We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.
Brent Hoff is the editor of the DVD magazine Wholphin. Hoff explains why it's worthwhile to maintain a magazine that operates in the red. Fred Armisen is a comedian who you have to know by now. He appears on a show called Saturday Night Live and many movies you have no doubt seen. Armisen talks about his humble beginnings as a musician and how he fell into comedy. Also on the show music from the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players and a sketch from Kasper Hauser.
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Nerds unite! Again! On this episode: Brad Meltzer author of DC comic's Identity Crisis stops by to discuss his work. Sarah Silverman talks about her film Jesus is Magic, and San Francisco's Kasper Hauser perform a sketch and read some fake Craigslist postings .
If you live in the Bay Area, don't miss a special performance by Kasper Hauser tonight at the lovely, intimate Punchline Comedy Club. Come on... you can take the BART there!
The show's at 8PM, and it's part of The Onion Comedy Series.
Tickets here, or call 415-397-PLSF.
SkyMaul authors Kasper Hauser will release their next book, a parody of the New York Times wedding announcements, in 2009 (St. Martin's Press).
Would you like to be in our next book?
Send us a picture, and if we use it, we'll give you a free signed copy of the book.
We'll need a high-res digital close-up of you and your partner. (Or you and anyone else pretending to be a couple -- straight, gay, young, old, whatever).
Most of the photos will need to look like the real ones (like these).
SHOULD IT BE A FUNNY PHOTO?
You don't need to be funny in the photo. It should look real (see below).
Send your photos to email@example.com, or email if you'd like more details.
If we end up using your picture, we'll use fictional names and we will let you know before the book goes to press.
CAN I FORWARD THIS?
Please forward this message to fans of Kasper Hauser, SkyMaul, Fishing with Gandhi, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Star Wars, the zoo, Nike, museums, medicine, BMW, falcons, fishing, Tibet, dog parks, philosophy, the Olympics, or anyone you think would like to be a part of comedy history.
Jonathan Green and Gabe Miller are Emmy-nominated writers whose credits include CBS’s “Late Show With David Letterman,” Comedy Central’s “The Showbiz Show With David Spade,” and MTV’s “The Andy Dick Show.” When the Writers Guild went on strike in November, they launched a new website, “What We’re Not Writing." Rob Baedeker interviewed the pair this week.
Describe your site, “What We’re Not Writing,” and tell me how it got started.
GM: Every day we’ve been posting a description of the show or movie we’re not working on because we’re on strike. The idea was to bring the studios to their knees by letting them know the brilliance they’re missing out on.
JG: We know there are important issues at stake, but we felt like a lot of writers were starting to take themselves too seriously, as far as the contribution they’re making to society with “One Tree Hill” or whatever. So we decided to make fun of that a little.
These unwritten scripts are jokes, but have you come up with any that actually seem viable? For example, I would watch "Small Plates, Big Problems", a feature screenplay about a petty thief on the run from the mob who hides out by opening a tapas bar.
GM: Really? Do you want to buy it? 35 bucks.
JG: Most of the time, we try to play on some recognizable genre or premise or character, but we try to make the idea a little bit worse in some way. But it’s a fine line. We don’t want to get too wacky. We’d rather err on the side of “I could imagine them making that.”
GM: Sometimes we come up with the title first, usually a bad pun, and then figure out what the show or movie would be.
JG: In general, we’ve realized that it’s a lot easier to come up with ideas not to write than ideas to write.
Do you each have personal-favorite entries?
JG: Asking us to choose between these horrible ideas is like asking us to choose between our children. In that having children was also a horrible idea.
GM: I like anything where the story is set in motion by someone getting struck by lightning. So that’s been a recurring theme.
JG: But we do have a place on the site where other writers can post what they’re not writing, and some of those have been really funny. Like “Keepin’ It Zipped!”, a teen sex comedy about a bunch of guys trying not to lose their virginity.
