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Jim O’Grady on “Respect”

November 6th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

My friend Jim O’Grady is a Moth GrandSLAM contest winner — a great storyteller and a great guy. He’s been a reporter for the New York Times, and works for some mysterious think tank that he says is “physically located on Wall Street, but in no way associated with finance.”

The thing about these story shows is that they let anybody onstage, which gives the show its spirit and beauty. It keeps it from being the province of writers and actors and “who do you know” and lets the voice of the people come through. It also allows people to weep onstage and do some lame standup comedy from time to time. It’s always a crap shoot, and the surprises are the best part.

Jim’s reliably awesome — he has his nights when he kills, sure. But even when he’s not at his best, he’s still really really good, and whenever he gets picked to come to the stage the audience is in for a treat.

Here he is at a Moth StorySLAM this summer, on the theme of “Respect.”

You can see a story by The Moth’s Juliet here:

Juliet Respects ‘Mannequin Dan’

And two of my stories here:

Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band
Reverend Al Sharpton Hates Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band

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I Have Seeeen Things…

September 6th, 2008 by D.Billy

I cannot even explain the unholy love that I feel for these episodes of Welcome to My Study from Mitch Magee:


Coincidentally — by which I mean “I discovered this only after I told everyone I know about these videos” — Mitch and our pal Eliza are friends, and have worked together on a few projects, such as Sexual Intercourse American Style and Why We Don’t Have Our Own Show.

More things in Mitch’s study drawers on his YouTube page.

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Bang Your Head and Brush Your Teeth : Muppets Go Metal

August 21st, 2008 by D.Billy

There’s just something beautiful about the cultural dissonance created when something saccharine and innocent meets something…well… not.

Case in point – these stellar YouTube mashups, which pair old Muppet Show and Sesame Street footage with death metal songs:

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Big Bill Hell’s : F*ck You, Baltimore!

July 21st, 2008 by D.Billy

I lived in Baltimore for a couple of years after grad school, so when someone sent me this video, it truly warmed my heart: (NSFW)

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Captain America Brushes His Teeth With Whiskey.

July 1st, 2008 by D.Billy

It’s a tough time for Captain America. Advances in military technology have made a jacked-up dude with discus skills all but obsolete on the battlefield, the current U.S. administration is one that ol’ Steve Rogers might not be too stoked to shill for, and his rumored cameo in the Louis Leterrier / Ed Norton Incredible Hulk film was cut. And he was also assassinated last year, which will put anyone out of sorts. So until the upcoming Avengers movie gives Cap something worthwhile to do, we’re just going to assume that he’s sitting around his apartment in his robe and Al Gore post-2004 election beard, swigging the fire water and staring longingly at a picture of the Red Skull in front of the TV.

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Coal: Cheap, Abundant, Clean

June 13th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

I’ve posted here before about the Free Love Forum — they’re friends of mine, and the folks who made the widely popular MS Paint video. I saw them last night as a part of Sketchfest at the UCB Theatre, and they just killed.

They screened this video in between live sketches. It’s a pitch-perfect takeoff of alternative-energy commercials and American ignorance … a TV ad for coal energy.

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Tending Romantic Zombie Bar, Greg and Lou Present Lou and Greg

May 6th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Gorilla in his undies

I was an extra in the pilot for a zombie romantic comedy this weekend — another one of my friend Eliza’s zany schemes to dominate Internet comedy. We filmed at Planet Rose Karaoke in the East Village, a small karaoke bar painted bright red with a lot of zebra-print furniture and a leopard-print carpet filthy enough to shock John Waters.

It looked like everyone in the bar had been simultaneously kidnapped by aliens at closing time the night before. There were beer bottles everywhere, the bar was all sticky, and a lashing of vomit festooned the edge of the men’s toilet. Using my highly trained sense of party forensics, I deduced that it’s pretty fun place to be on a Saturday night.

I played the bartender in a club scene where this guy nervously navigates a rebound after a bad breakup with a nightmare woman who talks in baby talk, drinks Sprite and tequila and hates listening to music. We spent all day shooting a scene that will probably take five minutes to watch, tops. We did a lot of taking and retaking, hearing the same lines again and again. That’s how it goes when you’re shooting pretty much anything — the difference being that since everyone on camera was a really good improv comedian, each take was funny in a different, distinct way while still using the same old words.

That’s why I love doing Eliza’s shoots — I always met really cool people. Like my new friend Lou.

Lou’s one half of a comedy duo called Greg and Lou Present Lou and Greg. You might recognize ‘em from their video Office Pornwhich did pretty well on Digg a little while back.

They’re putting on a show tomorrow night at UCB, too — here’s the info:

Greg and Lou Present Lou and Greg in: The Fuck-It List
Written by Greg Burke, Lou Perez, and AJ Morales

Thursday May 8th, 6:30 PM at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
307 West 26th street @ 8th Ave (map here)

Tickets are $5, reservations here

I’d be there my damn self if I weren’t booked solid already, for real. Lou was cracking me up all day Sunday, and he’s sure a nice young man who deserves five lousy bucks. Here’s Office Porn, just as a taste — more videos here.

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Live-Action Smurf Action: Post SFW, Link Not

March 6th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Papa Smurf Works It Out

To me, the Smurfs were an ambient childhood experience like the smell of apple juice, Cheerios, and urine. They were something I never consciously stepped towards or moved away from, they were just kinda around for a long time, and then gradually faded away.

The Smurfs were on for four hours every Saturday morning, and I never knew anyone who begged their Dad to set up the Betamax to tape the Smurfs. Kids just ended up watching the Smurfs the way that drunk people end up eating at Denny’s. Nobody does that on purpose either.

But live-action Smurf-themed porn … that’s something to SEE.

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Hug And Run Screaming: “Shameless” at UCB Theater

February 25th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Eliza Skinner is performing her one-woman show “Shameless!” for one night only at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater on Wednesday, February 27th.

Time Out New York said that

Both in her writing and in her nuanced performance, Skinner wrenches humor from awkward circumstances and cringe-inducing comments … And you will love her.

It’s true. Eliza plays a catty girl at a nightclub, a young mother who seduces teenaged boys, and a mom whose need to be adored just barely exceeds her need to seem cool. All three characters are as lovable as they are loathsome. Their neediness is colossal — you just want to give them each a great big hug but run screaming at the same time.

Eliza just posted another video from “Shameless” on Funny or Die. Her other video from the same show got over 4000 Diggs and turned her into a weird kind of internet celeb when it posted a month or so ago … I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happened again.

If you look carefully, you’ll see that the video was done all in one take.”Shameless” is not to be missed … it’s hilarious and heartbreaking, and you’ll know that soon you can turn to your friends at a party and say “yeah, I saw her back when …”

Archives Posts

Free Love Forum Free Show: Tuesday, 2/26, 6PM

February 25th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Free Love Forum, mentioned here previously, will be performing a free show Tuesday, February 26th at 6 PM at the People’s Improv Theater. They (and some other groups who are thus far unnamed) will be auditioning for a chance to perform at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival.

I’ve never seen these jokers live before, only snickered at them while hunched over a flickering laptop alone in a darkened room. This should be a great chance to snicker with a bunch of strangers in a larger darkened room, with slightly better posture. And, it’s FREE!

Here’s another video, just as a taste:

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