Monday, April 5, 2010

Saturday Night Funnies

Had a great lineup for Saturday Night Funnies on April 3rd. Hosting the show was Jim Kruder and featured Chris Remmers, Vahe Hova, Maggie Newcomb and headliner Kabeezy. Andrew Norelli dropped in for a guest set as well.

Next week's show will have headliner Roger Lizaola. We are looking forward to it as it will be Rogers first time at Bunjo's.

Killer Laughs Competition - Preliminary Round #5

Another solid night of talent competed for four spots to move on to the quarter finals. The comedians performing were Patrick McDermott, Drew Harmon, Sean Stryker, Drew Pult, Sandi Selvi, Ryan McFadden, Malcolm Grissom, Carrie Gilbert and Susan Maletta.

In the end after another close voting round the comedians advancing were:

1st - Patrick McDermott
2nd - Sandi Selvi
3rd - Ryan McFadden
4th - Susan Maletta

This Friday April 9 is Killer Laughs Preliminary Round #6.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday Night Funnies

Last night's show was great in talent, but very disappointing in attendance. It's like a roller coaster and it's hard to understand why some nights we have great attendance and some night it's poor. I don't think it's based on the comics as most people don't follow local comics anyways.

The comedians who performed were Sandra Risser, Bob Johnston, Sam Meeker and headliner Anthony Hill. It's always hard when there's a small crowd, but everyone did great.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Killer Laughs Competition - Preliminary Round #4

Last night we had nine comedians in the lineup. They were; Bombo, Brian King, Mothershed, Melanie Bega, Dan Allenderwest, Rudy Martinez, Patrick James, Jules Posner and Richard Kiss.

It was a very tight vote and in the end it was:

1st - Jules Posner
2nd - Mothershed
3rd - Dan Allenderwest
4th - Rudy Martinez

Two other comics were only one point out of fourth place so we did two re-counts to make sure we got it right.

Jules Posner and Rudy Martinez are comics that we haven't seen here before at Bunjo's so it's always nice to see new talent.

Next round is preliminary #5 and will be on Friday April 2nd.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

First Flash Mob Comedy Night

Last night we premiered out "Flash Mob Comedy". This is where we just announced the day before a FREE comedy show that we would have at Bunjo's. We thought it would be fun AND different.

On Monday we sent out the e-mail announcing the show for the next day. While we didn't have a huge turnout (around 16 people) it was a fun show and I'm confident everyone had a good time.

Interestingly enough our comic turnout was small and I thought it would have been higher. Performing were Jim Kruder, Sandi Selvi and myself. One thing that was nice was I actually did a nice long set instead of just hosting.

Flash Mob Comedy is definitely something that we plan on doing in the future so keep an eye out for the e-mails.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Are Tiger and Jesse James are going to make life miserable for us "lesser" men?

I read a news story a few days ago and they were interviewing a golfer on the PGA tour (who was quoted anonymously) about Tiger. He said something to the effect that Tiger's actions will make things difficult for other golfers on the tour. He said that his wife for instance has become more suspicious saying that "if Tiger can do this, then anybody can". The golfer said that he has never cheated on his wife although there has been plenty of opportunity.

Tiger brought to light that there actually are slutty women who follow the golfers on tour and like all other sports they are looking to hook up with a professional athlete. The fact is this has been going on well before Tiger. I started playing golf at the age of 15 (30 yrs ago). Since I played high school and college golf there was a handful of guys I played with that went on to play professionally. Some of these no-name guys who were playing well before Tiger's time. I would hear stories of women conquests, drugs, partying all the things you think about when you hear NBA, NFL, MLB etc...

This Jesse James guy is even more puzzling. I first saw him on the Celebrity Apprentice last year and from the get go thought the guy was a total tool. Then on the show they say that he was married to Sandra Bullock and I had to Google it to make sure I heard it correctly. Normally I would not care about this, but I've never been able to figure out that whole "good girl, bad boy" thing. Luckily I am now engaged to a great woman, but when I was single my friends and I could never understand this phenomenon.

