Thursday, December 31, 2009

1 More Year Down, and an Unknown Amount of Time To Go

So I get to have the first Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve double wang bango on this here ol blog for the first time in it's history. I think. Can't remember how long ago we started this blog, and damned if I'm going to research it. You may think I would do some funny blog about New Year's Resolutions but those type of things are over done and most resolutions don't hold true anyway and those that do would scare me into thinking I was some sort of future seer or something. So instead I am just doing some stream of consciousness writing. I won't be going ack to fix or edt anything nor will I be running spell check or grammar fixit or anything else for that mater. This is it - the raw realness of realness. I eard that James Joyce writes like this, or at east he did while he was alive. I foyu have ever read one of his books you will know it to be true. I remember in AP English (that's "Advanced Placement" - that's right, I was a smart one. Would have been really smart if I applied myself ) I remember in AP English we had a proect where our teacher gave us a list of boks and we would choose which book we wanted to read. Then you would get in a grou with other students that picked the same book. You would have to read a certain number of chapers or pages at home, and then n class you would get together with your group and discuss the previous reading from last night. I guess I could have saved some time by saying "In AP English we had a bok club", but to late now. S I asked the teacher "What is the most difficult book to tackle on this list" and she told me "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce. So I said "I want to do that one". I was - scratch that - for being a pretty big slacker/coaster in school I for whatever reason used to like challenging mysef from time to time, which is why I tokk all the AP classes instead of opting for just the gen ed studies. In what I think was 3rd or 4th grade reading class (an advanced reading class) we had to red several books and a student would pick out which book we had to read. Once that one was done a new student got to pick out the next book. When it came to me I picked out "The Last of the Mohicans", which was the longest book I coud find on hand. The teacher was pleased at my gumption. The rest of the students vetoed the idea completely. So some other friends, I think 2 others, said "Yes, I would also like to read the most difficult book on hand". I won't say thi was a mistake, because I did like the bok and the experience, but ever y class went pretty much the same way. We got n our groups and me and the other James Joyce readers stared at each other for a couple moments and went "I have no fucking idea wat I read last night. This is a tangled garbled mess". But we got through it and I'm glad I did and I remember getting like a 95% or perhaps even a 100% on my final report. So hooray for that. Also the teacher wanted to make love to me. Seriously. It was never a real issue and she neevr persued it or anything like that. There was never any awkward brushing up against each other moments or quiet stay after class olone together moments or anything like that, but the attraction was there (more so on her side. I was young and a boy and if you didn't look svelte i probably didn't care to stick it in you which I didn't end up sticking into anyone in high school so my bad there. I did try to seduce a really cute student teacher once and I actually think it went well and I could have probably sealed the deal except for the fact that I am awkward as hell with women when it comes to actually hitting on them or asking them out or asking them for sex. I'm just to blatant about it really. Did I have a parethesis earlier that must be closed now? Can't remember. Well might as well) So I did well in Ap English. A few ears later I ran into my old English Lit teacher at an outdoor free concert. Cooincidentally it was the same day I was auditioning for something called "improv" with a group called ComedySportz. This was n Buffalo. My Enlish Lit teacher, one of the first things he sadt to me was "You know, ***** still wants you" I say "I know" He say "Carnally" I say "Yup" I left the teacher s name ut for whatever's sake. I also took AP History. Loved the teacher, ated American History. I almost failed that one. Well, not really I guess. I passed and got college credit for the course (this was still in high school. We had special prorams and such) and I also tok the AP final test. That was the thing. With an AP class the class was primarily there to prepare you for the AP final test and the test scored from 1 to 5 and if you did well enpgh (at least a 3) a lot of colleges would accept that as college credit so you could skip some of your gen ed classes when you went to college. For AP History they just started implementing a thing where you could actually just pay for the course , like you would pay for credit hours for a college course, so if you passed the course it was just the same as if you were to pass the course while being in colege. So I did that. So by paying for the course I didn't even have to take the final AP test. I had already got my college credit for it. But I took the test anyway, because smetimes I liked to challenge myself. Can't remember what I got on it though. It may have been a 3, but was probably more likely a 2. I just ddn't cae fore American history. I took it because t ended up being free. You had to pay for these AP final tetsts, like college credit hours. In AP history we did a fundraiser type thing. We sold gourmet lollipops. They were delicous. I htink the were like 75 cents each or something, maybe a dollar. I remember trying to come up with different marketing techniques because only your sales counted towads your test/pseudo college credits. It wasn't like we pooled them all together. for the whole class. So I would do a buy one get one or 2 for $1.50 or something like that. My favoirite, and best, plan was to give away coockies. We were selling them around Valentine's day so one night I made a whole bunch of heart shaped frosted sugar cookies and brought them to school. A free coockie went to anyone who bought a lollipop. I raked it in that day, and I remmebr one fellow student actually got very mad at me, even complained to the teacher, that I was cheating or it wasn't fair or something. Luckily the teacher was on my side in the argument "It's just good marketing". So I ended up getting the college course credits for free, as well as making anough extra to pay for the AP final history test, which is one reasone I decided to take it judt for the hell f it, and I also ended up with enought to pay for my cap and gown for graduation (I think that was a seperate drive, but still with lollipops). The girl that accused me of cheating was a girl I wanted sex with. I think it was worth it for the free college credits. I got away with a lot of stuff in high school I think because most of my teachers loved me. I did get into a pretty heated verbal argument with an English teacher once. Most of the class was gone on a trip or something so only like 3 of us were there. This may have been 8th grade though. Anyway... maybe 9th. Anyway this teacher was a fill in. Our previous teacher, who we loved, took a job in a different grade near the end of the year. So this new teacher came in to finish the year out. We did not like him, partly because he was a bit of a douche but mostly because he wasn't prepared or geared up for us. We were the smart ones. f the school. He used to just gives us dittos, which pissed us off. We weren't challenged and we hated that. So there was a lot of classroom tension. So at this one day there was only like 3 or 4 of us nin class. He let us spend the whole time - almost the whole time - just chatting and hanging out. Then with like 10 minutes left in class he decides we all need to sit down and read the next couple chapers of whatever book we were reading (Lord of the Flies I think). Laundry break. So he tells us to start reding and I start to argue with him because he has let us chat and relax the whole class up to this point and if we start reading furthr into the book we are going to be ahead of everyone else because this partcular reading assignemnt was not previously assigned and our other classmates wuld not have known to reas ahead and this project we were on relied heavily on us all being on the same part of the bok. So there was some shouting back and forth and perhaps some hurting of each other's pride and I threw my bok at one pooint and in the end we all sat there for like 5 minutes a read quietly until the class period ended. I also almost got into a fist fight wth the basketball coach in high school which was extra strange since I did not play basketball and was not involed with the team in any way. So things were fun in high school sometimes. My friend took the Ap physics test while on Acid and did very good. It wasn't AP though, that's right - it was just plain old physics. It was an advanced class, but not AP colege credit type. I need to starte getting ready so we can start the New Year's Day. Starting with going to see Avaatar in Imax 3D. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Topical Sketch Writing

