Grant Redmond

Triple Feature Horror Show

Halloween Triple FeatureOne show, three terrors. It's the Triple Feature Horror Show that opens this weekend at the Dallas Comedy House (DCH). One portion is inspired by Ghostbusters. Another by Alien. And the third by Seinfeld. To learn more about the show, I sat down with creators Michael Corbett, Ryan Goldsberry, Grant Redmond, Nick Scott, and Cody Tidmore as they were taking a well-deserved Alaskan cruise. Let’s talk about inception (not the movie, though if you want to touch on it, feel free). How did the idea for the show come about? How long did it take to produce it (write it, practice it, etc.)? And how did you choose the cast? 

Grant: Corbett, Cody, and I did a Halloween sketch show together last year and Corbett pitched the idea of doing a narrative Halloween show this year with us. But since Cody and I are too busy for our own good, I pitched the idea that we could do a triple feature in one hour. Three casts, three directors, and three sets of writers. This would ease the load on everyone involved. Corbett pitched out the idea to Ryan and Nick to be the writers for the other two stories, while Cody and I tackled ours.

Cody: I’m just going to add to what Grant said because, as our friends on social media are painfully aware, there’s nothing more obnoxious than two people saying the exact same thing. (But please like both of our statuses.) In terms of how the idea came about: Originally, we were running with a campier take on different Halloween tropes. But, at the time, we were watching a lot of Seinfeld and doing a lot of Seinfeldian bits, and it sorta just hit us how fun it would be to try to marry those two worlds. Oh, and for the record, I still have yet to see Inception. Hope that’s OK.

Michael:, great movie.  You know, by the end Dom had just stopped caring whether or not he was in a dream, and because of that he finally found peace. Anyways, for this show, I spoke with Grant about doing another Halloween sketch show but didn’t want it to just be another montage like Stage Fright, our 2015 Halloween sketch show. Initially, I pitched the idea of a knock-off of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, starring Grant and Cody and a cast of more contemporary movie monsters. That conversation evolved into a variety of ideas, and finally, we settled on the triple-feature format, which for me was inspired entirely by The Simpsons’ "Treehouse of Horror." I liked the idea of giving someone 15 minutes to tell a story or to make a parody of an existing property.

Grant: Cody and I wrote the "Dracula" portion. It's based on Seinfeld and was really fun to write for their voices. It didn't take us all too long since we were already fans of the show. The hard part was casting for people who could mimic these crazy characteristics that Seinfeld gave us.

Cody: Agreed. Casting was definitely the hardest (and most crucial) part because we weren’t necessarily looking for someone who can embody the mannerisms of Dracula, but who can embody Jerry Seinfeld as if he were Dracula. Although, as someone who is already covered in hair and hates everything, embodying Wolfman Costanza was a kind of natural progression.

Michael: Our initial meeting was in July, and we secured Nick and Ryan as the other directors shortly thereafter. So, we’ve been working on it since then. Of course, when I say “we” I mean Grant, Cody, Nick, and Ryan, who actually wrote the segments. I just watched from a safe distance and kept track of deadlines.

Grant: For casting, Cody and I just made a list of performers we’re fans of and chipped away at who could possibly play these roles. Eventually, we landed on our existing cast and we’re ecstatic that they all said yes. Casting our host was probably the easiest part, though. Our host, Goreticia, is played by Sallie Bowen, who is one of the best character actors I've seen at DCH. Really goes all out with makeup and costumes and it's really fun to watch.

Cody: Couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t. Our "Dracula" cast is phenomenal. And we’ve had our eye on Sallie’s character work for a long time, most notably in her rap group, Gross Bitch, which you should definitely check out. She’s embodied Goreticia so well it’s almost like she’s a fantastic weirdo in real life, too.

Michael: When it came to casting, I left it up to the directors of each segment to decide who they wanted to cast. I felt it was important to give them as much freedom as possible to ensure that each segment had its own distinct feel and matched the vision of its director. Grant, Nick, and Ryan have all taught sketch classes at DCH, so I knew they would have a lot of good ideas when it comes to casting. As for the host character, we knew we needed someone who would really elevate the role, and Sallie was an obvious choice. We gave her an overview of what we needed the host to do but wanted to give her the opportunity to craft a character of her own design. Needless to say, she did not disappoint.

