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Month: March, 2012

Saturday Morning Show Friday 8pm 3/2/2012 Nerdist Theater at Meltdown Comics

The Saturday Morning Show at the Nerdist Theater is hosted by Kyle Clark and Dominic Moschitti. They greet audience members with bowls of sugary cereal before the show starts. It’s a Mystery Science Theater type of show where Kyle, Dominic and their guests watch old cartoons from the 80’s and 90’s and make fun of them. I had a hard time telling who was saying what because the performers are not on stage illuminated, but off to the side in the dark. It didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the show but did hurt the accuracy of this recap, so I’ll just apologize in advance for that. If I had sat closer to the front of the room I think I could have provided a more accurate recap.

Kyle and Dominic thanked everyone who had made it to their inaugural edition of the Saturday Morning Show. They said that this was actually an intervention because Adam Dorsey’s dopeness had become a problem. They told us that to prepare for the show they’d watched Nickelodeon bumpers for four hours and drank all the beers in the fridge. Dominic said he also ate all the Samoas. Kyle told us that the one idea that they didn’t keep from an early brainstorming session was Dominic’s idea that everyone could show up in pajamas.

The pair then welcomed the evenings guest panelist, Dominic Dierkes and Hampton Yount who shouted, “Lets do it,” as he took the stage. Kyle told us the he had selected an episode of The Real Ghostbusters that was actually terrifying, called “The Boogieman Cometh.” You can watch Part One on Youtube if you follow this link:: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_a0fY0qI3M

During the opening credits http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pDZpNNLXlM the panel was having a blast and quipped about how it’s weird that the Ghostbusters let Slimer hang out and the phallic nature of energy beams. As the show began the panel noted that Arsenio Hall does the voice of Winston, the black Ghostbuster and also the only cartoon Ghostbuster that looks like his real world counterpart. They also pointed out that the guy who does the voice of Bill Murray’s ghost-busting avatar also does the voice of Garfield on the show Garfield and Friends; (which I’ll point out, makes for a strange Hollywood Ouroboros www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros  when you realize that  Bill Murray did the voice of Garfield in the recent CGI feature length film Garfield.

The episode starts with the Ghostbusters in their hearse chasing a ghost who’s driving a car. The panelist wondered at what point do the real cops get involved. The ghost looked like a fish with trout-like lips and gills and also was wearing a fedora and suit like an Italian gangster, I think Hampton asked Kyle to pause it so he could say that the ghost looked like he had,”slept with the fishes and then had kids with the fishes and raised those kids.”

The panelist found it odd that Ghostbusters all sleep in the same room and pondered what Slimer was when he was alive, “a kid who died of AIDS,” or, “Wesley Willis.”

Two little kids offer the Ghostbusters everything in their blue piggy-bank in exchange for the Ghostbuster’s help. The Ghostbusters agree to help the kids and follow them back to their home to investigate a monster in the closet. The panelist made quips about how piggy-banks aren’t blue, Egon’s character having a rat-tail and the cartoon version of Dan Akroyd looking much thinner than his real-world counterpart.

The monster that the Ghostbusters discover in the children’s closet is described by one panelist as looking like it was drawn by, “a Muslim who hates Jews.” The Ghostbusters soon follow the Boogieman into the closet discovering a universe of doors he uses to terrify children, (the panelist points out that it looks similar to the hall of doors in the movie Monsters Inc. and wondered if Pixar might have ripped it off.)

When Murray’s Venkman says “as an interior decorator this guy makes a good boogieman,” the panelist decode it as a weird anti-joke from the mind by a frustrated writer abandoning his dreams, to make ends meet by working on kid’s shows.

As the episode winded down, Kyle noted that there was always a, “dancy R&B chase scene” in every episode of The Real Ghostbusters. The Ghostbusters final showdown with the Boogieman involved a proton-pack-powered-ghost-bomb, some marbles and a-”YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”-moment on a bridge; not just, “more lasers” as one panelist predicted. The credits rolled over footage of the Ghostbusters walking in a parade in their honor.