So what did Sandra see is this guy? She certainly didn't need his money. From watching him on Apprentice it seems like he has the personality of a mud fence. So the only thing left could be what he does to her in the bedroom.

This is why there are people that are book smart and people who are street smart. Bullock is definitely not street smart. First of all the guys name is Jesse James. If that isn't a red flag then I don't know what is. What kind of parents would intentionally name their child after one of the most famous criminals of all time? Okay so she looks past that and learns that his ex-wife is a porn star - red flag #2. Plus I don't get the body covered in tattoos kind of thing .

So we have the "good boy" Tiger who we would think would never cheat and he did and we have the "bad boy" Jesse James who we would think would cheat who did. So where does that leave us normal guys. I think a lot of guys whether they are good or bad are going to get more grief from their women. I'm not talking about guys that are cheating. I'm talking about guys who are ultra loyal and would never have an affair. A lot of women are thinking that if these celebrities who have everything in the world need to have an affair than why wouldn't my husband want to have one? I would even argue that it's easier for the normal man because they are not celebrities so they don't have to worry about the media following their every move.

It's also going to make it harder on guys that are cheating as well, which of course would not be a bad thing. However, they will figure out other ways around it. A matter of fact a new app for the iPhone called Tiger Text has come out that will erase text messages. Here's a story on it:

Want to cheat on your spouse, but not end up like Tiger Woods?

There's an app for that.

A new iPhone application called Tiger Text eliminates the possibility of damaging evidence being left behind by erasing text messages from recipients' phones.

"People text like they talk," the app's creator, Jeffery Evans, told Time. "And some of the things they say, taken out of context, can come back to haunt them."

A sender using the Tiger Text application can set how long they want the message to stay on a recipient's phone before it is deleted for good.

Users can also choose a "delete on read" setting, giving people a set time to look at the text before the message self-destructs, "Mission: Impossible" style.

Evans claims the app's name was chosen before Woods was outed as a philanderer late last year.

Killer Laughs Competition - Preliminary Round #3

A lot of traffic problems combines with protesters on a freeway overpass got the show off to a late start.

We had nine comedians and when it was all said and done the top four were Bob Lieberman, Miceala Smith, Colleen Watson and Mark Zhang.

Next week is preliminary round #4

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Killer Laughs Competition - Preliminary Round #2 - 3/12/10

March 12, 2010 - This was preliminary round #2 of our 3rd Annual Killer Laughs Comedy Competition. We had a full field of ten comedians in this round/ They were; Pat McCoy, Bradley Lum, Eric Steele, Scott Saari, Vahe Hova, JJ Johnson, Tony Neal, Bix Brillo, Bernie Anderson and Clyde Chaplin.

Voting was done by the audience and the top four are moving on to the quarter finals. The top four were Bradley Lum, Eric Steele, Vahe Hova and Tony Neal.

Our guest host for the evening was Dan Edwards and our guest closer for the night was Toby Muresianu. Both did great and we thank them for coming out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yesterday's epidsode of Schnauzerlogic

Did the Schnauzerlogic Podcast yesterday. I really enjoy doing this and sometimes I think it's better than doing stand up. As a stand up comic you can't really laugh at your own jokes, but on radio, podcast's etc... you can. I feel so relaxed and re-energized after doing the show.

As always it was a fun time. I won't get into all the details here, but if you want to check them out go to While you're there why not subscribe to the podcast?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Chicks with Schtick" - 3/6/10

Great show last night. Beth Schuman hosted, Colleen Wilson and Sandi Selvi Featured and our headliner was Laurie Kilmartin. Everyone had great sets and having Laurie there was great. She's very comfortable on stage and can deal with anything.

We experimented with having a wine tasting before the show which may have brought in some additional people, but unfortunately the winery did not sell a lot of wine. This may just not be the right environment for it.

Anyways it seems like these themed shows have been doing well and we will continue on with them.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Killer Laughs Competition - Preliminary Round #1 - 3/5/10

Last night kicked off our 3rd Annual Killer Laughs Comedy Competition. This round we were a little short on comics with only seven, but the competition was tough. In this round was Duat Mai, Bob Johnston, Rachel McDowell, Sam Wilcke, Veronica Porras, and Matt Gubser.

