Thursday, March 30, 2006

Captains in Space Episode Two Online

The second episode of Captains in Space is now available online. So run and get it. You can view it via YouTube, if you like, but the quicktime version is better. Even better still? If you have a video iPod, you can subscribe to it as a podcast (which you should, because it looks sharpest on the iPod screen. I don't have a video iPod personally, but my better-heeled friends have let me use theirs, and it looks really nice).

Also, as Captain Fed says, "Please encourage your friends to subscribe to Captains via iTunes. The more people we get to do that (and leave reviews), the more likely the iTunes folks will feature the show. Once we get featured, that will increase the audience dramatically. I know we're more interesting than "Yogamazing", which is on the first page of featured video podcasts." Don't you want us to acheive Internet fame? It's the worst kind of fame there is! (Well, other than infamy.)

The latest episode, Advice, guest-stars our friends Rick Murphy and Lindsay Joy, and if you like them here, you should check them out in the live show "Rick Murphy is an Asshole," which will play as part of The Manhattan Comedy Collective's "Big Bang," every Thursday night in April at 8:00 PM, which was written by Rob Bates and Laura Buchholz, two fine humans, indeed. Yes, it's not all self-promotion here at Whither Laffs. Sometimes it's friends-of-self promotion too.

And, speaking of The Manhattan Comedy Collective (or MC2, as the cool kids say), Captains in Space will be playing as a video short during May's Big Bang shows. So, if you don't like watching things alone, on a tiny screen, you can come out and watch Captains in Space in a crowd, on a big screen, at the accompanying lower resolution. Yay! More MC2 information to come, as May draws nearer.

There will be a slightly longer lag between this episode and episode three, because our co-creator/director/editor/control freak Fed will be on a Latin American vacation (adios!) the first week of April, but once he's back, you can start eagerly anticipating your next Captains fix.

As always, thanks for caring about any of this nonsense.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


In an orgy of self-reflexive posting, I'd just like to thank The Apiary for kindly taking notice of our little Internet show. We appreciate the support, and I hope people keep an eye out for the new episodes as they come out...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Captains in Space Are GO!

After a period of fevered anticipation, unmatched on the Internet since the advent of Matrix-themed pornography, the first episode of Captains in Space is finally online.

You can download the episode directly, to watch on your computer, but the real fun comes if you have a video iPod, in which case you can subscribe to the RSS feed, and get new episodes sent directly to your iPod as soon as they're made available. It's simple. First you (1.) send me 1/2 of your discretionary income, because if you have a video iPod, you clearly earn more money than I, and (2.) simply click on one of the links over at the official website to sign up via iTunes or several other popular podcasting programs (I apologize for the alliteration, but there wasn't really a better way to phrase that). These are the best ways of viewing the episode, but if the high-quality video file is a bit jumpy on your computer, you can also view a lower-res version via YouTube.

Special thanks are due to Fed, our co-creator/ director, who went the extra mile to make sure that the special effects look pretty darn professional for an Internet series, with the budget of some food stamps, some copper wire, and a beat-up copy of Al Jaffee's "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions #38." One thing's for sure-- it looks miles better than any BBC sci-fi series from the 70's or 80's.

Anyway, we're all quite pleased with the first episode, and now that we've established the characters and the world, future episodes can only get stranger, funnier, and more Captainstastic.*

Editing for the second episode is well underway, so you may be seeing it sooner than you think. On the other hand, we're not getting paid for this, so little things like "day jobs" might slow us down. Still, keep watching the skies.**

*not a real word

**please don't sue us, the estate of Howard Hawks

Friday, March 17, 2006

Fantastic Newness!

The esteemed Elliot Kalan has added me, along with his "Hypocrites" partner Brock Mahan, and Mr. Devon T. Coleman (one-half of Frowned Upon) to the semi-staff of The New Kalan Show.

Elliott enjoys some pizza with his co-workers, Rocket Joe's-style.

What does semi-staff mean? Who knows. I think it means that there will be less writing out of "scripts" than there was over at Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You, and more "vague ideas for bits making reference to well-known-only-to-film-buffs Hollywood figures like Frank Tashlin or Val Lewton."