Welcome to another lesson on the art of sketch writing. Today we discuss topical sketch writing. Topical sketches are the backbone of television programs like Saturday Night Live and My Favorite Martian. A topical sketch includes two vital elements: a recent news story and a dick joke. Let's use a recent news story - the Pope being tackled at the Vatican. Here is how we turn that into a topical sketch:

The Pope Gets Tackled
December 25, 2009

Characters: Susanna, Margaret, Pope Benedict XVI

(The Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI is walking down the aisle. Susanna and Margaret are in the crowd.)

Look! There's the Pope.

You should knock him down.


(Susanna jumps the barricade.)

Pull him down by the dick!

Meine wurst!


Good luck and good writing!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Eve Wrap Up

Merry Christmas Eve! And to all my Jewish friends and friends of many other faiths; get on board with Christmas you jack napes! It's the coolest!

So starting the day after Thanksgiving I used my facebook status updates as an advent calendar. The first day started with "Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve..." and so on. There was one "Eve" for every day from the current date through the actual governmentally recognized traditional Christmas Eve. I did it the first day as a joke nodding to the insane practice of pushing Christmas on people earlier and earlier each year by the marketing departments of various corporations. This year there was a radio station that actually started playing Christmas music 24/7 three or four days before Thanksgiving.

Side bar: I don't believe that the world will end December 21, 2012. I do believe that December 21, 2012 is the date the United States will officially announce that Thanksgiving is no longer a national holiday.

After I typed out all those "Eve"s on my first post I thought it would be fun to simply post the same basic message each day, but each day I would remove one "Eve" thus bringing it to the correct number each day. It became my my 21st century version of the Christmas chains I used to make as a youth. I also thought it would be interesting to see what types of comments people would post while this modern day Advent calendar got shorter and shorter each day. And finally I wondered if I could resist putting up posts like "Been in the mall all day. Wow, I didn't know feet could hurt this much! LOL!" and stick to doing just one post each day with the exact same theme.

So now it is Christmas Eve, and tomorrow the chain ends. Since today is my day to blog I have decided to share all of the comments people have posted throughout my Advent calendar experiment. I'll leave their names out, but will include the dates. I find some of the comments/reactions very interesting. I apologize for the font craziness that happens in the preceding dialogue. It's christmas Eve, and I don't want to spend the time trying to fix it. I gots family to visit. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

November 27:

Very Smart. I like it.

plus six more eves for new years'

November 28:

*Apparently I missed a day accidentally. I noticed my November 29th post came at 5:00am, so that kind of explains itself I guess.*

November 29:

1 person "likes this"

I see where this is going

I do too Lisa....and I'm a little worried about Geoff

November 30:

I'm looking forward to your status on Dec. 26th.

--I think his record is stuck

You're off by one.

Be careful what you wish for. It might be Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve!

December 1:

Geoffy, are you excited?

