Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm on Fist City Again, TONIGHT

Could this be the birth of a new Internet radio star? Is there such a thing? Find out tonight, as I make my triumphant return to Fist City, in their super-sized second episode! And this time I do it before the final five minutes!

Here's Fist City co-host Elliott Kalan's pitch:

Alright, FIST CITY fans,

You already know that FIST CITY, your favorite online radio comedy show hosted by Brock Mahan and Elliott Kalan, is now on East Village Radio every thursday night at 9pm.

But did you know that TONIGHT, that beloved program will be appearing at 8 PM for a 2 HOUR COMEDY EXPLOSION?!

That's right, tonight at 8pm tune into for the "Fist City 2nd Episode Spectacular", celebrating two amazing episodes of FIST CITY with celebrity guests, memories, and an encore presentation of Part One of the rousing pirate serial drama "Babybeard"!

Then, at 9pm, stay with us for the newest episode of FIST CITY, featuring jokes, gags, a man raised by wolves, and the world premier of Part Two of "Babybeard"!

It's twice the comedy, twice the awesomeness, twice the time! And at the same great price of FREE! Listen, won't you?

FIST CITY - TONIGHT! - 8pm - 10pm - or subscribe to the podcast.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I Was On the Radio On the Internets

Last night I was on the inaugural episode of Fist City, hosted by Elliott Kalan and Brock Mahan. You can listen to the show via streaming audio, or you can use the podcast xml to download the show to your iPod, or your Zune (Bill Gates only).

A note: Fist City is the second hour of a two hour block, the first hour being "The Rev Clempson Show, Featuring Rory Albanese." The whole show is well worth listening to (Jason Jones from the Daily Show is a guest on Rev Clempson). However, if you're a friend and/or relation and just want to skip to my guest spot, it's literally in the last five minutes of the show. Thus, since you can't skip ahead on the streaming version, I'd recommend that you download the MP3 via the podcast link, and use iTunes (or whatever) to skip ahead to the end.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Will Be On the Radio On the Internets! Tonight!

Thanks to the miracle of streaming audio, the miracle of podcasts, or any other holiday miracle specifically dealing with the ability to hear stuff over the web, I can be heard tonight on the new show Fist City.

The show is hosted by my friends Elliott Kalan and Brock Mahan, whom you may remember from the just-ended Primetime Kalan (which I'm providing a link to, even though the final show recap was literally the post just preceding this one. Scroll bar be damned!). I'll be providing a guest essay on the first show, and will hopefully pop up from time to time thereafter, whenever they're desperate to fill airtime. I will, naturally, keep you posted.

Anyway, as always, when I'm involved in an Elliott project, I'll let him do all the promoting for me. What says he?...


Hello Kalan and Mahan fans,

Remember how much fun it used to be to see ELLIOTT KALAN (Metro columnist, Daily Show Segment Producer, and former host of "The Primetime Kalan") and BROCK MAHAN (TV writer and former host of "Top O' the Mahan To You") perform live onstage? And remember how unfun it used to be to actually travel to the theater they were performing in?

Well remember no more! Now, thanks to the magic of "internet radio", Brock and Elliott will appear LIVE in your house, TONIGHT!

No, we aren't breaking and entering using a magical computer device. We're performing a weekly radio humor show of sketches, bits, jokes, jackanapes, interviews, and an ongoing dramatic serial about pirates. The show's name? "FIST CITY"

"FIST CITY" will be streaming live at , tonight and every Thursday night at 9pm . Can't be there for the broadcast? That's no excuse! Every episode will be available to podcast, through your regular old-fashioned iTunes, right after the show! Talk about convenience! You literally have no excuse not to listen to this show!

FIST CITY - 1st episode! Tonight! Thursday night at 9pm!

By the way, the show's the second half of a two hour block, the first hour being "The Rev. Clempson Show."

