the office

Top 10 Movies of 2009…and Then Some (Keith Soljacich Edition)

It’s my pleasure again to send out my top 10 movies and more!  Take a read and let me know what you think… am I crazy, am I nuts, am I right?  Remember, enjoyment of movies is subjective and personal.  What I liked, you may not.  What you liked, I may not.  It’s a free country bub and I love movies.

My Top 10 of 2009
1. Avatar – Marvelous.  One of the 3 best cinema experiences of my life.  I’ll bet you a billion dollars 3D is the future of movies now.  Cameron would probably double-down.
2. District 9 – A director who absolutely owned his flick
3. Inglorious Basterds – I’m a sucker for Quentin, but so were a lot of other people
4. Star Trek – A solid solid solid action/sci-fi movie, and the second Trek movie I’ve seen (I saw the whale one when it came out, hence).  Just goes to show why JJ should have directed the prequels.
5. The Hurt Locker – Have you seen this?  You will.  Intense is an understatement.
6. The Hangover – Hysterical, funniest movie of the year.
7. Watchmen – Don’t get me wrong and excellent movie but was missing that “thing”
8. Invictus – Morgan Freeman as Mandela.  I think this was Eastwood’s middle finger to Spike Lee
9. The Messenger – Emotional roller-coaster ride of the year.  Tough movie to watch, but unforgettable
10. Gentlemen Broncos – I was one of 3 people in the theater laughing.  It’s a cupcake for nerds.

My Predicted Top 10 From January 2008 and my comments at the time (comments now)
1. Watchmen – Unbelievable this is coming out, will be fantastic (Damn good but not #1)
2. Avatar – James Cameron is back, filmed in IMAX 3D (Wish I had placed this #1…so awesome)
3. Inglorious Basterds – New Tarantino (Yup – BADASS)
4. Observe & Report – Trust me (Pretty good but overall a disappointment)
6. Funny People – New Apatow flick with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen about stand-up comedians (Ditto)
6. Wolverine – Looks good bub (Uck, this was a HUGE letdown)
7. Bruno – New Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) movie, completes the Ali G trifecta (Damn funny, but not Top 10 material)
8. Terminator Salvation – John Conner+Christian Bale=Badass (Really good, I like it but not Top 10)
9. Public Enemies – Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, Michael Mann, filmed in Chicago, all good (Big Letdown… I was bored)
10. Shutter Island – New Scorcese flick takes place on an island that houses a prison for the insane (Didn’t come out in 2009 so doesn’t count)

Movies I Wish I Had Seen:
Where The Wild Things Are
Up In The Air
The Road
The Lovely Bones
Ninja Assasin
Mystery Team

Movies I Will Never See (Ever):
Did You Hear About The Morgans?
Whip It
Taking of Pelham 123
The Soloist

My Top TV Series in 2009
1. LOST – Until it ends
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm – Danny Dooberstein!
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – 2009 was the year I finally gave in and I’m glad
4. Mad Men – Sit Down, Shut The Door best episode of TV this year
5. Eastbound & Down – So consistently funny
6. 30 Rock
7. The Office
8. Breaking Bad
9. Chuck
10. Fringe

Top 10 Movies To Look For in 2010

1. Iron Man 2 – WAR MACHINE
2. Kick Ass – Haven’t heard of it?  You will.
3. Slammin Salmon – New one from the Super Troopers gang.  I’m a sucker for comedy.
4. Shutter Island – New Scorcese, been on hold for a bit
5. Alice in Wonderland (IMAX 3D) – Sure
6. MacGruber – The movie’s in good hands and anyone who’s seen Will Forte on anything but SNL knows he’s a loon
7. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – In the capable hands of Edgar Wright.  Might be the geekiest movie ever made
8. Predators – Sold
9. Inception – New Chris Nolan (Dark Knight) movie
10. Toy Story 3D – I’m a sucker for 3D
1,248. Twilight: The Turd One – Will they or won’t they?  Who cares!

