Welcome to Your Comedy Layover...

Washington D.C. may not be a city that embraces comedy with open arms, but you knew that already. That is why you found us. Here you can get information, interviews and insights on the best local stand-up, improv and sketch comedy this city has to offer... 4 Now. You can reach us at dccomedy4now(at)gmail.com. LET'S DO THIS, DC!

Monday, June 30, 2008

What A Girl Wants...

Got this email today, thought it was a nice gesture on this fans part and would be appropriate to put along side the reminder that you just don't have to be a comedian to show up at Chief Ike's tonight!

Dear dccomedy4now.com:

My girlfriends and I are huge fans of open-mic comedy though it seems we never get a chance to see any of it as we are on the road most days supporting the Brett Michaels and Gene Simmons’s summer tour: “Poisoned Tongue” as groupies/accountants/onsite-tutors and nurses (by the way, rockers are sooo boring! Where are all the smart men?...and women).

We are all Ivy League educated and in our spare time enjoying contributing to medical journals, doing Larry Flint’s bidding, online/video gaming, and most of all, listening to and talking comedy. Luckily tonight, we are passing through DC and have the night off, so all 34 of us single (though it wouldn’t matter anyway) gals between the ages of 18-24 , who are going to compete in the Post-Graduate Spelling Bee at the Kennedy Center on Friday, are going to be looking to get drunk and listen to 13-15 (hopefully more) comics do their best stuff tonight at Chief Ike’s. We like intelligent poignant comedy that is relatable to the masses but also makes you think—plus jokes about dicks and poop! Anyway, good luck and look forward to seeing you there! “Amanda” (Can not publish my real name because of a contract stipulation with the porn company I work for--but you can find me under this name at Scores on Friday's and Saturday nights in New York too.).
So come on out, should be a wholesome time.
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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Monday Mourning

The “Christopher Walken Impression” passed away at an open-mic on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand early Saturday morning. The "Walken", which insiders say reached its peak in popularity last month when it was used as an interrogation method at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba-- had recently been reported to be very tired and over-all just run down from being exhaustively used by the better part of the Western World.

The “Walken Impression” was born around 1993-1994 on the late night sketch show, Saturday Night Live during “The Christopher Walken” skit created by comedian Jay Mohr. It was adored for its originality and the overall accuracy at which Mohr was able to execute it. But most say that it was the timing of this impression that really contributed to its popularity because it came along just as Christopher Walken, the human actor, was starting to gain popularity in mainstream American film. Some critics too, point that it's conception came at a time when American comedy needed something to take the torch from the “Jack Nicholson” impersonation. And while the “Nicholson” (even the “Cosby”) is still done today, it is used more in the same vein as a card trick or in lieu of a balloon animal, and is never taken or even passed off as “original” comedic material.

The “Walken” suffered the worst fate of all impressions as it came along during the advent of the Internet and World Wide Web. The dawn of the Information Age put the “Walken” in very high demand; and some would say, overworked at a very early age. It was clear that the “Walken” was starting to veer off in the wrong direction when it started showing up at bars and nightclubs on a regular basis with “Chuck Norris Facts”. It was during this “Hey-Day” that the “Walken” never fully regained its footing. As it took to the nightlife, the “Walken” crossed into the dark side, prostituting itself to anyone with two lips and a working larynx.

Early Saturday morning, the Impression found its way into the outskirts of Bangkok in an area that is known to support the fledgling Thai stand-up comedy community. A comedian only known as “Ratsami” took the stage a little after midnight. Four minutes into his set, Ratsami went to the “Walken” which he had never tested except for one time with his mother. Witnesses say the Impression “wasn’t bad” but it was the fact that the majority of the audience mistook it to be a “dying dog” that ultimately took the “Walken” to its demise.

Now, just a few months after it arrived in Thailand, it is dead at the age of 15 or 16. The “Walken” leaves behind a “Joan Rivers” Impression, and two small “Robert Dineros”. Funeral services will be held on Monday by a dead-on “Ross Perot”.

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Fluff it...Its Friday

Jim froze in the door way when he noticed Maggie, and her 44 EE rack seated next her, already in the break room—“Jesus H. Chrizzitty Christ”, he thought to himself. Every time, without fail, that he got up from his desk to get a cup of coffee there she was—usually making love to dry handfuls of Lucky Charms. “Jim! Guess, what?!”, Maggie yelped as a couple of green clovers and yellow moons bailed out from the side of her mouth like a pair of Airborne Rangers (a lone purple horseshoe stayed behind clinging with fear to the side of her lip).

“I don’t know Maggie…its F-ing Friday?” Jim answered with Belichick enthusiasm.

Maggie is starting to grow on me, so in honor of Maggie and her two milk trucks, we’re again fluff’n up the content with a comedy that is good on its own but one that grew on me too—not like “meteor shit” though. “3 O’clock High”.
As a kid, this didn’t scream comedy. It was about 15 holiday marathons later (you should be able to find this movie on during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years Day) that I begun to see where the humor was. Buddy Revell tells Jerry Mitchell that they are going to fight at 3 O'clock in the parking lot after school. Jerry spends the rest of the movie having a mental crap in his pants as a result. Yet, you take total stock in what happens at the end of the movie, it’s actually a very successful day, the fight aside.
For the longest time I thought Jerry (Casey Siemasko) was Bill Crystal Jr. And Buddy (Richard Tyson) I never forgot and would always remember him in other films, he must be a friend of the Farrelly Brothers, because he’s in quite a few of their projects. The whole flick has a great tone that everyone has experienced at some time in their school career: 3 O’clock is coming and your ass is somebody else’s—all the while you too have to suffer the bullshit that was the school day.

Great scenes you can find on Youtube.
1.) His effort to get detention in English class
2.) The Fight
3.) Jeffery Tambor and Hired Thug Gone Awry--I love Tambor's idea of what to do with the thief. And the "Thug Gone Awry", is the only scene that I know of that is hilarious, despite a disturbingly bloodied face to end it.
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Friday, June 27, 2008

The Secret Is Out

You may only be able to find this event listed on a Facebook invite, so if thats the case, crash the sucker in the name of "supporting live and local comedy".

