Toronto Comedian’s Pursuit of Happiness (Crispy, Salty, Chicken Skin)

Quick post today folks. How you feeling? I’m feeling like this today:

I’m going to use this bit tonight at Spillin’ The Beans, hosted by Rene Payes. I love language. I guess I’m a bit inspired after finishing Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

The other day, I wanted to make fried chicken…Now, I know what you’re thinking…him? That adonis? That poster child for health and wellbeing? Eating fried chicken? I don’t believe it…no, no, it’s true…Suprisingly, this (referring to body) is not the product of green leafy vegetable consumption, like kale and rapini. I have been known to dabble, quite often, in the fried delicacies.

So the other day, I wanted to make fried chicken, and I looked up a – this is embarrassing – I looked up, ‘how to make fried chicken like KFC‘ on Youtube. Normal people, when they decide to make fried chicken probably just put chicken in hot oil…not me…this is serious business…My Pursuit of Happiness is dominated by the quest for for crispy salty chicken skin….and I’ll do whatever it takes at this point.

And one of the videos said the secret was baking soda….and part of me goes, ‘What’s the difference between baking power and baking soda? Is one harmful? Look, I’ve consumed many the baked good, but never had the occasion to use either product when preparing food. The last thing I want is for my pursuit of happiness end with me in the throes of a full body seizure and foaming at the mouth. But damn, I really want to make some good fried chicken for lunch.

So I rushed to the cupboard, looking for anything that started with the word, ‘Baking’, but there was nothing to be found. And then I lightbulb goes off: I think I remember seeing something like that in the fridge! So I open the refrigator door, and there it is, (smile) the arm and hammer box.

arm and hammer for fried chicken?

arm and hammer for fried chicken?

The Fat part of me is saying, “Sweet! Just dash this into the flour and let’s get this party started!” The self-preservation part of me, however, is not completely being drowned out, and it says, ‘Hey, before this lunchtime romp ends in the full body seizure and foaming at the mouth, why don’t you check the back of the box?

And so I pick up the box, turn it over, and low and behold the label on the back talks not about delicious fried chicken but instead about things like….cleaning up cat shit and how to remove rusty discolourations from my bathtub… There was nothing mentioned about it being the missing ingredient to the Colonol’s secret recipe.

But I check the side of the box, and there is nutritional content! it says 0 Calories…and the fat part of me says, ‘Hey now, that’s healthy! Who knew Fried Chicken could be so good for you!’

But then the self-preservation part of me goes…waiiiit a minute…how bad do you want crispy, salty, chicken skin? And is it worth potentially irreparably damaging your stomach lining and adjacent vital organs?

Now, I have to admit that in the end, I opted not to include arm and hammer in my recipe for fried chicken. But the mere fact that I considered, even for a moment, about using a cleaning agent in the quest for salty, crispy chicken skin, i think says a lot about where I am in life, right now. indicative of where I am in life…This is where my Pursuit of Happiness has led me.

Now many of you cakebakers in the audience are thinking, ‘What? You idiot, baking soda can be used for cooking.’ Let me tell you something: I am not putting something I use to remove corrosive metal residue in the same recipe I use for cupcakes. Why do you think they call it Arm and Hammer? That’s how they got people to use it…with an ARM AND A HAMMER. I’m onto you Arm and Hammer, or should I say Hammer and Sickle, you filthy communists…

In case you’re curious, this is how the bit started out…just a mess of ideas…

Organizing a comedy routine

Organizing a comedy routine

Can I get a Juice, Lord?

Michael Jagdeo


About Michael Jagdeo

My name's Michael Jagdeo, and I refuse to write about myself in the third person. I'm a Comedian from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to honing my stand-up comedy act, I maintain this blog and write the weekly comedy article for
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