Saturday, April 29, 2006

Captains in Space, Episode Three ONLINE!

"Double," the third exciting episode of Captains in Space is online now. Written by the estimable Devon T. Coleman, and starring the usual gang of Fed Hatoum, Adam Walden, and Vedette Lim, this may be the best episode of Captains yet. It's certainly the shortest, which is a real boon for those with more important things to do with their lives than watch comedy on the Internet. How I hate those people.

Devon gives Vedette/ Frankie some valuable acting notes.

As always, our director and editor, Fed, has gone to great lengths to make sure the show looks as good as possible, despite our budget of a Canadian penny, a gnarled bit of wire, and a kick in the groin. And, as always, the best way to view the episode is to download it or watch it via a video iPod (subscribe via iTunes here), but if you're technophobic you can always just click on the YouTube version below.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Quick Update

The release of Captains in Space episode three has been slightly delayed, due to some effects tweaking, but it should be available for download tomorrow.

In the meantime, if you want an Internet comedy video fix, may I direct you over to Rob Bates' blog, where you can find a link to the very funny short "Asshole Actor." I had nothing to do with its production, I just post it here because I've worked with all the folks involved, and I like them and it.

Have a nice Friday. But try and cut down on your drinking, huh? I'm worried about you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

GTN Bit from 4/25/2006

Hey. In the tradition of Andres' blog, I thought I'd post the script of my contribution to last night's Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game. Those of you who couldn't make it missed a very funny Mark Douglas in full body suit as Mr. Serkis. Those of you who were there last night can enjoy seeing the original, longer script (including a never-before-seen second beat!) as it was before it was trimmed down to fit into the already comedy-stuffed show. Just think of it as the world's most low tech behind-the-scenes DVD extra.

As always, thanks to Andres and the gang for letting me contribute, and for making my writing 25% funnier by acting the hell out of it.

"The Andy Serkis Bit" by Dan McCoy

And now, ladies and gentleman, some jokes. What did the fat man say after winning the top trophy at the pie-eating contest? "To compete is its own reward." You see? Because, being very fat, he loves the flaky crust and the delicious...

During the above ANDY SERKIS has crept onstage, and begun mimicking Francisco's movements.

Um, excuse me, but I'm mid-joke. Could you please clear the stage?

Yeah, it's great, great. Just do that arm motion again, the one where you were demonstrating the precise fatness of the man...

I do not take requests-- besides, a comedian doing the same joke twice for one audience would be akin to a magician, explaining why his doves do not burn, beneath the old-fashioned serving platter doused in kerosene.

Serkis continues to mimic Francisco, pausing occasionally to take notes.

Brilliant, brilliant. Terrific stuff.

Francisco moves towards him, as if to physically remove him from the stage.

Would you get...
Are you Andy Serkis?

That's me.



King Kong?


The effete magazine editor from the Jennifer Garner vehicle 13 Going on 30?


Wow! Look, audience, a celebrity has dropped by. Or as close to a celebrity as you can be, when your most significant work has been obscured by computer pixels. What brings you to the show?

Well, actually, Peter Jackson is interested in doing a Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game movie.

Get out!

No, it's true-- he's already got Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens working on abridging the show's title, while remaining true to its sprit-- don't let that get on the Internet, or the fans will go mental.

The nerds are protective of the purity of the text.

Anyway, your story really resonated with Pete-- the idea of a man coming from a small, backward country, and rocketing to success...

I don't know... rocketing...

And that's where you come in.

Peter Jackson wants me to star in a movie about my life?

Oh, no no no. Pete wants me to learn how to mimic your physicality, so that he can re-create you digitally, using CGI.

But... why not just use me?

Well, we really want "Francisco" to look photo-realistic.

I am photo realistic. I can show you! I have photos of myself in my wallet! A surprising number of them!

It's just not the direction we want to go.

But I'm not just a comedian-slash-master of ceremonies. I'm an actor. I played the Mother Superior in the Boliviguayan National Theater's production of More Nunsense: The Nunsensiest!

I'm sure you're the best Francisco Guglioni you can be, but there's a certain truth about Francisco that only I, with my particular talents, can capture. There's really no negotiation on this point. So, if you want the movie to go forward, you're going to have to let me do my work.

Fine. Just... try not to get in the way.


Throughout the following, Serkis is behind and just to the side of Francisco, mimicking his every move, slowly becoming more and more distracting.

