Another tuxedo. Another strained smile. Another shlub onstage. He is one of the countless, generic comedians found all over America. He doesn't possess originality and he's not particularly smooth. Onstage failure has embittered him, adversely shading his every human relation. He often loses his train of thought mid-joke. When he stumbles, rather than power through, his self-loathing gets the best of him. "Ah, I loused it up," he admits to the microphone. "Sorry, folks, I loused it up!" A crowd of onlookers wouldn't have known the difference. Where there should have been silence there is now confusion. Where there should have been laughs there are headshakes. Where there should have been a comedian - there is Bert Stone.
Stone is a guy that panics. He is a man of extremes. The best one can say about him is that he dresses well. For a professional
comedian Stone lacks the integral confidence - but he is self-assured among the suits of any tailor shop. Made to measure, Stone
thinks nothing of lambasting a veteran clothier.
"No, this is no good," Stone says. "The shoulders are all off."
"No, no, no, my friend. You just need to wear it. It's a bit stiff because it hasn't been worn."
"Nonsense! Look at this! Not even square to the shoulder!"
"Trust me, sir, you just need..."
"Excuse me? Trust you, a fraud posing as a tailor? Don't give me any guff. Just fix it."
No matter where Stone performs the reviews are sure to mention his well-dressed manner. A crease of perfection in his slacks, shoes shined to a luster, and that necktie - sharp - like a knife. Still, inevitably, they will mention that his act stinks. For Bert Stone the material on his body will forever surpass the material in his act. Then again, he ain't alone. He's just one of the hundreds of interchangeable comedians with interchangeable names like Billy and Lenny and Bobby and Jackie - they're all the same guy. Bert Stone, well dressed or not, would be interchangeable with all of them - would be - if not for the cross-country manhunt and the bleeding wrists and the taboo love affair with (gasp) a Negro. Tonight Bert Stone is performing for a crowd not too keen on hearing his act. Maybe if Bert talked about his wife and how she suffered that crazy patella fracture they'd listen. And the earlobe? Christ, how the hell did an earlobe get severed from his wife's head in the middle of a show last month? How does something like that happen? Such thoughts distract everyone as they watch him joking, sweating, bombing - Bert Stone, Comedian.