 minute walk, but this actually ends up being worth it, because the experience ends up being wild.
The Store lets comics just go and hang out there and skip the cover, so I just walk in and start looking around. I meet a guy I met at the show earlier, and he brings me to the comic room. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever been star struck, because I walk in, and within 20 feet of me is Joe Rogan, Anthony Jeselnik, and Chris D’Elia. I look out to see who’s on stage and it’s fucking Adam Devine. I then go check out the other stage and Bobby Lee is there. Apparently this is a typical weekday lineup there, and all of a sudden I forget every shitty LA experience I had in the last six hours. Until of course I leave and it takes me another 40 minutes to get home.
So besides the endless traffic, the people who will only talk to you if they think they can do something for them, the tourists, and the shocking amount of homeless people, this place is quite the Tinseltown. It’s definitely a cool place to be if you’re famous, but if you’re a normal person it’s just a place with nice weather.