Friday, July 27, 2007

All this and Todd Barry, too!

Comedy Tonight!

If you swing by the D-Lounge tonight at 10:30, not only will you get to see me do comedy, you'll also get:

Jen Kirkman, Bryan Olsen, and Nicole Korkolis!

And, preparing for his CD taping, TODD BARRY!

Hosted, of course, by the lovely and talented ladies of laughter: Allison and Ophira...from Ketel One With Love.

TONIGHT (and every Friday Night)
at the D-Lounge
beneath the Daryl Roth Theatre
101 East 15th Street (btwn Irving Pl and Union Sq East)
$5 / 2 drinks /endless laughs

Drink. Laugh. Be merry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Walking To Werner

If you're in the New York City area, I encourage you to head over to the Anthology Film Archives and catch a screening of Walking To Werner, a remarkable documentary film by Linas Phillips which basically follows Linas as he walks 1,200 miles from Seatle to LA to connect with his "spiritual father," filmmaker Werner Herzog.

"Phillips lovingly bears witness to random folk whose heart-tugging experiences put life into eye-opening perspective for both him and the audience... His quest for truth is spiritual, an example of striving through suffering, and it inspires the type of euphoria that may lead someone to one day walk to Linas.
-The Village Voice

I first met Linas several years ago when he used to do experimental comedy at The Comedy Studio in Cambridge. I won't even pretend that I always understood what he was doing; I would have described his comedy as more character-driven performance art than the name of full disclosure, I kind of always thought of him as "that weird comic...weirder than Eugene." Yet, the more I watched him, the more Linas always managed to find the depth and humanity in his comic characters and no matter what he did, he always created something surprising and new.

So, it's amazing that years later, he has now set out to be a filmmaker, and his first film is pretty amazing. The people and their stories start taking over the film and Linas' goal of meeting Herzog takes a backseat to the fascinating stories of the people he encounters along the way. It's definitely worth seeing.

More info on the film.

Here's a clip:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

now we're trackin'

Just in case you were wondering why we live in the future, but we don't have flying cars and jetpacks...

...well, it's because the mad scientists are busy working on that OTHER kind of future.

The one where the government can track you thanks to microchips implanted in your arm.

In design, the tag is simple: A medical-grade glass capsule holds a silicon computer chip, a copper antenna and a "capacitor" that transmits data stored on the chip when prompted by an electromagnetic reader.

Implantations are quick, relatively simple procedures. After a local anesthetic is administered, a large-gauge hypodermic needle injects the chip under the skin on the back of the arm, midway between the elbow and the shoulder.

"It feels just like getting a vaccine — a bit of pressure, no specific pain," says John Halamka, an emergency physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

He got chipped two years ago, "so that if I was ever in an accident, and arrived unconscious or incoherent at an emergency ward, doctors could identify me and access my medical history quickly." (A chipped person's medical profile can be continuously updated, since the information is stored on a database accessed via the Internet.)

Halamka thinks of his microchip as another technology with practical value, like his BlackBerry. But it's also clear, he says, that there are consequences to having an implanted identifier.

"My friends have commented to me that I'm 'marked' for life, that I've lost my anonymity. And to be honest, I think they're right."

Death Be Not Proud

Tammy Faye has passed on.

God only knows where to.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Attention all people in the NYC area!

Tonight! At 9PM! Come check out the latest and greatest comedy show to hit the Triangle Below Canal Street!

Yes, that's right. INSTANT CLASSIC. Co-Host James Patterson is tearing it up in Montreal this week, so I'll be hosting solo and I'd love to see some friendly faces in the crowd. It's a great line-up, including:

Vince Averill!
Jay Bois!
Claudia Cogan!
Dan Curry!
And special guest:
Baron Vaughn!

As always, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Wednesday, July 18th
The Tank @ C:U
279 Church Street

Great comics. Cheap booze. And shelter from the storm.*

*Now with A/C!

See you tonight!

I love you all. Especially you.

Final Crisis

It's funny, but when I see this:

I hear this:

"...and still we stand tall..."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

No, I don't plan on watching the show.

Celebreality. Will you never cease to amuse and entertain us?

Scott Baio answers the question of why he's 45 and single:

Here’s Scott’s account of his first time. “A friend’s apartment. First time…we’re on a couch that is corduroy, and I’m thinking this is really uncomfortable. This is not feeling good at all. And…and I mistook the couch for her. I was making love to a couch. Then all the sudden I found the mark…etc etc..”

By the way, that was Erin "Joanie" Moran's vagina he couldn't find.

And THAT is why Scott Baio is 45 and single.

Asked and answered.

