By Raghav Mehta (aka Tony Apples)
The problem with this city has always been that there’s not enough competition.
Being one of the top 100 comedians in Minneapolis just isn’t enough for me anymore, I’m ready to move on to somewhere where I can barely crack the top 1000. For some wasting your life in the midwest until you’ve actually got the talent to take on the big boys is a good career choice, but for me? I want to try and fail somewhere that they’re always talking about in the picture shows. I’m going to show the world that I’m ready to flame out standing next to the big dogs. I’m going to move to the Big Apple.
Why do they call it the Big Apple, you ask? That’s a great question and a lot of people actually get this wrong. Many believe that it’s because the city is quite large and shaped like an apple. This is of course wildly incorrect. The reason they actually call it the Big Apple is because they knew of my love for apples and they proselytized my coming as a signifier that mediocre things were to come. They knew that my new stage name, Tony Apples, was going to take the stand-up scene by whatever is like a storm but much more subdued. Like, maybe a light rain. I’m coming to lightly drizzle all over your city, New York. I’m coming to take my rightful place at the bottom of the middle.
I know my rise to an unimpressive but measurable amount of recognition isn’t going to happen overnight. I know that I’m going to have to work my way up from the bottom for years just to get to the same terrible, suffocating position I’m at today and I don’t care, because I’m going to be in New York! Woody Allentown, baby! The birthplace of 9/11 and where David Letterman fucked subordinates that could have easily been his daughters! It’s truly a place where dreams come true. Not my dreams, probably, but dreams all the same. Is being next to greatness not also a greatness unto itself? No, I suppose it isn’t, but… New York, baby!!
The first move for Tony Apples should probably be trying to get a job handing out tickets somewhere, maybe the Comedy Cellar. I’ll get to be looked down on by heroes like Louis C.K., Dave Attel, and some unfunny jackasses I’ve never even heard of! Wow! That is if I get the job, which is unlikely. I’m sure there are a lot of desperate comics that are more hardworking, serious and invested in breaking into the industry than I am just waiting to do just about everything I want and boy, do they deserve it more, but I’m going to be in New York, baby! Nobody can take that away from me! Minneapolis may have done nothing to hold me back, but that won’t stop me from blaming them anyway, and nobody can stop Tony Apples from reaching his full potential in New York except for Raghav Mehta, and he’s dead!
Funny story about that; several months ago I got home from a long day of napping at work, drew a bath for myself, lit some candles and drowned myself in the bathtub. At first I was dead, and that was great, but then I woke up with a bunch of jerk paramedics standing over me! Thanks a lot, bozos! Or so I thought at the time. After a little thought and self-reflection, I realized this was the perfect opportunity to reinvent myself. With Raghav Mehta dead, I could change my whole persona! First thing first I vomited and started sobbing, when that was over I went over to the fridge, reached out with my eyes closed and picked the first thing I touched. At least that was the plan. Unfortunately the first think I touched was milk, and I wasn’t about to be known as Peter Milk or Chuck Skim, then I grabbed a carrot which came with a whole new set of problems so finally I just looked around until I saw something I liked the sound of and was reborn as Tony Apples.
While I’d always imagined myself as an L.A. comic, I knew right away that a guy named Tony Apples was going to have to live in New York, it was right there in the name. If I’d have called myself Cincinnati Chili Sydney I couldn’t have moved to Florida, after all. I’d obviously had to have moved to Idaho. Tony Apples was clearly a city slicker, plain and simple. If you know of a city bigger and better than New York, I’d like to hear what it is! Seriously. I’ve been looking into the cost of living and boy, I don’t make what it costs for a month in a year and I’m really starting to regret that I told all my friends that their ol’ pal Tony was moving. Can’t really go back now! Everyone would think I was a liar or, worse, a coward.
Can I be honest here for a second? I just don’t know if Tony’s cut out for New York. Sure it works for your David Cross’ and your… oh, God, I can’t even think of another one. Who’s another successful comedian from New York!? I’m blanking here. I don’t want to move to New York! Everything is either too hot, too cold and it always smells like warm pee. The streets are crowded and the animals bite and everybody kind of looks like Bill Murray but angry and shouting. I just want to keep living in Minneapolis. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to be Tony Apples, I just want to be Raghav again.
I never thought I’d say this, but I wish Raghav Mehta was alive.