Anyway, what was I... oh, yes, yes, jokes-- How many raccoons does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. Raccoons are largely nocturnal. Why did the blonde scientist throw her clock out the window? To test Einstein's theory of space-time... It was the window of a spaceship, traveling near a black hole. Very dangerous experiment. Unfortunately the results were inconclusive, since they were unable to retrieve the clock.

Serkis is right behind Francisco now, really getting into his personal space, causing Francisco to get more and more flustered.

FRANCISCO (cont'd)
What do you call a man with no arms and no legs on the street corner? An honored veteran. Please, give generously. Two dollars means a snack to you, but it means a big deal to...
(losing patience, to Serkis)
Would you get off me?!

What? What's wrong?

I don't care about the movie, it's not worth this. Could we get some cast members out here to escort Mr. Serkis out of the theater.

Whatever cast members are free congregate on the floor, next to stage left.

Good luck getting them to turn against me, Francisco! I've been living amongst them for weeks, learning their ways, gaining their trust.

He bought us beer.

I'm one of them, now-- one of the tribe.

Clearly you actually know nothing of New York comedians, or you would know that they'll put up with anyone, as long as that person is buying.

(general agreement, "it's true," etc.)

(pointing to Mike Birch)
But that big silver-backed one tried to mate with me.

Everyone looks at Birch.

He bought us beer.

General acceptance from the cast, etc. Movement towards the stage.

Sorry, Andy. If Francisco says you have to go, you have to go.

They escort Serkis off.

You'll regret this, Francisco! I'll be back to beat you up, as soon as I'm done researching the physicality of someone who could beat you up!

Get him out of here!

-Beat Two-

And now, ladies and gentlemen some more jokes. How do you punish Helen Keller? When you think about it, wasn't her life punishment enough?
(raising his hand)
Who here saw "The Miracle Worker?"

(in audience)
Oh, how droll. A traditional set-up, followed by a completely straight punchline. Farewell Demitri Martin, for you sir are the new king of deadpan comedy.

All right. Settle down, suspiciously loud and articulate audience member. What's another one... let's see... What has four legs and flies? A Griffin. It also has the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. You should brush up on your crypto-zoology.

Oh! And now he throws in an obscure and archaic term to congratulate the audience! Ha ha ha! I reward him with my laughter.

Okay, what is going on-- sir could you stand up?
Is that... is it Andy Serkis?!

Yes, it is I. I'm surprised you could recognize me, so complete was my mimicry.

What are you doing back here?

Having my revenge! I thought to myself, "I could best Francisco physically, but what would hurt him more? My punches or my wits?"

As an Englishman, I'm betting it wasn't your punches.

Touche! So I decided to fight you by using my unique talents to mimic that which you fear most. A downtown comedy snob.

Oh no!

I based my performance around that man--
(points to audience member)
Only handsomer. And as a downtown comedy snob, I'm here to tell you that I saw David Cross in this bar mere weeks ago, and you're not fit to share a stage with him. Now bring me a PBR in a can!

Do not bring that man any ironically unfashionable drinks!

Everything you do, Andy Kaufman did thirty years ago, and better!

(reacting, as if stabbed)
Ouch. Your barbed words hurt me inside.

The only way you can defeat me, is to show me something that I've never seen before, cutting through layers upon layers of cultivated, jaded detachment.

Cast! Come here, I need you!

(available cast members huddle around Francisco-- much whispering and discussion)

Give it up, Francisco, it can't be done.

(the cast breaks huddle, and stands at attention)

(clears his throat)

(one of the cast members knees the other in the groin. over the speakers there is a fart noise. a beat. then Serkis breaks out laughing, uncontrollably.)

(while laughing)
Damn you and your comedy genius, Francisco!

Now get out of my sight!

(still laughing, to audience as he leaves)
King Kong is out on DVD!

No plugs, just go!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This Tuesday Just Seems... Giant-er Than Usual

Yes, this makes three plugs for one show, but I just wanted to remind you that tonight's GTN features a couple of bits written by me. So stop by, if you can:

Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game
Tuesday the 25th of April, at 8:00 pm
at Rififi/ Cinema Classics
332 East 11th Street
between 1st and 2nd Avenues
Free (w/ a one drink minimum)

I won't be appearing in the show as a performer, just enjoying my own words (and those of the usual, terrific GTN crew) from the comfort of the audience. So if you like my writing, but hate my stupid face, this is the show for you!

And if you like the show, stick around and chat afterwards-- and buy me a drink, whydoncha? I don't get paid for this nonsense.