Found via

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tales from Astoria - part XII

Somewhere out in the streets of Astoria,
right now,
someone is blasting She's Like the Wind
at maybe 125 decibels.
At least.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Friday the 13th!

And you know what that means.

Tomorrow is Saturday the 14th.

You know, there was a time from the 70's through the early 80's when you couldn't make a quirky, off-beat comedy WITHOUT Richard Benjamin.

Which makes me wonder: Is Steve Carell basically the new Richard Benjamin?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I had such big plans

What I Had Planned For Today: A Helluva Lot.

What I Actually Did Today: NOT A Helluva Lot.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Emperor Vaughn

Guess who's movin' on up to Comedy Central's Open Mic finals in LA...?

Baron Vaughn. King of the NYC Open Mic Fights.

Congrats. And God speed.

Also, good luck tonight to all my pals in Boston who are competing tonight.


More Time for Timer!

Miranda writes:

Yes, but did you survive the ABC After School Special that featured Timer?

Uh, no. I either don't remember it at all or I have completely blocked it from my memory. Terrifying.

You know, I watched all these PSA's as a kid and I don't think I ever realized that the freaky dude's name was actually Timer. I mean, I know that NOW. But when I was a kid, he was the wagon wheel "hanker for a hunk'a cheese" dude. And he was hella creepy.

What the hell is Timer, anyway?! For real. What was he supposed to be?

Here are the other PSA's:

Okay, this PSA? Is it really necessary? "Hey, kids! You better eat food or you'll die!" Maybe we were all idiots back then.

Timer kicks ass:

Then there's this one:

I admit. I actually made these a bunch of times. So many times, in fact, my mom got me Incredible Hulk Popsicle makers.

They never tasted as good as real Popsicles. NEVER. But I kept making 'em. Maybe I was an idiot.

Timer. Jeez. But seriously, what the hell is he?!

Monday, July 09, 2007

"...and yet won't spoil my dinner!"

We had the wierdest PSA when we were kids.

I love cheese as much as the next fella, but I never really thought of it as an energy booster. Just what were they putting in cheese back then?

"When my 10-gallon hat is feelin' 5 gallons flat...

...When my get-up-and-go has got up and went, I hanker for a hunk'a cheese."

CHEESE: the Viagra of the early 1980s.

Yeah. I'm THAT guy...


Everyone else in the world is right and I'M wrong...

I hope you're happy.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"PING! PING! PING!" or iRant

"I googled you last night. You're not on the internets?"

I blinked, knowing already that this conversation was bound to be transcribed on a blog. Probably my blog. Maybe both our blogs? Oh, the irony.

"Um, I have a blog...?" I couldn't hide my own disdain of having to admit to such a thing.

"No, I found that..." He didn't have to finish. I knew what he meant.

"I know. I'm not on MySpace."


"I know. I'm wrong."

I am not on MySpace and thus, I do not exist.

Long ago, I decided I wasn't into online stalking and so refused to join the online network that has launched a million friends and a thousand careers.

In trying to pitch scripts and book shows, I find that people actually prefer to do business through MySpace.

And I stubbornly refuse to join. Good call.

I hate that this is what has become of our culture. That this is what has become of me. Post-modernism has exploded into virtual meta-modernism. What was once normal, human social interaction now exists as a springboard for creating online content which then informs our real-world conversations which is then re-created and recycled once again online...

All Your Base Are Belong To Us.

Which sort of brings me to iPhones. I don't want to get all Ray Bradbury, but really? Why do I need to be able to listen to music and watch movies and YouTube clips of dancing cats on a tiny screen on a gadget that I also use to call my friends and check my e-mail?

Do I really need to be entertained AT ALL TIMES? As a culture, are we at the point where we just need constant stimulus? We can't even have conversations any more without simultaneously texting. Do I really NEED a device that does everything, all at once? Do we really need a non-stop barrage of entertainment, everywhere we go?

We're creating an iCulture of isolation under the pretense of keeping everyone connected through technology. And more and more, we rely on our gadgets to do all our work for us.

I came to a horrible realization one night when I accidentally left my apartment without my cell phone: I don't know ANYONE'S number. If something happened to me, I could call my folks (who live in another state)...and my own phone. That's it. I don't even know my best friend's number. I would be unable to reach ANYONE without my own phone, the keeper of all my contacts.


We're at the point where our TVs can think and our cars can park themselves!

This is how the machines take over.

I dunno. I realize I'm rambling like some kind of curmudgeonly paranoid lunatic living in a Montana shack. But sometimes, I want to be off the grid. Sometimes, I like being off the grid.

Put down the iBox. Go outside. Look around. Live in the real world. Just for a little bit.

Sigh. I have to join MySpace, don't I?

