New Monthly Comedy Series starting July 22nd! BE THERE!
New Monthly Comedy Series starting July 22nd! BE THERE!
(Stand-up Comedian, James Adomian, is a regular on LA’s alternative comedy show, Comedy Death-Ray at the UCB Theater. His voice, along with his comprehensive library of characters and impressions can be heard semi-regularly on Scott Aukerman’s podcast: Comedy Death-Ray Radio. His wildly funny and fresh pop satire is what landed him amongst the top ten finalists on the most recent season of Last Comic Standing.
I was fortunate enough to check out his act and improv skills in New York, and later, he agreed to expose himself…well, at least some of his thoughts and philosophies…)
How has the comedy industry changed since you’ve begun your career?
I tried to ignore the “comedy industry” when I started and I still don’t have much patience for the parts of the business that take place outside of creative art. That may have held me back some, and certainly an ambitious “A-student” career attitude does well for some people’s stature, but it’s not really in my personality. There are good people and there are bad people; you have to work with all kinds. Most business in our capitalist society boils down to some kind of scam. At least in comedy, people have a good time, usually.
Who did you look up to most starting out in Comedy?
Phil Hartman, Bill Hicks and many others. I was greatly influenced by Late Night with Conan O’Brien, which came out when I was 13. I think I watched every single episode in the summer of 1994.
What lesson have you taken away from your experiences in Stand-Up Comedy?
I have to watch shows from the back of the room because my laugh is disruptively loud.
When did you first realize that you had a talent for voices and impressions?
I was imitating voices from real life and media as soon as I could talk. I used to run around in diapers doing the voices of newscasters with their grave tones–I have never respected their artifical authority. When I was in school I’d do all my teachers and coaches, and some celebrities as time went on. When I was 14, I started calling in to a local L.A. talk radio show (Ask Mr. KFI) and pretend to be prominent Republican media figures at the time, like Bob Dornan and Phil Gramm. That was probably my first experience doing impressions for a broadcast audience.
Who is your favorite character to perform?
Well, it changes with time. Original characters, I usually create in the service of an idea I want to talk about. Some of my favorite original characters are Miss Corona Martini (a filthy drag queen standup), Jonathan Summers (BBC announcer) and Bromian (my straight dude alter-ego). For impressions, I like to do people who make a big impression on me, positive or negative. I find a target who’s never been done, or someone who hasn’t been done right, or someone who hasn’t been done in a while where I have a unique angle. These days I love doing Jesse Ventura, Freddie Mercury, Huell Howser and Christopher Hitchens. Orson Welles and Vincent Price are two old favorites.
Does being a “gay comedian” play a significant role in your act?
To borrow Johnny Cash’s logic: I’m not a “gay comedian,” I am a comedian who is gay. Even then, labeling people never works well, since all kinds of sex acts happen outside of the defined sexual identities. But I publicly embrace “gay” since it’s a label that’s so heavily villified in our culture and it’s close enough for shorthand, I guess. In my act, I talk about having sex with other men and I talk about homophobia embedded deep in our culture, but I generally save it as a surprise for the end of the set because I have many things to say on a wide range of topics, and what I do doesn’t really fit very well into the established artistic ghetto of “gay comedy.” Accordingly, I am completely invisible to the official gay culture, but that’s fine with me because I speak to a wider audience than just “the gays.”
(on the Political Importance of Gay Rights)
Mainstream politics generally function as a calculated distraction from life. Sexual freedom is expressed by people and communities, not the state. I practice free love and recommend it to others. I find it insulting that we’re not supposed to have sex with other men, or that we’re supposed to live in quiet fear when we do. Homophobia, including hetero-normative (“straight-as-normal”) narratives come from fear: a wide-eyed terror at the limitless wilderness of human sexuality. Same-sex love has been enjoyed by humans since prehistoric times: sometimes it’s forbidden, sometimes it’s tolerated, sometimes it’s accepted, sometimes it’s encouraged — but it’s always happening, no matter what the nominal legal or social status. Free yourself and the world will follow. If you’re not interested in living free, I would advise you at least to step out of the way, because we’re coming.
What makes you optimistic about the future of humanity?