Oy vey

December 2:

2 people "like this"

I don't know who this "Eve" person is, but I think you're a bit obsessed wit 'er

methinks you are just copying, pasting and deleting one "eve" from your previous post. i don't believe you are actually putting in this effort. bah humbug

You're a mean one, Mr. Crump.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel.
Mr. Crump.

You're a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce...and I wouldn't touch you with a thirty nine and a half foot POLE! (Mr. Crump)

December 3:

how many times did you lose count?

I think I'm starting to see a pattern here. The list is noticeably shorter than before.

just so you know,... i thought facebook sucked at news feeds and it was broken bc it kept saying you put this up as your status.

It's the facebook version of an advent calendar

Do you open the little windows on your calendar and find candy inside? Or am I the only one who did that as a kid?

(This is a reply comment from me); I did open the windows, but we never had candy involved. If I was any kind of programmer I would make an actual facebook advent calendar with the windows and such, but I'll make do with the status update.

I did not open windows, but had a calendar with candy on it! My mom made it, and now I have it for my son.. I actually finished putting candy on it BEFORE December started this year.. Heh..

December 4:

way to stick to this bit.

You are ny facebook advent calendar.
This also makes for a good countdown to the 10th doctor

Dec 26th...Geoff posts on Ebay...Keyboard for sale. Works good except E V keys broken.

This is totally unrelated - I performed the song I wrote for your roast for my roommate 2 days ago. Do you have the video of that event?

(reply comment posted by me); Corey - Yes, I should still have that VHS somewhere. I loved that song! Perhaps I'll watch it later today

Excellent! It brought back very fond memories of your drum skills!

STFU Crumpie! :-p

December 5:

1 person "likes this"

I'm going to punch you in the Christmas.

You're going on ignore until the start of Jan I think.

i'm thinkin.... so if 'eve' is the before word, find out the after word, and then do that after christmas in the other direction and then you can keep feedin' 'em and feedin' 'em until it's that one day where instead of adding another after word you flip back to 'eve's again. geoff, you could invent a whole new roman numeral system here!

we will
be able to recognize the christmas solstice because you'll have swapped words again, and worst case you get a scheme for a free daily different facebook status.

December 6:

Hi Geoff. How are things going in the Bizarro world these days?

Ha your status only takes up two lines now...I'm in trouble!!

December 7:

I take it this exercise is to continue for a time...

I like it! It makes me smile every time....

oooh....i get it now.

You are a facebook advent calendar.

Geoff's diabolical plan is to write a book of all the various comments he can get from one nonsensical phrase. I'm not sure what the title will be...Going Rogue is already taken.

December 8:

1 person "likes this"

it's like those advent calendars except instead of getting to open a new thing every day, you just take words away.

I would rather get the daily piece of candy:)

December 9:

we're making progress!


How about Merry Xmas 4x4

This year I'm changing my name to The Jew Who Stole Christmas.

December 10:

your lack of "eve's" are making me think i should start christmas shopping.....

December 11:

christmas eve is nice, but i'm looking forward to summer's eve

(another reply post by me); For that nice... fresh.... feeling?

Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve to you sir, as well!

this is giving me a sense of anxiety..its getting i ready? NO

Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba Humbug

December 12:

1 person "likes this"

I don't like that the eve's keep getting shorter and shorter...

I agree with Melissa

Getting shorter...

December 13:

*no comments were posted and no one liked "this". Up to this point this was by far the most comments in a row I had gotten on facebook.*

December 14:

Almost all fits on one line, now!

You're funny!

You're an anti semite.

I finally got it Geoff...DUH

December 15:

I married a real winner!

You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to, depend greatly on our own point of view.

One line... Nice. I need to see that Caddyshack Biography too.

omg..i just realized that the whole "Eve" thing is a countdown to Christmas...can you say IDIOT?!?

Do you mean yourself or Geoff?.....Ü

me, silly:)

it's ok, he only does this twice a year.

December 16:

Glad it's getting closer, now I don't have to read so many Eve's on your status!!!! :-D

Maybe so, but you certainly are lacking the Christmas Spirit sir! Did the carolers mean nothing to you? Now go put on the christmas sweater and change your attitude! :)

LOL! Make it an UGLY Christmas sweater!! :-)

Oh it is! It is wonderfully ugly :)

Sweet!!! :-)

Have you repeatedly been posting this? Or am I waking up in a continuous loop (as in Groundhog Day)?

As a person who's done 0 shopping for her family, you are definitely the keeper of my time line. Happy Holidays!

December 17:

you're running low on eves

Oh's only one line of eves now!

December 18:

the lack of eves is beginning to make me realize i have alot to do in a week...


December 19:

Happy St. Patty's Day to the 88th power

December 20:

Wow. That's getting really short!

Yes... really short. It hit me today that we're in the 20s... and it's this week.

December 21:

1 person "likes this"

we're getting so much closer....

Your status has been slowly killing me for days... I'm not ready!!!!

I'm not looking forward to dec 26ths post


And happy Boxing Day Eve Eve Eve Eve. That's the holiday people really look forward to.

December 22:

1 person "likes this"

I will only like this if you start December 26th.

