Wednesday, November 28, 2007

work in progress

As a Boston fan, I'm psyched that the Yankees have gotten rid of Joe Torre and kept A-Rod. The Yankees are a disaster right now and the Steinbrenner solution seems to be to pile ludicrous amounts of money on the problem. And then it dawned on me: The Steinbrenners are treating the Yankees the way this Administration treats Iraq.

They keep throwing money at it but it just doesn't seem to get better. I'm sure it has nothing to do with forcing a bunch of people who hate each other to try to work as a team. And every so often, they fire the one person who knows what they're doing.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Operation Final Draft: the WGA strikes back!

I'm part of a weekly comedy show called Shoot the Messenger, which is the brainchild of Lizz Winstead.

You may have heard of Lizz; she co-created The Daily Show.

Don't mean to brag (about someone else's accomplishments). Anyway.

We're all supporters of the writers in this ongoing strike and since Wake Up World, the show-within-the-show, is a fictional, insipid morning show on a fictional right-wing "news" network, we figured the network would probably cover the strike the way networks cover the war.

So, we put together this little bit of satire - WGA EAST approved! If you like it, please feel free to pass it around it to your friends. This was put together by myself, Lizz, and Lucas Held (who plays the dink embedded with the studios); you may also notice friend and hilarious comedian, Mr. Baron Vaughn, as Davis Miles.

The video was shot and edited by the very talented Jonathan Light.

I would like to add that I made the little map and graphics for the disputed territories.

To find out what you can do to support the writers, check out:

The WGA East website


United Hollywood.

And if you're in NYC on a Monday night at 8, head on down to SoHo and check out Shoot the Messenger.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Night Fights - "G'night, Fabula"

Casanova Quinn is his own evil twin, dig?

Y'all ARE reading Casanova, right? RIGHT?

Of course you are.

Bahlactus feels your pain...he just doesn't care.

black friday

It distresses me a little to think that there are people out there - AMERICAN people - who have been up since 4 AM today, shopping. Shopping.


Good Lord, people. SLEEP IN!

In my humble opinion, no amount of savings on Choliday shopping is worth getting up at 4 in the morning.

In fact, unless you are forced out of your bed by hordes of Vandals, violent pogroms, or some equally horrific event*, there is no reasonable reason I can think of for someone to be up and about at four in the frakkin' morning. Especially the day after a major holiday. The Friday after Thanksgiving should be a mandatory "Sleep until Noon" day.

*Yes. Being up at 4 in the morning was/is/probably always will be a regular part of Army life. But if you find yourself in the Army, clearly things have already gone horrifically wrong in your life already.**

**I'm kidding.***

***not really.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

gobble gobble hey

Look, I know posting has been spotty. I know. I get it.

But it's the holiday season.

And by season, I mean the stretch of time between the 4th of July and New Year's Day.

So, let me just remind anyone in the NYC area that I'm hosting a fun show tonight at the Tank. It's called Instant Classic and you should go because it is funny.

It will also help you get through another awkward Turkey Day with your family.


The Tank @ C:U
279 Church St.
between Franklin & White
Tribeca, NYC


Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Night Fights - Equal Time

What happens when Lex Luthor and Doctor Octopus team-up, dupe the Man of Steel and the Webslinger into fighting, and zap Spider-Man with a power-enhancing raygun?


Perhaps the single greatest sucka-punch in the history of comic books.

Superman, rebuttal?

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

Bahlactus don't take no guff from no one.

Some comedy shows...

Tomorrow night, I'll be in Pittsfield with some other dirty liberals, making people laugh. And think. About things that make them laugh. Politically.

Next Wednesday, I'll be celebrating the Night-Before-Thanksgiving in style at the Tank at our special Turkey Day Instant Classic Extravaganza. More on that soon.

And if you're in the Boston area, I'll be doing three shows at the Comedy Studio: Nov. 30th, Dec. 1st, and Dec. 2nd! I need to tape a solid ten-minute set and the Comedy Studio is my home away from home. So, if you'd like to see me make with the funny AND you live in the Boston area (Ahem. Kevin), that's where you'll find me. Tell some friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dude. Cosmic Rays.

