During the season
finale at Crossfire, Eva went around to comics and asked them, ”What do you
think of when you think of Ryan?” She
thought it would be fun to make that list, because what could possibly go
wrong? Here’s the list *:

– Beard (well,

– Candid. Too candid.

– Beard

– Beard

– Beard (growing a
beard was one of my best decisions but I didn’t think it would define me)

– Handsome (well,
obviously. Love that one, it came from
another comic’s girlfriend)

– Annoying idiot (came
from that comic)

– Psychopath (more of
a sociopath, really)

– LEGO figure (now it’s
just getting personal)

– Beard

– Iranian (racist

Not on the list:
funny. Thanks, assholes.

I’ve mentioned before
that my reputation is important to me, so I was very pleased during a Christmas
party thrown by comics, for comics, to be nominated for Sexist Comic of
2014. Didn’t win, but it’s still an
honor! I’m not sure exactly why I was
included, if it was just totally random or because I’ve said I don’t want to be
thought of as sexist, despite making sexist jokes and comments. The standup scene is far from perfect and I
want to be part of the solution, not the problem, though I also want to be able
to say whatever I want without consequences.
I want to have my cake and fuck it, too.

It may have been
because of an incident at Maffia Comedy.
I’ve also touched on this before- I had a routine, Women Rant, the
punchline essentially being, the reason women can’t find nice guys is because
they’ve changed all nice guys into assholes.
It came across as very women-bashing, obviously, although my intent was
really to make fun of guys who think they’re nice but are, in fact,
assholes. I myself was the

It was a routine that
always worked well in Sweden, so I used to close with it, to applause (Swedes
either got my real message or just hate women, I’m not sure). In other countries it was hit or miss, mostly
miss. Worked in Paris, not popular in
London, nor Dublin. In Berlin it was met
with stony silence and when I said, “Ok, how do I turn this around?” a guy
yelled from the back, “Get off the stage!” so I did. (Have to give a shout out to Johnny Armstrong
who went on after me and blasted that heckler.)

I should’ve read that
particular room better, it was ultra-Hipster and a mix of standup, music and
poetry (the act two spots before me was a lesbian who said “Kill me” about
forty times). In any case, my theory as
to why it worked in Sweden so well and not so well in other places is that
standup is still relatively new here, while elsewhere crowds might just be
tired of seeing yet another guy bash women.

Women Rant was
semi-retired because I’d done it easily 100 times and was pretty tired of it,
but I brought it back when I got an urge to perform in Swedish a few times. I was reminded, quickly, of a slight problem
with this- I can do harsh material in English (say I hate Swedes, call them
assholes) and get away with it, but not when I say the same things in
Swedish. Not sure why, maybe it’s just
easier to accept coming from me in a different language. Anyway, I performed the bit at a club well north
of Stockholm called GASTA, a wonderful club although harsh material doesn’t
seem to go well there in either language.
They didn’t like it very much, but I switched to English to end with
Personal Question (me asking a woman in the crowd, in detail, how her
boyfriend/husband performs oral sex on her).

Here’s the thing with
Personal Question: I look around the room before I go on to find a potential
target, best when it’s a couple, most importantly a girl who’s enjoying the
show and isn’t likely to have a meltdown when I start talking to her. I keep an eye out while doing my set as well. I’ve always had a fear of asking the wrong
person, of ending up getting pounded by an offended boyfriend, but in my
experience, the tougher her guy looks, the more he enjoys the bit. In fact, one guy in particular, a real
bruiser, slowly moved away from his girl while I talked to her and she
literally dragged him back.

The crowd at GASTA
tends to be a bit older than the average Stockholm crowd and there weren’t many
good candidates, but I spotted a woman on the opposite side of the room with
potential. She was sitting with a
tough-looking guy and he was wary at first, but I told him, “It’s okay, I’m
engaged, we’re just talking,” and he relaxed.
After I was done she was pleased as punch to be made part of the show
and became a small distraction for the other comics because she wouldn’t stop
talking to the others around her about the experience, and her boyfriend walked
out in disgust. Made me worry that I
wasn’t going to be the one hit that night.

The next night I was
back in Stockholm at Maffia and did exactly the same routine, with the same
result for Women Rant. Place was packed
and there was one girl that clearly did not enjoy it at all. Finishing with Personal Question, despite all
the warning signs and there being several other women I could’ve spoken to, I
picked the girl who didn’t like me.
Perhaps out of spite, perhaps because I am self-destructive.

But she was there with
a guy and a few other friends, so I thought she could be a good choice after
all. She wasn’t. She was cold as ice throughout the whole
exchange, but her boyfriend enjoyed it, her friends enjoyed it, everyone else
in the crowd enjoyed it, and I ended my set on a good note. When I left the stage and passed her, I folded
my hands and looked her in the eyes as if to say, “Sorry if I made you
uncomfortable, but everyone had a good time, so thanks.”

I got a beer from the
bar and went to the side of the room to watch the next comic. I could see that she was making her entire
table leave with her, but they were waiting for the comic to finish their
set. Crap. When the host took the stage they all got up
and walked out, but she walked straight up to me and I could feel waves of hate
coming off of her. You know how it is
when someone is so pissed they don’t even blink? That was her.

“That was the worst
thing I have ever heard. You come here
with your sexist jokes and tired clichés..”
“Whoa, I’m sorry! I had no idea you were on your period!”

(No, I didn’t say
that, didn’t even think of it until a female comic made that comment
afterwards. I knew there was no point in
arguing with her, especially while there was a show going on, so I just kept my
mouth shut.)

“… and I should throw
that beer in your face!”
“Could you? It will make this story better.”

(No, didn’t say that, either.)

“Don’t ever do
that again!”
“You’re upset, I’m not
going to argue with you. I’m sorry you
were offended.” She walked out.

So I ended it with a
non-apology, rather than point out that everyone else in the room, especially
her friends and boyfriend, all enjoyed it.
Not that I think it’s worth it, making her pay the price for everyone
else to have a good time, but more because it would’ve been fun to deflect some
of her rage at other people. With any
luck her boyfriend slept on the couch that night.

It did shake me a
little, though. I had no intention of getting
rid of Personal Question, but Women Rant’s time had come. Certainly done to death, plus I couldn’t be
sure crowds really understood the point I was trying to make. So the next two shows I did, I considered
Women Rant’s Farewell Tour, in English.
I did the routine without any special note, then told the story about
the angry woman at Maffia. During both
shows, people applauded during and after the routine. I’ll miss it.

* The list may have
been altered for comedic purposes **

** The list was altered for comedic purposes. My blog, my truth.