Who: Mike Eltringham, Lafayette Wright, Eric Patrick and Courtney Fearrington
What: $10 tickets, Comedy Showcase When: TONIGHT@ 8pm Where: DC Improv Comedy Lounge 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC Why: To make you laugh, and for the comics, a possible chance at appeasing that nagging feeling that nobody likes them and they belong in a sewer.

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LOGO Standup taping, Interview w/ Vidur Kapur

Tomorrow, Saturday June 28th, Elvira Kurt headlines a show at GW's Marvin Betts Theater with Vidur Kapur, Trevor Boris and Jackie Monahan. The show is also a special being taped for air on the
LOGO network.

All the info you need to know you can find here. Tickets are $25 and you can get them here for 7pm or 10pm

We were lucky enough to get a quick interview in with Vidur Kapur about the upcoming special.

Is this your first time performing in Washington, DC? If not, where did
you perform and if so, what have you heard about DC audiences?

Yes it is my first time performing in Washington D.C. before. I have performed in Maryland but this is the first show in D.C. I would expect D.C. audiences to be pretty intelligent, diverse and fun to work with.

What is the difference in performing for a television special vs. a
regular live show?
The biggest difference is the lights and the cameras...everyone is aware that they are there!! Its the elephant in the room that no one addresses. Its actually pretty much the same, when i perform for a television special I just forget and just get down to relating to the audience, because they are alive and are the one who really matter.

More interview after the jump!!

What has LOGO meant for Gay/Lesbian performers?

LOGO has been a gret platform for gay and lesbian performers and has greatly helped bring attention to their talents and diversity. I love watching LOGO because they focus on original and cutting edge programming that truly embraces diversity in the queer community and makes it accessible to everyone. For me personally LOGO has done a lot to make my comedy more accessible to LGBT audiences, and this has helped me as I perform for mainstream audiences and Asian and South Asian audiences. Its great for South Asians to know that one of their kind is being represented on a network that is focused on showcasing the top LGBT talent. Its also very political as they cannot deny that there are LGBT people witin the South Asian community. Im grateful to LOGO for the work they are doing to further this, and doing it in an entertaining manner.

Is there a difference between performing for audiences that are mostly straight vs. mostly gay?

Yes usually I will feel more free to use edgier humor with mostly gay audiences as they kind of expect it. WIth mostly straight audiences I like to bring them along so that they understand where I am coming from. Mostly gay audiences have more of an understanding. For me, however, even with a mostly gay audience I still have to do some hand holding and bring them along as far as the racial stuff is concerned. Its great because with eithter audience i cannot take it for granted that they will understand me and really have to work at it. It keeps my comedy alive and in the moment.

Do you focus a lot on gay humor? Do you feel pressure to use more gay humor in your special for LOGO than you would normally?

I try not to focus too much on gay humor but to talk about things that are funny and important to me and refect my point of view and personality. Since I am gay, and have always been, the gay part of it should come across without me trying to hard. So whether im talking about politics, my life, my experiences in the corporate world or dating and relationships the gay part of it will come through. SO the short answer is that I usually dont pressurize myself to use mor gay material but to let the humor flow naturally and authentically.

How did you guys get together? Were you all friends who've performed together before or were cast for the LOGO special?
We were cast by LOGO for the special. But I have performed before with Trevor and Elvira for the Ha!ifax Comedy Festival in Canada and have had Jackie perform in one of my headliner shows at Gotham Comedy Club. So I do personally know all of them.

Let's say I have $25 dollars and I live in the District. What should I do with it?
Spend it to come see "One Night Stand Up"....you will have the best evening and remember it for a long time.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oy! The DC Comedy Fest, Always Updating! Enough With The Updates Already...

Of course, we kid...we love you DC Comedy Fest, now come on over here and give your Uncle Leo a kiss.

The fun keeps coming:
-New sponsorhip partners Myspace Comedy & The Onion!-The Washington Post shouts out the Comedy Screenplay/TV pilot/Shorts contest!
-Industry hotel rate price deadline!-New Headliners!
Up next week: DCCF Performer spotlight, Why politics is funny, and more!

Log onto http://www.dccomedyfest.com/ for up to the minute news and updates.

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There's A New Kid In Town

I promise, I will never quote Don Henley again. The Bethesda Comedy Club opens it's doors tommorow night with comedian Joey Vega, no relation to Vincent or Vick. Show tomorrow is at 7pm, you can contact bethesdacomedyclub@gmail for more information. Plus check out the website at http://www.bethesdacomedy.com/ .

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An Anonymous Mother Dropped Off The Cutest Little Baby...

A *thank-you is going out to whoever posted the anonymous link for the Fox 5 news coverage of George Carlin’s death that included some footage and interviews of some our DC comedians. The story was shot over at Chief Ike’s and includes, Nick Turner, Jay Hastings, Travis Irvine and Eddie Murphy.

*For those of you that have a communications degree, like me, a severe head injury, or debilitating learning disability, please follow the "thank-you" link at the top that will take you to the news link.

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Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your F-ing Shows...

Got a show, we wanna know! Stand-up, improv, play, two guys making love to a cantaloupe on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, if its funny, give us the 4-1-1 and we'll post it--we might even give you a number to give to the two fruit fornicators.

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Washington Improv Theater's Summer Brew

From light to dark, lager to stout, WIT's got a refreshing summer taste that'll quench your improv thirst in whatever way your palate desires.

With sixteen different offerings on tap, you can peruse the menu for an old favorite or just play spin the bottle. Any way you drink it, you won't go away unsatisfied.
If you come on down to our beer garden (Flashpoint) and get a skunk, just belly up to the bar at the end of the night and ask for another one on the house... we'll get you a fresh round of shows or tear up your tab. That's the WIT Summer Brew Quality Guarantee - if you don't like it, the show is free!
So come on down and enjoy a tall one. Nothing says summer like an ice-cold brew.