Am I Crazy?  2011 will be awesome!!!
1. Ghostbusters 3
2. Captain America
3. Thor
4. The Hobbit Part 1
5. Anchorman 2
6. The Hangover 2
7. Dinner For Schmucks
8. Sucker Punch
9. Green Lantern
10. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows Part 2

OK I’m Insane!!! 2012: The World Ends!!!!  Will Email Still Exist?
1. Batman 3 – Definitely
2. The Avengers – Definitely
3. Avatar 2?
4. The Hobbit Part 2
5. Indiana Jones 5
6. Kill Bill 3?
7. X-Men First Class
8. Spiderman Reboot – Not sure if this will be good yet

What do you think?  What were your 10 best?

Top Movies of 2007

Usually each January I poll my friends to find out what they thought the best movies of the previous year were. This year I decided to do something a little different and go to a few select pals who usually have some interesting insight and ask them to write about their top picks.

And so without further ado, here they are. The Best of 2007 according to people I know. And me.

My picks:

1. The Simpsons Movie
Quite simply the movie that made me laugh the most and the hardest all year. And I laughed a lot this year. Going into it I was a bit nervous about how much I’d like it because I haven’t seen the TV series in about 8 years. But I didn’t miss a thing because, quite simply, when something is funny, it’s funny. And this was funny.
2. Dan in Real Life
Maybe I missed all the buzz on this one. But probably closer to the truth is the fact that there really wasn’t any, and that’s a shame. This one kinda slipped under everyone’s radar and I don’t really get why. I mean, after Little Miss Sunshine it should come as no surprise that Steve Carell can do a movie that isn’t Anchorman-slapstick and still make a great movie (and be funny). Dan is no exception. When Dan sings his song in front of the family….wow….what a great scene. I almost lost it, I freely admit it. Plus Dane Cook. Score.
3. Hot Fuzz
The guys who brought you Shaun of the Dead are back (along with most of the S.O.T.D. cast) and finally cop/buddy movies are fun again.
4. Sunshine
Loved it. Blogged about it. Read it.
5. Ratatouille
Really, can Pixar do no wrong?
6. Once
I could go on and on about how cool this Irish indie film is but every time I’ve tried to tell someone about it, I never seem to capture how cool it actually is, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you’re a music fan, this is a definite must-see.
7. Superbad
Yes it was raunchy. Yes it was rude. Yes when it was over Sarah turned to me and said, “I hope our kids don’t talk like that.” But that doesn’t mean I we didn’t laugh our heads off.
8. 3:10 to Yuma
Once again Russell Crowe (an actor I hate) stars in a western movie (a genre I hate) and I loved it. Between this and The Quick and the Dead he’s a wily guy.
9. Knocked Up
Yea. I admit it. I’ve become a Judd Apatow fan. But who hasn’t?
10. Grindhouse
This is one of those you-had-to-be-there films. Seeing this in the theater was a roller coaster ride like nothing I’ve experienced at the theater. A double feature of crazily over-the-top action films with ridiculous fake trailers in between. My buddies and I (but not my brother) experienced a ride that may never be captured again.

My Worst of ’07
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry – Hey…anybody know where I can hear some really bad gay jokes? Over and over. And over. And over. And over. And over. (Repeat as desired)
Reno 911 – Aw, man….and I really like the TV show. I think the whole premise of the movie was “Wait…you mean we don’t have to blur out the boobs? DONE.” And as a result, they ended up blurring out the funny.
Pirates 3– Hi, I’m Johnny Depp. How about in this one it’s just me running around the boat but the boat’s crew is a hundred other me’s? But for no real reason. It’ll be fun!
Transformers – I really thought I was going to like this one and then halfway through realized “Oh wait…I’m not a 17-year old.”

Keith Soljacich is a writer/filmmaker living in the Chicago area. His work has been recognized at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Festival three years in a row, and in 2007 his short film Last Hand won the City Award to compete in the National finals.

