A Page from Sonwden’s Diary

March, 2012: I am finally out of meetings and sit down to accomplish real work when Phil, two desks over, intercepts a live phone sex: “Hey this guy in Oregon still calls his dick “a dong”!! Who does that anymore?!“, he screams into the sky laughing.

Soon half the staff is around Phil, listening to the call, and I am pushed out of my own cubicle. Phone sex parties start randomly here, the way free donoughts might attract a crowd at a normal office.

At a data level, this place is the Garden of Eden and everyone is biting the apple.

Thomas –three desks over– spies on all the other players in his Dungeons & Dragons League and says he has never lost since he knows exactly what they will do at each meeting . Chet, my supervisor, spies on the girls he’s dating. This has caused issues, when he’s inadvertently revealed personal information that he couldn’t possibly know.

When caught, Chet claims to be claireveonet. “Bear in mind, I don’t like to lie like this, I mean I despise psychics, but –if she’s got a good set of tits– I just can’t walk away. What can I say?- I’m a romantic, Ed“.

No one hear calls me Edward.

April 13th, 2012: the volume of data we process is so large, science hasn’t agreed upon a name for the units. We used to be storing at what’s called a yota-byte or 1 trillion terabytes but we exceeded that figure last week and there is now no name for the level we are at. Chet, our supriversor, has proposed calling them “pecker-bytes” to “let the terrorists know our dicks work, right Ed“.

I remind him its ‘Edward’. “Shit, I know that Snowy- what the forecast in your pants, by the way, 4 inches of pure white??.”

He does that joke daily.

June, 2012: the people at my level are jack asses; the people at the top are even worse. At the top, they are ex military who seem to be good men but they don’t understand the sophistication of these systems. The admiral in charge for example, doesn’t understand the distinction between twitter and blogs: “Ed, are the terrorists bloggering together?” –“What”– “Hahstaging and so on- we need to be monitoring this!

Worse, he doesn’t just admit these shortcomings and lean on some one with a strong tech background. Instead, he tries to fake it. He speaks in the parlance of a young, tech-savvy person but gets all the terms wrong. For example, he doesn’t understand the difference between “but-dialing” some one, and a “booty call”.

Ed, did I just booty call you from inside that meeting? Some times the phone falls into the back of my uniform and –hey everyone– I must have booty called, Big Ed over there

I swear to Christ if they don’t start calling me Edward, I’m going to leak every last detail of this place.

August 13th, 2012: PRISM, our deep packet sniffer, has detected a major threat. A rouge cell, outside of Atlanta, is planning an attack of biblical proportions. We are fueling up the Blackhawks now. My doubts are starting to fade. Perhaps this system does make the
country more secure.

August 14th: we arrested a blues grass band. They were practicing a live set based off the Book of Deuteronomy and the lyrics coincide with one of our threat patterns. The operation cost 2 million dollars in helicopter refueling alone. But Chet, my supervisor, says it wasn’t a total waste because we at least know that PRISM is running and “the band had a female bassist with pretty decent tits, Ed”.

September, 2012: I was called into the Admiral’s office. Usually this means he’s heard of some new technology and wants to harvest it.
Ed, have you heard of these Terror Hawks?” –what– “Yes, Terror Hawks. They attack wild boars. You lead them against the boars. Its a virtual
war, Ed
“. After a few minutes, I realize he’s talking about the game, Angry Birds.

“Its a game for your phone, sir. Most the people I know who play it, only do so on the toilet”.

Christ, Ed, empires are built on a toilet- we need to harvest this, post haste, Ed!

October 5th, 2012: the data is so large that nothing gets done. Everyone only appears to look busy, going through the data.

I’m the only person giving actual updates in our status meetings. Most are just bullshitting, the word de jeer is “Nexus”. You can hide behind that word for months.

What am I doing?- I’m looking for nexuses.
I’m trying to develop an algorithm for finding nexuses within non-nexused data.
I think I found a nexus, in a nexus!

They also like to use daunting terms for the internet, “I’m inside the deep web!” or “I’m trying to catalogue the dark web!

Jane was so hunger over the other day she couldn’t even think of a standard bullshit update, panicked and said she’s “working inside the Mariana Trench” which has nothing to do with technology and, I’m pretty sure, is just a giant hole in the ocean.

The Admiral of course bought it. “Marina Trench? That sounds scary as Hell. Why is this the first I’m hearing about it!“. And he put 4 more people on it, including me: “Eddie Boy! I need you on top of this. I can’t go back to Congress and say I wasn’t looking inside the Mariana Trench for terrorists!

