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Sue Morris @ KidLitReviews
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews
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, Children's Books
, Library Donated Books
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, be yourself
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, Kim Sponaugle
, Terry John Barto
, the Funniest Dragon
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Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon
Written by Terry John Barto
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle
34 pages Age 5—8
“Nickerbacher is a sweet-tempered, bushy-browed beast who spends his days guarding Princess Gwendolyn and dreaming of being a stand-up comic—not exactly a profession for a dragon! He’s true to his duty as dragon—as dictated by his Papa—but wants only to make the world laugh. Gwendolyn is supportive and encouraging, telling his he needs to do what makes him happy. It isn’t until the dashing Prince Happenstance comes along, ready for a fight, that they realize that instead of battling each other, they should do what’s in their hearts and pursue their true desires (the Prince wants to e a baseball pitchwer). With a winning set at The Comedy Castle and his family’s newfound support and pride, it’s all laughter, happiness, and dreams come true for the good-natured dragon!” [press release]
The sign by Nickerbacher’s station below Princess Gwendolyn’s tower window states,
“BEWARE OF DRAGON”
Maybe at one time, but Nickerbacher is no threat to any Prince or enemy. The softhearted dragon loves the princess, but he would rather be doing something else—telling jokes—on stage, on the road, or just about any place he might land. Nickerbacher’s papa is not one for tomfoolery. The gigantic orange and red-spotted dragon strictly obeys one commandment,
“Every dragon has a duty to guard princesses.”
Nickerbacher is to be no exception and quickly stands guard—fearfully—whenever Papa checks up on him. Poor Nickerbacher, he tries to explain, but Papa will not budge. Nickerbacher may display his angst but will not disobey Papa. Kids will feel for him, but they will identify more with Prince Happenstance, who would rather be a baseball pitcher than a knight. (Did baseball exist at the time of knights and dragons?) The story is cute and the illustrations are captivating, nicely enhancing Barto’s story. I love the spread where Prince Happenstance flips a coin, which bounces off Nickerbacher’s nose.
Though he looks young for a knight (maybe eleven or twelve), Prince Happenstance is a tad full of himself, which fits his knightly role. Once the prince decides to follow his dream his attitudes takes a major shift. Nickerbacher’s family finally accepts his true self, encouraging him to pursue his comedic dreams. The story does not end there. We see Nickerbacher signing his book How to be Funny with modern appearing people waiting in a long line for his signature. Nickerbacher no longer looks like a dragon as he dons a red hat and an Hawaiian-styled shirt.
Being a tad fussy,]]] I notice out-of-place details: baseball, Hawaiian shirts, and modern looking people in the era of knights and dragons. I doubt kids will care and may appreciate the reference to a game most have played. Those details side, Nickerbacher is a good story about standing up for your true self. Barto gets his message across without hammering them by using kid humor. It is a shame the book is in paperback (eBook is available). Kids may well wear out the pages with repeat readings. They will love the goofy jokes. Parents who like read using different voices will have loads of fun with Nickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon. Barto’s first foray into children’s book was Gollywood (review here).
NICKERBACHER. Text copyright © 2015 by Terry John Barto. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Kim Sponaugle. Reproduced by permission of the AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN.
Purchase Nickerbacher at Amazon—Book Depository—AuthorHouse.
Learn more about Nickerbacher HERE.
Book’s website: http://www.nickerbacher.com/
Meet the author, Terry John Barto, at his website: http://www.tjbkids.com/
Meet the illustrator, Kim Sponaugle, at her website: http://www.picturekitchenstudio.com/
Find more picture books at the AuthorHouse website: http://www.authorhouse.com/
2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist: Picture Books
Mom’s Choice Award Gold
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews
Filed under: 4stars
, Children's Books
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, Kim Sponaugle
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Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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, comedy sketch
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, Mr. and Mrs. Everybody talk plants
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SCENE: DEN IN THE EVERYBODY HOUSEHOLD.
AT RISE: MRS. EVERYBODY IS HAVING AN IMPORTANT CHAT WHILE MR. EVERYBODY IS READING A NEWSPAPER
Why? Why must you torture me like this? What did I ever do to deserve this treatment other than heap undying love and devotion to your upkeep?
(MR. EVERYBODY glances up and returns to reading his book)
You seem to be dying slowly right in front of my eyes and I'm at a loss how to save you
You talking to me?
Fed you top of the line nutritional supplements and this is the thanks I get
I appreciate your cooking, honey. You make fantastic meals and really, I'm in great shape
You are not aging well, sweetheart
(gets up to examine himself in the mirror on the wall behind him)
For the record, I'm in better condition now than I was when we married. Sure there's a few extra inches on my stomach but that's due to your good cooking. Work out on the tread mill...
I fear it's time for us to part, sweetheart. You are halfway between this world and the next
Say what? Is it something I said?
You've given me a lot of pleasure over the years. Your nightly performance kept me riveted and it's something I will cherish all my life
Hey! There's still a lot of life left in this body! Is there somebody else? I can change, y'know!
(MRS. EVERYBODY turns around and stares at her husband)
It's just so hard to say goodbye! Did you say something?
You never said a word. I deserve to know who's the new love of your life!
Say what? What are you babbling about?
You're leaving me!
Are you insane? You thought that... That is really funny
There is nothing funny about being informed that your wife is leaving your for someone else. It's always the husband that is the last to know
Husband of mine - I was talking to my prayer plant here that is slowly croaking after 40 years and I'm about to replace her with a new one
How was I supposed to know? There was only you and me in the room and I never guessed you were talking to a...a... house plant
I've raised this houseplant from a small little stalk. Fed her...coddled her...and she gave me years of pleasure but lately she seems to have taken a turn for the worst. The writing is on the wall...or in this case, in all those brown leaves.
A plant is a plant is a plant. Don't know what the big thing is. Just empty the pot and replace it with a new one. Simple
How could you be so cruel and callous! You just can't...discard it like it that!
I dunno. Never bothers you to do that with your clothes
Besides, I read an article that said plants can sense pain and they react to it. How could I betray my friend after all the years we've been together? I feel like a killer! I feel like I'd be ripping out her guts and tearing her apart
Not that I pretend to feel what you feel but check this out
(MR. EVERYBODY shows her a page of the newspaper)
What's this? The Plant-a-atrium is having a sale on houseplants?
(turns to look at plant and at newspaper ad)
(MRS. EVERYBODY cont'd.) 'Parting is such sweet sorrow my formerly green friend. Go meet your other friends in the composter! Do not think badly of me for I shall remember you with great fondness.' I'm ready.
To make new friends at the Plant-a-atrium, silly! We all gotta go some time. I mean, it's just a silly plant for heaven's sake...
Title: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches Genre: Comedy, High School Publisher: Kodansha (JP), Crunchyroll Manga (US) Kodansha USA (US) Story/Artist: Miki Yoshikawa Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Magazine Translation: David Rhie Ryu Yamada is a delinquent at Suzuka High School and wholly unpopular so while he’s heard about honor student Urara Shirashi he’s never talked to ... Read more
Title: My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-Kun) Genre: Comedy Publisher: Media Factory (JP), Vertical Inc (US) Artist: Takuma Morishige Serialized in: Comic Flapper Translation: Yoshito Hinton Original Release Date: January 13, 2015 It’s a great pleasure to jump back into the world that Seki himself created. I watched the anime last year, and it made ... Read more
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Title: Spirit Circle Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Publisher: Shonen Gahosha (JP), Viz Media (US) Story/Artist: Satoshi Mizukami Serialized in: Young King Comics (33 out of 33 chapters reviewed) Fuuta Okeya lives a normal life and has gotten to his second year of middle school without incident, although he can see some spirits including the one following his new classmate, ... Read more
Title: Assassination Classroom Genre: Comedy Publisher: Shonen Jump (JP), Viz Media (US) Story/Artist: Yusei Matsui Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Jump (volume one reviewed) Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki Original Release Date: December 2, 2014 Review copy provided by Viz Media Sometime in the past few years, the hosts of the American Weekly Shonen Jump stated on their podcast that Assassination Classroom was never going ... Read more
So, I went to the Edinburgh Fringe festival. It was brilliant-most shows. I’m only going to review the shows I really enjoyed though-I don’t really see much point in spending time writing a 250 word review saying “this was okish.” So over the next week, here’s my pick of shows.