Went in to the year with high hopes came out with mostly disappointment

1. Knocked Up
I picked this as my favorite movie of 07 because I had really high hopes going in to the movie and it exceeded my expectations. It was easily the funniest movie of the year, and for me a good comedy goes a long way.
2. The Simpsons Movie
3. American Gangster
4. Hot Fuzz
5. Superbad
6. 300
7. Grindhouse
8. Zodiac
9. Aliens vs. Predator
10. Hot Rod

Balls of Fury (surprise surprise), Everything but Venom in Spidey 3, Good Luck Chuck, Rush Hour 3, Black Snake Moan (boring), License to Wed

Best TV of 07
Lost, Curb Your Enthusiasm (You got some long ass balls Larry), 30 Rock, Weeds, The Soup, The Office

Best Shows I Never Watched Before 2007 (Netflix is great)
Dexter, House, Weeds, Veronica Mars, Monk

John Allenlives in Louisville and works in sales with EMI in the national music retail division. John has also worked at Gotee Records in the same capacity and is an aficionado of all pop culture. John also maintains a great blog.

There were a ton of films I didn’t see this year. In fact, if I had seen everything I wanted to, I would have probably had a completely different list. But all that said here is my end of the year ten best and a few random awards:
Biggest Misuse of Talent:We Own The Night/ Duvall.
Pheonix. Walberg. Mendes’ Breast (just one). And its a cop story set 20 years ago. What more did it need? A plot that ways at least marginally believable. Oh and something more believable than a cocaine using Jaoquin leading a police raid 10 minutes after we see him doing said cocaine.
Movie I Refuse To See Since Ed’s On the Cutting Room Floor: August Rush
Biggest Destruction of a Well Performing Series: Spider Man 3.
Everyone’s mailing it in and Spidey has never been a bigger joke than in this one. Reluctant Hero? That’s Tobey Mac. Cocky Superstud? Not so much.
Biggest Hypocrite: Robert Redford/Meryl Streep/Tom Cruise/Lion From Lambs
They spend two hours having what seems to be a logical discussion of the war on terror, only to have it come to conclusion of how all the right wing/republican perspective is propaganda and lies for foolish kids to believe, which really just makes the whole movie feel like left wing propaganda. Could have been so much more.
The Top Ten
1a) 3:10 To Yuma
I Never saw the original and honestly its not all that original, but I love a good western. This one killed me. I went in with low expectations and was happily blown away. Ben Foster is downright sinister and always brings something to the table. On a related note, Christian Bale is steadily becoming one of my favorite actors.
1b) The Kingdom
I love these type of films and the trailer had me dying to see it. Nothing but a bunch of actors I love and a great “state of our times” kind of story. Here’s a hint Hollywood: if you put Chris Cooper in it, chances are I will least pay the “on demand” fee to see it (ala Breach). But here is why it was so great. It tackled a political theme and did so without turning into a propaganda piece (for the right or the left). Tim McGraw is on screen for 2 minutes tops and literally moved Kara and I to tears (almost). Just a great film. A thrill ride with plot, dialogue and characters (someone forgot to tell Bruckheimer or Bay this is possible). Great movie!
2.5) Juno
3) American Gangster
True Story? Check. Oscar Winning Actors? Check and check? Good Supporting cast? A little overuse of rappers as actors, but nonetheless check.
This movie was pretty good. Only one thing bothered me. As a true story the writers knew how it would end (stop reading here if you haven’t seen it……)
The knew Washington and Crowe’s characters would end up working together to take down bigger criminals. They knew the two would become friends. If they knew this, than why spend so much time turning Washington’s character into such a cold-blooded killer/criminal? Why showing violently killing so many people and being blind to his own ambition to end the movie on the “hey look we’re buddies now” tip? Other than that, good movie
4) Meet The Robinsons
We are forced at times to take Jake to movies we would never choose to see ourselves. On a trip in March to Ohio Jake and I went and saw this. Kara’s grandpa was dying and I needed to get Jake out of the hospital before he started climbing the walls. This was the only kids friendly film at the theater in the little town so we went. In short we got a great movie with a tremendous message and some really fun laughs. Sure its campy, but its a kids flick so whaddya want?!? Haven’t seen it? You should.
5 & 6) Harry Potter/Bourne Ultimatum
Here’s the deal. You would really have to “mail it in” for you to screw up these series in my life. I love the Harry films and this is the best one yet. They successfully managed to capture the bulk of what was the biggest of the books to this point and not leave mush out. The only knock on this film is it could have been longer. Same thing with Bourne. The movies are not even close to the books but I love the action and the attitude. Damon was Bourne * to play the role and they tap into Bond style espionage, better than Bond ever has.
(*thanks Gene Shalit)
7 & 8) Knocked Up/Superbad Combo
To you its fairly obvious why these should count as one film, so I will throw this out there, as it is a great story.
I’m in Ft Lauderdale with my boy Rick, who is a pastor here in KY. Rick has to be pretty selective with what he goes to see in theaters as he works with kids and you never know when one might walk out of the theater and ask what you’re seeing. Can’t tell an impressionable 15 yr old, you’re seeing “Knocked Up.” So Ricky often doesn’t see these until they are ON Demand. Well, we’re in FTL and we decide we’re gonna see a movie. We want to see Superbad, but it doesn’t start for another hour to which, Rick says, well I haven’t seen “Knocked Up” yet and its ON Demand back at the hotel. This leads me to say, in front of about 10 people no less, “well, let’s go back to the hotel and get Knocked Up.” Good times
9) Grindhouse
Really not much of a Tarantino fan but his half of this B Movie double feature stands up well over time. Rodriguez is one of my favs and he delivers as usual here. It’s worth it if only for the fake movie trailers with such great tag lines as: “White Met. Dark Meat. This year everyone gets carved. “
10) Live Free or Die Hard

