rough draft of my routine that I’ve been asked to do tonite. The jokes will be familiar to loyal readers of this blog and if you find yourself in that category, for christ’s sake get a new hobby.


Hello everyone. Thanks for coming. Tonight is a benefit for the Starbucks Workers organizing with the IWW and for the RNC legal defense fund. Speaking of the RNC, I’m so glad that other people are here to protest too. I mean, I thought I was the only person who was angry that they weren’t nominating Ron Paul.

I should introduce myself. My name is Nate I’m a member of the Twin Cities branch of the Industrial Workers of the World. Someone asked me here tonite to MC and to tell some jokes. Before I continue, I want to make something clear. I’m telling jokes. and I’m a member of the IWW. But the IWW is a very serious organization. There is absolutely nothing funny about the IWW. Understand? Unfortunately the same thing is also true about my act. And sometimes there is a bit of a funny smell at IWW meetings, but not for a while because I haven’t been able to make it recently.

In case my act really isn’t funny, I brought along my copy of the Pretty Good Jokebook. If things go badly I’ll read you jokes from out of there. What do you call a comedian holding a jokebook? Desperate. So please laugh. Unless you’d rather see me cry. Is that what you’d prefer? Is it? It is really? That’s messed up.

I’m sorry if my jokes are off. It’s because of the IWW. The union has messed up my timing. See, in the IWW you have to make a motion before you can make a joke. If the motion is seconded and a majority votes for it, then you get to make the joke. Then we vote on whether or not it’s funny. If it is then we all laugh together for an agreed upon time period before moving on to the next order of business.

On the other hand, one good thing about telling jokes in the IWW is that nobody heckles, because hecklers are like scabs, they try to take your job. On second thought – I’m not getting paid to be here, so … heckle away! Since this is partially an IWW related event, I think it’s important that we follow good procedure. Erik, will you serve as recording secretary? Excellent. Please write down which jokes people laugh at and which ones they don’t. And Erik, please write down the names of anyone who doesn’t laugh.

Who here has never been to an IWW meeting? Raise your hands. Oh, I see you’re all members then! For those of you who are not IWW members, let me just say, those were actually very funny jokes. But enough about the IWW.

Okay, so personally I’m an anarchist and I like edgy humor, but I don’t do that kind of humor myself. I’m a clean comic, I try to keep things positive. I know you young people like things to be more edgy but that’s not my style. So, to keep you happy, I’ll start off with some more of that kind of stuff, then clean up my act as the night goes on.

Here’s a joke for the RNC being in town. What do you call a black person who flies a plane? A pilot, you bunch of racists!

Seriously now, all jokes aside, in just a moment you will be viewing a group who have worked hard and suffered for their art. Kind of how you’ve been suffering from mine so far. See, the whole point of me MC-ing is that whoever you see after me sounds extra awesome by comparison. The next act doesn’t need my help.

Here’s their statement: “The Rude Mechanical Orchestra is a New York City-based radical marching band. exist in order to serve the efforts of progressive and radical groups and causes, including: feminism and women’s rights, immigrant rights, queer rights, labor, the environment, peace, community self-determination, and racial, social, and economic justice. We pledge to fight racism, sexism, homophobia, war and violence in all its forms. Through our music, we strive to bring joy and inspiration to these communities and to bring new people into radical causes. Internally, we work towards being a safe, welcoming place for all genders and gender identities, ages, races, backgrounds, sexual orientations, disabilities and musical skill levels. Through our musical selections, we pay tribute to the world’s cultures and the revolutionary role music has played throughout history.”

Please help me welcome the Rude Mechanical Orchestra.

That was the Rude Mechanical Orchestra. Speaking of rude, I normally tell very clean jokes. I know that’s not popular with you young people, so to keep you happy, here are three off-color jokes.

And here’s my only off color jokes –
[testicle joke, butt cheek joke, child and dog joke, teenage daughter and rhinoceroses.]

Those jokes are not my preferred style. My preferred style is clean. For instance, lightbulb jokes!

Since tonight is a benefit for the Starbucks Workers organizing with the IWW and for the RNC legal defense fund, here are some lightbulb jokes related to those things.

How many members of the RNC Welcoming Committee does it take to change a lightbulb? [How many?] Why are you asking questions about the RNC protests? What are you, a police informant?

How many starbucks workers does it take to change a lightbulb? A lot-tay! Twenty, to be exact. One to change it, one to write a press release, six to walk off the job, and 12 friends to deliver a cake.

How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb? (Pause – 1. 2. 3.) One. I mean hell, I can change a light bulb and I didn’t go a trade school, so if a guy can rewire a whole house he shouldn’t need any help. Am I right? Huh? But anyway, why would you want to hire an electrician just to change a light bulb? You’d have to be pretty rich to afford that. Or pretty stupid! Like I said, even I can change a light bulb and I _am_ pretty stupid. Ask my wife! And even if you really didn’t know how to change it, I’m sure you could find instructions on the internet. But I guess it’d be hard to use a computer in the dark.

