Friday, July 29, 2005

The Onion, Regarding Tonight's Show

Tonight's Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You is one of the featured weekend events in The Onion's NYC Calendar. I quote, via handily offset text:

Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You: Sara Schaefer, Neal Pollack, The Last Town Chorus, Juvie Hall 8 p.m., $8

Though he recently shook off the heavy, made-up mantle of "Greatest Living American Writer" in an essay in The New York Times Book Review, it's hard to believe that Neal Pollack's "irony years" are over. In fact, Pollack's funny essay inadvertantly started a minor literary catfight with Dave Eggers over using fake quotes in a real article about a fictional persona-- which is basically the equivalent of irony folding in on itself. Here, Pollack will submit to a round of relentless interviewing by comedian Sara Schaefer during her excellent talk-show/ office party hybrid, Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You.

Thanks, The Onion! The last remaining tickets are sure to go fast, after this extra press, so be sure to snag one now if you want to go. And if you want to read more SSIOWY praise, from The Onion and elsewhere, go here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With NEAL POLLACK this Friday the 29th!

That's right, at this week's Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You, Sara will be interviewing the most important American author himself, Neal Pollack (former McSweeney's contributor, and the author of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature and Never Mind the Pollacks). He's sure to delight and amuse with his metafictional hijinx.

The musical guest will be The Last Town Chorus, a lap steel and acoustic guitar duo, with a singer who's been favorably compared to Gillian Welch and Rickie Lee Jones. You can sample their music here. And, as always, you can expect a special Law and Order guest, plus our usual office shenanigans. Last week we broke into an unexpected, highly choreographed, Bollywood dance number. Who knows what might happen this week?

The show is this Friday the 29th at 8 PM, at Juvie Hall . Tickets are $8., and they can be purchased here, via Juvie Hall, or at the door-- but be aware, we do sell out.

You want critical acclaim? Check it:

"A compelling, funny take on the boxed-in conventions of both television and office work."
- The Onion "

Much more fun than anything you'd catch on basic cable."
- Amelia David, Backstage

A TimeOut New York Critic's Pick; Emerging Comics of New York Award Winner; Featured on the New York Post Hot List; more praise here.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Ah, the latest in my annoying series of posts tracking back blog references to shows I write for/ appear in...

The inimatable Lusty Lady tells of her excursion to July 15th's Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You.

Neal Pollack, SSIOWY's guest for the upcoming July 29 show, announces his appearance on our show over at his blog.

Lastly, Amanda Melson, lovely and talented stand-up/ Sara Schaefer writer recently had a birthday (Happy Birthday!) and restarted her blog. It's a little sparse right now, but it'll grow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jest Onward

So, Jest Magazine is no more, at least as a print publication ("What? Didn't it just go national?" Yeah. Such is the tough world of publishing).

However, like a phoenix rising from the etc., Jest will live on. I don't want to spill the details yet, but we're talking all-new daily content, and probably a weekly column from yours truly. Watch this spot for more.

In the meantime, you can still find the last print issue of Jest out there. I've got less material in it than usual, but I'm still in there. On page 19 you can see another in my oh-so-popular (with me) feature "Ways to Make TV More Entertaining." Also, on page 26, you can see my contributions to the "Jest Writers' Summer Reading List."

And, in some sort of bitter symmetry, the last issue is also the first featuring a fan letter for me. I quote the letter, and our editor's response:

-Hi there,
I loved Dan McCoy's "Softcore Porn Awards"
in the May/June issue of Jest (I happen to be
a big fan of Misty Mundae). Will he be doing
more pieces for you guys in future issues?
Lucas A. Matt
Fort Wayne, IN

Hmmn. Hard to say, Luke. Writer/actor/
comedian/sketch player Dan McCoy is a
busy man and a much sought-after talent,
but he did want me to pass along the news
that he'll be appearing in a new Off-
Broadway musical with Mia Farro, Tia
Carrere, Rhea Pearlman, and Pia Zadora,
Mia, Tia, Rhea, Pia, and Dan.

