#2: Boxing Comedians & Tiger Hood
Boxing is a lot like Comedy. (Except it hurts less when you do it badly.)
September 12th, 2015
After a long night of shows —some great, some terrible— I wobbled down MacDougal street to my spiritual home: The Comedy Cellar.
I collapsed into a booth and started scribbling on the table in chalk. I saw that some other comics were talking nearby. Wil Sylvince came over to say hello as I ordered the tabouleh and a whiskey. Eventually, Outside Stevewandered in after loading the audience in for the late show and leaned against our booth to trade stories from that night.
Steve mentioned Louie and Schumer had dropped in to work on some new gear tonight. One audience member had been offended by another comic on the late show and later got into a fistfight with him outside. The comic had been wearing rings on his hands and they cut up the guy’s skin. He was bleeding all over the sidewalk. Fun!
Wil is a comic from Haiti with the most infectious smile in New York. He often hosts the Cellarshows and sometimes does a bit of back-and-forth with Dave Attell after he brings him up. It’s my favourite thing to watch. Wil came to Australia to do comedy for a festival and then toured around the small towns afterward. “Your country people are crazy down there.” he told me. “—And they had some fun words for me.”
He talked to me about boxingwhile I scoffed my face with pita and tabouleh. I’ve just started up with a trainer in Alphabet city: a Russian heavyweight named Yuri who beats the shit out of me twice a week for money. I love it.
I really enjoy boxing. It’s the only physical activity I’m remotely good at. For every other sport I’ve tried I look like a rabid squid trying to punch its way out of a sleeping bag. Boxing is a lot like comedy— I said that to Wil between mouthfuls and he went on a long, excited tangent about the exact correlations between the two.
My comedian friend, Ed got me to do his comedy series called “Defend Yourself” —the show featured comedians getting in the ring and being interviewed between rounds. I did really badly at it.
After about 1am, I finished up my drink, said goodbye to Steve and Wil, and turned the corner onto Minetta lane. I pulled out my phone and started reading my texts when I almost walked right into a tall black man with a golf club chipping milk cartons into an upturned crate behind a parking cone.
He had a grubby old rug on the ground with a $100 bill design on it. All the crunched-up milk cartons were in a perfect line, ready to hit. He expertly swung his sand wedge and tapped the parking cone nearly every time. It was mesmerizing.
He scrunched his bearded face up in a smile, turned to me, and asked, “You want to have a go?”
I shook my head, “Too drunk.”
I later found out he calls himself, “Tiger Hood” and is a bit of a legendaround these parts. You can read more about him here.
This city never stops surprising me.
I saw Tiger the other night at about 2am outside the Village Underground on 3rd. I said, “Hey, I drew you the other day.” He replied, “Ooh shit, let me see it!” I showed him. He liked it. He reached into his pocket and gave me this…
Outside Steve is the guy named Steve who works outside. So they call him Outside Steve. He checks audience members in at the door and has gone on to become a good friend for over a decade.
The Comedy Cellar, Greenwich Village, NYC.
*Wil ended up trying to make a movie about boxing years later.
Not long after, Tiger Hood got a golf gear sponsorship from Nike and was featured on Will Smith’s Web Series.
exquisite art, JC 🙏🏼