Voting was done by the audience and the top four are moving on to the quarter finals. The top four were Rachel McDowell, Sam Wilcke, Bob Johnston and Matt Gubser.

Closing out the show was special guest Laurie Kilmartin. Laurie has been on Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel, Tough Crowd and many many other shows. It was great to have her out here. She is also performing in tonight's "Chicks with Schtick" show.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Saturday Night Funnies - 2/27/10

Last night was Saturday Night Funnies at Bunjo's Comedy Club. Our headliner was Jeff Applebaum, featuring was Drew Pult, Myk Powell, Sean Sinha and I hosted.

We had a good sized crowd with some regulars and quite a few new folks which is always good. I determined while hosting that we had people from all over the Tri-Valley, some from Dublin, some from Livermore, some from Pleasanton.

There were a couple of kids to my right with their parents. I asked them "did your parents drag you here" and they nodded in agreement. One kid was 17 the other was 14. The 14 year old kid looked like a total rocker with the long hair. He had on a Led Zepelin T-Shirt. I commented to him how it was interesting how kids his age are into classic rock and "quizzed" him by asking him to name all the members of the band and he did!

All the comics had great sets. It was really my first time seeing Myk(pronounced Mike) and he did great and I will definitely have him back again.

Next week starts our Killer Laughs Comedy Competition on Friday, Saturday is "Chicks with Schtick" and our open mic moves to Thursdays.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Awesome Interview with Comedian Rich Vos on Schnauzerlogic

My friend Robin Goldstein has been doing a podcast for the past four years called Schnauzerlogic. Robin has a lot of broadcasting experience so this is a very well done and well produced podcast. I have been lucky enough over the past four years to be on the podcast many times as part of "
the crew".

I met comedian Rich Vos a few months ago when he came out to Bunjo's and I thought it would be great if we could get him to be on Schnauzerlogic to do an interview. Rich was kind enough to take the time to do a phone interview which was on Wednesday February 25. You can hear the interview here. It's hilarious, but be forewarned if you're sensitive about foul languange this might not be for you!

Also if you want to hear a great quality podcast I highly encourage you to go to the Schnauzerlogic Website and subscribe to it. We have a lot of fun and talk about a wide variety of subjects.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tony N' Tina's Wedding Sucked and I Didn't Even go!

It's very rare that I get a Saturday night off as that is a work evening for me.  However, because of the Chinese New Year The Willow Tree Restaurant (where we have our shows) needed the space on Saturday February 20th.  So I looked at it as a treat and decided I would take my Fiance out for a nice dinner and find something different to do.

I had some Vouchers which were good for free admissions to a play in San Francisco called Tony N' Tina's Wedding.  I've had these for about a year and had not been able to use them.  The reason being that their shows are on Friday and Saturday evenings which is when I usually work.  Actually I did try twice to use them on a Friday and both times after making the reservations I was called a few days before the show and was told it was canceled.

Let me clarify something about these vouchers as this will be very important to this story.  The vouchers were gotten through a company called BizX which is a Barter Exchange Company.  The way it works is like this; let's say a restaurant is a member of BizX and needs some printing done.  They find a printer that is also a member and contract with them to do the printing.  So let's say the total for the print job is $100.  What will happen is that the printer will get $100 in BizX dollars credited to their account and the restaurant will get $100 in BizX dollars debited from their account.  So now let's say the printer wants to buy some flowers for a client.  They can find a florist that is a member of BizX and use their BizX dollars to do so.  So the advantage to this system is you can "trade", but you don't have to trade directly with the person you are buying or selling from.

When you are a member of BizX or most barter companies that I know about your trade is supposed to on exactly the same terms that you would give someone who's paying cash.  So in the example above if the printer charged $100 for a certain print job they cannot add to it to make up for the fact that it is a trade and not a cash transaction.  There also shouldn't be any restrictions on the trade.  So in the example above the florist should not say "we only accept traded gift certificates on Thursday afternoons".