Not much. I’ve just about given up on the future of humanity. There are isolated pockets of wisdom, sustainable communities and resistance to global corporate tyranny, but overall, we’re headed for many different kinds of disaster. I hope someone put a copy of Dr. Strangelove in the Greenland seed vault so that the octopus creatures can see where we went wrong when they reach this level of planetary dominance in a few million years.
What are you optimistic about in life?
I live surrounded by love, wisdom and laughter and I don’t need much else to survive for now.
What advice would you give to a comedian just starting out in the business?
Watch, learn and do comedy as often as you can. Make friends with other performers. Learn how to live off the land, both for bread and for comedy. You will bomb and you will kill; you can have fun and learn a lot from doing either.
(on the feeling of being on stage in front of an audience)
The high stakes seem to be a great factor in forcing a performer to do something worthy of the lights, the mic and the audience’s attention.
Stand-up comic, writer, and actor, Scott Aukerman has an impressive resume that ranges from Mr. Show with Bob and David, The Sarah Silverman Program and Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, to penning scripts for Puss in Boots, Run Ronnie Run, and Tenacious D. His most groundbreaking current project, however, is Comedy Death-Ray Radio, which is derived from his weekly LA alternative comedy show (Comedy Death-Ray). Aukerman’s weekly podcast is recorded every Friday afternoon and features comedians, actors, and comedy characters engaging in round-table discussions which are sometimes on the verge of cringe-worthy, but always (objectively, because I’m right and you’re wrong) hilarious.
We got the chance to “sit down” with Mr. Aukerman and allow him to sprinkle some wisdom Parmesan on the Pizza Bagels of our minds.
SuperDPS: Why is Stand-Up Comedy important?
Scott Aukerman: You know, a few years back I wouldn’t have said it was, but a recent experience where I witnessed comedy actually helping people through a tough time made me realize comedy is just as “important” as drama. Or dramedies. Or “Arachnophobia,” the world’s first “thrill-omedy.” That said, it shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
What was your motivation to enter the world of comedy?
I thought I was funny but no one else did. So I had to prove it to the assholes!
Is there a specific moment that made you certain of your career path?
I think the first time I performed at the comedy store, and heard all the laughie-laughs I knew this is where I wanted to be.
(on what he’s learned from being in show business)
The usual– the difference between upstage, downstage, stages left and right.
(on what he’s learned from his wife)
Oddly enough, the exact same lessons!
What are your ultimate goals for what you want to bring to your audience through Comedy Death-Ray Radio?
I just want to keep going, doing it the way I want to do it, and hopefully people will come along with it. I’ve never really paid too much attention to other people’s suggestions or criticisms; so when you’re listening to it, you’re hearing exactly what I want to do at that particular time.
If you could communicate one urgent message to everyone via your show, what would it be?
That our current currency should be based upon a gold or silver reserve. The US dollar right now is just a piece of paper!
What advice would you give a young comedian just coming into the industry?
If you move to LA or NYC, don’t get too caught up in finding an agent or getting on a TV show. Just perform as much as you can and the rest will take care of itself. Also: Don’t move here! There aren’t enough jobs here for the both of us!
The first time I ever feature-danced was nerve-rocking. I remember I was doing a Super Bowl special in Miami, for JMH Productions and we had to do girl/girl scenes for the commercials…but we also had to go on stage and dance. It was my first time, so I was shaking like a little piece of paper on stage. But I did it and I made 26 dollars in one dollar bills…lol
With the power of a god, I would make every woman bisexual–that is so hot…Grrr I love it.
I’ve always considered myself a nice, intelligent girl, but the nice part is not all the time. I don’t have patience, so people get under my skin pretty fast. I guess they like the bitch side of me. lol
I can’t stand when Motherfuckers try to take advantage of me…Grrrrrrr! Like I said before, I look dumb but I’m not. Don’t let the face fool you!
When I was a kid, I was fat, but I was cute
If my life were a crappy romantic comedy, it would be something like that Couples Retreat movie.
The worst advice I ever got was from my mom. She is horrible with addresses and driving directions.
God dammit, I wish I could have a Red Bull right now. I can’t live without it.
