Standup comedian Jimmy Jerples made coffee and minimum wage at a Manhattan cafe earlier today, hoping to earn enough money to afford dinner. “Sometimes we get a shift meal, but my boss said we’re running short on eggs this week. So I’m gonna eat half a brownie that fell on the floor and save the rest for later between mics.”
Jerples plans on hitting multiple open microphones through three boroughs over the course of the night. “It can be an unforgiving hellscape. But at least there’s a lot of stage time. There’s a good one tonight at midnight in Manhattan. You get two minutes and it only costs four dollars. There isn’t even a drink minimum,” Jerples said as he plunged the toilet for the third time that morning. “And in a place like this, there’s no shortage of material.”
“I’m working on a bit about this weirdo that comes in every day and orders a mocha with no chocolate. It’s like, what else does he buy? Chili fries with no chili?” Jerples said, just before a coffee grinder turned on. “I’ve tried it at a few mics this week. It hasn’t worked,” he added before trailing off. “Sometimes you just feel like quitting forever. I hate comedy.”
Jerples’s love of comedy extends past performing. “If I get enough tips this week, I might be able to see a show at the Cellar. Last time, Louis CK dropped in. That guy does what he wants. It’s so inspiring.” His comedy heroes clearly had a major impact on him. “You know, Seinfeld used to work around the corner,” Jerples said, referring to Carolines on Broadway.
“I stay optimistic. You gotta believe in yourself. You have to think some day all this hard work might pay off.” Jimmy Jerples has performed on The Tonight Show twice and is about to make his third appearance on Conan. “I’m trying to get a spot on Colbert’s Late Show. I think after that, I could cut down to 30 hours a week for sure.” His fourth album “Past Gas” is due out on Comedy Central Records this fall.