SA 6.21 FR 6.27 SA 7.5 TH 7.10 FR 7.11
"Taste the golden spray..."[ more ]

Jackie's The Fly
FR 6.20 FR 6.27 SA 6.28 FR 7.11 SA 7.12
"Slow-brewed, immediate buzz..."[ more ]

JINX's Close Quarters
SA 6.21 SA 6.28 SA 7.5 SA 7.12
"Strong enough to make you forget all your troubles..."[ more ]

FR 6.20 SA 6.21 SA 6.28 TH 7.3 SA 7.5
"A volatile blend of ingredients that might taste sweet now, but will likely turn on you..."[ more ]

Season Six
FR 6.20 SA 6.21 FR 6.27 FR 7.11
"A Season Six pack of refreshment..."[ more ]

FR 6.27
"The perfect marriage between hops, barley, and wheat - equally. Voted #1 family beer..."[ more ]

FR 6.20 SA 6.28
"The one to have when you're pownding more than one..."[ more ]

Improv Jam
SA 6.21 SA 6.28 SA 7.5 SA 7.12
"A wicked homebrew with crisp, unexpected blend of flavors..."[ more ]

Vic Speedboat
TH 6.19 SA 6.28 SA 7.12
"Cheap, but we get the job done..." [ more ]

Anything to Declare
SA 6.21 TH 6.26
"After a night with us, you'll be speaking a different language..."[ more ]

TH 6.19 SA 7.5 FR 7.11
"Heady empty calories guaranteed to knock you on your ass and bring you back for more..."[ more ]

Donna Martin Graduates
SA 7.5 TH 7.10
"A reliable light domestic that's best enjoyed out of a brown bag in the faculty parking lot after school..."[ more ]

The Lodge
TH 6.19 TH 7.10
"A suspiciously dark brew, starts off smooth but leaves a bitter after taste... of conspiracy..."[ more ]

The Quest Explores the Secrets of the Universe
TH 6.26 TH 7.3
"Heady and frothy..."[ more ]

"TH 6.26 TH 7.3
"A non-alcoholic brew that still has a sense of humor..."[ more ]

Guest Troupe: Tongue & Groove
SA 7.12
"The crisp, real taste of truth..."[ more ]

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Worlds Within Worlds

I visited a few different planets in a completely different solar system over the later part of the week via a gig with Nike 6.0 producing and hosting web content for the AST Mountain Dew Tour. It was a mission that came via the wire through the head WIT operative at station Flashpoint. I sent a transmission to the host of the assignment, saying that while I was interested in the execution of described target, I would need more info. There was a brief meeting where I met the entire 6.0 unit to go over the task at hand. I took it. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but I was feeling the call of the Force, and I took the assignment because of the tactical expertise needed and the possible generous bounty. But I knew what I was in for; I was headed for the Floating Palaces of Charm City, home territory, to the Archfiend Overlord, Peter Angelos.

My operation was to do character work for website propaganda under the veil of "promotional content via coverage of said event". I loaded up appropriate disguises, recording devices, bartering and monetary pieces, and headed into my black Pod Stormer last Friday at approximately 8 hours before sundown. I headed North-east for what I trusted to be a grueling execution of inconspicuous adaptation under highly capricious and extremely foreign conditions. As I left the District Galaxy and headed through the ever turbulent Asteroid Beltway into the Floating Palaces of Charm City (Baltimore, Maryland in the Hitchhiker’s Guide), Garmin, my trusty but often mischievous smart-Alec navigator brought me safely into my destination module at M&T Bank Stadium (where I learned that around the beginning of autumn, intergalactic fugitives fight on the customary day of rest for their penance and pardons in the fickle space courts of public opinion).

I found Charm City to hospitable, despite its reputation for a history of sexual pandemics, an uber-Soma like narcotic “heroin”, and the well known interstellar fact that it is the home of Archfiend Overlord Peter Angelos. He is the evil litigious ruler who has enslaved the very popular and peaceful Oriole populace, a birdlike people who have inhabited the land since their initial pilgrimage from St. Louis in 1955. The Oriole people were welcomed with open arms and have enjoyed a very symbiotic relationship with the citizenry of Charm City until Angelos made his way into the nesting grounds. At first he came promising hope and delivered during a short period of time before his internal urges finally took over—now his primary concern is to take in the profits of the Bird people while having sex with them and anyone who is associated with the populace. It is rumored that sexual intercourse through the anal canal is the only way that he can stay sexually stimulated.

The Arch Angelos wooed the people of Charm City in a triumphant battle over the black entity Asbestos, gaining their trust, only to use it against them. He easily crushed a small locally organized phalanx with his powerful whale-sized jowls during, what is now known as, “The Great Face Plant of ‘93” (this event originated the term “face plant” and Angleos has since erected the “Power Plant” on the Harbor its honor). This was the kind of scouting report that early on in my comedic mercenary career that would have had me passing on the offer. Further heightening the stakes was the fact that I would be landing in the very athletic combine owned by Arch Angelos, the Camden Yards Sports Complex. If my reconnaissance was correct, as soon as I would exit my transport Pod Stormer, I would be hounded by Angelo’s grifters and cunning sirens who would try to lure me in with promises of fulfilling fantastical lurid fantasies, only to find myself later enslaved in a giant crotch-less bird suit bent over inside an Angelos skybox, face pressed up against the glass for the better part of 7 innings while being mounted and mocked by Angelos and his demented silk suited minions. The thought alone, prompted me to bring along cyanide capsules just in case I was overpowered in the parking lot.

Upon exiting the Pod Stormer, I took heed of other reports I received about the area and despite his protests, I hid Garmin on the floorboard underneath his protective sheath and out of the view of possible nomadic thieves. But I noticed right off hand that there were some incongruities in my recon from Intel. I was not met by con-artists or narcotic induced sex workers, but instead by helpful attendants, pleasant “hellos” along the skywalk from a multiple of species, and I had an intuitive sense that security was working for the event and not for Angelos. I was surprised by this benevolence and hospitable attitude of the people of Bird land. Yet, I kept a healthy air of caution as I trusted that those Jumbotron screens set about the area were more likely two-sided mirrors with Angelos on just the other-side.

