Monday, July 31, 2006

New Dates!

Here's my shows for the next week.Come see one. Sometimes I am very good.

"The World" Improv Comedy Cafe 53rd and 8th Ave.

Monday, July 31 TONIGHT
Tuesday, August 1 8:00 & 10:00 p.m.
Friday, August 4 midnight

Laila Lounge, Williamsburg
Thursday August 3 8:00

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Steve Martin and Johnny Cash

I love it when my heroes meet. I have a picture of Jack Nicholson and Bob Dylan on my guitar case since 1989. That's why I love this. It's not the funniest thing in the world but you have to admit the still picture alone is awesome.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Lack of Ettiquette

Apparantly, my entire performance was taken out of "Laughing Matters" last night. Screw it, nobody watched anyway. It's public access. I went to "The World" last night and killed. That's what matters.

Want to see what else matters? Come to 265 McKibbins in Brooklyn at 9:00 to see Ed Murray, Lara Yaz and Tim Warner in "Lack of Ettiquette". Sue Ball will be hosting. It couldn't be a better night if I was blowing you.

I'll be videotaping the proceedings on my trusty HD camera. I also took the promo shots for the show and even I think they came out pretty well.

Friday, July 28, 2006

"Laughing Matters" Tonight!

The public access show we did is airing tonight on MNN. It went really well so see it. The last one was available for download later and if that happens again, I'll give you a permanent link. But, just like Manny Manhattan's show, you can go to Mnn at 11 tonight and click on Channel 57. We'll be there. (Or, if you actually, live in Manhattan, you can watch on the same channel, same time. Imagine that!)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Play Cole Hits 10,000!

We've never been featured on youtube (which would guarantee us at least 100,000 hits) but all on our own, we've managed to crack 10,000 views! Let's see how it breaks down:

Frank and the Steins: 221

Lunching With Larry 1: 41

Lunching With Larry 2: 35

Lunching With Larry 3: 25

Andrew's stand-up:84

Jon's stand-up:1013

Lara's stand-up:400

Douggie Green: 150


Stevens File:82

Job Interview:758

Cmon Cmon:309

Tension Envelopes:464

Planet of the Apes:531

Blind Travelogue 1: 205

Blind Travelogue 2:95

Blind Travelogue 3: 143


Muppet Show: 4354(PLUS another 1300 on google video!)

Obviously Muppet Show has been the runaway hit of the videos, and rightly so. We've been working hard to bring the level of our performances up to those plastic dolls. "Moses" got picked up by a few religious blogs and saw a huge spike in traffic. And for some reason over 1000 people have wanted to see my stand-up.

Thanks to everyone who's been a part of these videos. It's been a lot of hard work but judging from the response it's been worth it. Please feel free to send these videos around to anyone you know. Youtube makes it very easy to link or email videos and we'd love some of these to become viral.

(by the way Frank and the Steins is now also up on google video. Check it out if you want to see it again.)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An Open Letter to Saddam Hussein

Saddam, I've been keeping up with your trial and now I'm convinced. You're bipolar. Look at the facts. Your threats and protests are getting less focused and poorly thought out. And let's face it, you have a lot of time to polish your threats. You protest that the Americans brought you to court against your will. That's true. We also took you out of your spider hole against your will. Your will hasn't meant much since 2002.

And calling your lawyer an "enemy of the people"? Not a great defense move. Especially when your lawyers have a habit of getting murdered. You need friends, Saddam. That guy is the only one talking to you right now. That guy and me. Be nice.

Maybe that 18 day hunger strike wasn't the best strategy. I think you're lightheaded. And cranky. Your rants used to sound supervillainy. Now you just sound like you live under the 59th St. bridge.