The way I got my vouchers was that for a short time I was working for a window and door company that was a member of BizX.  One of the jobs I did was for someone who also was a member and wanted to trade.  So the owners of the company said this was fine, but I would have to take my commission in BizX trades as well.  This was fine with me as I knew there would be enough things I needed to do this.  So we did the transaction and my client got the same product and terms that a cash buyer would get.  After the transaction closed I bought a number of items through BizX, mostly gift certificates.  These were for restaurants, movie theaters, coffee shops and the two vouchers for Tony N' Tina's Wedding.

Okay so let's go back to a couple of weeks ago.  I'm trying to think of something fun to do on Saturday February 20 and I remember I have these vouchers.  I say well this shouldn't be a problem there's a few weeks left and they have already canceled shows on me twice.  I'm sure they will make sure I get in.  Here is the e-mail I sent on Wednesday February 10:

From: John DeKoven
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:04 PM
To: ''
Subject: Tony n' Tina's Wedding Tickets

John DeKoven

Saturday February 20
Voucher #’s BX238 and BX239
Voucher Code TNTBIZX

Please note that I have had these BizX Vouchers for almost a year.  I have twice tried to go to Friday night shows and both times they have been canceled.  It is very rare that I can get off on a Friday or Saturday night.  This Saturday is really the only weekend I will be able to take off for a while.  I would appreciate it if you could accommodate us for this show.

Thank You,
John DeKoven

Here is the e-mail response I received:

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 5:38 PM
To: John DeKoven
Subject: Tony n' Tina's Wedding San Francisco


I do apologize but we do not have availability for you ticket type on February 20, 2010.  Please select another date.

 Ruby Martin

Executive Assistant to Producer
415.596.9916 p
866.805.8621 f

Now you will see in the e-mail above that is says they do not have availability for my "ticket type".  So I called to clarify.  What I was told by Ruby is that they only allow a certain amount of trade vouchers per show and that they are all filled up.  So I clarified with her and asked "so are you telling me that if I wanted to pay full price you have tickets available, but you won't let me use my voucher".  She confirmed this again and then reiterated that they only have 100 seats so they have to limit what they can take on voucher.  I reminder her that this is not how trade is supposed to work.  More importantly I reminder her that I had booked shows twice that have been canceled and it would just be smart customer service to make an exception.  She said she was sorry, but there was nothing she could do.  I said "are you sure there's nothing that can be done?  Because if not I am going to make some complaints".  She again said there was nothing that she could do.

What was even more frustrating was that they had tickets for this show listed on Goldstar.  Goldstar is a service where you can list your tickets at a discount (usually 50% off).  They had plenty of tickets listed there so even the general public could have bought tickets for around $50 each.  So basically for $100 this business was willing to have an upset consumer and quite frankly the wrong upset consumer.  Being someone who has had their own companies for the past 20 years and priding myself in "the customer is always right" I was not going to let this go.  So here was my reply e-mail to Ruby.  Remember this was after numerous requests to make things right:

From: John DeKoven
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 7:18 PM
To: ''
Subject: RE: Tony n' Tina's Wedding San Francisco


I’m sorry to hear that and I’m sorry to hear that based on our conversation you wish to do nothing to accommodate me.

If the show was sold out of course I would understand, but what you are saying is that you will not let a “traded” ticket take precedence over a possible “cash” ticket which  I believe violates the terms of being a BizX member.    On top of that I checked on Goldstar and you have plenty of half price tickets available as well.  The bottom line is that your company TWICE has canceled shows that I had booked tickets for.  Normally when a company makes a mistake they try to make it up to their customer, but you obviously don’t subscribe to this philosophy.  You have made a classic mistake in that for the dollar value of what you think you saved,  you lost far more in long term business in the following ways:

1.    I actually had four other people that we’re going to go to the show with me, but I told them not to buy their tickets until I confirmed I got mine.  So by denying me you lost not only four full paying customers now, but these four will never go to the show in the future.
2.    I own a comedy club in the East Bay and produce shows for other venues as well.  Fortunately I know how to treat my clients and we never would treat them as I was treated.  We have an e-mail list of close to 10,000 and on our next e-mail blast, which will be next week, I will be including this story and how everything was handled.
3.    I will also be post a link on our home page at that will say “Why you should not go to Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” and when they click that link they will get an accounting of my story.
4.    I will of course post this on numerous review websites such as Yahoo and Yelp.
5.    Lastly I will be calling BizX to inquire about this as well.  It is my understanding that as a member of BizX your trades have to be just like if a customer was paying cash and there cannot be restrictions placed on the trade.