After the episode Kyle invited Lewis Sequeira on stage to read a serious essay about what it means to be a real Ghostbuster. Below I have printed Sequeria’s essay in full:

Realism Dialectics and the Family Romance in “The Real Ghostbusters.”

by Lewis Sequeira


The writers of “The Boogieman Cometh” seem to have taken up the

mantle of one of the 19th century’s most well-respected ghost-story

writers, Henry James. James’ novel The Turn of the Screw is a famously

ambiguous piece of work, seeming to anticipate postmodernist New

Criticism, with its unremitting doubleness. The governess could be

heroically protecting her students (two children, a boy and a girl, in

a parallel to our episode) or driven insane by her own sexual

frustration. After all, what is the more legitimate of the two choices

when they’re both equally fictional? Can fictions be further

fictionalized through interpretative action? Is what we imagine purely

imaginary or something somehow more substantial? In this essay, we

will examine the Jamesian notion of realism and the interpretative realism

dialectic and finally get to know the real The Real

Ghostbusters.


In a sense, the world of The Real Ghostbusters is one composed of

dualities, lively dialectic arguments in the midst of which one could

feel as though they were in the Greece of the Socratic Dialogues.

Numerous dualities exist at the heart of the episode: young and old;

fear and bravery; animation and live-action. What constitutes reality

in this world? Central to the plot is the duality of ghost and

boogeyman. The realism in Ghostbusters is contingent on the fact that

the world is inhabited by ghosts — what then is the boogeyman? How is

the boogeyman different than a ghost? They’re both monsters. But the

boogeyman is more directly associated with children, representing a

child’s unique conception of the monster archetype. Taking this into

account, we change the whole vocabulary at the center of the story:

ghosts mean different things to children and adults. In a story that

is told from the joint psychological perspective of children and

adults, our question of what constitutes reality becomes complicated.


Recall that there is a car chase early in an episode with the

ghost of Edward G. Robinson. The theme song plays, indicating normalcy

in the Ghostbusters world. Consider this idealistic Ghostbusting

setting in relation to the frustrating, incomprehensible world of the

Boogeyman. The juxtaposition of these abstract realities parallels the

story’s more subtle reproductions of two central combative

psychologies, the Ghostbusters and the Children. This provides a stage

for the question essential to Jamesian ghost stories — i.e., in the

end, who’s to say what is real? In an unprecedented rhetorical

gesture, The Real Ghostbusters gives this conflict foregrounded

prominence, and, in the process, makes case for transmedia

representations of single characters and events resolving its own

existential dilemma as a multimedia franchise.


Realism is an obtuse mode for a multimedia franchise, given the

inconsistencies that arise from having to create multiple iterations

of the same characters and situations across just as many forms of

media. Peter Venkman is played in the film by the inimitable Bill

Murray, who is, in turn, imitated by, I’m pretty sure the guy from

Garfield and Friends.


How can you possibly resolve this inconsistency while at the same

time preserve your Jamesian realist aesthetic? By redefining the

parameters of realism in your world, and transforming the logical

inconsistency into a necessary byproduct of the Jamesian plural forms

of meaning. In short, anything can be anything to anyone. Meanings in

storytelling are regarded with the potential for infinite complexity.

The realism dialectic reinforces a general liminality that comes to

define the foundational elements of the realism of the Ghostbusters

universe.


Freud’s notion of the “family romance,” in which a child, growing

older and more independent, begins indulging escapist fantasy,

provides a psychological basis for the episode’s dominating sense of

liminality. “These cannot be my parents…” reasons the child. “I must

have been adopted. These adopted parents are nothing like my real

parents. My real parents are much nicer and wealthier.” At the heart

of “the family romance,” is a deep concern with storytelling; children

develop the need to invent their own stories in order to cope with the

sexualization of their bodies. “The Boogeyman Cometh” is equally

concerned with the literariness intrinsic to human experience,

commenting on form from the perspective of the two children. Children

aren’t haunted by conventional ghosts, they’re haunted by their

interpretation of a ghost, the Boogieman.


According to Egon, the Boogieman’s realm is “a sort of inbetween

place that opens up in children’s rooms all over the world.”