Ryan: Honestly, not a fan of Inception. I thought it was beautiful to look at, but underwhelming and condescending to its audience. The premise really wasn’t that hard to grasp. We’ve all seen Nightmare on Elm Street and Ocean’s Eleven. Why did we need Ellen Page’s character asking about the mechanics every 12 seconds? Was anyone really not getting it after the initial, “Oh we go in someone’s dream and then do kind of a heist” explanation?

As for my portion, I started writing in July, finished a first draft in August, and did rewrites up until mid-September, when we started rehearsing. What I ended up doing for casting was asking people that I respect as performers and that I knew were fans of Alien. Even though our scene strayed far away from a direct adaption, I thought it would be cool if everyone involved was a fan of the original property. Couldn’t be happier with the group of people that said yes.

Nick: I dig Inception, but mostly because I love little trinkets and it was nice to see little trinkets get to shine as important plot points.

Shortly after Corbett talked to me about joining up, I was reading stuff about the new Ghostbusters online and the idea to do my segment dealing with all the blowback came to me. I pitched it to Corbett, who liked it, then I put off writing it until like three days before we were supposed to have our first meet-up. In my head, I cast the sketch before I wrote it based on performers I had seen around DCH, then wrote the parts for them, hoping they’d be able to do it. And they were (able to do it).

What is something you’ve believed incorrectly about Halloween for a long time?

Grant: That it’s meaningless once you get older because you end up becoming a guy opening the door and giving away all your candy to random kids. Now I just turn off all the lights and go to a show or party and ignore the kids. Much more fun.

Cody: For the record, two years ago we handed out candy to the kids on our block, and it was absolutely delightful. Separately, I agree with Grant: It’s silly to think Halloween is for kids. Halloween is just silly in general. If you’re like us, you should embrace it, go to a Halloween karaoke party and try to sing both parts to "A Whole New World" while dressed as Bob Ross and a Reverend.

Michael: You know that whole checking your kid’s candy to make sure it wasn’t tampered with or poisoned? There’s only one documented occurrence of that ever happening. It happened in Pasadena, Texas, and the culprit was the child’s father. It’s something to keep in mind when you read about all those creepy clown incidents. Odds are, most of them never actually happened. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be afraid of clowns, though. Remain ever vigilant.

Ryan: That next year is the year I’ll be comfortable with a sleeveless costume. Not that I have any sleeveless costume ideas (not enough hair to pull off Snake Plissken). But if I had a killer one, I know I wouldn’t be comfortable with it.

Nick: That the blood of the innocent must be shed each All Hallow’s Eve in order to keep the spirit world at bay. Boy, have I done a lot unnecessary, terrible things.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever heard about yourself that isn’t true?

Grant: That I'm a catch.

Ryan: That I’m a catch.

Michael: That I thought Grant and Ryan were catches.

Cody: That Nick doesn’t think I’m a catch.

Nick: That Cody thinks that I don’t think that he’s a catch.

What’s the most interesting opportunity you’ve gotten through DCH?

Grant: Any commercial or even audition that I've had a chance to do through DCH has been a great experience. I also pick up writing gigs here and there, which is great, because I'm poor.

Cody: The opportunity to goof around with some amazingly talented, incredibly funny people is something I truly cherish. Also Grant’s writing gigs; we’re poor.

Ryan: Getting to teach sketch has definitely been my favorite part of the last year-and-a-half. I get more nervous for my student’s sketch shows than I have for any show I’ve ever been a part of. Seeing other people get as excited about comedy as I do really is the best.

Michael: I actually ended up in my current job because the person doing the interview would frequently attend shows at DCH. It allowed me to completely gloss over my previous work experience and talk instead about a subject I was actually passionate about. Three years later and here I am doing this interview while I should be working at that very job. This isn’t getting published, right?

Nick: I actually got my current job through DCH, and I got a book published thanks in large part to the DCH community, so probably that time I got to eat a whole cake on stage with my hands.

Finally, how do you want audiences to feel when they leave the show?

Grant: That we did Seinfeld justice with our script. Although we are technically monsters, so were they.

Cody: Exactly. That, and to be slightly annoyed. This is Seinfeld we’re talking about.

Ryan: I hope we remind people that the true meaning of Halloween is in our hearts, and the real treat is the friends and family we have to share this special time of year with.