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Primetime Kalan: THE FINAL EPISODE Recap

The final Primetime Kalan was this Saturday past, and I think the occasion warrants a show synopsis.

The audience took their seats to a DVD of the world's worst cartoons, projected on the back wall, and once the (sell out) crowd was settled, things got rolling. Elliott got up and did his monologue, about his recent 25th birthday, and thathis newfound adulthood sadly means that he'll never acquire the label "child prodigy." However, it's the perfect time for a retrospective, so he introduced that evening's show "A Celebration of 25 Years of Kalan."

To help explain why this anniversary show was also the final show, Elliott brought me up to interview him. After some tension, resulting from my no-holds-barred, hardball style (I quizzed him about why he was putting me out of work), he explained that he wanted to end things now so he could go out on top. I disputed his position that doing a show in the basement of an East Village bar was, in fact, going out on top, but Elliott remained unswayed. To my query as to why he refused to sell me the name for $10,000, so I could do "The Primetime McCoy," he said that he felt a spin-off would "weaken the brand," and that it wouldn't serve the core goal of "getting the Kalan name out there." He was firm in his decision to retire to his mansion, play tennis, and contribute the occasional joke to Letterman. When I asked to visit the mansion, he said no.

We then had a video from former Primetime Kalan director (and current assistant on the Flava Flav dating show Flava of Love), Joe Guercio. He wished Elliott a happy birthday, while casually knocking over several videotapes.

This was followed by an audio greeting from Brock Mahan, Elliott's longtime writing partner. He gave Elliott a touching testimonial, taking time out from his busy life of berating a Hawaiian desk clerk for not properly booking the Aloha Suite for himself and "LonelyHousewife69."

It was then time for a look back at Elliott's turbulent life and times. A video montage of scenes from the 80's gave way to the 90's, and then to black and white cartoons and footage of the 1936 Olympics. Finally, the scene shifted to the shooting of JFK, and the eternal flame, ending with a picture of Elliott and the caption "Elliott Kalan, 1981-2006." Elliott objected that the video made it seem like he'd died, but Erik assured him that it was just "in memory" of all the entertainment he's provided, specifically between the years of '81 and '06.

Erik went on to say that there were a few memorial notices from companies whose products Elliott had consumed while alive. Goldfish Crackers sent a notice recognizing Elliott life, and spoke of plans for limited edition Elliott-flavored crackers, "in the shape of all of Elliott's favorite things," including Spider-Man, Frankenstein's monster, and soft-core Cinemax porn. Coca-Cola also sent condolences, quoting Elliott's interview in "Beverage Aficianado Magazine," in which he'd stated his desire to be buried in a casket filled with Coke, and"slowly dissolve into his favorite drink." They also sent a complimentary bottle of Coca-Cola Blak. Lastly, the makers of black t-shirts sent a message saying that "When Elliott stopped wearing black t-shirts with old horror movie posters on them, tucked into black jeans, it stopped being cool."

Then The Daily Show's John Oliver got on stage, to deliver Elliott's eulogy, over Elliott's repeated protests that he was, in fact, still alive ("Please Elliott, this is going to be emotional enough as it is, without you standing there talking.") Oliver spoke about how difficult it was to lose such a man in the same week that we lost Augusto Pinochet, continuing about the parallels between them. He had the audience play a game, in which he invited them to guess whether a given quote was from Kalan or Pinochet. (Surprisingly, "Where's my Woody Allen boxed set" was from Pinochet.) He discussed rumors that Elliott had done marvelous things like invent a new vowel, one that will now be lost to linguistic history. Summing up, he stated that he would always remember Elliott as "A man I met recently, knew for a short bit, and then died."

I had to duck out for holiday-related reasons at this point, but I know that Daily Show writer Scott Jacobson showed up to sing a heartfelt song.

