A local runner took the stage at a local open-mic night, Dumb Runner has learned, and was met with awkward silence.
Doug MacArthur, 38, was attending the weekly event Monday evening at the Pacific Theater when he decided to try out some standup comedy he’d been working on, according to friends who accompanied him.
MacArthur is a longtime runner and veteran of six marathons, they said, but this was his first attempt at comedy.
“What’s the deal with blisters?” MacArthur said as he paced the stage, grinning and scanning the room, in vain, for any sign of connection or hint of a smile.
“I mean, isn’t that a funny name for something painful?” he continued. “Bliss-ters? Shouldn’t they be called hurts-ters?”
“Is this thing on?” he added, tapping his microphone. “Ha!”
Someone in the rear of the room coughed. Shuffling his note cards, MacArthur went on.
“So. I went to the doctor last week—doctors, right? Had this awful pain in my foot. And the doc tells me I have to stop running marathons,” he said. “I say, ‘Well, I’d like a second opinion.’ Doc tells me, ‘OK, you should also do something about those toenails. Because wooof!’”
Hearing only the muffled crinkle of someone opening candy, MacArthur was undeterred.
“Black toenails. Wow! Am I right, folks?”
MacArthur forged ahead, despite the silence and the sea of expressionless faces, for 10 full minutes.
“Doug is a tenacious guy,” said Bernard Montgomery, a longtime friend who witnessed MacArthur’s set. “He had 10 minutes of material about running, and he was going to deliver 10 minutes of material about running.”
Montgomery did learn one thing, he said, from the experience.
“My takeaway?” he said. “Running just isn’t funny.”