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Filthy Hippies!

Do you believe in science?

How about reality?

Do you believe that the global climate might - in fact - be changing for the worse? Perhaps you've been feeling a bit warmer this summer.

Wanna do something about it?

You don't even have to do much to help. Just pledge to make a small change in the way you live.

Today, on the seventh day of the week, on the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventh year of the new millennium... can try to make a change.

Check out Live Earth.

"More Than Meets The Eye"

The Transformers movie?

I was always more of a G.I.Joe guy than a Transformers fan, so I had no real expectations, but this big, summer spectacle hit the right geek notes and even managed a few nice little character flourishes.

And although he's being humble about it, I will gladly give all the credit for any sparkling nuggets of intelligence in the flick to John Rogers.


I especially liked the skillful way in which a sharp distinction was made between the hooah grunts of the on-the-ground military and the not-quite-villainous-but-misguided secretive military industrial complex led by John Turturo. I'm gonna go out on a limb and give Rogers some geek creds for that smooth move. Because, you know, he hates America so much.

Other highlights:

The Middle East battle sequences were some of the best in the movie.

Big Michael Bay 'splosions.

Julie White as Sam's mom was hilarious. Kudos to the whole team for making the human family stuff funny and not so annoying.

Megan Fox. Nice job, casting folks.

And of course, as soon as you hear Peter Cullen booming, gravelly voice say, "I am Optimus Prime..."

...well, if you ever watched the cartoon as a kid, you'll get little geek goosebumps.

Also, the (machine-)man-crush friendship between Bumblebee and Sam totally works and melts your geek heart.

Although, it is a bit disconcerting to think that Sam and Mikaela are totally getting busy on Bumblebee's hood. While all the Autobots watch.


I mean, I know they were going for that sentimental/poignant/happy ending, but it still leaves the audience with an almost creepy image of two teenagers snuggling on the hood of their giant robot friend, using him as a love seat, while automated alien robots silently leer at them in the setting sun. Creepy.

Yeah. There were some logic problems, not the least of which was - aside from giving Sam some end-of-the-movie heroics - why would HE have to run the Cube to the top of the building when the GIANT FLYING ROBOTS are far better suited for the job?

And, um, why would they keep Megatron and the Cube in the same place? Seems like a pretty big risk, if something went wrong. Moreover, while I love the idea of a secret base under the Hoover Dam...come on. You need to keep Megatron frozen. Why would you bring him to the desert?

Also, I kind of wanted Megatron to be a little more well-defined. And a little more distinctive.

By the way, Jazz getting ripped in two? The black dude always dies...

But still, a great summer action flick with plenty of big 'splosions and giant robots kicking ass and some genuinely nice character moments. Oh, and it's FUN.

Now, I know some conservatives have jumped on the bandwagon because the Autobots have come here to protect humanity from evil. Some have pointed out that Optimus Prime's belief that "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" sounds just like the President!

Except, that's from 20 years ago. From the cartoon. You know, that thing that caters to children. And expresses ideas in universal, simplistic, easy-to-understand terms. For children.

I think it's less that the cartoon character speaks like "W" and more like "W" speaks like a cartoon character.

At least he picked a good one to model himself after...

Also, at the end of the movie, the government SHUTS DOWN the super-secret Sector 7 for causing more problems than they, you know, Rogers kind of reminds you where he stands on the issue.

While we're on the subject, John Rogers is taking donations for Fisher House, which provides homes for the families of wounded service members. He's matching donations.

Read his stuff. Make a donation. Support a good cause. Do some good.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Freedom Fest!

Hey, people who live in or around New York City! Come on out to Tribeca tonight for:


With hot dogs, drinks, dancing, party games (of course)
and the comedy of BENARI POULTEN & LEE CAMP.

Friday July 6th (the President's actual birthday)
8pm (The President's actual bedtime)
The Tank @ C:U - 279 Church Street
Free - like Iraq*
(* There may be hidden costs)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"Whenever any Form of Government becomes is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..."

America is a country born from revolution. It is our very nature to question authority and rebel against those who seek power over us. Our forefathers basically endured injustice until they felt compelled to do something about it. They stood up to King George and said, to paraphrase another great American, "I takes all I can stands, 'til I can't stands no more."

Imagine how different the world would be if the Colonists just kept taking the abuse...

So on this, the day we celebrate America's independence from tyranny, let's take a moment to reflect on just what led the nation's founders to spark a revolution. Lucky for us,
they were pretty articulate. I'd say they made a pretty good case for themselves. I've bolded some interesting points that jumped out at me...

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Happy 4th of July! Enjoy the burgers and hot dogs of freedom!

Monday, July 02, 2007