Nick: Despair that the world is a terrible place, and that there is nothing they can do about it except come back and see the show again.

Michael: Terrible sadness that the show has ended and a longing for more. I hope this feeling stays with them for the next calendar year, and they can only find peace by attending whatever version of a Halloween show we put on next October. It’s all about repeat customers.

The Triple Feature Horror Show takes place Oct. 21-22 and Oct. 28-29 at the Dallas Comedy House. Tickets on sale now.

Jason Hensel is a graduate of the DCH improv training program. He manages the DCH blog and performs with .f.a.c.e., the '95 Bulls, and Bound Together.

First Look at Our Newest DCH Student Short Film

Exciting news for aspiring film makers at the Dallas Comedy House! We are now offering a Sketch for Screen class and our students' first short is now streaming. The program is taught by our very own Grant Redmond and Michael Bruner. Redmond is a graduate of the sketch program and provides the writing curriculum, while Bruner is a graduate of the improv program and, since he works in the film industry every day, is able to provide insight as to how video production works. The Sketch for Screen program consists of three levels and spots are limited. So sign up soon!

Our first class consisted of Christian Hughes, Mark Jacob, Susie Falcone, Jon Patrick, Tyler Simpson, and Nkechi Chibueze. Their first sketch "Name In Vein" is below. Check it out! (NSFW)

Name In Vein from Dallas Comedy House on Vimeo.

DCH'S First Pun Contest

PunDo you like the punny? Are you puntasic with words? Do you see everything through a pun-ism? Well, then, you may be interested in our first pun contest. Here are the details: - Four teams of three people will compete. - There will be an elimination round each round until we declare a winner. - The first few rounds will include pre-written puns, with the categories given to the teams 48 hours in advance. - The remaining rounds will be performed on the spot, with just a little bit of prep time after the topics are given. - Anyone can enter. You don't have to be a comedian/performer. Ad agency nerds tend to do well with puns, so this is a great opportunity for them. - There's a prize at the end: $50 Uncle Uber's Gift Card and $50 DCH Gift card! Hooray for prizes!

TO ENTER a team of three contestants, you need to send submissions to: 1. First/Last Names of All Team Members 2. Email addresses of All Team Members 3. Team Name 4. (3) Punny Newspaper Headlines About The State Fair of Texas 5. Optional: A team picture of the three members together!

The four teams will be selected based on their State Fair pun entries.

Ready? Set? Pun!

Troupe Talk: Law & Order: The SVUsical

Law and Order "In the Criminal Justice System, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories."

….those are the opening lines for Law and Order SVU (you know, the TV show).

"At the Dallas Comedy House, the Criminal Justice System is represented by seven separate, yet equally funny people. The Amanda who directs the crime and the comedians who prosecute the audience and make them laugh. These are their stories."

….those are the opening lines (that I just made up because I can, because I blog and stuff) for Law & Order: The SVUsical (you know, the MUSICAL. The musical that you would be a dummy for not catching THIS FRIDAY--and running every Friday and Saturday through August 29 [except Aug. 14-15]--at Dallas Comedy House).

What was the inspiration for writing Law and Order: The SVUsical?

Grant: It was originally pitched by Lauren Davis for an assignment in our Leve 3 sketch class. The assignment was to pair up two things that don't usually go together. She came in with Law and Order: The Musical. After writing and performing a 10-minute version of it, we decided that we needed to elaborate on the idea and make it a full-length show. Susie: What Grant said. Christian: Lauren pitched L&O: The Musical for our sketch 3 show back in April, and we loved it. We did a compressed version in our sketch show and when we were through with that we all said, "Let's make this a real thing!" Now three months later, here we are. Paulos: In our last sketch revue, Fraud City, Lauren Davis wrote a sketch called Law and Order the Musical. It was a big hit, everyone enjoyed it and still brought it up. We knew before we ended that run in March that we were going to do a full-length version. Sean: We really wanted to do a buddy-cop show in the vein of Turner and Hooch, so we came up with the idea to write a musical about Mr. Law and his dog Order. Lauren: Law and Order: The Musical was a sketch I wrote for our sketch 3 class. Amanda: It was a pitch from Level 3. I asked them to pitch two pop culture paradigms that don't normally co-exist. Lauren pitched Law and Order the Musical. It almost didn't make the cut, but it did. They had so much fun with it during the sketch 3 review, Fraud City, we decided to make it a full length musical.