Christopher Adams and Aristophanes
Performed by: DEM Productions
Major cast: Lousia Holloway, Charlotte Mulliner, River Hawkins and Robert Willoughby
Seen at: C Nova
Review: It starts with Lysistrata's birthday party and her friends have bought her a stripper. But prices are rising, they can't pay and so he leaves. Lysistrata, angry with the austerity measures and work exploitation and the state of Greece in general, convinces her friends to withold sex until the men of Greece sort out the situation.
I've read Lysistrata by Aristophanes and I thought this was a very clever adaptation. I love the relavence of the Greek financial crisis and the use of social media as a rallying call to women. The transitions between rhymed verse and normal speaking is quite jarring and the tone set up at the beginning means the verse sounds really out of place.
It starts off a faithful modern adaptation, as much as you can do with four actors, distilling choruses down to single people and using sound effectively to create crowds. Then about the 2/3 mark I think (I’m not entirely sure) it gets very different, a lot darker, and by the end I'm thinking two things: this was meant to be a comedy and the writer seriously thinks Greece is screwed. I left thinking “woah. Not expecting that.” and I think it worked in this version [possible spoiler-highlight to see] as the war on austerity would obviously take time to fix and not be sorted by a sex strike in one night, as opposed to a war being fought by men who could easily stop. [end spoiler]
All four actors are very good. Louisa Hollway is Lysistrata throughout, doing well as a drunk angry woman who wants change, but also good at showing a more vulnerable side. The other three actors multirole, often crossdressing, creating very different characters through voices and movement.
The logistics could have been better. I sat in the centre of the third row, but a few scenes were on the ground, an unraised stage, so only the front row could really see, and the actors didn't have microphones so it was really hard to hear them when music was playing, meant to be in the background but drowning the actors out.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a strong modernisation and adaptation.
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The following is an extract from Comedy: A Very Short Introduction, by Matthew Bevis. It explores the relationship between laughter and aggression.
‘Laughter is men’s way of biting,’ Baudelaire proclaimed. The sociologist Norbert Elias offered a rejoinder: ‘He who laughs cannot bite.’ So does laughter embody or diffuse aggression? One theory, offered by the neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran, is that the laugh may be an aborted cry of concern, a way of announcing to a group that there has been a false alarm. The smile could operate in a similar way: when one of our ancestral primates saw another individual from a distance, he perhaps initially bared his canines as a threatening grimace before recognizing the individual as friend, not foe. So his grimace was abandoned halfway to produce a smile, which in turn may have evolved into a ritualized human greeting. Another researcher, Robert Provine, notes that chimp laughter is commonly triggered by physical contact (biting or tickling) or by the threat of such contact (chasing games) and argues that the ‘pant-pant’ of apes and the ‘ha-ha’ of humans evolved from the breathlessness of physical play. This, together with the show of teeth necessitated by the play face, has been ritualized into the rhythmic pant of the laugh. Behind the smile, then, may lie a socialized snarl; and behind the laugh, a play fight. But behind both of these facial expressions lie real snarls and real fights.
People often claim to be ‘only joking’, but many a true word is spoken in jest. Ridicule and derision are both rooted in laughter (from ridere, to laugh). The comic may loiter with shady intent on the borders of aggression; ‘a joke’, Aristotle suggested, ‘is a kind of abuse’. And comedy itself can be abused as well as used—racist and sexist jokes point to its potential cruelty. As Waters says of Price’s stand-up act in Trevor Griffiths’s The Comedians (1975): ‘Love, care, concern, call it what you like, you junked it over the side.’ Comedy is clearly at home in the company of insults, abuse, curses, and diatribes, but the mode can also lend an unusual inflection to these utterances. From Greek iambi to the licensed raillery of the Roman Saturnalia, from Pete and Dud on the implications of being called a fucking cunt to the game of The Dozens, in which numerous aspersions are cast upon Yo Mama’s character, something strange happens to aggression when it is stylized or performed. W. H. Auden pondered choreographed exchanges of insult—from Old English flyting to the modern-day exchanges of truck drivers— and observed that ‘the protagonists are not thinking about each other but about language and their pleasure in employing it inventively … Playful anger is intrinsically comic because, of all emotions, anger is the least compatible with play.’ From this perspective, comedy is the moment at which outrage becomes outrageous. Some kinds of ferocity can be delectable.
‘Playful anger’ sounds like a contradiction in terms, yet in Plato’s Philebus, Socrates notes ‘the curious mixture of pleasure and pain that lies in the malice of amusement’. Descartes suggests in The Passions of The Soul (1649) that ‘Derision or scorn is a sort of joy mingled with hatred.’ This chapter examines such curious mixtures and minglings of feeling by considering modes of comedy that seem to have a target in their sights—versions of satire, mock-heroic, parody, and caricature. We might turn first to the satirist; Walter Benjamin identified him as ‘the figure in whom the cannibal was received into civilization’. So the satirist is at once savage and civilized; he cuts us up after having been granted permission (perhaps even encouraged) to take that liberty. What is it, then, that we need this cannibal to do for us? The satirist, it would initially appear, is the comedian who allows audiences to join him on a mission. Satire is a scourge of vice, a spur to virtue; Horace imagines his ideal listener as ‘baring his teeth in a grin’. So far so good, but the listener may also get bitten from time to time: ‘What are you laughing at?’ the poet asks us, ‘Change the name and you are the subject of the story.’ Indeed, as Hamlet would later quip, ‘use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping?’
Image credit: Business team laughing, © YanC, via iStock Photo.
The post Biting, whipping, tickling appeared first on OUPblog.
May Contain Spoilers
Valentine’s Day seems like a complicated occasion in Japan. It’s no wonder it gave Kyoko so much trouble in the 24th volume of Skip*Beat! Her interactions between the men in life are confusing to say the least. There’s Sho, who tromped on her heart but now reluctantly harbors feelings for her, and Reino, the lead singer of a rival band of Sho’s, who stalked her and now that he’s captured one of Kyoko’s grudges, is demanding chocolates made with “her true feelings” from him before he’ll return what he’s stolen from her. And then there’s Ren. Ren. Ren! The guy who has gone out of his way to help her navigate the cut-throat world of show biz, but does she give even the slightest regard for his feelings? No. No. No! Sigh. Kyoko, you need to worry more about the people who care about you because of who you are, and less about those who only want to manipulate you.
I loved this volume of Yoshiki Nakamura’s comedy romance. It’s funny. Kyoko makes a muddle of Valentine’s Day, and Sho is driven to misery when he thinks that Kyoko likes Reino. I wasn’t so happy when Ren thought Kyoko liked someone else after dropping the chocolates she made with every bit of hate she possessed for the Beagle, or when she skipped around the movie set giving everyone obligation chocolates – everyone but him. At least she gave him a birthday present, belated though it was, so I think Ren should cut her some slack. Anyone who knows Kyoko well knows that she’s kind of a spaz. What they don’t all know is that after Sho left her heart full of holes, she swore off love and guys, so because she’s not looking for a relationship, she doesn’t see the possibility for one when it’s standing right in front of her. She is blinded by her need to have her revenge, and to silence all of her little grudge Kyoko’s.
I love how this storyline sets up all kinds of opportunities for misunderstandings between, not just Ren and Kyoko, but between Kyoko and Sho, and even Kyoko and Reino. I think that Kyoko’s personal, as well as professional life, is going to get very, very complicated, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next!
