Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Weight of Our Words

...the idea that words, like a pen or a knife, and be used for good or bad, better or worse, to wound or cut or to heal. It's simply dependent on the intentions of the user...

So this time last year I was visiting one of those alternative metaphysical stores, a pleasant diversion when I'm out running errands. And I got to talking with the store owner. The space was small and quaint and fit right in with a small, quaint homey atmosphere of the neighborhood. She was very inviting and smiled a lot. She was the type who welcomed anyone into her environs, with open arms. Acknowledging this, I should have immediately recognized that her shop would end up being community meeting place, attracting just the same type of open people, radiating the same type of energy. The store was popular, even receiving a bit of a rush of people midday midweek.

We talked for awhile. And then another regular customer walks in and immediately greets the store owner with a gracious hug and kiss on the cheek. I realized this was a normal greeting in this very friendly neighborhood--not unexpected. The man eventually greeted me, but not in such a familial manner, mainly because I hesitated. I'm sure he felt my reluctance.

I then stood back, glanced at the nearby books, and listened to their conversation. They caught up on each other's lives--all of a day and a half that they missed out on.

The regular then abruptly turned to me and handed me a sheet of colored paper.

"Are you going to this?"

The sheet of paper turned out to be a flyer advertising a speaking engagement for an author scientist? spiritualist? philosopher?, Masaru Emoto. He was on a world tour at the time, and that night he was demonstrating his findings, and promoting his books, his Messages from Water series and at the time, Water Crystal Healing: Music & Images to Restore Your Well Being had just been published.

What are his findings?

Emoto professes that if "human thoughts are directed at water before it is frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water." "[Wikipedia]

I never ended up going to the event. And now I regret it a little. But maybe all I needed to hear was that introduction--the idea that words, like a pen or a knife, can be used for good or bad, better or worse, to wound/cut or to heal. It's simply dependent on the intentions of the user.

And how does this relate to comedy? Well, it should be obvious.

I suppose this is why I never liked sarcasm, the biting kind. There's playful sarcasm, which is used for flighty, goofy humor. But then there's the kind that's at someone's expense--cutting, biting, hurtful. People hide behind sarcasm to mask their own feelings. That kind of sarcasm never sat well with me.

So in the spirit of this post, I've decided to post some audio. Sadly, no it's not my voice or my comedy. But it is a great song that I love dearly. And the title should reveal why I'm posting it. I hope you'll enjoy it, too!

If you like the sound, support the artist and buy Versus (2001) album: Kings of Convenience site Astralwerks.

Masaru Emoto's Bio on his Official website, HadoLife

Weight of our words - Kings of Convenience


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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Ode to Jem and The Holograms isn't all about comedy...

I don't know what it was about the 80s that made everything seem so fabulous (and if I were better at HTML, I would have the word "fabulous" in blinking annoying lights just to emote a feeling.)

Not only fabulous, but attainable. We all could be what we wanted to be in the 80s. Perhaps, it was Reaganomics. It was like everyone was on store-bought laughing gas during the 80s. Things could only bother people so little before we headed back to the strip mall to get another fix. At least that's what it seemed like.

It even affected the children of the 80s. Everything--I mean everything-- was awesome!

  • Saturday Morning cartoons--awesome!

  • Lunchboxes--awesome!

  • Fruit Roll Ups IN Lunchboxes while watching Saturday morning cartoon--indulgent, but awesome!

    And the last thing that was awesome to a young girl in the 80s---Jem and the Holograms.

    Trust me. I want to be ashamed to admit, but I can't.

    But, Lucy, what does this have to do with comedy?

    Nothing you, comedy-obsessed freak. Allow me some reprieve from comedy, for once. And if you're patient, by the end of this post I'll think of something, just for your comedy-obsessed mind.

    YOU KNOW, life isn't all about comedy! There all OTHER things besides comedy!

    Eh-hem. Allow me to regain some composure...

    Back to the task at hand:
    I loved Jem and the Holograms. I was anything but a girly-girl growing up, but I could not get enough of them. (I'm convinced there were subliminal messages that were sent through the air waves and beamed directly into our impressionable skulls. This stuff was like crack!)

    But somehow, somewhere, someway, Jem and the Holograms became the quintessential life--a fantasy--an ideal that every young girl wanted to attain.

    Yes, I admit it. They were a massive influence on my music choice, hair style, and what I wore to school that day. (Neon Dayglo was all the rage.)

    And it certainly brightened my morning, when I could wake up to Jem and a half hour later head off to school that day knowing take Jerrica and the Starlight House were out of harm's way. (The sad part about this post was that I didn't need Wikipedia for all of the name references.)

    As much as I like the show, Jem and Holograms, I was more fascinated by Pizzazz and the The Misfits, who were Jem and the Holograms' mortal enemy.

    Why was I fascinated? They were better songwriters. Their melodies were catchy, the lyrics were funny if not biting and conveyed true emotion, and they had no apologies (at least no Pizzazz.)

    Tell me you can listen to The Misfits, Universal Appeal and NOT want to dance and sing-along. (Make sure to listen to the piano and the baseline--perfection!!! Man, can Stormer really bang on that keytar!)

    The Misfits even state that they're the better musical act. They say it in the intro: "We are the Misfits! Our songs are better!"

    'nuff said. Case closed.

    Here are another set of videos by The Misfits:

  • "Jack Take a Hike"
    'cept for the fact that they're chasin' a black guy (not impressed), but I forgive them.

  • "I am a giant"

  • I would have so much more respect if Jem performed like the Misfits do.

    My only complaint: We didn't get enough of the music in the show. Their songs are decidedly short, mainly because a 3 min song would steal significant airtime from a 22 min long show.

    (audible sigh)

    MTV easily picked up where Jem and Holograms left off (Mmmm... that scrumptious Adam Curry and his big hair.)

    So you ask about the impact that Jem and the Holograms had on my comedy career?

    Well none, really. Just the sense of humor I have acquired by now looking back at how a simple cheesy silly cartoon program weighed so heavily in my childhood and childhood memories.

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    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Comedy Hero: Robert Townsend

    To be honest, I don't know much about Robert Townsend. I vaguely remember him when I was kid growing up. But I was reminded of his great influence by a dear old comedy buddy of mine, Jason Miles, who reveres his work. One day Jason asked me, "Do you know Robert Townsend?" I squinted my eyes shut and grimaced a little as I tried to recall the name.

    "Yyyyeaah, kinda."

    "Kinda?" Jason scoffed and rolled his eyes. "You better recognize!"

    My ego immediately dwarfed ten sizes.

    It was THAT conversation which inspired this very post.

    Let's begin, shall we?