In a sense, the ambiguity that defines the story renders this universe

into a sort of Boogieman’s realm, a place of in-betweens, where

nothing is exactly objectively right. When the setting changes to the

Boogieman’s Realm, it enacts putatively deep, taboo urges and forces

the Ghostbusters, and by extension the audience, to participate in the

confusing sex nightmares of children.


In the end, “The Boogieman Cometh” qualifies competing fictions,

creating dimensions of fictionality that the audience reflexively

compares. Does the existence of a boogeyman make any less sense than

that of a ghost? What constitutes realism in a reflexively

interpretative audience? The realization that the comparison doesn’t

make any sense comes across as a deep, existential shock to the

viewer, whose sensibilities have already been challenged by its unique

postcolonialist concerns. The result is a labyrinthian complex of

meanings that can never be properly organized; a Borgesian library of

interpretative possibility that is at once reassuring and appallingly

vast.


After Lewis’ essay, the panelist watched a bunch of old commercials starting with a few for Ghostbuster’s toys and cereal. The panelists noticed that the Ghostbuster’s theme song was just slightly different in the commercials than it was in the movie. Then they watched some commercials for old boardgames starting with a few that were targeted at adults; Scruples and Therapy, (the former of which the panelist concluded was probably the basis for the movie Indecent Proposal.) Then they a couple different versions of Crossfire commercials, (are you supposed to italicize boardgame names?) They closed the inaugural Saturday Morning Show by watching commercials for three boardgames that the panelist concluded would fall into Milton Bradley’s,”Will-They-Buy-Anything?” Category; Shark Attack, Eat at Ralph’s, and Gooey Louie.

Most of these commercials can be found on Youtube and you can follow all these performers on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/#!/kyleclarkisrad
https://twitter.com/#!/Dommoschitti
https://twitter.com/#!/Hamptonyount
https://twitter.com/#!/dominicdierkes
https://twitter.com/#!/LewisSequeira

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Towne Hall Meetin’ Recap 3/1/2012 Thursday 9:30 799 Towne Ave #110 LA,CA

Towne Hall Meetin’ takes place on the first Thursday of every month at 799 Towne Ave #110, Los Angeles, CA. and is $5 with a with a donation only bar. Tony Sam, Aparna Nancherla and Anthony DeVries act as candidates running for a the fictional political position.They field questions from citizens and the moderator, who serves as the evening’s host. These faux town hall sketch pieces are interspersed between stand-up comic acts.

The inaugural March 1st 2012 Towne Hall Meetin’ was hosted by Allen Strickland Williams, and featured stand-up from Dave Ross, Maria Bamford, Brody Stevens, Karl Hess, Mary Mack, Brent Weinbach, and Moshe Kasher. The town folk were played by Scott Krinsky, Robert Buscemi, Tess Barker, Ric Rosario, Frederick Young, Kirk Mason & Johnny Pemberton.

Allen Strickland Williams dressed in a suit and tie, introduced himself as George Feely, the evenings moderator. He told us that this emergency town hall meeting was to determine who will replace disgraced Public Safety Commissioner, Mario Gutierrez (played by Scott Krinsky). Scott wearing a mustache, hard hat and orange safety vest, came to the stage to apologize and was greeted with boo’s from the audience. One audience member tuned his chair around and sat with his back facing Krinsky for his entire apology. Scott as Mario, told us how he had turned decommissioned county vehicles into marijuana-prostitution-food-trucks. We learned Mario was turning over a new leaf, in sex-addict-therapy, and working on sanitizing all the trucks, so they can be turned into book-mobiles.

Disgraced Public Safety Commissioner Mario Gutierrez (Scott Krinsky) left the stage and George Feely(ASW) welcomed the three candidates vying for the open position, Mario Gutierrez (Anthony DeVries, who was voted most handsome) Mario Gutierrez (Aparna Nancherla, who was running on the same platform as his opponents only more,) and Mario Gutierrez(Tony Sam, who pointed out that this meeting was taking place in a very unsafe building.) They were all wearing the same mustache, hard hat and orange safety vest that the disgraced Public Safety Commissioner had worn before.

Allen then welcomed the nights first stand up comic and three term County Dog Catcher Dave Ross, who came on stage to the Rocky theme. Dave conceded that he was in fact a dog catcher and told us he had parked his car under a homeless guy.  He talked about having a gay roommate how he would kill to have someone fuck him in his sleep. He went on to talk about how he won’t go to dance-fighting class with his neighbor. He closed his set talking about advertising bed sheet’s with a shit-pun and The Muppet Movie.