I think one of the shittiest things I’ve ever done was fuck my neighbor’s wife. We actually did a threesome: the 2 of us and my husband.
One thing you should know about me is that I am workaholic and kind of a control freak. I like everything in place and want everything to be my way!
(for more from Diamond Kitty, visit her site!)
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The First Time I Ever tried to be a stripper I had to take 2 shots of Patron and I couldn’t let go of the Pole. It was my life support system. 8 years later I STILL have to have something to hold on to onstage.
With the power of a god, I would actually fight crime all over the world… destroy large cities and figure a way for people to appreciate living off the land in its purest form. I’d be like Akira but without the gross blobby-ness.
I’ve Always Considered Myself a living cartoon.
I Can’t Stand When Motherfuckers don’t think before they speak.
When I was a Kid, I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons… Wait, I still play Dungeons and Dragons.
If my life were a crappy romantic comedy, it would have a lot of slapstick and fart jokes.
The worst advice I ever got was, “I’d rather you be a prostitute than a Lawyer,” from my dad. Boy did I show him!
God dammit, I wish I would have used my money for good instead of evil during my stripping career.. my porn $ went to extravagant trips all over the world.
I think one of the shittiest things I’ve ever done was something that started with the letter S.
One thing you should know about me is that I love drawing women… i can’t help it. Over and Over….
(Be sure to check out Satine’s blog: http://sexfoodandcomicbooks.com)
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Like most of the people reading this, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a comically large presence in my life. He was such a giant star that his fucking name appeared above the title of most of his movies on posters and DVD covers. No one gives a crap about Kindergarten Cop and the producers knew it. All that mattered was his awful accent and improbable facial bones.
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of re-living a childhood memory in the form of The Running Man. Perhaps not a defining piece of cinema from my childhood, but certainly present enough to warrant remembrance.
If I could just skip ahead towards the tone this review will take, please do not go back and watch things you loved as a child. You will hate it and will wonder if you had all your pistons pumping in your youth.
One of the best things about this movie is its cover. Apparently I purchased the “Special Edition” which pretty much means it came in a cardboard box on the outside of the DVD case. And yes, above the title of the movie reads ‘SCWARZENEGGER’. They should have just thrown in some exclamation points and blinking lights to draw any and all attention away from how shitty the movie must be.
Here are quotes from my Twitter feed back in June when the movie came on cable late one night:
- The Running Man just came on Starz. My night officially wins. You could cure cancer and lose. Losers.
(Notice the hopeful nature in which I started out the experience? This movie totally rocked my face off as a kid, after all)
- Either this show is incredibly flawed or the turnover for the bad guys was very high.
(Not an extremely vicious or even an interesting bit of dialogue, but doubt is starting to creep in)
- Fat guy in underpants: “I’ll show YOU dickless!!!” Umm. Good one?
(This was towards the end of the movie. I guess for the hour in between these tweets I was in a semi-conscious daze attempting to piece together exactly where my life went wrong enough to where I actually enjoyed this at one point)
- I completely forgot how 80s douchetastic this movie is. Haven’t seen it since probably 1990.
(And it’s true. This movie is ghastly in its 80s-ness. Women with big hair, grainy video quality, spandex. Gross.)
But I didn’t pay enough attention to the movie to give it an adequate review. I kind of watched it and flinched in agony whenever something stupid happened. So here is the actual review based on my careful, critical critique of a truly shittacular movie.
It opens in the year 2019 in Los Angeles. It’s dirty, filled with crime and is up to its ass in corruption. So basically nothing has changed since when it was made in 1987. But there’s this game show, you see, run by the government called ‘The Running Man’. Since all art forms are censored by said government, whatever is on TV reigns supreme.
It’s pretty easy to see why the show is so popular, really. Convicts getting run down by roided-out dudes with chain saws and flame throwers? Fuck 2019, where is this show now?
Some of the lines in this movie are just incredible. One line that certainly wasn’t funny as the time was Arnold’s line “I’m not into politics, I’m into survival.” Twenty two years later and he is playing a dominant political role in the rape of the state I live in. Fun!