December 23:

We're getting close now!

I'm worried about the 26th. FB won't allow enough characters for a status update with 364 "Eves"...

i literally thought - oh! - i should check geoff's page, it must be smaaallll! how exciting.

What will you do after Christmas Eve?

HEY...that's what Adam would have said to his wife today...except Christmas wasn't invented yet.

This bit is less funny the closer it gets to Christmas.

I am so woefully unprepared!

How would you say this to rapper Eve?

December 24:

3 people "like this"

now that must have been easier!

I wanted to log into Facebook, just to see this status update... That's how I knew we were in the Christmas season.. your updates.

You have been a very very busy ELF and we have all appreciated your what ...?? Oh I know your sillyness

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the 'eves' dwindle! Thanks for the entertainment!

I've seen this message on many facebook statuses today. Geoff is a poseur and I do not appreciate it.

Geoff...if you'll stop with the Eves I won't come and beat you up.Deal?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What I Want For Christmas

Here are just a few things I want for Christmas this year:

Black work socks.

Underwear, size large.

A Snuggie, blue.



Pec implants.



Calf implants.

All of my favorite foods fed to me by Selma Hayek.

My wife’s permission to let Selma Hayek feed me all my favorite foods.

Selma Hayek to cancel the restraining order she has against me.

To control my drinking problem.

For my bladder to be able to function when I am passed out.

A new pair of nice, clean pants.

A ski mask.

A handgun.

The work schedules, number of security officers, knowledge of peak hours and blueprint schematics for the bank near my house.

For the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Superbowl.

For the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series.

For Kansas City to schedule a parade for the Royals and the Chiefs and then cancel the parade and instead schedule a parade for my Fantasy Football Team, The Beermen.

Peace on Earth.

Goodwill toward men.

The respect that I deserve.

Anything else you think I might like, along with a gift receipt so I can return it and get a second Snuggie, which is for Selma Hayek.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sketchy Santas

I already blogged about this on my blogging Mother Ship, Clever Title, but I thought I would share here on the Robo blog as well.

'Why?' you ask. 'Are you too lazy to come up with something new?'

To which I reply, 'Hey, it's Christmas. Kiss my ass.'

And then you're all like, 'What the hell, man? Nobody's making you write anything. If you don't have anything to say, then don't say anything.'

'You think it's that easy?' I ask. 'You try.'

'Fine, I will: This morning, President Obama managed to take one more step down the road to health care reform. But after a dramatic 1:00 AM vote on the bill, at what cost has this victory been achieved? This writer believes..."

'All right all right, you made your point. Could you please just shut up and enjoy the Santa pics? Look:

'That's kind of funny, right?'

'Yeah, okay,' you concede. 'I'll let it slide this time, but next time you better come with your A-game, Topping.'

'I forgot to say, I'm going to be in Arizona next week so I probably won't post anything,' I confess.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sing [and go F] off!

NBC has a new show called "The Sing-Off!" It's a week long competition between various a capella groups from around the country. They are competing for a recording deal or something. It's just awful. I remember thinking a capella groups were cool, and even thinking about being a part of one. I don't know when I started hating them, but I hate them. I hate your stupid, cutesy covers of classic music and your feigned drama and emotion as you try to get that audition for that Broadway musical you always dreamed of in between getting ridiculed by high school meatheads. This show makes me genuinely furious. It fucking sucks. Also "Glee" is awful. I watched about 10 minutes of an episode and turned it before my brain melted into a puddle of boredom. I'd be more articulate but the video card on my laptop is slowly dying and it only works on the lowest VGA resolution setting so everything is giant and hard to read and internet pages don't fit on my screen properly. This ends my blog for today. I did it. So eat my nuts Othic, I love you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Recently our little sketch comedy group got into a discussion about mission statements, or more specifically, our lack of a mission statement. (Something we do when we are not playing with the title block of the blog.) We’ve been going for over two years now, and we have sort of developed some habits in the way we work, and our shows are starting to develop a style that is all our own, but we have never formally written a mission statement to define what we are trying to accomplish.

We had a kind of pseudo-mission statement that we printed in some programs or press releases that was short and sweet:

Robot vs. Dinosaur is a writer-centric group whose goal is to write and perform original sketch comedy that is eclectic, dynamically staged and fun for audiences.

Pretty boring, if you ask me. For the most part, we focus on the writing first, then concentrate on being really well-rehearsed when we hit the stage. So many groups just throw shows up on a whim, or at the last minute, and they usually seem poorly written and directed and at times it appears that the actors are having more fun than the audience. That is the exact opposite of what we want to be about.

So we have all taken a whack at developing a mission statement. Below are some of our attempts. Please weigh in at the comments section regarding which one you think is best suited for Robot vs. Dinosaur or feel free to draft your own mission statement. If we adopt it as our own, I will give you two free tickets to our next show.

Mission Statement 1:

Robot vs. Dinosaur efficiently and effectively integrates a wide range of resources and core competencies to provide unique and timely solutions that exceed our customer’s stated need and expectations.