Sorry Saddam, just because you refer to yourself in the third person does not mean you're Dr. Doom. You're just proving to the world that you're kinda fucked up. And, as I've mentioned before, that's all we want.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

On Location

Since I wasn't in San Diego this weekend, I went upstate to shoot an independent film (digital video actually) for Ed Murray. It's the first thing I've ever shot that I didn't write so it was fun simply concentrating on cinematography. The script Ed and Emily wrote is darker, more erudite and way creepier than anything I could have come up with.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

San Diego Comic Convention

I was planning to go and yet I'm not there. Why? Well, it's a long story that involves people saying, "yeah yeah, totally, we'll go " for a year and then blowing me off last week. Those people are all at the convention. But I'm not bitter.

To prove it, I'll show you some coverage online here, here and here. Next year I'm booking my own room.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Blackout Day 5

The big news is they're actually reporting it. Took them long enough.

The blackout of 2003 lasted about 18 hours. People still talk about it like the Kennedy assassination. But since this one is localized in my neighborhood, no one cares five days in. Yesterday Bloomberg said he didn't need to go to Queens. Someone must have told him how unbelievably callous that was cause he was in Astoria that afternoon, not talking to anyone.

Renee and I went down to Rockaway to visit my family. We hadn't had time to stop by since Father's Day so I guess staying away from the house is paying off.

I actually saw a light go on in my house this morning. I would have investigated further but I had to leave for work in a torrential thunderstorm. Fun week.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

There's still no power in my neighborhood so I've had time to think about this movie.

In a word: overblown.

The first picture was a real surprise to me. It was fun, fast-paced and surprisingly tight. It did everything the genre ever did well and did it better. This is not the first movie.

How do you make a good sequel? You have to take things one step further to top the first film. This movie takes too many steps. Instead of evil pirates with a flash of the supernatural, we get giant slimy cg sea monsters. As main characters.

I could buy Geoffrey Rush turning into a skeleton in the moonlight. It was handled tastefully and in small enough doses that it was a delight each time he transformed. But I can't buy Bill Nighy as a dripping fish man with venting tentacles. I don't believe him and therefore I'm not scared of him. Ditto for the crab men and squid men and starfish men. There is no way these creatures live in the same universe as the first film.

And the action also goes over the line. While the sequences are choreographed well and briskly edited, they would kill a human body in thirty seconds flat. I know action movies usually make their heroes superhuman. But there's a difference between Indiana Jones knocking a statue through a wall and Indy jumping out of a plane with a life raft. One stretches believablity, the other walks right over it. Guess which route Dead Man's Chest takes?

The characters get some good moments and we learn a little more about Jonny Depp's backstory but it's not enough. There's simply too little story in this film. Dead Man's Chest was written and shot alongside Part 3 and it shows. I get the feeling they had some more great ideas and saved them for the next installment. It didn't work for the Matrix, it didn't work for Back to the Future (though I like Part 2) and it doesn't work here.

I've always had a theory that you can't make a sequel to a comedy. When you want to top an action movie you make it bigger, louder and more expensive. To make a comedy sequel you have to make it funnier. And that's nearly impossible. The first film was a comedy, in the way Men in Black or Hellboy was a comedy. It took the threats seriously but had fun with the characters and tone. This one puts a serious tone on the characters for some odd reason. It assumes we'll have fun with the ramped up action. I didn't. I just left depressed and skeptical.

But dammit, the last minute makes me want to see Part 3.

Read what the other critics have to say.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I've got no power.

The temperature shot up to about 100 degrees this week and Con Ed couldn't handle it. We noticed an issue Monday night when the dvd player ran with no sound. The lights looked like one bulb had burnt out. We spent the evening trying to watch dvds on the laptop. It runs fine on the battery but overheated almost instantly. I read and went to sleep.

I'm freelancing again so I got to spend the day in Manhattan under central air. It's the first time I've been happy to work in an office in a long time. It's not like I could watch the five hours of "Star Trek" on SpikeTV anyway.

That night, Renee and I decided to avoid the house and went to the movies instead. We saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest but I'll get to that tomorrow. On the way home the sky exploded with lightning. The rain poured down. All the street lights were out so driving was a bit hairy but we were glad the heat wave had broken. Maybe the power would return.


Turns out the storm did more damage, overloading power lines and darkening LaGuardia airport. Since we live five minutes from LaGuardia, we had nothing. We slept in the living room and took off early this morning.

