Thursday, January 31, 2008

Captains in Space - THE LOST EPISODE!

And now, from the mixed-up files of Mr. Daniel K McFrankenwiler, comes this script for a "lost episode" of Captains in Space. What's that? You've forgotten what Captains in Space is? All right, point taken. It has been six months since our last episode. However, we shot two new scripts recently, and series creator Captain Fed is hard at work editing the first one. It should be out sometime within the next month, if not earlier.

In the meantime, smart guy, enjoy this never-before seen, first draft of a never-produced episode, written by yours truly. Why was it never produced? Does it suck? Well, only you can answer that question, but as I remember it, I wrote three scripts ('cuz I'm just prolific like that) and Fed preferred the other two. Still, I think it's worth a few chuckles, and is an interesting peek behind-the-scenes.



Captain Adam and Captain Fed’s spaceship, the OTTO 5, flies by camera, the vastness of space behind it.


ADAM is wearing a superhero outfit that appears cobbled together from items he found on the ship.


Adam, have you seen my petrie dish? I’m not accusing you of anything, I just know how you like to use them to sprout avocado pits, but I...
(Fed notices what Adam is wearing)
What are you wearing?

Fed! Great, you’re back! Can you tie my cape on? I can’t work the laces behind my head.

What? No, I’m not going to tie a cape on you. Besides, you could just tie the laces in front and then turn the whole thing around.

Brilliant! With your brains and my powers, there’s nothing we can’t...

Powers? Adam, what are you talking about? What’s going on?

Don’t worry, my young companion. All will be explained in due time.

I’m thirty-eight.

Yes, all will be explained, but a tale this fantastic, this heroic, this... outlandish can only be told with the appropriate dramatic music. Hit it Frankie!

You got it, you dynamic un-doer of evil-doing! Underscoring away!


MUSIC: Dramatic super-hero-style score.

It seemed like a day, like any other day, for devilishly handsome mild-mannered space-ship captain, Captain Adam... but little did he know that this day would change his life forever! While his cowardly sidekick, Fed, was on shore leave on a nearby moon...

Cowardly sidekick Fed?

(ignoring Fed)
Captain Adam was suddenly bombarded by Gamma radiation from a passing meteor shower...

Gamma radiation? Oh, God!

Captain Adam suddenly lost consciousness... but when he awoke, he found that he’d been endowed with mysterious powers, and vowed that from now on, he’d fight wrongdoing as the Outlandish One!


Adam, I...

Outlandish One, Outlandish One! He fights crime with his powerful thumb! He’s got style, he’s got class! Ladies go for his super-ass! Hey you! Dig the Outlandish One!
Outlandish One, Outlandish One! He’s the greatest Miles Standish one! He’s a pip, yes he is! Best pectorals in the biz...

During the song, Adam has been running back and forth, striking various dramatic poses in time to the music. He gets more and more out of breath and finally stops, panting.

That’s enough Frankie.

Frankie stops singing.

God, why am I so out of breath?

Probably because you have radiation sickness!

Pish tosh! I’ve never felt better. Weren’t you listening to the song?

Yes, I was, actually. What’s this about you having a super thumb?

That’s my power! The gamma radiation gave me a super thumb-- well, thumbnail, actually-- that’s impervious to damage.

That’s the dumbest super power I’ve ever heard of.

...So said that dubious doubter, that pernicious pessimist, the Outlandish O’s slippery sidekick, Captain Fed!

Adam, why is Frankie talking like that?

Oh, when I became a super-hero, I programmed her to talk like Stan Lee.


Shut up!
(to Adam)
Look, you do not have a super-strong thumbnail. That’s not how Gamma Radiation works!

Says you! Look, I’ll prove it.

Adam pulls out a lighter and lights it, holding it up to his thumbnail.

See! I’m holding it in direct flame, and yet I’m feeling absolutely no...

Adam drops the lighter and begins fanning his hand.

Ow. Ow that stings.


Some of the flame just hit the non-thumbnail part of my thumb. But what to you say to this, smart guy?

Adam pulls out some nail clippers.

They’re nail clippers.

And they got all bent up when I tried to clip my thumbnail!

All right, say you do have a super-powered thumbnail. What then? How, exactly, is that going to help you fight evildoers?

Oh, it’ll help fight evildoers. Evildoers fight it shall. Fighting evildoers will be exactly the type of fighting it will help fight...



MUSIC: Something jazzy, like the 60’s Batman series.

Emergency lights flash. Adam is running to reach a door before it seals shut. At the last minute, he extends his thumb and wedges it between the door and the wall. He pries the door back open, and slips through it.

A monster shoots a revolver at Adam, and he moves his thumb around to dodge the bullets, a la Wonder Woman’s bracelets.