Anyway, this will be Elliott's first time working with a staff on this show other than producer/ writer Erik Marcisak, and the recently-departed-for-L.A. director/ tech wizard Joe Guercio so that means that in the equation that is The New Kalan Show, I guess that...

The Kalan = Elliott

New = Brock & Devon & me.*

Show = Show

Although I suppose that's not so much an equation, more like a legend or key. But I'll use "equation" if I want to, just like I'll start a sentence with the word "but" if I want to, as well. Get off my back, you pedantic bastards!

Oddly enough, with the addition of Mr. Mahan to the Captains in Space writing staff, there's approximately a 75% crossover between TNKS and CiS. Maybe this will inspire people on the Internet to write fan fiction where the characters from each show cross over. That would be cool... at least, as long as it's not slash fiction.

Speaking of Captains in Space, I've seen the completed first episode, and it looks great-- amazing effects, considering our budget of a penny, some twine, and a cup of dried gravy. All that needs to be done now is some technical gobbledygook with servers and setting up the podcast feed, etc. But the public should be able to download it by Monday or Tuesday.

*Keep an eye out for the new sitcom "Brock & Devon & Me" this fall on Fox!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March Clinical Depression-ness, Continued!

Hey folks. I haven't had the opportunity to update in a while (partly thanks to an until-yesterday lack of Internet brought on by changing apartments-- damn you Time Warner Cable!) but here's a quick rundown of some items of note.

Esteemed former Jest editor Frank Santopadre, who shepherded the magazine/ website over its last year or so of existence, set up a meeting with a few writers over at MAD Magazine, to see if we could wrangle a little freelance work. So I don't want to jinx it, but keep your fingers crossed-- I may soon be making some 12 to 16 year-old boys laugh. Oh, and by the way, the MAD offices are exactly how Bart Simpson imagined them, with people jumping around on pogo sticks, and Alfred E. Newman yelling "Get me Kaputnik and Fonebone. I want to see their drawings for 'New Kids on the Bleech!' And where's my fershluggen partrami sandwiches?!"

Also, the first episode of Captains in Space should be online by this time next week, if not earlier. I know I promised it to you by early March, but it took a little longer because of some special effects issues, and just ironing out some related details for our "pilot" episode. Now that the initial work has been done, our esteemed director Fed says that the other episodes should take less time to put together. So check back next week, and I should have the link for you.

Friday, March 10, 2006

GTN Bit From 3/7/06

I rarely use this site to post my actual writing, preferring to simply use it as a calendar of events or related self-promotion/ self-obsession. I do this for two reasons (1.) so I don't have to annoy people with inbox-clogging email promotions, and (2.) because who needs another blog, anyway? On the other hand, this policy tends to lead to (3.) me having no readers.

So I'm breaking with tradition (and I might do so again in the future, from time to time) to post this bit from this week's Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game. In addition to writing it, I played the key role of "vendor." It seemed to go over well, despite my dropping a line or two.

Thanks to Andres and the rest of the GTN crew for letting me play in their sandbox for a little while.

The Ironic Vendor Sketch

And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to play Egg or Anguish. Where one lucky audience member will win a solid gold egg, unearthed from an ancient Mayan temple, and another audience member will die horribly, never having known true love. It's one of our most popular reoccurring segments... although honestly, I don't know how, week after week, we manage to keep finding these golden eggs. One would think there would be a finite number available for...

While Francisco has been talking, a man has entered from behind the audience, and walked up the aisle towards the stage. He carries a carton of strawberries, and a large placard that reads Free Strawberries, with quotation marks around the word "Free."

(extremely sarcastic voice, throughout)
Free strawberries! "Free" strawberries!

(to vendor)
Excuse... excuse me!

(to Francisco)
Hey man, I'm working.

The vendor climbs up on stage.

VENDOR (cont'd)
It would be a shame if someone kept me from fulfilling my duties by drawing me into a long conversation while I'm on the clock. It's not like I get paid either way.

You don't get paid...?

No, I do. What is it?