Though I felt far from home, I could always be comforted by what other Merc-colleagues would call a “Death Blossom” of corporate logos from my home planet. It was the Mountain Dew tour but apparently there is some sort of collective enterprise going on with the people of Wendys, Panasonic, Playstation and X-Balm (an extreme lip moisturizer, I think for the intergalactic voyager that expects to be doing most of their footwork on the surface of the sun). Even the communication network NBC, a supposed benevolent system in mainstream attitudes throughout many galaxies, but one that I still hold suspect, they seemed to be flaunting the fact that the very action that was taking place, they owned the rights to; it was very Angelosonian. Our paths, NBC and my own, would collide later on, in an event that put my internal alert status into “Operation Critical”.

However, he was not to be outdone on his own turf, Angelos’ puppet network, MASN, was covering the event as well. However, I think most of their “work” was a façade acting as an extension for his secret police to contain the boarders of Bird Land so that their citizens could not use the cover of the event as a means of escape. It really gave me a sense of what it must be like to travail across the dessert moon rock that is North Korea.

It was a bit disgruntling at times, as sometimes these assignments can act as a vacation away from my home territory but everywhere I walked and surveyed, it was carnival of sorts for these vast commercial enterprises, but I really couldn’t say much, as I was a hired gun for one of the biggest corporate assault teams going and my job was just getting started…
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

There's No Business Like Show Business Unless You Consider the Dirty Business of Friendship

Here is a tale from the comedy crypt. It is also a heartchilling warning about the true test of friendship.

I was at an open mic the other night, and one of the newer comics brought a bunch of his friends to watch him (they made up the majority of the audience). They definitely laughed long and enthusiastically at all of his jokes moreso than for anyone else who went up (though overall they were not a bad audience by any means).

However, I overheard a convo between two of his so-called "friends" in the bathroom right after his set.

It went a little something like this:

"Friend" 1: So what did you think of him?

"Friend" 2: Well...I didn't think he was very good at all.

"Friend" 1: Yeah, I know...me neither.

"Friend" 2: He was so nervous! Stand up comedians aren't supposed to be nervous!

"Friend" 1: You could do better than he did!

"Friend" 2: I really could, couldn't I? I should try it sometime. I already have an act pretty much.

Also, let it be said that peeing was occurring on behalf of both parties the whole time and they knew full well I was in there eavesdropping on them! That's really what sealed the deal of impropriety for me.

photo courtesy of Flickr and Simon Davison

Horrific. I mean I guess it was nice of them to laugh during his set, but the post-show rundown managed to undo all of their good deeds and community service.

Meanwhile I felt like the maid who heard and saw too much!

I considered outing them for two seconds, but then I realized how much unnecessary harm I would do so I finished restocking the paper towel dispensers and I hightailed it outta there.

Please share your family and friend comedy horror stories. Or don't. I understand the pain is real and retains freshness far past the tell-by date.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin 1937-2008

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Friday, June 20, 2008

"'F'-it...(giggle)--it's Friday..."

…said Maggie as she playfully batted her co-worker Jim, who just got done explaining how he was out of change to put in the donation basket for the break-room coffee--along with the Snackwell’s, that don’t exactly pay for themselves either.

In the spirit of Maggie’s fun loving but ever dragging tits, I thought I would fluff up the content for today and talk about something that I really enjoy—“Boogie Nights”.

I forget when I first saw this movie; I was younger and really didn’t get it. I liked the movie, it was different, it was about porn, and there were was enough going on in the movie that a kid like myself could wrap his head around and enjoy. But it wasn’t until later on, when the DVD came out, I got a little bit older, that I really appreciated how truly funny this movie was.

These characters are SO pathetic. They are so dumb and so well played. The setting, banter and even philosophical conversation that goes on in the environments of this movie, are what I would expect if I walked onto a ‘Real World’ reunion show. Paul Thomas Anderson, writer and director, really knew what he wanted and nailed these characters. The following two scenes have so much going on in them, especially the personality of the characters. You can go to Youtube and watch them again (I’m still not sure what I can post and can’t, or at least get away with):

1.) The Intro Party Scene-My favorite spot is where Dirk Diggler (Mark Walberg’s) character meets Reed Rothchild ( John C. Reilly) for the first time, it’s a total game of one-upmanship played out beautifully.

Rothchild: So you live on the street?
Diggler: No
Rothchild: Oh, I thought Jack just said you did.

Best assumption ever made on someone upon meeting them for the first time. I really like Reilly’s work and this is still my favorite character of his career so far; the comedy is played just straight out from who the character really is and the stakes involved. Some of his work now, since he has gained popularity, seems to have this air of him winking at the camera. But this scene is his all the way.

2.) The Drug Deal—In this case this is Alfred Molina’s scene. Take a good look at his body of work and the guy just flat out delivers. With this scene and Reilly's before, there is so much commitment. Molina must of had a blast doing this role. I would of loved to have heard Anderson’s direction to Molina for this scene,

Molina: Yeah, I’m having trouble with this, how “high” exactly is my character?
Anderson: You’re in your underwear with a 12 year-old Chinese boy while listening to ‘Night Ranger’.
Molina: Got it.

This scene has so many levels, the stakes involved, combined with the characters; it is as funny as it is scary all at the same time. If you haven't seen this movie, it's been too long; and if you have, take a second look at it just for the sake as a character study alone.

Have a good weekend

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Got Stuck?

“Ever read a book that changed your life?—me neither.” Jim Gaffigan

When I heard this joke from Gaffigan at the time, it struck me as funny not only because I just flat out enjoy the guy; but I was having similar thoughts right around the time I watched his special. I had never been able to relate to people that talked about a book having such a huge effect on them; but recently I was recommended one that is having a profound impact on the way I look at my approach to the creative process, it is, “the War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.