A crook wearing a striped shirt and holding a big bag of money with a dollar sign on it runs through the void of space. Adam chases after him, and pokes him in the eyes with his thumb. The crook drops the money, and Adam catches it.





Adam lies on a cot, asleep, humming the music from the montage. Fed stands over him with medical tools.

What... what happened?

You passed out. It turns out that your thumbnail was so tough because it was a pre-cancerous mutation. I took you to sick bay to remove it.

MUSIC: dramatic sting.

Is this the end of the Outlandish One? Till next month, stay tuned, true believers!




On the next “Captains”...


Oh, I forgot to tell you. To replace your thumbnail, I transplanted the nail from your index toe.

Noooooo! That was my favorite toenail!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Major Award!

I won Daniel Radosh's excellent New Yorker Anti Caption Contest this week. In the words of the contest itself, the goal is to "submit the worst possible caption" for the week's cartoon (as furnished by the actual New Yorker Caption Contest). Usually it's just for bragging rights, but this week there was an actual prize -- a signed copy of Slate editor Jacob Weisberg's book, The Bush Tragedy. Finally, a book to tell me how shitty President Bush is! (I kid, I kid! I'm always glad to win something, and I like those folks over at Slate.)

Anyway, my winning (anti) caption is below.

"I bet this is killing a tremendous number of people."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Flop House Episode Nine is ONLINE!

In this episode, Colbert Report staff writer Frank Lesser joins us, to see what happens next, in Next (hint: it has something to do with Nicholas Cage's hair). Meanwhile, Stuart reveals his vulnerability to bullets, Dan describes his super-power, and Frank pitches a romantic comedy built on Next's charred remains.

Download it here, or paste into iTunes (or your favorite podcatching software) to have new episodes delivered to you directly, as they're released.

0:00 – 0:35 Introduction and theme.
0:36 – 7:42 Our guest host Frank Lesser is introduced, and we indulge in some off-topic discussion of M. Night Shyamalan, and of Heath Ledger's untimely demise.
7:43 – 33:33 What happens if they make a movie with Nic Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel and no-one comes? They name it Next.
33:34 – 38:35 Final judgments.
38:36 - 42:30 The sad bastards recommend.
42:31 - 56:50 A once-proud podcast devolves into a conversation about recent movies, including Juno, I Am Legend, and The Mist.
56:51 – 57:49 Podcasty business, goodbyes, theme, and outtakes.

Wikipedia synopsis of Next

Thursday, January 24, 2008

In Which I Discourse on Morbid Days of Celebration

(This is an old piece, but never-before published. Should it have stayed that way? You be the judge)

July 14 is Bastille Day, or the “French Fourth of July.”[1] While America’s Independence Day is known for men in trucker hats singing “Proud to be an American,” Bastille Day celebrates the classic French values of Liberté, Egalité, and Guillotining. Especially guillotining.

Yes, although technically Bastille Day memorializes the storming of the Bastille, it is mostly remembered for all the neck-severing that followed. No one can sever the hell out of a neck like Frankie Frenchman (“Françoisie”?). Still, we shouldn’t be so hard on our Gallic cousins—that’s so “early days of the Iraq war.” Decapitation is as good a reason to get off work as any, and besides, there are plenty of other...

Holidays Based on Killing

Good Friday: (Date: The Friday before Easter Sunday)

Sure it’s undermined by the “resurrection” thing, but no list of holidays based on killing would be complete without Good Friday. It’s devoted to the killing of one guy, and the guy in question happens to be God.That’s damn impressive. Say what you will about the Romans, but they were dynamite at aqueducts and deicide.

On the downside, Jesus named this his second-least favorite holiday.[2] We quote:

“What? They celebrate the day I died, and they’re calling it Good Friday? I don’t care if it is ironic, like when you call a fat guy ‘tiny.’ It’s just tacky.

-Source: Interview Magazine, “Just a Closer Talk
with Thee.” Oct. 1978

How does one celebrate Good Friday? The traditional Christian ritual is as follows. (1.) Go to TGI Fridays. (2.) Order a platter of the jalepeno poppers. (3.) Consume entire plate. (4.) Repeat until cleansed of sin and/ or money.

MEMORIAL DAY: (Date: the last Monday of May)

Strictly speaking, this holiday is less about killing than remembering the dead. However, without the killing, there would be no-one to remember, no federal holiday, and consequently no reason for Spike TV to schedule 24 hours of James Bond.

This is the day when we remember those who died for our country by getting drunk on Sunday night, grilling beer-soaked pig-flesh, and watching 76.2 hours of The Indianapolis 500. I like to think their rotting corpses would’ve wanted it that way.

NEW YEAR’S DAY: (Date: January 1—duh, genius.)

Although the death of the New Year is largely symbolic (time being a human construct, which would totally blow your mind if you were stoned), don’t kid yourself. New Year’s is more about death than anything by Judas Priest.