    Robert Townsend was another stand-up comedian to make his mark in the 80s. He was so successful in stand-up that he later was offered a contract with Saturday Night Live, only to have his position replaced by Eddie Murphy.
    Townsend was the first when it came to bringing the uncomfortable race-based issues (more specifically black issues) to the mainstream. And he did it cleverly, not "in-your-face" like other black comedians were doing at the time.

    One of the most important tasks of a manager is to eliminate his people's excuses for failure. --Robert Townsend

    He brought to the forefront the subtleties of racism in the entertainment industry--what the average person (the viewer) didn't see going on behind the scenes. And Townsend chose to tell the untold story in a comedic manner. It's hard enough to "make it" as an actor. Townsend decided it was time (even so late in the 80s) to show how much harder it is to make it as a black actor, by profiling the casting process, writing lines, and the general buffoonery backstage.
    We (the audience) were barely seeing black people in Hollywood but definitely never hearing about the "behind-the-scenes". He gave a black voice and put his comedic spin on situation after situation, most of it stemming from his real life experiences.

    He probably was the most influential with regards to black sketch comedy and black commentary on politics issues. Before there was The Boondocks, Chappelle's Show, before there was In Living Color, there was Hollywood Shuffle.

    Here's a must see clip from Townsend's Hollywood Shuffle, entitled Black Acting 101.

    [Robert Townsend Official Site | Robert Townsend Int'l Movie Database | Robert Townsend Wikipedia ]

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    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Interview with Blogger Buddy: "Zuba" of Moomins M.C.: Part 3

    If you missed out, click here for Part 1 of this interview.

    If you missed out, click here for Part 2 of this interview.

    Quest: What did you do to occupy your time? You must've been bored while in recovery. And I'm sure you had a lot of time to think. What floated through your mind? Any novel ideas?

    Zuba: Hmm, blogging definitely took up some time, especially when I only had one hand to do it with. For a week or so I had two hands and then soon after I was back to one again.

    My mates passed the hat around to buy me a DVD player and they raised more than they expected. I matched that amount and bought myself a laptop which has been instrumental in my hospital stay. Many a thing kept me occupied really: friends and family sending CDs, audio books, the camera. I had the internet. And then trying to play guitar with my right hand in traction, physio, surgery, trips to the pub, etc.

    What floated through my mind? Mostly morphine. I tried not to think too much, keep my goals simple, keep focused on getting better.

    As for novel ideas, I did contemplate turning the blog into a book when this is all over by expanding on the posts with more information than already written. I've tried to keep the blog pretty honest as there isn't much point in writing it if it's full of lies. It was also a good way for my friends and family to keep track of my progress so it had to be truthful, even if I may have left some little details out here and there. They might go in the book.

    Quest: What's this about pill-stashing and getting caught by the nurse?

    Zuba: Hah!! Busted. I used to stash morphine pills aside in a bag of jelly beans for my mates sometimes. One day I got caught and had to make up a likely story that the screws would swallow. It worked and I stashed some more away. Not to say my mates are junkies but they did enjoy their little jelly bean trips.

    Quest: You have chickens in your backyard? What is your obsession with them? Vampiric chickens?

    Zuba: We run 2 head of chicken on our property and they are seriously evil. They attack other birds, have killed a sparrow, and tried to eat my toes through a leather work boot only a few weeks ago. They are not to be trusted, never ever turn your back on them!!!!!

    Quest: In one post you mention that you have "atrocious humo(u)r". Explain.

    Zuba: Sometimes it doesn't quite hit the mark, in fact it's beyond dry. More like dehydrated humour. Gotta take risks sometimes as a comedienne like yourself would understand.

    Quest: What's with you and tract suit wearers and neck ties conformists? You have a thing against authority figures? That must be in the genetic code for motorcycle enthusiasts...

    Zuba: Yeah, you're right. Track suits are for people engaging in sporting activities, convalescing or junkies, other wise there is no moral reason for wearing them in public. Ties? Yeah they suck. An outdated social hang over. I don't so much have a thing against authority figures, just sheep who blindly follow whatever crap is fed to them through the media. Not that I hate sheep or anything, just people too scared to have an opinion or to have it challenged.

    Quest: I assume you learned a lot about the human anatomy while in the hospital and with your many surgeries. How many surgeries in total?

    Zuba: I think I've had 12 so far with at least 3 more to go. I did learn a bit about the human body, fascinating stuff really. It's amazing how much shit it can go through and still operate. And vice versa too.

    Quest: I'm a fan of scooters over motorcycles. Will you hold that against me?

    Zuba: Nah, scooters are cool. Everyone knows that! There are plenty of pics of them on my blog, and for some reason I like photographing them.

    Quest: There was some recent comedy/ prank news that occurred down under. The Chaser boys? Can you explain them to we Americans who have no idea who they are?

    Zuba: The Chaser team specialise in political satire, a bit like The Onion. The recent prank you may be referring to was during the APEC summit in Sydney when they managed to drive a fake Canadian motorcade into the summit and were finally stopped when one of them stepped out of the limo dressed as Osama right out the front of the hotel where Baby Bush was staying. They made it through to the 3rd security post with a police motorbike escort in tow. It really outlined just how well the millions of dollars in security spending had worked. I believe the fake special service guys running next to the limos had tags with 'Insecurity Pass' written on them.

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    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Interview with Blogger Buddy: "Zuba" of Moomins M.C.: Part 2

    If you missed out, click here for Part 1 of this interview.

    Quest: Has your accident stopped you from continuing with motorcycling? Have you gotten right back on the horse, or in this case, motorcycle?

    Zuba: Yes it has. I told myself right at the start that I wouldn't think about it until I was in a physically fit state to even contemplate the idea. I figured not thinking about it would stop me from tearing my hair out.

    Quest: I'm glad that I could help further develop the psychosis, by bringing it up again.

    Zuba: Living with one of the blokes who was riding with me when the accident happened, plus still remaining in contact with my motorcycling mates has meant that it's never far from my mind and I have only had positive dreams about it. It's not something I am committing to right now.

    Quest: You seem positive about all of this.

    Zuba: If I never ride again then I have some awesome memories to look back upon. I also feel like I may have cashed in a lot of my luck chip in this smash. One shouldn't really 'walk away' from an intimate encounter with a 40 tonne truck wearing nothing but a bit of cow and fibreglass and it's not something I would want to go through again.

    Quest: So, you've picked up another hobby--photography. How is that working out of you?

    Zuba: Really well, actually. Photography is something I have total creative control over. I bought a digital SLR to learn how to operate a proper camera with the idea of using it as a stepping stone to a medium format film camera, which I bought fairly recently. I'm now looking at courses to further my skills and eventually turn it into a professional gig. The learning process has been a lot of fun and is still continuing. I'm at a point now where I can make judgments on camera settings without using a light meter which I am employing in street photography where those skills are so important in being able to get a shot. I love the unpredictability of street photography and the 'hunting' nature of it.

