As an aspiring writer and stand-up, I constantly have to wonder how useless I truly am. I can go on the full scale of all human beings, on which scale I look pretty good. Most people have crappy day jobs, barely get by and loaf on their ass, in which case, I’m sort of interesting.
But if you take things on the scale of writers and comedians who have succeeded, then I suck. There’s no way around it, when I start comparing myself to people I know who have gone on to tremendous success, it can’t help but feel like I’m a double-A minor leaguer on the Toledo Mud Hens who once rode a bus with a 15-year-old A-Rod.
This is why I want to propose a catch-all expression for people who started out with others who went on to tremendous success. The people who had dreams and started in their desired field and met a ton of likeminded people. Except that it was the other ones that went on to fame. This is where we should enact the expression “Marty Jannetty.”
If you don’t know who Marty Jannetty is, then you probably had friends in middle school. Marty Jannetty is an early-1990s wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation who was part of the tag-team The Rockers. Their gimmick was that they were catching onto the wave of hair metal bands about a decade too late.
They had big blond hair and flamboyantly gay costumes with tassles and all, because that’s what rock stars do when they wrestle. Marty Jannetty’s tag-team partner was another young up-and-coming wrestler named Sean Michaels.
After a little bit of success, they followed a story line where Michaels turned into a bad guy by turning on Jannetty. They had a short feud before Michaels exploded in popularity and became one of the biggest superstars in the history of wrestling. Jannetty has one of the most pathetic web sites on the entire Internet.
You can think of plenty of Marty Jannettys. Bob Oedenkirk to Mr. Show’s David Cross; Joe Piscapo to SNL’s Eddie Murphy; me compared to everyone I went to NYU with; and so on. It would save us a lot of time going through the whole roundabout, “Whatever happened to,” and “That guy’s nowhere near as famous as his former partner,” if we could just call them all Marty Jannetty.