Wait, so Cosmic Rays are real?

Black holes are the most likely source of the mysterious ultra high-energy cosmic rays that bombard the planet, scientists have discovered.

Observations at the world's largest cosmic ray detector suggest the particles are emitted by huge black holes in the middle of nearby galaxies.

The findings, unveiled in Science, may solve a long-running puzzle.

And we have a world's largest cosmic ray detector?!

Cosmic rays are fast moving subatomic particles and nuclei originating from space that crash into the atmosphere.

It reminds me of the many conversations I've had with Ross, wherein he has long maintained that explaining how the Fantastic Four got their powers is annoying:

SOME GUY: Why can that guy stretch?

FANBOY: Cosmic rays.

SOME GUY: So why is that guy on fire?

FANBOY: Cosmic rays.

SOME GUY: And the invisible chick?

FANBOY: Cosmic rays.

SOME GUY: Of course. And somehow one of them becomes a rocky monster? HOW?

FANBOY: Dude. Cosmic rays.

But now, science has vindicated geekdom once more. Turns out, Stan and Jack weren't kidding around.

The magnetic fields around the black holes may speed up the cosmic rays, which would help explain their super energies.

See? SUPER energies. SUPER heroes. It all makes perfect sense now. Thanks, Science!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans' Day

To all those who have served and continue to serve:


Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Naked and the Dead

Norman Mailer. 1923-2007.

"There are two kinds of brave men: those who are
brave by the grace of nature, and those who are
brave by an act of will."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"It's that bad out there?"

"It's worse

Yeah, I just quoted The Toy. But that's what happens when writers go on strike.

Also, this happens:

YouTube explains the WGA strike

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


If you are in or near the NYC area tonight, swing on by The Tank in Tribeca for some comedy.

That is all.

The Tank @ C:U
279 Church St.
(between Franklin & White)
New York, NY

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Night Fights - Spidey Strikes!

"I'll take this one to go."

Spidey sure knows how to lay the smackdown.
Courtesy if some vintage JR, Jr.

aaaaaaaand it's official.


Television and movie screen writers said Thursday they would go on strike for the first time in nearly 20 years in a dispute over royalties.

The major sticking point is DVD royalties and potential royalties for new media.

Studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, are dead set against increasing DVD royalties.

Writers and actors have been fighting for years to reverse what they see as a huge mistake made at the dawn of home video, when no one was sure if selling movies on VHS cassettes would ever make money.

The unions agreed to ignore the first 80 percent of revenue from the tapes and later DVDs, assuming most of the money represented the cost of manufacturing and distribution.

Writers settled for just 1.2 percent of the remaining 20 percent, a figure that amounts to about 3 cents on a DVD that retails for $20.

Writers are now asking for their share to be calculated on 40 percent of revenue and argue the same formula should be used for digital distribution because studios have almost no costs associated with that technology.

Consumers are expected to spend $16.4 billion on DVDs this year, according to Adams Media Research.

By contrast, studios could generate about $158 million from selling movies online and about $194 million from selling TV shows over the Web.

I find it very difficult to see the studios' side in this thing, other than, they want to keep as much money for themselves as possible.

Four writers told The Associated Press that Writers Guild of America President Patric Verrone made the announcement in a closed-door session, drawing loud cheers from the crowd.

"There was a unified feeling in the room. I don't think anyone wants the strike, but people are behind the negotiation committee," said Dave Garrett, screen writer for the movie "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo."

Really? Writers couldn't find a better representative to talk to the press than the guy who wrote the sequel to Deuce Bigalow?

Ah, well. Solidarity.

And unemployment...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Heroic stance?

NBC's scheduled mini-series/spin-off, Heroes: Origins, has been shelved. For now.

