Tonight we challenge a giant.

Cagematch is a weekly improv competition at the UCB theater. Fiefdom, my improv group, is the challenger tonight. Our opponent is Omelette Vision, a dream team of 3 of the city’s best improvisors. They’re hugely popular. And they are the men who taught us improv.

It’s been a difficult haul. We lost two team members the week we were invited to challenge. We’ve had only a month to find and rehearse the new team amongst schedule complications, vacations, and our coach quitting. We’ve only performed together with the new lineup once.

But I’m excited. We have a great group, much stronger than before, and I’m glad we’re going up against the big boys. So come out tonight and vote for Fiefdom. Thursday, June 21st, 11:00 pm at the UCB theater. Details and reservations here.

Mark and Ari's LOFT

Caught Mark and Ari’s “LOFT” at the UCB theater tonight. Very funny, very tight.

Rooted in the theme of New York City apartments, the show is peppered with references to Lost. Like when a frustrated Ari needs help assembling his new end table, the included video tutorial impressively resembles the Dharma orientation films.  A lab-coated Mark stiffly explains a mysterious and ridiculously complex set of instructions. When Ari can’t find the right tool, the on-screen Mark tells Ari to answer his phone, which rings.  Ari is instructed to open his front door, behind which a live Mark is waiting with the tool.

I can’t do it justice. Go see these guys at the UCB Theater (show details).

Video Game Awards Tonight

December 13, 2006

Spike TV loves the UCB this year. Tonght’s Video Game Awards feature two comedy shorts starring UCB mainstay John Gemberling and directed by yours truly. UCB Harold-teamer John Gabrus is a staff writer for the show, and comics Brian Berrebbi and Nick Kroll play costumed gamer nerds.

Joystiq.com had a “liveblogger” at the VGA taping last Fri. Here’s what he had to say about my “MoCap” segments:

9:42: Mocap skit with balls. A chubby dude in a blue suit covered in giant balls plays “the bitch” in Saint’s Row. Nice.
10:53: [update 7] More motion capture skit action. This stuff has been the best of the show so far, by far. Someone might be pitching Mocap: The Show to Fox already. Sarah Silverman comes out… Besides the mocap dude, she’s the funniest thing in the show so far as well. (Full link)

Ysketball!

August 15, 2006

A short I just produced for the comedy group Hot Sauce will screen this Wednesday night as part of their industry showcase. These guys are great.


Hot Sauce Sells Out

8pm, Wednesday August 16th.
UCB Theater
302 W 26th (between 8th and 9th)

Improv in Azeroth

August 3, 2006

The House of Uster, my Warcraft guild, performed “Warcraft Prov” at the Del Close Marathon last weekend. Some photos here.

It was pretty poor improv, frankly. We never rehearsed and were still discussing the form up until the minute we went on stage. Basically, we just stood on stage in bizarre costumes and declared details about Warcraft. Our audience was surprisingly gaming-literate: the warcraft-specific jokes got a lot of laughs. It’s also possible the audience was just really drunk.

The guy in the skull mask is legendary rapper MC Chris. And that’s an actual girl next to him.

The weekend was crazy. I was hired at 1pm on Friday to produce a segment on the marathon for Current TV. The kick-off event was later that day at 4:30 pm, so there wasn’t much time to prepare.

IE Agents Jump

Last Sunday, 80 Improv Everywhere agents infiltrated a New York City Best Buy store dressed in blue polo shirts and khaki pants. I shot video with a hidden camera and encountered the police. Read the official mission report at Improv Everywhere's site.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sexual Intercourse FTW

April 25, 2006

We got picked up as a Primetime Show at 102, with 96 votes netting us 3rd place. Not bad, considering that slots 1 and 2 were pretty much a lock.

Watch it! (safe for work; does not contain “hardcore penetration” as indicated)

In addition to the worthy “Cakey” and “Puppet Rapist,” we’re sharing the spotlight this month with the well-writen, hilariously acted “Incredible Drunk” and the inexplicable “28 Day Slater.”

“Sexual Intercourse, American Style,” a short film I directed (and shot and edited,as these things go), premieres at the Channel 102 film festival tonight. There are two screenings at The Magnet, 8:00 and 9:30. I’ll be at both. It’ll sell out quick, so if you’re coming, please make reservations. More details.

The film was written by Mitch Magee and stars Will Hines, Eliza Skinner, Julie Klausner, and Matthew Cornillon. You can see stills on our mypace page.

Audience votes determine which films come back as a “Prime Time Series,” so feel free to bring friends.

Channel 102 is a short film fesitval modeled on Channel101.com. Filmakers submit a 5 minute “pilot” which is reviewed by a panel of past festival winners. If the pilot is screened, audience votes determine if it returns the following month as a “prime time series.” I directed a previous 102 series, The Widower, which ran for 3 episodes.

PBR and NPR

April 19, 2006

PBR Can

On his blog holaolah, Ryan observes that Pabst Blue Ribbon is now sponsoring NPRs “All Things Considered.” He notes “In recent years, PBR has enjoyed a bit of a comeback, especially with live music venues. It’s a fashionable beer for the indie set.”

When I was a bartender several years ago near Union Square, I had a Tuesday afternoon crowd of business men who’d come in to get trashed as cheaply as possible on PBRs and Schaffers. These days, we serve PBR at the UCB Theater for $2. While I see the UCBT as a pretty hip place, my impression of PBRs brand identity has been unaffected. But I guess the evidence speaks for itself. De facto, PBR is fashionable.