Monday, July 24, 2006

An Orgy of Self-Reflexive Posting

The folks over at the comic book blog Kung Fu Rodeo posted our Primetime Kalan Superman videos, one per day, over this past weekend. Thanks, comics fans, for overlooking our lousy production values in order to enjoy a few spandex-clad laughs.

Also, The Apiary picked up my hate piece about Shouts and Murmurs. Unlike everyone else on the Internet, I usually try not to badmouth anyone, but I made an (apparently newsworthy) exception. My only fear is that Libby Gelman-Waxler will put a hit out on me. Sorry, Mr. Rudnick. You did write one thing I sort of enjoyed, once.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Water Recycling

In honor of this weekend's release of M. Night Shymalan's Lady in the Water, I direct you to my previously-mentioned humor piece, M. Night Shymalan's Modern Library.

Thank you, M. Night, for making us laugh at falling in love... again.

Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard hide from water-allergic aliens.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Shouts and Vitriol

Tthis piece in the most recent New Yorker, American Idol World Court, by Paul Rudnick, is so unfunny that it provoked nothing but rage-- much more so than I will ever feel after reading any Seymore Hersh reportage detailing the failings of the Bush Administration. (And thank you Mr. Rudnick for pointing out how shallow I am.)

Why do I hate it so?

1. It's so incredibly original! No one has EVER thought to compare American Idol and national/ world politics!* What a fresh take! Surely no-one would ever think to compare an incredibly popular, incredibly fluffy, television program--one with elements that include voting and judges--to government and related issues! Get this-- they're passing judgement, but on serious things.

Here's a tip: when a Mandy Moore movie has done it already, your premise may have lost some of its satiric edge.

2. Wow, you're right! Randy Jackson sure does say "dawg" a lot. And Paula is spacy! And Simon is a jerk! It's like you've GOTTEN INSIDE THEIR HEADS!

3. Mr. Rudnick has made the bold decision to wait a full four seasons to drop this jewel on us. Also, he's decided to run it while the show is between seasons, and thus foremost in everyone's mind.

4. He probably got paid a couple of grand for shitting out this piece... although that can't compare to the hundreds of thousands he likely made for writing such hilarious films as Isn't She Great, Marci X, and The Stepford Wives, whereas...

5. Shouts and Murmurs has rejected all the pieces I've sent to them. And I have no money.

Yeah... my grapes are probably a bit sour.

But read the following rejected piece, and tell me that it's not eight times as funny as anything they've printed in the last year:


By Dan McCoy

The following is a transcript of the now infamous "Frankenfranken" program that aired at 2 am on July 17, 2005. It was the last episode of the program ever to be produced.

Coming up next, we have The Frankenfranken Show, which will carry you on through 'til morning. This is Air America. The time is 2:05 AM.

Theme: Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper. Fade out.

Grrrr…. Hello. Welcome to Frankenfranken show. Me host, Frankenfranken, telling you Republicans are dead wrong, and me should know what I talk about. Ha ha. BECAUSE FRANKENFRANKEN DEAD! GET IT? GRRRRR! LAUGH, STUPID LISTENERS!

Sound of a cattle prod.

GRAHHH! (incoherent mumbling) Frankenfranken is sorry he said that. Frankenfranken knows he should not insult own audience. Let's take call.





Is this the Al Franken Show?


Hi. Mr. Franken, don't you think that naming your book "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot" helped lower the level of political discourse in this country?


Sound of phone being crushed.

How many times does Frankenfranken have to explain to you people? Frankenfranken and Al Franken not the same. Frankenfranken created by Air America in effort to plug gigantic hole in least-popular overnight time slot. Me stitched together from parts of six dead Al Franken clones and one box Frankenberry™ brand cereal, then reanimated using power of lighting bolt that strike Air America broadcasting tower! IS VERY SIMPLE!

Long pause.

So to answer question: Frankenfranken not write Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot. Frankenfranken write much less popular book "If Rush Limbaugh Reanimated Corpse, He Still Be Dumb." Besides, me believe Al Franken book title meant as parody of Limbaugh own rhetorical attacks.

Sound of newspaper clumsily being opened.

So, while they bring new phone, let's talk. What in paper… George Bush say global warming need more study. George Bush say no stem cell research. George Bush say war in Iraq front line in war on terror. George Bush, George Bush, GEORGE BUSH! URGH! BUSH MAKE ME SO MAD! ANY CALLER BUSH MAKE MAD TOO, CALL IN! TALK TO FRANKENFRANKEN! CALL!

Is this Frankenfranken?

YES!... Yes, is Frankenfranken. You hate Bush?

Sure, sure… I'm a lifelong democrat, but that's not why I called. Did you say that you were stitched together from six dead clones of Al Franken and one box of Frankenberry cereal?