Tell us about the writing process.

Grant: We watched musicals and episodes of Law and Order while writing down patterns that we noticed so that we could exploit them in our musical. After getting a list of characters and beats we knew we wanted to hit, we assigned scenes to everybody and met up the next week to pitch. I remember the first week that we all showed up with songs, and each one was so funny. Once enough songs were written, we just had to write the scenes to connect all of them. We still haven't stopped writing. People add lines here and there every time we run through the script. It's making for a show that is very dense with jokes. Christian: The writing process was much different for this than with sketch. We had to do a lot more conforming to a central story with this, so it took more time to craft that. We had a general story that we outlined our first meeting and then we all took it and kind of ran with it. Paulos: Writing with this group has always been the most much fun and but sometimes frustrating. It's cool, everyone is super talented, and most of the times we were just doing bits and laughing for hours. As far as the script and songs, it was very collaborative. We all edited or punched up everything. Sean: Everyone in this group is a strong writer, and we all trust each other to create great content. At the start of the process, we'd piece apart the different things we needed to write and assign them to different people, and then we'd bring them back to the group and help punch up each other's stuff. This is a group that really fires on all cylinders when it's working together, and we're most in our element when we're creating things with each other. Susie: There's a lot more pressure when writing for a group vs. writing for yourself. Write, edit, write, edit...edit, edit, edit. In fact, I think we kept writing and editing up until last week. Lauren: Like the painting of the Golden Gate Bridge, it is apparently never ending. Amanda: I think it's still going on...

Let's go behind the scenes. What did a typical rehearsal look like?

Grant: We'd all be outside on the stoop in our jean jackets. Drinking 40s and smoking drugs. Amanda would walk up and as she would unlock the door, we'd throw paper airplanes at her back and high-five each other for making such good paper airplanes. She'd shake her head and know that deep down, we did it out of love. After taking a couple hours to sober up, we'd go over notes from the previous week and run any scenes that had recent changes or trouble areas. Then a full run through with costumes and props, followed by more notes. After cleaning up, we'd go back to the stoop out front and pick up where we left off with our drugs and alcohols. Christian: Rehearsals changed over time as the musical came together. First is was just us trying to block the thing, then trying to remember lines and blocking, and now it's kind of honing and refining everything so it looks good for the show. Paulos: We had some pretty intense rehearsals. Typically groups meet up three hours a week. There were times were meeting up six hours two or three times a week. We're all very committed and also need your approval so we wanted to make something really special. Sean: Early on, it was just all of us sitting around a table coming up with great "what-if" ideas. I'm pretty sure there's about three great sketch shows' worth of content that got left on the cutting room floor. As the songs and scenes got finalized, we started rehearsing on the stage, blocking out the acts, and singing the songs with music. Susie: Six-to-10 hours of nonstop fun! We laugh and joke around a lot. Bits, bits, more bits, and then Amanda steps in and gets us to rehearse. Lauren: Depends on the day. Sometimes we focused on choreography, sometimes running transitions, writing songs, etc. Amanda: The first two months were writing sessions. Super fun. These bozos are really smart. Then we started blocking it in June, and in July we went to twice weekly practices then upped the game to three times a week. We had several rehearsals that were seven-hours long. They were productive, just long. There's a lot to consider with blocking/transitions/choreography/music/props when it comes to a musical, on top of memorizing the content and songs. Honestly, I've seen a lot of drama in theater in the past, but this group was so committed to making this show really fun for the audience, so any time there was tension, we nipped it in the bud pretty quickly. Usually with queso. Or beer. Or hugs.

Favorite memory of the production process?

