A few nights ago, Don Jamieson, from VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, was in Hartford, CT performing his stand-up routine. I have met Don on several occasions in the past and we have become friendly (I'm am always amazed that he remembers my friends and me when he see us, considering how many people he encounters doing stand-up gigs and his television show). As such, I wanted to attend to show my support, so I grabbed my wife and some good friends and we went to the Friday night gig.
The performance was at the Brew Ha Ha comedy club, which is a small room, but it makes for a good comedy atmosphere. Don was the second comedian of three comedians to perform. I do not remember the names of either the first performer or the third performer of the night, but both performed respectable sets.
Don's set was hysterical. He is a gifted comedian with a tremendous stage presence, combined with a quick wit that allowed him to work the room with ease. Even though the majority of the room was unfamiliar with That Metal Show (when asked who watched it, ours was the only table that cheered, but we did so loudly), he was able to entertain the entire crowd throughout his 40 minute set. We were seated right next to the stage, so several people at our table took some good-natured bullets (especially my good friend Kurt, who Don told him that he "Looks creepier each time he sees him, like Paul Giamatti with Down Syndrome"). Surprisingly, and this makes sense considering Don's performance is geared toward attracting a larger, general audience, only a few minutes of his set was about Metal music. Most was just well thought-out and expertly delivered observational comedy. As I stated earlier, I showed up on Friday as a show of support not knowing what to expect, but I would definitely go again based on his ability to perform.
Even more fun was after the show, when my wife, friends and I went upstairs to the bar to have a few drinks and Don joined us, and we basically just talked Metal for the next hour and a half. He was just as funny off the stage as he was on, as some of his stories had us in stitches. Unfortunately, I would not feel right repeating those stories here, as I was not interviewing Don and his comments may not have been meant for distribution. All I can say, is if you go see his show, find him after and just get him talking...you will not be disappointed.
One last thing that I want to mention is something Don did that really evidences his character and his good nature. Recently, my sister has begun providing home health care to quadriplegic man. Turns out, this guy is a huge fan of That Metal Show, and will watch the show on DVR over and over again. This just came up in conversation, so I said to my sister, "I'm going to see Don shortly, I'll try to get an autograph for him." I mentioned the guy's situation to Don and was just going to have him sign a scrap of paper for the guy...but Don insisted that he had one headshot with him that he was going to sign for the club, but instead wanted to give it to this guy, and gave me the signed picture to pass along. While this is probably not a big deal to Don, it will mean the world to one of his fans in an unfortunate situation, and he deserves credit for being that cool. Thanks Don.