Believe me I’m not big headed enough to think my actions are going to put you out of business, but I can assure you that you will lose more business then the money you saved by not letting me use my BizX vouchers for the show.

John DeKoven

Did I go overboard?  Maybe a bit, but in general I felt that I was getting the shaft and they needed to know that I wasn't going to just let it happen.  Well within an hour or so I received the following message.  This is from the producer and is one of the most ridiculous and funny e-mails I've read in a while:

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 8:36 PM
To: John DeKoven; Empty Contact
Subject: Tony n tinas wedding


Unfortunately your e mail basically leaves no options for anybody!!!!
Our show is a fun comedy. U certainly don't sound like a person who would appreciate relaxing at a fun comedy.
I am forwarding your threats and black mail to the district attorneys office as well as FBI.
Your malicious  threats are being taken very seriously!!!
I will be sending it to local media as well as discuss it with the chronicle!

I am frightened and appalled at your vicious threats.
Can u imagine if ur guests did the same?!!!!!!!
I have 50 employees and you are threatening all of them.

We can only seat approx 100 guests. We can only afford a certain percentage on trade.

I am also forwarding these uncalled for threats to our legal team.

All u had to do was ask my assistant to have me call u(especially as a club owner) or call biz x

Raphael Berko
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

This guy obviously has no clue and here was my final response to him:

From: John DeKoven
Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2010 9:08 AM
To: ''
Subject: RE: Tony n tinas wedding


Thank you for your e-mail.  I found it quite amusing.  Let me go through your e-mail point by point to clear up your misconceptions:

1.  You say that my e-mail leaves no options for anybody.  Well it certainly did leave options.  You could have replied and instead of still insisting my position was wrong, you could have apologized for any misunderstanding and said you would like to speak with me to resolve the matter.  However, the way you responded shows me that like the other person I spoke with on the phone you are not interested in making a potential customer happy.

2.  I certainly do appreciate relaxing at fun comedy shows and do all the time at my place as well as other venues.  What I do not appreciate is people or businesses that take advantage and screw me over.  I'm sorry if you don't think that's what happened to me.  However, I'm quite sure if you polled people they would say that after having booked two shows with you guys and having them both canceled on me, that it wouldn't be unreasonable to make accommodations for me.

3.  I'm not sure where I threatened or blackmailed you.  To me a threat is saying "if you don't do this, I'm going to do this".  So if I were to say "If you don't admit me to the Saturday show I'm going to do this" that would be a threat.  All I did was let you know what I was going to do.  As far as blackmail you obviously don't know what the definition of that is.

4.  As far as you forwarding my e-mail to the district attorneys and FBI I honestly was laughing so hard I was crying.  You have been watching too many tv shows that's for sure.  There is nothing I said that warrants any type of illegality.  I'm sure the FBI will get right too it just as soon as they solve that terrorist thing.

5.  As far as sending it to local media and the chronicle that is a great idea!  When you do please make sure to tell them that I would love to speak with them and that the best time to get a hold of me is from noon till 11:00 pm or so ( I don't like to wake up early).

6.  You asked me to imagine if my guests would ever do the same.  Well this is an easy one to answer because it would never happen.  Unlike you I subscribe to the theory of "the customer is always right" and "treat people the way you want to be treated".  Am I perfect, is my club perfect, are my shows perfect, are my employees perfect?  Absolutely not, but it's how you make up for your mistakes that most people care about, not that you made them.  The few times we've made mistakes I've corrected it to the clients satisfaction (this isn't just in comedy, but other businesses that I own).  A lot of times I correct them ahead of time before the client even asks.  For instance a few months ago we had a problem with noise coming from the restaurant that we share space with.  Without anyone asking I gave everyone that came that evening a free ticket for a future show.  That was around $1000 in free tickets I gave out, but what it did was show people that I cared and valued their business.  More of them will come back and tell their friends than if I had done nothing.  We routinely take coupons that are expired and I could go on and on.  