Grant: Going out to take pictures for our posters was a lot of fun. Getting to see everyone in costume for the first time on top of a high-rise in Dallas. That's not a bad way to spend an evening with your friends. Christian: My favorite part of the whole process was pitching songs at the beginning. I had never written a song for a musical before, so it was a ton of fun writing out the lyrics and performing them in front of everyone at our writers meeting. Paulos: There are a lot to choose from. We've practically lived together for a couple of months writing this. Listening to the songs for the first time was so much fun, and I cried laughing a lot. One night recently, however, we had a pretty long rehearsal and everyone was beat up and tired and we had a group message going where everyone got home and got really excited at like 2 a.m. It was a cool thing, because we were tired but still so much more excited than tired. Sean: Oh, there's so many. One that comes to mind happened a couple of weeks ago. I had been out of town for a week, so I missed some rehearsal time. I came back, and at the next practice, during the run, the whole group did this super intense elaborate choreography that didn't exist before I left...I won't spoil anything, but I was dying. So that was pretty funny. Also, anytime Lauren's giggle box breaks. It's so fun to have someone who takes the show super seriously laughing uncontrollably because of a poop joke. Susie: My memory is shot from all the drinking and rehearsing. I wish we made a documentary of this: "Making of Law & Order: the SVUsical" (because I'm not creative with titles, apparently). We've been in over our heads since day one, but Amanda has always been there to guide us and pick up the pieces. Through the power of friendship, you can do anything! Lauren: Either hearing most of the songs for the first time or the time Amanda ordered us free pizza. Amanda: Honestly, and please don't tell them this, I'm sad I won't be spending all of my Sundays (and Mondays and Wednesdays and Saturdays with these boners). They're all so fun. I love them all equally in different ways. They're really smart, and I love being part of a project where everyone is just so dedicated to putting up good work. The amount of time they've put into this show is kind of unbelievable. I can't wait for it to open and everyone see all of their hard work. It's been an honor to direct them.

Law & Order: The SVUsical runs every Friday and Saturday through August 29 (except Aug. 14-15). 

Tori Oman is a Level Five student at DCH. She’s trained and performed with the Second City and iO in L.A. and Chicago. Favorite pastimes include being irrationally competitive at Monopoly, eating an apple in every country she’s traveled to, and being the sole person on this planet that thinks Necco Wafers are a delicious candy choice.

Comedians at Bars Drinking Alcohol

This weekly blog series features interviews taking place at the Dallas Comedy House (DCH) open mic with me and some of the funniest stand-up comedians in the area, most of whom just happen to be my best friends! Read to learn about your favorite local funny people and about the curious emotional makeup of people who like to go onstage alone every night to get laughed at. Grant RedmondGrant Redmond: Crowd Pleaser

Grant Redmond and I grin winsomely as we sit across from each other on the DCH sofa. This is our third attempt to do this interview—as one of the hosts of the open mic, along with his best friend and red-bearded doppelganger Christian Hughes, he is usually pretty busy Tuesday nights. An energetic and gifted performer, Redmond's killer timing, charisma, and goofy, laid-back charm make him an incredibly fun and likable onstage presence, whether he's recounting his past with biting, self-effacing humor or delivering off-the-cuff zingers before bringing up the next act to the stage. I also made out with him once and let him tape it! (Redmond, Hughes, and a few friends have won the DCH Short Film Contest three times for their zany, absurdest sketches—the latest is at the bottom of the page.)

Hi! Hi Grant! Hey, how are you?

Hey, I'm good how are you? This is going to be already the most forced interview.

Well, we both do the same thing, which is desperately want people to like us. Also I'm emotionally like a sponge. I do the same thing. Well I didn't, but now that you said that, I'm like a sponge as well.

When did you start comedy? Oh boy. The first time I ever tried it I was 18 years old—well actually I'll take that back. When I first started high school, Christian (Hughes) and I were part of a writing troupe that performed sketches at pep rallies in front of the whole school every single week. And once that was over, my next creative outlet was open mics, and it was a once a year, every now and then type of deal until about three years ago. I'm going to say I've been doing comedy for three  years because that's when I really started doing it.

I agree. That's when it counts. Christian though! Has he always been a comedic inspiration for you? Inspiration, no. Friend, yes! Christian and I met on the first day of high school. We were in cross country together. So we met at school the first day and we were just running, and I didn't get to talk to him until we were in the showers. He and I identified on a lot of levels humor-wise, became good friends, met a lot of friends through him. We've been writing together since about age 16.

So you started in Dallas? Arlington Hyena's, then I moved down to Austin when I dropped out of college to do stand-up. Ended up getting some promotions at work and maybe getting to an open mic a month if that. Lived there for two years, not growing comedically then decided, "I'm moving back to Dallas!"