Cheesy as hades at times, but John McClaine gets the nod here, for one line in the movie. There’s a scene were he’s riding with his sidekick (the guy from “Accepted” and the Mac commercials) and there having this talk about why McClaine is always trying to be the hero and McClaine says because no else is. Perfect. It fits in the movie, but it also speaks to my generation a bit. McClaine, Rambo and Balboa are all back because, there’s an abscence of that type of hero in movies today. Nostalgic piece, but I enjoyed it.

Stacey Gagne works at WJTL and is deeply involved in music, movies, and all things pop culture. Stacey is also a published writer and keeps a blog at Infuze.

Amazing Grace: Powerful and Inspiring
The Bucket List. Great Mix of comedy and drama. I laughed, I cried, I reminded myself to get my passport and get to livin!
PS I Love You. Sweet love story, not necessarily the expected ending.
Hairspray: fun, and I always love a musical
Music and Lyrics Drew and Hugh… what could be better
Wild Hogs: Great cast, I like a movie I can watch with anyone once in a while.
Shrek the Third You gotta love a Shrek movie, although i feel like the jokes are all out on the table now…
Pirates: Again, well done, but nothing beats the first one
Spider Man 3: I liked the darkness of this one
Premonition: lots of twists, but so heart breaking!!

Others I saw:
> Evan Almighty: cute but not hysterical, just cute
> Blades of Glory: funny, but too raunchy for me
> Ratatouille: cute and fun, I think I enjoyed it more because of the company I was with… I think it might have been a little slow otherwise
> Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: another Harry…
> Atonement: well done, but so depressing… I can’t bring myself to put in my top 10

Brad Moist is a movie and music wizard. We also met at Gotee Records and he went on to found the record label Mono Vs Stereo. Brad is still involved in the music and is a contributing music reviewer for CCM Magazine. Brad not only has his hand on the pulse of what is cool but also what is about to be cool.

2. The Kingdom
3. 300
4. Sunshine
5. The Lookout
6. 30 Days of Night
7. Shoot ‘Em Up
8. Live Free or Die Hard
9. Smokin’ Aces
10. Disturbia

Sarah Placencia is a fitness instructor who can also make one mean white mocha (being a Barista Supreme will have that affect). She loves movies and has declared her goal of becoming a movie geek.