Review copy purchased from Amazon
Valentine’s Day is on its way, but Kyoko won’t be able to celebrate love and friendship the normal way. She’s getting blackmailed into giving chocolate to guys she hates, she has her ongoing revenge to oblige, and to top it all off, it’s Ren’s birthday! How can Kyoko give him a meaningful present when she’s slinging meaningless chocolate left and right?
The post Graphic Novel Review: Skip*Beat! Volume 24 by Yoshiki Nakamura appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.
Title: D-Frag! Genre: Comedy Publisher: Media Factory (JP), Seven Seas (US) Artist: Tomoya Haruno Serialized in: Monthly Comic Alive Translation: Adrienne Beck Original Release Date: August 5, 2014 I follow a very simple rule when it comes to reading comedy manga: if I’m laughing because it’s legitimately funny instead of laughing while making up scenarios ... Read more
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May Contain Spoilers
Holy Cow! Sometimes I just have to get that off my chest. The 25th volume of Skip*Beat! ROCKED! The drama was cranked up when Sho made a surprise appearance during the filming of Kyoko and Ren’s TV show and WOW! He really knows how to stir up trouble. And best yet, how to get under Kyoko’s skin. Jealous when he thought that she was hung up on Reino, a rival singer, Sho wanted to make sure Kyoko knew what she was missing. Delivering a huge bouquet brimming with all the things he thought she’d love, he throws down the gauntlet. He’ll not be overshadowed by the Beagle or by smarmy Ren, either!
When Sho steals Kyoko’s first kiss, hilarity ensues. She is distraught, Ren is quivering with rage, and poor Yashiro – he can only look on in horror as his client’s sense of well-being is shattered into a billion tiny pieces. I didn’t know who I felt worse for – Ren, Kyoko, or Yashiro, who would have to deal with the fallout from Ren’s state of agitation. Kyoko is traumatized, until Ren scoffs at her reaction to Sho. If she wasn’t a willing participant in the kiss, is it really a kiss? Besides, she’s an actress, and there will be times when she’ll have to kiss a co-star. That’s not a kiss, either, it’s just part of the script, and part of the job. Just when he’s made her feel better about the whole episode, Ren works in a little threat; she needs to be careful to never let Sho take advantage of her again, because she only gets one chance. There will be no second chances. Oh, dear!
Later, when Kyoko is alone in Ren’s dressing room, he does something to push Sho completely out of her mind. Literally. Suddenly, she can only think of Ren, and don’t think that doesn’t make him all smug and extremely self-satisfied. Valentine’s Day was so much fun, I was sorry to see it end. This has been my favorite volume of Skip*Beat! so far, and I wonder if it can be topped. Even the art was kicked up a notch, but that impression might be due to the amount of illustrations featuring Ren.
Review copy purchased from Amazon
Kyoko’s Valentine’s battle with Reino has finally gained her Sho’s attention—but now it’s the last thing she wants! Sho is determined to make her obsessed with him, and shows up on set with an over-the-top gift to taunt her. But when Kyoko explains her true relationship with Reino, Sho makes an inexcusable move. Has he undone her years of healing in one fell swoop?!
The post Graphic Novel Review: Skip*Beat! Volume 25 by Yoshiki Nakamura appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.
Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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Arks to Go: the Flood II
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SCENE: ANGIE'S APARTMENT.
ANGIE scans the telephone directory
Good I kept this old phone directory. Let's see here... H....J...N...What would he be listed, under? Duh! I'm so dense! Logically, has'ta be under boat building. If only I could remember the name of his company. The Ark Store? Try that. Good a name as any. Nope - not listed. How about...Arks for All... This is ridiculous. They're a gazillion possibilities. Maybe he gave up his land phone, which would make this search an exercise in futility. Should have been nicer to him. I mean, he is old and all and meant well I suppose...and he did introduce me to a decent guy even though it didn't work out...What did I do in return in the way of thanks? Told him to take his ark and...
Phone rings. ANGIE answers
She hears heavy breathing
Still more heavy breathing
Do we have us a pervert, here? Really, your type are so obvious. Disgusting, vile, dregs of the earth...
...sewer slime... Noah? That you?
(he sneezes and coughs)
Good that you stopped me. I was about to direct some very bad language at what I thought was one of those heavy breather pieces of garbage that pollute the earth...
I understand you were trying to reach me?
I misplaced your number and was trying to touch base with you again, but how did you know?
Let's just say that - (sneezes) -
I am that. As I was saying...I have connections. What's up?
I've been thinking things over and - well - perhaps I've been too rash in my judgement of your project
(coughing and blowing his nose)
As I recall in our last conversation, you made it clear that you didn't want to hear from me ever again
That was then. This is now. Sometimes my mouth gets the better of me and things roll out of my mouth that I don't mean
Not giving you the benefit of the doubt and questioning your authenticity. I should have trusted in you but nooooo... Instead I gave you your walking papers or in this case, your sailing papers...
Are you trying to say you've re-considered helping me rebuild the ark?
You got it - if you'll have me
How do I know that you won't lose interest like before. Time is marching on and bad weather is just around the corner.
Let's just say that I've come to the realization that there are more important things in life than finding mister right
No time like the present to get back to work.
Where do we start?
There are some conditions, though
I knew it was too good to be true
Nothing that you can't handle
Your duties will include keeping the interior of the ark clean, when it's built of course
You have to be joking. All those animals...
I'm not finished. You will also have to play the roll of peace maker
But...there are so many species. How do I communicate with them?
Darn if I know but I have every confidence you'll find a way. Time is marching on and there's a lot to do. I'll send Roger to come pick you up
Would this be the male representation to me? I better wash my hair...and pick my wardrobe to take with me...don't want to give a first bad impression...
Really - Roger doesn't care about those things
Has he seen a photo of me, perchance?
I did show him the one that we took together. Roger never forgets a face
I'm sending him over to pick you up. He should be there in ten minutes.
Hello...? Noah...? Better get dressed for the occasion. Want to make a good impression
(Ten minutes later the doorbell rings. ANGIE opens the door)
Just a minute...com-ing! I've heard so much about you...
(Angie opens the door and jumps back)
(TO BE CONTINUED)
In this 1980 tribute to legendary animation director Tex Avery, fellow legendary director Chuck Jones shared six lessons that he learned about comedy from working with Avery in the 1930s. The advice remains essential to animation director working today.
Just read a piece that Nia Vardalos is doing a movie sequel to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". As much as I really enjoyed this film - I've seen it many times - my play, "A Wedding" which could be described as a Jewish equivalent, is as funny if not more. Here's a taste and scene out of the play to see what I'm talking about and see if you agree. It's part of one of my favorite scenes - but then they all are. Some of the formatting has been lost cut and pasting and transferring from Word.
THE SCENE: At the Greenberg house. The bride and groom's family are meeting for the first time for dinner. Lenor, mother of David, groom-to-be, is on the snobby side unlike his father Charles who is down to earth. Meanwhile, Sadie, mother of the bride, Rachel, is middle-class and in competition with Lenor while husband, Morty, is realistic and down-to-earth like Charles. Morty has done a lot more than taste the wine as his mother, Sylvia, arrives unannounced. The leg of a dining room chair is broken.
