Friday, August 31, 2007

Ken Levine's Theater Rules

Ken Levine is a television writer who's worked on MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, and EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND to name a few. I don't check his blog often enough which is why this post came as a surprise to me when Scott McClinock emailed it over. It's funny without being gaggy, clear and makes a hell of a lot of sense. Much like many of the shows Ken's worked for.

It’s not enough to just turn your cellphone on silent . PUT IT THE FUCK AWAY. Don’t look at it during the movie. It’s like someone turning on a flashlight in a dark room. It’s distracting. Don’t do it! And don’t text message.

Don’t bring a baby. EVER. Can’t get a sitter? STAY HOME. I also blame theater owners for this one. Don’t allow babies. A young cretin couple brings their one year old to see HOSTEL and you sell them tickets, you should be the one dipped in a boiling vat of canola oil.

Don’t wear a hat. Unless you’re Diana Ross or Don King. This goes for baseball caps. Just because you’re balding doesn’t mean you can annoy other people.

In a fairly empty theater don’t take a seat right in front of me. Especially when there are twenty seats on either side you could choose instead.

Realize when you buy those nachos with the plastic cheese sauce that you are repulsing everyone within two rows.

Put your sweater on or keep it off. Don’t keep changing your mind during the film.

Don’t throw your big honking coat over the back of your seat so that it’s completely in my lap.

Don’t yell, “Turn it up!” during the THX announcement. It’s not funny… and hasn’t been funny for ten years.

If you’re still yelling “Focus!” in the middle of the movie, it’s YOU!

Don’t save fifteen seats for your stupid late friends.

Never ask me to move over a seat so it’s more convenient for your party of six.

When you come in late and the movie has already started, don’t yell the name of your friend…over …and over…and over.

Scream in your boyfriend’s ear, not mine.

When you drape your feet over the row in front of you, you are kicking the seats of everyone in that row.

Don’t pay for one Goddamn box of Milk Duds with a credit card.

Don’t talk back to the screen. This may come as a shock to your morons but THE ACTORS CAN’T HEAR YOU.

See more from Ken at his blog.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Drucker showed me this short animated film which was nominated for an Oscar this year. Whatever won was not as memorable as this piece.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Writer's Room This Sunday!

Short notice from Rififi's this time but I'm better and back on stage!

Writer's Room III


John McNulty (The Onion)

Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents)

Joe Rocha

Mike Drucker (McSweeney’s)

Ed Murray (2006 Laff-Off Winner)

Jon Clarke (Star Trek: The Sitcom)

John Knefel (Bear Hand Wolf Chokers Sketch Group)

Hosted by Billy the Kid

Sunday, September 2nd 10:00 p.m.

Rififi / Cinema Classics

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mark Feigenson

Once upon a time Mark had a blog. It was a good blog but he stopped updating it for a few months. During that time, he converted his entire apartment into an O scale train set. Now he's back to tell you about it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ben Week 8

Ben knows how to smile now. We're trying to make him to do it all the time. It beats the screaming by a wide margin.

And this is my dad when he found out he didn't have prostate cancer anymore. If you know him, it's kinda creepy.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Indy Week 5: Old Toys

Whatever we get next year, it will be worlds above the meager lines that Kenner put out in 1982, a full year after Raiders of the Lost Ark hit theaters. They weren't great figures and sold so poorly Kenner didn't bother doing anything for the sequels. But I didn't care. I cherished these toys like they were gold. And according to ebay, they were.

The 12 inch "Han Solo in a hat" figure:

The "slightly modified cowboy" 3 3/4 inch line.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Indy Week 4: Toys

It's been 18 years since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade but it's been 25 since we saw any merchandise from the franchise. For an action figure addict like me, that's far too long. Fortunately, Lucasflim has opened up the license for the new film next year. There'll be LEGO sets, Hasbro action figures and Sideshow exclusive merchandise. And I'll be getting all of it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Indy Week 3: SDCC

This video shows a little more. It's Spielberg and Harrison Ford via satellite to the San Diego Comic Con. G4 broadcast it and somebody else threw it on youtube.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Indy Week 2: Indy Arrives

I posted a picture of Harrison Ford on the set of the new Indiana Jones movie the day Renee went into labor. Rightfully enough, no one noticed it. So here's a video. It tells me absolutely nothing and yet I'm super excited.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Indy Week 1: Raiders of the Lost Ark

As I'm stuck in bed, I've little to do but rewatch dvds. I've gone through Star Wars with director's commentary, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and whole seasons of the Simpsons, the Muppet Show and the Odd Couple. Plus this, my favorite movie ever made. I must watch Raiders of the Lost Ark every year and it never gets old, it never gets dated and it never stops ruling. Youtube has the classic idol sequence here and if you can find a better opening to a movie, I won't believe you.

What's your favorite movie? Leave a comment and start an argument.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ben Week 7

Renee's dad is visiting with us. With me incapacitated, it's a much bigger help than we anticipated.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mike Wieringo

I am truly saddened and shocked to learn Mike Wieringo passed away suddenly from a heart attack Sunday night. He was only 44.