As always, thanks to Andres and the others for letting me contribute a little something to their great show. There's a new one every Tuesday, and hilarity always abounds. So if you're dropping by to see my little bit, and you like what you see, you should return when I'm not involved. Chances are, it'll be even funnier.

Oh, and on the off chance that Jason Jones spends his off hours idly Googling himself, I'd just like to thank him again for coming by to the New Kalan Show last Thursday-- he couldn't have been nicer, and was dedicated to making the show as funny as could be by tossing in extra contributions wherever appropriate, and basically making us look as good as possible. So thanks.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The New Kalan Show, Tonight!


The New Kalan Show
Hosted by Elliott Kalan

With Special Guest Jason Jones

Devon Coleman, Brock Mahan, Dan McCoy, and Erik Marcisak

At The Gene Frankel Underground
Tonight, April 20, at 10:00 PM, $5

The Gene Frankel Underground is located at 24 Bond Street in the East Village of Manhattan.
(Don’t be scared, Bond Street is a short street that's just a cooler name for East 2nd Street). It's on the north side of Bond Street, between Bowery & Lafayette, behind the green door ( ! ). Just come on in -- we're located in the basement theater.

#6 to Bleecker Street at Lafayette W & R to 8th Street or Prince St B,D,F,V to Broadway/Lafayette

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ooh, Look! Video!

I was looking over at Andres Du Bouchet's blog, and noticed that he'd just posted a link to this video which gives a nice introduction to what his show Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game is all about. It's well worth viewing.

And also, this gives me an excuse to remind you that I will be contributing a bit to next Tuesday's GTN, so if you like what you see in the video, and you also like my stuff, then next Tuesday might be a good night to come check it out. That show again is...

Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game
Tuesday the 25th of April, at 8:00 pm
at Rififi/ Cinema Classics
332 East 11th Street
between 1st and 2nd Avenues
Free (w/ a one drink minimum)

A Captains Update and Disturbing Dan-Related Celebrity News

A quick Captains in Space update. Our director/ editor/ star, Mr. Federico Hatoum, is back from his vacation south of the border, and has been plugging away on the latest episode. He assures me that it will likely be done by this weekend and available online shortly thereafter. So I'd look for it sometime early next week. Can you contain your excitement? Unlikely, my friend. Unlikely.

In other news, one of the Onion AV Club blogs pointed me towards this interesting website, where you can upload a photo of yourself, and their facial recognition software will analyze it and tell you what celebrity you most look like. So I uploaded my headshot, figuring that it's probably the most neutral picture of my face that I have.

And which celebrity do I look like?

That's right, Geri Halliwell.

I have to admit, they have a point. Which, aside from making me feel weird about all the dirty thoughts I've had about Geri Halliwell, also makes me rethink my headshot. Finally, I understand why I've been getting all those girl group callbacks. My headshot makes me look like a Spice Girl...

That, and the Union Jack miniskirt I wear everywhere.

Oh, and my tremendous rack.


Monday, April 17, 2006

The Dead-Joke Office

Hey. In case you go for this sort of thing, here are some monologue-style jokes I wrote last week (they went unused). Why waste them, though? Here they are, for your mild amusement.

During a lavish nationally televised ceremony, which featured dancers performing while holding capsules of uranium, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Tuesday that his country had successfully enriched uranium for the first time, and that Iran had also, finally, successfully given an entire dance troupe radiation sickness.

New York State Gubernatorial candidate Bill Weld misspoke this week when he said that Harlem has a huge "anthrax" problem, when he really meant asthma. So you may want to stop using those anthrax inhalers.

Ikea is planning to open a store in Beijing, China, that will be second only in size to its Stockholm showroom—but the Chinese Ikea furniture's flimsiness will be second to none.

New York State Senator Ada Smith defended herself on Tuesday against charges that she threw coffee in the face of an aide by saying that she doesn't drink coffee, she drinks tea—a telling detail that led Encyclopedia Brown to conclude that, in fact, the villain in this case was none other than Bugs Meany!

Barilla, the world's largest maker of pasta, announced that it will not renew its endorsement contract with skier Bode Miller, who failed to medal at this year's Winter Olympics, although Budwiser will maintain its lucrative deal with Mr. Miller, wherein, in exchange for cash, they give him beer.

It was reported this week that Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are expecting a baby and plan to marry soon. The unborn child has already received an Independent Spirit Award.

President Bush on Wednesday went on the road to urge seniors to enroll in Medicare's prescription-drug program, in return for some delicious hard candy.