Break a leg, D!

As I have a good friend who hails from Fort Wayne, and a low sense of self-worth, my immediate thought was that this "fan letter" was my friend screwing with me. However, despite having two first names, Lucas A. Matt appears to be genuine. And if he's anything like me, he spends endless hours on the Internet at work, googling himself. So perhaps someday he'll stumble across this entry and confirm his existence. In the meanwhile, Lucas and others, with any luck my contributions to Jest won't die along with the ink-and-paper magazine. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Monday Morning Hangover

Good show last night. I particularly liked two sketches, one by Andres Du Bouchet, the full text of which you can read online (I got to play the Doctor), and one by my old friend and former Robotski member Federico Hatoum, about a couple of gentle mobsters (while 'terrorizing' a couple for their protection money: "It would be a real shame if a meteor crashed into the Earth, ending all mammalian life... That's not a threat; it's just something I worry about.") And Laura contributed a delightful visit from Carob Carl for the news segment, wherein the creepy Willy Wonka-like owner of a Carob factory dropped by, despondent over the unpleasantness of his chocolate substitute.

I contributed the closer for the evening, "Weekend at Rehnquist's" wherein Minority Leader Harry Reid and late-80's actor Andrew McCarthy find the chief justice passed away, and (fearing two Bush appointees) they rig up a pulley system so he can give a straight vote by show of hands on the issues of "abortion, stem cell research, and affirmative action, in an unprecedented three-for-one decision." It ended with the voodoo-cursed, Hawaiian shirt-wearing corpse of Rehnquist leading the full cast in a conga line around the stage. People seemed to like it-- some stuff got a huge response.

As is my (new) wont, here are a couple of my jokes from the newsdesk:

According to a poll, the Disney character consumers relate to the most is Goofy, winning out over Mickey, Donald, and others. You know, when asked what makes America so great, I can’t help but think of that majority, who willfully identified themselves as being most similar to a retarded dog-man.

Willie Nelson released a reggae album called "Countryman," on Tuesday. Willie Nelson AND reggae? I think High Times just found its Album of the Year.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Random Friday Round-Up

I'd celebrate my site counter approaching 1,000, but I realize that, realistically, most of those visits were probably from me.

Hey, did you see Brian Stack kill as the Travelling Salesman on Conan O'Brian last night? If you did, come by Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You tonight, and see him be funny in a whole different context. If not, come by to see what the hell I'm talking about.

The lovely and talented Christina Casa has added a link to this site to her own Internet home.I quote:

"He's smart, he's cute, he's funny- he's married!* - - Dan's the man. The funny man.
*murphy's law "

Aw. I am indeed quite married, happily so. Yet I'm a big enough sucker for complements that flattery will always earn you a reciprocal link on my page.

Here's a tip: listening to Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine" on headphones while walking past Grand Central Station during rush hour will make you feel like you're in a montage from a 1980's "making it in the big city" movie (i.e. The Secret of My Success, etc.).

So if that's a feeling you ever want to have... y'know. You know what to do.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Letterman Should Be Calling Any Day.

As we all know, the top talk shows hire comedy writers to work on their opening monologues by perusing Newsday's "Punchlines" column. Am I right? Right?



No? Well, even so, it was nice to see that two of my jokes made it in this week.

Reminders and Revelations

Just a reminder: This Friday the 15th at 8 PM is Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You, with Late Night With Conan O'Brian writer Brian Stack and musical guest Oceanographer. Tickets are selling fast, so go get one now. I'll wait here.

In other news, I have discovered that "Semi-Charmed Life," by Third Eye Blind is, in fact, the very same song as "Two Princes," by The Spin Doctors. I expect to be awarded the Nobel Prize for this startling research in a matter of days.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Monday Japery

It's Monday, so here, as promised, are three news jokes.