I've posted about Mike before on this blog. I'd said how talented he was and how his drawing on Flash, Robin and Fantastic Four were highpoints in the long histories of the characters. I've also said how genuinely kind he was in my few encounters with him at conventions and online. In the span of ten years, he became my favorite modern artist. The comics industry will feel his absence but I personally feel the loss.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Writer's Room Tonight!

I have pneumonia so this show will be held in my memoriam.


John Mulaney (Late Night with Conan O’Brien, UCB’s Oh, Hello!)

Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents)

Tom McCaffrey (Premium Blend)

Mike Drucker (McSweeney’s)

And the Bear Hand Wolf Chokers Sketch Group

Hosted by R.G. Daniels

Tuesday, August 14th 10:00 p.m.

Rififi / Cinema Classics
332 E 11th St (Between 1st and 2nd Ave)
$5, No Drink Minimum

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ben Week 6

I'm still sick so I can't get near him but here's some pictures Mary Russo took when she visited. Like all her pictures, they blow everyone else's away.

You can sign in to see them all.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Writer's Room 2: The Rewrite

Rififi's is having us back this Tuesday. I hope I'm better by then because I really want to bring my A game.

Writers Room


John Mulaney (Late Night with Conan O’Brien, UCB’s Oh, Hello!)

Pat Dixon (Comedy Central Presents)

Tom McCaffrey (Premium Blend)

Mike Drucker (McSweeney’s)

Jon Clarke (Star Trek: The Sitcom)

And the Bear Hand Wolf Chokers Sketch Group

Hosted by R.G. Daniels

Tuesday, August 14th 10:00 p.m.

Rififi / Cinema Classics
332 E 11th St (Between 1st and 2nd Ave)
$5, No Drink Minimum

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Potty Mouths is Back!

I told you the last one was the last but RG bequeathed it to us. I have a 102 degree temperature so I may not make it.

Here's what Ed says:

It ain't pretty ... but it's drunk and it's rough.

Come watch comedians who bring their regular material wither and die before your very eyes ... come watch comedians who get up on stage and create humor out of chaos and see puppies run down a rainbow ladder into your gaping crotch.

Pottymouths @ Julep
Ave A & 1st St

Featuring Leah Bonnema, Jon Knefel, Andrea Grimes, Tim Warner, Becky Cilletti, and Jon Savoy.

Hosted in some manner by Mike Drucker, Jon Clarke, & Ed Murray ... we'll figure it out after a couple of beers.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Joker Goes to Comedy Central

We made this for a sketch competition at Comedy Central. It didn't do much there but maybe it will flourish in the wide open spaces of Youtube.

Take a look.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Police

Renee bought the tickets six months ago. As I was discussing it to my sister, she said "Are you kidding? With a one month baby at home? She's never going."

I replied, "If she doesn't go, you can."

Sunday Monica and I went to Giant Stadium to see the Police.

Sting's voice is as powerful as it ever was (Monica credits tantric yoga) and his bass was the strongest I've ever heard in a live setting (and I've seen Flea). Andy Summers is still as inventive and strange as he was in the 80's, trading between a Telecaster and strat and running vintage sounding delays and chorus. Stewart Copeland is rock's most unsung drummer, not only laying those unique beats but climbing to an upper platform full of percussion for "Wrapped Around Your Finger".

These guys sounded like they never broke up. Not only did they play every hit with confidence, they were comfortable enough to stretch them out into long rock reggae jams. Sting would wander over to the edge of the stage while Summers took an extended solo that somehow became a segue to the next song.

The musical chemistry was there even if the personal chemistry was cool. I doubt they get along any better now than they used to. There was very little talk between them and were almost terse with the audience. You get the impression they're resentful they can't play this well with anyone else.

By the way, I called the closer and the encore ("Roxanne" then an encore of "King of Pain", "So Lonely" and "Every Breath You Take" ) which is one of the few times I impressed my sister. Plus, we ran into Thad-Rock in the stands. That's a good night.

Monday, August 06, 2007

So Close!

Round 1 ended last night at midnight. The top 20 move to round 2. My rank? 21.

But I did receive 1018 votes, way more than I expected (and more than I thought I needed). So thanks again for all the work you put in.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Keep Voting!

Thanks again for all your votes. I'm stunned by your support. At this point I'm qualified for round 2, but that can change at any time, so please keep hitting your 15 a day. It ends tomorrow and we'll see what happens then.

Keep voting!

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Watcher at the Movies

This idea was going to be another animated film but then I realized it worked as a single panel. The action figure message boards seem to like it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Vote For Me 15 Times a Day!

First, thanks to everyone who came out last night for Writers room. It was a fantastic show with such a good turnout, we're guaranteed another. It's all thanks to you guys. But now I need to lean on whatever goodwill I've built.

I've been entering a lot of comedy contests online lately. This is the only one that I stand a chance of winning. But I need your help.

You need to go here and vote for me. It's the set I did at Comic Book Comics which, according to your comments, you loved. Thanks to a weird design, they let you vote 15 times a day. You have until August 6 so that's 60 votes you can personally make. Help me out here. They're going to make you register before you can vote but that will just make me love you more.

You have my thanks. Now vote!