Allen took the stage and reminded the nights speakers that this meeting was about public safety and asked them politely to stay on subject. He then asked the three candidates Mario, Mario, and Mario back on stage to field questions. Allen asked Tony Sam about how he was still alive after donating a liver, a half a heart, and a left big-toe to the organization “Every-BODY Loves Safety.” Tony answered that he was the only candidate with an American flag in his pocket. When the other two candidates quickly pulled an American flag out of their pockets, as well, Tony answered that he was still alive because he signed a deal with the Devil. The next question from the moderator was for Aparna and concerned The Broken Glass and Jagged Metal Crisis of 2005. Aparna told us to listen closely because she was only going to say this once, and then asked the moderator to repeat the question. The next question was taken from Twitter and directed at Anthony. @CrazyGirl asked about why Anthony favored traveling by blimp over airplanes and also wondered “where [he] got those nappy-ass roots.” Anthony responded that his roots came from pure American soil. He told us his roots were here, they were queer, so get used to it. The next questions came from the audience. Stacey Marino a senior in high school and student council president asked an incoherent, rambling question. Aparna fielded it and told her to stay in school and enunciate.  A man in the audience wearing a cowboy hat had a question that was more of an angry tirade about buying a telescope from Wal-Mart on Black Friday and how he can’t see shit looking through it and that makes him feel raped. Anthony fielded this one and came out against rape. The next question was about kids who hang out at yard sales. Tony answered that he’s against yard sales, as well as rusty nails, and told us he never hits his wife. The woman who asked this question then started talking about turkey steaks and Tony asked where she was getting “free speed.”

Allen as moderator then welcomed the nights next stand-up comic, Comptroller Maria Bamford. Maria told us she would like to be a politician and would run on a platform of eradicating sadness in her community. She talked about being the sane one at the coffee shop and Gerardo writing a book about hogs called “Hog Book.” She told us about a conversation she had with one of her neighbor’s children. When the kid asked Maria how she considered herself a comedian even though she doesn’t have any jokes, Maria told the kid to contact her manager who’d explain everything. Maria told us she speaks pretend SWpanish and pretend tiger. She talked about how she has some guy named Ernesto Martinez’s old phone number and people keep calling asking for him. She talked about her friends always trying to get her to buy things she doesn’t need. She asked that the next time we’re considering suicide maybe try dressing up like a cat and yelling at people, instead. She closed her set talking about “Sid the Schizophrenic Squid,” clown operas, and making faces in the bathroom mirror.

Next, the candidates came on stage for more questions. We learned that one of the candidate’s daughter was killed at a Sizzler buffet with a steak knife and they were asked if we should outlaw silverware. Anthony responded that, yes we should outlaw silverware and consider what to do about chopsticks. Tony made a pun using the phrase “misteak knife.” Aparna responded to the question, “True or false?” with the answer “Never.”

Then the moderator welcomed to the stage the third stand-up comic of the evening, and Junior Comptroller Brody Stevens. Brody began by welcoming everyone to his city, county, and neighborhood, Los Angeles. He told us that his focus was so acute that he picks up on everything. He went on to explain that he has jokes and a persona, he shoots on a Cannon D5 and he doesn’t create anymore; he just works with co-creators. He told us that he is constantly surrounded by boom-mics, and while all his life people have told him that he’s funny, now he’s finally starting to believe them. He talked about circulatory problems, mental illness in the neighborhood and his own history with that issue. He talked about how he wants to be a travelling baseball announcer. He talked a little about his neighbor a fellow stand-up comic who was being stalked. He noticed that the audience was young and happy and our parents were probably helping us out. Brody talked about golf tournaments, working audience warm-up, and asked who else in the room was taking Depakote. He told us that Depakote ages you, talked about flights to Vancouver and getting WiFi in the hotel lobby. We learned that Brody was born in the San Fernando Valley, his English isn’t great but he can write a paper and he’s a Rock-o-holic. “Fuck K-Rock.! Fuck NPR! 98.7!”