    Quest: Physical/Occupational Therapy- physiotherapy -- how is that going?

    S L O W
    About 90% of it happens in the first 10% of the time and then it just sort of plateaus out. I'm down to one half day a week now. It's still intense and painful and incredibly tedious. I still struggle with motivation but keep telling myself that it's a necessary part of my road to recovery.

    Quest: You seem to live life in the fast lane. Risk-taking seems to be the norm. Am I correct in that assessment? Would I be accurate in saying you have a "need for speed?"

    Zuba: Risk taking is definitely part of my life. Not so much for the sake of risk, more for the personal challenge. In reality, you risk things every day. Crossing the road is risky even for the able-bodied. Choosing to walk down a particular side of the street at night can be risky. Some people's ideal of risk can be other people's idea of norm. It comes down to subjective opinions, personal experience, and knowledge. You have to know yourself before you can make a decision involving risk. As for speed, we all get some sort of a buzz out of it don't we? I used to be involved in rallying when I was younger, never as a driver but as a navigator, official, service mechanic. It was a lot of fun but you have to prioritise things in your life.

    Since the accident, have you quenched this need?

    Zuba: Maybe, but I still get a buzz out of driving a tasty winding road, even if it's within the speed limit. I just don't slow down that much for the corners. More of an exercise in fluidity and feeling the machine work the road. Not everyone can comprehend that, but those who do will slowly nod in understanding.

    Before the accident, motorcycles were a big part of your lifestyle. Ass chaps, leather abound... Were you one to wear a helmet? Any other required gear?

    Zuba: In Australia helmets are compulsory so yes I did wear one. It saved my head and that little mushy thing inside it. It's quite ironic that 6 months before the smash I won $2000 worth of protective motorbike gear in a competition sponsored by the TAC who are now paying for my medical expenses and income support. I highly rate the use of good quality gear as it can make a huge difference in those times when you actually need it. I don't rate arseless leather chaps. So wrong!!!

    Quest: Are the cops/troopers your enemy on the road? Do you avoid the fuzz?

    Zuba: Nah, not really. They have a job to do and like anyone else they are people too. Some are complete tools and others not. Luck of the draw really.

    Quest: Do you and your motorcycle gang invade nearby towns and villages? Are you a part of any gang?

    Zuba: Never been a part of a gang. I've ridden through many towns with my mates though. Does that count? Moomins M.C. is the closest to a gang really and that was only fictional.

    Quest: Is there motorcycle etiquette that we as drivers should know about? What about amongst other motorcyclists?

    Zuba: Probably the best thing one could do to motorcyclists is to be aware of them. That goes for motorists and pedestrians as both can cause a collision. We tend to look out for big things that can harm us like cars, buses, trucks. Bicycles and motorbikes go unnoticed, especially when you're driving your SUV with your phone glued to your ear. Generally speaking motorcyclists are a friendly bunch who will help each other out. Except for the poser types.

    Quest: Now what is this about haggling and Jews and Americans? You mention something about J.A.P.s, Jewish American Princesses, in your June post. You say, "not to sound racist, but...." you go on to make a very bigoted statement. Explain yourself.

    Zuba: I looked back at that post and to be quite honest it was a bad segue from one story to another. I don't think it was racist although it may have come off that way. Anyone who knows me will testify that I don't have a racist bone in my body. The reference to 'Jewish Princess' was more about the spoilt nature of the little beastie rather than her cultural / religious background. Let's face it, any western tourist trying to screw a couple of petty cents out of a developing country's street peddler will naturally breed contempt and trying to haggle with a duty free shop sales assistant is just plain conceited. Any bad behaviour by tourists will naturally breed contempt for their country of origin. Ummm, that's about as explanatory as I can get on that one, make up your own mind.

    Quest: You even take a swipe at Americans saying that you understand why people would aim 2 planes into the towers?

    Zuba: Maybe a bit harsh. Refer to above answer. I do however believe that due to the U.S.A.'s foreign policy over the years it's not a total surprise. One could draw a start line in 1898 when the U.S. declared war with Spain over a false claim that the Spaniards destroyed the U.S. ship Maine, which enabled the U.S. to occupy Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

    "There is no room for any outside influence other than ours in this region. We could not tolerate such a thing without incurring grave risks... Until now Central America has always understood that governments which we recognize and support stay in power, while those which we do not recognize and support fall. It is difficult to see how we can afford to be defeated."
    --Undersecretary of State Robert Olds (referring to the establishment of a military academy in Nicaragua in 1929)

    Saddam Hussein? One minute he's a friend then the next a foe. I don't blame the people of the U.S. more its governments and lobby groups. Don't even get me started on Baby Bush and his buddies. Did I just dig a deeper hole?

    Quest: Yeah, but nothing you haven't dug yourself out of before.

    Click here for Part 3.


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    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Interview with Blogger Buddy: "Zuba" of MooMins M.C.

    This story begins waaaayyyy back... months back... back before you can remember... before you were brought into this world. (Well, maybe not that far back.)

    Chris, not to be confused with Chris of East Village Idiot, I met early on in my blogging career. He was really interested in my Metabigotry post and I guess it inspired him so much that mentioned it in his blog. (Awww, I'm so honored.)

    And so I felt the need to throw a nod his way and interview my blogger buddy, from "the land down under", Chris "Zuba" Kaszubski, Moomins, M.C. blog:

    Quest: What would you like to be called in the interview?

    Zuba: My real name is Chris Kaszubski. Year's ago I was in a band and the blokes had trouble pronouncing my surname so that is where "Zuba" came from.

    Quest: And the name "BrokenZuba"? Well, how shall I refer to you?

    "BrokenZuba" came from one of my rallying mates in Tassie, a simple thing to write in a get well card. It was so much like him to say that and it meant a lot to me. So, you have a choice there, but most of my mates call me "Zuba."

    Quest: Okay, Zuba, explain Moomin.

    Zuba: Moomins or (Moomintrolls) are characters in a series of children's books written by Tove Jansson. Moomins are weird little critters that look a bit like hippos if they were capable of walking upright, a sight I would very much like to see just for the amusement factor. Moomins are naturally curious critters and manage to get themselves into all sorts of trouble and adventures as a result, they also hibernate during the cold arctic winter after stuffing themselves on pine needles.

    Quest: And how do Moomins relate your blog?

    My blog started out as a means of documenting the motorcycle touring trips I used to go on. The idea was to record them for posterity and for mates to share with other mates. If Moomins were into motorcycling they would probably get up to the sort of carry on I used to, hence the name of the blog and the slogan.

    Quest: That's cute. So explain, "The Alfred".

    Zuba: The Alfred is a hospital in Melbourne Australia renowned for their world leading trauma unit, which is where I ended up as a result of the smash in 2006.

