Yes, I am special, but sadly this offer was for everyone and not just for me. Stupid Canadian fraudsters.
With the advent of yet another semester on WMFO comes the promise of new projects. Hopefully, Billy Bob Neck’s Hour of Bein’ Good with be back (and you could certainly send an email to both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to insure that it will be). Since MFO doles out slots in two hour bundles, this semseter I want to get back into doing radio sketch comedy again.
I’ve always loved radio comedy. Growing up, I heard the rumors about how a long, long time ago there was no TV and people listen to the “radio” for entertainment rather than shitty music, right wing rhetoric and fund drives. It’s all bullshit, of course. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but America has ALWAYS had TV. However, in the early part of the 20th century, certain performance artists decided to use radio as what they refered to as an “antidote” to TV. The funny thing is that they achieved a certain measure of success. This is why many people think their grandparents and great-grandparents are lame – they actually listened to the radio rather than watched TV.
In the 70’s, radio sketch comedy had a breif revival. One of the greatest of these shows was The National Lampoon Radio Hour. It featured a bunch of newcomers like John Belushi, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, Tony Hendra, Gilda Radner and a couple of others.
In 2003-4, I put together a few shows of sketch comedy with Derek Gerry, Erin Judge, myq kaplan, Lanie Schulbaum, Tim Fenn, Dot Dwyer and…I know I’m missing someone but I can’t remember right now. With luck, a lot of work and the help of some of the fine and talented folks at Improv Boston we’ll be putting together even more and mo’ better radio sketch comedy this fall.
So – below you’ll find a selection from the previous shows as a treat for the casual reader, and a demo reel for those at Improv Boston.
I wasn’t the only writer, but I wrote these.
Emmanuel Goldstein School of Leadership
How to be a “Leader”
Mamet And Child
David Mamet reads a fairy tale to his new girlfriend’s kid
Noel Bush Illegal Drug Hotline
She’ll help get rid of your drugs
Gift of the Magi
A reworking of a classic Christmas tale
The Help the Heathen Foundation
Help the Iraqis find Jesus
Jesus’ Loan Denied
A Letter from the bankwith helpful suggestions
CNN crushes the indomitable will of a survivor
A sound economic policy
Larry King – White Girl In Trouble
Please help this family cope with their grief
BONUS – The Aruban Connection
Ok – I didn’t write this. Someone who really, really missed Natalie Holloway did. But I wish I wrote as good as they done.
Canadians hate Michael Phelps. Normally, Canadians are a peace-loving people, slow to anger and well aware that they are the perpetual bridesmaid and barring the wholesale physical and economic destruction of at least six to eight other countries, always will be. It must be getting a little old for them, though, since with this Olympics they’ve become like Brad Pitt in True Romance – smoking dope on the couch and pleasantly giving directions to the mob and, after they leave, muttering, “don’t fucking condescend to ME, man…I’ll kill you.”
We have no TV up here. My in-laws have no TV, either. Thus, we’ve followed the Olympics in the papers – The New York Times and either The Globe and Mail or Toronto Sun. Canadian papers come across as zippier and almost ironically spunkier than American papers or at least the New York Times (which I guess isn’t hard to do). Not the least difference is they don’t shy away from profanity. If Dick Cheney let’s loose with another, “go fuck yourself”, Canadian paper will quote him as saying “go fuck yourself” as opposed to “go f**k yourself” or worse “the vice president was heard uttering a profanity concerned with the act of self-copulation.”
Up until a few days ago, Canada kept coming up with maple-flavored donut-holes instead of medals. To quote one radio report, “…and the current medal count is China with 39, America with 38 and Canada…still waiting.” The announcer sounded so woebegone that I wanted to pull over and giving Canada a hug and a pep talk. Perhaps that’s why they’ve conducted a campaign to squash Phelps much the same way the Ministry of Magic tried to make Harry Potter out to be a crazy, fame-seeking egotist.
Every day the papers come up with some new reason to hate Phelps. One day it was because he tried to live a normal life. “Michael Phelps is an impostor”, the article started out, going on to say he kept trying to play the “I’m just an ordinary guy” card despite shattering records left and right. I guess he should have entered the pool in a fur coat, pimp hat and 74 gold chains dangling over his freshly waxed chest. Another article described him as “the fish that walks on two legs” which, in the context of the article was not a compliment. Others petulantly bemoaned the American dominance at the pool.
My favorite, though, was an op/ed article in the Sun which stopped just shy of accusing the US Swim program of cheating. The author snarkily went back to the original training manuals of the original Olympic games and, horrors, found no mention of computer simulations or experimental swim suit designs. HOLY SHIT! That’s…um…earth shattering. I’m pretty sure that there were no mentions of hot, sweaty volleyball chicks in skimpy bathing suits causing adolescent boys (and, perhaps their dads) to spend far too much time in the bathroom after the match ended.
Now that Canada got some medals (Women’s wrestling! Equestrian! Rowing!) perhaps they’ll back off a bit. Or maybe they’ll hire Tonya Harding to kneecap Michael Phelps.
With John Edwards brand new scandal (or at least an old one confirmed) that brings the the score to Hubris:2,243,048 – Family Values: 6
Ohhh, you silly, silly politicians that just can’t keep it in your pants. The next thing you know, Hillary will have some fresh young intern accussing her of getting her pregnant.
Sorry. It’s a cheap joke but they can absorb it since they’ve managed to turn the DNC into their own personal sit-com. Hillary’s speaking. Bill’s speaking. Wonder what pleasant means of extortion they’ll use to get Chelsea up there? And what about Socks? Oh. Right. They gave that prop away once they left the White House.
Still, good for me for remembering this now even more amusing article from 9/07 in the Huffington Post about an odd, odd mystery involving the removal of some Edwards campaign videos shot by a certain Rielle Hunter. Can sex tapes be far behind? (Jesus, I hope I’m kidding!)
Roy Zimmerman and Billy Bob Neck team up for a…um…barn burner.
“Hey, Dad, what’s that?”
“It’s my new iPod.”
“That’s a Nano. I thought those guys were giving you a Touch.”
“Yeah. So did I.”
“Well, they kept saying they shipped it but I guess they didn’t. After a month of that, you gotta assume it’s not happening. And we’re going on vacation tomorrow so it’s pointless to wait.”
“So, they lied.”
“Let’s just say I don’t have an iPod Touch.”
“What if it shows up?”
“I’ll either ship it back or blend it. I’m not sure.”
As you no doubt wait with baited breath for John Hogdman’s new book, More Information Than You Require, (and the resultant audiobook), why not listen to a few of the Little Gray Book lectures? They feature not only John Hodgman but also Jonathan Coulton on various stringed instruments. If you purchased (or stole) the audiobook of The Areas Of My Expertise, then you’ll be thrilled to hear the beginnings of the theme song from that book in these instructive lectures.
Billy Bob’s interview with Roy is up and ready for download. He does live versions of
The Man, The Myth, The McCain
I’ll Pull Out
Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual
Abstain With Me
Creation Science 101