I look forward to the day that the American tax payers learn we actually searched for terrorists inside the Mariana Trench. If he doesn’t start calling me ‘Edward’ it might happen sooner than expected.

Noah’s Journal

Noah’s Journal

Day 1: God asked me to build an arc. Says He’s going to flood the world. Told Him I’m not much of a sailor.

Day 3: Wife has been laughing uncontrollably. “Christ, you couldn’t even build that cabinet for my sister. We’re fucked”. Listen, her sister kept changing the dimensions on me. Plus I didn’t have good wood. Should have good wood on this project.

Day 4: Told God we should use spruce and He’s sort of noncommittal on whether He can get His hands on that or not. Later, in making small chat, God says “you know what else is a good wood- dogwood”, which I’m 90% sure is a bush.

Day 5 Things get heated, when talking about the plan and timeline and I bring up the dogwood line. I ask Him, flat out: “how much do You really know about wood and boats?” and He LOSES IT. Keeps yelling that He doesn’t want to have to “micromanage” the end of the world, and that I just need to get it done.

Day 6: I tell Him the wood is handled and He says “Great, how are we doing on lyme?” and I just let is slide that He thinks lymestone goes into building ships and say “pretty damn good!”

Day 7: God tells me the full plan: I have to get two of every animal and board them on the Arc to continue life. I say, “what about the trees?” and He says “what you mean?” and I say “I’m pretty sure trees can’t live after being submerged in water for 40 days and 40 nights” and He says “you’re shittin me??!!”.

Day 8: We argue about how much water trees can take for the better part of the day, then He finally says “listen, they can fucking take it, OK- I created them and I know them. Now we’re DONE talking about trees”. I tell Him, “OK, but just remember all life collapses if there’s no trees for herbivores”. “WHATT???”, He yells back.

Day 9: I don’t think God understands the distinction between a herbivore and a carnivore. He thought you could just take all the animals and drop them in a new place and it would “just kind of work”. Keeps telling me, “I don’t get bogged down in details”. Says He created the whole place in 6 days and it’s still running and I should just trust Him.

Day 10: We start getting into the technical details of the boat. It’s daunting. Will need to be enormous. I say I’ll probably have to hire help and He’s real conspiratorial about it: “well don’t tell them anything!” and keeps pushing back with, “I thought you had a bunch of kids, can’t they do it?”

Day 14: We often fight over animals. First of all, I can’t tell if half these creatures are male or female. Sure, for a lion or donkey, it’s easy, but for things like an ant or a duck- I have no idea. I mean, we could have two male penguins on this boat.

He keeps saying “Listen, if one of these creatures doesn’t make it –the thing to focus on is– no one in the future will know!”, which has been His mantra from the get-go. Loves to say, “The Future Doesn’t Know, What The Future Never Saw!”.

Day 20: More animal fights. He can’t see where the real problems are and assures me He’s “gonna keep the tigers in line”, but I tell Him, “actually I’m more worried about the termites and skunks”. He doesn’t believe that termites actually eat wood and thinks its an urban legend.

Day 30: Lots of paper work. I ask God if He actually cares about capitalizing the ‘h’ in “He” when it refers to God and He says, “Yeah- huge deal to Me”.

Day 35: Out of nowhere He says, “Oh, and by the way, don’t worry about the dinosaurs- I’ll keep them in line too” and I say “what in the fuck are you talking about?” and He describes lizards that are as tall as a temple that eat each other violently and in talking about it, I start getting the impression He’s actually flooded Earth, like, 50 or 60 times and no longer has any idea what’s alive down here.

Day 40: One of my sons got on an ostrich as a joke and it ran him into the next town. Those things are fast.

Day 41: bats shit constantly.

Day 43: beavers ate the rudder. God says not to worry: “what ya, gonna hit some thing?- the whole planet will be water”.

Day 50: Went to what I thought was the supply closet and a gorilla ripped both my arms out of their socket. “What in the Hell are we doing here?”, I yell and a huge fight with God starts.

“Why can’t you kill just the bad people with lighting? Why do you need the flood the entire world??!”, I yell. “Do you know how many bolts of lighting that would be?”, He yells back, “… Zillions, probably!” and there’s kind of a pause there and I get the impression he actually has no idea how many people are on Earth.

“Besides, a flood’s great drama! We are ON for the flood. It’s a GO!”

Day 55: Launch day. We’re sailing. So nervous. To start with, I doubt we have more than 20%
of the actual wildlife on Earth. Second, I have no idea how to sail and, third, it turns out termites do in fact eat wood.

I share my concerns with God: “What if I fail? What if all life dies because I wasn’t strong enough?”