1. Hot Fuzz
I  am a big fan of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and I am definitely planning on seeing ‘Run, Fat Boy, Run!’. Simon Pegg, yeah he’s cool.
2. Mr. Bean’s Holiday
I could watch this movie over and over. Rowan Atkinson is brilliant!
3. Ratatouille
Very cute movie.WARNING: Do not think you are a chef after seeing this movie, some foods should not be made into soup. My bad.
4. Simpsons Movie
Pure Classic. This was actually the first movie that I watched by myself in the theater and I still laughed out loud, alot.
5. Once
This movie was great. At first I had wished for a different ending, but then I thought ‘who am I to think it should end a certain way?’ And in a way it didn’t really have an ending. It was a film about new beginnings, which are stories that I’m all for.
6. Superbad
Sure these guys are crude and cuss like sailors but in the end, they really are ‘gentlemen’. And it goes to show how important friendships really are……now all together…’aaaawwwwww’.
7. Sweeney Todd
Hmmmm. The music, the makeup, the actors were very intriguing. Who knew that I would actually rooting for their ‘meat pie’ shop to flourish…I’m gonna go see my psych…right now.
8.Shoot Em’ Up
Am I dude? Sometimes I wonder….heh, but I actually really like this movie. It had a Rodriguez/Tarantino feel to it. And I have a weird # that I see at random times in my life. It shows up in this movie for a split second, right before it gets ‘shot up’. Look for it; 1026……yeah I’m weird.
9.Freedom Writers
This movie is true story that shows the determination of one teacher reaching out to help her students excel, not only at school but in life. It’s encouraging to see how one person can do so much. Highly recommended.
10.August Rush
I’d say this movie was pretty much amazing. It made me really appreciate music, and I don’t even play anything. Great story as well.

Todd Sattison is my oldest friend…not that he’s the oldest person I know, but that we’ve known each other  were 4 and 5 years old. Todd’s a big movie buff who’s always up for a trip to the theater.

1.300– The best I’ve seen this year. THIS IS SPARTA!!!! What a wonderful film.
2.Smokin Aces–  Fantastic Cast. Ryan Reynolds was really good in this.
3.The Number 23– I’m not sure why I liked this movie so much. It just had me from beginning to end.
4.Fracture– Nobody plays the part like Anthony Hopkins.
5.Disturbia– I rented this movie and thought I would hate it and I ended up loving it.
6.Mr. Brooks– I really have to rave about this movie. Kevin Costner was great as a bad guy. The “I can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner movie”.
7.1408– I really don’t like Cusack that much, but he pulled it together for this Stephen King story.
8.The Bourne Ultimatum– Love this story. Can’t wait for the next one???????
9.Superbad– Funniest movie I have seen this year.
10. 3:10 to Yuma– Crowe and Bale were both great in this western.
Going to see No Country for Old Men this weekend and could bump someone.

So…how’d we do? Agree with our picks? Think we’re way off? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts!

Scab for Hire

OK, I’m probably not the only person who’s sick of this writer’s strike currently preventing me from seeing new episodes of “Saturday Night Live,” “The Office,” and “30 Rock” and pretty much guaranteeing me only a partial season of “Lost” and “24.” Not only are my favorite shows MIA but I now have an excess of bland reality shows to choose from like “The Singing Bee,” “Do You Know the Words,” “Battle of the Choirs,” “Nunfight 2008,” “Are You Dumber Than A Redneck,” and “So You Want to Be Famous for 10 Minutes, Too.”

And so I have decided to cross the picket line (sorry Writer’s Guild, but something tells  I’m not burning any bridges here…it’s not like I’m a card-carrying member or anything…or have any chance of being so). So this is a proclamation to all interested TV studios/production companies that I’ll take the bullet and step in and write a few episodes for ya, just so I can watch something new on TV.

I read a couple of weeks ago that the last time the talks between the writers and the union fell through, the writers turned down an offer that would garner them $250,000/year. You’re getting a bargain with me. This is an offer you can’t refuse: Pay me $175,000 a year and I’ll write your TV shows and try to find a way to eke out an existence on my new-found  meager earnings.

Sounds like a deal to me. You get new episodes, it’s easier to get advertising, and I get to figure out how in the world I could possibly survive on a 6-figure income. What have we got to lose?

Let’s do this.


It’s that time again to bore my friends and loved ones with a capsulated look at 2006. Enjoy. I’ll wake you when it’s over.

A Timeline by Ed Placencia

As the year began I was living in New York City. I was a regular performer at the National Comedy Theatre (which I will heretofore refer to as NCT) and the ink on my divorce papers still hadn’t dried. My first year as The Single Guy. Let’s do this.
January 1 I ring in the new year by performing at a special New Year’s show at the NCT. We had a blast and it was a great time.
January 12 My digital camera breaks. No one has seen a picture of me since.
January 31 At the NCT banquet in a weird moment of ironic foreshadowing I was awarded “Most likely to be available for 208 shows/year.”