Pressfield’s take on the creative process and the internal struggles that always accompany the endeavor is filtered through one primary battle against an intangible entity called: “Resistance”. I’m not going to give a review of the book, only a stern recommendation that I’m finding it to be a useful tool to help get me over or through inner creative blocks. With Pressfield’s granted permission, (he responds quickly to emails) I just wanted to throw out a couple of passages that I think would have been beneficial to some of the discourse that has been conducted on this website,

“A pro views her work as craft, not art. Not because she believes art is devoid of a mystical dimension. On the contrary. She understands that all creative endeavor is holy, but doesn’t dwell on it. She knows if she thinks too much, it will paralyze her. So she concentrates on technique. The professional masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods…the sign of the amateur is over-glorification of and preoccupation with mystery. The professional shuts up. She doesn’t talk about it. She does her work” (pg. 78)

“If you find yourself criticizing other people, you’re probably doing it out of Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived our own”. (pg. 38)

Check it out, take what you like, and leave what you don’t like, or if you are luckily moving along without any obstacles, keep on plugging away.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jason Saenz Finds Apartment, Fires Willie Randolph

Aspiring comedian Jason Saenz fired New York Met's manager Willie Randolph early Tuesday morning during a recent string of personal moves as he starts to get acclimated to New York City.

Though the firing of Randolph wasn’t a surprise by those around town as the Mets entered tonight’s play at 34-35, what was surprising was that Saenz, a native of Fairfax VA, is the one that brought the hammer down on Randolph.

“I’m surprised, I loved this organization and though my relationship with Mr. Saenz has been non-existent until this point, I respect him and his decision”, said a befuddled and emotional Randolph.

Randolph who played most of his career in New York as a member of the Yankees while serving as a bench coach for a 11 seasons, leaves the Mets after little over 2 full seasons with a .544 winning percentage.

The real buzz around the Randolph firing has been the 3am fax that was sent out to the press revealing the news. Apparently it came just an hour after Saenz had contacted Randolph. The ex-manager relayed his version to the press,

“I got a phone call at around 2am—it was hard to hear at first, because I think Mr. Saenz was playing Madden 08…after he put the game on pause and told his buddies to “shut-the-hell-up”, he gave me the news”.

It was after Randolph retold this aspect of the story that he had to leave the press conference for 5-10 minutes to compose himself.

“F**k him, I would of done the same thing to Isaiah Thomas (former President of the New York Knicks) if I had arrived in town in time, said a very relaxed Saenz who was found in a laundry room that he was given permission to use by “a-friend-of-a-friend”.

Saenz who hasn’t made his mind up about Eli Manning, said the release of Randolph came right after he checked off “get a post-office box” on his to-do list that he made prior to arriving to New York.

“I got a sublet; I’ve signed up for some improv classes; and the other night after doing Rory’s (Scovel) show, I was digging out money to chip in for pizza and there it was on my list, and I was like—‘Shit! I forgot about Willie!’ Saenz explained.

Saenz who has been asked to possibly help out Tatum O’Neil with her drug charges, shrugged at the idea.

“You know I saw ‘Paper Moon’ and it was the only time I ever wanted to punch a kid…who knows…but I got laundry to do ya know?”

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Perfection finally raises it's standards. Top Shelf is Tonight!

Come on down to Solly's Tavern tonight where we have everyone that is worth a damn and also people who are worth more. I can't even tell you how excited I am to have the lineup we do and you'd just be downright foolish to miss it. It's free and it's the only thing that won't make you hate yourself.

Mike Way
Kojo Mante
Jake Young
Eli Sairs
Travis Irvine
Keith Irvin
and of course, Assface Turner holdin' down hosting duties

It's @ 9
It's @ Solly's Tavern
That's @ 1942 11th St. NW (11th & U St.)
It's still free, guy
It's not just TV, It's Not TV

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Monday, June 16, 2008

DC Comedy Festival Updates

TODD BARRY Joins dccf!Tig Notaro & Rob Cantrell too!
We're excited to welcome TODD BARRY to our line up of headliners. He'll be joined by the super fun TIG NOTARO. And don't miss ROB CANTRELL with Jewish reggae band LIONIZE.

VISIT dccomedyfest.com for this and other programming updates!

JB SMOOVE Joined by Owen Smith
Join us for RUCKUS, the all energy show starring JB SMOOVE joinged by OWEN SMITH of "Everybody Loves Chris." And don't miss our other headliners including TJ MILLER ("Cloverfield," "Carpoolers"), LIZZ WINSTEAD (Co-creator of THE DAILY SHOW), 4 SHADES OF BLACK and more!



Daphne Zuniga (actress, SPACEBALLS, A SURE THING)

Nick Weidenfeld (head of development, ADULT SWIM)

Jonathan Baruch (Partner, Rain Management Group LA)

JoAnn Grigioni (Director of Talent, COMEDY CENTRAL)

Ali Bell (VP of Production/Development, THE MONTECITO PICTURE COMPANY)

Amee McNaughton (Creative Executive, FOX 2000)

Paul Getto (Creative Executive,ROGUE PICTURES)
Michael/Goldwyn, Lorne Michaels and John Golywyn's production company (BABY MAMA, etc)
Angela Bowers (Celebrity Talent Coordinator, VH1)

Michael Cox ("Chelsea Lately")

* scheduled to participate - and more expected to be announced from Rogue Pictures, Spyglass and Fox!

Deadline July 3rd
Funny writer? Prove it!
Enter your comedy FILM SCREENPLAY or TV PILOT teleplay in our Comedy Screenplay Contest. The entries will be reviewed by a panel of renowned industry judges representing some of the most respected talent agencies, management and production companies in the world of entertainment.

The winning screenplay and teleplay will receive staged reading of sample scenes for industry and general public audience at dccomedyfest, trip to dccomedyfest 2008 and 3 month representation of the project by Rain Management Group.

Rules and details available at the dccf website:http://www.dccomedyfest.com/dccf/submissions.htm

Deadline July 3rdWe want your short video films!!

dccomedyfest is accepting video submissions for the Comedy Short Competition. Finalists will have their short films reviewed by a panel of renowned industry judges representing some of the most respected talent agencies, management and production companies in the world of entertainment.

The winning video will be aired on the dccomedyfest website, in high profile position on an industry leading video portal, and before select shows as dccf venues. The winner will also receive $250.

