In honor of the DNC…
DAY 107: Listen to a stand-up comic. Make a joke funnier.
See the video above of the bit I analyzed. Here’s my attempt to raise the funny level.
Nursery rhymes don’t make sense when you analyze them.
Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top. Wait a second, how the hell did that baby get up there? Is this the fucking Robin Hood days? Got kids hanging in trees and shit. Is there some sort of duel taking place on the ground below the tree? Winner gets to fuck the bombshell baby mama. “I challenge thee to a duel. I wish to munch your maiden’s rug. And if you defeat me, I’ll pay you in frankincense from this very tree.” The baby daddy’s like “shit yeah.”
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. And down will fall baby. Cradle and all. “Well shit. Cradles be expensive,” says the baby daddy.
DAY 106: Tax day! File and be funny about it.
I’m actually quite slammed today, so this is gonna be a one-liner, which is good practice for me because I perform storytelling jokes better.
Puff Daddy’s wack ass accountant was having trouble trying to figure out how to let Diddy know that he was being audited. So the accountant figured he’d approach it sensitively and playful. When he called PDiddy, he said “Hi Mr. Puff. I’ve got bad news. Repeat after me. Au-dit-ed”. PiffPuff replied “Shit cracker, I didn’t do it! All I did was hire the hitman.”
Eh, a lot of dialogue for a lame joke, right?
Check out the Dale Archdale: Tax Advisor to the Stars.
DAY 96: Write a bit on the occult.
The occult I wanna make fun of are the Twihards. The people who think Twilight is God’s gift to cinema. The occult would typically be someone who practices Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Wicca, Satanism, Thelema, and Neopaganism. Now some might not consider a Twihard as being an occult, but rather just a cult. I beg to differ. I think these people are directly related to Satan. I mean the person who created Twilight must’ve sold his soul to the devil for it to not only get made, but to actually be a hit. This pile of shit cannot be manufactured by just a human. No, no, no, no, no. This had the work of the devil all along. The mark of the beast is transparent throughout the whole movie: bad acting that gets nominated for awards (in this case, MTV counts), DP credits for lighting dark movie when all it takes is a blue setting here and there and a couple of dark gels, and a storyline that borders on a mental patient doodling for a few days and coming out with a script at the end. I just can’t get over the people that like this shit. To me, their an occult. To me, they’re evil. I’d rather hang out with Backstreet Boyheads.
Above is Part 3 of the UPS Commercial Spoof webseries.
DAY 95: Organize all the little pieces of paper you’ve written your premises on.
My thing is that I don’t have little pieces of paper. I typically will record and idea on my phone, send it to my email and extract it the next day. So I’m good as far as current stuff. My problem is that I used to carry a recorder around everywhere I went and since 2005, I’ve recorded hundreds (maybe in the low thousands? can I say that?) of ideas and they are just sitting in a folder waiting for me to extract those. However, I do have it on my task list once a week to spend about an hour doing so. It will take me a couple years to get through them, but at least I won’t worry about writer’s block, haha, right?! Right? Ahem…right? Crap.
Above is Part 3 of the UPS Commercial Spoof webseries.
DAY 94: Write something funny for a character of the opposite sex.
One of my favorite shows on TV today is “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. I love Dennis the best, but I also appreciate Dee (the girl) and her comedy playing into the guys throughout the series. Here’s my idea: have an episode where Dee wants to get implants so she can impress this millionaire who “kinda hit on her” while she was shopping at Burlington Coat Factory (he came up to her as she was trying on a fur coat and she flirted with him a little and asked his opinion on the jacket, “do you like this coat on me?”, as she playfully laughed and seduced him). The millionaire, we find out later, was actually there to inspect the premises because he has plans to knock it down and open up an Ikea. So when Dee gets asked out on a date from the guy, who actually is just asking her out because he wants to probe her about the area being she’s a local, Dee goes to the extreme to look good for this guy. So she actually goes through with the breast implants, that she has done by some back alley doctor the gang finds for her for like $500 and some sex, and shows up to the date wearing this sexy dress. The problem is that her tits start to bleed during the date, the gang shows up to tell her that she was supposed to have sex with the doctor that night because the doctor’s pissed off now and thus, the gang won’t get something from him that they wanted initially also (figure that one out later). The finale joke is that the millionaire is happily married with kids, who all show up during the date, as Dee is dripping in blood and all wet from the gang trying to help stop the bleeding by dousing her with water. We finish with the gang leaving her there after Danny DeVito shows up to tell them that the doctor was arrested and thus, the gang doesn’t need whatever they needed from him to begin with. At the end, Dee looks at the millionaire and says “Do you like this dress on me?”