Next, the moderator welcomed Tony Sam as Mario Gutierrez back on stage for some one-on-one questions. Tony started to hand out fake mustaches to audience members but warned them that these mustaches were choking hazards. His first question was about whether Banksy (the graffiti artist) should be considered a safety concern or just a passing fad. Tony responded by telling us that he spells “SAFETY,” M-A-R-I-O  G-U-T-I-E-R-R-E-Z. Then, Tony was asked if we should have fire drills 4 times a day. He responded by talking about how the meeting was taking place in a building that was a fire hazard. The next question came from an audience member who was looking for his long lost father, Mario Gutierrez. Tony as Mario thought the guy had probably taken some “free speed ” and asked security to escort the man to the exit. The next question was about the movie,“1984.” One audience member asked Tony why we can’t all dress the same like they do in that movie. The next question came from a man with a guitar who sang his question and then plugged a few shows. Mario’s estranged son emerged again and produced an American flag from his pocket.

After this question and answer session, Allen took the stage to welcome Former Deputy Mayor Karl Hess.  Mary Mack was crouching behind the small stage because she thought she was next and when she heard Karl’s name called she stood up looking a little confused and returned to the bar area. Karl talked about getting a medical marijuana card and Netflix streaming in the same week. He talked about Ralph’s rotisserie chicken, red long-john underwear and not being able to turn off the funny in the real world. He talked about the 15 seconds of clarity you receive before you die, finally getting health insurance, and drinking on antibiotics.

Next, Allen welcomed Mary Mack to the stage. Two girls sitting in the audience told her that they loved the sweater she was wearing and she remarked that she could already tell this would be the best show she’s ever done. Mary talked about the impossibility of living in the now, and asked the audience to focus because there’s a fine line between worst show and best show.  She told us that she doesn’t want to just mix the paint; she wants to create the colors. She asked the audience if anyone was feeling hostile and offered a relaxation technique.  She talked about being born premature and closed with a bit about “This Little Piggy Went to the Market.”

Next up, Allen asked Anthony and Aparna to the stage to field some questions. “Paul and Anna” were from 5th 3rd Presbyterian Church and said a prayer before asking a question about skateboarders. Tess Barker and Robert Buscemi asked the next question about gay marriage and Matt Peters asked about dogs digging holes in his yard.

Next, Allen welcomed Superintendent Brent Weinbach. Brent started his set by talking about how he doesn’t question the phone when it rings, he answers it. He did a dramatic reading from The Road by Cormac McCarthy and had an audience member read the fortune cookie he received with his meal at Panda Express. He had another volunteer come on stage and do a scene that took place in a library, and closed his set doing an accurate impression of one audience member crying.

Lastly, Allen told us that the votes had been counted and the winner was Moshe Kasher who would be the evening’s final performer. Moshe told us he felt like he should apologize for being another comedian. He talked about valet parking as a threat, fear of bombing, and name-tags as a way to build community. He asked an audience member named Morgan what her favorite part of the show was, to which Morgan replied, “this part.” Moshe told a story about simultaneously crying to Star Trek: The Next Generation and spooning jam into his mouth. He asked the audience member whom Weinbach had imitated crying, “Who cries to rap?” and then looked for a way out of his set, eventually deciding on just leaving.

That was the show. The three Marios got back on stage and thanked the giant cast of characters it took to pull the show off, as well as all the people who came out to watch. I also made a note that someone said, “Enjoy your penises and vaginas” but I’m not sure who said that.

You can follow all these performers on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/#!/TowneHallMeetin

https://twitter.com/#!/ToeKneeSam

https://twitter.com/#!/aparnapkin

https://twitter.com/#!/ANTHD (Anthony DeVries)

https://twitter.com/#!/TotallyAllen (Allen Strickland Williams)

https://twitter.com/#!/davetotheross

https://twitter.com/#!/mariabamfoo

https://twitter.com/#!/BrodyismeFriend

https://twitter.com/#!/karlhess

https://twitter.com/#!/marymackcomedy

https://twitter.com/#!/BrentWeinbach

https://twitter.com/#!/moshekasher

https://twitter.com/#!/SamMVarela (producer)