Tag Archives: comics
I honestly asked myself this question. It’s Friday afternoon, I’m sitting around doing nothing–wondering how the remainder of my day will play out, and then suddenly “magic” happens. A friend forwards me a blog called StaphMeal. More specifically, an article regarding a recent video shot and edited by myself, written by my friends at Center City Comedy and It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia, and starring some of the funniest people in the Philly comedy scene.
Before I go any further, I would like to state for the record that I’m nobody. My website gets a fair amount of hits, as do my videos, but I’m nowhere near as “significant” or written about as StaphMeal (aka Joshua Scott Albert). If you’re following me on Twitter (@SuperDPS) or you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ll know where I stand on most issues, and we may disagree on some things, and I’ve (on occasion) stirred the proverbial pot, whether accidentally or knowingly, but I am–comparatively speaking–No one. Whew–now that that’s out of the way–who the fuck is StaphMeal and why am I reading his cretinous blog?!
It all started with this video, released on Thursday morning by myself, Center City Comedy, and It’s Always Funny in Philadelphia.
The only credit I can claim on this sketch would be as a videographer and editor, but I feel that it came together well. Others may disagree. The joke here (if you “get it”) is not that a woman is being raped. It’s that it should be shocking and disgusting. It’s the iconic music and the levity of the parody–the wholesome nature of the Mentos commercials–that creates the humor, not the drugging of a woman’s drink.
Of course, this video falls on the heels of remarks made by Comedian Daniel Tosh towards a heckling audience member at the Laugh Factory. If I need to explain my feelings to you on this matter, then you haven’t been paying close enough attention to what I’ve been saying. “Rape is never funny” is like saying “Suicide is never funny” or “Racism is never funny.” All three of these things are harmful and destructive, yet important topics that should be discussed regarding their use in media; but “Never Funny?”
Saying something is “Never Funny” is just as bad as saying something is “Always Funny” (no disrespect to my colleagues at It’s Always Funny in Philly). Some jokes will make people laugh and some will either be unfunny, poorly received, or outright mean. It’s the audience’s place to either be offended or be jovial. That responsibility shouldn’t fall on the comedian’s shoulders. If you thought the video was too much, or offensive, fine. You have a right as a human to be offended. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t reserve the right to offend you.
Enough about that, let’s get back into StaphMeal‘s poorly executed attack on us. While myself and It’s Always Funny weren’t specifically mentioned (EDIT: While writing this blog post, StaphMeal sent me a threat via Twitter. Egg and my face are in alignment), Center City Comedy (one of–if not, the best–free comedy open mic in the city) took the brunt of the merciless rant.
As a fellow blogger who has written some pretty needlessly scathing articles in his past, I can’t help but feel some vague sense of kinship with the young man and his desire to have his negative voice heard by the huddled masses. I can not, however, as a fan of both the English language and Comedy, allow this idiocy to go unpunished.
I don’t know Joshua Albert, nor do I care to. I don’t wish him any specific harm or trouble in life. I think he’s harmless, if only a little fucking catty about shit he doesn’t like, and ultimately forgettable.
His “blog”–however–is a mere year old, and written in a manner consistent with its age. I think it would be in my best interest to share the content with you here, rather than link to it.
Local Fucktards Of A Comedy Group Want’s To Date Rape You,
A tipster who was highly offended alerted me to this absurd youtube video. The name of the comedy group is “center city comedy”. Which to me is a pretty shitty name and sounds like they just want to improve their google search results. These guys are pathetic, really fucking pathetic….and they should die.
This video is classless, tasteless, and I hope these guys get the shit beat out of them and anal raped. They play a show every Thursday night at ravens lounge. Go yell at them, throw shit at them, shit in their face, but please please please watch your drinks!
On a different note: Hey Asian American girl in the video, HOLLLAAAAAAA
I understand that typing is hard. It’s a man’s game. I get it. But calling for the rape and death of fellow writers and performers just so you can mount your high horse is more than a little extreme. Mr. Albert (who recently went public with his actual identity for legal reasons) is a tactless and intellectually dishonest writer devoid of any artistic or personal credibility. This vicious and malicious attack, while ultimately shrug-worthy and forgettable is–at its heart–tasteless, mean, and contradictory. And to end with a shameless pick-up line to the “Asian American girl” (Comedian Lisa Yost) who has been supportive of this work since the beginning? Who the fuck are you, dude?
Again, I say that I am nobody. A blogger, a writer, a film maker, a host, an artist, a producer and director; but ultimately, nobody of note, fame, or consequence. But that said, I would rather be a nobody–with my few fans, friends and supporters–dignity and self respect in tact, than a bitter hack shouting into a megaphone to anyone dumb enough to listen.