We are guided by integrity, innovation, and a desire for a safer world. RvD professionals leverage state-of-the-art training facilities, professional program management teams, and innovative manufacturing and production capabilities to deliver world class customer driven solutions.

Our leadership and dedicated family of exceptional employees adhere to an essential system of core corporate values chief among them are integrity, innovation, excellence, respect, accountability, and teamwork.

That's actually Blackwater's mission statement (I think). Joe Janes pointed out that it’s done such great things for them, he thought it would work well for us, too.

Mission Statement 2:

Company: RvD Chicago

Mission: We sincerely believe in conducting a long-term commitment to structured downsizing with expansion through functionality from the bottom up.

I believe this was Nat’s submission which he gathered from the Corporate Mission Statement Generator.

Mission Statement 3:

Company: RvD

Mission Statement: Creating imaginative and intuitive sketch comedy so as we can silly mind fuck us some bitches.

Okay, that was Geoff Crump’s improvement on the last one attempt.

Mission Statement 4:

RvD has appeared in over 100 shows in several states. RvD has written and performed three sketch comedy revues—TimeClock, Experiments with Thunder, and The Bailout Show. RvD has put on several one-night-only special event shows and parties. All of those statements are true.

With their live shows, RvD strives to provide its audience with an experience transcending a typical sketch comedy show. From the moment the audience enters the theater their senses are stimulated with music, lights, fog, and various other theatrical elements that let the audience know they have taken a break from the outside world. Sometimes the experience begins well before the house even opens. In February 2008, RvD led an army of fans in a pre-show parade; complete with costumes, a marching band bass drum and spot lights, all under the waving colors of the Think Tank flag.

RvD likes sandwiches, Danny Glover, confetti, and several other things.

Now this one was Nat’s attempt at stealing a mission statement from another sketch comedy group, Think Tank, who appeared with us at the Chicago Sketchfest last year. We are actually planning to start a sketch rivalry with them, but they don’t know it yet. More on that in another post. And possibly we owe Think Tank two tickets to our next show for using their mission statement, which is good, because then they will know what good sketch comedy looks like.

Mission Statement 5:

Writing and staging sketch comedy that shines a light on human behavior, holds a broken mirror up to nature and promotes awareness of the cruel injustices of hysterectomies. Also blowjobs.

That was my attempt at a mission statement that really reflects what we are all about, after a reprimand from Greg Wendling for not including the word “blowjobs” in any of our previous statements.

Mission Statement 6:

It is the mission of Robot vs. Dinosaur to facilitate meaningful ways for families to grieve their loss and celebrate the memories of their loved ones. We will do this by providing comedy information, comedy options, and comedy guidance with the highest level of incompetence, discourtesy and uncompassion. We will provide not respectful and not affordable funeral, cremation and memorialization sketches in a comfortable environment, always striving to exceed the expectations of each family we serve and Think Tank. We will be the market leader in the facilitation and creation of meaningful FUNeral experiences.

And that is currently our actual mission statement. Or not.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Richard Kind is Famous

First of all, I want to take exception to the new title graphic someone put up on this blog: "ROBOT VS. DINOSAUR - CHICAGO FEATURING CHRIS OTHIC." I feel it should be noted that I also post here occasionally, so it's not just the Chris Othic show around here thank YOU very much.

**UPDATE 12:15 CST - Thank you, blog gods, for making the correction to the title graphic**

Okay, to the point: today's post.

This last weekend was the 50th anniversary celebration for the Second City. The theatre company held all sorts of special reunion shows, round table discussions, lectures, get-togethers, love-ins and other assorted events. In my typical Nat Topping obliviousness - I can barely remember my own birthday much less some theatre company's fiftieth - I nearly missed out on everything.

Luckily, my girlfriend (who is admittedly smarter than me) managed to get tickets to the mainstage show last night. While not strictly a special 50th anniversary function, there were alumni present so we had a combination sketch show and celebrity whale watching expedition.

Before the show started, this guy wandered by our section of the theatre:

I know I'd seen this guy before in a bunch of stuff. I couldn't place where. Neither could my girlfriend. The guy from Arkansas sitting at our table also couldn't place him, and neither could his disinterested girlfriend from Colorado.

Even the four students who snuck in at intermission and took the seats behind us couldn't think of the guys name. We all knew he was famous; we just didn't know why or who he was.

And nobody had enough bars on their e-phones to hop on the interwebs and figure it out!

When the show was over, alumni were invited to take part in the improv set (which was very cool) and it was only then, when he was introduced, that we found out the guys name. As you've probably gathered from the title of today's post, it was Richard Kind. You likely recognize him too; he's had a long and prolific career as a character actor and has been in a ton of stuff that you know of have seen.

I don't really have a point here other than it's a strange phenomenon: quasi-fame. I would also like it noted that he was probably the best improviser on the stage for that set.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Am Tiger Woods' . . . Mistress?

