The Daren Streblow Comedy Show Mini-Cast 104: Invisible Boyfriend App, Timmy Boyle, James Macneil, Evan Dunne, Jared Groenewegen

The Daren Streblow Comedy Show Mini-Cast 104: Invisible Boyfriend App, Timmy Boyle, James Macneil, Evan Dunne, Jared Groenewegen August 17, 2015

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So, I learned from The Guardian recently that there is an app called Invisible Boyfriend, where for a monthly fee, users can sign up and receive text messages from a “boyfriend” and thus avoid all the interrogatory questions from family members regarding why there are no suitors knocking down the door.

Upon signing up, your “e-boyfriend” sends you texts on a regular basis, giving the girls (or their annoying family members) the impression that they have a relationship. The app sends things like: “Hey, Honey! Miss you!! You’re so beautiful. True love lasts forever…” (stuff that a real guy would never say).

This strategy can work for a short time, but eventually your aunts and cousins are going to wonder why this “boyfriend” of yours never comes around for family gatherings. Not to mention that at $25/month, it’s actually a bit more expensive than a real boyfriend may actually be.

Now, as the guys and I think about it, though… it seems like there might be a market here for husbands to utilize an app like this as a replacement for themselves. Imagine an app that would send your wife regular text messages saying all the appropriate, loving sentiments that we guys too often forget to express! Or, a Cyrano-type app that you can use in this way: every time your wife texts you, you copy and send her text to the app and then it will tell you the appropriate way to respond to her!

Once again, technology moves to restore broken relationships!

But, as Jess Zimmerman of the Guardian learned as she was texting with her “Invisible Boyfriend”, it may not be as “virtual” as one might assume:Invisible Boyfriend

It started with “hey Jessica,” which was jarring – I put in my full name by instinct on web forms, but I don’t think I’ve ever been addressed by it in a text. I said so, and Invisible Boyfriend replied “Do you prefer Jessie? Or can I call you Jess? ;)” (Not sure what the winky emoticon is about. Is there something salacious about “Jess”?)

I don’t know why that second message made me realize there was a human on the other end of the line – I initially wondered whether the program had a database of plausible nicknames for various common monikers, and then realized nobody would go to that level of trouble for $24.99. So, my next text was: “Oh whoa wait it JUST occurred to me that you aren’t a bot.” This terminally shattered the fourth wall in a way “we” – should I call us a “we,” I wonder? -– never recovered from. Having a person on the other end of the line killed the appeal for me.

Ultimately, when Jess discovered she wasn’t texting with a robot, but an actual person… she dumped him!

Is this what we have come to? Real men cannot measure up to computers when it comes to satisfying women? You know men all over are begging for another chance: I can change! I can be more like a robot! I can speak in a monotone! I have a robot dance I can do!!

Heck, when I was dating, I got turned down because I was too much like a robot. Imagine some nerdy, emotionally confused geek asking a girl out and she exclaims, “No thanks, ‘C-Creepy-O’! I’m trying to forget you just asked me out!!”timmy-boyle

Next, my friend Timmy Boyle joins the show from Canada while he and I drive down the highway en route to the next stop on his Up Standing Comedy Tour. Timmy’s come a long way since auditioning for the show Deal Or No Deal as a “Briefcase Babe”. He went to the auditions dressed in a really nice suit, armed with a silver briefcase with his lucky number three placard attached to it. He stood in a room full of several hundred drop-dead gorgeous women eagerly awaiting their opportunity to grab the producers’ attention. Now, Timmy had scoured over the “Briefcase Babe” application and nowhere in its language did it mandate that audition have to be a girl, so he dutifully stood by, waiting for his turn.

He seemed to find the loophole!

A buddy helped him expedited his application and he got to slide right up to the front of the line, high-fiving one supermodel after another along the way. He could see the defeat on each of their faces, as they knew that he was a shoe-in for the coveted position. He was measured, weighed and photographed and then put into a group to interview with the producers. In his group were a couple absolutely beautiful women, the reigning Miss Canada, and Timmy.

For some unknown reason, they selected Miss Canada over my buddy, Timmy.

Timmy tells people to this day that if she weren’t in his group, you would have seen his smiling face on those stairs of Deal Or No Deal as one of the most handsome Briefcase Babes you’ve ever seen!

So, instead of revealing numbers for Howie Mandel, Timmy has collaborated with many of our friends, including Leland Klassen on the Up Standing Comedy Tour. Several years ago, Timmy and Leland were reflecting on the limited amount of comedians who work clean these days. Out of these discussions came the Circuit, which serves basically as hubs for clean comedy so that events are held in a regular venue every two months, so that audiences can easily plan and anticipate the next show. And the reception of the shows has been greater and greater every year! Many families actually mark their calendars well in advance – sometimes even without headliners being announced – they just know that it’s going to be a great show!James Macneil

Next, James Macneil joins the show, also from the Up Standing Comedy Tour in Ontario, Canada. Now, by day, James works as a funeral director, aka undertaker. By night, he brings this same skill set to the stage and talks about the comedy that lies in the midst of being a Christian wife and husband. He got his break on Leland Klassen’s Comedy Tournament, where his unique perspective and turns of phrase slayed the audience and judges. Today, he can be seen on stages all over North America… and in his office at the mortuary, whichever fits your needs most.

Next, I’m joined on the road by Evan Dunne from Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Evan was a drug addict for over two years. He went to three different rehab hospitals before actually getting clean and turning his life around. It was while he was in his third stint at rehab when he saw Timmy Boyle perform. Timmy offered an opportunity to help Evan get started and he has been at it full-tilt since then. He’s loaded with natural comedic talent – much more talented than I was at his age. He’s kept on his toes by the emotional rollercoaster that he rides each time he takes the stage: he finds it nerve-wracking, exciting, and exhilarating, all at the same time.

When it comes to words of encouragement for people wondering if they have what it takes to make people laugh from a stage, he and James both insist that stand up comedy is something that you have to work at, work at, and keep working at in order to get it right, but there’s no way of knowing if you got it until you get up and try!Jared Groenewegen

Finally, Jared Groenewegen joins the show. Apparently, I was the first stand up comedian Jared ever saw live (the guy needs to get out more). He was hitting as many Up Standing Comedy events as he could, even spending time with some of the guys, when he was basically “drafted” by James Macneil. Jared started out as purely a musician, and has since added comedy to his repertoire, and is amazed at the charge that he gets out of making people laugh!

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