I’m not talking about mixing champagne with Jagermeister and choking on regurgitated black-eyed peas (good luck my ass). I’m talking about baby new-year and old man old-year. Sure, baby may look cute in his little “2005” sash, as if he’s just won some pediatric beauty show. But the moment your back is turned, he’ll pee right in front of grandpa 2004’s shaky feet, sending him slipping and sliding until his skull is crushed under Dick Clark’s enormous ball. And so the circle of death continues. Still, don’t worry about baby’s smug smile. The little bastard will get his.

HALLOWEEN (Date: October 31)

*Only applies if you are Michael Myers.

GUY FAWKES DAY (Date: November 5 – England)

Okay, so get this: in the 1600’s, Catholics were persecuted, so a small group plotted to blow up Parliament. They were discovered, and one of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes[3] was arrested beneath the House of Lords, and executed. 400 years later, the English still celebrate by burning him in effigy.

Way to hold a grudge, England! Geez. The modern way of showing disagreement through fire is not by burning some voodoo doll, but a more abstract symbol of the person, like their flag. Since Catholics don’t have a flag, perhaps a symbol of their faith would be appropriate? A burning cross, perhaps? Yes, I see nothing in my research to indicate that doing that would be a bad idea, or offensive to any group or persons.

THANKSGIVING (Date: the fourth Thursday in November)

Thanksgiving is very unpopular in the Turkey community. Then again, what has the Turkey community ever done for us? Turkeys,” we say, “Unemployment is rising, our natural resources are depleted, and our president doesn’t seem to care! Help us!” “Gobble gobble,” they say. Gobble gobble? What kind of answer is that? I say, fuck ‘em.

MURDER DAY (Date: last Monday in February; February 13, Canada)

Probably the least popular of the “manufactured” holidays, Murder Day was developed in an ill-conceived brainstorming session between Hallmark Cards and Sears & Roebuck’s “knives ‘n’ firearms” department, circa 1929. An unmitigated failure, it was nonetheless a special favorite of Ladybird Johnson, who proclaimed the holiday “the killingest day of the year.” She convinced her husband, LBJ, to make it a federal holiday in 1964.

Today, after a rocky start, it has become a cash cow for Hallmark, which enjoys brisk sales the last week of February—beginning on Monday with their popular, “I’m going to gut you like a suckling pig!” line of cards, and ending that Friday with their even more popular, “I’m sorry I gutted your [family member] like a suckling pig,” line of cards. A spin-off, “Suicide Day” was less successful, owing to lack of word-of-mouth from card buyers.

SECRETARY’S DAY (Date: last Wednesday in April)

Also known as Administrative Professional’s Day.

[1] Incidentally, their decision to celebrate the 4th on the 14th has wrecked havoc on their calendar. For instance: all French women are ten days older, per year, than they claim to be. Also, for daylight savings time, instead of “springing forward” and “falling back,” the French “winter sideways.” No-one has ever been able to adequately explain what this means.

[2] His least favorite is Valentine’s Day… makes sense for a 30-year-old celibate.

[3] In 1985 Guy Fawkes was voted the third most English sounding name ever, after Sir. Neville Periwinkle Winterbottom the Third, and “Ringo.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Too Soon?

1:50 PM me: New get-rich-quick scheme:
The Heath Ledger Memorial Leaf Hedger
only $19.95
1:51 PM Matt: how does it work?
me: It's a normal hedger, but it comes with a drug interaction warning.
1:53 PM Matt: That sounds almost as good as my Darth Vader collectible Death Hater.
Hates death for you for only 24.95.
me: That must free up a lot of time.
Matt: You'd be surprised.
I've taken up yoga again!
1:55 PM me: Or I could sell my Burgess Meredeth memorial Merges Berry-Meth.
It blends berries and meth into a delicious drug smoothie.
1:59 PM Matt: Sort of runs contradictory to your first invention, doesn't it?
2:00 PM me: Look, the idea is entrepreneurship, not baby-sitting the American consumer.
They can make their own bad choices.
2:01 PM Matt: Lord knows I learned that lesson with my Humphrey Bogart memorial Go-Karts.
2:02 PM which were fueled with... alcoholism.
me: At least consumers knew what they were getting.
2:03 PM I took a bath on those Brad Renfro memorial Rad Bren-Fros.
I mean, they knew they were rad.
And that they were some kind of fro.
But I guess "bren" was too obscure for them.
2:04 PM Matt: the public is a fickle mistress indeed.
me: I thought everyone would know that it was Old English for "burn." But I guess there's not a big enough market for radical fro burning anyway.
Matt: Take my Woody Harrelson memorial Sarrel-hons.
Sure Woody Harrelson isn't even dead
and the rest is just nonsense.
But the point remains, I have a family to feed!
me: True.
>lights up a cigar<
>sighs wistfully<
2:06 PM Maybe we're just not cut out for the celebrity death industry.
Matt: then what in the john candied world are we cut out for?
2:09 PM Matt: [hordes of senior citizens seen leaving the theater in disgust]