Another reason this would not happen is because all my employees have full authority to do whatever is needed to make a customer happy.  I would never have a situation where an assistant would have not solved the problem or at least said "let me call my boss to see what we can do".

7.  When you say you can only afford a certain amount on trade I believe you don't understand the point of a bartering system.  It is not "I will make a trade with you, but only accept it on my terms".  The trade is supposed to be accepted anytime.  What if I were to say "we only accept trades three days out of the year" Theoretically you already got paid for your trade.  Also even if I were to accept the fact that you can only accept a certain amount of trade, you guys canceled two shows on me so the right thing to do would be to make an exception. 

8.  I'm not sure if you have lawyers on retainer, but if not and you want to waste your money on lawyers for something that is not actionable that is your business.  One of my business partners is an attorney so it's no sweat off my back.

9.  You said all I had to do was ask your assistant for your cell#.  This is ridiculous.  It's not my responsibility to tell your assistant how to do her job.  I asked her repeatedly if this was the final decision and she said yes.  You notice she didn't reach out to you until I sent the second e-mail.

Also I should mention again that although you said you only take a certain amount of trade you had this show listed on Goldstar and had plenty of tickets available.  From what I understand these shows are never completely sold out.  Even if I assume the best case scenario and you gave me my seats and lost out on two goldstar tix at $50 you would have lost $100.  So for $100 you know created a situation where you have six unhappy people (me, my fiancĂ©, and the four people who were going to go to the show).  There's a rule in marketing that says one unhappy person will tell twenty others, while a happy person might tell five others.

Yes I will admit when I wrote that e-mail I was really ticked off and I may or may not do any of the things I mentioned.  However, they are all legal and most importantly truthful.  The public can gather their own opinion from it.  

John DeKoven

Since I have sent this e-mail I have not gotten any response.   I know that this post will not solve my problem I had with them nor will it really hurt them in anyway.  However, I like the idea that I can tell others my story so they can be aware of just how they might be treated if they decide to do business with this company.  It always feels good to stand up for what's right even if you don't get what you want. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Shows this Weekend :-(

Well it's the Chinese New Year and that means no shows for Bunjo's Comedy Club.  What does the Chinese New Year and comedy have to do with each other you ask?  Not much except that The Willow Tree Restaurant (where we do our shows) needs the space for their celebrations. 

So for the first time in a while I find myself wondering what to do this weekend.  I've gotten into such a pattern that I don't know what else to do.  I guess it would be nice to take my fiance our for a nice dinner, maybe some dancing etc...

Next week we return to our regular schedule with open mic on Friday, and Saturday Night Funnies with Jeff Applebaum on Saturday.  The next week is preliminary round #1 of the Killer Laughs III Comedy Competiion and then on Saturday it's "Chicks with Schtick" with headliner Laurie Kilmartin.  We are also going to have a FREE pre-show wine tasting by Bodegas Aguirre Winery, which is sponsored by Winegirls.  Info for all these shows can be found at   It should be a lot of fun!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Smorgasbord Of Jewish Comedy - The Meshugenah Comedy Tour

Last night’s show was played to a sold out crowd at Bunjo’s Comedy Club. We really should have turned people away, but they were so insistent that they had to see the show and we would have felt bad doing so. It really put a strain on the wait staff at The Willow Tree as it was the Chinese New year and they were slammed in the main dining room which is rare.

Great performances were put in by all – I was the host as “The Republican Jew” , featured comics were “The Not So Nice Jewish Girl” Carrie Gilbert, “The Vietnamese Jew” Joe Nguyen, “The Gay Jew” Kenny Altman, “The Old Jew” David Kleinberg and our headliner was “The Indian Jew” Samson Koletkar.
It seemed like everyone had a great time and we are hoping to get this tour on the road in the near future.