Between the the limited trains, the slower service and the overloaded buses, it took me an hour and a half to get into work today. I'm at the Improv tonight so my house has another fifteen hours to come back to life. Let's see if it does. I can deal with the loss of air conditioning, light and refrigerated food. But if I can't get my tv back on, I'll go a little squirrely.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Amazing Screw On Head

Mike Mignola will probably go down in history as the man who created Hellboy and rightly so. It's a beautiful, creepy, funny, intense book that's just as original today as when it was created in 1994.

But Mignola has done other things. He's drawn Batman and Superman and the X-Men and Spider-Man and done great work with all of them. He also created another book; The Amazing Screw-On Head. And Sci-Fi made a pilot of it.

Here's where it gets interesting. I could tell you it's a great show because it has all the atmosphere of Hellboy with dialogue that sounds like The Tick. I could tell you that it captures the look of Mignola's art when even the team creating the Hellboy animated movie said it couldn't be done. I could tell you that it stars Paul Giamatti, David Hyde Pierce and Molly Shannon. And all of this would be true.

But what makes this show notable is the way Sci Fi is marketing it. They commissioned the pilot, they bought it and they're going to air it next week. But they're still waiting to see if it will become a series. This is where you come in. You can see the entire pilot (yes, the entire pilot) now on Sci Then you can fill out a survey to help decide whether it will get a full order of episodes. This is all before the pilot even airs.

Sci Fi is at a critical point in its development. After years of airing straight to video movies that couldn't make it to video, they finally have a critical and commercial success with the new Battlestar Galactica. And they want to keep going in that direction, with smarter, sharper, more interesting properties. Is Amazing Screw On Head a part of that direction? Go and tell them yourself.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Bill just posted a long article about World War III. His position (and Air America's) is that it's already begun with hostilities between the Israelis and the Hezbollah reaching an all time high. It's only a matter of time before the US gets involved with aid, then troop support, then combat.

Bill maps out the strategies of all the major powers over the next few months but he doesn't take into account what will happen here. Let's just look at our military. For the last four years, we've been at war. We've left a lot of troops in Afghanistan, looking for Bin Ladin. The way O.J.'s looking for the real killers. Nothing against their gumption, it's just that they don't have the resources to do the job completely.

Our resources are all divested in Iraq. Because Saddam looked at us cross eyed. Bush used Afghanistan to invade Iraq and never had any plan to occupy it. They actually believed invading forces would be welcomed by all the disparate factions in that country. Cause Bush didn't have a big black moustache.

We're four years in Iraq too. We've lost 2,000 soldiers. And we don't have the budget to keep the ones we got. Remember the stories about soldiers not having enough armor or ammunition? Or not being allowed to go home after their tour was up? That's still happening. The only reason my cosuin Sean got home in a year was because he signed up for an extremely dangerous detail.

Bush has also spent the last six years giving big business tax breaks and you $300. We went from the biggest surplus to the biggest deficit within his first term. Our economy ain't too great either so there's less taxable income to pull from the middle class. They haven't seen a raise in three years while expenses continue to rise. Expenses like all that precious oil.

Now comes a huge war. Several countries in the region have only one thing in common; they hate the US. Hell, everybody hates the US. Our president has an approval rating in the 30's for God's sake. When the temperature is in the 30's you cover all your exposed skin.

A lot of the forces in the Middle East have a vested interest in watching us fall. They know we're stretched too thin. And they know we're not going to pull out of any country any time soon. So if a few thousand more US troops are killed, all the better for them.

Rome fell because it was beseiged on all sides while a corrupt senate and a mad emperor held sway. Sound familiar? When Bush was reelected I predicted that the US would collapse in 2007. Silly me. I thought we'd collapse from within.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Today 3 p.m.

I love comedy. But more than that, I just fucking love comedians.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Religious Right Vs. Ed

This is the funniest thing I've seen online in ages.

I've mentioned Ed Murray's blog before. I've always considered him a strong comic whose career is just getting rolling. I take that back. Now all I want is to be the head writer on whatever show the networks kill each other to give him.