Following the news that Tiger Woods was having various affairs, it seems as if a new alleged mistress pops up everyday. At the current pace, the number of Tiger Woods’ mistresses should be in the thousands by the beginning of 2010. As a public service, RvD is providing the following questionnaire so you can determine whether you are one of Tiger Woods mistresses:

1. Have you ever met Tiger Woods?
If yes, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.
If no, you are not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Yet. Stop here. If you meet Tiger Woods in the future, continue to next question.

2. How did you feel when Tiger Woods’ affairs became public?
If you were upset, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.
If you were not upset, you still might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.

3. Does Tiger Woods endorse one of your products?
If yes, you are not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. You are one of Tiger Woods' corporate sponsors and you are probably freaking out a little. Stop here.
If no, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.

4. Where did you meet Tiger Woods?
A. On a golf course? If yes, there is a small chance you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to question 5.
B. In Las Vegas? If yes, you are probably one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Skip to question 11.
C. In a dance club? If yes, you are probably one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Skip to question 11.
D. In a pancake house? If yes, you are probably one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Skip to question 11.
E. Any place else? If yes, you might be one of Tiger Woods mistresses. Skip to question 11.

5. Were you watching Tiger Woods play golf or were you playing golf with Tiger Woods?
If you were watching Tiger Woods play golf, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.
If you were playing golf with Tiger Woods, you still might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Skip to question 8.

6. Were you the Beer Cart Girl or just a spectator?
If you were the Beer Cart Girl, you might be one of Tiger Woods mistresses. Skip to question 11.
If you were just a spectator, you still might be one of Tiger Woods mistresses. Continue to next question.

7. Did you shout “You ‘da man!” in Tiger Woods’ backswing and get yelled at by his caddie, Steve Williams?
If Steve Williams yelled at you, you are not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. You are an obnoxious fan. Stop here.
If Steve Williams did not yell at you, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Skip to question 11.

8. If you were playing golf with Tiger Woods, did he beat you or did he let you win?
If Tiger Woods let you win, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.
If Tiger Woods beat you at golf, you are definitely not one of Tiger Woods mistresses, but continue to next question anyway.

9. Was this a PGA sanctioned event?
If no, you might be one of Tiger Woods mistresses. Continue to next question.
If yes, and you are left-handed, you are not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. You are probably Phil Mickelson and this whole thing pleases you immensely even though you won’t admit it. Stop here.
If yes, and you are right-handed, you are still not one of Tiger Woods mistresses, but you are just aother player on the PGA tour that has been beaten down by Tiger Woods. Enjoy your second place prize winnings. Stop here.

10. When Tiger Woods beat you at a non-PGA sanctioned game of golf, did you lose money, or did you take off an article of clothing?
If you lost money, you are not one of Tiger Woods mistresses. You are probably Charles Barkley. Stop here.
If you took off an article of clothing, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.

11. Did you have sex with Tiger Woods?
If yes, you are probably one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.
If no, you are not one of Tiger Woods mistresses. You probably met him at a corporate function or golf tournament. Continue to follow this story in Us Weekly like the rest of us. Stop here.

12. Did you have sex with Tiger Woods in an SUV?
If yes, you are almost a lock as one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.
If no, you still might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.

13. Are you a male or female?
If male, you are definitely not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses, but if you have made it this far you should definitely contact a tabloid or talk show with your story. They will pay you a lot of money. Stop here.
If female, you are probably one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.

14. Are you an extremely attractive female?
If no, then you are not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. You are probably just some random skank that Tiger Woods had sex with and he never wants to see you again. Stop here.
If yes, you might be one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.

15. Did Tiger ever ask you to change your outgoing voicemail message to include just your number, not your name, as a “huge” favor, and “quickly?”
If no, you are not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. You are probably some super hot random skank that Tiger Woods had sex with, but he doesn't even have you in his cell phone. Stop here.
If yes, you are surely one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. Continue to next question.

16. Are you married to Tiger Woods?
If yes, you are not one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses. You are Elin Nordegren Woods and you are going to get half of his money.
If no, you are one of Tiger Woods mistresses. Congratulations. Please leave your name in the comments section of this blog and someone from The National Enquirer will be contacting you shortly.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Kids in the Hall and the Death of Sketch Comedy

For all you comedy nerds out there (our primary readership, apart from the HERS foundation of course), here is an article about the return of the famous Canadian sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. They have a new series coming out for the CBC called Death Comes to Town. I would be excited to see it except that I basically have Flintstones television (or, network television) and whatever wireless Internet I’m able to scrounge up, so I’m probably going to have to wait awhile.

Regardless, the article is a very interesting read, not only for the writer’s profession of love for a sketch troupe that is quite deserving of the praise and adulation – I grew up watching them on Comedy Central – but also for the assertion that sketch comedy as an art form is either dead or dying.

“But now who needs a troupe, or a name, or a stage?” laments the author, himself a former sketch comedian from Toronto. “All you need is a digital camera and a firewire.”

Typically over dramatic artsy-person.