Rules and details on the dccf website at: http://www.dccomedyfest.com/dccf/submissions.htm

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My Two and a Half Cents

“You like comedy, well then you must watch “Two and a Half Men”, I had someone say to me this past Saturday night at a wedding reception. Believe it or not, I've been hearing this from people with some startling regularity.
No, I don’t really catch the show, or even when I have seen it, really liked it all that much; my mom loves it, sometimes when I’m over and in the other room, I can hear her snorting up laughter at the wacky hijinks of a single father and his crazy brother. However, my mother would also prefer me to not use the “F” word, shop for clothes at Montgomery Ward and watch Joel Osteen if I get the chance—our sensibilities have drifted apart.
Though I don’t watch “Two and a Half Men”, I do like it for one particular reason.

I have a soft spot for Jon Cryer. I had a professor in college that railed against Cryer one day during my Mass Media Theory class. Jon “F-ing” Cryer. As far as this 'Dr.' was concerned, Cryer should have taken his body of work and made millions producing fertilizer. We had about a 40 minute discussion (with tangents into both Judge Reinhold and Nelson, Allen Sheedy and Andrew McCarthy) about his past work and whether we would be behind a project with him involved. I even got caught up in the anti-Cryer fervor and was like, “Noooooo, no way, everything that guy is in drops like a lead turd!”

Though afterwards, I thought it was a silly discussion. I felt silly. When I got back to my apartment, my roommate said, “How was class?” and I was like, “Man, we just ripped Ducky a new one…” I was ashamed that I could get caught up so easily in the mob mentality. Since then, I’ve pulled for Cryer in any of his projects because I do naturally pull for the underdog. And I was sort of ashamed of how I jumped on the “Let’s kill or at least blackball Jon Cryer from the middle of no-where Maryland because he is just trying to make a living” bandwagon.

So to that degree, it is the only reason I could say that I like the show “Two and A Half Men”--John Cryer is finally apart of something successful. And, who couldn't be happy for Charlie Sheen? I like him because, like me, he isn’t welcomed into most bars anymore. But also I have as much admiration as I do starry-eyed bewilderment that Sheen was able to marry and impregnate Denise Richard’s after having a history with substance abuse, a very public scandal that involved Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss (with it’s revelation of Sheen spending thousands and thousands of dollars on hookers) and with Sheen also had having broken relationships with porn-stars Ginger Lynn and Heather Hunter. Can you imagine setting someone up with Sheen and having to pull out that track record when the prospective girl asked, “So why is he still single?”

Either Richards was researching a role for a Valtrex commercial when she got hooked up with Sheen and just fell in love with him, a passive and steamy sort of reverse-Stockholm Syndrome, or Richards is, well naïve. I imagine the later. I’ve sort of imagined some point early in their relationship, 3rd or 4th date, this exchange took place:

Charlie: Denise there is something I think I should tell you…
Denise: Charlie, ‘hat’ rhymes with ‘bat’.
Charlie: I know Denise…my God, I know…Sweetheart, in the past, there was a time that whenever I would get emotional my eyes would well up with Smirnoff…
Denise: I keep forgetting to breathe…
Charlie:… and there were days and nights where I used to snort lines of cocaine from the toes all the way up to the necks of various porn-stars and then lie on my back like if I were to make a snow-angel and use each of my appendages, hands, feet, “Lil’Chuck”, even my head, you name it, and stick them into every available orifice of anyone who was there…until we all formed one giant collective human snowflake.
Denise: I think I swallowed my spoon.
Charlie: Alright, no one can’t say that I didn’t warn ya...

I think that was a slight digression. Anyway, “Two and a Half Men”…I think it might be the last true sitcom on major network television, I’m not sure, but it’s got to be the most popular at the moment. I’ve heard this theory of its absolute hilarity more than a couple of times. This guy at the reception just went on and on about how the show’s comedic timing was “just, just, just outstanding” and apparently the little boy is something to behold.

Anyway, it made me sad in a way, thinking about the demise of the situational comedy with the advent of so many channels on cable and the rise of reality TV. I really hope it’s not the end--that this is just the ebb and flow of a trend; but it very well could be and I’ll just have the Thursday night memories from my childhood and whatever else they’re throwing up late at night these days.

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For the Kids...

These secretive comics are brought to you by Jake Young who is behind the "Awesome Room".
The next show is JUNE 25th, 9pmNEW LOCATION: We're now going to be rocking the mainland at Solly's U Street Tavern. (1942 11st. NW) http://www.sollystavern.com/
The two principles of "The Awesome Room"
1) Comics should perform things they sincerely think are funny and interesting.
2) Audiences should have a fun, hassle-free experience seeing a live show.
For more information contact jake@theawesomeroom.com and checkout, theawesomeroom. Read more!

Messhah Foh Pleessshaah

If you are interested in expanding your comedic knowledge and arsenal, there are few better places around to do so than catching a show at Woolly Mammoth Theater, located on D Street a few blocks down from the Verizon Center. "Measure for Pleasure" has been described as an "overtly vulgar... sex farce"...thats all I need...well along with this ashtray, paddle game and remote control.

I've seen shows at Woolly before and these people are at the top of their craft; comedic timing in these productions is always so polished and sharp. They have been doing some of the best contemporary theater in the country going on three decades. An evening at the theater can be pricey but its worth it; logic says you sacrifice a bar tab for the sake of comedic enrichment. For more information check out Woolly Mammoth's site here.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

WIT Offering Discount for Foundation's Class

Take a $240 WIT Foundations of Improv Class for $195 ($25 Discount + entering the $20 early registration discount code)Washington Improv Theater's Foundation's of Improv Class begins next week and you still have time to enroll. Long-form improvisation has been the backbone of the comedy coming out of Second City, Saturday Night Live, SCTV, Kids in the Hall, Mad TV, and has influenced countless others for over 40 years. So if you have ever had an itch to perform or even just need to get out and do something with your life, check out WIT's website and enroll...

Washington Improv Theater classes focus on creativity, communications and teamwork and have enthusiastic instructors that establish a fun and trusting atmosphere.
Former students have said:

"I loved this class"

"Great opportunity for expression, meet cool people and build confidence."