A man in South Africa, who set his pet snakes free inside the headquarters of the country's largest bank following a dispute over a loan, has been barred from entering any of the bank's branches ever again. The incident has inspired the new film, Snakes in a Bank, starring Samuel L. Jackson, with a screenplay by Dr. Seuss.

This week Winnie the Pooh was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Then, later, a dog did something extremely ironic on it.

While teen pregnancies is on the decline nationally, at a high school in Canton, Ohio during the 2004-2005 school year, 64 out of nearly 500 girls at the school became pregnant, and this year, 9 girls showed up on the first day of school pregnant. Look, Tom Cruise, we get it. You're not gay.

In honor of Easter, here is a picture of a fat rabbit.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Come See The New Kalan Show on April 20!

I think this post's title speaks for itself. However, if not, I present to you the "The New Kalan Show April 20 FAQ."


"What's so New about it?"

What's so new is that, after about a year of un-or-lightly-scripted fake talk show comedy goodness, the show is moving in the direction of more fully-planned bits. And that means that I, Dan McCoy, have been added as a writer, along with the maler half of Frowned Upon, Mr. Devon T. Coleman. Plus, former Colbert Report researcher/ current Fuse TV writer/ longtime Hypocrites partner and Kalan regular Brock Mahan is now "officially" on staff (whatever that means). So the show will be more McColmahan-tastic than ever before. Is that new enough for you?

Also, the show is no longer named The Midnight Kalan and isn't at midnight anymore. But that's been true since January, so it's not quite as new as the other stuff. Forget I said anything.

"What's so Kalan about it?"

What's so Kalan about it is that it's hosted by Elliott Kalan. Who's Elliott Kalan? By day he's an Associate Producer on The Daily Show, plus he writes a weekly humor column for Metro, and is one-half of the sketch team The Hypocrites. The New Kalan Show is his freewheeling talk show, which is sort of like Letterman, if Letterman was a twentysomething guy given to long digressions about failed dates and the golden age of Hollywood, and if his show was occassionally interrupted by ninja attacks or impromptu phone calls from a groggy Kiefer Sutherland. It's co-produced by longtime Kalan consiglieri and comedy impressario Erik Marcisak. You can learn more at the Manhattan Comedy Collective website.

"What's so Show about it?

Um... that's some weird syntax you're using, imaginary rhetorical questioner. I'll ignore it, though, and assume you're asking what makes it worth seeing. Aside from the stuff I mentioned above, on the April 20 show the guest will be Jason Jones, famed Daily Show correspondent (and Samantha-Bee-husband). So hilarity is virtually guaranteed. I'd like to note that The Daily Show is hugely popular (clearly much more so than our basement talk show) and seeing Jason Jones is probably the most tantalizing reason for any potential audience member to show up. And yet, I'm first mentioning his name in the fifth paragraph. I believe this is what's known, in the newspaper business, as "burying the leade."

"What's so April 20 about it?"

That's when it happens. Also it's at 10 PM, at The Gene Frankel Underground, 24 Bond Street, between Bowery and Lafayette. Closest subway stops are the Bleeker Street 6, Broadway Lafayette B/D/F/V, or Prince Street R. Tickets are $5 at the door, but you can buy them online for about a buck more, and guarantee yourself a seat. Also, if you get there at the beginning of the night, you can pay a flat $10 and see every Thursday Big Bang comedy show at the theater. What a deal! Especially if you have no other way fill up your sad, empty evenings. Wait-- don't cry! Oh, I always say the wrong thing!

"What's so The about it?"

I hate you, imaginary rhetorical questioner.


So, to sum up: come on out. It may well be your only chance to see me on the same stage as a star of The Daily Show, meaning that my career high may occur in a dank basement. How could you bear to miss it?

I told you the post's title spoke for itself.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mystifying Things I've Seen at the Movies Lately

So, I usually save this space for self-promotion, and nothing else, believing that to use it for other things (1.) would inevitably turn into navel-gazing, and (2.) would take time away from doing more productive writing. However, there are a few things I need to address, and they seem distinctly blog-like, rather than performance or publication-oriented, so here goes...

The Mystery of the Will Rodgers Foundation PSA

Here in NYC (and likely the rest of the country, though I wouldn't know for sure) they're running a public service announcement in front of movies. Here's a bare-bones synopsis, adjusted for my weak memory.