It needs some re-writes, but it’s a start, right?
Above is Part 2 of the UPS Commercial Spoof webseries.
DAY 91: Write a bit about April Fools’ Day.
APRIL FOOL’S DAY: Who thought up this one? Well apparently, it’s from the Romans’ Medieval Festival of Fools, in which it was a day on which pranks are played in Spanish-speaking countries. Leave it to the Mexicans to come up with this one. (Mexican voice) “Hey, I got an idea! Let’s take a day off of work and have a siesta and fuck with each other all day.” “Uh, we do that anyway.” “Yes, but this time it won’t be while we’re at work.” Do you think it was a way to motivate the sleeping Mexican under his sombrero to actually stay awake when they were trying to hop the fence into Rome? One of em are poking Jose with a stick. Jose gets up all mad, as one of them pushes Jose over the other Mexican who’s crouching over behind him. They’re fucking shoot off guns, that didn’t even exist yet. “Good, you’re awake Jose. We need you to fashion us some rafts.” Other Mexican’s like “I heard they’re building a Colosseum. Do you think we can work on that, papa?” “Of course, we’re cheaper than the Greeks.”
Another one I really need to flesh out more. Still traveling today. I promise this one will be funnier the next round.
Above is the first of our UPS Commercial Spoofs webseries from back in 2008. It features total improvisation and on the spot dialogue creation from my buddy, Adam Grimes. We did a total of 4 of these and I think they came out pretty good, considering that dude who used to do these commercials was a total douchebag, so it can’t be too hard right?
DAY 82: Analyze a comedy writer you haven’t read before. What does he or she do right that you’d like to try?
I decided to go again with one of my favorite comedians, Kevin James. And lack of time today prevented my from analyzing one of his longer bits. But I still took one of the funniest segments in his Comedy Central Presents show “Sweat the Small Stuff.” It involves him being overweight and not having a reason to sweat. I am a louder and bigger comic similar to him, so I try to emulate his energy if I can because he does it so well.I especially like when he becomes more subtle after his friends call him out during the joke. I think he’s great at finding balance between being loud and being subtle throughout his performance.
For those in Wilmington, please come see my show on Sunday March 25th @ 8:00 PM at Bottega Art & Wine in downtown Wilmington.
DAY 72: Rearrange a bit so it has a more logical flow.
DICKMOVE: Everyone know what a dickmove is? For some of you who don’t know, let’s do some examples: You’re driving and your buddy is in the passenger seat. Fart, roll up your window, roll down his and lock the windows. Or you’re driving and you get pulled over and you quickly put your weed pipe into your buddies pocket before the “big search”. Oh or you kill your neighbor’s barking dog in front of them with a putter.
DICKMOVE: Everyone know what a dickmove is? For some of you who don’t know, let’s do some examples: You’re driving and your buddy is in the passenger seat. Fart, roll up your window, roll down his and lock the windows. Or you’re driving and you get pulled over and you quickly put your weed pipe into your buddies pocket before the “big search”. Or your buddy’s driving, ask him about his radio and when he looks down at the radio, scream “WATCH OUT!”
