I spent a week in NYC once and I wore a black felt hat. I wore it everywhere. It was windy, and wearing a hat was easier than trying to keep my hair fixed just so.
One night I went to a comedy club, a setting where you expect a fair amount of fairly good-natured ribbing. Especially when you insist on wearing a hat.
“Look who’s here, Debbie-fuckin’-Gibson.” Debbie Gibson was a pop star in the ‘80’s who wore a hat like mine. And that was just the first guy. There were still three more comics before we got to the headliner. All of them had something to say about the hat.
They were all funny, but the main guy, the headliner—honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. He had a routine about trying to find an apartment in NYC. I can’t do it justice, but I laughed so hard my face hurt.
I had such a good time, I went back again the next night. I sat in the same seat and of course, I wore the hat.
Again I saw the same comics do the same routines, but I was waiting for the headliner. The guy who made me laugh so hard I cried.
He came on stage and did the opening part of his act. It was good, but I was waiting for the bit that made me laugh so hard it hurt.
I heard him say, “Well let’s see, what else is there…”, like he’d forgotten his routine. I shouted, “Have you found an apartment yet?”
“Hat girl saves comic”, he said, without missing a beat.
That was a long time ago, I’m sure he wouldn’t remember. The headliner guy has had a few more gigs since then.
You might know the name. You might know him from 30 Rock.
You’re welcome, Judah Friedlander.
Love, Hat Girl.