We're just trying to do a show here, and we don't traditionally have someone wandering around selling concessions-- particularly fresh fruit...
Although those strawberries do look delicious. They're free, you say?

Pfft. Yeah, they're "free."

Are you... are you sure?

No, I'm not sure. Why don't you look at the sign?

He holds up the sign.

VENDOR (cont'd)

It's just that you sound awfully sarcastic, and your sign has quotes around the word "free," which leads me to believe that there are some strings attached, or that "free" is somehow meant ironically.

Oh, those. Yeah, the quotes are around that word because it's a quotation.

A quotation.


An extremely short, one-word, quotation.

Yeah. Like an endorsement.

From whom?

Deceased character actor J.T. Walsh.

J.T. Walsh?! What was the context of this quote?

It was part of the sentence, "So, are these strawberries really free, or what?" Nice guy. He was great in "The Negotiator."

So the strawberries are definitely free.

The strawberries are definitely, positively, absolutely
(he makes air quotes)

What was that?


That gesture you made.

It was a twitch. I have Parkinson's Disease.

Oh, I'm sorry.
(he reaches for a berry)
Well, in that case I'll...

A second vendor enters from the back of the house.

Strawberries! Complementary strawberries! Hey!

He bounds up on stage.

Good evening sir! Are you tired of other vendors offering
(he does air quotes)
"free" strawberries? Do you crave the sweet, sun-kissed flavor of summer fruit, but don't want to deal with the mind-games of other gratis berry purveyors?

Do I ever!

Then take a berry, kind sir! Take a berry and fly free!

Francisco takes a berry and eats it.

That'll be $52 shipping and handling.

Music cue: "Shave and a Haircut Two Bits."

(reacting to cue)
What was that?

Sorry, that's my watch. I set the alarm to remind myself that I need to get a shave and a haircut. Gotta go. I'll put the berries on your tab.

He exits.


Francisco beckons after the second vendor, but is too late. The first vendor regards Francisco with disgust.

Well, I hope you're happy. Your quest for sarcasm-free free berries only led to greater expenditure...
(crossing center stage, to audience)
And I hope we've all learned a valuable lesson about dramatic irony. Mainly that it's a cheap way to get out of a comedy scene. You could've had strawberries! But perhaps Earth isn't ready to believe that a close personal friend of the late J.T. Walsh would distribute fruit without regard for personal gain. Maybe mankind just needs time to mature. As for now, I must take my leave of you-- but when you think of me, think of me as a hero. A hero that for some reason really wants to give you some berries. Farewell.

He leaves the stage.

Goodbye, berry man!

(air quotes)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

SSIOWY Reunion!

Big news, people. I'll turn it over to Schaefes to tell you in her own words, because I'm lazy:

"Hello friends!

This Friday, The Wiener Philharmonic graciously shares their stage with me! I will host a super special reunion special of my show, 'Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You'! The SSIOWY cast/writers will meet on stage for the first time in four months! Come find out where are they now, and if they plan on making an SSIOWY movie! Special guests include members of the Wiener Philharmonic, a hither-to-unnamed musical guest, and as always, a star of Law & Order! All the great things you've come to expect from SSIOWY, except now smothered in buttery nostalgia, Paula Deen style.

Friday, March 10, 8:00pm, $8
The People's Improv Theatre
154 W. 29th Street (6th and 7th Ave)
2,3,9,B,D,F,V,N,Q,R,W,A,C,E to 34th St."

That's right-- we only stopped doing the show four months ago, and now we're back for an all-new special. Can "A Very Sara Schaefer Christmas" and "It's Arbor Day, Sara Schaefer!" be far behind?


Will there be anything in the reunion to approach the hilarity of this photo of Dan and Sara sharing a drink from a giant goblet? You'll have to see the show to find out...

See Me Perform Tonight!

A reminder: I will be in Andres Du Bouchet & Co.'s show Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game, doing a bit I wrote, tonight, March the 7th, at 8:00 PM at Rififi/Cinema Classics 332 E. 11th St. (between 1st & 2nd Aves.) There is one drink minimum, but drinks are cheap, and I'll seem funnier with the booze anyway.