In what amounted to a giant middle finger to the audience, Arnie exclaims to the douchebag game show host (played by Richard Dawson) “Killian…I’ll be back.” Ha! Get it? It’s like that other movie he did where that was the famous line! Oh that is almost too clever. Someone named Steven E. deSouza wrote the screenplay. Sufficing to say that this man deserves all of life’s joys for that precious nugget he unleashed upon the world.
Supposedly none of the convicts on the show have ever killed one of the hired assassins (called ‘Stalkers’ in the movie). However, there is a scene where Jesse Ventura claims that the broadcast is three hours long. How the fuck is the show three hours long if the killers are on motorcycles with weapons and the contestants are unarmed and on foot? Doesn’t make sense.
During a confusing bit where Arnie and the others are looking for a satellite uplink (which is, for reasons unknown, right in the middle of the fucking set. Why would the hub of the powerful TV conglomerate, which controls the thinking of the people, sit idly in the middle of a game show lot featuring convicts — and in this case a huge fucking hacker computer nerd???) Arnold says out of nowhere: “If you guys don’t shutup I’m going to uplink your ass!”
What the fuck does that mean?
***SPOILER ALERT*** (Though, to be honest, you want this fucking tragedy to be spoiled believe me)
The order in which Arnold kills off the Stalkers is Sub-Zero (AKA Fat Japanese guy with a serrated hockey stick and explosive pucks), Buzzsaw (AKA Guy on a motorcycle with a chain saw and also he looks suspiciously like that gym coach you had who liked his job a little too much), Fireball (AKA Token black villain).
After that foolishness is over it’s time for Arnold’s name to be cleared. You see, he was framed for killing civilians who were rioting. They spliced a video together to make it look like he did it when he really didn’t. So anyways, the hot but unimaginably annoying Latina chick in the movie stole the raw footage from the station’s file room (which is why she was put on the show in the first place). They gain control of the aforementioned satellite uplink and run the real video which showed Arnold refusing to fire upon civilians when ordered to do so.
But how did the chick get the data out of the file room?
Arnold: “Where did you hide that?”
Chick: “It’s none of your business.”
So apparently she shoved it in her nanner and walked around with it in there for an hour and a half. Sick.
The grand finale is when the host is sent flying through the little underground tube thingy. And boy is it ever spectacular. So spectacular, in fact, that when the little cage he was riding in crashes through a paper sign the entire thing explodes in flames. Believe it or not this was actually one of the least shitty things about the movie.
And what 80s movie would be complete without an atrocious overly-dramatic song as the credits role? Let’s have a listen, shall we?
If you haven’t seen this movie I envy you. I think if I had watched Die Hard immediately after this my brain would have eaten itself due to the preposterous difference in quality.
Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger absolutely cannot play a character named Ben Richards. Are you fucking serious? He can’t even say ‘Ben Richards’ let alone be him. The girl in the movie was named Amber and he said it once…just once. It was probably written several times in the script but things get axed quickly when ‘Amber’ comes out ‘Om-byuhhhhh’.
I’ll leave you with the best part about the experience. Yes…the cover again.
“A GAME NOBODY SURVIVES.
BUT SCHWARZENEGGER HAS YET TO PLAY.”
Hell I’m psyched! I’m gonna go watch it again, brb.
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Hello, SuperDPS fans. Since this is my first article written for the site, I’d just like to do a quick introduction. My name is Cole, and I will be providing you with some weekly music reviews. Some of these reviews will be specifically suggested by Alex or Dave, others will be very relevant (meaning that they just came out) and others will be ones that I think just deserve some attention. If there’s anything you’d like me to review, just let me know.
I have an extensive catalog of music, and if there’s something I do not have, I should have no problem acquiring it.
With that out of the way, I introduce you to my first review, suggested by Mr. Alex Gross himself. I will be reviewing a CD called Davy, the sophomore effort by Coconut Records.
If you are not aware, Coconut Records is a musical project comprised of songs written, sung, and performed by widely known actor Jason Schwartzman. There are a few musical guests, but for the most part every instrument you hear is played by Schwartzman. Jason is no stranger to the music business as he was drummer and main song-writer for the band Phantom Planet.