After promoting and advertising this event for quite some time, the sold out Comics on Chestnut event officially went down this past Friday night (7/22/11). The line up was spot-on as always, featuring some old favorites and some fresh faces. Hosted by Jack Martin, the show started off with a roaring crowd, and when it came to the headliner, the extremely talented Derek Gaines, it ended with an eruption of excitement and laughter. The evening featured Tommy Pope, Ian Fidance, Brandon “Ketchup” Wilson, Paul Goodman, Steve Gerben, and Luke Cunningham, and while a few hecklers may have otherwise spoiled some well-crafted acts, the Comedians fought back…hard.
Dealing with hecklers can be the most frustrating part of any comedian’s performance; worse than pure silence, perhaps. Working with stand up material (whether it’s tested or not) is a delicate craft, much like delivering a speech in order to create the desired effect in one’s audience.
Heckling can throw any competent comedian into complete disarray, as they are given a split-second decision to make.
1. Simply tell the person to shut up, or fuck off. Deliver a quick and concise message, hoping it will be biting enough to end it then and there.
2. Encourage the opponent. Make the party feel like everyone is now staring at them instead of the performer, put them on the spot and make them feel foolish.
A risk comes with either response, however. The former simply may not work and force you to continually be interrupted, ruining all chance at continuing your material. The latter may encourage the heckler too much, giving them a false sense of being “part of the show,” and because everyone on Earth thinks they’re absolutely hilarious, you’ll have a huge problem on your hands.
The performers did what they could, both generously and…not-so-generously. It created a bit of hostility and frustration, but the laughs, chuckles and goof-a-bouts never ceased which was very professional.
As usual, SuperDPS.com was there to capture some highlights from the evening; and I absolutely look forward to seeing all of these hilarious gentlemen again very soon.
(All footage shot by Alex Gross/SuperDPS)
The process of the stand-up comedian is a ceaselessly interesting one. You can see this process illustrated beautifully in documentaries such as I Am Comic, or you could check out Center City Comedy’s crack-squad of ever-changing and evolving comedians during their weekly goof-a-bouts. As I’m sure I’ve elaborated on before, Center City Comedy hosts weekly shows at the Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St., Philly) every Thursday evening, and every first Wednesday of the month at Mad River in Manayunk (4100 Main Street., Philly).
While seeing some of the same comedians perform their acts multiple times wouldn’t seem, on the surface, to be an enjoyable experience, these passionate performers are constantly growing and developing their acts to the point that even the familiar routines are bursting with new energy. The up-and-coming comics performing with Center City Comedy are among the bravest and most daring I’ve seen, and they’re only getting better. So, once again, here are some featured performances from the BONERoo line up on 7/6/11 at Mad River.
After eleven short years and five cash-guzzling hit movies, the timeline of the “X-Men” franchise is well and truly knackered. Questionable continuity issues run amuck throughout the series started by director Bryan Singer as it tries to juggle a boatload of characters taken from the Marvel source material, sometimes clumsily dropping them and not knowing where to put them back again. Just like the cringe-worthy embarrassment that was Gavin Hood’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” of 2009, Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class” has taken a vast number of creative liberties, the continuity now beaten to a bloody pulp. But out of this has come a film with a story that is as captivating and fascinating as any other; narrative cohesion takes a few steps back for inspired filmmaking to take centre stage.
As the title suggests, “First Class” is the prequel to the original trilogy, telling the story of how the first set of X-Men came to be. It also explains the back-story of the relationship between Professor X and Magneto, an aspect of the previous films that was always clouded in mystery and intrigue. And by golly, is it intriguing here. (Read More)
Tim Vargulish is a young comedian who I met on a random and directionless vacation to Boston. Let’s paint a picture, shall we? My girlfriend and I were wandering around Harvard’s campus feeling punch-drunk and slightly less intellectual than normal. We were searching for a place that seemed familiar and (thanks, Yelp!) discovered the Comedy Studio. We learned that it is possibly the most difficult place to discover in Boston, considering that it is hidden by the facade of a fully functional and operational Chinese restaurant.
When we discovered that the upstairs was actually a comedy club, we somehow nabbed the last two seats available, because–apparently–it is one of the most amazing comedy clubs ever. It was a night of laughter and discovery, as we watched comedian after comedian do their short sets. The most intriguing and frighteningly astute of the comedians I witnessed was the one and only Tim Vargulish. Getting to know him after the show and in the subsequent interactions we’ve had, I determined him to be an up-and-coming star, a true comedian, and a good friend. This is Mr. Tim Vargulish:
I’ve always been a shy guy my whole life, but I loved to make my friends laugh. In college, 2006, I joined an Improv group called I Pulled My Quad. One of the other members, Andrew Mayer, was a very funny stand-up and we’d hang out after shows and joke around. Eventually he urged me to do stand-up, which I had never thought of doing before but once I thought of it, it made a whole lot of sense. I went up during this contest at a dog track in Rhode Island and bombed, but the few laughs I did get got me hooked and I’ve been doing it ever since.