God tells me not to worry so much. How hard can sailing be in a world filled with water? Also claims fished learned to walk once and “they can probably do it again”. Keeps claiming “that’s the backup plan!- we let fish walk again”.

Not so sure about that plan.

I will say this for God- He’s got an infectious laugh.

A Day With The Tenors

The Irish Tenors are a famous group of Celtic singers. Not sure if it’s from my experience doing a podcast with three Irish guys, but –rightly or wrongly– this how I envision every day of their lives.

Jimmy McGinity is an assistant for The Irish Tenors, mostly managing their schedules. This is a page from his journal.


10:30 AM:I pickup Ronan from his apartment and he joins the others. They immediately begin arguing over who’s going to sing “Danny Boy” tonight.

10:45 AM:They are arguing over who’s most hung over. Finbar quit the group during the “Danny Boy” argument but no one is reacting.

10:50 AM: Arguing over which of them ties the best knots. Kearns claims his clinch knot was featured in fishing journal and takes off belt to show technique. Also mentioned he has not stopped drinking from last night.

10:52 AM: Arguing over who’s most drunk, as other two have revealed they have not stopped drinking as well. Finbar rejoins group for “one last show”. Want to prove he can outdrink other two.

11:15 AM: Kearns claims he can outrun a kangaroo backwards and the other two are so offended, they expel Kearns from group.

11:20 AM: Kearns tells story about the time he fucked Shirley MaClaine and Ronan wants to let him back in the group. Finbar doesn’t believe Shirley MaClaine story; also still angry about the kangaroo line.

11:22 AM: Ronan and Kearns race backwards to at least show Finbar that Kearns is pretty fast, moving backwards.

11:25 AM: Kearns has injured himself and says he can’t perform tonight. Manager arrives; other two arguing about who will sign Danny Boy.

12:00 PM: Manager forces Kearns to admit a kangaroo is faster so group can re-unite. They celebrate with shots.

12:02 PM: Wright asks Ronan to punch him in the stomach. Says he can take any punch.

12:15 PM: Wright can’t stand and is vomiting- says he can’t perform tonight. Ronan and Kerns argue over who will sing Danny Boy.

12:30 PM: Wright has bartender serve him whiskey at 105 F (he claims it’s the internal temperature of a wolf) and says he’s good to perform.

2:00 PM: Manager has been trying to get them to do a tech check for 2 hours. Currently arguing over how high of a fall the human body can survive. Ronan claims space, if you land on snow.

2:10 PM: Ronan shows how you land in snow; injures himself jumping off table. Says he probably can’t perform tonight.

2:12 PM:Finbar and Wright agree to contest: who ever names most Irish Poets in 10 minutes sings Danny Boy.

2:25 PM: Wright lists Mahler as Irish poet and other two are so disgusted they kick him out of group.

2:25 PM: Wright tells Kearns the craziest place he ever shit his pants (Vatican City) and Kearns votes to have him back in the group. Ronan can’t remember who’s in the group now so he agrees. Shots to celebrate.

3:00 PM: Kearns fakes a heart attack near the bathroom so Ronan can jump behind bar and pour them three free whiskeys.

3:01 PM: Very happy with how whiskey heist went. Debating how they would rob bank.

3:10 PM: Violent argument. Each one wants to drive the get-away-car.

4:00 PM: Manager has got them into dressing room. Wright claims that eagles have sex at 100 Mph and it’s caused a huge argument.

4:05 PM: Debating best way to die. First agreement of the night: they all thinking having a crane fall on you is the best way to go.

4:10 PM: Ronan wants to open up a business where they drop cranes on people who are ready to die.

4:15 PM: Ronan is pricing cranes online; Wright and Kearns arguing about which of them will sing Danny Boy.

4:20 PM: Cocktail Contest to sing Danny Boy. Who ever can name a cocktail the other two can’t make sings Danny Boy.

6:15 PM: Wright claims there’s a cocktail called ‘The Ground Sloth’, which is Guinness with mint leaves and whiskey. Makes three to prove it’s a real drink.

6:20 PM: All three are now ordering Ground Sloths exclusively from the bar. Say it’s the best drink they ever had.

7:30 PM: Ronan’s ear is bleeding and he has no idea why. Kearns lost a shoe. Each member is saying “I’ve never seen the two of you this drunk- I better sing Danny Boy”.

7:55 PM: The curtain’s about to go up. The three are in a fist fight. Manager breaks up fight. Says, “God damn it, we’re going to sing Danny Boy as a trio. We have never done it any other way!”

8:00 PM: Curtain goes up and they have great show. Turns out, fist fight was about difference between a burrito and enchilada.