(Sigh) Yes, Frankenfranken say that.

Why did they add the box of Frankenberry cereal?

You not think Frankenfranken ask self same question? Frankenfranken wonders every day! Is all Frankenfranken can do to keep from clawing at self to get at the delicious strawberry-flavored cereal that lies beneath! FRANKENFRANKEN NOT ASK TO BE CREATED! FRANKENFRANKEN JUST AS AIR AMERICA MAKE ME!

Sound of a cattle prod. Incoherent muttering.

Well, also—you're stitched together from six dead Al Franken clones? Why murder six clones, pull them apart, put them back together, and reanimate them? It seems like a lot of trouble. If you have the technology to make a Franken clone, then why not just give the clone a show?

Because Air America mad with power! Air America discover secret of reanimating dead tissue, and decide to play God! Frankenfranken made up of six dead clones because Air America take the most liberal body part from each Al Franken, to create unholy super-liberal!

Okay, now that just doesn't make sense. If these were all clones, surely the liberalism would be distributed exactly the same in…

Sound of Frankenfranken hanging up.

CALLERS! STOP MAKING FRANKENFRANKEN QUESTION MEANING OF OWN EXISTENCE! IT ENRAGES FRANKENFRANKEN! Of course Frankenfranken's life raises all kinds of questions! Frankenfranken is deeply conflicted about own existence! For example: as super-liberal, Frankenfranken appreciate cloning technology in relation to stem cells as possible medical boon. On other hand, as reanimated clone, Frankenfranken feels self to be abomination before God!

Incoherent chatter from engineer's booth. Sound of torch being lit.

Also, Frankenfranken wonder about own free will! Is Frankenfranken a liberal because me so chose? Or is Frankenfranken liberal because me stitched together from parts of liberal?! And is sound of torch being lit really sound that can be recognized over radio, then later transcribed for transcript purposes?!

Sound of scuffle, things being knocked over.


Sound of burning studio collapsing. Static. Silence.

Next, on Air America: Zombie Adlai Stevenson.


So, call me, The New Yorker. I may insult you, but I only do it out of love. Love, and the desire for you to send me large checks, and not to a guy who made a movie where Lisa Kudrow runs a rap label.

Seriously, fuck Paul Rudnick.

*to quote The Simpsons, "In case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A Video Done By & For Some Friends

I had no part in making the following video, but it was put together by two of my fellow Kalan writers, Brock and Erik, for Sara Schaefer's new show. So I thought you fine people might be interested. It shows two of Weird Al's new songs, and one lost "classic."

Kalan Summer Update

After the sold-out success of the premiere of The Primetime Kalan at Jimmy's No. 43, we're taking the month of July off. (Nothing keeps the momentum going like taking a vacation right after the premiere! Soon we'll be as popular as LOST!)

However, fear not, Kalantites! Our inimitable brand of absurdist talk/ variety show will return in August and September-- Saturday August the 26th and Saturday August the 23rd, both at 8:30, to be exact. $5, no cover, as always. We've got some hilarious things planned involving stuffed animals and trench coats.

So mark your calendars for fun, if you're the sort of anal person who marks their calendars with comedy shows a month in advance. I hope you are!

Elliott has a Doogie Howser moment.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


In an unprompted response to one of my previous posts, Elliott Kalan, of the smash hit "The Primetime Kalan" has provided me with the following blurb...

"Dan McCoy is a grown man with the mischievous enthusiasm of a small boy who has somehow talked his way into a teaching position at Harvard University."

Thanks, Elliott! Only a man with your "devestating, Byronic good looks"* could be so singularly perceptive!

*Source: email from E. Kalan to D. McCoy, July 12, 2006.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Show Photos

Here's a picture from the Very British 4th of July show, which Eric Zuckerman and I hosted in the guise of Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine. I'm the hatless one who looks nothing like Caine.


Thanks to my lovely wife for the photo. Larger version available here.

Update: I'm adding the following picture of Eric and me drinking. Previously you had to follow us around until we went to a bar and wait a couple seconds to get this kind of sweet, sweet action. Thanks, Internet!


And lastly, here's one of Matt Koff, from the Summer Funtime Special, to disturb and alarm you.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Site Milestone

Well, the odometer rolled over past 10,000 visitors today (although most of those hits were probably from either librarians or me). It's a tiny mark of success, I suppose, with the emphasis on tiny-- which in many ways is fine.

The other day I was pondering about how most successful comedians have a persona, and about how I don't have one, which, in turn, is probably why I don't usually think of myself as a comedian as much as a comedy writer (although I perform fairly often). I've settled into my role as the guy in the background, the staff writer (whether it be for the now defunct Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You, or the currently running Primetime Kalan), or the guy who does some guest writing or performing in his friends' shows.