What's it like running the DCH open mic? This is my favorite open mic. When Landon [Kirksey, the man, the myth, my friend] was running it, I would drive up from Austin just to do this open mic and drive back to Austin the same night because Landon's awesome, the atmosphere is awesome, it's very loosey goosey. More so back then.

You've kept in the spirit I think. Ish. We have the email system now, then Landon decided to move to L.A., big timin' us. And he messaged both Christian and me, asking, "Would you guys take over the open mic? It just seems right that you guys would do that." And I was at work, and after I got off work I didn't read the message. So I got off work and Christian had already agreed for both of us.

Really? What would you have said? I would have said yes. Obviously I love this place so much. There's an obligation to be here, but at the same time I love most people here, and I really do have a fun time.

So you went on tour with Josh Johnson. What did you learn from performing for big, good crowds? That above all, it is tiring. I thought it would be just like hanging out with your friends, whatever. I thought that even if you're headlining an hour set it's not that tiring. I was exhausted, but had so much fun. We toured the Hard Rock Cafes in Texas, and it was a blast and learning experience finding out how you're treated as a traveling comedian rather than how you're treated at a local bar show. Have you ever been on tour?

Stop turning the interview back on me! Why do you love stand-up? The satisfaction of strangers letting me know that I'm funny. Because above all, I want to be funny. I don't want to be anything else. I don't want to be rich, I don't want to be famous. I just want to be funny. I want people to be excited when I'm onstage. And that's the ultimate goal for me, even if I'm doing a show for four people. If I have those four people laughing, it's the ultimate thrill for me. Best part of my day.

Lauren Davis is an improviser and stand-up comedian from Dallas, Texas. Currently a student at the DCH Training Center, she can be seen weekly performing improv with her troupes LYLAS: Girl on Girl Comedy and Please Like Us, as well as doing her stand-up act at clubs around the area.

What We're Loving: Comeback Stories, Little Lord Legs, Michael McDonald Deep Cuts, DCF14

DCH_what we're loving_3_14_14Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week Julia Cotton speaks to the self-loathing narcissist in us all, Ashley Bright needs tiny legs, David Allison makes a That's My Bush reference, and Ryan Callahan shamelessly plugs his own work. 369Dan Harmon is the genius that introduced me to the love of my life, Donald Glover, by creating an awesome show called Community. Around Season 2, I found myself listening to every interview he did and then consuming everything he’d ever created. I could tell that he was a person who absolutely cared about humanity, honesty, harmony, and 'Harmon’. He was clearly a narcissist while simultaneously being very self loathing. It’s a personality combination that can lead one to often feel very isolated, often be misunderstood, and often get fired.

When he was fired from Community, I was heartbroken. I’d become so dependent on his voice that I felt a little more lonely and weirdly… rejected. It was like whoever fired him had also fired me.

Luckily, he began the Harmontown podcast. It is premised as a town hall meeting to plan the founding of a colony of like minded misfits. The question is ‘What do we need to form a functional society?’ The podcast features some improv, made up songs, and freestyle raps (that are clearly performed by a white dude in his 40s that is NOT named Eminem). There are many special guests (Bobcat Goldthwait, Robin Williams, Jon Oliver, Mitchell Hurwitz, frequently Kumail Nanjiani). Around episode 6, it was decided that each show would culminate with a game of Dungeons and Dragons (see Community S2:14). In that episode we are introduced to Spencer Crittenden - an audience member randomly chosen to be Dungeon Master.

Harmontown went on the road and was filmed. It documents Dan’s journey which ultimately leads him right back into the arms of his lost love (Community season 5!). It also chronicles him and his girlfriend going through relationship woes and eventually becoming engaged. Harmon suggests that perhaps the most interesting story is that of Dungeon Master Spencer as he takes an unexpected journey into celebrity.

The documentary really highlights Dan Harmon’s effect on the people who call ourselves “Harmenians”. What we have in common is this feeling of never quite “fitting in” and often feeling misunderstood and rejected. Dan Harmon has shown us how to take those feelings, and fuse them into creativity.

