Onion Juice: Countdown to the Purple Onion (Melanie O’Brien)

So hopefully you know by now that I’m performing at the Purple Onion on August 28. Tickets are in the mail and I will start hounding everybody I know to see if they want in on what’s going to be an amazing night.

Recently (yesterday) at the Brainwash, I was accosted by Melanie O’Brien. She’s apparently a fan of the blog but questions why she hasn’t been present in the popular word collages of phrases from the nights previous. Her tone was angry. I explained to her that I hadn’t seen her in a while and that I usually just include jokes I remember. No Melanie sets heard, no placement on the collage. She blows me off to talk to the nearby Jabari Davis (Promoter/Headliner of my show at the Purple Onion) so I explain to Vlad that I already had plans to highlight Melanie in the “Onion Juice” portion of my blog as one of my favorite things about the show occurring. That exchange sped the process up considerably. This is that blog…

I love Melanie O’Brien.

From the first syllable of her act on an off chance night at 800 Larkin in the Tenderloin to the confines of forever I’ve been/will be huge appreciator of Melanie as a fan a comedy and a fan of people. 

It’s hard to quantify what Melanie does, because any one statement can sideswipe the deck of cards that she’s crafted for herself. Parallels can be made, but I refuse to make them because Melanie is gutsy beyond allusion. She ultimately lives in the same vein as I try to: to become legendary.

Fame is great (I guess), infamy is more fun, but legend is the true goal. With legend you become beyond oneself as faults are cast aside or glared at forever. Your accomplishments are a laundry list when you’re a legend. People know about you without even meeting you. It’s good to be a legend.

But legends don’t happen all the time. It takes a long time of living life to the fullest, making the most of every situation. To become a legend you have to be special. And Melanie is special.

I’ve seen her murder rooms, I’ve seen her bomb. I’ve seen her execute her act flawlessly, I’ve seen her argue with bar patrons about the basketball game they’re watching. I’ve heard the coyest, most adorable, and ultimately horrifying statements come out of her mouth. I’ve heard stories about the bluest sets in front of the youngest of children. I’ve seen her talk about being on a bike and getting hit by a car, and still having impeccable comic timing (“I’m on the phone!”). I’ve seen her talk about that story, while her cuts still bleed. All the while, Melanie remains poised and endearing. She’s mastered one of the annuls of show business: keep the people wanting more.

So, low and behold who is the same Jabari Davis and Associate flyer as me.

That’s right, one of my favorites: Melanie O’Brien.

She’s on the same list as Kaseem Bentley, Donny Divanian, Mary Van Note, and DJ Real: comedians that I love. She’s up there for a good reason too: she’s following two dreams.

Mel gets my respect because in addition to being an uber-talented comedian, she’s also chasing her dream of practicing law. Two very demanding careers running concurrently. I know from first hand experience that it’s a major sacrifice and draining to a ridiculous degree. And thusly, kudos and excitement are in order for Melanie O’Brien.

I can’t wait until my mom hears one of her rape jokes.