There has been an explosion in the last decade or so of sketch comedy videos on the web. So, in a way, I understand the author’s point. Literally anyone can throw up something funny in a comparative short amount of time and get seen by thousands of people. Hell, a group of friends and I used to do the same thing back when we started out here in Chicago. Our group was called Date-Nite, and while the website no longer exists (after we stopped producing shorts, the desire to pay for a website ceased), I believe you can still find some of our shorts floating around on Youtube.

And, as someone who apprenticed for over a year at a legitimate theatre before moving to the city, I’ve spent a lot of time around people worrying that film/television/the Internet is slowly strangling live performance. So I’m used to hearing these concerns.

It’s hard not to agree. With the Internet, with DVDs and Netflix and On Demand and Hulu and whatever else the kids are using these days, entertainment has become more and more convenient. From the audience’s standpoint: why take the time and extra cost to go to a theatre and see something that may or may not be any good when they know they’ll at least mildly enjoy whatever they were going to watch from home? From the performer’s standpoint: if the ultimate goal is to do televised comedy on SNL anyway, why bother with the live performances that get audiences of ten people?

And yet, as anyone in the sketch comedy community can tell you, sketch is not dead. Here in Chicago, a new sketch group is born every five minutes. Hell, take a look at the performer list for this year’s Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. There are over a hundred sketch troupes taking part, and those are just the groups that made it into the festival.

So what the hell, guys? What are we doing here? Wasting our time while we save up to buy digital cameras?

You probably guessed this already, but being that Robot vs Dinosaur is a sketch comedy troupe and that we’re devoted a considerable amount of time and effort to it, the time has come in this little tangential rant to defend the decision to waste our time with this live performance nonsense despite the evident futility of our actions. So here goes:

I think the reason sketch comedy (and live theatre as well) is still around and not likely to disappear anytime soon is the fact that film and Internet video can’t actually talk to you. By you, I mean ‘you personally’ not ‘you as an audience of millions.’ In the online short world, you personally can’t talk back either. Yeah, you can leave a snarky comment or something on the video message board or something, but there’s no instant communication with the performer the way there is with a laugh or a groan.

This is the only advantage live performance has over filmed performance. You and the performer are both there, at the same time, and that performer is talking to you. There’s no substitute for the charisma of a live performer. Film will forever be better at special effects, breadth and depth of story, setting, notoriety of the performers, etc. etc. etc. Even the best equipped theatres with the highest budgets and the most seasoned actors can only make a dent in what a big budget movie is capable of doing.

Sketch comedy has none of these technical capabilities – most shows are done with nothing more than a couple of chairs – you think that can’t be replicated by some jackass in his basement somewhere in the middle of nowhere?

No, the only advantage you have, fellow sketch comedian, is that your audience is right there in front of you experiencing your show right before your eyes. You can hear where they laugh; you can see their reaction when you’re talking right to them; you can bring them into the experience that is a live show.

When we were putting together Mrs. Gruber, we deliberately tried to play to these strengths. I’d go into detail, but we’re doing the show one more time at Sketch Fest (SHAMELESS PLUG: SATURDAY JANUARY 9TH AT 7:00 PM) and I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone who hasn’t seen the show yet.

For live sketch comedy to keep its audience and remain vital, it has to be aware of what strengths and advantages they have. Your reward, sketch comedian, is what you learn from having people there in the room with you. You learn where they laugh, what they find funny, what doesn’t work so well, what can be done to improve your performance or your script. In short, you learn all the stuff that you can’t really learn by throwing something out for people half way across the world to watch in the comfort of their own homes.

And with that, I shall end my ridiculously long post. Go forth, sketch comedians, and multiply.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Not Going Rogue

There has been a lot of talk about Sarah Palin's Going Rogue: An American Life. Many blogs (including mine) have shared some of the ridiculous things Alaska's former Governor wrote. Today, I present a few things she did not write. The following quotations are fabricated. Not true. Bullshit.

"John McCain chose me as his running mate because of my extensive knowledge of foreign affairs."

"The 2008 campaign was nothing but delightful."

"When I found out that my son would be born with Down Syndrome, I took comfort in Mark Paul Gosselaar's performance in The Princess & the Marine."

"I enjoy learning."

"Vegan is the way to go."

"Hysterectomies are patriotic."

"Cindy McCain gave me her recipe for pumpkin pie, but I was really confused by its lack of caribou."

"Americans deserve universal health care, a clean environment, and fair monetary policy."

"Hooray for boobies!"

"Right before the debate, I caught Joe Biden sucking off Max Baucus. I swear! He was slurping down that senatorial jizz like it was a refreshing Horchata on a hot summer day."

"As John Stuart Mill once said, 'Ain't no party like northern slope party cause a northern slope party don't stop.'"

"John Wayne Bobbit is my hero."

"That Mrs. Gruber's Ding-Dang thing was hilarious. I especially liked that skit that endorsed creationism."

"Holy shit! Have you seen Todd Palin's cock? It's a fucking boa constrictor. Seriously, it's dangerous. It will coil itself around you and squeeze the life right out of you. Luckily, my vagina is a trained herpetologist."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just For Fun

At my day job I am hosting a Wii Bowling tournament that leads up through the holidays. As part of that, all the teams picked snarky names like "I Can't Believe It's Not Gutter" or "Split Happens" and the like. Then we made little "flags" for each team, so that when they loose their flag comes down like on Dancing With the Stars (that's what I'm told, I do not watch Dancing With the Stars).