You can check out the trailer here. - Julia Cotton

Nigel-Lindsay-as-Shrek-and-Nigel-Harman-as-Lord-Farquaad-in-Shrek-The-Musical.-Photo-by-Brinkhoff-MögenburgI've had one of those go-go-go weeks, where I didn't make adequate media absorption time for myself. I did watch the True Detective finale, but so did everyone else and their dog. Dogs love Rust Cohle. I watched some more Sopranos, but I dabbled on that topic last week. I did have a Gilmore Girls watching evening with Mr. Terry Catlett. No, I won't be sharing the joys of Stars Hollow with you. In fact, I'm going to use this forum to ask you to share something with me. Let me explain. You may not know this, but TC (Terry Catlett for some of this entry) is a big fan of musicals. After watching Rory move into her dorm at Yale, we watched Shrek on Broadway on Netflix. I can't lie; I didn't really dig it, although there were some very inspiring stage setups. Here's what I did love: TC was absolutely tickled by Lord Farquaad's tiny legs. I had a giggle fit just watching him have a giggle fit. I've tried searching for more big bodies with tiny leg gags, and I've come up with nothing except for some unfortunate real-life body disfigurement. I saw some stuff I can't unsee. So, first, I'm asking for any videos of a similar tiny leg gag so that we can all continue giggling. Be careful on your search; I'm telling you there is stuff out there that will burn onto your eyes. Second, and more importantly, can someone help me make some tiny legs for Terry? I can provide materials and I'll do the legwork (pun!), but I need some help figuring out how to make them functional with bending knees. I should note that I cannot sew. I'm not sure if that's important. - Ashley Bright south-park-the-movie-back-cover-98981I love alliteration! In celebration of that fact, I’m creating “Movie Soundtrack March” to showcase great comedy soundtracks that go underappreciated. The only rule for my weekly pick is that the soundtrack has to mostly be comprised of original music.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are geniuses. You know that. The problem is that they’ve created so many amazing things (South Park, Team America: World Police, Cannibal, Orgazmo, BASEketball, Book of Mormon) people tend to lose track of things. Heck, just by attempting to create a list of their work, I’m sure that I’ll get critiqued because I forgot something random, like That’s my Bush. It happens when two people create such a consistent collection. Because of that, I’m going to highlight my favorite piece that they did, a soundtrack that they don’t get nearly enough respect for; South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

The movie was the first time that South Park began to receive acclaim as something more than a show that gets by on the shock value of kids not acting like kids and the quality of each musical number was a big reason. For starters, you’ve got “La Resistance” and “Up There,” which are fantastic parodies of “Do you hear the people sing?” (Les Miserables) and “Part of your world” (Little Mermaid) respectively. Next, check out Big Gay Al’s one man show stopper “I’m super” and be reminded that people used to shop at Mervyn’s (And reference it in song!). Still not convinced? Well let me remind you that MICHAEL MCDONALD CREATED AN ORIGINAL SONG FOR THE ALBUM. Midway through the track, he just starts advertising his friend Keith’s car detailing business. Yes, not every track on the album is great, but there are so many gems that it is well worth revisiting. - David Allison

14517_10152631209974056_1575422524_nI'm loving many things the week: The Daniel Bryan angle on RAW Monday, learning that Night Hawk is a non-fictional producer of Salisbury steaks, watching my girlfriend watch Game of Thrones, (What!), but most of all I'm loving the anticipation for The Dallas Comedy Festival. This is my first festival and my first experience with the heightened intensity, the crackling energy in the air, the camaraderie as the DCH team hustles together to get ready. I'd call it the Super Bowl of Comedy, but that would probably get me sued, so I'll call it the SuperWrestlemaniaFinalsCup in Memory of David Von Erich of Comedy to be safe. Man, it really feels like the SuperWrestlemaniaFinalsCup in Memory of David Von Eric of COmedy around here this week! There's so much going on.

The Dallas Observer wrote about out "pretty killer" lineup, (quotes means you aren't bragging,) while the Dallas Voice was struck by the strong bonds formed at DCH.

Jason Hensel and I had the opportunity to speak with some of the talented men and women who will be performing at the festival. If you're a comedy nerd you'll appreciate the many discussions on craft and technique. If you're not a comedy nerd you are clearly in the wrong place and horribly confused. Take a deep breath and back away from your computer.

Comedy nerds, get to know some folks a little better:

- Executive Branch - Saffy Herndon - Gramt Redmond - Christian Hughes - Rob Christemsem - ZOOM! - Susan Messing - And more to come next week!

By the way, I'm still loving Rick Ross. Guys, it might be serious. - Ryan Callahan