    Quest: You mean, you were in an accident? A serious one for that matter!

    Zuba: Yes, luckily, I had a team of truly gifted surgeons working on me which has resulted in my keeping the right leg and being able to use it, as well as gaining a couple of pounds in internal metal fixations.

    Quest: Wow! I'm glad to see you're okay. Consider yourself lucky. May I ask, how old are you?

    Zuba: Ripe old age of 32, what a way to start my 30's eh!? I look at my life before the smash as a sort of dress rehearsal for the rest of my days. There are things I'd learnt about myself as a result which have changed me in a positive manner.

    Quest: You currently reside/blog from where?

    Zuba: That would be sunny Melbourne in the antipodes! Where people wear black, eat really good food, enjoy an artistically rich life, boil in the summer, freeze in the winter and generally reap the benefits of a fairly salubrious lifestyle.

    Quest: Not to poke fun at your recent accident, but if this were a movie, and you got a chance to take a step back and review your life, do you see a comedy of errors theme?

    Zuba: I don't know if I would use the term comedy of errors, but there have certainly been plenty of moments to draw comedic inspiration from. There have also been plenty of errors too. For one, the truck driver's error in being on the incorrect side of the road on a blind corner. And my missed diagnosis resulting in my attempts to walk on a fractured hip socket.

    Quest: Ew!

    Zuba: My roomies had provided some laughs ( in retrospect ) like the one who would insist on giving me a running commentary on his bowel movements.

    Quest: Hey, Everybody likes a good d*ck and fart joke.

    Zuba: I guess I tried to see the funny side of my run in with the semitrailer. Hey if you can't laugh about it, you might as well just curl up in a corner and pack it in.

    Quest: My point exactly, which is why we comedians do what we do--try and spread the laugher! (pause) But you had a serious bout with life and danger. You stated you ended up with: 12 broken bones, a free helicopter ride to the hospital, and a year's supply of morphine. Anything else we missed out on? (By the way, in the States, that helicopter ride wouldn't have been free.)

    Zuba: Well, there were indeed 12 bones fractured, but only one had a single clean fracture. The rest were multiples ranging from spiral to compound fractures. The lower right leg, upper left and right leg, a couple of knuckles, wrist, two forearm bones, collar bone and pelvis--pretty much every corner.

    I was lucky to be able to keep my leg. I've received at least 8 pints of blood during the many operations and will probably receive more in the next surgery as it will take over 4 hours to remove most of the metalwork.

    The helicopter ride was free as there is a wonderful system in place here which is designed to pay for all medical expenses of road trauma victims regardless of fault. Same goes for the morphine, good stuff eh? That's the majority of it really, there are other things but they pale in significance.

    Quest: And then the photos of your injuries--there's nothing funny about that. I have to say that I almost vomited looking at and I've never considered myself a sensitive one. I don't even quake at horror movies or gross out films.

    Zuba: Yeah there were some good ones, eh? Some of my mates had similar reactions when they saw me in hospital. I've never seen that many shades of white and green. I am hoping to have clinical photography dept. I will take some shots of the next surgery. Keep a look out for those ones!

    Quest:How long did it take for full recovery? How long did it take you to get back on your feet?

    Zuba: The recovery is a work in progress. It's been just over 18 months and I'm facing at least 3 more surgical procedures to finalize the medical side. It took 11 months for me to take my first unaided steps and that was only for a few meters, but it meant the world to me.

    Quest: I can only imagine. It seems like a series of feats.

    Zuba: From lying in in a bed for two months, to being craned out into an electric wheel chair, then getting into a manual one, onto a pair of crutches, then one and finally none has been a painful and challenging experience, but one that has demonstrated to me just how much we take walking for granted.

    Quest: You got the use of a set of wheels, right? An electric wheel chair? How was that? What did you learn from that experience?

    Zuba: Well, I did get told off for speeding in the hospital. The wheelchair's speed is controlled by joystick. And years of playing with joysticks in my teenage years, along with a natural desire to go fast...well, let's say that I got the hang of it pretty quickly. And the first time I could stand being in the chair for an extended period of time was when I absconded from the ward to visit the pub across from the hospital.

    Quest: Being wheelchair bound probably makes your see life from a different angle, after being on your feet for 30 years of your life.

    Zuba: The wheel chair experience was enlightening as you really have no idea as to the problems and prejudices faced by people who will never get out of one.

    Quest: And you still have crutches that you use?

    Zuba: I did find a novel use for my crutches. At a music festival, where I had one of my mates hold onto one as I turned them upside down and put them to use as stilts in order to see over people's heads.

    Quest: So at least you're now walking.

    Zuba: Though, I still haven't returned to a natural gait. I intend to do some day walks in the bush around November to try and build up strength before the next surgery. Running is out of the question at the moment and kneeling is very painful. But at least I have legs, eh?

    Stay tuned for Part 2 of Chris "Zuba"'s interview...

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    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Talkback: Questions from the audience

    In my foray throughout the blogosphere, I often seem to encounter during my webtravels "the wannabe comedian" --someone who's written jokes, thought about stand-up comedy, but has yet to take the plunge. And since I've been in the game for less than a year, clearly I'm an expert. (Eh-hem!)

    Be that as it may, I am always willing to shed a little light on all that is related to comedy. (You know, dispel rumo(u)rs and add commentary when necessary)

    With this blog, I am sort of setting myself up as an expert. So I feel I should divulge my opinion on some comedic issues and give leeway/heads up to those that are aspiring as well. I would never steer you in the wrong direction. Consider me like Papa Smurf. (Man, that guy was wise!)

    So I'm fielding questions from the audience, like James Lipton.

    Today's question comes from capitolgirl, residing in Vermont, USA.
    (If you have a StumbleUpon account, you can trip on over to her Stumble page. Otherwise, you'll just have to take my word for it and trust that she actually exists.)

    capitolgirl asks:

    When you have a gig for a few days, do you perform the same show in much the same way?

    Eh-hem! (clears throat) Although, I'm not actually touring quite yet, and it's not the horizon anytime soon, I would answer this question by saying...

    Every stand-up comedian is different. Every stand-up is going to handle their set with their own method. I, personally, would like to get my routine to the point that I memorize my set, but at the same time, I'm flexible and comfortable enough to go in and out of the routine--address current topics, talk to the members of the audience, and then perhaps go into a joke. I like to keep it fresh. But there are some stand-up comedians that are very 'routine' with their routine, if you catch my drift. Some people just want to do their act and get out, often operating like a machine or an assembly-line. "To each their own," I guess.

    At what point do you modify or throw out the current material?

    Hmm...I suppose this is also very subjective, and again the answer will vary with each comedian. I, personally, would throw it out whenever I've gotten tired of it, which will probably coincide with whenever I feel the audience has gotten tired of it. But some comedians have been using their jokes for years and years and years.