GM: And I also liked the one-stop TV drama called “Detective Law, M.D.”
What’s the worst idea you’ve actually pitched (as non-striking writers)?
GM: We pitched a movie called “Mathletes,” which played all the conventions of a sports movie in the world of high school math. But we were told that for some reason audiences wouldn’t want to watch kids do math for an hour and a half.
JG: And we once put together a pitch for an idea a production company had, which was basically that a kid wakes up to find he has an alien penis. That was before we realized we were allowed to say no to things.
Is that true?
GM: Yes, unfortunately. The idea was something about how when you go through puberty, you feel like you’re an alien, and making that literal. But it pretty much boiled down to “alien penis.”
Has it been cathartic to step out of the industry and parody it?
JG: A lot of the writing we’ve done, especially on late-night shows, even though it’s done within the industry, has sort of a critical point of view, making fun of all the crap that’s out there. So it’s not new to us, but it’s definitely fun.
GM: Also, since back on The Andy Dick Show, we’ve loved writing characters who are overly confident idiots, and in a way, we get to be those guys on the blog.
JG: So, yes, it’s been nice to “step out of the industry” for a while, but we can’t wait to step in it again. We want to step in it so good that we can’t wipe it off, and it starts stinking up the place, and you try to take an old toothbrush to it, but at some point you realize you’re just going to have to throw out the shoes. Wait, what are we talking about?
There are rumors that the strike may be ending soon. Are you going to continue to do the blog? Has it been fun enough to keep it going, or was it just a way to kill time? Have you been getting a lot of good response to it?
JG: We’d like to keep some kind of Miller & Green website going. We don’t know exactly what it’ll be, but this has been fun to do, and a good way to make sure we write at least one joke every day. And it seems to be getting a good response, and even some press. Which is fun, too.
GM: I guess the first thing we’ll do on the blog is take a lot of credit for ending the strike. It took over 60 unwritten projects, but it worked. You’re welcome, America.
Seriously, just go. On the 18th if you can, when they'll be stretching out and performing with another favorite of mine, the acerbic "Oh, You & Your Bone Spurs." On the other hand, you shouldn't miss them on the 24th, either, with mad genius Will Franken and the very charming Apple Sisters. Buy the ticket now, and get your ass out to the show. It will be amazing. There is no better sketch group in the country than Kasper Hauser, and there is no better place to see Kasper Hauser than at the SF Sketchfest.
Our very good friends The Kasper Hauser Comedy Group are bringing their brilliant, off-kilter eye to New York City tonight and tommorow night. Kasper Hauser coming to NYC is a big enough deal for Time Out New York to have declared it "an event of magnitude."
Tonight (Thursday), they're performing their show SkyMaul. See SkyMaul CEO Jerry Ponda detail the decline of the SkyMaul company, and meet the mis-matched characters who are hoping to bring it back to the top. Features original sketches specific to the show, plus material drawn from SkyMaul the book. The show's at 10 at Ars Nova.
Tommorow (Friday), they're co-headlining The Longest Sketch Show Ever at the UCB in NY. The show starts at 10 and runs for 24 straight hours. It's part of the New York Comedy Festival. They'll be performing lots of classic Kasper Hauser sketches in a show that's completely different from SkyMaul.
Be there or be square!
While I'm busy cavorting in New York City Wednesday night (or more accurately, riding an airplane somewhere over Ohio), Kasper Hauser will be making their triumphant return to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater with SkyMaul!
The show is Wednesday night at 8PM. Tickets are only five bucks, so make your reservations now for an amazing night of comedy.
The show is a two headed beast -- material drawn from SkyMaul and brand new sketches. I've seen it three times, and I love it every time. Just wait until you see SkyMaul CEO Jerry Ponda in his trademark black turtleneck.
PS to NYCers: KH will be performing in NY at the UCB there on November 9th. Some MaxFunsters are planning a meetup. You should go.