Oh shit, y’all, it’s Kimmie Gibbler! She and DJ have started a band called the Bracelets. It should come as no surprise that Kimmie’s the keyboard player. Kimmie rips shit up on their rendition of, “I’m Your Venus,” but DJ, on the other hand, sucks at the guitar.
Practice gets cut short because it’s Joeys big night at the comedy club. A talent scout from HBO is coming and Joey really thinks it could be his big break. As the family gather together before heading to the club, Jesse and Stephanie go through this routine where they pretend they’re having a big date. I know that little girls like to pretend about stuff like that, but I’m still kind of weirded out by this exchange. Maybe it’s because Jesse is such a man-hoe and/or because he’s her uncle.
The first act at the club is none other than Ed Alonzo, who’s probably best known as Max, the magician/diner owner on Saved By the Bell whose most amazing trick was disappearing from that show with no explanation.
The emcee is played by Bruce Baum, who was mostly likely cast because he kind of looks like Gallagher.
Joey has pre-performance jitters so the family comforts him while Jesse continues to put the moves on Stephanie.
While dime-store Gallagher is doing Joeys intro, he suddenly realizes that Phyllis Diller is in the audience and talks her into doing a set. Wow, as much as I criticize this show for being predictable, I have to say I did not see that one coming. Phllis Diller really just came out of nowhere. She goes on stage and before you know it she’s been riffing for 90 minutes, so by the time Joey is called up the audience is all laughed-out. Joey’s routine is terrible, as always, but at least this time he has an excuse for why people walked out.
The following morning the family gather to console Joey, only to find him wearing a suit, carrying a briefcase and insisting that he’s referred to as, “Joe.” He took the Phyllis Diller incident as a sign that his big break is never coming and he should accept failure and go into the business world.
Danny and Jesse search the city for a daycare center for Michelle because now that Joey is getting a real job he’s not going to be around to take care of the baby all day. Joey comes home to report that he was just offered two different jobs and he’s turning the first one down because it’s on a hill and the other because they served him instant coffee. Man, if I was Danny, I’d really lose my shit right then. Joey lives in Danny’s house for free and his one responsibility is to help with the kids. Now he’s quit his no-paying comedy career to become a businessman but he’s turning all his job offers down for arbitrary reasons because he obviously doesn’t want to have a job at all. So, what, now he’s gonna live in the house and not take care of the kids and also still not get a job and not pay rent? What an inconsiderate prick! Danny should punch him in the throat for even thinking about pulling some shit like that. That’s just totally unacceptable behavior.
DJ quits the guitar even after Jesse tells her an inspiring story. Her reasons for quitting are identical to Joey’s reasons for quitting comedy. Jesse goes to Danny and the two decide that they must hatch a zany scheme to get Joey back into comedy.
Joey comes to the club under the pretense that Jesse will be doing a guitar performance. Jesse surprises the audience by announcing that he is starting his new career as a stand-up comedian. He proceeds to do a rendition of Joey’s act but he messes up all the timing and gets all the punch lines wrong, which, honestly, is really a lot funnier than when Joey does it. It really is. Joey gets so frustrated by Jesse’s poor delivery that he does the act instead because that’s how 22-minute long stories get resolved.
But wait, there are loose ends! Joey still has to have a heartwarming talk with DJ to reverse the bad example he set. I guess it can’t wait until morning because he goes into her room when she’s supposed to be sleeping and tells her that he’s back doing comedy and that it’s important not to quit doing things just because they’re hard.
This episode has a really skewed message. It seems like Joey really should quit doing comedy because he is incontestably terrible at it, but then he puts no effort into moving on to something else. His whole businessman persona is just a front that he uses to have no job and not even help out around the house. I think the real issue here is that Joey’s manipulating everyone around him and using them for their room and board. Also, his comedy is really obnoxious and intrusive and I really don’t think that he should be encouraging those traits. After their heartwarming talk at the end, DJ pulls out her guitar and starts playing it terribly. This is late at night, when her sister is supposed to be sleeping a few feet away. See how DJ let’s her terrible guitar playing impose on everyone around her? That’s the example Joey sets.
I wish Ed Alonzo played Joey.
Firsts: The Bracelets