Ed picked up a story from one of his friends about a right-wing anti abortionist extremist blog. The blogger was railing against the pro death liberal media and quoted an inflammatory article by the Onion.

Yes, that Onion.

Hilarious on its own. But what makes Ed a genius was that he took the extra step. He contacted the guy. First he was going to expose him for the myopic, obtuse Cro Magnon he is. But then Ed says no. He swings the pendulum the other way. He poses as an even more right wing religious nut and attacks the blogger for making light of his beliefs. At one point he says, and I quote:

I assume your other articles are responses to pieces from MAD magazine, or maybe one from National Lampoon ...

Now there's an email war brewing. I bet Ed keeps it going for at least two weeks. And you better be there for each round.

(And for the record, I'm actually pro life. I'm just anti-moron.)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Frank and the Steins

We're all real happy with this one. We shot in high def. We rented a studio. We bought costumes. We got Hector Luis and Lara Yaz. And it is still the dumbest thing we ever came up with.

Check out our new band; Frank and the Steins.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Back on Manny Manhattan News tonight!

Remember when I was on public access/online a few months ago? Manny Manhattan put my set at New York Comedy Club on his show and it wasn't my best. Well, it seems I'm on again. I have no idea when he taped this or what I did but if you want to know, go to MNN and click on ch. 57 at 1 a.m. tonight.

By the way, I'm still waiting to hear when "Laughing Matters" will air. That set did go well and I'd like you to see it.

And since we're on the subject, I've been appearing at the Improv. A lot. So much that it's not worth promoting each date here (we've got Johnny Cash albums to talk about!) but here are my shows for the next two weeks. They're all at the Improv Comedy Cafe on 53rd and 8th Ave. Come by and say you're going to see me. You'll get in half price for a show with real headliners, great comics and a reasonable running time. Oh, look, there's one tonight.

Wed. Jul 12 2006 8:00P

Thurs. Jul 13 2006 10:00P

Fri. Jul 14 2006 10:30P and 12:00A

Wed. Jul 19 2006 8:00P

Fri. Jul 21 2006 10:30P

Fri. Jul 28 2006 12:00P

Sun. Jul 30 2006 10:00P

Mon. Jul 31 2006 10:00P

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

American V: A Hundred Highways

Johnny Cash died in 2003, less than a year after releasing "American IV: The Man Comes around." That album was powerful, the sound of a man looking death square in the eye. It sounded like the final words from a booming voice. I'd heard rumors there was another album but with Johnny's health failing, there was no way it could be as good as "The Man Comes Around".

It's better. Where "The Man Comes Around" was Cash fighting with his last ounce of strength, "A Hundred Highways" is a man at peace. He faced death and come to terms with it. This is a spiritual record, much like "My Mother's Hymn Book" in the "Unearthed" box set. People forget that underneath the tough, brash, impulsive exterior of Cash was a soulful, religious man (it's something the movie forgot, too). This album showcases that side and provides something I never expected; closure.

Thank Rick Rubin. It was his idea fifteen years ago to record an acoustic album for Johnny. That idea has become five albums, a box set and a live special with Willie Nelson. But it wasn't just inspiration. It's also Rubin's choices and guidance that makes these albums resonate. Cash was a songwriter but he wasn't afraid to do covers, whether they were from U2 or the civil war. The songs always go for emotion over genre. Besides, any song Johnny Cash sings is instantly a Johnny Cash song.

Rubin always knew how to use Johnny's voice. In the liner notes, Rick says that some days the voice was the old man in black, other days it was weaker and vulnerable. Rubin always had songs that fit. Compare the proclamation of "God Will Cut You Down" to the introspective "If You Could Read My Mind".

The American series caught my attention early on and if it's truly over (if there are truly no more rarities to release) it's one of the high points in my cd collection. If anyone wants to understand Johnny Cash, this is where I'll take them.

Read what other critics are saying about "A Hundred Highways".