Excuse me people…what kind of person visits at this time of night? SADIE re-enters with her mother-in-law, SYLVIA
And here is the answer to that question
Ma? Whad'ya doing here? I fought you were shtaying wiv Elaine until shummer Can a mother visit her only son, without having to announce her arrival before? Maybe I should check into a hotel and come back tomorrow, since you have dinner guests. Are you drunk? My poor baby boy! See what living with you does to him, Sadie? The man has turned to liquor for escape. I warned you, Morty, what life would be like living with…her An excellent idea, Sylvia. Why don't you come back tomorrow…or maybe next month…next year? Never would even be better Don't talk shtupid! Shadie, put mom's shutecases in the rare shpoom. You've come jus' at the right time. You ate already? Your sister packed me a sandwich and fruit for the train but I finished that hours ago. Just make me some toast and a glass of tea and I'll go to my room until your company has left Nonshense! Rajel, go get a chair from the kitchen, for your…your… bubie. You heard our good news? Does anybody tell me anything? Who am I anyway? Just a sick, old woman shipped from place-to-place, because nobody has room for me. Why should anyone share their news with me? Our Rachel here is… em-em-gaged to be marry, ma! Uh-huh… So, you couldn't have picked up the phone to tell me, Sadie? You forgot my phone number, maybe? After all,…I'm onlythe grandmother. Why should you share a happy event with me? So, introduce me to your fiancey David, this is Grammy Sylvia, my best friend in the whole world! And what am I? Chopped liver? Sadie dear, look at yourself as the pickled herring: always a hors d'oeuvre but never the main course. How many times have I told you that she always liked me better than you? Come again? Morty – you better tell her… Now ma, you know you shouldn't tease Sabie like that. You shtill ‘aven't tol' us why you here Your sister, Elaine, went on a cruise so I landed up here on your doorstep. That cheapskate husband of hers didn't even pay for my fare. I tell you – nobody has respect for the aged anymore. In my days… Will you be honoring us with your presence for a long time, she asked, afraid of the answer? She jus' got here f-fur crying out loud. You-you can shtay for has l-long has you wan, ma
MORTY gets up to get another drink and SYLVIA
You want I should stand all night or maybe I should leave, better? I'm a weak, old woman…my legs don't hold me up any more. Oy! The pain! Starts in my big toe and travels all the way up my hip and stays there! Soon I'll need a wheelchair! Pain is my constant companion! Rushing over to pull chair away
Trust me ma, you don't wanna shit on that
Weak like a bull! Rachel honey, go get your grammy a chair from the kitchen. Morty sweetheart, you don't look comfortable. Wouldn't you prefer to drink…sit in your favorite armchair over there, so you can relax? But…I wanna be able to…to…talk wid eberyone…
I'm sure we can sacrifice your…witty observations of life, so that you can be comfortable!
MORTY staggers to the armchair
The truth is you really don't want me to join your dinner party, do you. Don't worry 'bout old Sylvia. She'll watch television upstairs, all alone in her room, listening to everyone laughing and having a good time. Excuse me, people, for bothering you…it's past my bed time…just get me a glass for my teeth, Sadie, and I'll get out of your way
You know you're alwaysh welcome and you'll shtay 'ere to celbrate wid ush! RACHEL enters with chair; MORTY follows her Places TV tray in front of MORTY MORTY Cont'd. Absolutely! There's nothing I love more than a visit from your mother. Almost as much as an appointment with the dentist. Set a place for your bubie, Rachel Attempts to sit in armchair but jerks to an standing position, waving arms as he speaks Shadie mape her besh dish tonight, ma. Roast ducky in orange sauce, wiv orange booze Duck? I couldn't possibly eat that! Too fat and it's bad for my cholester-ail Couldn't you gib her shomething else? MORTY teeters over to SADIE, tries to kiss her on the cheek but she pulls away
Oh something springs to mind alright, but I could get arrested for homicide
Moves a chair in back of SYLVIA, who sits down
I'm sure you could find something for grammy, mom, couldn't you?
I'll go check what I have in the fridge. How 'bout a cheese sandwich, ma? …Where's your manners! Don't be so rude Morty and introduce me to your guests MORTY is drinking another glass of liquor
Meet Dabid's parents, Lee-oree and Ch-Charmie Skybird
So, what do you think of my granddaughter? Is she not a beauty?
You have a lovely granddaughter, Sylvia. And what do you think of our David?
Seems like a nice catch but he makes a living for my Rachel? She's used to good things! He's a corporate lawyer with a very good practice He's a partner in the firm, maybe? I'm sure that will happen in the future. After all – he's got all the right ingredients – a good family background… Has my mother in law been telling you all the family secrets? Here's your cheese sandwich, ma, with low-fat dressing, just like you asked. Now close your mouth…and enjoy! So where's the lettuce? Salad greens are good for my constipation I'm definitely getting a migraine! Any particular kind…iceberg,romaine…bib…? Your wish is my command your majesty…I mean, Sylvia Rachel sweetheart, bring me my small suitcase. I have all my medication inside So what pills are you taking these days or do you have one of everything?
With all my conditions, they're so many. This is for my vangina and this is for…
…thank you for sharing, but I'm sure our guests aren't interested in all your pills I'll be at the wedding as long as my vangina doesn't act up but you never know How c-come n-n-nobody tol' me you 'ad am…vam-gi-na? I-I'm the son! Do you feel up to cutting us some more duck, dear?
MORTY stands up and teeters over to the table.
He grabs the carving fork, thrusts it in the
Morty…dearest, the duck is dead already! There's no reason to keep stabbing it!
LENOR takes her napkin and wipes her dress.
SADIE distributes plates of duck. When MORTY
takes his portion, he lifts the plate to his
lips and drinks; LENOR is horrified My Shabie makes the bes' gravy! You-you make dood guck, honey-bunny Did I mention I mixed up my medication and ended up in the hospital emergency room? I could'a died, y’know! Rachel dear, bring me my blood pressure thing-ie like a good girl No such luck - I mean, isn't it dangerous taking your own blood pressure? You could over pump and then… Why don't you let medo that for you?
MORTY puts on TV and an
ear-piercing screech comes from the TV.
Everyone jumps in response Look ad dat! My faborit all-time mooooomie is playing on our big screen TV too – Night of the Living Dead. Reminds me of our supper tonight…just a joke
Thank you for sharing, sweetheart…
Don'chu love zombies? They scare me shi-… - dearest, shouldn't you close the TV when we have guests? Why? We could all watch it togevver. Shabie – go make some popcorn for eberyone Let him watch his movie! It bothers you? You always were a fun killer I think you should close the TV – NOW – and we'll discuss this later, dearest? You start clearing the table, mom, and let me take care of grammy SADIE clears the table of dishes Morty dearest, be a darling and help me? MORTY gets up but loses his balance and falls backward on the broken chair, which collapses under his weight You gave him that chair on purpose, didn't you Sadie? Don't think I'm not on to you trying to collect on his insurance. Your wife wants to trade you in for a new model, Morty. Better leave now while you still can! Oh God! She's over-medicated herself again You could have married Roseanne Epstein and her family would have given you the world. She was crazy for you, Morty, and I hear she's divorced from her third husband. It's never to late to find real love You're such a kidder, grammy! She loves pretending to hate mom, don't you?
SYLVIA looks away and doesn't answer
(getting up from sitting on floor)
Shabie is my one and only true love! We m-may not be rich in dollars b-but my Sadie has a lot of sense. Get it? Dollars…cents…?
SADIE re-enters holding a cake with sparklers
Morty…sweetheart, why don't you give your mouth a rest…I mean, relax and watch your movie. You've had a long day but not half as long as this evening has been Wow! That's some cake! I bet it tastes as good as it looks You outdone myself, my sweet bon-bon! You baked this for us? It must have taken you hours It was just a little something I whipped up My Shadie is good at whipping things, aren't you my little pickle? Who wants coffee and who wants tea? Nothing for me since both keep me up at night
I know exactly where you're coming from Leoree. Drinking liquids before I go to bed makes me pee all night too! Sometimes I think I spend more time in the bathroom than I do in bed
Charles dear, we really must leave now. My migraine is getting quite intense
LENOR stands up
Sadie, it's been wonderful meeting you and Monty… We have to have a slice of this special cake Sadie made or she'll be insulted. Won't you Sadie? Just a little sliver…please? Remember your cholesterol, dear… …you too? What pill are you taking for that? Wanna see all mine? I'll take half of the sliver you gave Charles Now this is what I call a supper. Everything was perfect. Why don't share your recipes with Lenor? Anything is better than the grass we eat We really must leave dearest. I have a busy schedule tomorrow. Call me Sadie But… arem't… you… Lenor? If you…you wam me to call you Shabie, than Shabie it’ll be. I got a g-good idea! I'll call Shabie, Lemor, and Le-le-more, Shabie!
