Tag Archive: comedy


 

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The comedy stuff I’ve done hasn’t really been consolidated into one piece, until now.

My buddy Jeebz likes to edit, so we tried to tone a few of the parts I’ve played over the years into a ‘comedic timing/hit the punchline’ highlight reel.

As far as the intro/outro, hand to God, as we were in the middle of it, my only thoughts were ‘Everyone is going to expect me to touch on this, let’s use it to set the tone.’

Only now as a passive observer do I see it and go, ‘Huh, I guess I can officially scratch playing this character on screen off my bucket list.  Cool.’

Anyway, enjoy!

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I’ve lost track of where this brother is at the moment, but this still cracks me up.  Language…

Anatomy of a Great Prank…

 

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A couple weeks back, I ended up telling one of my friends about the Greatest Prank that by the Grace of God was not pulled on me (and don’t ask, either you know that story or you don’t), then over the weekend another homie sent me this clip which has had me randomly in stitches all week, so I thought I’d share.

Here are the elements of a great prank, in my humble opinion.

1. Mean enough to get a reaction, not so mean that the victim won’t ever speak to you again (unless they’re the extra sensitive type)

2. Anyone (in theory) can pull it off.  I mean really, how much money did this one cost? A decent lunch for the Facilities Manager of the building?

3. All the rest of us not involved should laugh uncomfortably.  I was sitting in the comfort of my home, years later I imagine when I watched this, and as soon as the lights went out, I audibly said, ‘Nope!’

Last but not least, a very special shout out to homeboy at the end of the clip, who decided to cut his Man Card up into a million pieces, then get a million matches to individually light each of those million pieces on fire.  You’re on the list with the guy in school who tried to jump through a Taco Bell window as ‘We’ll be 75 years old and you still won’t live that one down.’

Anyway, enjoy!

 

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I already hate my IPod for going into a John Mayer mix as I write this.   Anyway…

Among the many good to great things that I’ll take away from this calendar year, near the top has to be being a part of Natalie Portman: the Musical.  It’s a funny script written by a talented writer, that really comes alive with a great cast of talented comedians who each brings something to the table.  The reviews have always backed this point up, but it’s true: the best comedians in the world can have off nights, or can write a joke that’s funny on paper, but doesn’t work in a live setting.  Beyond one infamous night where the majority of the crowd probably didn’t understand what we were saying (long story), the show always works.  And the great part of live performance is it feels like a new show every night because different people find different things hilarious.  It’s a fun, relatively low pressure hour and a half.

For the revival I spent a lot less time researching my characters and more time learning about the people (not as actors) who I’ve been working with.  I want to say it was Robert Downey’s character in Tropic Thunder who brought up how every play and movie you do becomes its own little family unit for a little while just by nature.  You spend a lot of time with the same people and you become more comfortable around each other and see everyone’s quirks and appreciate what makes each of these people unique.  If you’re really lucky, you might even like them!  (No, really, that is NOT a given.  Think about your family or where you work.)  So long story short, I have some type of attachment to everyone you’ve seen me share the stage with at some point this winter, I genuinely like all of them, and hey, if we work together again down the line too, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

Man, I’m rambling tonight, what was the point I was trying to get to?  Oh yeah!  Last shows of the year Friday and Saturday night!  Come get your laugh on, and maybe even shed a few sentimental tears.  Not me of course, because I don’t cry, but you get the gist of it…

http://chromolume-theatre.com/natport.html

 

So how was my first run on an L.A. stage?  It’s been great.  Truly.

Earlier this week, I was in more of my natural element: a television soundstage.  12 hour day (usually the minimum), even with digital technology, at least 45 minutes between each setup to (hopefully) capture five minutes of usuable footage.

You use the same toolbox to build a character, but the stage experience is different in every other important way.  You’re on for two hours every night the show plays, ideally the person in the back row has to hear every word and see every gesture as clearly as the person in the front row.  You space out and forget your line or your cue, you come up with something else immediately or hope your scene partner bails you out.

The above is just stage acting; now let’s talk about the play I’m in.  First with live comedy, have to stay in character.  Drama is the same sure, but when you’re telling jokes, and your scene partner loses it, or you just get the giggles, you have to commit.  In this cast/show, I am the ‘Host’, so I have the easiest load to carry.  In sports/music terms, keep the show going, don’t take anything off the table.  If the audience wants to laugh, let them laugh; if they’re ‘too’ quiet, up the improv ante to try to warm them up.  In the audition and rehearsals I did impersonations of Denzel and Morgan Freeman, but let’s be honest: Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock are naturally more ‘theatrical’, and if you’ve seen the show, they work better for the ‘role’.  I still have no ambition to do stand up, but after doing this show I have to admit I feel more confident I ‘could’ do it, even if I was telling killer jokes in front of a sold out crowd who refused to laugh (which happened one night during our run).

In character, I’m supposed to be at the Theatre ‘because I owed someone a favor’, I’m supposed to be surly and undersell the jokes and the talent of the rest of cast, just in every way possible, I’m pissed to be roped into the show.  Basically, the exact opposite of how I truly feel, so you could say I have the hardest acting job in the cast. (See what I did there?)

But seriously, the reviews back it up, everyone who has come down has backed this up: it’s a fun show with a very talented cast.  Once in a while I betray my character and smile, but it’s still fun to watch the scenes play out, and to hear the songs sung.  Out of character, I’ve very much become a fan of everyone in the cast (and crew) individually, and hope to work with each of them again.

And Natalie, honey, if you’re not campaigning for Obama this weekend, you should get a sitter and come down.  I’ll comp you front row…