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Louis CK

Louis CK is a phenomenal comedian. I've only seen the pilot for "Lucky Louie" and it has all the right ingredients, if not the result.

Either way, here's an interview is the most in-depth look I've ever seen at a comedian's career. Every high and low is included. Learn how you're perceived when you get Conan O'Brien off the ground but leave before it's successful. Experience writing a show with Dana Carvey, Charlie Kaufman and Stephen Colbert that dies insitantly. Find out what happens when your first motion picture is "Pootie Tang".

Read the interview.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


The nominations are in. And the funny little number occurs halfway down the article:

The nominees for best comedy series are "Arrested Development," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Office," "Scrubs" and "Two and a Half Men."

I'm sorry. Two and a Half Men?

I watched that for four months only because it was broadcast in widescreen. It's a serviceable sitcom but next to "Arrested Development" or "Curb Your Enthusiasm" it's an embarrassment.

Oh, and Charlie Sheen is up against Larry David for best comedic actor. Excuse me while I swallow some broken glass.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Superman Returns

Now I know why Bryan Singer left X-Men.

As I mentioned in my X-Men 3 review, that movie was created under a cloud. Bryan Singer was unceremoniously dumped after deciding to make Superman first. At the time, I was pretty bummed. I'm a bigger X-Man fan than a Superman fan and I wanted to see Singer close out that trilogy before starting a new franchise. It didn't happen and we got the just-okay X3. Now we get to see if Superman was worth it.

Singer made the right decision. You can tell in the amount of passion he's poured into it. He loves the Richard Donner films. He LOVES them. There are so many nods to the Christopher Reeve era it's dizzying. Glenn Ford's picture on the mantle in Smallville. Marlon Brando's old footage in the Fortress of Solitude. Lois Lane's bad spelling. It all goes right back to the 1978 original.

The performances go back there too. Brandon Routh isn't just playing Clark Kent; he's playing Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent. Kevin Spacey's casual, whimsical approach to Luthor is Gene Hackman's approach to Luthor. Kate Bosworth doesn't imitate Margot Kidder, though. Probably because she's not insane.

Of course, the special effects dwarf anything done in the Christopher Reeve era. Back then, everyone was excited that they could put Superman on a blue screen. Now Superman flies with a moving camera. You get him in flight from all angles. Not only can he fly, he can catch a flaming airplane, something I've wanted to see since John Byrne's Man of Steel (though Bruce Timm took a good crack at it). And the shots of Superman's x-ray vision are downright beautiful. The cg does however go a touch too far in the backgrounds for my taste. Metropolis looks like Peter Jackson's Manhattan and not as lifelike as the rest of the picture.

It's a really good film. Not great like Batman Begins or even X2 but really good. That's the fault of the character more than the film. Everyone likes Superman, but no one I know loves him. Not in the way they love Spider-Man, Batman or Wolverine. Those characters have flaws which make them compelling. Superman is designed to have no flaws whatsoever. He's complete escapist entertainment. And that's fun, but not deep.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ken Lay Dead

Moment of silence for "Kenny Boy".

That's damn well enough. You're not going to find a lot of people sad about this one. At his conviction, Lay said, "We believe God is in fact in control and indeed he does work all things for good for those who love the Lord."

Hmm. Guess he was right.

UPDATE: They're burning the fat bastard up.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lunching With Larry

Say you haven't seen a Play Cole film in a while? Well let's overcompensate. Here are three 30 second pieces Andrew made. Watch them in order.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

4 years of war and we're still celebrating our country with explosions.

Monday, July 03, 2006


It is so friggin hot today I can't think. And Dave W. wanted to see Ulrike's picture of Ozzy. So here he is.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ulrike Richter

You may have noticed a lot of professional looking pictures of me lately. That's all thanks to Ulrike Richter, who took not only my headshots but all the action shots on stage. She made me look great but she made Fozzie look like a movie star. Upstaged by my own cat.

Check out her website.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Eddie Izzard and Bono

Monica just sent me this. Two guys from the UK who seem to annoy people despite the fact that they're great. Take a look.