Also, Elliott's son memorialized him, remembering the time his father took an unpaid internship at Dean Witter to become a stockbroker and support his family. "When I felt him hold me in his strong black arms," he said, "and felt his moustache bristling against my forehead, I knew everything would be all right." Elliott was touched, until he realized that it wasn't actually his son, just a guy reading the plot to the hit Will Smith vehicle, The Pursuit of Happyness. Revealed as actor Eric Zuckerman-- best known as "Doomsday Guy" from Stephen Spielberg's War of the Worlds, Eric announced that he would be signing autographs after the show for $5.

Then the show wrapped up with Elliott's traditional Ramble/ Rambo Room and Doogie Howser Computer Journal segments. A fitting end to an always goofy, sometimes great, often poorly-attended show.

However, cry not, because I expect to continue to work with Elliott (pretend estrangement notwithstanding). In fact, I will be appearing on his new East Village Radio show "Fist City" this Thursday the 21st at 9 PM - hopefully just the first of many appearances, that is, unless he gets too big for me, because... (important news to follow in the next paragraph)

...He's gotten a promotion. He's now not a mere Associate Segment Producer on The Daily Show, but a Segment Producer on The Daily Show. Thus, in between buying me drinks and lighting up imported cigars with $100 bills, he can call himself a television producer without the slight twinge of semantic guilt he felt in the past. Congratulations, Elliott! And Happy Birthday!

Elliott Kalan: 1981 - 2006

Recycling Center: Rejected Jokes Edition

Here comes Santa Claus...

Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet, who brutalized the country through a 17-year long military rule, died Sunday at the age of 91. Meanwhile, Bronson Pinchot, who brutalized America through five seasons of "Perfect Strangers," is alive and well.

According to a new study, fewer than 1 in 5 Americans have "a great deal" of trust in President Bush to "recommend the right thing" for the US to do in Iraq. Slightly more trusted:'s recommendations for Iraq.

Mattel said that sales of Barbies this year are up for the first time in several years, with one poll listing Barbie as the top toy for girls this season. Selling particularly well: Britney Spears and Paris Hilton's Bi-Curious Barbie Fun Set.

On Sunday Reverend Paul Barnes, the pastor of a Denver mega-church, resigned after confessing to having sex with men, saying that he had often cried himself to sleep, begging God to end his attraction to men. Thankfully, men weren't attracted to him, since he often cried himself to sleep.

While plans to sell OJ Simpson's book, If I Did It, were scrapped, copies have appeared for sale online for as much as 5500 dollars- although I can tell you how he did it for free. With a knife.

Nintendo's new video game system, the Wii, is causing problems for players who have accidentally thrown the remote control style wand-joystick into televisions, windows, and their own faces. And there's nothing more unpleasant than getting a little Wii in your face.

Martha Stewart will appear on Howard Stern's satellite radio show Thursday, to teach the audience how to knit nipple cozies.

The Marine Corp on Tuesday stopped a Sergeant from changing his name at the behest of the highest bidder on his Web site,, although they've so far done nothing about President Bush's site,

Federal health officials said Wednesday that lettuce was the most likely source of an outbreak of E. Coli linked to Taco Bell. I'll repeat that: the least healthy thing at a Taco Bell was the lettuce.

It was reported that Kevin Federline is prepared to write a tell-all book about Britney Spears that could include details about her wild drinking, alleged drug-use, her sexual attraction towards other women, as well as her supposed belief in time-travel. But not if FUTURE BRITNEY has anything to say about it!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

In Which I Discourse Upon Several Forgotten Comedy Teams

Although the early years of vaudeville spawned numerous popular comedy teams, such as The Marx Brothers, Gallagher and Sheen, Abbot and Costello, and the Three Stooges, the work of many other teams has been lost to the sands of time. Whether it was because their particular schtick couldn't make the transition to the mass media of radio, the moving pictures, or television; or because their material was simply ill-concieved from the start, these unsung funnymen from a bygone age have since been forgotten. But as relics of a theatrical comedy tradition that is no longer with us, they deserve a closer look.