Here’s some more lightbulb jokes! How many union electricians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Five. It’s in the contract.
How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
That’s not funny.
How many members of the RCP does it take to change a lightbulb?
All of them: one to hold the lightbulb, the rest to make the world revolution.
How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A fish
How many punks does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, punks never change anything.
How many creationists does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, they’re waiting for god to do it.
How many evolutionists does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, they’re waiting for it to do it itself.
How many Freudians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two. One to change the lightbulb and another to hold the penis – uh, I mean, the ladder!
How many members of U2 does it take to change a lightbulb?
One. Bono holds the lightbulb, and the world revolves around him.
How many skinheads does it take to change a lightbulb?
Five. One to change it and four to watch his back.
How many scenesters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
What, you mean you don’t know?
How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?
None. There’s nothing wrong with that light bulb. There is no need to change anything. We made the right decision and nothing has happened to change our minds. People who criticize this light bulb now, just because it doesn’t work anymore, supported us when we first screwed it in, and when these flip-floppers insist on saying that it is burned out, they are merely giving aid and encouragement to the Forces of Darkness.

How many Minnesotans does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two. One to change it, one to deep fry the old one on a stick.
How many people does it take to change a lightbulb using consensus meeting process? Oh, you know, however many want to be involved. And it will take about 4 hours.
How many people does it take to change a lightbulb using voting? Five affirmative, Two negative, three abstaining, and everyone complaining about it afterward.
How many people does it take to change a lightbulb using parliamentary procedure? The chair rules the question out of order.
How many anarchists does it take to change a lightbulb?
None, the lightbulb must be smashed!
Speaking of anarchists – why do anarchists only drink herbal tea? Because proper tea is theft.
Why do Canadian anarchists love donuts, bagles, and Frisbee? Because of the circle, eh?

Who here is vegan? Keep your hands up. Who here is vegetarian? Okay. Well, I want to say, for you people’s sake I’ve been trying to avoid using any animal jokes, but I’ve changed my mind. I realized that even without animal jokes I couldn’t really describe my act as being cruelty-free. So –

Did you hear the one about the pig in Quebec who won the lottery? He cried “oui oui oui!” all the way home!

Did you hear the one about the guy who was all eaten up by wounded pride? He was a zookeeper!
Get it? A zookeeper? It was a pride of lions! He was eaten by a pride of wounded lions!
Actually, they were lions, seriously. They were lyin’s when they told me that story. I don’t believe a word of it. And I am not one to make that sort of accusation lightly. I know how serious of a thing that is. I’ve been accused of that myself, mostly by women in bars.
I see these women in bars and I’m like “hey nice shirt,” and they all look at me like I’m up to something and I say “I’m not hitting on you, I’m married, here’s my ring, I just like your shirt, I just really like stripes” and they’re like “don’t feed me lines” and I’m like “don’t feed you lions? what are you, vegetarian?”
And anyhow who are they to accuse me of lying? They’re the ones behind bars!
Here’s another animal one. When I turned 18 I went away to college. My grandma gave me a going away present, a pet frog. I named her Rosie. What a lot of people don’t know, what my grandma didn’t know, and I didn’t know, is that frogs are long lived animals. They’re not like mice or something that just dies right away. They live a long time. And when you live with a pet a long time you get emotional. Let’s just say it really upset me when that frog croaked.
No, seriously, it upset me a lot. It would croak all night! I couldn’t get any sleep! I was so tired all the time, I couldn’t stay awake in my classes. I failed out of college. My grandma was very upset. She’d given me Rosie because Rosie reminded grandma of one of the happiest times in her life, when she worked in a factory during the second world war. She was a ribbeter.
Get it? A ribbeter? Rosie the ribbeter? Don’t you people know anything about history?
I’m a history buff, personally. So I was really interested to find out that my great-great-uncle was friends with Robert Oppenheimer. They used to go out on my uncle’s boat at his cabin by the lake. Oppenheimer used to say he had to two passions – Fission and Fishin’! My uncle said Oppenheimer threw great parties too. They were a real blast! One time at one of these parties Oppenheimer had too much to drink. He really loved Manhattans! He got drunk and he started a fist fight with someone and then passed out. My uncle wouldn’t let the guy beat up old Robert so the guy called the cops on him. My uncle had to wake Oppenheimer up. He said ‘Come on Robert, up and atom! We gotta split!
I knew there was a real chance of my act bombing, so I figured I’d end with a nuke joke. I know some of you were ducking and covering. Anyhow, on that note, my act comes to a close. Thanks for your time and attention.

[Trent says I should write the act on my arms, wear a long sleeve shirt, and mid-way through start rolling up my sleeves to read my notes. I like that. Need to work out when I’m introducing the other acts and stuff, and memorize this!]