Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

My foot’s relationship with my mouth

November 16, 2012

I may have already mentioned that I have a terrible habit of sticking my foot in my mouth. No. Not like a yogic master; more like an ineloquent clod.

Sunday night’s episode of “The Good Wife” was about a comedian who said inappropriate things at the wrong time. Déjà vu. Déjà freaking vu. I really felt simpatico with guest star Christina Ricci’s character, even though she was probably the worst actor to play this part (I guess Chelsea Handler wasn’t available to play herself).

Now when the priest asks, “If there is any reason these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace,” I’ve always kept quiet. Also, I’ve never yelled out “He’s a jerk!” at a funeral.

However, I have made some bonehead moves.

A few years ago, a woman told me, “I work over at the hospital down the street.” I said, “Are you a nurse?” She said, “I’m a doctor.” Well. I felt like I got in a DeLorean and launched myself back into the ’50s.

Yes. I have asked more than one heavy-set woman if she was pregnant. One even said, “No. Are you?” Touché (there’s a lot of French up in here today).

Yes. I once dragged out my answer when someone said, “Do I look fat in this?” Remember when a woman asks you this question, the only thing you can do is pretend you didn’t hear her or run away. There’s no easy answer. I may pretend to faint the next time a female friend tries on a Liz Claiborne pants suit in Kohl’s.

Also, never say, “Ew, no!” when someone asks the question, “Are you two together?” To be fair, every time I’ve ever gone to Benihana with one other person, someone asks me that, whether I’m with a man or a woman. I guess they assume that no one goes there except on a date. I got into a huge brouhaha when my friend Sandy told a story about her husband to a group of strangers at Benihana and the people at the table said, “He’s not your husband?” After I denied that heinous allegation, I heard the kind of gasps you only hear on “The Jerry Springer Show.” The other five people at the table thought we were having an extramarital affair. Sometimes, a lunch is just a lunch.

After Kevin Clash was accused of having a relationship with an underage boy, I made an inappropriate joke on Facebook about where the puppeteer was putting his hand. I forgot that my cousin’s kids are on Facebook. I am trying to keep it PG-13 over there, but some stuff just slips out.

I am working on developing that filter that stops most people from saying what they think. I am hoping it’s a lot like a muscle and the more I show discretion the easier it will get.

I have had a few people take me seriously when I’ve said something inappropriate. I would like to publicly apologize to them now, because publicly apologizing is a lot easier than actually apologizing. See. I can’t help myself.



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