Back when Phantom Planet was relevant to the music industry, he wrote some of their finest tunes. His brother is also the singer and main songwriter for the band Rooney.
The first thing I had heard from Coconut Records was a song called “West Coast”, which appears on his first release Nighttiming. From the first time I heard that song, I loved it and wanted to know where it came from. It’s extremely catchy with a great chorus, and it had me hooked immediately.
I couldn’t wait to hear what the rest of the album would sound like. Unfortunately , I was disappointed with the rest of that freshman effort. There were a few pretty good songs, and it wasn’t a horrible cd, but nothing came close to the sing-along pop song that is “West Coast.” Everything else just seemed bland and instantly forgettable.
To this day “West Coast” is still a song I am excited to hear, but when I heard there was another album coming out, I certainly wasn’t rushing to listen to it.
I did, however, add it to my music catalog and only briefly gave it a listen. Now this brings us to the present where I was asked to review this CD. I knew in order to do that, I’d actually have to give it a good listen, so yesterday I went outside in the beautiful weather, laid out on a beach chair and just listened to the album straight through. I am glad I did this.
In my opinion Davy is extremely impressive and holds up much better than Nighttiming did. Even though Nighttiming had that one killer song, I’d much rather listen to Davy, a short but sweet album full of indie pop tunes.
The album is comprised of 10 tracks clocking in at right under a half hour, making it a perfect summer cd. I happen to be a person that believes that the mood you are in, and the atmosphere around you helps shape how you perceive certain songs. It definitely helped that I was listening to Davy while being outside on a nice sunny day, and I’d very much recommend doing that. This is a phenomenal release to listen to while driving around on a nice day with the windows rolled down.
Obviously this record would be placed under the indie pop genre, but to me it was much more than that. All ten tracks represented something different to me ranging and touching on all different genres. You can certainly hear Schwartzman’s influences throughout, which I always like to pick out.
It was like he was making us a mix-tape of his favorite songs by recording new songs that sounded similar.
Schwartzman’s voice is light and airy, nothing exceptional about it, but somehow it works perfectly against these songs. The instrumentation is incredible as well. Twangy guitars, cool keyboards, and even horns are all scattered throughout and placed at the right moments to keep your feet tapping.
The first track, “Microphone”, is the “West Coast” of this release with a catchy chorus and an infectious arrangement.
In “Drummer” Schwartzman sings: “And I was a drummer in a band that you’ve heard of…” which made me laugh.
“Wandering Around” and “Summer” especially with their back-up vocals, sound like something that could’ve come off a Beach Boys album.
My favorite song from the release is track 8, “I am Young” which starts out as a light summer song and completely changes tempo into a sing-along romp in it’s last minute or so.
“Wires” has a country feel to it, very reminiscent of Ben Kweller’s more recent efforts.
In closing, this is an album that is not to be missed. If you are like me and weren’t interested after the disappointment that was Nighttiming, give this is a listen.
It may not be the best, most experimental or even different release to come out recently, but jump in the car and pop this in. It’s the perfect soundtrack to a summer road-trip, with no direction in mind and the open road ahead. This album is a welcomed addition to Schwartzman’s long list of achievements in the entertainment industry.
Thank you, super dudes for reading my first review. In the words of Max Fischer, “Maybe we’ll meet again someday…when the fighting stops.”
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So most of you may wonder why I have such a strong feeling about the placement of ketchup in one’s home? Well it’s been a long fought argument in my house for over 2 years. I’ve had 3 sets of roommates and each time this is one of the first questions I ask of them…
It’s important to me. I don’t like cold ketchup. It’s disgusting. If you pause the video at 2:27, you’ll see that my face conveys all emotion about the subject. If you have piping hot food, why cool it down with cold condiments? It’s baffling. Restaurants keep it on the table. Fast food joints keep it in room temperature packages. Alexa Jordan keeps it in the cupboard next to the Top Ramen.
And so should you.
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Being in the porn industry, you can get jaded sometimes.
I can’t. I have to be sweet little Lisa and say, “It all depends on your diet, and your smoking habit.” I really wish I was a mainstream celebrity like Angelina Jolie. I bet she never gets asked about how Brad’s spunk tastes…
I’m just saying.
