- Anthony Jeselnik
Here’s my finished Anthony Jeselnik piece done in Photoshop. One of the first areas I focus on are the eyes. I believe that if you can capture their likeness in their eyes, then all the other little details (which are just as important), can be skewed and exaggerated and you will come up with a caricature that looks like your subject. There should also be a feeling of connection, as if they where right in front of you. No matter how many of these I’ve done, whenever I come back to them I always feel I could have done their eyes, nose, mouth or whatever different. Which is why I also have to know just when to stop and call it finished and move on to the next piece.
Between 2005 and 2008, my daughter, Melissa, booked standup comedians to perform at Pianos in NYC. Melissa loved providing her friends with stage time to work on their craft. She also liked introducing out-of-town comics to the often tough-to-please audience of the lower east side. Anthony Jeselnik was once one of those out-of-towners. So impressed with his routine, she eagerly gave him stage time. Eventually, Jeselnik moved to NYC and became a regular on Melissa’s show, “Scum & Villainy.” My wife and I were often in attendance on Sunday nights. Anthony Jeselnik was always a favorite of ours!
One night in 2009, Melissa paid Pianos a visit with her 5 month-old daughter, Isabel (my Grand-Baby!). Some friends of Melissa’s were moving away and having a going away party in the upstairs lounge. She stopped in to say her good-byes just before the comedy portion of the evening was beginning. Lured by her comedy friends, Melissa and Isabel found themselves in the showroom of Pianos. She stood in the back of the room, caught between the temptation of wanting to see “just a little bit” of the show and feeling like she should make a silent exit before audience members started to notice a (hopefully, not crying) baby in the room. It was in this moment of ambiguity that her friend, Anthony, asked if it would be alright to bring her and Isabel up on stage. She agreed to stay and silently wished that Isabel would be good and not start crying before his set. Fortunately, Isabel was happy and loved listening to the laughing audience. Before Isabel knew it, she was taking the stage herself. My son, David, caught it on camera.
Isabel must’ve really loved her first taste of stage time! She has since developed a love of comedy on her own and I get to play host to her routines. A love of comedy must be in the genes! Maybe one day, Isabel will have her own show on Comedy Central, like Anthony!
While Isabel works on building her own routine, everyone can watch the guy that gave my Grand-Daughter her first bit of stage time. The Jeselnik Offensive airs on Comedy Central, Tuesday nights at 10:30/9:30 C.