Intended to fill the six weeks of Heroes' mid-season break, Heroes: Origins could easily be pushed through production immediately in order to fill that time and extend the drama's brand name during the expected writers' strike.

But it is not.

I hope it's because the creators are standing with the writers and are using this as a way to put some more pressure on network execs.

Since Heroes has become a flagship show on the peacock network, I'm encouraged that it won't be jamming a new spin-off, mini-series into the schedule just to ensure new Heroes-related programming hits the airwaves during a writers' strike. As is almost always the case, it's up to the big guns to make a difference if writers are to come out on top and get a better deal for the future.

I hope other major hit shows follow this lead.

Kudos to the creators over at Heroes for taking an early stand.


More thoughts on this later. For now, here's where things stand.

From the AP:

LOS ANGELES - Hollywood writers and producers broke off contract talks Wednesday night without a new deal, allowing the Writers Guild of America’s current pact to expire at midnight.

It wasn’t immediately known whether the writers will walk off the job. A call to a union spokesman was not immediately returned.

No new talks were scheduled for Thursday, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said in a statement.

Both sides had resumed negotiations earlier in the day with the help of a federal mediator, and the writers submitted a revamped contract proposal with the hope of avoiding a strike.

Details of the proposal were not released, but it appears both sides couldn’t agree on whether to give writers more money from the sale of DVDs and the distribution of shows via the Internet, cell phones and other digital platforms.

Producers have said they wouldn’t agree to anything that would restrict their ability to experiment with new Internet and other digital delivery options for films and TV shows.

Calling it “the DVD issue,” AMPTP President Nick Counter said in a statement to the writers guild that it was blocking both sides from making further progress in their talks.

“We want to make a deal,” Counter said. “But, as I said, no further movement is possible to close the gap between us so long as your DVD proposal remains on the table.”

Members of the guild recently voted to authorize their first strike since 1988 if necessary. The union has set a meeting of its 12,000 members for Thursday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Jonathan Handel, an entertainment lawyer at the Los Angeles law firm of TroyGould, said it was in the union’s interest to delay a walkout, perhaps by five days or more.

“The writers guild has two weapons: One is a strike, the other is the threat of a strike. It has no reason to toss that weapon away without using it for a bit,” said Handel, who served in the 1990s as an associate counsel for the guild.

Reality shows, news programs and reruns loom
A strike by writers would not immediately impact film or prime-time TV production. Most studios have stockpiled dozens of movie scripts, and TV shows have enough scripts or completed shows in hand to last until early next year.

After that, networks might turn to reality shows, news programs and reruns to fill the prime-time airwaves. Late-night shows wouldn’t fare as well, since they are more dependent on current events to fuel monologues and other entertainment.

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” will almost certainly be forced into reruns by a lack of fresh skits and monologues if writers walk off the job.

“If the strike happens, we are very likely looking at repeats for both shows,” said Tony Fox, a spokesman for Comedy Central, which airs the shows starring Stewart and Stephen Colbert that lampoon political doings of the day.

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” could follow.

NBC declined to comment on what would be in store for the show. But a person with the network, who was not authorized to comment and spoke on condition of anonymity, said “Tonight” and other NBC late-night shows likely would have to resort to repeats with no writing staff to generate new material.

(NBC is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

CBS declined comment on the possible fate of “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

During the last strike in 1988, Letterman, then host of NBC’s “Late Night,” and longtime “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson initially went off the air but later returned as the walkout dragged on for more than five months.

NBC also declined comment on how “Saturday Night Live” might be affected in the weeks ahead but indicated this weekend’s show would air as planned.

On the movie front, studios are said to have as many as 50 projects ready to go into production. Several major studio projects reportedly are camera-ready, with scripts that could be filmed without requiring a guild member on hand for rewrites.

Some sectors would benefit from a walkout. Network news divisions could become beehives in a protracted strike, with networks calling on news magazines such as “Dateline NBC” to fill in programming gaps.

Reality TV producers are finding an even warmer welcome at networks, while independent filmmakers foresee the possibility of new distribution doors opening.