"I started taking WIT classes to help me get over my stage fright and to think on my feet better. I've taken many drama classes and other things over the years, but this has helped the most".

"Personally, the classes have taught me to listen more effectively, feel free to explore my creative side...and I have met some really cool people as well".

"The skills you learn in improv are really life skills - they are transferable to so many situations. I am always seeking to get outside of my comfort zone and the classes help me do that."

"Foundations of Improv" starts next week:

Monday June 16 w/ Marquis

Tuesday June 17 w/ Karen Lange

Thursday June 19 w/ Anna Marie Trester

All classes at 7pm.

If you have any questions that aren't on the FAQ give Managing Director Topher Bellavia a call at 202-315-1314 or email: topher@washingtonimprovtheater.com

Location: The Children's Studio School at 1301 V St NW

Enter: 4NOW as the coupon code when registering.

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Chicago's TJ Jagodowski

I thought this blog was about the DC comedy scene?

It is...but sometimes enthusiasm trumps logic.

At the bottom of the page is the link to the article the Chicago Reader did about Jagodowski last week during their coverage of the Chicago Improv Festival. Its not DC related and that is sort of what this blog needs right now but this is a good comedy/human story; it's got perseverance, overcoming adversity, the character finding his way, loss, failure, success and so far a happy ending--from what I can remember it’s been a week since I've really read the article. But Jagodowski is someone you should know.

[Hit the Jump!]

In the same way a stand-up comic would want to wax poetic about Bill Hicks to the normie on the street all the while getting the same confused look that Andy Rooney would give a Nintendo Wii ; Jagodowski is that guy to people in improvisation—even to others in comedy. And if you are as much of a fan of Hick's philosophy, Jagodowski embodies it--he does what he truly loves and finds a way to make it work as his livelihood despite what life as thrown at him.

If you are ever in Chicago and stroll around the area of the Improv Oylmpic, you'll probably see him, usually hanging out, having a few drinks, a smoke and a round or two of Golden Tee in one of the many pubs on North Clark Street. He is unassuming and approachable but prefers to blend into the background. I had one comic tell me once that seeing Jagodowski on the subway set off his own internal alarm bell--being that the road to stardom or a decent income wasn't via improvisation.

"There I was sitting on the subway and right across from me is the best improviser in Chicago, in the country, in the world for that matter, and he was riding the subway just like me--and nobody knew or cared who the fuck he was".

I saw Jagodowski perform last week in Chicago, I went out early to the Chicago Improv Festival to see him specifically. He performed with his troupe, "Carl and the Passions" but the real experience started with his two man show, TJ and Dave. However, Dave Pasquesi wasn't there that night and taking Pasquesi's place that night was “30 Rock's” John Lutz, who synced perfectly into place.

As I get older, more and more I lament that nothing is ever “as advertised”. This show was--Jagodowski was and is that good. I've seen other comedians come close in the past; but even when I was 17 and I saw George Carlin on my birthday, it was "eh"--I'd heard most of it already. (No disrespect to Don Carlin but I was still a kid and it was the equivalent of getting to see Santa Clause).

Go see TJ and Dave either in Chicago or New York. Anyone who performs can respect a good show, a good performance, and can learn from a dedicated artist.
Well, anyway, read the article here. I think I just came up for air off Jagodowski's existential cock; though if you think I’m parched with sore knees, check out the quote from New City Chicago on Jagodowski’s Wikipedia entry.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Rambling Plea

DC Comedy and Artist Community:

So, Jason Saenz left town for L.A. and then while on the way to L.A. decided to go to New York where he says he fell in love with Chinatown. Chinatown has a fledgling comedy community and Jason is sort of an overgrown gold fish in a small meditation pond; people are already referring to him by his own material, "Cum Dumpster"—of course it’s in Mandarin. Even in China they know you can call a hungry comic anything and they will bask in the attention like the lotus underneath sun.

Then there is Nick Turner, a comedic energy giant that has a departure date set for sometime...soon. From what I heard, his bags are packed and his conscience is wracked with guilt, which means he'll be looking to split very soon.

With Jason and Nick’s departure, so goes with them their enthusiasm for the DC comedy community and this website; which has left this blog barely pulsating.

I hope I'm not the only one with defibrillators because I really don't know how to use them, except for what I have seen on TV, especially in that movie, "The Abyss", with Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio--specifically when Harris slaps her around and calls her a "bitch" a couple of times before she is revived. I heard Harris allegedly said that it was the only time he ever felt like he wasn’t acting.

This is the exact treatment DCComedy4Now needs at this very moment. We need Ed Harris kneeling over top of our bare breasted porcelain like creamy soft angelic milky colored skin, barking and slapping the Bah Jesus out of us, and we need to continue to rewind back to the beginning of that part until we come back to life or until someone starts walking down the basement stairs. And we all know what the sound of footsteps atop of the basement stairs feels like…awkward panic, the most uncomfortable feeling on the planet.

So what does it all mean? It means either we zap DCComedy4Now back to life or this website may soon have to come to a close.

(Cue: Battle Hymn of the Republic)

However, I would like to keep it going. I've grown fond of it...I like the wallpaper for some reason.

(Nah fuck the Battle Hymn of the Republic, opt for loop of AC/DC’s Intro for “Those about to Rock”…just turn all this shit off I can’t concentrate.

Anyway, DCComedy4Now has earned a place in my itinerary when I log on; hotmail, Gmail, check my mob, search Wikipedia or YouTube for whatever. Then when I come out of that wormhole, sometimes in a rather damp state, I arrive here or lately...not, which has had an enormous effect. The dormant state of this website has truly been a catalyst for some change in my life.

[Hit the jump!]

I actually logged off the other day, when normally I would peruse dccomedy4now, and accomplished things I hadn’t thought about for months. I got a lot done. Recently I just paid my car insurance, turned off the oven, matched up some socks--the stuff I've done off the computer is only what I’ve read about on many a blog. Ran some errands, the smell of the post-office was like a heavy dose of ammonia nitrate, I think I scared some people in there with my spasmodic reactions while waiting in line. I looked like Bob Goldthwait trying to clear his nasal passages with his eyebrows.

