The Foreign Aid Paradox: Watch & Listen

I am so excited to be even a tiny part of the We The Economy initiative. Spearheaded by Paul Allen (Microsoft co-founder and recent $100 million contributor to Ebola research) and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), this collection of shorts by 20 of the worlds top film directors in collaboration with respected economic advisers features many of Hollywood’s best actors and comics. And me. Kinda. I had the opportunity to voice this short on US Aid to Haiti which was directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady of Loki Films. They created the Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp” and “Detropia” and it was such a treat to work for these ladies. I majored in TV production in college with the goal of working on documentaries, so now that I have kind of done that, I’ma need my parents to stop yapping about me not using my degree. Y’ALL HEAR ME??? I learned a ton from working on this film and all the others as well. I encourage you all to check out the films in this series; they are right on time as we decide which candidates we’re going to elect and thus make responsible for our economy, in the next week.

Tipping point

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Flew into LA for the day and the venue sent a towncar service to pick me up at the airport. I realized I didn’t have any cash when I got in the car, so I asked the driver if I could tip him on my card. He said he couldn’t do that, so when we pulled up to the hotel I asked the valet if there was an ATM inside. He said yes so I asked my driver to wait while I went in and got some money. I brought ten bucks (it wasn’t a great tip or anything) back to the car and gave it to him and he followed me back in to the hotel to tell me he’s been driving for 20 years and I’m maybe the third person who actually came back to the car after saying they’d be right back with a tip. Then he told me he was done for the day and took me to lunch with his tip. In real life.

The point of this story is: If you act like you have home training, sometimes an old white man takes you out for “kinda free” In-N-Out Burger and you wind up making an unlikely friend.

Poser

So I’m sitting at an airport gate wearing a Montreal Canadiens t-shirt because I ran out of clothes on the road, and it was $7 at Walmart. Well, they’re apparently in the Stanley Cup conference finals this year and the guy sitting next to me is a huge Canadiens fan. He saw my shirt and started yapping to me about the team and last night’s game… And instead of just telling him I know nothing about the team or the sport, I for some reason, try to get thru the conversation without getting found out. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

“Can you believe that OT goal last nite?” he asked me. And because I didn’t know whether the goal he was talking about was good or bad for “our” team I just shook my head and replied, “Psssshhh.”
If I spoke to someone wearing Eagles swag and they told me it didn’t mean anything to them, I’d probably go on a rant about how they could have bought almost any other t-shirt besides that one and how you shouldn’t represent for something if you don’t believe it… I eventually just put on my headphones and closed my eyes to end the convo. But the point here is that I’m a hypocrite and a poser. I know and accept it.

#GoCanadiens

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I hope they choose me…

This week on “Exhale” we talk about Family — how to make time for love relationships, how to care and prepare for aging or ill parents, etc. In this short outtake Rene and I talk with Bryan Gaines, Co-Chair and Project Assistant for The University of Southern California Advocates for African American Elders Project. He had some great information about helping parents age with dignity and why it’s important to know which siblings parents want to handle their finances. Sadly, my folks only have one option.

Tune in to check us out Wednesday night at 8pm on ASPiRE!

Last Comic Standing is back!

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Hey guys! Last Comic Standing is back for season 8 and guess who’s gonna be on it…? That’s right, Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans. And also, me. The show premieres May 22 at 9pm on NBC and If you watch the clip below very slowly you can see me for about a millisecond. My very first TV appearance was on this show in 2008. I did pretty well, but I hated the cameras and competing against friends and… I swore I’d never do it again. But then I found out this season is being produced by my faves, Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz, and that it was by invite only and that the comics will compete in several comedy disciplines (stand-up, improv and sketch) and so I decided to give it another go. I don’t know yet which night I’ll be appearing so tune in starting this Thursday and to see how far I get!

On breaking up with chicken: A Collection of Haiku

Beloved chicken
I don’t believe what they say
You wouldn’t hurt me

But I really want
To get better without drugs
No meat for EJ

I bought tofurkey
It will never take your place
A bad impostor

Maybe one day soon
We can be reunited
Arthritis sucks balls

Coogi makes everything better

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Sometimes when I’m feeling’ blah, Jesus sends someone wearing Coogi in the 21st century across my path and everything seems just a little brighter.

Oh Coogi… Thanks Jesus.

Arthritis better be funny

It genuinely pisses me (and every other comedian, for that matter) off when I tell someone about an unfortunate thing that has happened in my life and he/she responds with some variation of “well, at least it’s good material.” It’s unsympathetic and dismissive and I wasn’t running a bit by you; I was just trying to tell you some real shit. Plus, not every painful thing is funny.

That said, I hope Rheumatoid Arthritis turns out to be hilarious. My doctor believes I have it based on blood work, family history (my grandmother had RA and my mom has MS) and the problems I’ve been having with my knees and hands the last couple months. And if he’s right, I know that being able to laugh through it is going to help. I still have some testing left before an official diagnosis, so in the meantime I’ve been going to physical therapy, taking water aerobics classes with senior citizens and trying to find the bright side.

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So far, this is what I’ve come up with in terms of bright side:

  1. Anyone can board a plane when the gate agent calls for passengers who need assistance — that’s even before first class and elite frequent flyers — and they won’t even question you. Zone 3 my ass… do you see this limp?
  2. You can get felt up three times a week by a hot physical therapist and your insurance will cover it (well, 80% of it after you meet your $5,000 deductible #Obamacare). I hope I feel better soon, but also I hope I don’t. I only hope that last part a little bit, though.

I don’t know how accurate the facts cited in this article are, but I choose to take them as gospel. Because if laughter is the key, I’m gonna be straight. I’ll keep you posted on the other positive things I learn about RA (or whatever’s up with me) and if you pray, please say a prayer for me.