Summer of Poker Comes to a Great Finish!

Photo: Here is the photo of Clayton taken right after he won the Venetian tournament a few days ago!

Well, it was the type of summer that could test a man’s heart. I played tirelessly for nearly four weeks without much to show for it other than a substantially lighter wallet. Then, on my last day in Vegas, I earned my first-ever title! I was crowned Champion of the $600 No-Limit Hold Em event at Venetian Las Vegas. It was extremely gratifying, especially the part when they gave me $26,000 in cash 😀

Now I’m back on the comedy circuit sharing my experiences with audiences around New York. I expect my next performance in Sweden to take place sometime in November. Thank you all for your letters and tweets (twitter.com/claytoncomic).

I love you.

Clayton Fletcher

World Series of Poker Update

Many of my readers have been asking for an update from Las Vegas. Well, I wish I could share brighter news, but the fact is this has been the worst WSOP of my career so far! I think sometimes my opponents were all saints in their former lives, because when luck runs against me (and for them) there is simply no other logical explanation! I’m playing well for the most part, but things are going in the wrong direction.

I’m not out of the running yet, but my chances of repeating last year’s WSOP success seem slim at this point. Here’s hoping my luck will change soon. The Main Event starts next weekend, and I’m hoping I can qualify.  If not, there’s always next year.

Thank you all for the love and good luck wishes.

Confidence is Tricky

It is important to be confident; everyone knows that. I recently had an experience with someone who took things a little too far.

I won’t give her name here, but a comic with whom I recently performed wrote on her Facebook wall: ”For everyone who’s always asking me to do a show in White Plains, now’s your chance.”  Now, I don’t know exactly how many fans she actually has in White Plains but I found this wording obnoxious.

There’s nothing wrong with letting people know where you’ll be performing. I certainly do my share of that! But presenting it as though there are millions of rabid fans clamoring for you to grace their little town is dishonest, pompous, and off-putting.

Upon arrival at the club, this comic acted as though she was surprised she wouldn’t be headlining the show. She kept asking me how much time I would be doing and double-checking the running order with the manager as though there ”must have been some mistake.” I was insulted because I got the feeling she felt she deserved the honor of going last more than I.

It’s great to feel good about yourself and important to present yourself in a positive light, but not at the expense of others. I felt insulted by this woman’s overconfident subtle jabs all night.

She did great onstage but she wasn’t exactly a tough act to follow, and neither was her attitude.

 

 

Pain is Beauty

Last night, I had the honor to share the stage with Jessica Kirson (above), literally one of the best comics on Earth. The show was at Broadway Comedy Club in New York, and Jessica stopped by as a personal favor to me. You see, I was one of the organizers of a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and I needed a fantastic headliner to round out the show lineup..

Jessica fits the bill, and then some. I have known her for ten years and I’ve always considered her a very special talent. The way she draws on her personal life struggles (overeating, overcompensating, oversympathizing, and so on) to create incredibly honest and absolutely hilarious material (e.g. oatmeal is good for you unless you add six boxes of brown sugar to it–then it’s just cake) is nothing short of masterful. The beauty of Jessica’s work is that she lets us not only see her imperfections, but also enjoy them, laughing together at her pain as well as our own.

In a comedy landscape that is becoming increasingly self-indulgent, long-winded, narcissistic, and preachy, Jessica stands out as a person who addresses her issues quite honestly onstage but never forgets that comedy should be, above all, funny. Too often, comedians remember to talk about pain but forget to bring us pleasure.

If you’re looking for a wonderful comedy role model who understands how truth and vulnerability should interact with actual, honest-to-goodness punchlines, look no further than my friend Jessica:  www.jessicakirson.com

By the way, we raised over $1,200 for LLS.

My First Swedish Heckler!

 

I have been coming to Sweden for four or five years now, and the crowds here are always so gracious and warm. A typical Swedish audience is thoughtful, fun-loving, and most of all, polite. Last night, the stereotype was broken!

Here’s the scenario:  I’m at Big Ben Comedy Club in Medborgarplatsen, doing an observational joke about behavior I have personally witnessed among females worldwide, that upon greeting each other they tend to compliment each other’s clothing choices, hair styles, and makeup. I did not state it pejoratively, it wasn’t an attack on women, and I was admittedly speaking quite generally, which is what we stand-ups often do. I had most of the audience laughing when a woman shouted out indignantly, ”We don’t do that here!” 

I had never been heckled in Sweden before, and I was taken aback. Was I back in Brooklyn? This is highly unusual in Sverige! I suspect that this woman’s surprising reaction was the result of her blood alcohol level and her personal feelings on the current state of Swedish feminism.

Intrigued, I asked her why she was offended, and her answer was better than anything I could ever make up: ”No, it’s okay, you’re American. You’re all like that.” I got the last laugh with ”It’s hard to take you seriously complaining about stereotypes while generalizing my entire freaking country!”

The last line got applause and allowed me to continue the rest of the show uninterrupted. I learned a lot from the experience and one thing’s for sure:  I’ll never forget my first Swedish heckler.



Arrested Development

More than just a really funny TV show, arrested development is a condition from which some people say I suffer! Comedians are not known for being grown-up-ish. We often have a childlike way, or what you might call a Peter Pan complex. I for one don’t want to grow up! My last girlfriend dumped me because she said I was immature!  Pfft, what a poopie head. She’s never invited back to my treehouse.

If you want to see me perform, I’ll be at Stockholm Comedy Club tonight (Wednesday) på Södra Sällskapet (Åsög.111 vid biograf Victoria) at 20:00. Get there fast; last one there’s a rotten egg!!! Nanananabooboo!!!


Comedy in English is growing here!

This photo is from last night’s show in Gamla Stan, Stockholm. The theme of the night was ”All-English Comedy” and it was the fourth or fifth such show I have done here. I had such a great time, and one audience member told me it was the best night of his life! Of course he was only 18, but still a great compliment!

Comedy is growing fast in Sweden, and I think people here like to hear it in English. Most of the television shows here and many of the podcasts are being imported from America, so Swedes have already heard so much comedy in English, why not when they go to the club too?

I actually love the beautiful Swedish language. To me it sounds like singing! But I feel all Swedish comedians should learn to do their comedy in English so that they can take their act on the road, including to New York Comedy Club, where I promise I will make them all feel most welcome.

My next show is Wednesday at Stockholm Comedy Club with my dear friend Zinat. Here are the details:

https://www.facebook.com/events/525863730783252/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

Big Meeting Today!

Exciting and nerve-wracking all at once, a big meeting is taking place this afternoon in New York. I am going to sit down with the person I want to manage me. The manager-performer relationship is very important, and I really don’t want to screw this meeting up. I know this person can help my career so much. Just hope I don’t get foot-in-mouth disease!

Wish me luck, everybody. Here goes something…

Coming to Sweden once again!

My friends, I am very excited to inform you that I will be back in your wonderful country from 25 May through 2 June. I simply can’t wait to come back. There will be shows in Flen, Gamla Stan, and of course the Skrattstock! More details to follow. See you then.