Urban Legend - Feb 20 - 2005

Urban LegendSunday, 20th February
Happy black history month! I would like to dedicate this journal entry to all my African- American friends. You know who you are and thanks for being there. I remember when I started out, the “white rooms” never put me on stage, but the black rooms always gave me shot. Of course, most of my sets ended with rap music played over me, and the audience yelling for the next act. Still, they gave me a chance, and I am very grateful.

To commemorate this month I have decided to do the Chocolate Sunday show at the Laugh Factory Feb 21. The last time I played an urban room it was three years ago in New York and the audience wanted to kill me. It was at the “Uptown Comedy Club” in Harlem a day after Sept 11th. As soon as I grabbed the microphone the audience chanted “Osama! Osama!” “Get out of our country!” Irritated, I responded, “I was affected by this too! Yesterday I showed up late for work.... I was like, Hey! They did it without me! What am I supposed to do with all these box cutters?!”

This lady stood up and whizzed a glass at my head. Another guy charged the stage. They stopped the show for ten minutes while the host escorted me through the back of the club.

Since then, I’ve stayed away from the ‘chitlin circuit’ as it’s called, but have decided to make my return tomorrow. I feel like Rocky in Rocky III after Clubber Lang beat the stuffing out of him in the first fight. Rocky began his quest to regain his title and hired Apollo Creed to whip him into shape. I, Tarun Shetty, am currently in training. To prepare for the event, I have been performing in the worst Mexican rooms I can find in LA. They are great audiences for some, but it can be tough relating to the crowds, and I have found the last week extremely challenging.

So tomorrow I dedicate my set (for better or worse) in honor of the great African-American leaders who took risks and paved the way for their community. I salute you, and hope I, too, can make a difference for my people. God speed.

Tarun ShettyComment