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fiftyfive 05-04-2005 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by ME!!!!
That was as painful to read as a Jerry Seinfeild fan blog.
was it though?

or is it just that somewhere deep down inside of us, we feel the same way. like the way twin brothers feel.

the first step is to admit it.

overcome.

5InchTaint 05-04-2005 11:56 PM

I wonder why Upchurch hasn't posted here or updated the Powerloafing site? Is he dead?

tjamick 05-05-2005 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by 5InchTaint
I wonder why Upchurch hasn't posted here or updated the Powerloafing site? Is he dead?
Worse, he's busy. I got an e-mail from him a few days ago, so I'm pretty sure he's not dead -- unless his zombie sent it.

Upskii 05-05-2005 01:25 PM

I'm not all the way dead yet. I've been hit with a project that is sucking away my time.

However, I'm trying to squeeze in a Powerloafing episode next week. I'll post a link when I get it done. And, the episode after that will include a well known celebrity and a fake corpse. Could be big, and we're all really excited about it.

I also have some questions that I haven't answered. Hopefully, the people that asked won't be dead or imprisioned and will still be interested by the time I get to answering them.

I'm pushing back the grand opening of Powerloafing until I get the Firefox issue taken care of. Thanks to all those who test drove the beta site, I appreciate the feedback. I urge those who haven't yet checked it out to go to the sneak preview link with Explorer. You can say you knew about it before it became an international phenom.

mik

tjamick 05-05-2005 03:04 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Upskii
I'm not all the way dead yet. I've been hit with a project that is sucking away my time.
Can you give us some details on this project?

Upskii 05-10-2005 01:57 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by tjamick
Can you give us some details on this project?
I signed a bunch of papers which prohibit me. You'd think I worked for the Secret Service. They are serious about it though, being that celebrities are involved and all, even on the small side. As soon as I feel comfortable in the gig, or after I get fired from it, I'll discuss. Sorry for being boring and non-self destructive. I did tell a slightly interesting story a while back about Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and I could get whacked for that, so don't say I didn't dish it out here. (by "whacked" I mean manually masturbated)

Upskii 05-10-2005 03:07 AM

clearing house
 
sorry for the giant gap. I hope I can keep this thread worthy of the sticky glue.

Quote:

Originally posted by 5InchTaint
Mr. Upchurch, I couldn't help but notice a similarity between Powerloafing (the philosophy) and the Church of the SubGenius' philosophy of Slack. Is there a corollary or am I just being pink?
When I first saw some literature on sub-Genius I thought it was a funny joke and a good satire of religious cults. Then I met a few adherents, and realized that it practically was a religious cult itself. I understand committing to a joke, but those guys commit so much that the joke is on them. But, I heard the founders put on a good show. I heard a couple of the main guys from San Francisco on college radio, and they were weirdly funny.

Quote:

Originally posted by tjamick
Mike, who do you think is/are the most overrated writers/comedy groups? What about the most underrated?
I don't know who is over or underrated, but I see far too many super funny people going completely unrecognized. I think of what I see on stage and produced in gonzo projects and wonder why the funny isn't making it to my television box.

The TV networks have blown it big time with comedy for the past few years. It's gotten to the point that they are blaming comedy, and putting less of it on development slates, but it's just that they are doing bad shows. My nephew, (who is exactly the demographic desired by television execs,) uses his TV to play video games, and doesn't even bother to connect the tv wires. When your target audience actually unplugs you and uses the box for something else, you have blown it bad.

I just try to keep the stuff I like on my radar, and block stuff I don't like. I'd have a heart attack otherwise. I accidentally watched a couple minutes of Fear Factor before, and I had to change the channel to keep from vomiting. I recently had spontaneous explosive diarrhea from watching a new network 1/2 hour comedy it was so bad.

I have a whole boring theory on why TV is so bad, and an even more boring theory on how things will get better in comedy. Buy me a beer someday and I will bore you to tears with my theories, or you can just rejoice in my conclusions and save beer money. I proved in my laboratory with unassailable calculations that, though comedy has been in a slump since about the time Mr. Show ended, it will begin to turn sharply upward in the next three years or so. Don't even question my conclusions or you will have to start buying me beer, and I will break you.