A teenage girl walks through the halls at school, and Miss Piggy comes up to her, yelling "Jenny! Jenny!" wanting to remind her about some charity fashion show that she needs to help Miss Piggy with, after school. Jenny takes out a marker and writes a reminder to herself on her arm. Then she's in the library where Fozzie and Gonzo remind her that their science report is due tomorrow, and she needs to work on that. Jenny makes another note. Also I think Kermit asks her for something, but I forget (I told you, weak memory). Jenny then comes home where her mom is shocked to see that Jenny's arms are completely covered in writing. Then Teri Hatcher comes out and, with the Muppets, tells the audience that if you're a teen with stress you should visit the Will Rodgers institute website for tips on de-stressing your life.

Oh the questions this ad raises!

1.) Most importantly (and the source of most of the questions to follow): What do the Muppets have to do with teen stress? And what does teen stress have to do with the Will Rodgers institute? And Terri Hatcher? What of her?

2.) Why are the Muppets harassing this poor girl? Is this some dystopian universe where human children are slaves to muppets?

Sub question:

Why are the Muppets enrolled in a human school? I suppose the Muppets and humans have always lived together happily in mixed neighborhoods (see Sesame Street for an example of human/ puppet harmony). But it seems odd that a teacher would assign Jenny to work on a group project with Fozzie and Gonzo, as I had always assumed that both were high school graduates, based on their having been college students at the beginning of The Muppets Take Manhattan. At the very least, they must have gotten their GED's.

Plus, it's odd that Fozzie, one of the kindest of the Muppets would place all the responsibility for writing the project on this poor girl. If he is truly committed to her friendship and to education, he should contribute. (On the other hand, Gonzo cares only for his art.)

3.) Why does Jenny react to each new development by writing on her arms? Perhaps the true source of stress is that she lacks notebooks. If I were to try and make it through school without paper, I might need Teri Hatcher's intervention as well.

4.) And Teri Hatcher, what of her? Specifically, does she, or the Muppets, actually speak to today's teens? I mean, Teri Hatcher's best known for being on a show geared towards 30-to-45-year-old women and gay men, and before that, she was best known for turning Superman into a dramedy love interest. And the Muppets, much as I love them, appeal mainly to adults who remember The Muppet Show, and Gen-Xers who grew up with the movies. Today's puppets are too busy making obscene crank calls to hang out with teenagers.

5.) According to their website, The Will Rodgers Foundation is "a charitable foundation in the USA supporting research in asthma, tuberculosis and pulmonary diseases." What's with the sudden concern about teen stress? Did they just figure that curing actual diseases was too tough, and quietly decided to shift their focus to something relatively managable?

Thank God the PSA wasn't for something fatal, like cancer, or we'd never save any lives, due to widespread confusion.

The Mystery of the Slightly Risque British Underdog Comedy

Or, to be more succinct, when did "The Full Monty" stop being a movie and become a genre? I was never a particular fan of The Full Monty-- it seemed more "cute" than it did funny-- but at least its story was reasonably original: "unemployed steelworkers do full-frontal nude revue to raise money." Then came Calendar Girls: "middle-aged ladies raise money for hospital by posing nude for calendar." Then there was Mrs. Henderson Presents: "theater stays open, even during the war, thanks to live nude tableaux." Now I see the trailer for Kinky Boots, which could be described as "man saves shoe factory, with aid of transvestite, by making sexy footware."

Why do you have to keep telling me this story, England? I get it! English people can be naughty in a lovable, twee, take-the-whole-family sort of way! Now get back to being repressed, like you are on PBS. My heart can only take so much mild titillation.

Please, if anyone can help me solve these mysteries, let me know.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The World's Most Meta College Course

Numbering 101: Introduction to 101

Mark Your Calendars for Late April Fun

For the very few of you that like to keep track of these things far in advance, I'll be making another one of my occasional contributions to Andres Du Bouchet & Company's most excellent variety show, Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is a Game, on April the 25th at 8:00 PM at Rififi/Cinema Classics 332 E. 11th St. (between 1st & 2nd Aves). The show is free, with a one-reasonably-priced-drink minimum.

I won't be making a cameo this time (I know that this news is sure to disappoint all who caught my Tony Award-nominated* performance as "Sarcastic Strawberry Vendor" back in March. Instead, my contribution is on the writing side-- I like how the bit I scripted turned out, and it'll probably be a two-parter, which means more me for your buck (like you care), in addition to all the usual GTN hilarity (well worth your time).

So come on out. Since I won't be onstage, maybe we can sit together in the audience. That way it's easier for you to buy me a beer.

*Damn you Nathan Lane!**

**I'm not damning Nathan Lane for beating me out for the Tony Award, as that part about me being nominated was a shameless lie. I was damning him for "Mouse Hunt."