Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”

By Comedian John Knight

I’m trying to decide who put on the worst New Year’s performance between Mariah Carey and the Cleveland Browns. It’s a tough choice. First you have Mariah’s meltdown in Times Square because she couldn’t hear the music she was going to lip synch. Hey, if you’re going to fake singing, everything has to be right. If not, you look like a badly dubbed Japanese “Godzilla” movie.

As I think about it, the Browns were harder to watch, only because it lasted a lot longer. In a game the Steelers were trying to hand to them, the Browns refused to take it. Cleveland was inside the five with less than a minute left and only needed a field goal to win. Of course they fumbled.

They could have put the game away in the third quarter when Brien Boddy-Calhoun intercepted a pass and returned it 67 yards. It would have been a touchdown if the ball hadn’t been knocked out of his hand at the goal line and recovered by the Steelers.

What a waste. To run all that way, avoiding tackles, only to give the ball back. It reminded me of a story my old friend Mike used to tell. One day when he was riding his bike, a dog began to chase him. After pedaling as fast as he could for ten blocks, he was panting and sweating as he slowed to see if the dog was still behind him. Of course that’s when the dog bit him. He would always say that had he known he was going to get bitten anyway, he wouldn’t have busted his ass to get away.

I’m guessing Mariah Carey’s fans will be more forgiving than the Browns fans. They even one on the next to last week of the season to screw things up for all the people that bought “Owen” 16 shirts.

Neither of these exhibitions could be considered to be “crowd pleasing,” but crowd pleasers are not always good. Comedians always talk about the “crowd pleasing” hacks. These are people that do crap, that can manipulate an audience into believing they are being entertained.

There was a guy that opened for me one night that did an impression of the band “Queen.” What it was actually, if you ever saw it, was an impression of their video for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Oh, and he did this with puppets.

If you’ve never seen the video, it was the members of “Queen,” in separate boxes like they do on the beginning of “The Brady Bunch.” During the video, Freddy Mercury did the lead vocals and the other members would join in during the chorus.

What this guy did was built a box that he put on his head. His head was in the center, like Freddy Mercury in the video, surrounded by puppet heads. Then he played the song and lip synched, you know like Mariah Carey was trying to do. Then during the chorus he would shine a flashlight on the puppet heads while he made their mouths move.

Wait, you don’t think that’s entertaining enough? Well there’s more. At the end of the song he dropped his pants and was wearing a g-string with a puppet head on his…ok, we’re all adults here, it was a penis puppet! Then at the climactic ending, this puppet moved its mouth during the “nothing really matters” part. Meanwhile, as this is happening, me and the other comedians are looking at each other saying,

“Are you kidding me?”

Let me just say that if you had tied that audience down with bungee cords, they weren’t going to stay in their seats. It was impressive and disturbing at the same time. Yeah, I know, what does this have to do with Mariah Carey or the Cleveland Browns?

Well for the Browns, nothing really. But if you think about it, if Mariah had a well placed puppet, nobody would have cared if its lips weren’t in rhythm with the song.

Follow John on Twitter @jknight841

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