Another revelation was that I realized I'm living with someone, this extremely bad ass chic who I thought I remembered as being heavily tatted up(they’re just birthmarks), and she was really kind enough to let me come out of my own electronical Abyss unaided and didn't hold my 9 month web induced "walk about" against me. Yet I will say the outside world hasn’t been an easily intuitive web program.

The weather is much warmer than I remembered or prefer and I am starting to recall that I'm not particularly fond of people in DC, especially my neighbor who didn't recognize by my beard nor my soiled and mildewed clothing that had by then fused to my skin. The people at the walk-in medical center who peeled off my old clothing were a bit snarky which I think was uncalled for considering the severity of the Wikiwarp I had been trapped inside of and its duration; and especially when a couple of the orderlies and nurses furtively acknowledged having had their own similar experience . Also, the phrase, "Welcome back to the land of the living", I can swear to you, is used by the same people who refer to others as "Boss" or "Chief".

What am I saying...what is my point...I want to go back. I belong on the computer, and in my own warped reality; I belong inside the computer. And I want DCComedy4Now.com to be a part of that experience. In between Jenna, watching old episodes of Different Strokes, and looking at pictures of accidents on the Autobahn; I need this website to be my Mos Eisley Cantina—I need to know where my freaks are.

In order for that to happen, hopefully I can get some help. And if no help is provided then hopefully you can provide some patience. After Nick leaves, I am Solo. If I can move away from Star Wars and transition unracially (neither a word nor necessary) to Dr. King, if I had a dream for this community in DC, it would be that, it would not be looked at as just a comedy scene—but an identifiable artist community. How would you identify it? Maybe with a laser pointer.

There needs to be an artist collective, a supportive community. We are all not just stand-up comics, improvisers, actors, but we are also writers, film makers, producers, managers and audience members. In some way we have all worn different hats at some point in pursuing whatever we have set out for ourselves to accomplish. Some of us do certain things better than others. The more I go along with my own endeavors I realize that being a part of the process is really what I want to continue to be a part of in some shape or form. No one can do anything alone.

When Eddie Murphy was on "Inside the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton, it was refreshing to hear his honesty about how many people it has taken to help him create his body of work. He continually mentioned the lasting relationships he has held onto over the years.

The goals are always lofty when it comes to this subject in DC but it would nice to keep this website afloat with the singleness of purpose of being a useful tool of networking and creativity in an artistically capricious environment.So if you have any ideas or contributions continue to send them our way.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Top Shelf Tonight!

Justin Cousson put together this video compilation of some of the magical memorable moments from the last show where we bid adieu to Jason Saenz, who is definitely now in Los Angeles and absolutely not in New York.

Tonight, we deliver the goods in a grenade of perfection. Pulling the pin tonight are stand up superstars:

Damone Miller
Jimmy Merritt
Kyle Martin
Jermaine Fowler
Jay Hastings
and your host as always, Assface Turner

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
8:30pm doors
Show starts at 9
Solly's Tavern
1942 11th St. NW (11th & U St.)

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Monday, June 2, 2008

DC Comedy: 4 Now makes good on it's name

If you hadn't guessed already, the title of the blog is in reference to the fact that if you plan on really making a go of this whole comedy as a career thing, it's tough to stick around the District. Even our own comedy festival would have you believe that there is no local comedy scene. So eventually, your best bet is to fly the coop and try to make it work in a larger, comedy prepared city. Well our very own Jason Saenz leaves us today to give it the old college try and in honor of that, Mikael Johnson has written a farewell letter to DCC4N's MVP, Jason Saenz.

Dear Jason,

Wow, LA. Wow, driving out to LA, wow. But you're doing it, right now as I type this on an early Monday morning you ARE doing it! Probably right now, you're somewhere in Tennessee maybe, pushing on another 60 miles or so before you lay up in some rustic road side motel. An old southern gal, Ethel May, still working the front desk, watching reruns of the Golden Girls on NIC, when you show up in the parking lot. Yeah, she was still up just because she can't get enough of that Blanche, plus she had a feeling, "That some lonesome stranger was probably gonna mosey on up tonight, needing a place to rest that road weary head". In the morning she'll bring you biscuits, gravy, OJ and coffee with a little note that says,

Safe travels funny man.
Your dog, "Cum Dumpster".

But how could she know that joke? No worries, you run to the front desk to ask her how she knew your material, or even remembered it? Why would she remember it? How could something like that even resonate with someone? Do you think I should open with that? Why isn't Cum Dumpster quite hitting? But when you get there, she's gone. The girl behind the counter isn't even old enough to take the prom and when you ask her about Ethel May, she says, "Ethel who? No Ethel May ever work here…hey mister, will you sign this permission slip from Planned Parenthood?"

There's no time to look for the late night hotel desk clerk with a penchant for dick and dog jokes. However, peace will settle in like the tread on the tires settle onto the road; there are going to be experiences all along this journey. How could there not be--you're going to Califuck'nfornia!

This is just the beginning. From Tennessee, you could go south then west or just keep on towards the setting sun. Its been written about so many times, Going to California, by Zepplin, Stienbeck with the Grapes of Wrath, and Hughes with the Griswold's, and now Life brough to you by Mr. Saenz. There is so much ahead, take your time and soak it all in like the moment sponge you are.

Tell you where you can't get these experiences—going to New York.

Nope, no one ever talks, writes or even cares about when someone decides to pick up and go to New York. Michael J. Fox did once back in the 80's, a little film called "The Secret to My Success". You know what they call that film today in Hollywood? "Fox Turd". Whenever someone gets a script about going to New York or making it in New York, its always the same, "Uh, this looks like a Fox turd" or "That bin is for recyclables, that is reserved for Fox turds" or "Wasn't me, must be that Fox turd".
But you're not going to New York. You're going to California…nothing to worry about. California, where the weather is as pleasing as the women and the gangs are all bilingual.

Your jealous colleague and friend,

P.S. I will be out in LA next week, hope I could crash for a day or two. Hey, we'll have lunch

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