THE MYSTERY OF THE SOCKSSCENE: THE KITCEN OF MR. AND MRS. EVERYBODY. MRS. EVERYBODY IS LOADING THE DISHWASHERAT RISE: MR. EVERYBODY ENTERS THE KITCHEN CARRYING HIS SOCKSMR. EVERYBODY
What's wrong with these socks?MRS. EVERYBODY
Just a sec - I'm loading the dishwasher...this new dish set we bought is too large. Takes up too much space... MR. EVERYBODY
You had to have them, remember?MRS. EVERYBODY
Excuse me? May I remind you that you also were very anxious for me to get them 'cause they were on sale. Why are you holding two socks? Are you making hand puppets? 'Get...in...there...dishes...or...you're...gonna...feel...so...sorry...'MR. EVERYBODY
Like I said before, what's wrong with these socks?
Just another sec...let me start the dishwasher. Okay. Now you have my full attention. So I see two socks...navy blue to be exact. Look to be your size. I'll go out on a limb and say that they're yours Oh look! I made a play on words. Out on a limb...sock...leg... Get it?MR. EVERYBODY
You should get your own comedy show. Now take a good look at them. Come closer. What do you see now?MRS. EVERYBODY
What do I get if I give you the right answer?MR. EVERYBODY
Stop with the snarky remarks and look closely at themMRS. EVERYBODY
Here - hand them over. Okay. Like I said before, "a" pair of socks. Should I be look for something else? Are they socks from outer space?MR. EVERYBODY
Do you notice something...off, perhaps?MRS. EVERYBODY
Hmmm...can't say that I do... The left one is worn out a bit at the toe?MRS. EVERYBODY
(holding up a sock in each hand
Now what do you see?MRS. EVERYBODY
One sock in the left hand and another in the right. What's this big mystery?MR. EVERYBODY
How about the size of both of them?MRS. EVERYBODY
I dunno...you take a size 10 shoe. I'll go out on a limb here and say that those socks, those very socks are size 10. Can we stop playing quiz show and get to the heart - or toe in this case - of the sock issue?MR. EVERYBODY
You're right that these socks are navy blue but something is offMRS. EVERBODY
Of course! You're barefoot. Put them back on and the mystery is solved. MR. EVERYBODY
Getting closer to the point I'm trying to make. What do you think would happen if I put them back on?MRS. EVERYBODY
Your feet would be warm? I dunno!MR. EVERYBODY
Here - let me show you(MR. EVERYBODY puts socks on his feet)(Cont'd.)
Now what do you see?MRS EVERYBODY
Uh-huh...I see now... One of your legs has shrunk. That happens in old age. MR. EVERYBODY
Not! They do not match. Not partners. Single socks. Looking for mates. Get the picture?MRS. EVERYBODY
Now I see what this is all about. You know - your pant legs cover up the socks. Nobody knows and I can assure you I won't tellMR. EVERYBODY
That's not the point. Somewhere in the sock drawer...MRS. EVERYBODY
...or sock bag. There are a lot of single socks looking for a partner...MR. EVERYBODY
You mean, there could be a matching sock to this one? Last week I wore a black sock on the left foot and a blue one on the rightMRS. EVERYBODY
I'm sure nobody noticed. Did anyone say anything?MR. EVERYBODY
They were probably too polite to mention anything especially since I was wearing a grey suit at the time!MRS. EVERYBODY
These things do happen. You should check more carefully next tmeMR. EVERYBODY
"I" should check? MRS. EVERYBODY
Uh-oh! Darn dishwasher is acting up again. Sounds like somebody is playing a set of drums. When are you gonna call a repair guy? The neighbor upstairs is gonna complain again and there she goes, right on time! 'Okay Mrs. Bud-inski! I know!'
I better go upstairs and calm the poor woman down.MR. EVERYBODY
What about the sock situation?MRS. EVERYBODY
What about it? Why don't you go take a look in the sock bag in the cupboard and maybe you'll get lucky and find your sock's mate. Then they can live happily ever afterMR. EVERYBODY
The last time you went up to calm down Mrs. Bud-inkski, you disappeared for a couple of hoursMRS. EVERYBODY
Is it my fault she makes yummy strawberry cheese cake and buys off my silence? NEXT TIME: AT THE MALL: THE EVERYBODYS' LOOK FOR A PARKING SPOT
By: Catherine Fehre,
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, TV & Film
, George Costanza
, Laura Palmer
, mark peters
, Matt Koff
, pop culture
, The Jerk Store
, Warren Holstein
, Add a tag
Seinfeld famously added a ton of terms to English, such as low talker, high talker, spongeworthy, and unshushables. It also made obscure terms into household words. Shrinkage and yada yada existed before Seinfeld, but it’s doubtful you learned them anywhere else.
Another successful Seinfeld term has gone under the radar: Jerk Store. The term was coined in “The Comeback,” when George is unselfconsciously stuffing his face with shrimp during a meeting. A co-worker sees George’s gluttony and says, “Hey, George, the ocean called. They’re running out of shrimp.” George is speechless, but later he crafts a comeback: “Oh yeah? Well, the Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you.” The episode shows George going to absurd lengths to find a way to use his comeback, as well as his friends’ unwanted workshopping of the joke.
In a way, that workshopping has never ended—at least on Twitter, which is likely the largest collection of jokes, good and bad, by professionals and amateurs, ever created. Many of those jokes involve formulas, and the Jerk Store has become a popular one. On Twitter, every day is the Summer of George.
Most variations start with “The Jerk Store called,” which is as trusty a joke starter as “Relationship status:” and “When life hands you lemons.” From there, the joke can go just about anywhere. Comic Warren Holstein makes a food joke out of the formula: “The Jerk Store called but I couldn’t understand their thick Jamaican accents.” Matt Koff reveals what would likely happen to a real-life Jerk Store: “The Jerk Store called. It’s closing because it couldn’t compete with Amazon. :(“ Some use the formula to comment on politics: “The Jerk Store called; they’re no longer hiring because of fear of Obamacare mandates.” I particularly like this joke, which finds the funny in sadness: “The jerk store called. We didn’t chat for long but it was good to hear their voice. It was good to hear anyone’s voice. I’m so alone.”
Other tweeters abandon the formula when making Jerk Store jokes, like Laura Palmer: “I’m applying at the Jerk Store and I need references.” This holiday tweet sounds like perfect storm of jerkdom: “Looking forward to the Black Friday deals at the Jerk Store.” Food trends also get spoofed: “when will the jerk store start getting organic jerks. tired of getting these jerks full of gmos.” Here’s a particularly clever joke, playing on an annoying Frankenstein-related correction: “Actually, the jerk store’s monster called.”
This term/joke formula isn’t going anywhere for at least a few reasons. Seinfeld is still omnipresent in reruns, and I reckon the entire series is imprinted on the collective unconscious. Plus, the world is full of jerks. The following are some recent epistles from the Jerk Store to help you get through the polar jerk-tex. Jerk Store might never make the OED, but it’s one of the most successful joke franchises in the world.
Headline image credit: Seinfeld logo. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
The post The Jerk Store called…and called and called appeared first on OUPblog.
Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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, Elvis - the real story
, Elvis Presley
, Elvis's 80th birthday
, funny short play
, gas station
, what if Elvis is alive?