4:32 AM: I drop Ronan off at his apartment. He has lost his cellphone and coat, but leaves in good spirits: “today went pretty smooth, right?”. He’s peeing in the court yard as I pull into traffic. Singing Danny Boy to himself.

Full Schedule for Chicago Just for Laughs

Happy to be performing with some of my favorite comics this week:


  • Double Threat: Sean Flannery and Mike Stanley / 8:30 PM / Stage 773
  • opening for Pete Holmes / 10:30 PM / UP Comedy Club

      opening for Pete Holmes / 8:00 PM / UP Comedy Club

  • Daily Motion Comedy Showcase / 7:00 PM / Stage 773
  • The Blackout Diaries / 11:30 PM / Stage 773

  • You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes / 7:00 PM / Stage 773
  • A Tight 60 with Team Coco / 8:30 PM / Stage 773
  • The Blackout Diaries / 11:30 PM / Stage 773

Blackout Diaries Partnering with Malort


Some people call it the worst shot in the world. I call it: a perfect corporate sponsor.

The Blackout Diaries is very excited to announce that we are partnering with Jeppson’s Malort –America’s most honest shot– for all 2013 shows.

Malort is a unique taste- some where between tequila and an alley fight. And it is Chicago-strong: 100% owned and operated in Chicago, by Chicago, for Chicago alcoholics (the only Chicagoans that matter).

But don’t take my word for it, come to The Blackout Diaries in 2013 and taste Malort for yourself! Jeppson’s will be giving away free tastes of their product and the audience members with the most unique description of that taste –or the best slogan for Malort– will win merchandise and, who knows, maybe even more tastes!

The Blackout Diaries: a comedy show where there are no stupid questions


Jeppson’s Malort official site: jeppsonsmalort.com

Malort twitter feed: twitter.com/JeppsonsMalort

(their twitter feed is pretty hilarious)

New Years Resolution?- Tell More Drinking Stories!

The Blackout Diaries is now weekly!


Very excited to announce that The Blackout Diaries is going to move to a weekly schedule in 2013. Not only that, but we are partenering with one of the city’s finest comedy venues, and the very place where The Blackout Diaries debuted: The Lincoln Lodge. Like all great drunks, The Blackout Diaries has decided that the beer tastes best back home.

The Blackout Diaries will be,

every Saturday / 8 PM / $10

The Lincoln Lodge

4008 North Lincoln Avenue Chicago, IL 60618

(first show is Saturday Jan 5th)

Many special enhancements to the show are planned, so check back often for additional details and tickets.

Tough Questions

I might start posting some microblogs to my site; stories and jokes that are too long for twitter, but perhaps funny enough to stick around. We will see…



I remember being in a symbolic logic class in college and the professor was explaining Leibniz’s Law (“∀F(Fx ↔ Fy) → x=y.“) and the ontological implications of it, when a dude in a Phish shirt just yelled from the back “What if I’m just a brain in a jar, man!”.

I then let out a laugh that I am pretty sure, even if you went back to Aristotle, was the loudest laugh ever issued in a philosophy class. It is possibly the loudest laugh of my life. My Vesuvius.

Never Been to Paris Re-launching with Belushi

Excited to announce that

1) my one man show “Never Been to Paris” is returning from its summer break at The Comedy Bar Thursday October 18th


2) Jim Belushi is opening the show that night.


As some of you may have read, Belushi is partnering with The Comedy Bar.

“Never Been to Paris” will be the launch night of the partnership and Belushi will open my show with his own near-death story. After the show, at midnight, there will be live music from Rob Stone and the C-Notes, also with Belushi.

Tickets are expected to sellout so if you are intersted in attending, please purchase in advance:


(after opening night, show starts at 8 PM each Thursday, not 10 PM)

Many years ago, I walked off a roof, broke my back in three places and my heel in several more. My friends found me in a nearby
lawn, and if they had said,

“Flannery, one day you’re going to write a comedy show about this and the guy from ‘RED HEAT’ is gonna open for it”.

I’d have said: “you raise that damn roof ten more feet and I’ll do it again, pal!!”.

(FYI: RED HEAT is my favorite buddy movie of all time)

Mail Bag

After Saturday’s The Blackout Diaries a fan of the show emailed this photo (each show has $2 Blatz). His email:

1) Here’s the ad I was telling you about. It’s pretty excellent.

1916 Blatz Beer good for mother and baby

2) Also, my girlfriend had the best description of the show. Before the last guy went up, she turns to me and says, “It’s like a reverse AA meeting.”

They are correct of course. There will never be a better description of the show than, “it’s like a reverse AA meeting.”