Most of the time this is cool with me. My career goal is to be a TV or screenwriter, not a comedy star, so I'm kind of training for that, with all my current stuff.

Still, just because I'm the support guy, doesn't mean I'm not an egomaniac (I did chose show business-- such as it is-- after all). Sometimes I feel like being in the background causes people to underrate what I'm capable of. Plus, I originally came to NYC to be an actor. I know my way around the stage. I could do more performing, or write stuff for myself to perform, and I'd be good at it.

And yet... I don't know that I have something specific that I, as myself, need to present to the world. No individual comic persona. So I don't end up doing my own thing very often.

Sorry that this hasn't been either (1.) a plug, my stated reason for maintaining this site, or (2.) funny, what I'm theoretically attempting the rest of the time. It's just something that occured to me recently, when I was thinking about blurbs.

Blurbs? Where the hell did that come from? Well, here's what I mean. If I was writing a quote about my former fake boss, Sara Schaefer, I might say something like:

"Her endearingly awkward presence belies a surprisingly sharp wit. A master of daffy self-effacement!"

Not great prose, but you get the picture. Or my current "boss," Elliott Kalan:

"A geek's geek, Kalan spins comic gold from supposedly cult subjects, his likable delivery making them accessible to his whole audience."

Whereas my blurb would be:

"His endearingly self-effacing exterior fails to belie an apologetic interior. His dry delivery makes slightly amusing a series of increasingly baffling references. Pleasantly regressive."

My friend Rob Bates co-wrote an entire sketch show for Rick Murphy, inspired by what he saw as Rick's comic persona. The title? "Rick Murphy is an Asshole."

Here are some suggested titles for my show:

"Dan McCoy May Come Off as Somewhat Cold if You Don't Know Him That Well, But Actually He's Just Sort of Shy."

"Dan McCoy is Politely Nodding After Everything You Say."

"Dan McCoy is Expressing Increasingly-Less-Dignified Befuddlement as the Straight Man in this Sketch."

"Dan McCoy Doesn't Mind a Laugh at His Own Expense, Provided He Helped Script It or is Otherwise Involved."

"Dan McCoy is Vaguely Dissatisfied With Life and Reacts With Mildly Cutting Remarks."

"Dan McCoy, Like Most People in Comedy, Probably Secretly Thinks He's Funnier Than You, but He Also Respects What You've Done, and Suspects He May Be Wrong About The Funnier Than You Thing."

"Dan McCoy Makes an Appropriate Pop Culture Reference, but Not Too Frequently, Because That Would Be Pandering and Lazy."

"Dan McCoy Loves To Dance, If You Get a Few Drinks In Him."



This website reviewed the show I was in on Wednesday. You can read the whole thing*, but I'll skip you to the pertinent paragraph:

"Spot on, also, were Eric Zuckerman as Bob Hoskins and Dan McCoy as Michael Caine, performing patter in character to wrap around all the sketches from beginning to end. McCoy didn’t try to look much like him, but had Caine’s voice perfectly."

True enough, although to make me look like Caine, I'd have to wear a curly blond wig, which would probably just confuse audience members who would wonder why Harpo Marx** was talking like the old guy from Batman Begins.

Anyway, thanks to the reviewer for the kind words-- with this endorsement I can finally enter the lucrative field of voice-only celebrity impersonation. For only $10, I will call any friend or family member you choose, pretending to be the star of Irwin Allen's The Swarm. What a deal!

*A note, if you do read the rest of the review-- the show was actually called "A Very British Fourth of July" and "The Summer Funtime Special" was actually the name of one of the groups that performed. I think this got a little (understandably) muddled.

**Yes, I know that Harpo's wig was originally light pink, and later red, but it tended to read as blond onscreen. Thus, I made this joke, because it's doubtful that anyone reading is as big a Marx Brothers nerd as me. Then again, this is the Internet.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

5th of July Spectacular, Tonight

Hot off the promo presses...

Join hosts Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins (really Dan McCoy and Eric Zuckerman) for an evening of sketch comedy and 4th of July related festivities. This may be your only chance to celebrate America's Independence with a pair of award-winning British actors. And isn't that the way George Washington would have wanted it?

With sketch comedy by The Summer Funtime Special, Freedumb and a special sneak preview of Uncle Sam's Satiric Spectacular.

A Very British 4th of July
presented by Manhattan Comedy Collective
Hosted by Michael Caine & Bob Hoskins
with sketch comedy by Freedumb, Uncle Sam's Satiric Spectacular, and The Summer Funtime Special
Wednesday, July 5th at 8:00pm
at Jimmy's No 43
43 E 7th St. (downstairs)
between 2nd/3rd Ave.
6 to Astor Place;R/W to 8th St., F/V to 2nd Avenue
$7.00 - No Drink Minimum
Advance Tickets available