Drinky McIrishman and the Tuneful Lush

Capitalizing on America's hatred and fear of the Irishman in the early part of the century, this team seemed destined for stardom. Drinky would tell a series of of off-color jokes, primarily regarding the insertion of potatoes into various parts of a woman's anatomy, while the Tuneful Lush accompanied him with sentimental Irish ballads on the musical saw. Although booked on all the largest vaudeville circuits, two factors eventually spelled their demise: the first being McIrishman's "method" approach to his role, wherin to convincingly portray an Irishman he felt the need to imbibe a fifth of whiskey every time he took the stage. This theatrical affectation eventually grew into a real-life case of crippling alcoholism, causing him to slur his punchlines-- never more so than during the vocally challenging final moments of the "Catholic Delivery Room" sketch. Secondly, the team failed to adjust their routine for heavily Irish venues, such as New York's Shamrock Music Hall. It was at this venue that a team of pugalistic young Irish lads forceably took the stage, and administered a severe beating, which collapsed the Tuneful Lush's trachea, and ruptured McIrishman's booze-swollen liver.

Asa "Shecky" Jablomowitz & Eli "Shecky" Lindt AKA "The Two Sheckys"

Fast friends from their youth, when they were forced to share a bathroom and three fifths of a radiator, in a tenament in Brooklyn, The Two Sheckys decided to form a comedy team soley on the basis of having a shared nickname (also a condition of their lease). Despite this remarkable confluence of circumstances, the one thing TheTwo Sheckys did not share was a coherent comic outlook. Shecky J. engaged in madcap slapstick, especially in an elaborate routine in which he repeatedly milked a goat onstage, every time accidentally spilling the fresh, unpasteurized liquid down the blouse of their chorus girl assistant ("The Mammarian Milkmaid"). Whereas Shecky L. preferred to make wry political comments about William Jennings Bryan, often while embroidering. Perhaps this disjunction in their styles might still have worked, if either one had been willing to cede the spotlight. Instead, both would perform their act seperately, but simultaneously. The effect was more cacophonous and confusing, than it was comical. Shecky J. died in 1931, followed by Shecky L. who, in an amazing effort to upstage him, managed to die in 1930.

Baron Von Highbottom and The Accountant

Although thrilling conceptually, Baron Von Highbottom and The Accountant was a disappointment comically, as its central conceit (a comedy duo made up of two straight men) added up to few larfs. A typical scene unravelled thusly:

I am leaving this priceless ming vase here on this awfully rickety shelf. Please do not attempt to dust it or to use it as a spittoon.

Don't worry. I shall be over here going over your reciepts at length. I doubt I'll have the time or desire to molest said vase.

Well that's settled then.

By the way, whom was that lady I saw you with?

I assume it was the Baroness. Good day.

(The Baron EXITS. The accountant goes over his reciepts at length.)

Despite being a colossal failure as entertainment, Baron Von Highbottom and The Accountant's act had the distinction of being extremely long, which theater owners liked, as it gave them the means to pad an evening's program of entertainment. They
performed regularly until 1928, when the Accountant died onstage. No-one noticed.

Nutsy and the Rabbi

Although Hitler's facial hair didn't harm Charlie Chaplin's career, it did destroy that of the similarly mustacheoed "Nutsy" of Nutsy and the Rabbi fame. His name, lip-tickler, and famously comical "Duck Walk" all took on a sinister edge with the advent of WWII. Soon thereafter, "The Rabbi" decided to leave the team for personal reasons. After that, Nutsy took on a series of ill-chosen sidekicks including the imposing "Joey the Aryan." In a comical mix-up worthy of one of his routines, Nutsy ended up being accidentally tried at Nuremberg during a theatrical tour of Europe. He was swiftly put to death in 1949, but his legacy lives on!