, Add a tag
Today would have been Elvis "The King of Rock'n'roll " Presley's 80th birthday. It is generally believed by most that Elvis is no longer with us as in gone to that great jam session in the sky. However - love those howevers of life - there are those who believe he arranged for his disappearance and is out there somewhere, doing gigs. What if they're right? You just never know.
TAMMY 40-something avid Elvis fan and wife of LenLEN 40-something husband of Tammy"THE" ELVIS, former big star/singer/performer Jackson’s 7-11 GAS BAR AND DINER Photos of Elvis cover a large portion of one wall; Elvis songs play non-stop. There is a table with two chairs on one side of the room, while the other side of the room has the usual gas station displays of motor oil, etc.AT RISE: TAMMY and LEN, two customers, are seated at a table looking around the room
(Scrutinizing the surroundings)
Um…who recommended this place?
TAMMYThe restaurant guide write-up says it’s fine dining with a differenceFine dining if you’re a rat! Did you happen to notice that a cockroach just crawled out of our bread basket? Must be one that escaped the Chef’s special catch-of-the-dayStop being so negative and take in the atmosphereYou mean the aromatic scent of “eau du trash” coming from the back? Phee-ew!You’re so…so…provincial in your thinking, sweetheart. It's about this authentic ‘60’s décor that gives the place its special caché!More like early condemned. Every square inch of wall space is covered with faded Elvis photos and the man’s been dead for how many years?
That's the beauty of this place! It’s like a shrine devoted to “The King.” It's all too…wonderfulAre you saying that this…this gas station and one-table-diner was the King of Rock and Roll’s eatery of choice? Not!For your information they say he used to eat fried chicken here and sometimes he even entertained dinersWas that before or after he turned into the Goodyear blimp? If I had known we were coming here to eat, I’d have checked to make sure my insurance policy was paid upYou know how long I hadda wait to get reservations for this restaurant……obviously not long enough……seven months! If you think I’m going to give up the chance to dine here……and a fine dining establishment it is – if you’re into salmonella poisoningGet a grip! The waiter is coming to try to act normal, if that’s possible the waiter dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit struts over, swinging his hips in a typical Elvis-like walk. He smoothes the sides of his hair with his hands, frequently
(swinging his hips between every word)Evening folks’. Need a menu? Uh-huh – oh yeah…No. We prefer to use ESP to order. Of course we need a menu!Don’t mind my husband – I don’t. Leave the menu here and we’ll chooseSo tacky. All the dishes are Elvis songs. 'Be-bop-a-lu-la' chicken wings…' The 'Love Me Tender' T-bone looks questionable and it comes with fries that are probably a couple months old and a 'I Did It My Way' salad. Look at this: says here on the menu that all their steaks are aged to perfection. Yesterday's road-kill most likelyHave you considered that your cranial spark plugs have stopped kicking in? I can’t make up my mind – so many choices… the waiter comes over to take the orderAre all those dishes served a la carte?
WAITERNo – on a plate. Uh-huh…Just choose something already, will you?Want me to come back, folks? Uh-huh…
Ssshhh! Quiet! The shows is gonna beginI don’t see why we hav’ta be quiet. Cheez – I can hear the sound of someone pumping gas outside, not to mention the smell. Mind you, it's hard to tell the difference between the food and the gas (The song from “2001: A Space Odyssey” is heard and the waiter now dressed in a mechanic’s uniform on the other side of the room walks in front of the
counter holding a hand mic)
“For you entertainment and pllllea-sure, the King has entered the building!” “Direct from his engagement at the luxurious Pink Flamingo Laundromat and Bank Drive Thru in Tijuana, Mex-i-co, the management of Jackson’s 7/11 and Diner is proud to present, “the” King of Rock’n’Roll himself, the one – the only – El-vis!”
An over-weight bordering-on-obese man dressed in a white jump suit enters, stopping to pose while leaning on a cane. A wide belt hangs well below a sagging stomach; black aviator glasses cover his eyes and a badly-fitting black wig sits lob-sided towards the front of his head
A bent over Elvis slowly makes his way to the other side of the room. He bends over to kiss Len, who pushes him way
“Whoops – sorry. Gotta get my eyes checkedHe whips out a dirty handkerchief, spits on it and cleans his eyes and replaces it in a back pocket
(in weak squeaky voice)
Thank y’all very much! It’s the first time I been back this way goin’ on twenty years…or maybe it’s thirty…could be forty… Anyway… Good t'see y’all ain’t fergetten the King
whips out his handkerchief again and blows his nose
Guess I ain’t the same Elvis you remember a ways back, huh? But then who is? Starts coughing and choking. Scantily dresses nurses rush over to pat him onthe back
See? I still got it but now I don’t know what to do with it! Thank y’all very much… Listen ladies – go see if you can find my extra set of dentures that I left in a steak yesterday. He chokes again and a well-endowed female doctor wearing tight fitting clothing enters, with a stethoscope draped around her neckNow Mr. Elvis – honey – you know you gotta take it easy. Your ticker ain’t what it used to be
(laughing and staring at her breasts)Yeah but ask me if I care. Thank you all very much. And now before the spaceship comes to take me away, I’m gonna sing you a personal favourite of mine… ELVIS sings the first few lines of “My Way” completely off-key Oh fer… We’re not gonna stay and listen to this… The man is obviously senile Sound of tires squeaking to a stop and the slam of car doorsUh-oh…they’re coming back…I knew they’d find me… Damn aliens!
Two males wearing white outfits move on either side of Elvis and take his armsC’mon pops. You got another gig at the Sunnyvale Nursing Homeut…but…I ain’t finished my set, yet!
Shaking his head and winking at Len and TammyYou don’t wanna be late for your big entrance.Where’s my peanut butter and banana sandwich. I caint sing without it
the two men start to lead Elvis off the stage but Elvis stops and addresses the
Elvis walks over, signs a piece of paper and hands it to Len and then exits with the men
That was not “the” Elvis Presley now, was it? You got us here under false pretences. And that’s against the law, y’know!
The guy is 80 years old. Whad’ya expect? He’s got two hip replacements, a bad knee and now all that shaking he does is the real thing, poor bastard. By the way, know that piece of paper he handed you?
I really couldn’t care less about the man’s autograph… In fact this is what I think of you AND your Elvis
LEN rips up the piece of paper into small pieces
You shouldn’t have done that. Uh-uh…
That piece of paper would’a given you a tank of gas with your meal. Oh well…uh-huh… Len throws himself down on the floor picking up the pieces of paper trying to put them together
Don't just stand there, Tammy. A tank of gas is a tank of gas is…
“The King has left the building
(on his knees scooping up pieces of paper frantically)
Hang on a minute. I can put these pieces together… gimme some of that leftover barbeque sauce...
Title: Jaco The Galactic Patrolman (Ginga Patrol Jako) Genre: Sci-fi, Comedy Publisher: Shueisha (JP), Viz Media (US) Story/Artist: Akira Toriyama Serialized in: Weekly Shonen Jump Translation: Tetsuichiro Miyaki Original Release Date: January 6, 2015 If this is the final manga Akira Toriyama does — after all, he’s getting up there in age and I think ... Read more
By: Mark Myers,
When did they make the last truly funny show? Has there been anything funny created in two decades or are they simply repeating the same thirty minute plotlines with different characters? The real question is, are they still using the same crazy laugh track from I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith show? We are […]
Now and then - more then than now unfortunately - I actually work on plays yet to be finished. One of my favorites (don't I always say that?) is "Dead Writes" started a while back. A comedy, the story line focuses on a deceased, crusty old reporter (Felicia) who has to earn her way into the heavenly quarters by offering her experience and guidance to Chloe, a young up-and-coming writer.
In this is an excerpt, which takes place somewhere between heaven and hell, Felicia is explained how things work and given the guidelines to her assignment. My apologies regarding the formatting transferring the contents from Word.