Above is a video from the vault. It’s titled “Tucson Online” and is a spoof on Phoenix Online commercials. In no way am I mocking the actual process of enrolling into the online classes, because I commend anyone who furthers his or her education. In fact, the opening comic for Neal Brennan last week mocked people who enroll into Miller Motte and I fucking hated him. He singled out cosmetology and that’s what my wife does! What a fucking dickhead he was. No matter, he was hack anyway…douchebag. Anyway, one of my assignments back in LA during voiceover classes was to invent a commercial that includes a few students to read into the microphone. I wrote this one for class and later decided to shoot it with some of the my fellow acting friends for shits and giggles.
DAY 71: Expand your vocabulary: Find a word you don’t know and write a bit about it.
The word I am choosing this month is similitude. I decided to lookup “soulmate” and find a bigger word for it. It means likeness; similarity. My reason? Because my wife’s birthday was today (when I am physically writing this, i.e., Friday) and I want to praise her as much as I can. She is a tremendous soul. She is my inspiration and to be frank, she keeps me sane. In this crazy world, she’s the person I rely on most to keep me focused and she drives me to want to be great. Plus, she’s a damn cutie. I mean, her heart must wrap around this planet 10 times. Her soul buzzes like a freakin vuvuzela. I can’t thank her enough for getting me through some tough times as well as being such a sport. I’m a bear and she puts up with it. I love her for it and that’s why I decided to write about her.
In honor of her being my soulmate, here’s a video I created and she actually lent her voice to it. It’s called “Pornstar Soulmates”.
DAY 70: Write about how you think others perceive you.
I think people think I’m outgoing and larger than life. Both with my weight and personality. I am a tornado ripping through conversations, barking at anyone in my way. But, I do think they know that I would give my shirt off my back to ya. Ever since I was little, I’ve always been loud and “boisterous” as they would call it on my report card. I actually once had to ask a teacher or my mom or someone what that word meant. And now looking back, I think that’s the exact verbage I would choose when asked what others think of me. Boisterous. But I don’t give a shit. I love my life with my wife and family and friends. I mean, we’re still not where we want to be career-wise, but that’s still a fight I will keep fighting. In any case, I think people think that I can be the life of the party. I can get everyone up-beat and having fun. I don’t care what others think of me and I like to call people out on shit. A lot of the times I’m annoying and I feel that others would say that too, but to those people it’s like “Who cares. Fuck off pal.”
Above is another video from the vault. I don’t think it’s that good, but it does kinda give you a perspective into the world of Human Resource recruiters. Plus, my one co-worker walked by and saw me taping myself and his look is precious. He was the real hardcore go-getter who never really accomplished his goals though and wasn’t a good recruiter, so his work ethic made up for his lack of talent.
DAY 67: Rework an old bit you want to work better.
PHOBIA – Everyone’s gotta a phobia, right? (snobby girl) –“ I hate spiders” (Mikey like’s it) – “I’m scared of heights.” Mine’s a little different. Mine’s the fear of being embarrassed for someone who tells a really shitty joke in front of me and a small crowd of people. I get real nervous for people who suck at telling stories and I gotta be in front of them. I mean why does it have to be me who has to feel obligated to FAKE LAUGH? And then the worst is the whole time I’m fake laughing, I begin analyzing the fake laugh. I’m like “is this a good fake laugh face? Am I showing too much teeth? Better close my lips over my gums a little…uh, oh! They might be catching on, better think of something funny to make u really laugh…quick! Uh….(DO A CALLBACK HERE FROM PREVIOUS JOKE)”
PHOBIA – Everyone’s gotta a phobia, right? (snobby girl) –“ I hate spiders” (Mikey like’s it) – “I’m scared of heights.” Mine’s a little different. Mine’s the fear of being embarrassed for someone who tells a really shitty joke in front of me and a small crowd of people. I get real nervous for people who suck at telling stories and I gotta be in front of them. I mean why does it have to be me who has to feel obligated to FAKE LAUGH? And then the worst is the whole time I’m fake laughing, I begin analyzing the fake laugh. I’m like “is this a good fake laugh face? Am I showing too much teeth? Better close my lips over my gums a little…uh, oh! They might be catching on, better think of something funny to make u really laugh…quick! Uh….(DO A CALLBACK HERE FROM PREVIOUS JOKE).” Sometimes you just wanna tell that person “Hey, cut your story now bud, because no one’s listening.” You start feeling like you’ve gotta wait for the chance to bark and tell your story. You just wait for the silence to come over so you can get a crack at it. Hopefully you’ll deliver, so you can look back at the bad storyteller and be like “Classes are on Mondays at 8:00, if you wanna learn how not to be an idiot.” You wonder if these people really have no inkling that they’re just a shithead to talk to. Like is their brain saying “Just keep talking, just keep talking. I’ve got a nugget comin soon enough.” It’s like these people just have conversations all day with their dog and think “Well, Barnaby liked this story, so I’m definitely gonna tell it this weekend.” I mean Christ! Here, here’s a quarter, fucking buy a clue man.