Quote:

Originally posted by Dart Shitter
so mr. "Upchurch" are you down with Satan?

and if so, can he legally represent me in a script i've just made up where a little boy lives with two lesbians, where one's his biological mom and the other is just a hott slut, they have wild orgies, it's called "My 2 hott lesbian, dildo strappin, Moms"

Satan's a very busy guy in Hollywood, and it's not easy getting a meeting with him. Apparently, once you sign with him he loses interest and ignores you. He's got bigger potatoes to fry than people like you and me. Word is, he's looking for scripts that are"Not too Satany." So, maybe you might want to rethink your idea, nix the lesbians, change it to a traditional family and take out the orgy scenes. This could all be wrong by next week, and you'll probably have to rewrite the lesbo and orgy stuff back in, so stay on your toes.

Gogo 05-15-2005 06:01 AM

A stupid off topic question
 
Hey Mike! (Can I call you Mike?) Just a total random question:

So I got B.J. Porter on my myspace and he put up a bulletin that he was having a birthday party at the Arclight on Thursday, May 12 and I was just wondering if you went and if you have any interesting/crazy party stories!

Thanks for visiting us here! That's supremely kick ass of you.

SushiBarMachine 05-23-2005 02:28 PM

Re: Re: I am Powerloafing.
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Upskii
I think the key is to be able to give it your best shot, get nothing, and still be able to come back and give it your best shot the next day. The system isn't always fair, but if you are funny and dedicated you will eventually make it. Some of the best people get killed by their own bitterness or self-doubt. It's not like anybody gets forced on that bus back to bumfuck.

Al Franken gave me another bit of wisdom: he warned me about "comedian's disease" in which comedy writers get hung up on all the bad unfunny stuff that gets made, and become extremely bitter and judgemental, and ultimately they lose their funny. I remember thinking, "oh, crap, I'm getting that disease!" It perfectly described the comics I was hanging out with in Las Vegas, who wanted to do nothing more than rag on all the hack comics getting stage time. Every comedy writer is susceptible, because they are sensitive to everything that is fake and wrong. So, beware of comedians disease, it is the number one hidden killer of funny people.


I never did stand up because I was a chicken. Performers have an advantage because they have visibility and credibility if they are funny on stage, but if their writing samples suck they won't get work.

But still seek out funny performers, because you'll need them in your gonzo projects. They can give you feedback, and get you used to writing stuff that people have to speak. Performers are always open to material and, if you lay something on them that makes them look good, they will remember you. As a non-performing writer you will need to be resourceful in getting folks to read your work, but you never know when a performer or writer who worked with you previously on little projects will champion you, get you read by the right people, and even get you a job.

You might take an improv class just to confront your stage fright. I think Second City is in Phoenix, and their beginning classes are really low impact and low stress. There's some good concepts there, and it teaches you to work with others on a comedy premise. Not necessary, but couldn't hurt. Also, no where are good looks less important than in comedy writing. Just bathe, get a hair cut and wear clean clothes.
I was terrified that I would blow it somehow. I found out later that a lot the other writers felt that way. BJ said Mr. Show was the first job where he cared if he got fired, and it freaked him out. I just dealt with it by focusing on my next pitches, and whenever I got away from the office I'd go hiking or dive into the ocean to get out of my head. And, if I ever started worrying at work, I'd just put on the earphones, and rock out.

I've actually been doing a lot of standup lately in the New York area, so this interests me a lot, but out of curiousity how exactly did you get into the business, and ultimately get to be a writer for Mr. Show?
________
Hawaii Medical Marijuana

Dart Shitter 06-01-2005 12:01 AM

Thanks Mike for replying to my idiotic atempt at what the French call Le humor or Jerry Leweese...

I got in contact with Satan's agent and I've got a luch meeting at the worst Burger King in west hollywood with the fallen angel, classy

Comedy is my second passion behind music. I appreciate your time here and thanks for all the info.

if you are ever in chiacgo, hit me up


the Shitter of feathered darts

Upskii 06-01-2005 03:32 AM

a thousand f-ing word essay
 
Quote:

Originally posted by SushiBarMachine
I've actually been doing a lot of standup lately in the New York area, so this interests me a lot, but out of curiousity how exactly did you get into the business, and ultimately get to be a writer for Mr. Show?
Mr. Show was my first job in the business. What led up to that was years of low budget projects I did for fun. Each project was THE project while I was doing it, and it was gonna be the greatest fucking thing ever until the next project came along, which was gonna be way better. Here's the main ones:

The first project I remember was when I was 13, when my friend Jimmy got access to an old super 8 camera with stop motion. We went into business on a stop motion animated epic, drew up storyboards, scouted locations, and scripted this dopey chase movie. Then Jimmy's parents separated, and the camera ended up in another state, which was bad for Jimmy's family, and tragic for our movie. We rounded up another super 8, but discovered it didn't have stop motion. We were too disappointed to think up something live-action, and the project ground to a halt. It was a huge career setback, but it probably would have sucked anyway.