The Hatfield Cousin-Brothers

This Appalachian comedy team's family tree was so tangled and incestuous, that in the interest of accuracy, their name required a hyphen. Audiences at the time were put off by their pale skin and birth defects, such that their astute social satire was completely ignored (although much of it found its way, via shameless plagiarism, into the New Yorker columns of James Thurber).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Recycling Center: Rejected Jokes Edition


Actor Rip Torn was arrested Monday in New York on charges of drunk driving, resulting in the world's most confusing headline: "Smashed Joy Ride Rip Torn Nicked."

Officials at said that the most requested searches of 2006 were the Yankees, Britney Spears, and Suri Cruise. The least requested search? "Howie Mandel erotica."

The Conservative branch of Judaism voted this week to accept gay rabbis for the first time. Or, as they put it, "What's the big tsimmes about a guy who likes schlong?"

The White House said Monday that, because he was unable to win Senate confirmation, UN Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, in a sad day for human walruses everywhere.

The Iraq Study Group formally presented their report, entitled "The Way Forward, A New Approach" on Wednesday to President Bush. Although, to get him to read it, they just called it "Highlights For Kids."

A 2 month-old baby girl in Colorado was in good condition Monday after being hospitalized with a blood-alcohol level more than four times the legal limit for an adult driver. Officials suspect the cause was a bottle of Danny DeVito Brand Baby Formula.

Broadway actor James Barbour, who once played The Beast in Beauty and the Beast, was arraigned this week on charges that he fondled an underage girl backstage in 2001--both a little scared, schoolgirl unprepared, booty groped by beast.

World chess champion Vladimir Kramnik lost his final game in a match against computer program Deep Fritz. Kramnik attributes his loss to underestimating his opponent, mistakenly believing it to be gay German porn.

Paris Hilton has said that after hanging around with Britney Spears and her two children, she wants children of her own adding, "I look after animals, so I'd have a lot to give my kids." Including, presumably, several blood-borne STDs.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Am the Ted McGinley of Fake Talk Shows

Flashback to May of last year-- I join the writers/ cast of Sara Schaefer is Obsessed With You for the last 6 months of its two-year run. It's one of the more popular (at least, for the size of the venue) comedy shows in the city, and, although talk-show-format stage shows were certainly not a new idea, SSIOWY did it before it became the cliche it now seems to be.

During my time with the show, the success continues. We have one of our biggest guests in Lisa Loeb (and standing backstage listening to her perform "Stay" live, a song that I remember first seeing on MTV in high school, is still one of my most treasured NYC comedy memories). We get considered for the Aspen Comedy Festival, and, though we don't ultimately get called back, it's an honor to have been scouted.

And then the show ends shortly thereafter.

We go out in top form, with a final episode I'm very proud of. Sara goes on to a justly deserved job as a web-host for AOL Music's "The DL" (check it out, people). Fellow writer Amanda goes on to a justly deserved job writing for Greg Giraldo (although she's currently free--hire her, people!). Kara Lee departs for new horizons in L.A. And Patrick continues in his day job as Conan O'Brian's personal assistant. And I go on to...

The Primetime Kalan-- another live talk show, hosted by Daily Show associate producer Elliott Kalan. It was originally conceived as an unwritten midnight talk show. With the move to an earlier hour, Elliott decided to tighten things up with more pre-written bits, and kindly asked me to join. Much fun is had, particularly due to the never ending stream of Daily Show guests, courtesy of Elliott's delightfully shameless connection-pimping.

I stay with this show for about nine months of its two year run.

And it's ending. Next weekend.

Clearly, something is happening here. I am forced to come to the conclusion that I am the Ted McGinley of Fake Talk Shows-- Ted, of course, being "the patron saint of shark jumping." My presence apparently marks some sort of death knell for semi-successful basement-comedy-talk-programs. On the bright side, my staying power seems to be gradually increasing. When I join the cast of Late Night With Jon Kingman is Obsessed With Being Primetime, I may even make it a whole year before bumping the thing off.