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You know the saying, “you know the type” when it comes to THAT GUY or THAT GIRL you saw…well I’m here today to talk about THAT TYPE. This will likely be a bit different from your school, since we have such a weird ensemble of kids here, and have such an odd way of doing things. But you, Soon To Be College Freshman, when you have your little ID and dorm key worn around your neck, you’ll see that you, too, fit into one of these groups. So let’s dive in, shall we?
Since I started with it, The Freshman- The absolute easiest way to ID the Freshman is, like I said, by the all-purpose lanyard. Usually worn around the neck, it keeps your dorm key and ID card safely out of harms way (until you lose BOTH things at the same time, or lock it in your room, in which case you have to call your creepy roommate and hope he’s around and you don’t have to owe him a favor later on…). This lanyard was probably provided free of charge, and sports the Campus Activities Board (or equivalent) logo in some God awful font and color. The Freshman is usually slow walking, and takes the most indirect way to his class, and may even be sporting a trendy CAMPUS MAP! Oh, also, the Freshman often wears LOTS of school pride gear. Now, I have a few Drexel shirts and all, but they’re in the rotation, not everyday wear. AND, to my credit, I think I’ve paid, at most, 6 bucks for something with the school’s logo on it. Not that 70 bucks they’re charging at the bookstore for a hoodie. I was being sarcastic as I wrote 70 bucks, but looking up that image…that shirt is actually SIXTY FIVE GOD DAMNED DOLLARS! That’s half a third of a textbook! (Which reminds me of how only Freshman actually buy textbooks from the bookstore).
Wow, that’s a lot of rambling on the Freshman…let’s look at his polar opposite, The Senior (not to be confused with The Graduate). The Senior, at least around these parts, is actually a bit of a rare site. Drexel has an exceptionally high drop out rate for a major university. Combine that with the fact that in the few years since I was a freshman, they’ve increased the admission of freshman like threefold, Seniors are quite the minority. You’ll probably only find them in the 400 level classes you share with them (if you are also a Senior, or ambitious/over ambitious/snot nosed/professor’s dick sucking Sophomore/etc), or in 100 level into classes to boost their GPAs and keep them as full time students (how the hell did I only get an A- in Com 150-Principles of Public Speaking?!) The Senior is usually not dressed as extremely as the Freshman, mostly due to growing the fuck up. Many Seniors actually work part time in professional jobs, or are attending class part-time while going back to school. Seniors often dress in Drexel Casual style (which is pretty much the same as business casual). Not me, I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda guy.
The Douche- What can I say about this one? Too easy. You know em. They wear their high school varsity football jacket and pound Natty Ice. They love their boyfriends so much except when one of the brothers of Sigma Nu happens to be nearby, in which case, all bets are off. SIGMA NU! NU’s RULE! YEA! Often business majors.
The Engineer- I once tried to convince someone that Drexel was a school for railroading, due to our proximity to 30th Street Station and the Northeast Corridor. (Little did I know I would ACTUALLY be working for a firm whose clients included SEPTA, Amtrak, NJ Transit and the Long Island Railroad….).
The engineer will likely be one or more of the following:
-Asian (inc. Indian)
I managed to escape this, sort of, by switching to Engineering Technology. People actually talk to you, and you can actually make friends. It’s weird.
The Art College Kid- pretty much the same as any other art school kid. It’s tough, though…our indiefuck douches think they’re better than everyone else, but Drexel is certainly NOT known for its liberal arts programs. Nor for its political scene. Nor its music scene….
I was going to really go on and rail on a few kids specifically, but then I came across this…
Click it, scroll down. Creepy. And I don’t want them hunting me down, since now they REALLY know what I look like. I look forward to the angry letter I’m undoubtedly going to get from the university’s legal department. Maybe I’ll luck out and they’ll just sick one of their law students on me. Which reminds me of the joke about how convenient it was the Drexel, who opened their School of Law shortly after aquiring their own College of Medicine, now has BOTH ends of the ambulance chaser crowd covered.
Hopefully, I’ll be graduated before it gets to that. And COME ON, Drexel, a FRIDAY class? My SENIOR year? How weak is that?