    If you watch Sarah Silveraman's Jesus is Magic and then compare and watch Silverman in old episodes of Dr. Katz (from Comedy Central) you'll definitely see some overlap. But that's not to say that her jokes aren't progressing.

    I endeavor to say that you should see a joke as a living breathing entity. It changes and grows night after night until it is perfected.

    I suppose the time when you throw out a joke (at least out of your routine) is when it just doesn't work any more. It's much like a songwriter throws out lyrics or a melody. It's visceral. They can just "feel it." So the answer, "when the joke becomes stagnant," I suppose.

    At the same time, I've been told by several veteran comics never to completely throw away a joke. You never know when it may work it's way in another routine.

    Thanks for your question, capitolgirl!

    And I hope you eventually make that transition from avid comedy connoisseur, to master comedian. Good luck!

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    EDIT: Sarah Silverman on Dr. Katz -- you're wrong -- ANONYMOUS! (hehe, heh!)

    Dr. Katz
    DVD Exclusive - Sarah Silverman's Session
    Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games

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    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    What's in a name?

    My Non-Comedy Buddy (NCB) and I were chattin' it up about fake names in Hollywood and I wasn't aware that Jamie Foxx's name was a stagename. Now I'm not the first to blow up his spot(Definition #2). Wikipedia has it right here. But I will be the second. His real name is Eric Marlon Bishop.

    My NCB then proceeded to tell me the story behind his name. And now I will share it with you: Jamie's (uh, Eric's) girlfriend at the time dared him to get on stage and do stand-up comedy at some comedy club. He did it and liked it and kept going to open mics. But he soon realized that there was a preference given to women. (And I should know. I've experienced this myself.) So Eric changed his name to "Wanda". (No, I'm kidding.) Eric chose the name 'Jamie' because it was unisex. He chose the last name Foxx as tribute to revered comedian Redd Foxx, of "Sanford and Son".

    Now I'm a little slow on the uptake. The news room at Quest doesn't have the budget of say or CNN for that matter. In fact, our Quest slogan is: "We update when we get to it."

    So in really, really, REALLY LATE breaking news, on Sept 14th of this year, Jamie Foxx received the honorary star on the walk of fame in HollywoodLand. But not really. Because it wasn't his name. It's "Jamie Foxx"'s star. That must be weird. To not have a real name there. You're paying taxes and maintenance on a fictious name, Eric! Yeah, for those of you who don't know, a $25,000 fee must be paid every year for upkeep of the star. Do all your Oscars have 'Jamie' written on them, too, Eric?

    That's crazy weird.

    I was going to put up a link or embed a video here of Jamie's (I mean, Eric's) stand-up. But I decided against it. I wasn't a big fan of his stand-up comedy anyway--too much swearing and crass references to women. Yeah, I'm censoring him here at Quest. So Nyah-nyah!

    PLUS, He has a thing for R. Kelly. You can read on that Jamie Foxx (uh, Eric) idolizes R. Kelly and takes after his musical and personal style.

    A big WTF!?!?

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    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    "I'm not cute! Stop calling me cute!"

    So I performed at another open mic a few weeks back. And I've noticed since doing this whole "comedy thing", that I have been getting strange reactions from audience members. People actually like me. What's up with that?!?! And I thought for a while audience members were just being nice (because I know I'm not that great a comedian, yet...) Maybe it's my persona on stage. Maybe they pitied me. Maybe they feel the "awwwwhhh" pang in their stomach and they sense that I needed them to clap as I left the stage, (just so that I wouldn't feel like pond scum.) And I tested this theory from open mic to open mic, from audience to audience.

    But not only do they like me, they are attracted to me. How weird is that?

    And how do I know this? It's a specific look that every girl is receptive to: The lustful "I-want-to-see-what-you-look-like-in-a-compromising-position" look. The problem I find with this is that I fear I'm not being taken seriously, especially as a female comic. I purposely dress so as to detract from such attention. I don't wear low cut this, and high cut that. I detest when women use that as a draw! I think it lessens the impact of the message.

    But it's not as if I don't understand "the magical women magnetism." It's the same reason Britney Spears (if she ever went back to her original formula) will always sell more tickets than Justin Timberlake. The reason being: Guys will attend a Britney Spears' show--not just the girls, who are the majority of Timberlake's fanbase!

    I remember the days of yore, when I developed crushes on TV icons: Davy Jones (when they put the The Monkees back into syndication, and then I quickly made my way through the rest of the group--Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith. (What can I say? I clearly had no clue as to how to pick a prospect, nor any concept of commitment. I can't say that I've improved upon my hunches since.)

    As I got older, I moved on to other TV/movie heartthrobs: Alisdair Gillis of "You Can't Do That on Television", "Kevin Arnold", "Parker Lewis", of Parker Lewis Can't Lose, "Mitchell Goosen", from Airborne a really bad cult/B-movie that is near and dear to my heart, "Jordan Catalano", "Eddie" from Threesome (aka Knox Overstreet from Dead Poets Society), "Josh" from Clueless, "Banky" from Chasing Amy. They came and went as I grew older, wiser, and more discerning. (Notice: I didn't mention anything about The New Kids on the Block, any members of the 90210 cast, nor Johnny Depp of 21 Jump Street days. Corey Haim I do profess should be stuck in there somewhere.)

    Then I grew out of TV characters and I went for the gut, vying for members of bands: Chris Cornell (solely Superunknown), Trent Reznor, Dave Grohl (Post-Nirvana, Post-The Color and The Shape, but Pre-The Crappier albums), Damon Albarn ('nuff said, I think it's a sin that anyone could be so hot, talented, and successful all at once. Clearly, he made a pact with the Devil. And if he ever asked for my hand in marriage, I would have no problem dropping my current comedy life, family, and friends, to prance off to the UK and make babies with him.) Eh-hem! Did I just write that?

    Well, uhm...

    My point being is that my lovelife paid dearly during those glory days of 120 minutes.

    But I never fawned over a poster. Never bought a lunch box. Never subscribed to a fan club. I never bought an album because of the member--I bought because of the music. Never solely for the artist. That's what poseurs do. We all know that.

    This brings me to the magical, yet disturbing side of comedy (and fame for that matter): The Wow Factor - The Star Power - The "Twinkle in Your Eye" Factor

    Once you step onto that stage, people (audience members) begin to revere you. They get stars in their eyes. And you become, well, uh, attractive, to put it lightly. And feelings/emotions get wrapped up in it. And people, I don't think, know where to place the admiration--that energy... So they divert it to certain chakras. With women performers, audience members take that energy place it in the sexual vicinity (2nd chakra.) Even if she sucks. How many people knew of The Black Eyed Peas BEFORE Fergie? Did anyone know the Black Eyed Peas had been around 15 years prior to Fergie? And now that she's gone solo, where are they now? (A slightly different version of this story could be around No Doubt and Gwen Stefani.)