February 19 A reporter from The Daily News does a story on the National Comedy Theatre. A lot of pictures are taken and the cast is saddened when the article comes out and they use a picture with none of us in it.
February 28 In a stunt of unparalleled proportions, JT and I went to pick up some used carpet to put in the green room of the NCT. Because we don’t have a vehicle, we carry this huge roll of carpeting. From the corner of 3rd & 11th to the theater at 36th & 9th we maneuvered through the busy streets of Manhattan and didn’t bump into anything. And we only stopped to rest once. How manly are we?

March 8 My good friends John and Lisa come up to visit from Pennsylvania. We checked out a Mountain Dew snowboarding ramp in the middle of Times Square and interview a ukulele expert at a music store for Lisa’s radio show, The Kids Cookie Break. So, it was a usual day for me.

April 2 Worked on the set of a new FOX show, The Wedding Album. It was slated to come out this year, but haven’t heard anything on it since.
April 10-13 For four days straight I work from 6:30pm to 5am as an extra on the set of August Rush, starring Robin Williams, Keri Russell, and Jonathan Rhys Myers. We spent four nights in the middle of Central Park pretending it wasn’t freezing cold as we watched a performance by a symphony. Right now it is slated to release in February 2007. If it’s anything like my last work as an extra, be sure to have your freeze frame remotes ready so you can see me.
April 22 My sister Jaime comes up for a visit and we see and do everything in Manhattan in a span of 7 hours. We are, in a word, amazing. And tired.
April 27 Fellow NCT comedian Virginia and I witness someone trying to base jump off of the Empire State Building. A crowd gathers. The jumper is arrested. Everyone seems slightly depressed they didn’t get to see someone splat.
April 30 Worked on the set of Without A Trace playing an FBI employee. The episode airs the following month and I was nowhere to be seen. So far, no proof of the fact I’ve ever done any extra work exists.

May 4 Realizing a lifelong dream, I get to attend a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman. Even though the guests are Rosie Perez and Danika Patrick I still manage to somehow enjoy the experience.
May 13 My final show at the NCT for 2006. I have 81 performances with them under my belt, and all of them were a blast. The rest of the gang is still there putting on great shows so if you’re in Manhattan, be sure to stop by and see a show.
May 14 Left NYC for Pennsylvania, where I will hang out for a week before my departure for Indiana. My buddy Ethan volunteers to drive me to PA and while there I stay with him and his wife Aubrey, and also with Jon & Lisa. I get a chance to connect with all of my dear friends from the radio station I worked at in Lancaster, WJTL. Good people. Good, good people.
May 21 Dad arrives in Pennsylvania with his truck and we load up the small amount of junk I have and head for Indiana.

June 2 Almost a year after doing extra work on The Break-Up with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, it is released in theaters. None of my scenes make the final cut. I am not disappointed as there’s always the DVD deleted scenes. And I got to roller blade behind Jennifer Aniston for half a day. And the check cleared.
June 4 Fifteen years after its first conception, my brother Ray and I begin production on the long-awaited sequel to Terocus. We film four episodes and post them all on YouTube. The internet community is collectively confused.

July 15 I film an entry for a contest NBC is having to make a promo for the TV show The Office with Ray, Piper, Dad, and cousin Rich. Even though we don’t win, we have fun filming it and putting it on YouTube to further confuse the internet people.
July 16 The Placencia family reunion. Or, The Largest Gathering Of Minorities In Indiana Since The Last Placencia Family Reunion.

August 3 I am legally a Hoosier again when I get my driver’s license. After finally making it through the DMV line, a week later my money clip is stolen and I have to go through all of it again.

September 30 The county fair comes to town and all of Indiana’s finest are in attendance. Mullets and poofy hairsprayed bangs abound. I get together with my friend Amy to hang out at the local coffee shop as they walk by and poke fun. Without recognizing him, I inadvertently end up making fun of my uncle.

October 14 I killed a bird with a ladder.
October 17 The Break-Up is released on DVD. Although the packaging boasts “17 extra minutes!” I still have not made the film. Nor did I make the deleted scenes. Even my deleted scenes were deleted. But still, at least I got to roller blade behind Jennifer Aniston for half a day.