Cleveland / Akron date announced for Never Been to Paris

North East Ohio Date announced

Excited to announce a NE Ohio date for my one man show, “Never Been to Paris”:

Saturday Nov 17th @ Musica

9 PM / $10

ages: all ages but under 21 must pay a $2 surcharge

51 East Market Street

Akron, OH 44308

Once online sales are available, I will share the link.

If you’re in the area, I think this show will be a lot of fun.

Normally, I’m performing this show in some
far off city, where I’ve only killed myself by accident a mere 1 or 2 times. It will be good to go back to the source.

Plus, I’ve heard great things about the venue.

Launching Blackout Diaries as a Podcast

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching my Blackout Diaries show as a podcast soon. The show will be a mix of stories from our live show, monolouges recorded in studio, letters, drinking facts and more. I believe the show will be funny.

Look for the first episode later this month, at www.blackoutdiaries.info

More importantly, for now, I am looking for funny drinking stories to share on the show. As you might know, our live show is a collection of stories from professional comedians plus ‘regular’ people (cops, teachers, house wives, etc). It’s a very fun environment for sharing stories that may or may not have been fun at the time.

If you have stories you’d like to share, please email me at sean@worldsdumbestman.com

The live show as been a critic’s pick in The Chicago Reader, Timeout Chicago, Chicago Red Eye, Onion AV Club and more. So this isn’t just some jack ass looking to disguise drinking stories as art. …OK it is.

Tune in later this month.


1975 Schaefer Beer Ad - Red Sox Yearbook


I have a new twitter feed you can follow: twitter.com/barclaims

It’s sort of a re-packaging of my ungoogleable project, which documents how I attempt to argue at bars, in the modern world of fact checkers and smart phones (you can read more about ungoogleable, and my thoughts on phones at bars, here).

It might make you laugh.

And we should update it often. I say ‘we’ because I plan to give the password to my drinking buddies, as they are usually better at remembering my claims.

Moments in Public Transportation

Several days after September 11th, I was on the Red Line in Chicago. An overweight man left his car via the emergency exit and entered ours. He walked down the aisles of the train attentively, like he was on patrol.

Two tan men were speaking in a foreign tongue. The overweight man stopped at their seats,

“What do we have here?”, he demanded.

He was dressed in shorts and a huge tee shirt that said “Let Freedom Ring!”; above it, a bald eagle was flying with liberty bells in each talon. He wore an enormous hat that read, “The Price of Freedom is Not Free”, with eagles flying in every direction.

The tan men did not answer. They stared at each other a little puzzled; a little scared.

“I will ask again: what do we have here?”

The two men were visibly Mexican. Tan, bushy mustaches; dressed in Mexican soccer jerseys. They spoke clear, unambiguous Spanish.

“Let’s try it a different way: do I need to be concerned about anything here?”

The Mexicans got up and left.

As they were exiting the train, the American raised his hands, as if to make an announcement: “PASSENGERS, do not panic- I have handled this situation”.

He then walked through to the next car, to continue his patrol.

It was in that moment, that I realized: the rest of the world needs to take note.

America is now alert. We are now vigilant.

And we know nothing about world geography.

Angel Busque

I was asked to contribute to Scholastic Jive, a blog that publishes the notes of standup comedians. I shared some rough drawings I did for my one man show, which were nothing more than stick figures. My friend Angel Busque, who was a huge supporter of the Chicago standup comedy scene, turned them into a series of amazing visualizations.

After each performance, people lineup to ask me questions and the first is often “who did those drawings –they are hilarious– the one of you driving is perfect”.

I’m sad to say, Angel passed away last week.

She was an incredibly talented artist and great, fun-loving friend. Her drawings are the first illustrations people see in the show and I’m often contacted by people who find the images so striking and well-placed, they ask to receive a digital copy.

When I asked her if she’d be interested in illustrating a story about a car going off a bridge, she said “that’s perfect- let’s do it”, and started immediately. She was always game for a weird-sounding plan and she will be missed very much.

If you have a moment, checkout more of her art at,


These are the (great) drawings she did for my show (click on each for high res):

Shows Added to JFL Chicago


A couple of my shows have been added to the TBS Just for Laughs Festival, this summer.

Stop by if you have no plans; they should be fun:

Blackout Diaries in Onion AV Club

The Onion AV Club previewed the Blackout Diaries again and asked me to put some drinking stories together in a video. They said some nice things about the show and I think, due to the talents of the Puterbaugh Sisters, Bernie Brice and Sam Mechling, the video turned out well too:


The Blackout Diaries returns Saturday March 31st at 7:30 PM at The Beat Kitchen. $10