Just after high school I produced a mediocre sketch show called "First Take" at the cable access channel in my hometown. I shot 6 episodes and was banned from the facilities for using too much studio time, even though there was only one other show on the station - an even shittier sketch comedy produced by the chairman of the cable commission that banned me. I had to wait 2 months for the commission to reconvene. I made a spirited appeal, the vote went my way, and got to edit my episodes. Finally, Boulder City, Nevada could see innovative comedy like "Rambunny" (a Rambo trailer with a bunny hopping around and carrying an M-16). I don't know if many people watched the show, (only 30,000 possible,) but I got recognized once by a stoned guy at the local grocery store. He must have liked the show, because he raved about it all the way to my car at 1 am.

I took a slew of communications courses in college, mainly to get access to video and editing equipment, which I used like I owned it. I filled out grant requests laid down a serious line of BS, and recieved a grant for $2,800 to shoot commercial parodies, which was what I was doing anyway for kicks. I discovered that you can get a lot of free stuff if you tell people you're college students shooting a documentary, and use the word "community" a lot.

I wrote jokes for friends who did stand up in the semi booming Vegas comedy scene, and helped produce shows at dive bars, including "Save our Show Telethon" a really funny one we did at a place called the Turnpike. It was a parody of a Las Vegas lounge show. A comic friend, Phil from Philly, who was 22 and looked 44 was the MC, and was armed with a bunch of jokes pulled from "Milton Berle's Private Joke File," and some ridiculous song parodies. We had a piano player, drummer and a bimbo sidekick played by super funny Robin McDonald, who eventually moved to LA to continue acting, and has been on Curb Your Enthusiasm and other cool stuff. My friend Rob was the main producer, and he later moved to LA and became the house manager of The Groundlings Theater, and is now a Production Coordinator for a TV company. I learned about live comedy vs. filmed, and the difference in pacing, and it got me working with other writers and performers.

So, what I'm basically saying is that my resume was shit until I got on Mr. Show. I was a Gen X slacker who did a bunch of amateur video and comedy bar shows, had notebooks and screenplays lying around, and a lot of useless comedy trivia clogging my brain. I did have a communications degree, one of the most vague sounding degrees ever, (which is why I picked it,) but it looked pretty skinny on a resume.

But, all that wasted time didn't go to waste, because the amateur work informed my writing, and gave me practical knowledge that I still use, and eventually helped me get work on real shows. Either that, or I've fallen asleep on my couch in Vegas in 1995 after smoking bong resin, and the past decade has been another one of my resin dreams. If so, I hope when I wake up there's more bong resin, and something on TV besides the fucking OJ trial.

Upskii 06-01-2005 03:50 AM

and if that wasn't enough
 
Holy chicken mole! I just wrote a thousand words. Can I get college credit for this? How much am I getting paid? Maybe I didn't answer Sushi's question, but I sure did some serious typing about myself, didn't I?

BTW, Sushi, stand up is a great way to get into TV writing. Probably half of sketch writers did stand up at some point in their lives, and most sitcoms have a couple stand ups on staff. Your samples will go over much better if they already like you on stage, way better than if they took them cold from a stack.

After telling my life story I realize you may have been asking what, specifically, I did to get on Mr. Show. That's a shorter answer: I met a lot of Mr. Show people at a place called Pedro's in Los Feliz, (no longer there), and at Largo on Fairfax. There was this thing called "alternative" comedy going on, which was like comedy except funnier, or not funny depending on the night, and Mr. Show was part of that scene. I pitched ideas, and sent two packs of samples to the show, including a version of what ended up being "Lie Detector." A couple months later to my surprise and joy, I was hired to write on season 3. It was a combination of right place, right time, and pitching ideas Bob and David thought were funny. Super easy, 'cause those guys think everything is funny.

agent_PUNT 06-01-2005 10:25 AM

Wow.

SushiBarMachine 06-02-2005 02:43 PM

Re: and if that wasn't enough
 
Thanks a lot for answering, in a very well detailed way may I add.
________
Ferrari F355 History

SushiBarMachine 06-19-2005 06:43 PM

so any new news on the project you were working on from before?
________
LovelyWendie


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