Okay, okay, okay, okay, please indulge me ...one LAST Just For Laughs anecdote...
I think it was Pablo Picasso who said that "All art is merely a deviation from the straight line." Such is the best way to explain the Gala hosting experience of Jim Gaffigan.
Jim's had his own sitcom and is one of the busiest touring comics around (check out his bio here), but hosting a filmed-for-TV show featuring eight other comics in a 2,300-seat theatre is a different discipline. Some of the funniest people around make the weakest hosts, and Jim, while capable, wasn't setting the theatre a-titterin' with his effort a couple of Saturdays ago.
In introducing comic Debra DiGiovanni, Jim fumbled the prononciation of her name. And at that moment, the very steady but relatively dull job he was doing came alive. He begged for forgiveness at the end of her set...and screwed up her name again. Debra loved the extra attention, and in Jim, the audience saw a human being emerge what had been a robotic performance.
Debra's name and Jim's mishandling of it became a running joke, and endeared him to the audience as well as the other performers. And when a microphone miscue disrupted Irish comic Tommy Tiernan's set, Jim swooped on stage like Superman and performed a 10-minute set that allowed the tech problem to be fixed and allowed Tommy to regain his bearings.
It was at that moment that Gaffigan was in control, in his element, and performing host dutites as strong as I've ever seen them performed. The sad thing was that he was only hosting one show, because Gaffigan hit stride during the Gala's closing act. Well, there's always next year...
Most times--almost ALL times--mistakes, screw-ups, flubs, failures are opportunities in disguise. They are the fork in the road that can take you off a safe suburban sidestreet onto a wild superhighway.
All you have to do (and here's the hard part) is recognize the moment...and act on it accordingly. (Yeah yeah, this is the sucky "lemonade out of lemons" part).
Pretending a mistake didn't happen won't make it go away; dealing with it in a creative, gutsy way may be a pivotal moment in your career...or your life.