    To think the only reason anyone would like an artist because of the artist's looks is asinine to me. I never could subscribe to that.

    If I had met them on the street before seeing them on TV/the big screen, would it have the same effect? The stage, I'm noticing, is a powerful medium. It's intoxicating for the audience member. When you step onto the stage, it almost seems like anticipatory adulation from the audience---like adulation in the making. Granted, I do have a specific motive while I'm up there. I'm there to twist your little impressionable minds into critical thinkers--to question the world and society that we live in. After all, comedians are the barometers of society. I simply wanted to use it to, to spread my agenda--and ultimately take over the world (as tongue in cheek as I can make that last sentence.) But I never expected to get the side effect of fan crushes. This worries me. You shouldn't crush on me. You should fear me. I am soul-less. Well, not really, but I would like to be the all-powerful. Not really. I just want to do comedy and go home. That's it. Boring. I know.

    But crushing on me. Nawwwhh! There are way hotter crushes than me. Tyra Banks, Halle Berry, Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bunchen.

    One person said to me after the show, after giving me suggestions about my delivery, "It's so cute!" Ugh! You couldn't find more frightening word to describe me. The minute someone utters that word in reference to me, it makes me squirm and I react with that weird involuntary split-second chill that stems from the depths of oblivion.

    So whatever you do, if you see me at a show, don't call me cute.
    I'm not responsible for what will happen afterwards.

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    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Comedy Hero: Greg Proops

    [Click the hyperlink, if you're wondering whether or not GREG PROOPS IS GAY. ]

    As I was driving last night, I came across a radio program (do people even listen to those anymore?) on CBC called, The Debaters. The reception wasn't amazing, but I did hear a familiar voice as one of the debating guests. You may know him from the popular TV show, Whose Line Is is Anyway?. He appeared on both the American and the original British version. (Don't we Americans have any original TV show ideas of our own? We always bite off of the Mother country--the British.)

    Today, this post is on, American comedian Greg Proops.

    Gregory Everett Proops first started his career in Improv and even studied it at university. He eventually graduated to stand-up comedy. He seems to have his feet in both worlds of Improv and Stand-up and does both very well. If you've seen Whose Line is it.., you know he still exercises his improv muscles quite often.

    He still performs stand-up and according to Comedy, "...[he's] toured the UK four times, sold out Edinburgh Fringe Festival seven years running and has kicked it live in Montreal, Aspen, Ireland, Paris, Norway and the United Arab Emirates." Whew! Aren't you tired, Greg? I sure am after reading that! He also has a very successful career providing voices for characters like, Bob, in a British TV series called Bob the Builder for the four seasons of "Project Build-It".

    Proops hails from San Francisco and whenever mentions it, he quickly follows it with, "but I'm not gay." He professes to be a screaming liberal, but also reams liberals in his stand-up act. I love it! He's unpredictably liberal! I also find him strangely attractive, much in the same way I find Eddie Izzard attractive. Both comedians have a keen, unique, and distinct use of language and vocabulary. Go figure? I like wordnerds.

    In his appearance, he reminds me of a strange cross between Eddie Izzard and Elvis Costello. Maybe it's the close connection to England. Although, his actual performance reminds me of a more watered down, more easily digestible version of Dennis Miller. Where Dennis Miller is heady and obscure, Proops is friendly and relatable.

    Well, let me stop babbling and you can witness him yourself:

    I do enjoy Mr. Proops' act. It's often hard to distinguish his stand-up from his improv. They are so closely linked in style, one sort of bleeds into the other. I find him entertaining to watch and I love to anticipate what whacky long-winded descriptor will come out of his mouth next. I'm a word geek and if you have a strong command of English language, higher than most, and can be funny with it, I'm buttah...perhaps even puddin'... in your hands.

    Awwww yeah, $240 worth of pudding.

    [ Official Greg Proops Website |
    Greg Proops on Wikipedia | Greg Proops Comedy Central profile ]

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    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Quick Update and a Request to All My readers...

    So I've got a lot of interviews in the hopper. (Somehow I managed to churn out 4 interviews in a week's time!) I promise they'll be up on the blog shortly. If you're lucky, I'll include audio of one of the interviews, maybe in the form of a podcast or just an audio link. And, of course, I have the daily comedy-themed articles lined up, as well.

    I'm traveling at the moment and at the same time I'm "cleaning out the closet" with regards to articles I've been sitting on.

    But I don't want to keep you completely hangin'.

    In the meantime, I want to open up the blog to you. I have been putting more focused effort on the blog. I'm trying to be strategic and to post everyday (whew!). If you are a regular reader, you would have noticed that last week I posted everyday for the first time in my blogging career. "Whoo-hoo!" (That's big accomplishment for me!)

    However, I have been receiving a lot of feedback and many people want to see this blog change a bit--perhaps go in a different direction.

    So I would like to ask for your opinion. What am I missing in the blog? What would you like to see more of? or less of? What have you enjoyed? What would you like to see expanded upon? Are you confused by anything? Would like the frequency of posts go upward? Are the posts too long to read? Would you like them shortened?

    Leave your comment. Make your vote count! I will definitely be paying attention to where you see things headed.

    Thanks much,

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    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Top 10 Ways to Spot a Comedian

    1) Their nocturnal lifestyle.
    2) Their inattention to style-- closer to torn and tattered clothing
    3) They either carry a notebook or a voice recorder.
    4) Their relentless notetaking and holding long conversations with themselves.
    5) Their inability to laugh--at anything.
    6) Their constant scrutiny of other jokes.
    7) Their reclusive nature, ducking behind corners when strangers approach.
    8) Their sad story about their burdensome "forever-the-black-sheep" life.
    9) Their afflictions
    10) Their screwball affectations which then become afflictions (see above).

    Top 11th way: Their obsessive list-making.

    edit: this only applies to male comics.

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    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Homeless Comedy - "Man, you had to be there!"

    So I live in "The Big Apple". Now being a New Yorker, you must know that it's become commonplace, even expected, that on your daily commute you will be approached by a homeless person. If I have something to spare, I gladly give it up. (Honestly, the homeless are innocuous. It's really not as bad as people make it out to be. Frankly, I think the homelessness in Southern California is a lot worse. It's rampant there!)

    To some, it's a chosen lifestyle.

    I even heard of a guy who got into Columbia University and never paid for room and board. He just alternated between sleeping in the 24 hr library or on friends' couches. He saved himself virtually half of a $30,000 a year tuition. Smart or crazy? Either way, it was a chosen lifestyle.

    (I'm still tryin' to figure out how he showered. Probably, at friend's houses. Or made use of the sports teams' showers.)

    But I digress.