"The McGin" -- just, you know, hangin'

On the other hand, perhaps I'm misreading the situation. Perhaps I am not the Ted McGinley of stage talk shows, but merely the Cousin Oliver-- perhaps I'm the guy brought on in a last ditch attempt to revitalize a slumping show by virtue of my adorableness and ability to bring in a wider audience. That audience being, specifically, my college friends who live in the NYC area. Hey, that extra 20 people is nothing to be sneezed at!

Either way, next time I hope to get paid.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Last Primetime Kalan EVER

From Elliott...

Hello, Kalan fans,
It is with a heavy heart that I, Elliott Kalan, in the guise of the omniscient narrator who writes these plugs, must announce that there is an all-new episode of THE PRIMETIME KALAN on Saturday, December 16th at 8:30pm. I see you're confused. I understand. A new PRIMETIME KALAN? This is an occasion for joy and celebration! Yes, usually it would be. But this you THE LAST PRIMETIME KALAN!!!!
But don't be so glum! How else could we say goodbye to this fixture of the no-budget comedy scene, but with a 25th Anniversary Spectacular! The 25th Anniversary of Elliott Kalan's birth, that is! Be there as Elliott rings in adulthood, with special guests JOHN OLIVER ("The Daily Show"), SCOTT JACOBSON (writer, "The Daily Show"), and BROCK MAHAN (almost worked at "The Daily Show" once). Plus, farewells from some of your favorite Kalan show personalities.
You will tell your grandchildren you were at this show.
THE PRIMETIME KALAN - LAST EPISODE! - Saturday, December 16th, 8:30pm
@ Jimmy 43
43 East 7th street (btwn 2nd and 3rd Ave.)
Tix: $5

Monday, December 04, 2006

Recycling Center: Rejected Jokes Edition

I give all my loving to you...

It was reported that a sequel to the DaVinci Code is being readied. It's tentatively titled "Maybe Something Crazy is Going on with the Jews, Too."

Insiders say that the report by the Iraq Study Group will recommend dramatically increasing the number of US military officers embedded with Iraqi troops to accelerate training and get the US on a path toward leaving the country, although President Bush claims that they only formed that study group as a way to meet girls.

Former Seinfeld actor Michael Richards appeared on the Reverend Jesse Jackson's radio show Sunday to apologize once again for his racial outbursts at a comedy club last week... although he lost points when he assured listeners that he's "Master of his Plantation."

ABC's All My Children this week will introduce a transgender character who is making the transition from a man into a woman. Much like any men watching All My Children.

"The Nativity Story," a movie about Mary and Joseph before the birth of Christ, had its world premiere at the Vatican on Sunday and won strong praise from Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, who is the "deputy Pope." Which is like when you get a thumbs up from the other guy, not Ebert.

More and more White House officials, US generals, and members of Congress are blaming the continued violence and destruction in Iraq on the Iraqis themselves, and their failure to rebuild their society. Also, did you see the way Iraq was dressed? It was totally asking for it.

A mental patient in Illinois has pleased guilty to threatening to castrate President Bush, but was released with time served, after the fall elections did it for him.

Friday, December 01, 2006

In Which I Introduce a New Character for Your Mild Amusement

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome-- Jasper: The Comedian With the Poorly-Thought-Out Material!

(Applause. Jasper takes the stage. Long silence.)

Um... Cauliflower. That would be a good word to use in a joke. Possibly a joke about calling... uh... a flower.

"Indiana Jones and the Pimple of Doom."
Would be a... a good MAD Magazine parody. Back in 1984.

I'd hate to have Tom Wolfe's dry cleaning bills. What with all the... white suits.

I went to a bemusement park the other day. At least I think I did.

So... that Quentin Tarantino sure likes nostalgia, huh? What's he going to do next? A show called H.R. Bloodnstuff? Or something?



Jasper, everyone! Jasper: The Comedian With the Poorly-Thought-Out Material!