Anyway, one of the teams was simply named "300" and here is the image I made for their flag.

Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beersgiving - Not Just Another Made Up Holiday

I love me a made up holiday. Why, here at RvD we have made up one already. Then there's my own personal favorite, Steak and Blowjob Day. I can do without Sweetest Day, which I consider to be a poor ripoff of Valentine's Day (sidenote: I think Valentine's Day is a made up holiday, too).

But now I would like to announce the creation of your new favorite made up holiday, Beersgiving.

Beersgiving had a humble beginning three years ago at the Billy Goat Tavern at Washington and Franklin. It started as an annual after-work drinking event to be held on the evening before Thanksgiving. There are not many traditions yet, but it's a young holiday and we're working on it. The first and foremost tradition on which the holiday was founded is this: You must give a beer to a stranger.

Below is a photo essay of this year's Beersgiving, which is much more family friendly than the photo essay I had planned for Steak and Blowjob Day.

This is the Beersgiving Bush, a new tradition started just this year. Legend has it that I planted all the bottlecaps from last year's Beersgiving, and they grew into this beautiful bush. The funnest part of having this tradition is going up to people throughout the evening and saying "You want to look at my Bush? It's not very big, but next year it should be even bigger! "

The three founding members of Beersgiving: Kevin Kurnik, me, and Cathy Martino. Kevin is the one with the porn star moustache. We are to Beersgiving as the three wise men are to Christmas--if the three wise men brought Jesus MGD, Bud Light and Miller Lite, that is.

This is where it all started, Billy Goat Tavern on Washington and Franklin.

This is Mike Kobus, who had the honor of buying the first bucket of the night. There should be a special name for this person, like First Beer Man or something. We're working on it.
I was mad because I wanted the honor, but Mike beat me to the bar.

The Beersgiving seal is broken. I was the first Beergiver of the night when I bought a bucket of Bud Light for this table. I was so excited I forgot their names, so I'm calling them Bud Light Drinker Number 1 and Bud Light Drinker Number 1's Friend.

At some point in the night George Lopez stopped by to pimp his new show, Lopez Tonight, which you can watch every weeknight at 11/10 central, only on TBS! (Okay, really that is Raul Contreras, who added a little international flair to our holiday, because he drinks Corona and talks about soccer.)
These are the first seeds for next year's Beersgiving Bush.
From humble beginnings . . .

This is our group right before we broke into our rendition of a Beersgiving carol. Well, okay, there are no carols, maybe next year. We're still trying to think of words that rhyme with beer.

"Ha Ha! First Beer Man in the house! Or am I the guy from the Six Flags commercials?"

Another tradition is our annual drop in by a Jerry Lewis impersonator. "Laaaaaaadddyyyyyyyyy!" (That's really Mark Delaney--softball coach extraordinaire. I know this because that's how he introduces himself.)

More seeds . . .
This is what the Beersgiving Bush should look like by the end of Beersgiving. Blurry is the new black.

"Hey, did I mention my new show, Lopez Tonight, which is on every weeknight at 11/10 central, only on TBS?"

This was the man of the night, our waiter, Robert Lee Jones. He is like Santa, if Santa delivered you beers for the last three years in a row. I think drinking from the MGD he is holding is akin to sitting on Santa's lap.

Suck on this Santa--you were never a Billy Goat Tavern Employee of the Month!

Some of the gang has moved in on another table to buy them their traditional beers. The lady in the stripey sweater is Susan Wissmiller, a Beersgiving Virgin. I think she is complimenting this guy on his shirt while Mark tells him he is a softball coach extraordinaire.

A common facial expression near the end of Beersgiving.

Another satisfied Beer Receiver--Fancy Shirt Guy. Beersgiving is all about naming people based on what they wear, what they are drinking, or--forget it, I can't think of anything funnier than this shirt.

This is the traditional Beersgiving Feast. A cheezeborger. No fries, cheeps!

We have finally surpassed last year's total of seeds. That's gonna be some Bush! (I believe all of the Bud Light caps are mine . . . )

Urination is a really, really big part of this holiday, but I thought this picture was unnecessary.
"And blurry visions of MGD danced through his head."

This is the unfortunate (and oblivious) Beersgiving Waif. It seems none of the guys wanted to buy her a beer, even if she offered to share her Vitner's BBQ Potato Chips. That's just not in the spirit of Beersgiving.

This is Cathy's "Okay, the fake holiday is over" look. Beersgiving Grinch, maybe?

"All right, all right, I'll watch your talk show, Lopez Tonight, every weeknight at 11/10 central, only on TBS. Give it a rest."

The last thing I want to say is, if you don't think Beersgiving is a real holiday, consider this: I did not have a hangover on Thursday morning. IT'S A BEERSGIVING MIRACLE!