    I really respect the homeless that work for it. Some even group together and do a song and dance, play an instrument, or some entertaining routine. Frankly, A LOT of them aren't even homeless---panhandling is their day job. And if you have the dignity to spare, it can be quite lucrative. This article in the Freakonomics blog says panhandlers make "about a dollar a minute." Sadly, it's a story about a homeless heroin addict. (We all need to survive somehow.)

    One event I did see recently on the train was a homeless guy doin' comedy...

    He asserts, as he gets on a packed rush hour train, "I ain't homeless. You all are invading MY home."

    Touché, homeless guy.

    The train was jam-packed and for him to be doing a routine in a packed train was ballsy! In true New Yorker fashion, no one made eye contact with him.

    He proceeded to tell his jokes, the chuckles growing from slow ebb to complete and full hearty guffaws. My jaw dropped! I was in awe. He didn't even make use of an "opener" to warm up the crowd. He made a train chock full of disgruntled, irked, ready-to-get-home-PRONTO! commuters laugh in 5-10 seconds. I was in the presence of comic genius! I wanted his autograph. And his number--eh, well...

    I noticed it was his presence. He claimed the stage. He claimed his space. He wasn't mean about it--not territorial. He just knew himself. And he knew his audience. And he didn't swear or use obscenities once--a Seinfeld in-the-making.

    He definitely had a "character"--the 'semi-angry-disturbed by the passengers homeless guy,' which he played well. I was envious. I'm still trying to build my character.

    And I overheard a conversation between a Latino mother and her cute-as-can-be and highly precocious son.**

    Son: He could make a fortune with those jokes

    Mother: Well, he's homeless

    Son: He should be on TV!! He had the whole train laughing!

    I heard myself sighing in disbelief in response to the son's remark. I then looked over to the homeless man (who was still slaying the crowd) and found myself wanting to switch places with him. To grapple with a crowd like that and win out!

    Do you know how hard it is to perform comedy in front of people who expect comedy to come out of your mouth versus a crowd who wants nothing to do with you or your comedy---a crowd that doesn't even want to look at you. This man still managed to get people to hand him money by the time the train reached the next stop. Insane! Insane!

    Anyway, the kid was right. The next time I see the homeless guy I'm going to do a exposé on him--if he'll let me. Maybe we really can get him on TV.

    I believe witnessing his performance was a sign that I should keep pursuing my dreams.

    Man, you had to be there! (I'm so glad I was.)

    **(I later found out he's 8 years old and starting school on his birthday, the next day. I wanted to steal the kid and take him home with me he was so cute.)

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    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Women in Comedy: Judy Tenuta

    The inspiration for this post comes from you, "the reader." I realized that I kept getting hits from search engines for this comedienne--and I had no idea who she was. And since this blog is about learning about comedy just as much as it is about creating comedy, I figured it was about time for yet another, "Women in Comedy" post. Being the democrat that I am, today's post was chosen "for the people, by the people."

    So here is my Wednesday Book Blog Report on Ms. Judy Tenuta.

    Judy Tenuta made her "claim to fame" in the 80s, during the "stand-up comedy boom." She is the self-declared "Love Goddess" of comedy, as well as the "Aphrodite of the Accordion". (The latter of two titles stems from her stand-up comedy act, which she often performs with an accordion, perforating her routine with riffs.) She has since had her own HBO, Showtime, and Lifetime Specials, as well as been seen on every major talk show and even garnered herself a Diet Dr. Pepper Commercial deal.

    I would describe her comedy character as the loud, ditzy, kitchsy, schticky, raunchy smartmouth type, complete with DayGlo colors. Obviously, the 80s was in full effect when she was "coming up."

    I would say she reminds me of the following stand-up comedians:

    - Pauly Shore (of 80s/90s MTV fame, whose parents founded the famous LA comedy club, The Comedy Store.)
    - Julie Brown (of 80s MTV fame, perfected the "80s Valley Girl persona")
    - Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens)
    - Cindy Lauper (not a comedian, but you see the resemblance) (Plus, I love Lauper. If I could, I would devote an entire 5 blog posts to solely her.)

    Back to Tenuta:
    Now I don't want to go so far as to say that her material is "hack". But I know I could never do this type of comedy. It's just not my style. I don't like the cackle-y voice mixed with the semi-whiny brazen attitude. Frankly, she turns me off. But that's not to say that I can't learn something from her. And I'm sure if I met her, she would be cool to hang out with.

    What is your opinion?

    Other weird facts about Tenuta:

  • She does a lot of work with Weird Al Yankovic, I assume because of the accordion commonality. She was even in his "White and Nerdy" video. (In the video, she's the woman who receives a power strip as a Christmas present.) (Did I tell you how ashamedly attracted I am to Donny Osmond in that video? I see him in a totally different light now. He can move--even for a white boy.)

  • Tenuta is very prominent gay, lesbian, and transgender rights advocate, performing at many LGBT? / LGBTQ events. (So I guess she has a lot in common with Kathy Griffin after all!)

  • She was once married to stand-up comedian, Emo Phillips.

  • [ Judy Tenuta Official Website | Judy Tenuta MySpace | Judy Tenuta on Wikipedia | Interview with Judy Tenuta on her movie Desperation Blvd(1998) ]

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    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    The Most Important Thing I learned from a Flamingo

    Flamingos are graceful often over-looked creatures in nature. After all, we're only reminded of them when we see kitschy lawn decor or the intro to Miami Vice.

    But this weekend I had a different response at the sight of a flamingo: I laughed. And it was then that I dwarfed in age. I found myself splayed on the cold kitchen floor, after a unsophisticated tumble out of the kitchen chair. It was at that moment I had flown back in time. I regressed into childhood--a time when we laughed so hard it didn't matter who was watching. The laughs came from the gut. And the slight pain that resurfaced each time we moved our small fragile waists, we were reminded of what put the pain there in the first place--the silly flamingo.

    So the all-important lesson I learned from the Flamingo was to laugh again--the wholehearted, unabashed laugh. I hope you find the same joy I did. Enjoy your holiday! (Erm--I mean, post-holiday.) And leave a comment. I want to know I wasn't the only person who ended up in stitches on the floor.

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    Monday, October 8, 2007

    How to Win Black Friends and Influence People

    Well, the easy answer to getting more black friends, like Stephen Colbert does, is to watch tonight's Season Premiere of THE BOONDOCKS.

    For those of you unfamiliar, I did mention The Boondocks in a previous post on METABIGOTRY. And for those of you who were paying attention in class that day, you will get to see a prime example tonight at 11:30pm (EST), on Cartoon Network.

    Yes, the Master of Racial Disaster Aaron McGruder is back on the TV with his seminal thought-provoking TV Cartoon show on Adult Swim.