Above is yet another video from the vault. It is a spoof on Michael Vick during his dog fighting days. I initially had dogs as the theme, but it turned into worms when we further discussed the script with the crew. This was my first official big shoot (Hummer Sales video from yesterday was a smaller crew, but technically was my first shoot with outside parties), because it did have many players as well as some crew members in it. I think it’s kinda “eh,” but there are some many moments and inside jokes between my wife and I that make it great for us.
DAY 66: Organize all the little pieces of paper you’ve written your premises on.
Being that this is a non-creative task, I tried to make this a little more useful than just organizing some notes. I went ahead and organized a category I use for screenwriting titled COMEDY METHODS/FORMULAS/TECHNIQUES and implemented 10 of these said categorical formulas/methods/techniques into my Dale Archdale: Private Dick to the Stars feature film. I truly think comedy is a craft that must be mastered to stand out in scripts. I have been pushing this back so much, but decided now was the time. Thus, I can guarantee that the feature film we make at the end of the year will have at least 10 comedy moments that should be a guarantee laugh, should I execute it properly. These formulas are all over the small and big screens, but usually the audience doesn’t even recognize them, as they continue to just laugh throughout the method being displayed. Some common techniques are double entendres, running gags, juxtaposition of contrasting elements and the rule of threes.
I decided to post yet another video from the vault. This one was written back in ‘06 my Cleveland days and I finally shot it while living in Los Angeles in 2007 with some IO West Improvisation friends.
DAY 60: Every four years: Make a list of things you think are funny. How has this year’s list changed from the last time you made this list?
I think a lot of things are funny and dumb. When I say dumb, I mean funny dumb. Like Ben Stiller showing up in a movie, dressed as a Mexican. That’s so funny, it’s dumb. Dumb means good! Here are some things that I think are funny:
1. Extras that take their acting job overly serious
2. Directors who don’t say CUT or ACTION, but rather walk away right after a shot (sorry, I’m on a commercial shoot this week)
3. Bad commercials with bad casting, both local and national
4. Good comedic actors
5. Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Chevy Chase, Eugene Levy
6. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Mike Meyers, Adam Sandler (early years), David Spade, Chris Farley, Will Farrell, Jack Black
7. Outrageous local newscasters who take their job too serious
8. Funny animal captions
9. My ole lady and her wit
10. Matt Groening and Simpsons
11. Trey Parker and South Park
12. Denis Leary’s standup album “No Cure for Cancer”
13. John Hughes’ movies
14. The Farrelly Brothers’ movies
15. Steeler’s fans who think they have it bad
16. the Cleveland sport’s teams
17. Smart comedians who spend time with learning the art of comedy
18. People in the fashion industry
19. Descriptive, intelligent phrases that add humor to the situation
20. When everyone is thinking the same thing in a funny situation
21. Red carpet events for bush league films
NOTE: I will continue to add to this list, either in a new list or to this original piece.
My video from the vault tonight is the Restaurant Server Ad prank phone call joke. Another old school.