SCENE: Somewhere between heaven and hell – a holding zone. Organ music is playing
AT RISE: FELICIA & her guide, JOSIAH, discuss her future - and responsibilities
This is just friggin' great!
Sorry. New Years Day and I'm stuck here in no-man's land! This feels more like…the other place
Heaven is a state of mind, my dear. Really, you should forget about those earthly vices
Know what I'd be doing if I hadn't croaked? I'd be sitting in my usual booth at The Flamingo Lounge toasting in the new year, with the gang from "The Sentinal." Right now, we'd probably be uncorking a fresh bottle of scotch, inhaling the fumes and clinking our glasses together, toasting every major story we broke. And let me tell you - there were a lot of 'em! Yup, yup, yup…lots of good juicy ones!
Nobody is denying that you weren't good at your profession. It's your methods at question, here
It wasn't easy, 'ya know. There were pressures and if scotch helped me deal with them –who'd it hurt? Oh God….
…of course…she understands. Please, please choose your words more carefully
If I had only known -
- you probably would have lived your life the exact same way. It's not the first time we've worked with you. In fact, there were many, many times before this one
Are you telling me that I've been here, done that, before?
We've been sending you back in the hope that you learn your life lesson. You've been close but as you say on earth, no cigar. At least not yet
If you'd tell me what I'm supposed to learn, maybe I could fix it
Were it only that easy. You alone have to find that out
How was I supposed to know things would be held against me in my next life? Ya think I expected to die?
People think they're going to live forever and then – poof! You suddenly find yourselves in this state!
Listen, where are those gates everyone talks about? It's all a lie, isn't it?
There are gates everywhere, but you can't see them since you're not ready to enter. Hopefully, you'll earn your way through. Consider this place a sort-of… holding position. May I have Felicia Pembroke's review
(File drops down)
Let's see now…
Hell – how many more times do we have to review my life?
'I'm so sorry SIR. Believe me, it won't happen again. She knows, she knows! Forgive her SIR, she's a newcomer!'
Aside to FELICIA: You mustwatch your language! The last thing you need now, is to offend the HTM
grabbing a sheet of paper that floats down
I must make a point not to use initials when talking to newcomers. Head Team Leader? The "ultimate" head team leader, if you get my drift. Let me see here …at their last meeting, there still appears to be a split amongst the celestial gate-keepers. The score is five for and five against. A veritable tie
This is just typical. I can't even die right like other people. I wasn't that… bad. So I lived a little hard and fast, but my heart was in the right place. I always gave to the Police Benefit and the Adopt-a-Pet funds! That ought'ta count for something. There hast'a be a way I can get in than having to work with Chloe
As I recall, you made a promise
You're not gonna hold me to that! I was traumatized at seeing my body in a casket. Now that I think about it, I haven't looked that good since can't remember when
You assured me that you were willing to do anything to redeem your soul, and your entry is conditional based on this covenant. The young lady in question needs your guidance to make it as a reporter, and her future is dependent on your help
This is some deal you're offering. If I refuse, it's a black mark against my record and I can't even take a sauna without passing out from the heat. She – I mean dear, dear, Chloe - can't spell to save herself, and let's not even talk about grammar. What she does to the English language would make Shakespeare turn over in his grave
I happen to know personally, that The Bard is not offended by the well-intentioned efforts of young people. I think you've got what it takes to help her, if you can control those negative qualities
Let's get going. No time like the present to start
There are some facts you should know about your life on earth, now
What's to know? I follow her around and give her advice. How we going down, this time?
There will be some temptations that you would have to deal with
Qualities that are left over from your earth life, that could lead you astray
Don't worry 'bout me. Nothing or no one is going to stop me from getting it right, this time
Felicia, my dear, please be aware of your reason for returning to earth
I'm gonna succeed, no matter what it takes. Are we ready to leave now?
But…whatever. It's your funeral. I am so witty lately
Don't I get a set of wings or something, to travel? I always wondered how those things work but I'm a fast learner anyway…
Around here, wings have to be earned. Let me remind you that you've got one foot upstairs and the other is in a place we'll not mention, so in the end, it's all up to you. Give me your hand…
FELICIA takes JOSIAH's hand
There's no place like home, Auntie Em, there's no place like home…
They disappear in a cloud of smoke and re-emerge in FELICIA's former office
Hey - she's sitting at my desk no less! I'm gone barely a day and already she's taken over
Remember that nobody can see or hear you except me, and soon young Chloe there will be privy to your voice
bell rings continuously
(staring upwards) 'Yes SIR... another meeting? But SIR…'
Aside to FELICIA Another meeting to attend – they never end! I'm leaving you now with the understanding you'll offer any and all your help to her. If you want to climb that stairway to heaven, you're gonna have to do it step by step. Those words are so appropriate…must add that to my heavenly harp composition. Good luck (looks up), 'Yes SIR, I'm coming…'
Don't leave! How am I supposed to talk to this dumb… Josiah? Damn him!
SFX: Loud thunder-clap
Sor-ry! Hard to break long time habits
Well, well, well! If it's not my pal Chloe! Hey kid, anyone ever tell you that you can't punctuate to save yourself? Shoot – this is great!
SFX: Loud thunder-clap
Alright already! I get your point!
CHLOE is absorbed in staring at the computer screen
Is somebody in the office? You're scaring me!
You can hear me?
Oh Lord…this is not possible! I've been over-working. Yes. That's it. I'll go home after writing this story and take a hot shower…
It's me. How's the 'puter working? I miss the old thing
This isn't real. I wa-was at Felicia's funeral last week, and I saw them put her in the ground! Gotta ask for some time off…I'm hallucinating
Oh pleeze! Don't be so over-dramatic! I'm dead! So what's the big thing?
SCENE: LIVING ROOM OF AN APARTMENT. LATE EVENING
Angie and her male friend, Joe, evening together is interrupted by a knock on the door. Angie attempts to ignore the interruption but it continues, growing in intensity
Aren't you going to answer the door
Knock? I don't hear a knock. Now where were we...
You're such a joker, Angie. It sounds urgent
Probably the neighbor upstairs, complaining again. She is such a pain. Bangs on the ceiling even when I sneeze. 'Get a life, Mrs. Plotnik!'
If you don't answer the door - I will!
O-kay...if you insist but I know I'm gonna regret this
(Angie opens the door to an elderly man (NOAH) with a very long white beard and hair down to the floor, dressed in army fatigues. He rushes by her)
Hel-lo! Noah's my name and arks are my fame! A little frivolity always helps to break the ice in a social situation, don't you think? Angie - introduce me to your friend, here
Noah - remember I told you my carpets don't need cleaning? Call me in a few years - preferably longer. Now if you'll excuse me...
(she tries to lead Noah to the door, unsuccessfully)
You're just joking, aren't you! We're old friends, remember?
How can I forget?
What's that? Sounds like elephants
He comes with his own sound effects. Um - didn't I mention that Noah here, does sound engineering for movies?
No I don't! Aw - you're just teasing, right? 'I'll be back soon, guys!' They don't like to be left alone. Elephants are such babies. They're afraid of the jackals and the monkeys love to tease them. You know - when the boss is away... So...Joe - whad'ya think of all the rain we've been having?
Haven't given it a lot of thought, to be honest
Maybe you should. Could be the beginning of ...
...Noah here runs a zoo. Perhaps you should be getting back to your animals, Noah! Nice of you to visit...
(Angie attempts to move Noah towards the door but he resists)
You two seem like old friends. How did you meet?
Well...Angie phoned me about six months ago and asked me about building an ark...
...as a gift for my nephew. He's into arks and I wanted to give him something unique
...and we've been friends on-and-off
Good to see you again. Call me sometime
Somehow we lost touch with each other and I came across her number while cleaning out the parrot cages the other day and here I am! So Joe - do you like to sail boats, perchance, or maybe you build boats?