A Pentagon investigation into complaints that evangelical Christians at the Air Force Academy have bullied Jews found no overt discrimination, but "certainly insensitivity," military officials said Wednesday. Some of the worst examples of this insensitivity included shotgunning the glass of wine left for Elijah; and, of course, the "Spring Swastacular."

Some schools are now offering cash and prizes, including pizza and parking spots, to students who report classmates who carry guns, alcohol, or drugs. Unsurprisingly, several potheads have turned themselves in for pizza.

The American Film Institute released its list of the top-100 movie quotes recently. Taking top honors was the famous line, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," from Gone With the Wind. Good dialogue-- but I, for one, am shocked that they neglected Showgirls' immortal line, "It must be weird, not having anyone cum on you."

Late Breaking News...

We've just added another Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You in July, because we've snagged a guest too good to pass up...

Neil Pollack (literary star, McSweeney's contributor, and author of such books as The Neil Pollack Anthology of American Literature, and Never Mind the Pollacks) will be joining us on Friday the 29th at 8 PM, at Juvie Hall theater, for assorted varieties of fun and general hilarity.

And as long as we're on the subject of McSweeney's, you might enjoy this old humor piece from Jest Magazine, in which I poke gentle fun at that publication. Back when it came out, it got me blogged in New Yorkish.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Update! SSIOWY Guest for the 15th!

The new guest for the second Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You taping show will be Brian Stack.

Brian's one of Late Night With Conan O'Brian's top writers, but viewers will be most familiar with him from the several characters he plays on the show. His most well-known is probably Frankenstein, of "Frankenstein Wastes a Minute of Our Time," but my favorite character of his-- and one of my favorite reoccuring bits on the show-- is Hannigan the Travelling Salesman.

"So it's jokes you want, eh? Well how about this little number, from Gagco..."

Yeah, I Had a Birthday... JEALOUS?

My birthday celebration was on June 18 (my real b-day was the 19th, but y'know... that was a Sunday).

There was much hubbub, hullaballoo, and folderal. There have even been reports of isolated gamboling, but those are, as yet, unconfirmed.

Anyway, many comedy folks were in attendance, as well as some non-comedy folks (I do have normal friends, you know). However, since this is my comedy blog, I'll stick to embarrassing those people.


My cake... apparently people were under the impression that they were attending Larry Flynt's birthday. And what's with the nipple next to the 2? It seems to be migrating off the breast. Perhaps it has dreams of becoming someone else's third nipple.


Why, it's Juvie Hall impresario and Back Stage 2005 Comedy Best Bet, Erik Marcisack, looking at the camera as if to say, "I came all the way out to Brooklyn, and all I got was this Coors Light t-shirt?"


Hey, who let our tech guy Joe out of the booth? Someone get the cattle prod.


My college friend Liz (actress extraordinaire and SNR special guest) and I are dancing so hard that we've thrown the picture out of focus.


"In Which Comedian and Writer Ritch Duncan and I Gesticulate Wildly"

And now, the most scandalous pictures of all. (The bidding starts now, US Weekly!) How do the host of Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You, and SSIOWY staff writer Dan McCoy unwind after their triumphant Lisa Loeb/ Chris Genoa show?

saradandrink1 drinking some kind of fruit-flavored booze out of an enormous goblet.


Whoa! Slow down there, TV's Sara Schaefer!



Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Mr. Big Shot

Say... was that Juvie Hall mainstay Eric Zuckerman in Steven Spielberg's big summer blockbuster War of the Worlds?

Why yes. Yes it was!

SSIOWY in July!

The second of our two "taping shows" in July is on Friday the 15th at 8 PM, at Juvie Hall . Tickets are $8. Sadly, Ed Helms, The Daily Show correspondant, who was to be our guest, had to cancel due to unforseen circumstances (although we may have him back in the future). But not to fear; Sara has some exciting replacement guests in the pipeline just waiting for confirmation, so check out her site regularly to find out who Sara's obsessed with this month. And Ed may not be able to make it, but musical guest Oceanographer will still be there, described by The Dallas Observer as, "A sweet-and-low soundtrack for filling ashtrays and emptying wine bottles."