    [Here's a link to a 2005 ONION Interview with Aaron McGruder]

    In the next season, we can expect to see some old characters like the fictional rapper Thugnificent

    And welcome some new celebrity voices:

  • Busta Rhymes

  • Snoop Dogg

  • Ghostface Killah

  • Cee-lo

  • Lil Wayne

  • Donald Faison ("Scrubs")

  • Aisha Tyler

  • Marion Ross ("Happy Days")

  • Mos Def

  • Xzibit

  • Charlie Murphy

  • MTV's Sway

  • Katt Williams

  • For those of you who have the resources (Cartoon Network), I'm going to ask this of you--- a homework assignment.

    Here's your assignment:

    1) Watch tonight's episode of The Boondocks.

    2) Bring a notepad and take notes. (Yes, I mean it! Write down what you liked, what bothered you, what you found disturbing, what you learned, etc.)

    3) Come back and comment here on this post. I really want to hear what people think about the way McGruder addresses issues at hand. (Did you like it? Did you hate it? What would you like to see changed?) Because your reactions will directly help with my comedy. Maybe I can change, add, or expand on something that McGruder didn't.

    Thanks for your participation. I'll see you back in class tomorrow!

    And then you'll be well on your way to winning black friends and influencing people! The Black Dale Carnegie would be proud!

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    Thursday, October 4, 2007

    Tina Fey and Jerry Seinfeld--Improv and Stand-up Collide...!

    Two TITANS will clash tonight on NBC!!

    That's right--Fey and Seinfeld!

    Two schools of thought (on comedy) become one tonight on television. And I'm going to be right there, glued to my seat. My two favorite people in comedy on TV, on one channel. (I don't even have to flip back and forth between stations to catch all the comedy goodness!)

    One Rock... Two Rock... 30 Rock...

    Ok..ok... maybe I'm over-hyping it. But they're both awesome in their own right. They both have cool, "before they made it" stories.

    Tina Fey has her background in Second City in Chicago. She was so motivated and ready for the Improv and Sketch world that she up and left Pennsylvania for the big city.

    Seinfeld didn't to travel too far for his training ground--just a hop, skip, and jump over the Long Island Expressway.

    Another cool celebrity factoid: Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin, a main character on 30 Rock, both grew up in the same town. (Man, Hollywood is small!!!) They weren't exactly friends, however Seinfeld did know Baldwin's father who was a football coach at Seinfeld's high school.

    So let's review: What happens at 8:30pm (EST) tonight on NBC?

    Answer: Two powerhouse comedians go head to head.

    Tonight 30 Rock Premiere

    Spoiler warning: If you really can't wait until 8:30 tonight, then I can offer you this link, but don't say I didn't warn you!

    And Jerry has even a shameless plug for his new movie, Bee Movie. And I can only respond, in Seinfeld's own voice, we get it,we get it already!


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    Wednesday, October 3, 2007

    Another great reason to LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF!!!

    Check out this video before it goes away, for two reasons:

    1) Because it's DAMN hilarious

    2) Because he talks about a chick named, Lucy. How cool is that?

    Oh, and the blog owner... he used to do Stand-up! Even MORE reason to check it out...


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    Monday, October 1, 2007

    Interview with blogger East Village Idiot (Part 5 of 5)

    Quest: So you work in advertising. Do you think the industry affects your sense of humor or perhaps what you blog about?

    Chris: I think it restricts what I blog about. I don't specifically blog about what I do. I don't write too much about my worklife. The people I work with know I have a blog and some of them read my blog. I don't want to impose on them, or paint a bad image of myself or my company on my blog.

    Quest: What about industry specific? Blogging about the advertising industry?

    Chris: I ranted a few weeks ago about an ad that's actually made for one of the clients at our firm. We didn't create the ad. I won't point it out. I don't know if I really should really say this. But I had to say something about it because it was driving me nuts. I take a laymen's perspective of advertising on my blog. I don't necessarily utilize the fact that I have experience in the industry. I'll leave that to the professionals. Like, have you ever read Copyranter?

    Quest: Copyranter? No, but I have see

    Chris: AdRants? There's a site called Adrants. The Copyranter--I wouldn't say he's grizzled, but he's definitely a disgruntled copywriter who rants about some of the crap that he sees in advertising. And occasionally stuff he likes, but mostly its stuff he hates.

    Quest: What about the AMC original series, Mad Men?

    Chris: Oh, I love that show!

    Quest: Never seen it. I've only seen the advertisements!

    Chris: It's hilarious because it's not too far-fetched to think that the Ad Industry was totally full of sexual harassment and blatantly out in the open at that time. When I was in school, we reading about advertising ---learning about advertising--we read books about what the ad industry was like in the 60s. Doing Liquid lunches. Smoke in your office.
    Although I did have one co-worker who smoked in her office.

    Quest: Liquid lunches?

    Chris: Drinking on the job.

    Quest: When did the blogging bug bite? When you came back from Vermont?

    Chris: I was blogging while I was still up there. But the purpose was not to blog obsessively. I think it was when I got that first wave of attention--it was like, "BoOM, wow, this is kinda fun. Maybe I should do this more often." That was about a year and a half ago. It just took off from there. I think that was about the time I started posting every single day. And then it became multiple times a day. Usually, I try for twice a day.

    Quest: What about weekends?

    Chris: Weekends I take off. No one reads on the weekends! I'm serious. If you look at my traffic, there's a little dip every weekend--Saturday and Sunday. I've probably done myself a disservice by not posting anything on weekends. Because even if they are online over the weekend, they probably think, "Oh, he doesn't post anything new." Like I said, I write on the weekends. I store material for the week ahead. I don't post on weekends. Weekends are my down time.I don't need to be obsessed with my blog on weekends. During the week, I'll check my time, statistics. I'll check my email like four or five times a day.

    Quest: Why did you start?

    Chris: I started to keep my friends updated on what's going on in my life. It was a fluke that it took off and became anything other than that. If you look back at my archives, to the very beginning. It was stuff like, "I went out with my friends for a mutual friend's birthday. Here are some pictures of us falling over."

    There were actually very few pictures of me on my blog. The one's that I do have are hard to find. I was never someone who has wanted to be stopped on the street. That hasn't happened although I have run into a fan by accident. And this kind of freaked me out.

    I got invited to this party associated with this website. Most of the people who were there were users of the site. I hadn't used the site, but they tried to get me to use the site. So I was sitting around with a bunch of people who were users of the site.

    So they said to me, "Why are you here?"

    I responded, "I write a blog."

    "Oh really? What blog do you writer?"

    "The East Village Idiot."

    And right after I said that, this one guy at the table jumped out of his seat. "OMG! You're the East Village Idiot!?! I read your blog everyday."

    I was like, "Whoa!" That was the moment when I realized that maybe this is something bigger than I thought.


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