Stop with the questions, already, Noah! See you around....
As a matter of fact, I'm handy with a hammer and nails
No! What a coincidence. I'm looking for someone to help me with a project I'm working on that involves someone who knows how to put two pieces of wood together
Seriously? Maybe I could help you
You don't have to be an expert. I have a set of plans laid out by Someone who makes building an ark as easy as 1-2-3
Hello? Joe? I'm here. I think I hear the elephants calling you, Noah.
Why don't I give you my cell number? We can discuss this further over lunch
No need for that. I'll get in touch. Isn't this exciting, Angie? You, Joe...building a new ark together...think of the possibilities
My heart beats with eager anticipation at the aspect of spending time with wild animals. Why do I think my life is not my own, anymore...
I know what you mean. It's going to be such fun. Now Joe - do you get sea sick?
TO BE CONTINUED...
A small robot is born and sets out into the world, happily performing his simple tasks. Suddenly, in a small but profound way, the world as he knows it changes. What follows is a downward spiral of jealousy, resentment and unrestrained desire.
This animated musical short features Rob Fetters’ pop-rock gem, “Desire.” Story, Direction and Animation by Scott Thierauf. Sound Design and Creative Collaboration by Grant Kattmann, Editorial by Theresa Bruce, and Color Grade by Chris Joecken. ©2014 Red Echo Post redechopost.com robfetters.net
“Desire” from the album “Saint Ain’t” available on iTunes:
DESIRE – The Animated Musical Short from Scott Thierauf on Vimeo.
By: Kenneth Kit Lamug,
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, david daneman
, slice of life
, the danemen
, web comics
, Add a tag
If you’ve ever perused the online web comic community Tapastic.com, you’re sure to have seen the slice of life webcomic “The Danemen” featuring the DaneMan himself. The silent (word-less) comic transcends language through the use of visual queues that brings drama and comedy to the viewer. It’s like watching a classic Chaplin act and waiting for the finale, which never disappoints and is almost always unexpected.
In the video below, David shows us his work process and how it defines his unique style. Make sure to take notes, and don’t forget to support his Patreon campaign so he can make comics until the end of days!
Don't get me wrong: humour is an essential part of life and wellbeing. The ability to make an audience laugh is a laudable one. When kids come out of an author visit still laughing, the endorphins fizzing round their brains, it's a happy result indeed. It's visibly A Success.
But authors should not feel they have to "do funny" and I wouldn't like schools to fall into the trap of thinking that the only engaged audience is one falling off its chairs with laughter. I say this because I've seen children's authors recently worry that their events aren't "funny enough" and comparing themselves unfavourably with talented comic authors and speakers.
We should not forget that not everyone always wants to be made to laugh; not everyone laughs at the same things; and some people have different needs. I, for one, given the choice between an hour of laughter and an hour of having my heart and mind spun dizzy with new ideas or shocked into a new groove by fresh images and stories, would opt for dizzy or shocked. And I was always like that. Doesn't mean I don't have a sense of humour or like laughing, just that they are not at the top of my priority list. They are fairly high up it, but not at the top. I know I'm not alone.
If our books don't feature pants, slime or slapstick, our talks may not lend themselves to funny. I've written funny - and in my talks on Chicken Friend, yes, it was great to see the kids laughing when I chose the funny bits to read, though I preferred the more thoughtful bits, the bits where my main character really struggled with things in her world. But my YA novels are far from funny. A mastectomy without anaesthetic isn't funny; nor is being stalked; nor is mental illness or alcoholism. Even my talks on the teenage brain - which some adults might say, unjokingly, was a genuine comedic mine - only look for the occasional release of laughter. And that's usually when I quote Shakespeare.
I do "funny" talks when appropriate - a Burns Supper "reply from the lassies", a launch speech to friends, or after dinner speeches, and I think an introduction to a keynote speech is improved by a smidgen of engaging humour - so this is not about not being able to do funny. And, of course, it's very heart-warming when people laugh (assuming you meant them to), as humour is social glue. But it's not the only glue and I'm not most
interested in making people laugh. I often prefer the echoing silence that accompanies a new idea entering the minds of the audience, the shock on their faces as they take in a new possibility, and the way they will come up afterwards (or email me privately) and tell me something about their own lives that they now see differently. With The Teenage Guide to Stress
, what I like most is responses such as the girl who emailed to tell me my talk had "settled" her mind.
She didn't want
to laugh about her stress - even though laughing about serious things is no bad thing. She wanted her mind to be "settled". A book and a talk should do whatever they should do: inspire laughter or excitement or thoughts or emotions or resolution, whatever.
Today, I'm heading to Gordonstoun for two days of almost entirely unfunny events. However, I will at one point wear a knitted brain on my head (thanks, Cat!) and I can pretty much guarantee that people will laugh. That's fine. Especially since the brief laughter will flood their brains with chemicals which will make them better able to absorb the serious stuff.
But the value of an event is not measured in the decibels of laughter. If you set out to be funny, then it is, of course; if you set out to be thought-provoking, you might measure it in the silence and stillness. Or in the chatter afterwards. Or in a single question or email. Measure it how you like but don't be overwhelmed by the hegemony of humour.
So, to my fellow authors planning events: you do not have to wear your pants (or a knitted brain) on your head. Just wear your best ones.The Teenage Guide to Stress is published on July 3rd by Walker Books. It's not funny so don't laugh.
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Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty
Sell A Door
Tom Steedon, Lucie-Mae Sumner, Stephen Arden, Richard Morse,Jacqueline Tate , Ellena Vincent, Jessica Parker,
They're still touring! Try and catch them if you can. More info here
Review: Princeton has just completed a BA in English. He now doesn’t know what to do with his life. Moving into Avenue Q and meeting a range of colourful characters, puppets such as Kate, Rod, Nicky and Trekkie, and humans like Christmas Eve and Brian. Oh, and Gary Coleman. Avenue Q follow them all as they all wait for their dreams to come true.
I wanted to see this because...hello, Avenue Q! It’s a brilliant coming of age show, with a few songs for which it's well known but some others that are also really good, and I was looking forwards to a night of comedy and music and adorableness.
The show started with a cute little animation to the short opening theme. The screens occasionally came on between scenes or during songs, providing extra comedy.
All the cast were really good. Lucie-Mae Sumner's Kate voice was annoying to start with, because it's quite squeaky in places, but her Lucy was really good. Tom was good as both Princeton and Rod. I would have liked to see more of Ellena Vincent/Gary. Jacqueline Tate and Richard Morse's Christmas Eve and Brian were both cute and funny and paired well together. My favourites were Stephen Arden and Jessica Parker, who are Nicky, Trekkie and the Bad Idea Bears. They worked together really well, Parker's facial expressions as... well, everyone, were really good, and I loved the range of voices that Arden did (normal for Nicky, growly for Trekkie, and quite high for the Bad Idea Bears). All the actors put a lot of energy in, the very skilled puppeteers made the puppets come to life, and this really showed.
The music was very good. The arrangements were a little different to the one on the recording (of a different cast), which I liked, though it's a shame they only got licensed shorter versions of Schadenfreude and The Money Song. Trekkie's song was very good, with an added pause after Kate's “Normal people don't sit at home” line which worked really well for comedy. You Can Be As Loud As The Hell You Want (When You're Making Love) was really well staged, showing off the whole cast (and the puppets' inventive sex). I also really liked the way they did My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada, Fantasies Come True, Schadenfreude, and The More You Ruv Someone.
I liked the staging, and the use of lights in windows to show where on the street each scene was taking place in. The book is very good (someone else must have thought so too because it won an award for it). It touches on lots of themes, like acceptance, friendship, relationships, in a way that is funny about 90% of the time, emotional the other 10%, and brilliant throughout.
Strength 5 tea to a wonderful show with a very strong cast that made for an excellent night out.