November 1 Awarded “Boxer of the Month” for the month of October at the Dekalb County Boxing Club. I celebrate by not going down for the rest of the month.
November 9 Itching to get back into comedy, I perform stand-up in front of a crowd of about 350 people at Snickerz in Ft Wayne and it goes well and the crowd goes wild.

I’m working with Dad and still doing production for WJTL. I’ve been writing a lot of short stories recently and I’ll be back at Snickerz doing stand-up on December 21.It’s been a fun fun year and am eager to see what 2007 has in store.

To keep updated on what I’m doing, I keep a pretty consistent blog online. It’s the easiest way to see what I’m up to and going through. You can also visit that link to get all of the details on the highlights I mentioned above.

Goals for 2007:
*Return to NYC to perform again at NCT.
*Visit London.
*Kiss a girl.

It’s my prediction that the first two goals will be the easiest to accomplish.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you to find out how you’re doing.

Keep in touch!


NBC: Later Rather Than Sooner

A couple of weeks ago I think I posted something on here about my video submission for a contest NBC was having to promote the most excellent show, The Office. The top three submissions will be aired on NBC. They’ve released the 20 finalists at and if you look closely, you’ll see that I’m not among them. A few of them are actually pretty good. But only a few. I’m not saying that my submission is better than the others (I’m no sore loser) but I am saying I can’t believe most of them were selected. Kind of like watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. At the end of the show when they announce the 3 funniest videos, more often than not I’m left thinking Huh? But I guess that’s the thing about humor. It’s all objective.

My video submission is posted on YouTube and, as promised, I have made the video public so you can watch and enjoy (hopefully enjoy). The final product had to be exactly 20 seconds and you weren’t allowed to use any footage from the show (even though one of the 20 finalists did. Um…that’s not freakin fair). My original cut was 2 and-a-half minutes, so needless to say, I had to do some serious editing. The basic premise is some friends hanging around, quoting lines from The Office, and one guy who doesn’t watch the show tries desperately to fit in.

Maybe it didn’t translate in 20 seconds. Or maybe the judges forgot that Steve Carell, star of The Office, was also in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Oh well. We still had a good time. My submission can be seen here: Feel free to leave a comment and browse around while you’re there!

“The Office” Promo

If you watch NBC’s The Office or ever swing by my YouTube site, you may have seen the promos for a new contest. Basically, they are asking people to make a promo for The Office, exactly 20 seconds long, and submit it to them. They’ll pick 3 grand prize winners to air on NBC after an episode of the sitcom. No cash and prizes, but a chance for some real bragging rights.

I spent some time yesterday with my brother Ray, his wife Piper, my cousin Rich, and Dad. They were my cast for the project, and yes, I resisted the urge to put myself in it so I could concentrate on directing & editing, and it only took us about 30 minutes to film, (I mean come on, the finished project is only 20 seconds long)!

I sat down tonight to edit and, after assembling all of the footage I wanted to use, it clocked in at about two-and-a-half minutes. Zoinks! This was a lot tougher than I imagined. Shaving off two minutes and ten seconds, while still trying to keep the humor and the gist was quite a task. But I think I did OK.

So we’ll see. Right now 96 people have submitted a video. If you think about it, that’s really not a lot, so maybe we have a shot. You aren’t allowed to view the other videos, but you can browse and see a still photo taken from the other entries. All I’m saying is, pretty much all of the other entries take place in an office. I took the opposite approach and we’ll see if being a little different pays off.

After they declare a winner, if it ain’t me, I’ll make it available for everyone to see (right now the videos have to be marked “Private” so only the contest honchos can see them). I’ll keep you posted. Wish us luck!

Til You Weep

When is the last time you actually laughed so hard, you cried? If it’s been too long, then I highly suggest the podcasts by Ricky Gervais. For those of you who don’t know, Gervais is the genius behind the original British version of “The Office” (as writer, producer, and star and also producer and sometimes-writer of the American version).

I was listening to the podcasts while at work and literally sat at my desk crying. I can’t recommend this too highly.

Now stop reading this and go get your laugh on.