Our previous taping show was a big success. You can read discussions of it online here and here. The sold-out crowd seemed to enjoy Sara's time-travelling office adventures, novelist Chris Genoa's ape-like behavior, and (especially) Lisa Loeb who sang three songs (including, yes, Stay). Lisa's voice is even more beautiful and her glasses more adorable in person, and we couldn't have been happier to have her come by.

Which one is Lisa and which one is Sara? Only their optometrist knows for sure.

Oh, and a lot of friends have asked whether I perform in Sara's show or just write for it. I suppose I should be more clear. I do both. My primary responsibility is the writing (I am one of five writers, along with Kara Lee Burk, Amanda Melson, Patrick Stubbins, and Sara herself). I do appear in the shows, however, much as the writers for TV talk shows like Conan O'Brian's show up in bits and sketches. The conceit of Sara's show is that she's doing it from her day job-- the cubicle she works at in a financial office. The writers play her co-workers, which are basically just comedy versions of ourselves-- using our own names, clothes, shameful sexual secrets, etc.-- but ourselves as if we worked with Sara. In some ways, the show is less reliant on traditional talk show "bits" and more like a mash-up of an absurdist meta sitcom (like "It's Gary Shandling's Show," or something similar) and a talk show. Often there's a complete storyline that takes us through the show's more traditional monologue, interviews, and musical guest. That being said, the show's focus is definitely on Sara, which is as it should be, seeing as she's both eponymous and titular. Every episode of SSIOWY comes complete with 100% more Sara Schaefer. You can buy tickets for Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You here or via Juvie Hall .

You want critical acclaim? Both of these shows have been getting great press from all over the place. Check it:

Praise for Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You:

"A compelling, funny take on the boxed-in conventions of both television and office work."

- The Onion

"Much more fun than anything you'd catch on basic cable."

- Amelia David, Backstage

"Her hyper-kinetic routine is what makes her endearing, honest."

-Lionel Beehner, The New York Press

"Sara Schaefer's show is charming, funny, sweet, and nutty. Just like her."

- Jonathan Ames, author of What's Not to Love? and Wake Up, Sir!

"Her show is cooler than any daytime talk show you'll ever see."

- Rachel Kramer Bussel, The Gothamist

A TimeOut New York Critic's Pick

Emerging Comics of New York Award Winner

New York Post Hot List

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

In Which Dan Announces the New Issue of Ducts, and Plugs Someone Else's Show

I hope everyone had a good Independence Day, and celebrated by telling the corpse of George III exactly where he could stick it.

The new issue of Ducts, the webzine for which I am "Humor Editor," is now online. I put humor editor in quotes, because working for Ducts is an approximately one hour a month job, sorting through and soliciting submissions via email, and choosing which ones go up on the site. And for that, I get to be called Editor. What a marvelous country we live in. There should be a holiday celebrating it-- perhaps in early July somewhere.

I'd like to call extra attention to this piece by my good friend and former editor of Jest Magazine, Ritch Duncan. Also, I'd like to direct you to my own contribution to this issue. It's my shortest one yet! Hooray!

Why so short, Dan? Well, maybe it's because I was working on many of the illustrations that adorn the issue, illustrations that undoubtably would've looked a lot better had I been paid more. Publisher, take note.

Oh, and I don't usually mention other people's stuff (they have their own damn blogs: see my links for reference), but if you get a chance you should stop by Elliott Kalan's show, The Midnight Kalan, at Juvie Hall. Sure it's on alternate Fridays at Midnight, which makes it hard to catch, but the $3 ticket price includes a delicious slice of pizza, and it's the best and wackiest unscripted live talk show in New York... and I'm not just saying this because I had the honor of playing the part of "drunk Sara Schaefer, audience heckler" at the last performance, despite not having Sara's gams. (For a description of episode eight, the first Midnight Kalan I had the honor of seeing, read The Midnight Blog.)