Monday, January 21, 2008

Unca Dan's Comical Funnies, #3 "The Button Factory"

In Which I Provide a Public Service

I congratulate those of you who’ve recently recovered from winter colds, flu, or flesh-eating viruses. Still, perfect health comes with some sacrifices. Suddenly cough syrup is alarmingly codeine-free, your workplace doesn’t allow footie pajamas, and you miss all the latest* waiting-room periodicals. That’s why I’ve put together this:

Update On What’s Happening in the Magazines You Only Read When At the Doctor’s Office

*“Latest” in this usage means, “Within the last five decades.”

Highlights For Kids
• Goofus continues to come in a distant second to Gallant in matters of etiquette, hand-washing, and choosing a nickname. On a date, while Gallant is always sure to open the door for his female companion, Goofus ignores her entirely, even during the physical act of love. Oddly, it’s Goofus all the girls want to party with.
• Although you may be tempted to throw in the towel, be assured that there are fully 12 ice-cream cones hidden in the picture “A Day at the Beach.” The last one’s a bastard, but if you look closely, we think you’ll find it hidden in the left spire of the sand castle. Boo-yah!!! In your face, Highlights For Kids!

Marie Claire
• The number of cosmetic advertisements featuring nude women remains gratifyingly high.

Reader’s Digest
• Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” a tour-de-force intertwining the 9/11 attacks and the firebombing of Dresden, is condensed into a 23-page tour-de-force article on argyle socks.

Ranger Rick
• Tens of thousands of the Earth’s species are now classified as “endangered.”
• And there’s nothing kids can do about it.
• Stop crying.
• The platypus is the only mammal that lays eggs!

Mira! (The popular Spanish-language celebrity magazine)
• “Los senos de Salma Hayak se han visto en varios lugares populares de noche, incluyendo ‘Granadilla.’ Una izquierda el club con el testículo derecho de Enrique Iglesias.”
• “Siguiente el desempeño de Antonio Banderas en la ceremonia de febrero Oscar, la estrella planea cree un disco compacto, titulado ‘Pisando muy Fuerte y Sacudiendo Como Tengo un Ataque.’”

West Roxbury Hospital News Circular.
• Chief of Medicine Roger Garett’s popular one-panel comic “Hospital Follies,” makes a delightful pun on the words “septum” and “scrotum.”
• Despite recent drug recalls, staff members are permitted to keep the free Celebrex Clock Radios donated by our pharmaceutical rep.
• IMPORTANT REMINDER: doctors are required to wash their hands after using the restroom.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Unca Dan's Comical Funnies

I'm gonna try something new -- from here on out I'll be posting a new comic or single-panel cartoon (written/ drawn by yours truly) every Monday.

(We'll see how long I can keep it up).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Episode Eight of The Flop House is ONLINE!

This is sort of a belated announcement, since I forgot to cross-post this in the excitement (read: drunkenness) of the holidays and such -- this was up on the Flop House official site before Christmas -- but the latest episode of The Flop House is up and ready for your aural pleasure. (That's right. Dan's not afraid to take advantage of a homophone for a dirty pun. He is a high class comedy writer!)

Anyway: here's our holiday present to you -- the longest Flop House ever! Just download it to your iPod or off-brand MP3 player, slip the headphones in, and let the hours* slip by in a haze of bad-movie-induced laughter.

*actual time of podcast: 48minutes, 13 seconds.

In this episode, Daily Show segment producer and Metro columnist Elliott Kalan joins us, to discuss Lindsay Lohan's tour de force dual performance as a girl and another, slightly sluttier girl, in I Know Who Killed Me. Meanwhile, Stuart discusses decorating plans for his evidence dungeon, Dan mentions a lost Neil Simon play that should stay lost, and Elliott fills us in on the life and works of Art Bell.

0:00 – 0:32 Introduction and theme.
0:33 – 36:54 I Know Who Killed Me - just as lurid as the title suggests? Or lurid-er?
36:55 – 40:15 Final judgments.
40:16 – 45:13 The sad bastards recommend.
45:14 – 48:13 Podcasty business, goodbyes, theme, and outtakes.

Download it here, or paste into iTunes (or your favorite podcatching software) to have new episodes delivered to you directly, as they're released.

A note: we've eliminated the movie synopsis at the beginning of the episode, as we've heard people say that they'd rather just get into the fun stuff right away. However, if you want a little context for the discussion, we'll still post links to the Wikipedia pages for these films, which tend to have fairly thorough plot summaries.