(on where he finds influence and inspiration)
It’s kind of hard to say, I can be inspired by anything be it a Ben Franklin Wig, conversation heard at a library, personal story, or ordering a pizza online. There are things that just jump out at me and stick with me, and the more it sticks with me, I know that there’s something funny about it. I also daydream a lot and come up with lots of implausible scenarios, like: ‘Hmnnn…what would I do if I ever got mugged? Well, if I was a magician I could just use magic to make my wallet disappear!’
My main driving force is taking all the weird thoughts and occurrences in my head and in my life and presenting to people in a way that they understand and can relate to. Their laughter is like them having accepted my weirdness which makes me feel not so weird, I love it.
There’s just a need to get these thoughts out into the world. Like I said, there are things that just stick out to me and that seem funny and once I get that idea in my head I need to get it out there. Also just getting laughs is the most addicting thing in the world and it feels great to entertain people. It’s great way to cheer yourself up as well, nothings better on a bad day then having people laugh at your ideas.
(on what’s wrong with America)
So many things, where do I start? Well, obviously, the government is run by a group of shape-changing inter-dimensional reptiles, but that’s not just America that’s the whole world. I actually just finished watching Waiting for Superman so right now education’s on my mind and there really needs to be something done with that. What else? We’re all fat, stupid, secretly controlled, suppressed, and easily placated. I hate to make a lot of accusations though because I’m not affecting any change or have any answers as to how to make things better, so I feel like I’m just complaining. Let’s just say Reality TV. That’s a big problem with this country.
(What are you optimistic about?)
Anything I like makes me optimistic. Every time I read a Grant Morrison comic, see a Wes Anderson movie, play a Metal Gear Solid game, the latest episode of Tim & Eric, or even get the slightest compliment from someone. These are the things that make me think: ‘yeah…we’re gonna be alright.’
I’m optimistic that if you’re a good person, eventually good things will happen to you and you’ll be happy. Also if you’re a funny comic, eventually you’ll make it. These things might take a long time to achieve but–again–as long as you’re good and putting good energy out there, good stuff will come back to you. I have to think these things, though. If I didn’t, I’d just be a miserable person walking up and down the street yelling at kids and dogs and stuff.
(on Nerd Culture)
I guess I’m a nerd. I mean, what’s the definition? I do love comics books and sci-fi and videogames but I’ve never got beat up and I have had three girlfriends in my lifetime. “Nerd Power” has definitely risen in our life time but it’s still not completely acceptable. There are socially acceptable nerds like your Michael Cera and Jonah Hill’s from Superbad or some kid that’s like, “I saw Lord of the Rings. I’m such a nerd.” Of course you saw Lord of the Rings, it was one of the biggest most successful movies ever made. I really hate that shit.
People want it to seem like nerds are the majority now, but all it is is people who were on the outside of being a nerd are now accepted but what about the kids playing D&D in their basements, or are thirty year old virgins, or who wear a cape to gym class? They’re still looked down on.
It’s weird when someone is too overly proud to be something, it’s like they’re not doing that thing any justice. It’s like some guy that just won’t stop telling you he’s Irish… “ohhh I’m Irish, check me out I’m Irish, Irish, Irish, Irish!” Shut up, you’ve never been to Ireland, you know nothing of your country or family history and no, I will not kiss you.
If you put two people who say they’re nerds together, you’d probably get different results. “Hi, I’m a nerd who plays Magic: the Gathering.”…”Oh hey, I’m also a nerd because I wear a Legend of Zelda t-shirt and fuck chicks. I’m not (really) a nerd but I pretend to be to pick up girls!” Or like those girls that are like, “I only date nerds!” Do you? Or are you just dating some douchebag with an XBOX and knows who Bruce Banner is?
There are different categories of nerds some more acceptable than others. Music nerds and movie nerds are probably the most accepted. I fit somewhat in those categories but am mostly a comic book nerd which is slightly less appealing to most people but more appealing than role-playing nerds.
(on how much porn is too much porn)
I don’t watch pornography. I’ve actually never watched porno. It seems weird to me. Like, you wouldn’t just sit outside someone’s window and watch them while they have sex. That’s what porn seems like to me, makes me feel like a creepy guy just watching two strangers have sex. Also if movies and television have taught me anything it’s that as soon as a porn comes on something bad will happen… either your grandmother and priest will walk in, or you accidentally grab glue and get your hand stuck to your dick, something bad always happens.
(I’d like to thank Tim Vargulish for his humor, honesty, and heart…and I can’t wait to see him perform again. For more from Tim Vargulish, check out his work on YouTube and Twitter …along with his new comedy group project: Uncle Mustache)
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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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